Getting the right ecommerce plugin goes a long way if you’re using WordPress for your online store. Not all plugins are created equal and not all will fit with every situation. Here’s a look at the top five choices for WordPress and how they compare.
What Should you Be Looking For in an eCommerce Plugin?
Before we look at the top five plugins, it’s a good idea to know what you should be looking for in an eCommerce plugin for WordPress. There are some essentials you will need and some other features that may fit with your business model.
Many of the best eCommerce plugins will provide an easy way to sell digital goods, while some will provide a better storefront for physical items including inventory management and shipping. Some plugins will provide the best of both worlds.
Making the decision for your plugin should be based on what you plan to sell and how many products you will sell. You should also consider the payment gateways you plan to use, as not all plugins will support every payment gateway.
You won’t get a theme with your eCommerce plugin, so you will need to make sure the theme you choose will work with the plugin you want to use. You’re probably not going to find the perfect plugin with every single feature under the sun. However, you can find one that will give you everything you need.
Before you finalize your decision, consider the support offered by the plugin. Sometimes, this can be the feature that tips the scales one way or another.
Running an eCommerce Site and the Top 5 Plugins
Before you get too deep into studying the different eCommerce plugins for WordPress, you need to consider a few things for your business first. You will need excellent hosting for WordPress. If you plan on marketing heavily, avoid shared hosting as it won’t support everything you need properly, along with a high volume of traffic. VPS or dedicated hosting is a much better choice for eCommerce websites.
You should also make sure you get an SSL certificate for collecting payments securely. Other features you may want include a dedicated IP address and great support from your hosting company. Some will even install the plugin of your choice for you, if you ask.
One of the top eCommerce plugins for WordPress is called Easy Digital Downloads. This plugin is very powerful if you want to sell digital goods. The developers had this type of eCommerce site in mind when they created the plugin.
It comes with plenty of extensions, works with most WordPress themes, it’s easy to use and comes with great support. If you plan on selling physical products, this isn’t the right plugin for you, however.
Probably the most recognizable plugin for eCommerce offered is WooCommerce. This plugin gives you plenty of features and all kinds of addons. It supports both physical and digital goods and will even work with Envira Gallery. The plugin even allows you to sell external products and affiliate products.
When you choose WooCommerce, you get great support, complete inventory management, all kinds of supported payment gateways and the ability to calculate shipping and taxes. However, it can be a bit harder to use because of the many features and addons. It’s also not going to work with every single theme out there.
One of the fastest growing eCommerce plugins for WordPress, Shopify provides a great choice for beginners. It’s super easy to use and allows you to sell both physical and digital products. You get full inventory management, plenty of payment gateways and multiple shipping options.
Shopify even allows you to integrate with Twitter Buy Buttons, a Facebook Store and Buyable Pins. However, it does come with a monthly fee and encourages users to use Shopify payments.
This plugin comes from the same creators as BackupBuddy and it provides a good choice for eCommerce stores. The plugin supports both physical and digital goods and it’s easy to set up. The user interface is very clean and you even get the free stripe addon, which costs as much as $80 from other plugins.
The major con from the iThemes Exchange plugin is the smaller community. There isn’t as much information out there or as much support compared to some of the other plugins on the list. However, it’s still a good choice and you can still find plenty of support and documentation.
Shopp is another strong eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It allows users to separate tables in the database and sell multiple types of products. It’s also very secure and PCI compliant. However, the free support is limited and the plugin won’t work with every theme.
Choosing from these five plugins will certainly give you an excellent choice for your new online store. Those looking for the largest number of features and plenty of flexibility will be best off with WooCommerce. However, if you only sell digital goods, Easy Digital Downloads may be a better choice.
Of course, if you’re a beginner and you want something you can set up easily and use without much issue, Shopify offers a great choice. All five offer something beneficial for any eCommerce website. Take the time to look at each eCommerce plugin on the list before you finalize your decision and choose the right plugin for your specific needs.