Finding the perfect WooCommerce product customizer or designer can be tough. The right tool needs to strike a balance between functionality and ease of use.
Too many features and your product customizer can overwhelm shoppers. On the other hand, a tool with too few features will prevent shoppers from laying out the designs they’re after.
Many great design and customization plugins exist, but the right one for your shop will depend on your needs.
- Why would I need this type of plugin?
- How will plugins be scored?
- The Competitors
- Zakeke Review
- Extra Product Options Review
- WooCommerce Products Designer Review
- Lumise Review
- MyStyle Review
- WooCommerce PPOM Review
- Fancy Product Designer Review
- The Results: Best WooCommerce Product Customizer and Runners-up
- How can I print customized WooCommerce products?
- Which WooCommerce product designer is right for me?
Why would I need this type of plugin?
As you probably know, WooCommerce is a free plugin that transforms any WordPress website into a full-featured online store. If you’re already running WooCommerce then you can sell products like shirts and mugs that feature fixed designs without any issues.
But what if you want to allow your customers to create their own designs and then place them on your products? That’s when you’ll need to turn to a product customizer.
Tools like these range in complexity from super simple to feature-packed. The most basic plugins will just add customization fields to your existing product pages. Plugins like these introduce little to no learning curve to you or your shopper but offer no real-time previews of product designs.
More advanced plugins will turn your store’s products into blank canvases on which shoppers can create. Customers can drag and drop text, images, and other elements around your products as they design. Live previews will show shoppers what the final product should look like as they apply design changes.
Many of these tools support design templates. After you’ve created templates for your customers, they can use them as starting points for their work and then add their own graphics and text as needed.
WooCommerce plugins that support design templates can be especially useful if you’re selling products for an event or sports team. As a shop owner, you can lay out designs that include placeholder text as well as team or event logos.
When you’re ready to sell, you can invite shoppers to customize product designs with names and player numbers. The use cases for product design templates are limitless, and most of the plugins that you’ll find below support them.
How will plugins be scored?
Now that you have an idea of what features to look out for when browsing WooCommerce product editors, it’s time to review the most popular choices. All plugins will be scored in three categories. They are:
A plugin’s ability to justify its cost will determine its value. Many of these plugins offer free versions with fewer features. In order to give every tool a fair shot, free versions will earn competitors no more than one or two points.
Each plugin will receive a score based on its number of customization options. Features can include settings available to you (the shop owner) as well as design tools built for your customers. Extra features offer greater control over the design process, but features that are too complicated will cost a plugin points in the final category.
Admin options and design tools that are easy to understand will earn plugins a higher UX (user experience) score. UX is essential to keeping a customer around from the start of the design process to the point of purchase. As a result, plugins that are likely to confuse or frustrate will lose big points in this category.
Each plugin will receive an overall score based on the sum of its points in all three categories. After scores are tallied, the plugins will be listed again, this time in order of total rating. The plugin with the highest score will be featured first, but your pick should depend on the needs of your shop and its customers.
There are dozens of plugins that add design options to WooCommerce products. That being said, only the top performers will be considered for this matchup.
Head over to CodeCanyon or to the WordPress repository if you’d prefer to browse the entire selection – the winners, the stinkers, and everything in between. There’s always a chance that you’ll uncover a hidden gem among lesser known plugins. But first, consider these popular picks:
Our first featured plugin can be installed from the WordPress repository. Its rating currently sits at an impressive 4.7 out of 5 stars based on 38 reviews.
Zakeke will provide your customers with the ability to upload design images or to import them from Facebook or Instagram. As a shop owner, you can build design templates, upload custom fonts, and edit UI colors and icons. Without any changes, the design interface is very clean and easy to follow.
The Zakeke team takes great pride in their flagship feature: the 3D designer. With it, you can prepare three-dimensional previews of your products. As your buyers design, they can rotate a product to view it from any angle. You won’t find this feature among other WooCommerce extensions.
3D product customizations are not limited to graphics and colors. Shoppers can even replace individual product parts with the 3D designer.
Zakeke features a wristwatch in one if its examples, but the tool could also be useful if you’re selling skateboards, furniture, or other complex items. Your buyers could use the tool to customize designs and select custom parts (wheels, hardware, etc.) at the same time.
Although this feature is impressive, it caters to a small fraction of webmasters. If you plan to create custom 3D products, you’ll need to prepare and upload OBJ and MTL files and you’ll need to possess a strong knowledge of 3D modeling.
