If you are looking forward to building your own online store and want to know which is the best WordPress eCommerce plugin, you have come to the right place. Before starting to build your online store, getting to know the best eCommerce WordPress plugin and its features is very important.
What to Look for in a WordPress eCommerce Plugin for Your Site?
Currently, there are more than hundreds of eCommerce plugins available for download from the WordPress plugin market. But the main problem with this vast number of plugins is that not all of them completely satisfy the user’s needs.
Some of these eCommerce plugins are suitable only for selling digital products and services while others are suitable only for selling physical products along with an inventory management system and shipping tracking software. Depending on your needs you should choose the required eCommerce plugin for setting up your online store.
Another major factor that should be taken into consideration is its ability to accept payments using major payment gateways either directly or by installing additional add-ons. Since eCommerce plugins don’t come with a theme for your online store when you purchase them, you need to choose a theme that is fully compatible with eCommerce.
Since it is not possible for a single eCommerce plugin to cover all the needs of an eCommerce store, they achieve various functionalities by making use of add-ons to complement the main plugin. Before choosing a plugin, you must make sure that it has enough features to support a minimal online store and if it can be complemented with additional add-ons to connect your site with various other services (cart, payment gateways, automation, inventory, etc).
What Do You Need to Run an eCommerce Website?
The very first thing you need to understand is that eCommerce sites are resource intensive. This is mainly because they perform an increased number of database queries compared to regular sites. So, you will be needing the best WordPress hosting for your site.
If you are on a tight budget, then you can go for Bluehost as their eCommerce plan comes with a free SSL certificate required to secure the payments made through your site between the customer and banks. Moreover, they come installed with WooCommerce – the best eCommerce platform for WordPress.
Or, if you have got enough money to play with and invest in your online store, you can go for SiteGround – a premium WordPress hosting service provider specializing in all things WordPress. And, if you don’t have a domain name for your eCommerce site yet, you can grab one for an affordable price at Namecheap starting at just $0.88 per year with a nominal regular price.
Finally, you must install all the essential business plugins and set up email marketing which will help you capture leads and boost subscriptions for your site. Now that we have discussed what we need to create an online store using WordPress, let us take a look at the best WordPress eCommerce plugin.
WooCommerce for WordPress
WooCommerce is the most popular WordPress eCommerce plugin. Totaling over 68,575,260 downloads, WooCommerce now powers over 28% of all online stores that run on WordPress. With hundreds of free and paid WooCommerce extensions, spanning all your logistical & technical requirements, you can rest assured there’s an extension for your specific needs.
Advantages of using WooCommerce
1) Using WooCommerce to build your online store gives you an edge over other competitors. WooCommerce is also the most customizable eCommerce platform for building your online business.
2) There are numerous WooCommerce themes, plugins, and extensions available in the market to help you add various features to your site and also to customize it as much as you want. There are so many options to customize your online store, that you feel it be limitless.
3) Using WooCommerce, you can sell both – digital products/services (ebooks, music, photos, digital art, prints, plugins, themes, etc) and physical products to your customers with an easy to manage inventory control system and store manager.
4) Moreover, selling external affiliate or partner products and services is very simple when you are using WooCommerce.
5) WooCommerce supports all the major payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, Amazon Payment, PayFast and Authorize.Net by default. If you need to add any other payment gateway, you can do so by using WooCommerce extensions. There are also extensions available for calculating the price, shipping rates, taxes, etc. for your products and services.
Selling Digital Products
If you want full control of your online store, WooCommerce is the best choice for you as it provides you with every possible feature with maximum flexibility and customization. The main competitor to WooCommerce is Shopify – a Canadian eCommerce company that develops computer software for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. While WooCommerce can be downloaded and used for free of cost by anyone, Shopify is a premium platform that comes with a 14 days trial period.
Thus I hope this article helped you in finding the best WordPress eCommerce plugins for your site. You may also want to see my post on why you need a CDN for your online store.