It has been a long time since WordPress was a simple blogging platform. Through years, the talented developers all over the world have been adding features and improving the CMS. The other ones have been developing extensions and themes that allow everyone to create a site of their dreams. Some of those eCommerce developers imagined WordPress as an eCommerce system that should allow everyone to generate online stores without much technical knowledge.
Luckily for all regular WordPress users, those same developers have done an amazing job. Not only there is just one plugin that will turn your regular WordPress site into a fully operational e-store, but you can find dozens of extensions that do similar jobs.
One plugin (WooCommerce) definitely stands out in this field, but the truth is that there are some great alternatives to it. Depending on your needs and likes, any of the following plugins might make the perfect choice for your online store.
Why choose WordPress for eCommerce?
As you might already know, there are plenty of options for building online stores. Since you may hire someone to build a custom one from the ground up, choose an online service that will be even easier to use than WordPress, or go with the more advanced content management system, why would anyone choose WordPress?
The truth is that some custom options and other content management systems may be a better choice for huge online stores. But WordPress allows both professionals and beginners to run eCommerce business on their own. It combines a beginner-friendly platform with low costs, powerful tools and numberless options for extending the system. Actually, there are many benefits to using WordPress as your online store:
- It is free
- Large community
- Plenty of free and paid themes and plugins dedicated to eCommerce
- Large community of professionals available for hiring
- Works on practically all devices
If you have ever read something about running online shops with WordPress, WooCommerce is probably the plugin that was mention in the story. This is the plugin that most of the users go for. So, it does not surprise to see that there are more than three millions active users!
The guys at WooCommerce did the math – more than 30% of all online stores are powered with this system. Isn’t that impressive!?
Since the basic plugin is completely free, everyone has a chance of creating a store. It integrates seamlessly with WordPress and expands the CMS into an even more powerful machine. WooCommerce allows you to sell both physical and digital products, offer shipping services, extensive payment options, and much more. Since there are hundreds, if not thousands of free and premium extensions for it, WooCommerce allows you to personalize your e-shop in detail. Whatever you need and imagine, you can do with WooCommerce.
MarketPress – WordPress eCommerce
Although not as nearly as popular as WooCommerce, MarketPress is still as powerful eCommerce solution for all WordPress users. It features most of the options that a regular store owner will need – all for free.
MarketPress has got fifteen payment gateways. In addition, you can choose from 120 different currencies, so you shouldn’t worry about handling any type of payments.
Whether you are selling digital or real products, you will have more than enough options for them. For example, you can decide how many times a digital product can be downloaded, or use calculated shipping module for physical items that need transportation.
This simple eCommerce plugin is used by more than 30,000 users. Since it allows selling digital downloads, physical items, subscriptions, and memberships, it is a great choice for most of the users.
WP eCommerce can be easily integrated with dozens of payment gateways. It also works with the most popular plugins, so you won’t have to worry about expanding and personalizing your site. It features a secure checkout with SSL and has built in several marketing tools that will help you put your store on the market
By using one of the tools that ship with the plugin, you can easily manage orders and catalogs. Handling shipping becomes a piece of cake, and the good news for all multisite owners is that the plugin works well with the system as well.
There are extra modules you can use with the plugin and extend your store without having to touch the code. But if you are a developer, you should know about hundreds of available hooks that will let you customize the plugin to your or clients’ needs.
iThemes Exchange: Simple WP Ecommerce
Not all stores need to have thousands of options. If you are looking for a quick and simple solution, iThemes Exchange might be the perfect choice for you.
With this plugin, you will get only the essentials. That means that the e-store can be set up very quickly, so you can focus only on what you need. Depending on your needs, the plugin will show its extensive list of add-ons that will help you build the store that you really need.
Instead of dozens of payment gateways, iThemes Exchange offers only PayPal and Stripe payments. Managing customers and payments is intuitive and done nicely. You can see all the details about your customers, receipts, registrations, etc.
Although simple, more advanced users can still use downloads, expirations options, product availability, inventory, hidden source files for digital downloads, and more.
Although it was a premium plugin some years ago, Shopp is now supported by a team of volunteers that keep it a good solution for online stores. The plugin is used for running simpler online shops, but that doesn’t mean it lacks features.
Shopp lets you run sales, manage new and old products, work with the inventory and even ship orders with ease. Many users like Shopp for its WordPress-native administration tools. So, if you’re familiar with working in WordPress, you will feel at home from the moment you install this plugin.
The plugin also allows you to create your own order processing labels. So, without much effort, you can build a store that’s unique to you. All orders can be exported to accounting systems like Intuit, QuickBooks or to a simple CSV files.
Easy Digital Downloads
If you want to sell just the digital goods, then you might not need all the features that come with the previously mentioned plugins. Instead, Easy Digital Downloads focuses on virtual products like photos, videos, songs, documents, etc.
Through free and premium add-ons, you can evolve the plugin into anything you want. For example, there are more than ten payment gateways you can work with.
By installing other extensions, you can get products reviews, software licensing, manage recurring payments, connect to MailChimp, Zapier or Aweber, manage commissions, and much more.
Cart66 Cloud :: Ecommerce with security
If you want to be sure that your online store has it all, check out Cart66. It is more than a simple WordPress plugin. Actually, the plugin is just one part of the entire system that’s created for an average online business owner.
Cart66 packs everything a store owner might need. For example, you can add featured products, show new arrivals, list store items by categories, put products on sale, add galleries, and much more. With Cart66, it is easy to organize WordPress events, sell bundles, music, accept donations, etc. And to make it even better – you won’t have to have a specialized theme for the plugin to work!
The developers have also emphasized the security of online stores. You don’t even need an SSL certificate, and CDN takes care of secure hosting and digital product delivery. There are more than one hundred payment gateways integrated. Do you want to hear another great thing about Cart66? There is no need for other e-commerce add-ons since the plugin got you covered.
With Jigoshop eCommerce, you can create a WordPress online shop in a matter of minutes. It allows you to sell both digital and physical products, and the plugin isn’t strange to handling services as well.
Whether you’re selling simple items or variable ones (like shirts that come in different sizes, for example), Jigoshop will handle them well. Jigoshop will let you style your theme with the special tool, and if you don’t have one ready for the eCommerce, you can use a free one provided by the developers.
Use detailed reports, manage stock, and extend your shop with various other WordPress plugins that work great with Jigoshop.
Although the plugin counts only about 300 active users, note that it replaced the older version that had more than half a million downloads.
Without a doubt, WooCommerce is the most popular plugin for WordPress when it comes to eCommerce. You might find it the most accessible since there are so many themes created specifically for it, and there are numberless extensions that will let you do whatever you want with your store. Still, that doesn’t mean that WooCommerce is the best eCommerce plugin for everyone out there.
Before deciding, we suggest that you write down everything that you need from an online store. Then also create a wish list of things you would love to have. When you have all that, go through all the plugins until you find the one that sounds the best for what you got. Sometimes, you will have it easier with simpler plugins that don’t offer tons of options. But sometimes, the same simpler plugins won’t be able to provide the best options for your store.
Unfortunately, we can’t just recommend one of them. But if you have any questions and need more info about any of the plugins, feel free to leave us a comment, and we will try to help you to find the best eCommerce plugin for your site.