As if starting your own online presence isn't hard enough, figuring out the best platform to start it on is a pain on it's own. Obviously there are the free listing sites like TeePublic and Redbubble but while cheap they have their own set of issues.
I'm not going to go into the free sites here and instead I am going to share a few quick thoughts on starting your own POD store based on my experience with 2 not so free options.
This isn't my first attempt at this whole Print on Demand thing, last year I started a Shopify store called MemesAreUs. I spent a bunch of money on a custom theme and went all out trying to sell T-shirts and coffee mugs with funny memes printed on them. It was a miserable failure and I shut it down after 3 months.
Being the glutton for punishment that I am, I decided to give it another go. As I said, the first time I setup shop on Shopify so this time I thought I'd change things up and give WooCommerce a try. For those unfamiliar, WooCommerce is a free storefront plugin for the popular Wordpress blogging software. It integrates with many of the POD providers and since it's open source, there are scores of supporting plugins that allow someone to setup a pretty robust platform.
Fortunately I have had a lot of experience with Wordpress so setting things up there was for me was doable. For those that are technically challenged, Wordpress/WooCommerce can be a challenge.
Last month I began in earnest setting up my new Wordpress/WooCommerce site selecting to host it with Wordpress themselves. Setting it up wasn't too difficult and they also support using your own domain making it easier to brand your store. Like I said before, I started on Shopify and this is where some of my second thoughts began.
Many of the POD providers I wanted to use did integrate with WooCommerce, but some didn't. And some that did weren't as user friendly on WooCommerce as they are on Shopify. I had issues integrating some of the products I wanted to sell because the providers weren't available and I was also finding that a lot of the functions Shopify handles in the background, WooCommerce required more tweaking.
This weekend I made the decision to halt everything on WooCommerce and move things back to Shopify. Luckily I am not that far into startup so switching wouldn't cause too many heartaches so here I am back at the beginning.
I am still up and running on Wordpress utilizing the free domain that came with my hosting plan so if you want to see what a Wordpress/WooCommerce option looks like, check out weprinton.gifts and let me know what you think!