From its humble beginnings as a blogging platform, WordPress has evolved into an open source website framework that serves as a powerful blogging engine and website content management system (CMS). Millions of individuals and companies have relied on the number one website framework for publishing different forms of content, whether on the free WordPress.com site or through web hosting providers such as HostGator.
As people spend more time online, many businesses have turned to WordPress for the creation and management of e-commerce websites. However, to fully achieve e-commerce functionality, webmasters must incorporate a number of plugins that are best suited to the site’s needs and features. For example, some plugins are appropriate for selling digital goods (such as music, videos, software, and e-books), while others are better used for selling tangible products.
If you’re planning to use WordPress to sell your products and offer your services, here are some of the best and most recommended e-commerce plugins to set up an online store:
As one of the most widely-used WordPress e-commerce plugins, WooCommerce is compatible with an impressive collection of themes and add-ons from premium theme developer WooThemes. Because of this, expect to have access to a wide variety of layouts and design features for your e-commerce site.
Another advantage of WooCommerce is that it is able to support selling of both digital and physical goods. It also offers support for product and inventory management, order management, customer profile, coupon management, payment and shipping, documentation, help desk and community forums, and a lot more.
Though it may be a bit more expensive than other similar plugins, WooCommerce is known for its reliability and functionality, making it a solid choice.
Another popular choice among online entrepreneurs is Easy Digital Downloads (EDD). As the name implies, it’s absolutely easy to use, making it a good option for e-commerce beginners. Anyone can immediately learn how to use its features because it comes with a helpful product demo and a thorough instructions page.
One of the highlights of EDD is that it provides a shopping cart system that allows customers to purchase several downloadable items all at once. Another handy feature is the promotional code system that allows online sellers to set up special discounts.
While it works well with most WordPress themes, it also offers its own selection of compatible themes to choose from.
WP e-Commerce is a powerful plugin that comes with tutorials to guide users on how to set up their e-commerce site step by step. It is highly advised for both beginners and professionals.
This plugin works best for selling several types of products, doing physical inventory, maintaining memberships, managing subscriptions, and offering digital downloads. It also incorporates built-in shipping methods to make online purchasing a convenient experience for consumers.
Shopp is an amazing plugin designed to boost incoming traffic and site performance. The developers have specially created this plugin to deliver optimum database efficiency. It comes with several built-in templates and layouts to choose from for a more appealing page design for your online store.
Another powerful feature of Shopp is its ability to support multiple product types. This is advantageous for entrepreneurs who plan to sell different types of products.
One of the best features of the iThemes Exchange plugin is that it comes with extensive add-ons that allow webmasters to improve the page’s general functionality. It has a nice and friendly user interface that makes it handy for you to add products, manage store sales, edit transactions, and add customer information.
Setting up iThemes Exchange is quick and easy because it has an incorporated setup wizard that guides you and allows you to choose which products to sell, as well as how to facilitate payments.
It also makes the purchasing experience convenient because it supports two popular payment methods: Stripe and Paypal. Unlike other plugins that charge for the Stripe add-on, IThemes Exchange offers this for free.
There are also several themes to choose from to satisfy your needs. Finally, it offers a Pro Pack version that has more sophisticated features.
Whether you are engaged in selling digital goods or physical products, MarketPress is an effective tool for your site. It allows webmasters to set up photo galleries and upload images of products, making the e-shop look more interesting and appealing to consumers. This is especially suitable for sellers who like to feature their current, upcoming, and best-selling products in catalogue formats.
Unlike other e-commerce plugins that provide limited payment methods, MarketPress allows customers to choose from more than 15 payment options.
An interesting feature of this plugin is that it allows the seller to control and limit the site’s purchasers and guests. It provides the option to ban certain guests from making purchases or downloading a particular product repeatedly.
This plugin is compatible with stunning themes that can be customized according to the user’s requirements.
Jigoshop’s list of diverse features guarantees both optimum performance and customizability. While it is simple to use, this e-commerce plugin is not lacking in terms of sophistication. It is suitable for both beginner and professional use.
Because it has a user-intuitive dashboard, you will be able to set up and manage your e-store in a matter of minutes. It allows real-time monitoring of the store’s performance through its integrated sales graphs, stock and inventory reports, and product reviews.
It also offers support for different product types, as well as a wide array of customer payment options including FuturePay, PayPal Standard, bank transfer, checks, and cash on delivery. In addition, Jigoshop offers more than 70 other gateway extensions to choose from, including PayPal Pro, ZaakPay, Google Checkout and Amazon Payments.
Theme-wise, Jigoshop is designed to work with specially formulated WordPress themes that can be customized according to the online store specifications.
Cart66 is a lightweight but competent WordPress eCommerce plugin that has the ability to ensure secure collection and transmission of credit card details through the use of Mijreh Checkout. The plugin is compatible with Amazon S3 for a more enhanced experience in selling digital products.
Other features of Cart66 Lite include multiple shipping and currency options, order management, promotional campaigns, tax calculation, affiliate platform integration, email receipts, and product variations. To avail of Cart66’s more advanced features, you may purchase the professional version.
Choosing WordPress as the platform on which to build your e-store is a great first step, but your next logical step is to incorporate the proper plugins. Choose the right e-commerce plugin will depend on the nature of your store, the types of products you offer for sale, and the level of customer satisfaction you wish your clients to experience.
On a related note, if you prefer a standalone service to set up an online shop for your business, you might want to consider Shopify. Check out more about this particular e-commerce website creation service through this link.
Choose wisely and happy selling!