How many products can I import into my WooCommerce store?
We get this questions a lot.
It's hard to give one answer to everyone. The answer depends on so many factors.
However, our general advice is keep your store under 10,000 products.
The more products you add to your store, the more you will experience one or more of the following issues:
Slow Product Updates
Adding, updating and removing products in your WooCommerce store is a time and server-intensive process. The more products you have, the slower the process of adding/updating/removing products becomes.
The result is your product data gets out of date and this can lead to a loss in revenue.
The more products you add to your site, the more data gets added to your database. If you want to expose navigation filters (like Color and Brand filters), the slower your website will be to load those attributes.
Expensive Web Hosting
The more products you add to your site, the more your web hosting costs will go up. Not only will your web host need to handle the amount of product processing required to keep your products up-to-date in a timely manner, you will also use up a lot of storage space to store product images. For example, if you have 100,000 products in your store, that's 100,000 original products image plus at least 5 variations of each image. So that's half a million images.
This doesn't even take into account a website with a considerable amount of traffic. When your site has a reasonable amount of traffic, the amount of bandwidth your website uses will keep going up.
Eventually you will need to hire a developer to optimize your store. Even WooCommerce recommends having "great hosting support" and your "own developer team focused on optimization" if you have more than 100,000 products in your store.
Please consider these expenses before importing tens of thousands of products into your store.
Expensive API Plans
The more products you import into your store, the more API requests you will require. Let's say you have a store with 100,000 products (100 Product Sets each with 1,000 products). And you want to update the products in your store every 2 days. The minimum number of API requests your store will require per month is 15,000.
And if you want to have a Comparison Set displayed for each of your 100,000 products and want that data updated every 10 days, that will require over 1 million API requests per month.
Expensive Server Optimization Services
Not all web hosting servers are optimized for large WordPress websites. If you or your team is not skilled in managing your own web server, this will incur additional costs to optimize your server or migrating your website to another server that's better suited for large WordPress websites.
If you have tens of thousands of products, you will need to start installing various plugins to handle caching, image optimization, etc to keep your website running fast. Additionally, updating Product Set in order to manage which products are added and/or removed from your website because much more time-consuming when you have hundreds of Product Sets that import hundreds or thousands of products.
This might be one of the most important points regarding your long-term success at earning money as an affiliate marketer. The more products and product categories you add to your site, the harder it will become to do content marketing for those various general product categories. It's much easier to do content marketing for a website which has a lazer-like focus on a specific niche (like Vegan Shoes) instead of a general category (like Women's Shoes).
Poor User Experience
If you have product categories filled with thousands of products, you are forcing your website's visitors to paginate through page after page of product results to find the product they are looking for. Even with product filters in place, this can still be a barrier enough for shoppers that they abandoned their search and go somewhere else.
So what should you do?
Small, Targeted Niches
Pick a small niche to build your store around. For example, a targeted niche like "Outdoor Pizza Ovens" is much easier to manage, market and cheaper to host than a general vertical like "Appliances". If you target a niche like "Outdoor Pizza Ovens" you reduce the number of competitors in the space making it much easier for you to rank your content for various keywords. If you choose a general topic like "Appliances" all of a sudden the number of your direct competitors spikes up and your competition is now huge retailers like Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot, etc...
Build Many Sites
If you still want to build a huge, general store (which at this point you should know we do not recommend), we recommend building each category on its own website using WordPress Multisite. For example, if you want to sell kitchen appliances, you might have 5 websites on 5 different sub-directories (easy to set-up using Multisite) like this:
This will keep all of your sites running fast and also make it easier for your website's visitors to navigate your websites.
Lastly, if you ignore all of the advice above and import 100,000 products or more into your store, our ability to offer support to help you optimize and speed up your site will be limited.