WooThemes yesterday announced WooCommerce Connect, a new functionality aiming to make it easier for anyone to start an online store and simplify the current process of adding extensions to your site by offloading the code to Automattic’s servers. The new feature is now available for alpha testing.
“To make all of this happen, most of the code you used to have to download now lives on a secure server that we host. We’re using Jetpack to allow your site to talk to that server securely,” the announcement said.
Connect leverages a SaaS-style Automattic-hosted server to do the heavy lifting and takes advantage of a Calypso-style interface to provide a more streamlined user experience.
Instead of downloading the extension and then installing the API and subscription keys, it enables you to add new features to your ecommerce site within WooCommerce. According to the announcement, “with Connect, adding a new option just means making use of it.” Connect has also made various improvements to the Settings to make them more user-friendly.
The first service added to Connect is real-time USPS shipping rates, which at this time is offered in the alpha version of the new functionality.
Until the feature becomes part of WooCommerce core, you will need to download and install it as you would with any other extension. Sign up to start testing.
While Connect offers core functionality to help get your ecommerce store up and running, extensions will still remain a critical part of WooCommerce.
“We’re still committed to our modular approach — a solid and flexible core product with extensions to add just the features you need — and to giving store owners and developers more freedom, not less,” the announcement said.
This means that extensions will always be an option for WooCommerce users.
What do you think of WooCommerce Connect? What do you think this will mean for WooCommerce users?