If your plan is to create your very own ecommerce website this year, you will want to know which is the best WordPress ecommerce plugin to use.
There are dozens of WordPress ecommerce plugins in the market, but not all of them will have what you need for your ecommerce website.
Some ecommerce plugins are perfect for selling a combination of physical and digital goods, while others can work with only one of either. In order to succeed in your ecommerce venture, you will need to choose a plugin that can cater for they type of products you will be selling, and one that has the features you need to run your online store effectively.
You will also have to consider the available payment gateways so that you customers will have different payment options during checkout. The plugin you choose should have your preferred payment gateways by default, or be available via add-ons. You will also need an ecommerce plugin that is compatible with your WordPress theme, otherwise you may experience site performance issues or even break your website.
“Choosing the right ecommerce plugin for your WordPress website is vital to the success of your online business because the right platform means a better opportunity for your business to grow.” www.domains4less.co.nz
To make things easy for you, here are the top 5 plugins you should consider for your new online store.
At the very top of the list is WooCommerce, the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress. This plugin has more than 10 million downloads so far and is the secret behind more than 30% of the ecommerce websites on the internet.
WooCommerce is an easy to use, intuitive plugin that helps you convert your WordPress website into an online store with all the features you will expect from an ecommerce website. With WooCommerce, you can sell just about any type of product, from physical goods to virtual items that can only be downloaded. It also has options for configuring shipping, discounts, payments, tax and promos.
Even though WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, it has a number of add-ons, both free and paid that can further increase the functionality of your ecommerce website.
WP ecommerce is another top ecommerce WordPress plugin and a serious WooCommerce competitor.
WP ecommerce is very similar to WooCommerce and offers almost the same type of features and functionality. Just like WooCommerce, it offers a lot of out-of-the box options that can result in a proper ecommerce website. It comes with default payment gateways, PayPal standard and PayPal Pro. However, you can extend the payment capabilities by installing third party payment gateways via WP ecommerce extensions.
The major difference between WooCommerce and WP ecommerce is that the latter supports images only in list view, and you can only use one image per product. If you want to extend this function, you should be willing to pay $99 for the Gold Cart extension. But on the good side, WP ecommerce has a vibrant support system and is constantly updated to WordPress compatibility.
Another ecommerce plugin worth considering is WPMU Dev’s MarketPress.
MarketPress comes bundled with virtually every feature you may need for your ecommerce website. The major advantage MarketPress has is that you will not need extensions or add-ons as the plugin comes pre-packaged with a host of features, all the major payment gateways and almost all the currencies in the world. MarketPress ecommerce plugin is highly compatible with most WordPress themes and can support unlimited products.
If you choose MarketPress, you will have to decide between the lite version and the premium version. The lite version is free while the premium version is part of the WPMU Dev membership with subscriptions starting from $24. As a member, you have access to MarketPress premium version as well as over 100 other premium WordPress plugins.
MarketPress is easy to install and use, and is idea for both physical and digital products.
Even though Shopify is not exactly a WordPress plugin, it deserves a place on this list as one of the most reliable ecommerce platforms that makes owning and operating your own online store a breeze.
Shopify is more of an all-in-one ecommerce platform that does everything for you, so that you don’t have to worry about the technical aspects of setting up an ecommerce website, integrating payment gateways, installing SSL, handling taxes or shipping. The fact is, Shopify does it all.
Shopify supports both physical and digitals goods, making it an ideal choice for any type of ecommerce operation. However, all these features are not free. Shopify is a premium service that charges you a monthly fee to use their services. But if you look at it, this fee is comparable to what you will pay if you were buying web hosting, and have to pay to set up your website.
Interestingly, even though Shopify is an independent application, it comes with WordPress integration, making it easy for you to run your ecommerce store from your WordPress website.
Easy Digital Downloads is another WooCommerce competitor, but for selling digital products on your WordPress website. With this simple plugin, you can easily sell digital products such as software, mp3, video and eBooks on your WordPress website. It is quite easy to use and comes with a lot of features to produce a professional and highly functional store for digital products.
This plugin comes with hundreds of extensions that can be used to extend the functionality of your digital store so that you can compete favourable with bigger websites, including the ability to add more payment gateways, multi-user platform and more services.
Easy digital downloads is also compatible with most WordPress themes, but it also has its own special theme that you can get started with.
Although Easy Digital Downloads only support digital products, it is the best in what it does, and would make a great addition to your site if you intend to sell only downloadables.
If you want the best ecommerce plugin for your WordPress website, it goes without saying that you should consider WooCommerce. If you would rather avoid the technical hassles of setting up an ecommerce shop, then Shopify is ideal for you. However, at the end of the day, this is not a decision that you should take lightly. Take time to understand your business requirements so that you can choose the plugin that would best work for you.
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