WordPress has established a solid position for itself in the current e-commerce market, and it doesn’t seem like the platform’s progress is going to slow down anytime soon. With the number of different e-commerce plugins, additional tools and community support that exist for WordPress users, entrepreneurs have everything they need at their disposal to create the perfect digital stores and keep them maintained with relatively little effort.
Choosing the right plugin can be a challenge if you’re not familiar with WordPress and its surrounding software ecosystem though. Here are the top choices on the market right now, and a little overview of what each of them has to offer.
There’s a reason WooCommerce is typically the first suggestion you’ll see wherever there’s a discussion about WordPress e-commerce plugins. The platform has been around for a while now, and its long-running presence on the market has allowed its developers to really push the limits of modern e-commerce. All the while they’re keeping their project open source! WooCommerce is used in a significant fraction of all e-commerce sites (almost 10% of the global count, according to recent stats), and it has a strong community support.
One of the great things about WooCommerce, compared to other leading plugins on this market, is that it offers much better and more reliable integration with the core features of WordPress itself. That probably has something to do with the fact that both platforms now trace their ownership and contributions back to the same entity, but in any case it’s an important factor to keep in mind.
Shopify isn’t actually a WordPress plugin, though it does integrate with the platform in a way. It’s a full-featured e-commerce platform aimed at fast deployment and ease of use. It’s very easy to add a Shopify buy button to your WordPress site, and getting started with the basic features of Shopify takes very little time. You can also benefit from an active community that’s always eager to guide you through the more complicated parts of using Shopify.
The main benefit Shopify brings to the table compared to other WordPress e-commerce solutions is the ease of setup. If you’re looking for something that just works and doesn’t require a lot of additional tweaking, this should definitely be around the top of your list of platforms to check. Keep in mind you can run into limitations with features.
Easy Digital Downloads
Focused exclusively on digital products? Then look no further than Easy Digital Downloads! The platform was specifically built from the ground up for the digital market, and it offers a variety of features to accommodate these types of sales. It’s also very customizable through the use of a variety of extensions, some of which can drastically alter its functionality and performance.
The overall set of features is quite good, though some are admittedly not as developed as they are in other platforms (like WooCommerce). If you don’t want to go down the rabbit hole of tweaking WooCommerce and making it align with your current goals, you should definitely give Easy Digital Downloads a try. Getting an initial storefront up and running takes just a few clicks, and it’s very easy to change most settings after that.
The only downside to using Easy Digital Downloads as opposed to other popular platforms is that you might find yourself a bit limited in terms of customization potential at some point. EDD does offer a good number of extensions, but it still leaves a little to be desired compared to other platforms. Give it a try for a while to see if it will hold up in the long term.
Another good e-commerce shopping cart that you can set up and have running in almost no time, Ecwid has been one of the leading options on the market for a long time now. While it may be more limited in features compared to WooCommerce and other similar plugins, it does offer some advantages in terms of flexibility and compatibility. It’s easy to set up Ecwid on a number of different platforms without having to install any additional plugins, and it can allow you to have your storefront up and running in very little time.
If you’re looking for good social media integration, Ecwid is definitely one of the top choices you have available. What it lacks in general customization, it more than makes up for in terms of social media compatibility.
BigCommerce is another dedicated e-commerce platform that also offers WordPress integration through the use of a plugin. Their main advantage lies in the huge range of customization options offered for free right from the start. The platform doesn’t require any special plugins to get the most out of it, and you can have some complicated setups initialized very quickly.
This makes it great for iterating and experimenting with different layouts, and the WordPress integration can make the whole experience smooth and seamless. However, like Shopify, you will be limited with features if you’re looking at scalability options.
Our Top Choice? WooCommerce
If you’re looking for something that just works, and doesn’t require too much additional work, WooCommerce offers the best balance of features and ease of use. The platform does take a little tweaking to get it to behave exactly like you want, but it compensates for that by opening a huge range of options to those willing to spend the time configuring it. WooCommerce also has great community support, and you will never really get stuck trying to accomplish anything on the platform.
Do check out the other options as well though. As we described above, each of them has something to bring to the table, and can be useful in specific situations. While WooCommerce may be the best all-around solution, you should still familiarize yourself with what the rest of the market has to offer. You never know if your needs might be met by a smaller, cheaper package. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to test out some of the other options we listed above, so you should definitely set aside some time to do that before finalizing the setup of your e-commerce storefront.