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We have been putting a lot of emphasis on WordPress and e-commerce lately. For example, with posts like 30 real-life examples of e-commerce sites built with WordPress and how to build a WordPress ecommerce site with Shopify.
As it turns out, WordPress is the power of e-commerce. Not only because the leading WordPress e-commerce plugin, WooCommerce, powers nearly 40 percent of all online stores.
To date, WordPress offers many different ways to build an online store for all types of markets and product types. For this reason, in this article we want to discuss in more detail the capabilities that users need to create an eCommerce website in WordPress.
How to create an ecommerce site in WordPress
Here is a list of plugins and methods for setting up an online store with WordPress.
Of course, first on the list is WooCommerce, which has been a top WordPress plugin for eCommerce for a long time. It supports over one million active installations and, as mentioned above, covers more than a third of the entire online store market. A number that has only increased since Automattic acquired WooCommerce.
The plugin is feature rich, suitable for selling digital, physical and associated products. It offers product variations, different payment gateways, and delivery options, is customized for developers and integrates well with almost any theme.
In addition, users can choose from a multitude of WooCommerce-ready themes and a host of free and commercial extensions. In addition, setup is very simple as shown in our guide. It’s easy to install, configure and the plugin takes care of everything related to ecommerce.
Did we mention its basic version if it’s completely free? Not? Well, you will see that this is a recurring theme in this list.
Of course, not everything is perfect about the plugin. First of all, you are required to connect many different elements to create a complete online store. Some of these, especially security measures like setting up SSL protocols, can be novice beginners. Other examples include hosting, working with FTP servers, etc.
(On the other hand, if you use WordPress, you need to know things like that anyway. If you haven’t already, there is plenty of free information to help.)
Another argument against WooCommerce is that while the core system is free, if you want certain features, you’ll have to pay for them. Depending on your needs, this can be expensive over time, even if most expenses are one-time investments.
Who is this for?
In short, WooCommerce can be used by users of all levels, but it’s better if you have at least some web experience. Beginners may be advised to seek help or at least spend sufficient time in education.
Another way to build an online WordPress store is by iThemes, one of the most successful WordPress companies. Their product has been able to successfully break into the already competitive e-commerce market in WordPress and is still strong.
First of all, iThemes Exchange exists as a free version within the WordPress directory. This means that you can start building an online store without paying a dice. It also comes with two payment gateways, including Stripe, for which most other solutions charge extra.
With Exchange, you can sell digital products and things you can touch. It also excels at building membership venues, which helped it establish itself in the pre-existing market (because they were the first to do it right). However, you do need a premium plugin for this feature.
It is also incredibly easy to use. The boarding process is great and allows you to set things up quickly and easily.
Similar to WooCommerce, the free version is enough to set up a simple online store, but advanced features are only available when you pay for them. Also, since Exchange is relatively new to the market, it has a smaller ecosystem that can lead to some issues like less specialized topics.
Who is this for?
Nevertheless, the eCommerce iThemes plugin is a valid opportunity to build an eCommerce website in WordPress, especially for beginners.
Easy digital download
The following is a list of e-commerce solutions for Pippin accessories. As the name suggests, it was made to sell digital products, not physical goods.
If you want to sell e-books, software or other intangible goods, EDD is probably the way to go. The supplement is made specifically for this purpose and offers a lot of haircuts for your dollar.
Also, like all other add-ons from this list, a free version is available. Costs only come for extensions and advanced features.
In addition, Easy Digital Downloads is very lightweight and integrates with WordPress. The add-on contains a full-fledged shopping cart, multiple payment gateways, the ability to use promotional codes and download / purchase multiple products.
EDD can be a little more technical. Although the accessory intentionally comes with a minimal design that makes it fit your existing theme, it probably includes some styling. Of course, you can work around this using one of their proprietary themes.
In addition, one of the advantages of a plow is its weakness. Being created specifically for the sale of digital goods, if you later discover that you would also like to sell physical products, you have a little trouble.
Who is this for?
The supplement is highly recommended to anyone looking to sell any non-physical goods. The manufacturers have put a lot of effort into making it a prime solution for these purposes. Why not take advantage of it?
Shopify is originally a standalone e-commerce platform that offers users the ability to create hosted online stores for a monthly fee. But since last year, it also offers a way to integrate Shopify products into WordPress (if you want to know how, follow our textbook.
The platform is very beginner. All you need to do is set up an account, install their add-on, follow the instructions and you’re ready to add products to your site.
Best thing: no technical knowledge required. Shopify takes care of all your ecommerce needs from start to finish, including SSL and other complicated things.
In addition, it offers free WordPress themes that are made to work according to the plugin, but also work on almost any site.
The biggest downside to creating an ecommerce site this way is the fact that you split your web store in two. You will always need to switch back and forth between Shopify and WordPress, whether you care about your products or the rest of the website.
Plus, unlike other platforms, using Shopify requires regular monthly payments that grow with your store. This can quickly become expensive. Plus, all your store information is on someone else’s server, so if you ever want to switch, there’s no way to bring it with you.
Who is this for?
Shopify is especially suited for beginners who don’t want to get into the technical stuff and just want to get set up quickly.
WP eCommerce is considered “the original WordPress eCommerce plugin”. In 2006, WP eCommerce first introduced itself on the market and continues to this day. With 40,000+ active installations, it also has respectable user numbers.
WP eCommerce contains everything you would expect from an eCommerce plug-in: product management, shipping options, shopping cart and checkout. Even SSL is integrated and all the basic functionality is free. However, if you want additional features, these include costs.
Products are set up like blog posts and thus fully customizable to fit your theme and website. In addition, the plugin comes with built-in marketing tools (e.g. coupons, discounts), and themes are available.
Finally, if you want to get involved, you can do so on Github.
Unfortunately, user feedback is not all that positive. I have read several comments that the plugin has not progressed much in recent years and lacks support.
Who is this for?
Suitable for smaller products and therefore small websites.
Jigoshop is the original plugin behind WooCommerce. The latter started as a fork of an existing add-on before taking over the e-commerce world. Jigoshop is still going strong with 9000+ active users and just released a new version to replace the original on April 1, 2017. Obviously, the plugin is still in active development.
The basic version of Jigoshop is free and features features. You can use the plugin to sell virtual and physical products, and it offers a wide range of shipping, taxes, order management, product variations, and payment gateways. More of the latter can be added.
To personalize your add-on, it comes with hundreds of extensions and themes, including free.
While there are options for free support, if you want priority assistance, it will cost you (and not a little, depending on your needs). It also lacks some basic functionality (like product sorting capabilities at the interface) that need to be added to paid extensions and can be a little tricky to handle.
Who is this for?
In general, the plugin seems to be a solid opponent in active development that is appropriate for SMEs and online stores.
WordPress nut e-commerce sites
WordPress offers several ways to create online stores on aneCommercece websites. As you saw in this article, although WooCommerce gets the most print, there are valid alternatives. Each comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages, most suitable for different types of users.
We hope you found the opportunity for your own venture. Just keep in mind he is in no hurry. Since everyone offers free versions, you can thoroughly examine them to find out what is the best solution for you.
When you do, remember to consider tracking costs like extensions. Make your decision only when you are done researching. After all, it is an investment that deserves enough attention.
What is your favorite way to build ecommerce websites with WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below.