Do you sell physical products or offer services? Then invoicing is probably an important task for you on a daily basis… and probably not the most pleasant to manage, right?
Maybe you use a Word invoice template, which you fill in manually every time you want to create an invoice. Or maybe you have set up or use an automated system to manage all your invoices.
But then, what to do when your activity is online, via a WooCommerce store?
Well, you've come to the right place: in this article, you will discover the solutions to set up WooCommerce invoices in a useful way… and without any headache !
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Why you need a WooCommerce invoice system for your online store
For online transactions, even more than for offline operations, it is essential to keep tracks and evidence. And the invoice is one of the right ways to do this.
Basically, it is this document that will detail the orders placed by your customers, as well as information on costs, taxes related to the purchase, contact information, payment methods used…
Another aspect just as important for your online store: a WooCommerce invoice can be one of the documents you will use in case of dispute or claim following a purchase.
That's right: with an efficient billing system, you are ready for any potential problem!
Limitations of the WooCommerce native billing system
Natively, WooCommerce offers a rather basic billing system.
Basically, when an order is completed on your online store, the plugin sends by email to the customer's address the details of the completed order.
Some of them being:
- The product(s) purchased
- Their quantity
- Their price
- The total cost of the purchase
- Information on taxes
- Delivery costs
On top of that, WooCommerce adds in the same email the details of the customer billing address.
This is what an email invoice sent by WooCommerce can look like:
Although this native feature is interesting, there are some things it lacks.
The first drawback is that invoices are only available in email format. Of course, the customer can print them after receiving them, but it would be much more convenient to have them directly in a portable format, such as PDF.
Also, you may regret not being able to customize these invoices to add additional information, such as mandatory legal notice, for example.
Fortunately, one of the strengths of WooCommerce, and WordPress in general, is that they are very extensible. So there is a multitude of third party plugins that provide features not available; or not advanced enough, in a native way. And a WooCommerce invoice is no exception to the rule!
And that's all the purpose of this post: to offer you a comparison of some WooCommerce billing plugins available on the market. After reading it, you will surely become a WooCommerce invoice superhero for your online store, with all the necessary tools at your disposal 😉
4 free plugins to manage your invoices on WooCommerce
When you go to the official WordPress plugin directory, and search for the word invoice, you will have at least a thousand results.
Not easy to navigate this sea of information, is it?
So I give you my list of 4 free WordPress plugins to manage your WooCommerce invoices. Each of these plugins has a set of features that corresponds to a certain category of needs: it's up to you to find the one that suits you the most!
WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
First on the list: WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips by Ewout Fernhout.
In terms of free WooCommerce invoices plugin, it's one of the most popular in the official plugin directory, with more than 200,000 active installations. It is also one of the most appreciated, if we take into account the 955 5-star ratings out of a total of 972 ratings given.
You can already find its main features in its description: “This WooCommerce extension automatically adds a PDF invoice to the order confirmation emails sent out to your customers. ”. You will also be able to create and manage your delivery notes with the same plugin. Let's see what it can do!
The pros of WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips
- Its intuitive and efficient configuration wizard.
- The possibility to create custom invoice templates. By default, the plugin generates invoices according to a single template. But it is possible to create your own templates. Of course, this involves getting your hands a little into the code to create these templates.
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices also allows to preview invoices from the administration area before they are sent to the customer. When activating the plugin, a new column is added on the table of the “Orders” page with, for each order, a link to see the invoice as it will be received by the customer. Convenient to check that everything is correct before completing an order.
- The plugin also offers a very reactive support for its free version. Just look at the 114 support issues resolved out of the 157 opened in the last two months to understand this. This is a good point!
- You will also be able to manage the numbering of your invoices, which is essential for keeping track of your accounting.
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Print Invoice & Delivery Notes for WooCommerce
The next plugin on our list totals 40,000 active installations on the official directory: not bad either, eh? It is about Print Invoice and Delivery Notes for WooCommerce. But what is it really like?
The pros of Print Invoice & Delivery Notes for WooCommerce
- This WooCommerce invoice plugin allows to add a button on the “Orders” page of the “My Account” area so that customers can download and print invoices directly.
- Note the possibility to customize the template used to generate invoices.
- The plugin also allows to add a direct print link in the invoice email sent to customers. Clever!
- It is possible to access from the administration area of the plugin to a rather complete FAQ page.
- It is also possible to use a personalized numbering system for the invoices sent. This feature is very useful if you already have a numbering system in your account, and you want to continue to use it.
The cons of Print Invoice & Delivery Notes for WooCommerce
- The design of the default template proposed by the plugin could be improved.
WooCommerce PDF Invoices
With 20,000 active installations and 403 5-star ratings out of 450, the WooCommerce PDF Invoices plugin, created by Bas Elbers, is one of the most popular on the plugin directory to generate WooCommerce invoices. Is it really worth these pretty stars?
The pros of WooCommerce PDF Invoices
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices allows to add a “Paid” watermark on invoices that have been paid.
- Unlike the other plugins seen above, WooCommerce PDF Invoices offers two default invoice templates, with the possibility to create new ones in the theme.
- The plugin offers an integration with Email It In to send invoices directly to Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive accounts.
- It is also possible to disable the creation and sending of invoices for free products in the store.
WooCommerce PDF Invoices, Packing Slips, Delivery Notes & Shipping Labels by WebToffee
Take your breath before reading the name of this new WooCommerce invoice plugin: it is the WooCommerce PDF Invoices, Packing Slips, Delivery Notes & Shipping Labels plugin. Phew!
It totals 10,000 active installations. The agency that created it, WebToffee, is also editor of several other very popular plugins on the official plugin directory such as GDPR Cookie Consent (CCPA Ready), Product Import Export for WooCommerce, or the famous Import Export WordPress Users.
A great list of achievements to their credit! So, what does this billing plugin do?
The pros of WooCommerce PDF Invoices, Packing Slips, Delivery Notes & Shipping Labels
- The plugin offers a lot of very basic features, such as customizing your logo on your WooCommerce invoices, downloading invoices from the administration, or the possibility to send your invoices by email.
- With 18 support tickets solved out of 20 in the last two months for the free version of the plugin, we can say that its support is quite reactive. And you know it: responsive support is a very important aspect when you choose a plugin, especially when it comes to something as sensitive as billing!
- The plugin provides documentation for developers directly from its options pages. This is a very interesting plus, with all the filters you can use to customize the way the plugin works.
WooCommerce PDF Invoices, Packing Slips, Delivery Notes & Shipping Labels limits
- Although the plugin offers the basic functionality one would expect, on the free version, the number of options available is rather limited. For example, you will not be able to add customized invoice templates, configure the invoice numbering system or allow customers to view or download their invoices from the “My Account” area.
Which WooCommerce invoice plugin to choose for your online store?
After testing each of the plugins described above, I was able to make an opinion on each of them.
And the one that, in my opinion, wins the first place is undoubtedly WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips by Ewout Fernhout.
Its popularity is understandable: it is easy to use and has all the basic features you would expect from a (free!) WooCommerce invoice plugin. Sold!
You will be able to set up a billing system on your store in a few clicks, and your invoices will be ready to go to your customers.
So, tell me, which plugin do you use to generate your invoices on WooCommerce?
Do you know some that have not been mentioned here?
Feel free to let me know and share your feedback in the comments below. The WPMarmite team reads them all!
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