I'm aware that WooCommerce is a fork of jigoshop, and there was some controversy, however now that both have had releases since their divergence, how do they differ in features and direction?
I won't comment on all features, but I will say take a look through the changelogs for WooCommerce, our blog, and our public GitHub repository to get an idea of the features we've added, what we're currently developing, and the over-all direction we're taking with WooCommerce.
A few of the features we've added to our dev version (1.5) include:
Theres plenty of geeky stuff too which I won't go into. I can't comment on whether or not Jigo has these features in their dev version (it seems its now developed privately whereas our development is all done publicly on GitHub for all to see).
Plugin/theme wise, not including those sold on third party marketplaces such as themeforest WC has more than double the amount of themes, and triple the amount of plugins. This list grows weekly during our thursday drops.
While I'm sure that the two projects will diverge even further over time - I know that WC has already benefitted from a massive code overhaul and has a (soon to be expanding) team dedicated to improving it further :)
I can't comment on the direction of Jigoshop but at WooThemes, WooCommerce has already become a significant part of an already hugely successful WordPress startup.
As such, Mike, myself and the whole WooTeam are focussed on the continued development of WooCommerce, it's many extensions and kick-ass eCommerce themes. As well as providing top-notch support along the way.
We're also excitedly nurturing the evolution of our developer community, which continues to manufacture & release awesome WooCommerce extensions week in week out. It has rather become the feather in our cap. Just yesterday we released 7 new products (http://www.woothemes.com/2012/03/more-extensions-more-power/) and we already have some exciting releases lined up for next Thursday.
Not only is WooCommerce an attractive platform for third party developers (some of whom are earning a decent living purely selling WC extensions with us!) but also to some big names in the premium theme space. Top authors such as StudioPress (Genesis), Obox, Themify and Kriesi from ThemeForest have already hopped aboard and released some great WooCommerce specific themes / plugins. We expect more will be on the way in the coming months giving users a plethora of options when building WooCommerce web sites.
I'm extremely proud of what we've achieved with WooCommerce, and believe that in terms flexibility, functionality and choice of aesthetic we've created an extremely attractive product for anyone building an online store.
I actually work with Jigoshop, and in terms of features etc, the two products are pretty much comparable at present, with similar numbers of plugins, themes etc. As a fork of the Jigoshop, it appears WooCommerce hasn't diverged as much as you'd expect yet, but obviously as time goes by the differences will become greater, and certainly at Jigoshop we've changed our focus and strategy to differentiate ourselves more clearly.
Just to clarify on sustainability - the company behind Jigoshop is Jigowatt, who have been around for a few years specialising in open source eCommerce (WP and Magento), and Jigoshop is very much a longterm project, so please don't think that it won't be around in 5-10 years unless we've either replaced it with something better, or WordPress ceases to exist in that time!
Quick edit to update on the sales pitches which follow - - We've also rewritten our products section to allow quicker and easier bulk editing, and support digital downloads. - We've also been lucky enough to benefit from a dedicated and growing developer community. - And we have experimented with a mix of public and private development, mainly due to the fact that so far, neither project has significantly moved apart from each other, and with WooCommerce forking from Jigoshop, we wanted to encourage differentiation.
Personally I'd always recommend trying both, taking a look at the respective communities and seeing which you prefer, but also monitoring the other for the future. Woo obviously had a production line in place from their theme development whereas our experience has been in providing bespoke eCommerce, so our production is still ramping up every day and week (We've also got a load of releases queued up!)
The only functional difference in most setups is really whether you use a comma or a pipe to delineate variable products and the addition of a default variable mix in Woo. I mean there are others... the layout in payments is collapsed in Woo vs expanded in Jigo. For the most part though, they are still the same product.
I think you'll see the two products chase one another's features back and forth for a while yet but they probably won't diverge much until the next full version.
I think the first product that makes it simple to set up a child theme will see some pretty huge dividends from the design corner. Right now it's a whole lot of work to figure out how to do things like call a shopping cart icon in the navigation (though there is a widget for it, it's not as elegant as a baked in solution would be). This means the majority of the designs for both products are more or less a theme like Sommemrce with a bunch of CSS overrides. The most original design work really can't compete with the functionality built into professional themes.
I'm about 99% sure one of them will nail that shortly and you'll see an explosion of third-party themes as a result. I know I'll very quickly upgrade a lot of clients to a more interesting look, once the components are as easy to call & hook as they are in a parent theme. I suspect this is mostly a matter of better documentation.
For now, both are very good but both promote some really unoriginal design in e-commerce. Neither one differs enough to really swing a buyer other than the color of the icon and the availability of your prefab theme of choice.
protected by toscho♦ Aug 3 '12 at 14:28
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