Fortunately, the use of 3D products is optional. You can add simple products like hats, shirts, and mugs using admin tools very similar to those offered by competing plugins.
Zakeke is a cloud service, so your editor and admin area will be hosted by them (and outside of the WordPress control panel). Shop owners pay a recurring fee for Zakeke, but the cost starts small and scales with your online store.
Pros and Cons
Pros: The Zakeke front end is both clean and intuitive. You’ll find all of the standard features that you’d expect from a WooCommerce product customizer here. Meanwhile, the 3D configurator tool is one of a kind, even if setup requires an understanding of 3D modeling that most people do not possess.
Cons: Recurring fees increase with product counts. As a result, Zakeke is more expensive than similar plugins if your store offers more than 25 items. The hosted back end forces you out of the WordPress admin area for some tasks, and the hosted editor could be considered an additional point of failure for your store. That is to say that if Zakeke’s servers go down, your shoppers lose the ability to create product designs.
Value: While the service’s average monthly fee of $4.99 is not sky high, advanced features like 3D previews introduce an extra fee of 1.9% per sale. That’s in addition to your normal payment processing fees. Otherwise, you’re getting a lot of bang for your monthly or yearly buck.
Features: Again, you’re sure to find nearly every option you would ever need in this WooCommerce product designer. Zakeke even offers built-in support for print-on-demand services like Printful (more on this service later)! The powerful 3D designer earns this pick a couple points as well.
User Experience: Your product designer and back end will be hosted on Zakeke’s servers and not on your website’s. Your customers will never notice but you definitely will when it comes time to perform admin tasks. That being said, both the hosted designer and admin area are top-notch.
User Experience: 8/10
Total Score: 26/30
Extra Product Options Review
Extra Product Options for WooCommerce is unlike other plugins introduced up to this point. While additional features can be added with a paid upgrade, the base version is completely free. Its feature set is also far more focused.
Instead of providing shoppers with a WYSIWYG designer or real-time preview, Extra Product Options adds extra fields to your product pages. These fields can take the form of text fields, dropdowns, checkboxes, and more.
If you’ve played around with WooCommerce’s built-in product attributes before, then you have a good idea of how a plugin like this might work. While attributes can add dropdowns for product options like color and size, Extra Product Options provides shop owners with additional field types.
Though this might sound restrictive at first, plugins like these are very popular in the repository, and for good reason. For starters, developers of these tools almost always offer a free version of some kind. Furthermore, these tools can make a lot of sense if customizations to your products are not easily conveyed through a preview image.
Take an engraving for example. Customizations like these add depth to a product that can be tough to simulate with an auto-generated preview. Many shop owners prefer to manually prepare and email mockups when orders like these are placed. Tools like Extra Product Options complement this sort of workflow.
The free version includes the field types listed above as well as hidden fields, radio buttons, and phone fields. If you upgrade to the premium version, you’ll unlock a file upload field, which can be especially handy if you’re printing custom designs.
More importantly, an upgrade adds price fields to your shop’s admin area. With price fields, you can modify a product’s price based on user input.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Extra Product Options does not provide your shoppers with a designer, but the result is a tool that’s easy to use. A free version is available and the premium version is inexpensive. Fields use your theme’s default styles, so they won’t look out of place on your product pages.
Cons: If you need to provide your visitors with live product previews, you won’t find those here. And while the free version is nice, it’s a shame that it does not include the file upload field. You’ll be limiting shoppers to very basic customizations without it.
Value: Extra Product Options earns a point for its free offering, even if it excludes the most useful file upload field. The $40 upgrade adds extra field types (like the file upload type) as well as advanced display and validation rules for fields.
Features: While Extra Product Options is one of the most popular in its class, you can add live designs and previews to your store with plugins that are $20 to $30 more. The features that are present in the free and paid versions do work well enough.
User Experience: You won’t need to leave the WordPress admin panel to manage fields, and the product fields you create will use your theme’s styles. That’s more than can be said for a couple of the more complex designer tools.
User Experience: 8/10
Total Score: 20/30
WooCommerce Products Designer Review
What’s not to love about a tool whose name also describes its purpose? WooCommerce Products Designer is a powerful customizer available from the CodeCanyon marketplace. It offers most of the features you’d expect from this kind of tool.
If you’re not familiar with CodeCanyon, it’s a marketplace that offers premium WordPress plugins at reasonable prices. They offer everything from page builders and membership plugins to WordPress carousels and galleries. Their buyer rating system makes it very easy to research a plugin before making a purchase.
