UPDATE: THIS ARTICLE IS NO LONGER ACCURATE. Sadly the ability to pull live shipping rates for free was itself pulled in mid-2019. I recommend using the USPS Shipping Method extension.
Just in case things change and somehow this process works again, or still works for somebody, here is the original article…
As long as you are not the developer of a commercial WooCommerce plugin that pulls USPS shipping rates, I have great news to share! WooCommerce Services (a WordPress/WooCommerce plugin) will now pull USPS Shipping rates in WooCommerce for free! That’right! You can now show live USPS shipping rates from your WooCommerce store! If you ship USPS from your WooCommerce e-Commerce online store, this is a boon.
This news may not sound significant but read on. Prior to this service, you had to purchase a WooCommerce USPS shipping extension. The most popular USPS shipping extension, also written by the WooCommerce team, is a premium extension and costs around $US79.00 per year for a single site license. It works well and offers features that aren’t to be found in the free WooCommerces Services plugin, but in comparison, the WooCommerce Services plugin & USPS service plan do essentially the same thing. And WooCommerce Services does it for free!
If you’ve already skipped ahead, located the WooCommerce Services plugin, and started reading user reviews, don’t be alarmed. Those reviews appear to be from earlier versions of the plugin. Yes, it takes several steps to get it all working, and yes, it does require the Jetpack plugin, but in my experience, installing, configuring and connecting either of those isn’t difficult.
What is required, and where to download …
In order to gather all this juicy-free USPS shipping data, you must install and configure three base plugins — WooCommerce (v2.6.0+), WooCommerce Services , & WordPress JetPack (v3.9.6+). Of course, WordPress itself is required too — minimum version 4.5.
I’ll assume that you already have WordPress and WooCommerce up and running.
WooCommerce Services plugin – https://woocommerce.com/products/shipping/ – As you would with any other plugin, download, install, and activate the WooCommerce Services plugin through the WordPress dashboard. NOTE: The WooCommerce Services plugin installer may want to install Jetpack as well. If it does not, and you haven’t installed Jetpack yet, install Jetpack next.
WordPress Jetpack plugin – https://wordpress.org/plugins/jetpack/ – Due to its popularity, Jetpack exists by default in many WordPress installs, but if you don’t see it in your lineup of plugins, the download link is listed above. As you would with any other plugin, download, install, and activate the latest version of Jetpack through your WordPress dashboard. If you are prompted to select a Jetpack plan, select the free plan. Upgrade to a paid plan later only if you want.
With WooCommerce Services and Jetpack installed, you are 2/3 of the way complete. To start pulling USPS shipping rates, there are a couple of configuration settings to make in WooCommerce itself. Rather than reinvent the wheel I will now refer you to the excellent step-by-step instructions found in the WooCommerce Services help document. Start at Setup & Configuration.
Once complete, your website will begin to pull USPS Shipping rates in WooCommerce for free.
Final words: I understand the average website owner is not a WooCommerce administrator and even with step-by-step instructions may not understand how to pull USPS Shipping rates in WooCommerce for free. I realize this article very quickly covers a complex topic, and only at a high level. If you require any assistance with your e-Commerce website, contact Let’s Talk Graphics. My fees are reasonable, and I’d be more than willing to help out!