WordPress is easier to use than ever with today's vast range of plugins. Now you can simply and quickly create an online store and start selling right away. With so many ecommerce plugins available it’s becoming increasingly harder to know which one is best suited for you. Some ecommerce plugins have features you need, others don’t. Some plugins are suited for selling particular items and not others.
So, what is the best plugin for your online store?
WooCommerce is considered one of the most popular WordPress ecommerce plugins. WooCommerce has a large and passionate user and developer community behind it.
They provide hundreds of extensions and themes, making it easy for you to add different features to your eCommerce site. This creates lots of flexibility when choosing the design and layout of your site.
WooCommerce supports the sale of digital and physical goods. You can sell physical items as well as digital downloads such as eBooks and images. You can also add affiliate or external products to your site.
The WooCommerce platform is also great for managing each aspect of your online store, including built in support for all the mainstream payment options. You can also easily manage inventory and gain support and documentation.
Sometimes, the endless options that WooCommerce offers can be daunting and overwhelming for a new user. An experienced user however, will love the flexibility of the plugin.
Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is the best plugin for selling digital downloads through WordPress. It creates a very simple and easy to use platform for a quality looking and functional digital online store.
If you are only selling digital products, it’s recommended you use a plugin designed to optimise that specifically. This plugin provides a far better experience for selling digital goods. There are plenty of extensions accessible for Easy Digital Downloads users. You will find all relevant add-ons for many payment platforms and services.
This plugin will work with almost any WordPress theme. If you are yet to choose and pay for a theme, then choose a theme built specifically for the plugin. This will further optimise the experience.
Easy Digital Downloads has plenty of great tutorials, chatrooms and videos ready to give you great assistance.
Shopify is considered to be a standalone service, however, it also has WordPress integration.
Shopify will handle everything for you, therefore, it’s considered one of the best services for beginners. You don’t need to worry about any technical aspects of your online store. Shopify can even take care of the taxes involved.
You have the option to sell both digital and physical goods with Shopify. The inbuilt inventory editor and bulk importer combined with order tracker makes handling your goods very simple.
Their shipping system will optimise your fulfilment process with direct integration and the use of popular postal service providers.
Due to Shopify being a full service, you will have a monthly fee to pay. If you don’t want to use their own payment platform, you will still have to pay for the full service. For a lot of users, a monthly fee is worth a hassle-free experience.
Shopp will provide faster queries and faster page loads. It does this by using separate tables in the database which improve the performance.
Shopp can handle multiple product types including physical, digital and virtual. Shopp is also unique in the fact that it features a subscription product type. This allows you to sell products with reoccurring payments without the use of an extension.
The Shopp Plugin pays special attention to security and safety which helps you create a PCI-DSS compliant ecommerce store.
Shopp is limited in aspects like support, requiring you to pay for extended support. You also have a limited choice of themes when choosing from those designed for the plugin.
iThemes is a worthy contender in WordPress ecommerce platforms. iTheme supports both digital downloads and physical goods. You will need a paid add-on to sell memberships and subscriptions on your website.
The use of a setup wizard allows you to choose what you are going to sell and how you want to receive your payments. iThemes also provides one of the best user interfaces to add products and manage your ecommerce store.
Previously mentioned plugins all charge for the Stripe add on, while the iThemes plugin has stripe add on available for free - and that’s for unlimited sites.
The iThemes community is also a lot smaller, so you may run into issues that have rarely been encountered, hence finding a fix may be difficult.
Different ecommerce plugins serve different purposes. Some are specific to selling physical goods, and others digital goods. When making your decision, take your time to make sure the plugin you choose will benefit you. If you want a hassle-free experience, it’s recommended you choose Shopify. If you want more control, flexibility and features, WooCommerce might be the right choice for you.