WooCommerce Products Designer includes support for design templates, so it’s great for sports teams and event leaders. Shop owners who choose this plugin will be able to upload their own images, clipart, and fonts that customers can then place on products. After placing an image, your buyers can apply effects and filters to it before placing an order.
Among the plugin’s most unique features is the option for users to import images from Facebook for use in their designs. This isn’t the only plugin to offer the feature, but it’s worth noting. Customers can also import images from a local device, but that is very common for tools like these.
Shop owners who need a lot of control over product pricing and the design interface should be pleased with this pick. Webmasters can apply additional costs to design elements like text and images. After prices are assigned, design tools can be toggled on or off at will. Likewise, webmasters can apply custom colors and icons to toolbar elements.
Other plugins offer cleaner and more modern UIs, but shoppers should not have any trouble finding the design tools that you choose to enable. All in all, WooCommerce Products Designer is a solid option that’s worth a look.
Pros and Cons
Pros: This pick supports admin font uploads and allows users to import photos from a local device or from Facebook. This is one of a small handful of plugins that allow you to assign prices to specific design elements.
Cons: The designer is in need of a refresh. It looks more dated than those belonging to other top picks.
Value: The price is reasonable (around $60) but not the lowest among the CodeCanyon options. However, you can request a free trial and test drive the plugin on your own shop. You’ll struggle to find that option elsewhere.
Features: Most of the features you would expect from a top WooCommerce product customizer can be found here. The ability to assign prices to design elements is novel, but similar plugins offer greater control of the design UI. Though your users may not need them, image effects and filters are present and ready to apply.
User Experience: The admin area is easy to navigate and the process of building design templates is fairly straightforward. Front end design tools are easy to find, but the interface is far from the most aesthetically pleasing.
User Experience: 7/10
Total Score: 24/30
Like WooCommerce Products Designer, Lumise can be found on CodeCanyon. It includes many of the same features as WooCommerce Products Designer but introduces a few new ones while maintaining a lower cost.
Lumise offers a design tool and live previews, and your visitors will be able to upload images from many sources. Shoppers can save designs, print their work from a browser, and even user keyboard shortcuts to speed up design. The UI is clean and shop owners can recolor it from the WordPress admin panel.
The Lumise WooCommerce product customizer boasts a handful of features that set it apart from other plugins in this list. While tools like the QR code generator are of limited use, most options can be disabled from the back end.
Features like curved text and image masks, on the other hand, greatly expand your customers’ design options. You can even invite users to sketch handmade designs on your products with the built-in pencil tool!
Compare Lumise to other CodeCanyon plugins like it and you’ll find that it’s among the most highly regarded. Its rating as of time of writing is hovering around 4.8 stars out of five. Shop owners rave about the one-on-one support they’ve received from the tool’s developers.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Lumise offers many unique features, even if none of them are as impressive as Zakeke’s 3D configurator. The UI is sharp and customer support is rock solid.
Cons: While the product designer is one of the cleanest around, it uses its own layout that is separate from your theme’s. The result is a shopping experience that is less seamless, even if you can apply your site’s color scheme to the plugin’s designer.
Value: Hovering around $55, the upfront cost of Lumise bests the one-time costs and monthly fees of other tools in the lineup. After comparing its feature-to-dollar ratio against those of its competitors, Lumise earns big points in the value category.
Features: The developers have created a product design tool that offers every feature your WooCommerce shop is likely to require. The only exception is a 3D designer like Zakeke’s, and those guys demand a transaction fee in exchange for that.
User Experience: The UX is one of the best, even if the designer takes on a layout all its own. Lumise gets an additional user experience point for the team’s top-notch support.
User Experience: 8/10
Total Score: 26/30
Search the WordPress plugin repository for product customization plugins and you’ll likely spot MyStyle in the top results. With its prominent placement in the repository, it would be tempting to assume that MyStyle has been a top pick among other shop owners.
Think again. MyStyle’s high ranking is more a result of little variety in the WordPress repository than the quality of the plugin. Sample the plugin, read its reviews, and visit its pricing page to uncover a number of weaknesses.
Although its designer is packed with strong features and is easy to navigate, elements of it do feel dated. To be fair, MyStyle’s user-facing tools are very capable even if they’re not the most attractive.
