WordPress E-commerce Plugins
While we’ve blogged before about how E-commerce on WordPress can be risky at times, there are smart and effective ways for selling products and services through your website. While consulting with a professional business like Medium Well is often the best option, another one is looking at popular E-commerce plugins that have been tried-and-true by many other WordPress sites, and don’t have the same security worries floating around them. Here are our top four:
Woo Commerce is one of our favorites here since it offers the most options and freedom for customization. It’s first installed with a basic plugin, but lets you choose different themes for how your site’s ecommerce will look and function. Free themes are available if you have a tight budget, but premium themes are always best for high quality and security. The plugin also allows for custom themes in case your site’s ecommerce needs can’t be filled by any other option, but making these are best left to professional designers. Also, while it offers solid, basic functionality when free, many extensions to improve and expand it have to be bought at WooThemes.com. Woo Commerce’s greatest advantage is its customization options, is useful for both professionals and newcomers, and is Medium Well’s personal recommendation.
Ready! E-commerce Shopping Cart
Ready! ECommerce Shopping Cart is focused much more on how your customers purchase and manage what they’re buying. It’s free, but offers lots of options for your customers to pay through PayPal, as well as letting you control areas such as delivery rates and shipping fees. This makes Ready! great for controlling how much your customers are paying, and can help you run promotions or gifts to attract new customers as well. The one downside with Ready! is that it only comes with one theme for presentation, so it’s best paired with another plugin with a focus on that, such as Woo Commerce. Otherwise, it’s a great option for managing how your customers gather and pay for what’s on your site.
WP Commerce is the most popular of all E-commerce plugins, with the most downloads of any of them, and covers all the basics of what you could want with your online store. It gives you lots of options for customizations, such as SEO, social media, maps, discounts, a shopping cart, customizable themes, and offers plenty of community support and instructional videos to help guide you through the process. The only major downsides of this this plugin is that the free version doesn’t include a full list of features, and many need to buy many premium add-ons and themes if the free version doesn’t meet your needs. But while it isn’t quite as customizable and controllable as Woo Commerce, it’s a strong plugin that can cover all the basics well.
JigoShop doesn’t have as many customization or functionality options as the above plugins, but it deserves a mention for several reasons. First, it’s the easiest and quickest to set up, and can be ready for your site in a few minutes with almost no coding or in-depth knowledge required. Extensions are also made to expand its functionality at reasonable prices, although the basic version covers important areas such as inventory, search options, shipping costs, offering discounts, and a shopping cart. While JigoShip isn’t the best option, it’s the fastest and most beginner-friendly, so it’s the best option if you need something set up quickly and simply.
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