How many products can WordPress (WooCommerce) manage?

WooCommerce is by far the most used and most extensible eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It’s a powerful tool to sell products online.

One of the most asked questions about WooCommerce is:

How many products can WordPress (WooCommerce) manage?

It’s a legitimate question if WooCommerce is an option to build a large store.

What WooCommerce says about it?

On WooCommerce’s official documentation, there is no defined cap set.

But they gave a hint of what can condition this limit, such as:

  • Hosting server & company
  • Amount of orders
  • Traffic

Without giving any further detail to the matter.

What does WordPress say about it?

If you are familiar with WordPress, you probably know that WooCommerce products are a Custom Post Type.

So, any limit ruling posts is also ruling products too.

As long as WordPress is concerned, you can have an unlimited number of posts as long as you have the right server power to run it smoothly.

There must be a limit somewhere?

There is.

But it’s more related to how the products will be displayed on the front-end and how many concurrent users and transactions your store has.
Products on the front-end limit

It’s a database processing limit.

If you check a product page, that won’t be an issue. It’s one specific query to find one specific post and return the data.

Same goes for displaying a couple of products per page like a category page. That wont be an issue either.

It’s even easier if your pages are cached.

If you have hundreds of products showing on the same page randomly, picked from a catalog of 100k products, that on the other hand will be challenging for the website server.

But even that has its cure using ElasticSearch

Concurrent users and transactions limit

It’s a server processing limit.

Like any web app, to ease up the load on the server, we massively depend on caching.

It works well until users, store customers on this case, need to log-in to an account to order, checkout, or find user-specific data.

The same analogy works.

10s of users logging-in or making transactions won’t be problematic.

But things start to hurt performance when you deal with thousands of concurrent users depending on the server’s specs.

Again, even that has it’s cure using loading balancing and horizontal scaling for example

Final answer

WooCommerce can manage an unlimited number of products if you have:

  1. A better search engine for large databases (ElasticSearch)
  2. The right server-scaling strategy when needed

WooCommerce stores with more than 10k products

Some webmasters on forums report having stores with more than 100k products.

I have also seen other seeking to build environment to server 1M posts or stores with 1M products.

What I could find as real-world examples only show stores holding less than 50k products:

  • http://www.soulbrother.com has +40k items
  • http://hbx.com has +40k items
  • http://www.tarox.co.uk has 35k items
  • http://alefbookstores.com has +34k items
  • http://shop.spectator.co.uk has +16k items
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