Beyond its functional user interface, it’s hard to find reasons to recommend this plugin over others. Like Zakeke, the MyStyle team hosts your product editor and your print files on its own servers, but without the clean UI or unique features that Zakeke offers.
What’s more, the MyStyle service is far more expensive than Zakeke’s. Their developer license starts at $9 a month. And while this fee is already higher than that of its competition, the developer license isn’t even intended for live shops. If you hope to download print-ready versions of your customers’ designs, a standard MyStyle license will set you back $99 each month.
A hosted service can be a compelling option if you expect hundreds of shoppers on a daily basis, but not at this price. If cost is not a factor or the MyStyle UI really calls out to you, go ahead and test the service with a developer license. Otherwise, look elsewhere.
Pros and Cons
Pros: MyStyle guides shoppers through the design process in a friendly step-by-step format. The plugin includes many (but not all) of the tools found in other plugins in the lineup.
Cons: The cost is prohibitively expensive. And while a managed service like MyStyle’s can make a lot of sense for high-traffic stores, most users are better off hosting their own product designers and admin areas at this price.
Value: Again, the cost is just too high. You can request a personalized demo of the service, but the MyStyle team reserves the right to reject that request. Otherwise, there are no real free offerings to speak of.
Features: MyStyle doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but it’s not missing many key features either. The lack of social media import and design templates is worth noting.
User Experience: The simple step-by-step design process is a welcome addition to an otherwise disappointing plugin. The designer itself does feel a little dated.
User Experience: 6/10
Total Score: 16/30
WooCommerce PPOM Review
WooCommerce PPOM (short for Personalized Product Option Manager) is a plugin in the same vein as Extra Product Options. PPOM foregoes a real-time designer and live previews in favor of simple input fields.
In terms of features, there’s a lot of overlap between WooCommerce PPOM and Extra Product Options. The developers of both plugins offer free versions and allow users to manage the same types of fields with those limited releases. Likewise, you can upgrade both plugins for a relatively small fee.
But when you start taking paid features into account, PPOM begins to pull away from Extra Product Options. PPOM PRO includes all of the same field types as its closest competitor along with a few extra that make it a more powerful WooCommerce product customizer.
For example, the file upload field type allows shoppers to upload images and then crop them to an aspect ratio set by you. This is huge if you’re selling products whose designs need to fit within a fixed print area.
You can unlock more advanced field types like text counter fields and Google font dropdowns with plugin addons. These addons are made available in addition to the standard plugin upgrade but can be bundled at the time of purchase for increased savings.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Tools like PPOM are ideal when offering a real-time preview of product customizations is not feasible. And in terms of cost, the plugin’s premium version is the best in its class.
Cons: Product field plugins are obviously more limited than full-fledged designers, but that’s not really a shortcoming of PPOM. There are many great WYSIWYG plugins in the lineup if that’s what you’re after.
Value: PPOM’s premium upgrade offers more field types than that of Extra Product Options. And interestingly enough, a PPOM upgrade is $10 cheaper at only $30.
Features: Field types like color swatches and cropped images are unique to PPOM. The plugin’s addons will provide shoppers with additional customization options, but those addons are sold separately from the premium upgrade.
User Experience: The average shopper should have no trouble requesting product customizations using the fields made available to her. PPOM uses your theme’s default style rules so that fields won’t look out of place on your product pages.
User Experience: 8/10
Total Score: 22/30
Fancy Product Designer Review
The final contender is another full-blown WooCommerce product customizer that you can find over at CodeCanyon. While Fancy Product Designer is the top-selling WYSIWYG product designer in its marketplace, it is not the most well-rated. Lumise holds that title with 4.8 stars compared to Fancy’s 4.6 stars.
Regardless of sales or ratings, Fancy Product Designer would serve as an excellent addition to most online shops. You’re probably well aware of what features to expect from a product design plugin by now, and Fancy offers almost all of them.
Yes, you can create design templates and allow your customers to edit those. Yes, shoppers can upload design images from a local device and from social media. And yes, customers can place, reposition, and recolor text within the design areas of your shop’s products.
Here’s what sets Fancy apart from the others: its design is modern, it’s intuitive, and it sits within your existing WordPress theme. Similar plugins with compelling UI/UX qualities usually “break away” from your theme in order to deliver them. With Fancy, you’re providing shoppers with a fantastic product designer in a familiar layout that they’ve come to expect from your store’s pages.
