The number platforms to build an WordPress ecommerce plugins store is mind numbing.When it comes to customizing and tuning to however you want, nothing beats a WordPress ecommerce site.
It does take time to get it running; you can set up and start selling on BigCommerce or Shopify over a weekend. With WordPress ecommerce, you got to give it a week. However, unlike those, you can cut your cost.
But finding the right set of compatible WordPress plugins can be a frustrating mess.
People sometimes choose the wrong one because they don’t know better. I once had a client site built using an old version of Shopp. Yikes!
That’s why I wrote this article to show you what you gain and lose from the top WordPress ecommerce plugins:
- WP Ecommerce
- MarketPress – WordPress eCommerce
- Easy Digital Downloads
- WP Easycart
- Shopify Lite
I’m a WordPress guy – been building and marketing WP sites since 2008. I can say that I understand the nitty-gritty of the whole process. WP doesn’t come ready for ecommerce until you bundle it with a plugin. While there are many of those, few excel in every area.
In this guide, I’ll share the pro’s and con’s of selling with WordPress.
Why Start A WordPress Ecommerce Store?
WP has many benefits for ecommerce.
Best For Content And Commerce Mix
More and more brands are moving to content because quality content is one sure-fire way to get customers. On WP, you get the best of both worlds of content and commerce.
Other ecommerce platforms mostly have the ecommerce side doing marvelously but the content side having one or two hiccups. I’d never run a content-heavy site using Shopify. It’s just not built for it.
With WP, you get great content management and ecommerce. When it comes to CMSes, WordPress rules leading other CMSes at about 60% of the market share. When it comes to ecommerce, it tops too. More online stores are on a WP plugin than any other platform.
WP also allows headless ecommerce. That’s the ability to mix and match platforms to get the online store of your imaginations. That’s why I like the BigCommerce plugin for WP – great ecommerce and amazing content management. This is the way of the future; it will change a lot of things in the coming years.
It’s ideal for double-dipping an affiliate store and a product site in one place. You don’t have to separate both parts of your business if you’re into private/white labeling and affiliate marketing.
Highest Rating For SEO
If SEO is a priority for you, start your ecommerce business on WordPress. It is the best for SEO. This is not hearsay. A few months ago, I analyzed Ecommerce platforms with my team. WP scored the highest for SEO tools and average organic traffic.
The native WP out of the box has some SEO tools and there are many plugins to accelerate that. From experience, I tried Shopify for my products and found out that WP worked better for SEO.
Depending on how you plan your budget, you could be spending less than you would on other platforms in the long run. On the first month, you might spend much more than you might on Shopify but after that, your month to month cost should be significantly lower.
All the plugins below will give you the ability to add a shopping cart element to your WP site. If you want more advanced functionalities, you can combine other compatible plugins or apps with them to transform your ecommerce website. Free plugins like MobileMonkey WP-Chatbot, can help to drive sales.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use WordPress
Before I go into the best WordPress ecommerce plugin, it’s only fair that you know the reasons why you shouldn’t start an ecommerce WordPress site as well.
Hosting Is Extra
Hosting is one thing you’ll deal with on WordPress due to the self-hosted nature. Unlike SaaS platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify, you have to buy hosting.
Good hosting is pricey, and as your store grows, you might want to get a dedicated server, and those cost a lot.
When I first started out, I didn’t know any better, I was using cheap Godaddy hosting. My site load time crumbled when more than 10 people were on it.
If you choose to stay with VPS or shared servers, even that might be higher month to month when you add up every other thing you would pay for. Then there’s the thing about managing it and updates; managed WordPress hosting would help here though.
If you are just starting up, I’ve found out that SiteGround is great for ecommerce startups. WPX is my go-to for growing store.
Another thing is the domain name registration. Most SaaS platforms give those free as part of the service package. Then, there’s SSL certificate that is essential for ecommerce stores. You pay too which might come free with hosted platforms.
Not The Easiest To Use
If you don’t have technical skills and are not willing to pay a developer or learn, WordPress isn’t for you. The initial set up process – hosting, customizations, server management – needs a bit of technical skills. Platforms like BigCommerce and Weebly are more turnkey.
No Support On Native WordPress
WP is open source and there’s no support. You can get support when you buy a WordPress theme or plugin.
Many things can go wrong with WordPress. Two plugins might be conflicting; a new update might screw up your entire site; you might be getting an error in fetching code.
If anything happens, you have to go round and round troubleshooting or getting a developer to do that for you. That’s because there’s virtually no support. Sure, there’s a community and so many forums, but you might not get the right response. Sometimes, you have to figure out things by yourself.
WordPress Ecommerce Plugins For 2019
That said, let’s get into the best plugins for a WordPress store.