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AliDropship Woo & AliExpress Issues for WordPress & WooCommerce
This is my latest take on the AliDropship Woo plugin and what is going on at AliExpress that will impact your dropshipping store.
I’m not paid by the plugin or for my opinions. I only write on products I have experience with and have used extensively to share my knowledge and help others make the right choices. I will get a small commission if you do click my links. If I didn’t believe in this plugin, it would not be here.
There are plenty of regurgitated articles on the features and functions of AliDropship Woo clogging up Google search results. Let’s move on to what’s happening now. I am focusing on recent changes to the plugin and integration with AliExpress after updating to AliDropship Woo 1.5.8. They have added two new features that are really important for AliDropship Woo users.
What Makes AliDropship Woo the Best Drop Shipping Plugin for WordPress & WooCommerce
Even while all the functionality is super smooth and doesn’t miss a beat, I am a massive fan of AliDropship Woo dropshipping plugin for WooCommerce and WordPress for one reason way above any other:
It’s not a service or a subscription; it’s your plugin.
After about two years of smooth use of the AliDropship Woo plugin on two installations, I was terrified when I first saw the “Order More Imports” button recently. I bounced around the room. It’s grown over the last two updates to include more information and extra functions, but I never expected to pay for imports. That is why I love AliDropship Woo. As I said earlier, you own it.
What? Pay for product imports! So before jumping the gun and sending a seething public post to AliDropship and the world, I paused to read the details. Even after reading several times, I was sure I only had 50 imports left. That’s the thing with many plugins and themes; they are built by those who don’t speak English as their mother tongue, which can lead to ambiguous directions.
Odd wording and backward sentences can send the wrong message. Keep that in mind when trialing any plugin. I moved on to importing a test product, and my remaining “50” imports hadn’t changed.
Cool Update #1: Hottest Products Import Packs
After a little digging around, I discovered AliDropship is putting together “Hot Products.” Now we can buy import packs to get our hands on these recommended products by AliDropship. That’s the first time I have seen that in a dropshipping plugin. I have to say, that is pretty bold and confident of them. I am impressed.
Some people seem to have a knack at picking products. Others have methods to research the best products. Some people swear by the AliExpress product ratings. I am someone who mixes up my approach, and someone who is still learning.
When you are running an ecommerce store, it is best to get into a mindset that you have a physical store you are running. There are many things to do. You have promotions to organize, website house cleaning, product displays, and product sourcing, and the list goes on. Check out the Hottest Products and import packs. Let me know how you went. I’m taking a good look and thinking about a third store focused around them.
Before I introduce the best thing to happen in the world of dropshipping plugins, let me talk a little about the changes that have snuck up on us across the Internet thanks to AliExpress. I don’t think it was by accident.
AliExpress CDN Images in Media Folder
More AliExpress suppliers are using images saved on the AliExpress CDN. When importing images along with a product, many dropshipping platforms and plugins don’t allow you to import static images into your ecommerce website. If you view the images, you can see the source links are from the AliExpress CDN.
That was the case before AliDropship Woo.
AliExpress CDN Images Not Good for Your Website
Those images are killing your website’s organic search appearance. Any ecommerce website using product and variation images hosted on AliExpress CDN is indirectly marketing AliExpress, products, and pictures through Google images.
Your ecommerce website should have its own images.
Why AliExpress CDN Images Are Not Good for Your Website
Google is very clear about what will make a site rank. The core value is that a site should be unique and provide unique content.
First of all, all images on your website will generally end up on Google Images in some way or another. The problem is those images will show up associated with your site but will have the source links to the AliExpress CDN. They will display in the browser showing the AliExpress CDN link where they live.
Now, here’s the kicker happening right now. As Google continues to roll out variations of smart bidding campaigns and shopping campaigns, Google Shopping ads are already displaying on Google Images search result pages.
AliExpress has very deep pockets, and they are advertising very hard across all Google platforms. Furthermore, links say so much. AliExpress is the big player here to most casual of Internet users when they see one of those AliExpress CDN links.
In summary, AliExpress is indirectly cannibalizing dropshipping websites through Google by distributing images using the AliExpress CDN.
We have to thank the savvy team at AliDropship for this amazing feature.
Awesome Update #2: You Can Adjust Your Product AliDropship Woo Image Import Settings to Your Server
AliDropship Woo gives you the choice to take those images from AliExpress and import them as static images into your WordPress media library. This means those images are now yours. All those plugins and platforms that don’t provide this feature are just killing their clients. This functionality is a real lifesaver for dropshipping websites. I will go as far as to say that this functionality will keep dropshipping alive for those who are using the AliDropship plugin. I don’t like your chances with other providers and platforms.
After importing your product and images onto your server, you still have some work to do.
It is time to select on those images with white backgrounds (as they are the only ones that can be used on Google Shopping) and decide how you want to edit them to make them your own, as well as tweaking your product image names so they are unique and adding a little image “SEO.” Images with white backgrounds are also much easier to work with.
I recommend downloading a copy of each image onto your computer and getting your creative on. Copy the image link from the bottom right corner when viewing the image with the media library browser. Paste that link into another tab on your browser so that you can right-click to save or simply drag the image to your desktop.
Once you have all the images you want to use for a product on your desktop, open them in Photoshop if you have it. Resize images and save jpg files with appropriate file names “for web” at around 60-70% quality. If you don’t have any software, upload to Pixlr.com/editor, resize and save back to your desktop. Pixlr will do the optimization for you. This will help your images load faster, which provides a better user experience. See how you can edit those images to make them different before you save. That way your images won’t look identical on Google Images result pages.
Don’t forget to give each image file a unique name that you will also become the title of the image, your image alt tag, your image meta description. You can fill in those fields after uploading each image inside the media library single image viewer.
Upload these new images back into your media library and delete those original images, making sure to get every single one.
I recommend using the Format Media Titles plugin to save you a considerable amount of work by copying your image file name to the title, description, and alt tag fields automatically. You can tweak the text and add more information to the alt tag for better image optimization.
Now those images are yours on your site and across all Google services, link back to your website and have your unique file names and titles. Don’t forget to add your website name after the image meta title and meta description before you make your final save in the WordPress media library.
Another little tip; make sure you enable the attributes setting in the appearance section of the AliDropship Woo dashboard if your theme is not letting you display variation images on your product display. Storefront seems to have lost this option. Another marvelous job by the team at AliDropship.
AliDropship Woo’s new Hottest Products option is very welcome. We can all do with all the help we can get. It’s great to see them giving this help in real terms, not just advice as many other platforms and plugins do.
The option to import images onto our servers is one of the best functions that I have seen in a dropshipping plugin in a long time. I was seriously looking at other options away from AliExpress. This wasn’t such an issue not long ago but without this functionality today, you might as well close your dropshipping website. Images are our products. That’s why it is so important to make them your own, on your server and make them unique with a little “SEO” and creative editing.
My handle DieselC and I have extensive experience with WordPress accumulated over a decade. I write the truth about my experience with WordPress plugins and themes, and sometimes other issues because I am not afraid to tell it how it is.
I write about products I am actively using or have used enough to know the product inside out. I share my knowledge to help newer users make the right choices as they become accustomed to WordPress.
Don’t be afraid to leave a reply or to ask me any questions as I will do my best to respond with a helpful tip.