All that being said, Fancy Product Designer is lacking a few features shared by others in the lineup. Shop owners can add custom fonts to Fancy’s designer, but not through the admin panel. Instead, you’ll need to define a font folder in the plugin’s settings and then upload fonts manually. This can be managed easily enough with an FTP client or with a tool like cPanel’s file manager.
You won’t find any advanced text or image effects here either. On the bright side, these missing features make for a less cluttered designer.
Pros and Cons
Pros: When it comes to Fancy Product Designer, the seamless design interface is the star attraction. The price isn’t too shabby, either (more on that in the score breakdown).
Cons: Like most of CodeCanyon’s developers, the Fancy team offers no free version of its plugin, but you can play around with their demo store at no cost. Here’s hoping that they simplify the custom font upload process in the near future.
Value: Fancy is not only the top seller among CodeCanyon’s offerings, it’s also the cheapest at around $50. Similar plugins usually won’t exceed $65 to $70, but every dollar counts when you’re trying to generate your first sale.
Features: As you’ve probably noticed by now, it’s tough to find differentiating features between one great plugin and the next. Fancy is going to meet almost all of your store’s customization needs, while novel features like Pixabay integration will provide shoppers with additional image choices.
User Experience: Subjectively speaking, Fancy’s user interface is one of the best. The front end designer is a pleasure to navigate, while its elements are easily repositioned, recolored, and relabeled from the back end. It’s just a shame that you have to upload custom fonts outside of the standard WordPress control panel.
User Experience: 9/10
Total Score: 27/30
The Results: Best WooCommerce Product Customizer and Runners-up
It was a heated match, but a couple of conclusions can be drawn from these very unscientific scores. Most notably, if you’re in need of a product designer for your WooCommerce store at an affordable price, avoid MyStyle. There are much better options out there, including every other plugin in this lineup.
- #1 – Fancy Product Designer
- #2 – Lumise (tie)
- #2 – Zakeke (tie)
- #3 – WooCommerce Products Designer
- #4 – WooCommerce PPOM
- #5 – Extra Product Options
- #6 – MyStyle
As far as the rest of the competing plugins are concerned, there’s really no bad choice. Fancy Product Designer edged out all others, but only slightly. It was Fancy’s relatively low price and seamless design experience that earned it the highest overall rating. Lumise and Zakeke tied for the second-place spot, each just one point behind Fancy.
If you’re looking for a hosted service or a powerful 3D product designer, it’s unlikely that you’ll be disappointed with Zakeke. It’s really the only “designer as a service” option on the list worth considering, and its monthly subscription model might be more appealing to those not ready to commit to a solution with a large upfront price tag.
If what you need are extra product page fields without the overhead of a product designer, Extra Product Options and PPOM are both great choices. The teams behind both plugins make free versions available to WooCommerce users, so you can test both before making a purchase. In fact, you may find that one plugin or the other suits your needs even without an upgrade.
How can I print customized WooCommerce products?
After selecting a WooCommerce product customizer, the next logical steps are to sell and to fulfill orders. The craftiest of shop owners will likely print customer designs on their own in-house products, but most everyone else will benefit from partnering with a local printer or an online print-on-demand service like Printful.
If you live in an area with reliable printers, call or visit with them to compare prices and product offerings. Explain to them that you will be providing them with your own print files and ask them about the printing options available to you. Keep in mind that when working with a local printer, the responsibility of shipping customer orders may fall on you.
If you can’t partner with a local printer, the advantages of working with an online print-on-demand service can be many. Printful is one such print-on-demand service. Companies like Printful will accept your print files, transfer them to their own products, and ship the finished items to your customers. As a shop owner, you only need to concern yourself with marketing your store and providing compelling design templates.
Most print-on-demand companies will list product offerings prominently on their websites. Printful’s available products include shirts, swimwear, hats, bags, framed prints, and many more. All of these items serve as blank canvases for you and your customers’ designs.
The Zakeke designer integrates with a small handful of print-on-demand services, including Printful. When paired together, Zakeke and Printful can automate most of the tasks required of a successful WooCommerce shop owner.
Which WooCommerce product designer is right for me?
Ultimately, the decision should come down to the needs of you and your customer. If tight integration with a print-on-demand service is important, take Zakeke for a spin. But if your customers value a seamless design experience, Fancy Product Designer might be your best bet.
Whichever designer you choose, make sure you’re ready to print and ship products before you open your virtual doors. The thrill of your first sale will be short-lived if you’re not able to fulfill it.