Over the holidays we shared a few ecommerce security and performance tips for our customers, but we’ve yet to delve into the process of actually setting up an ecommerce site. Many of our customers utilize WordPress Hosting for their websites, which is also a great option for ecommerce sites. WordPress offers small and medium-sized businesses the ability to grow their web presence and sales capacity quickly via one of the many available ecommerce plugins. Before deciding to build an ecommerce site, businesses will want to remember to think about the special security requirements, specifically protecting their customer’s data with PCI Compliance.
For those customers who have decided that WordPress is the ideal home for their ecommerce site, there are plenty of plugins available that can easily add product pages, a shopping cart, and a simple checkout process. However, choosing between the numerous options can be overwhelming. The following plugins are highly recommended by our Heroic Support® team and offer many features that can help enhance your ecommerce store.
The most popular plugin for WordPress ecommerce, WooCommerce is established, respected and reliable. The primary benefit of this plugin is the strong community of developers supporting both it and its many extensions and themes. With seamless dashboard integration with WordPress, this plugin is free, easy to use, and intuitive. Features include standard integration with PayPal, sales and reviews reports, multiple shipping options, inventory management, customer account areas, flexible couponing system, control over shipping/tax charges, and a plethora of premium add-ons available for a fee. WooCommerce is ideal for all shapes and sizes of ecommerce businesses, whether you deal in digital or physical products, have very little inventory or whole warehouses full, offer subscription products, or need to bundle your products.
The Shopp ecommerce plugin often integrates with your existing WordPress themes. It offers many standard features needed for an ecommerce business, including integration with many payment gateways (such as PayPal and Google Checkout), order management, email notification, coupon codes, control over tax/shipping charges, related products, RSS feeds, and options for a grid or list view. This plugin is free to download, but additional support and features are available for purchase. Shopp is ideal for an ecommerce business that has a larger product inventory and is easily customizable for developers.
Cart66 stands out amongst the other available plugins because of its unique hosted checkout option. With Cart66’s hosted checkout option, your business doesn’t need to worry about hosting or protecting your customer’s data with PCI Compliance or SSL Certificates. Their checkout solution will match your theme and appear to be part of your site, but will actually be hosted on their secure cloud server. Cart66 also offers many of the standard ecommerce features, such as order management, promotions, control over tax/shipping charges, support for multiple currencies, customizable email reports, custom product management, and affiliate platform integration. Cart66 is also a great option for those looking to sell subscription-based products, and offers both free and professional versions with a number of different licensing options.
While other plugins offer the ability to sell digital downloads, Easy Digital Downloads lives up to its name and excels at it. The plugin is simple and meant for those businesses that only sell digital downloads, such as plugins, files, music, etc. The plugin also allows the sale of digital content through subscriptions. Seamlessly integrating within the WordPress dashboard makes it easy to use, and it can be customized by developers. Easy Digital Downloads is free, but extra extensions and themes are available to purchase. Other features include discount codes, user purchase history, and sales reports.
The ecommerce plugin you choose for your WordPress site should be based on your unique business needs. For additional resources, consult our other blog posts for information on the best WordPress security plugins to protect your site, as well as general WordPress security tips. While themes, plugins, and custom modifications are not covered with our fully managed Heroic Support®, our team will always provide Best Effort Support for installing and troubleshooting plugins for WordPress, 24/7/365.