Developer vs. Average User: The FacetWP Arena

MARIA PIRZADA ANSARI | November 24, 2017

Has your e-commerce website outgrown WordPress' default search? Too many products, too little room to showcase them effectively? Want your site to be more like Amazon?

FacetWP

Quick Review

The FacetWP plugin enhances WordPress default search functionality through a powerful, faceted search option that allows your visitors to filter through your products faster. The core plugin integrates with over a dozen official and third-party add-ons.

For more information about what FacetWP is and how it can be a great addition to your e-commerce website, be sure to check out Beka Rice's review. WP Dev Shed has a great tutorial on how you can implement faceted search using the FacetWP plugin.

A Developer's Perspective

For developers, I'd have to say that FacetWP is a lot simpler than implementing a faceted search feature in WordPress by yourself and certainly worth the money you'd be paying. But you should take that statement with a grain of salt. After all, the results are only as good as the data that goes into it.

One of the things that I appreciate about the FacetWP plugin (aside from the fact that it's truly one of a kind) is that it has a rich collection of developer hooks and helpful guides that let you get creative with customizing its features.

Pros

  • AJAX-based filtering and index table foundation make it super fast.
  • Improves the visitor's user experience.
  • Allows you to build your own layouts using WP_Query.

Cons

  • Search results depend on the site's taxonomy.

An Average User's Perspective

Setting up FacetWP for the first time isn't exactly easy. Sure, adding the actual facets was pretty straightforward – all you have to do is fill out the form that basically only requires you to select a facet type and a data source. The tough part is creating a template for your facet and I don't see how an average user with little to no development experience could manage to build one without referencing a video tutorial. It helps to have a little bit of WordPress coding knowledge here.

Long story short: the templates part of FacetWP is for developers to mess around with not the average user.

Pros

  • Integrates with WooCommerce.
  • 11 different facet types to choose from.

Cons

  • Doesn't work with all WordPress themes.
  • Difficult to set up if you don't have development experience.

To Sum It Up

Is FacetWP worth buying?

If you're building e-commerce sites for your clients' small to medium sized business then FacetWP's $249 plan is most-definitely worth it – especially since you can't put a price on good user experience.

On the other hand, if you're an average user who's trying their luck at running an online store then FacetWP might not be right for you given that it's difficult to set up and depends a lot on your site's existing data.