WooCommerce Live Shipping Rates are no Longer Free – But the Paid Replacement is Much Better

Last updated on May 22nd, 2024 at 04:02 pm

It might not be free anymore, but free isn't always better anyway.

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Most of my clients know I’m a big fan of WooCommerce. While it’s not as easy to set up as other eCommerce solutions such as Shopify, WooCommerce provides unmatched flexibility.

USPS Shipping Method no Longer Free

WooCommerce offers a ton of features out of the box for absolutely zero cost. And up until version 3.5 was released, one of those freebies included a free USPS shipping calculator for destinations in the US and Canada. The feature was part of the free WooCommerce Services extension, which is still available without the live shipping rates.

Now I’ll admit, I was initially pretty bummed out when I discovered the removal of live shipping rates from WooCommerce Services, but they’re still providing the service free of charge to WooCommerce stores that were registered before the feature change.

For new stores, however, the story is different. If you want live shipping rates provided by WooCommerce, you’ll need to purchase the USPS Shipping Method extension for $79/yr*. And while this doesn’t place it among the most expensive add-ons available from WooCommerce, the price tag could be enough to have some website owners & developers looking for another option.

I’m a huge fan of trying to find free ways around expensive plugins, but there are 2 really good reasons to consider ponying up the cash when it comes to this one. Even if your store has been grandfathered in, considering it’s a free product, they have no obligation to continue this and could decide at any time to cut the free service to everyone.

#1: USPS International Shipping

Back when the shipping method was a free part of WooCommerce Services, it only included domestic shipping rates in the US and Canada. If there’s one thing that really makes it worthwhile to pay for the USPS Shipping Method extension, it’s the fact this beast can provide shipping rates all around the globe.

Global strategy and communications
Take your web store global with USPS shipping from WooCommerce.

Most online stores are available to the entire world, but international shipping charges can be tricky. With the USPS Shipping Method extension, it’ll be a breeze to make your products available anywhere in the world!

#2: Premium Plugins Come with Premium Support

Even the best WordPress developers rely on at least a few plugins. And if you’ve used a lot of free plugins, you already know that support is usually limited to the forums for the plugin listing on WordPress.org.

When you pay hard-earned money for one of their plugins, WooCommerce provides you premium support channels for the plugins you’ve purchased. Their tech support is top-notch, I have even contacted them via chat to search out a setting I couldn’t find – they were excellent and gave me what I needed fast. No more posting your issue in a forum and waiting days (or forever) for an answer.

WooCommerce has support staff all around the world and assistance is as easy as logging into your WooCommerce account and clicking the Support tab.

Final Thoughts

If you’re thinking about building an online store using WooCommerce (or already have one), the USPS Shipping Method extension is a premium product you should consider paying for. Not only does the money help make sure you get access to premium support, but it also helps ensure that the code you’re using on your website is financed well enough to be stable and reliable. And ultimately, using reliable code on your website should be your most critical concern as a website owner.

Oh, and there’s also a 30-day money back guarantee which makes it a risk-free endeavor if you just want to try it out.

*The pricing stated is accurate as of the publishing date of this post. Follow the link to WooCommerce.com to see the up to date price.

Sharif Jameel is a business owner, IT professional, runner, & musician. His professional certifications include CASP, Sec+, Net+, MCSA, & ITIL and others. He’s also the guitar player for the Baltimore-based cover bands, Liquifaction and Minority Report.

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