Logging Into WooCommerce.com Now Requires a WordPress.com Account

If you logged into WooCommerce.com over the weekend, you may have noticed a distinct change. In order to sign into the site, users are now required to have a WordPress.com account. The change occurred without warning and surprised those who manage multiple WooCommerce stores for clients.

WooCommerce Login Screen Requiring a WP.com Account

Brad Griffin, who maintains a number of client sites that run WooCommerce, raised concerns over the change in a post on the Advanced WordPress Facebook group.

“When dealing with businesses, asking someone at a corporate level to take their email address and make a WordPress.com account is a bit problematic,” Griffin said. “They’re confused as to why they need to do this. They don’t have immediate access to that email address on a Saturday or Sunday.”

“So, without warning, without notice, without a heads up or anything else, no one can now access anything in the back-end of the WooCommerce account unless there is a WP.com single sign on account using oAuth.”

For those not interested in signing in with their WordPress.com account, WooCommerce.com attempts to alleviate concerns in an article that outlines the benefits. The benefits include an option to enable 2-Factor Authentication, access to eCommerce services, and viewing purchase history.

After speaking to Todd Wilkens, Head of WooCommerce at Automattic, Griffin published video, explaining the change and offers suggestions for those who manage multiple WooCommerce stores for clients. The suggestions are:

  • Make 100% sure that you, your client, your store, your account, or anything else has a WordPress.COM account ~ not just WordPress.org!
  • Once you’ve used an email and login and you are setup for WordPress.COM (not .org), make absolutely certain that you are using an incognito browser window when logging into WooCommerce.com.

Using a private or incognito browser window won’t remember the login as the cookie is not saved. If you don’t use incognito mode and like, comment, or subscribe to items on WordPress.com or any site that uses WordPress.com’s oAuth protocol, those actions will occur under the client’s account. “Many users might not fully realize how far-reaching that one little oAuth endpoint actually is and the vastly significant number of touch-points it can affect,” Griffin said.

Wilkens published a post on the official WooCommerce blog explaining why the login system was switched, “We found that a lot of customers were using two accounts to access services from one company,” he said.

“To simplify that, we are centralizing on the WordPress.com login. Automattic has done this with previous acquisitions, like Polldaddy, for the same reasons. Now you can use only one login to access all Automattic services, including WooCommerce, Jetpack, VaultPress and more.”

So far, the WooCommerce team has tracked more than 10K successful logins to the new system and are monitoring feedback on social media. Only a small subset of users have reported issues due to confusion, “Over half of the 1% of users who opened tickets were confused between having a WordPress.com login vs. the login they use for their self-hosted WordPress install,” Wilkens said.

A Better Way to Manage Multiple Client Accounts Is in the Works

WooCommerce.com joins a growing collection of Automattic services, sites, and products that require a WordPress.com user account. As the number of reasons to have an account increases, perhaps it’s time for Automattic to create a client management system. A system that allows users to assign people who can act on their behalf, similar to a power of attorney.

An example that comes to mind is GoDaddy Pro. GoDaddy Pro allows consultants to access all of their client’s products in one place. They can also manage aspects of their hosting and purchase products on their behalf.

The change to WooCommerce.com has emphasized the unfriendliness of the site’s current system for those who manage multiple client accounts. “We had already re-prioritized a number of features on our roadmap to make life for developers managing dozens of client accounts much smoother, and hope to have something to be able to announce there soon,” Wilkens said.

If you manage multiple client accounts and are affected by this change, Wilkens suggests opening a ticket for advice. You can also provide feedback by voting on a poll at the bottom of the post that asks how your experience was switching to a WordPress.com login.


27 responses to “Logging Into WooCommerce.com Now Requires a WordPress.com Account”

  1. Hello Jeff Chandler,

    Thank you for sharing this WordPress.com related news, I have no problem with them moving over to WordPress.com accounts (the more WordPress.com accounts and the more people who know about it the better), but why did they not announce this ahead of time explaining this and giving people a change to give feedback and prepare for this?

    Sneaking something out there like this without warning, even if it is something good, is strange and unacceptable and illogical and confusing et cetera in my opinion; especially when they have so many ways to communicate with users by blogs, websites, social media, YouTube, email, polls, notifications, chat, et cetera.

    Thank you,
    -John Jr

    • John: the timing & communication was a bit rough. But, it had to do with timing of other things going on in the roadmap, but also:

      A “heads up” could have allowed others who are {…what’s the word…} “less-than-ethical” ;-) given folks like that a chance to spread and share p/w & .com credentials to receive unlicensed copies and facilitate (even more) some of those “piracy” sites.

      Again, agreed or disagree w/ their “execution”, I think the best thing now would be to make sure others know about this change so that they’re not surprised as well….
      ….at the last minute! ….on a weekend! ….at the end of the month! …..when licenses expire! ….when CC’s expire!

      In other words: SHARE! :-)

      • Automattic has an ongoing problems with communicating things like this. There’s ZERO reason for this not to have been put out to the community both as a heads and for comment.

        They’re working on how to handle multiple users? How nice… but it’s obvious that they simply didn’t think about this and are now covering their butts. If they DID think about it, why launch until there was a solution in place?

      • Then they should have made it optional instead of mandatory.

        I get that they want to starting bringing different WP.com services together. But, it should be an option to do so. Most WooCommerce users are paying customers – some paying dearly. To just screw us around like this is … well, “insulting” comes to mind. So does “bad business.”

        I’ll likely be terminating my account as a result. If they have no respect for me as a consumer, why should I have respect for them as a business?

        • And that’s exactly the point, Rob – like you say, most of us are paying customers, with multiple add-ons at not-insignificant cost. To make something mandatory? It essentially says, “screw you” to users.

          Like you, I’ve started the process of migrating and cancelling.

  2. There was a time when the folks at Automattic would have consulted the user base and provided advance notice before making a change that inconveniences so many developers. Sorry guys, but this was a real Microsoft “like it or lump it” type move. This is a pain for those of us who manage many sites on behalf of our clients. Seems like the smart move would have been to wait until a more robust solution was available.

  3. I got this lovely surprise when I had to log in and fill out a ticket for a WooCommerce plugin.

    My first reaction was WTH… Then, when I realized I couldn’t skip this process I got more than a bit annoyed. I didn’t want to link accounts. That should have been an option or at least have had more advanced warning.

    This is going to aggravate more than a handful of my clients that I help manage accounts for that’s for sure.

    Unimpressed. >:(

  4. So WooCommerce looks like it’s going through some other changes too. Only one bundle available now? Didn’t there use to be other bundles?

    I get that they’re trying to crack down on GPL abuse but I wish they’d try to keep things affordable for the folks like me just getting into things. Let me pay for a subscription and put the frequently used extensions into the core of WooComm.

  5. How can I create a ticket, when I cannot login? This is frelling ridiculous.
    I hate when changes like this a forced upon me. Why can’t I login like I used to do and then decide whether I like to merge accounts? I don’t even have a wp.com account yet and don’t need it at all. Datamining ftw /s.

    But the folks over at woo/automattic knew exactly what they were doing. You don’t disable comments under such a blog post by accident.

  6. This is all just so completely unnecessary, and really puts me out.

    I have been considering WooCommerce for a unique application, as several of the plugins and integrations might save on coding time. But, with announcements like this I have significant concern about their management’s focus.

    WordPress is about being open. It’s one of it’s many appeals – perhaps its most appealing trait – as it infers fairness in standards and dealings. Forcing users to get a separate commercial account to use the plugin says a lot about the direction and ethics of the company.

    I’ll be looking elsewhere, I think. It wasn’t going to save me that much effort.


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