flying toasters ⚡

Handling WooCommerce Obstacles

A while back, my father retired from teaching and bought a relatively large parcel of land out in East Texas. He immediately wanted to name it. The day that we first looked at it, we discovered that there was a creek that ran across part of the property, so I suggested that we name the creek “Sims Creek”. When we discussed names, at first, we thought of Sims Creek Ranch, but at my father’s suggestion, we settled on Sims Creek Farm. It was always my dad’s dream to have a farm. That’s how Sims Creek Farm was born.

One of my dad’s first orders of business was making the farm profitable. We kicked around a few ideas, and a few of them seemed promising. As a developer, one of my first instincts was to set up a website so that we could market, advertise and sell our products. I’ve worked with WordPress a lot over the years, so it seemed like a natural choice. I also set up an online store using WooCommerce.

After about six months, I shut down the store. The pandemic was in full swing and shipping rates started to skyrocket. Inflation was making it impossible for the store to be profitable, so I shut everything down. Not long after that, my mom and dad moved out to their land, and my wife and I sold our house so that we could get out of the city and be close to the land and my parents.

I won’t go into all of the details as to how we got new products to add to the store, but we did, and so I made a few updates and opened the store back up (https://www.simscreekfarmtx.com). One of the products that we added was baked goods that my mom makes – honestly, they really are fantastic, which is why I developed a weight problem as a child. Anyway, the day that I posted the re-opened store on Facebook, my mom almost immediately reached out and told me that she didn’t want to offer shipping on any of her baked goods because “she was afraid too many cookies would break”. She wanted to only allow people to come to the farm to pick up their orders. If you know anything about WooCommerce, you know that this presented me with a problem, since we ship everything else. How do you turn off shipping for only one product in your store for every shipping zone? There didn’t seem to be any settings in the plugin that would allow me to do that, so I turned to my old reliable standby. I Googled it.

After hours of searching and finding a few suggestions that didn’t really fit the bill, I stumbled upon the conditional shipping plugin by wptrio. The free version got me exactly what I needed, which was a way to tag specific products and disable certain shipping methods for those products. I’m normally not a huge fan of plugins, and I will probably try to manually code a solution in functions.php at some point, but for now, this fits the bill perfectly! If you’re a WooCommerce user, and you want to turn off certain shipping methods by product, this might help you too. If I ever work out a better solution that doesn’t rely on a plugin, I’ll post that as well.