Do you sell something? Hand-made jewelry, books, cosmetics – something? Since you are here, reading this, you at least want to create a platform for internet trade. Thus, I assume you know what eCommerce is because it would be embarrassing not to know the basic term of activity you are going to perform. And it will be generally embarrassing not to know such a buzzword that teamed up with “blockchain” and “internet of things” and conquered the internet.
God, bless the internet. Or curse it. Thanks to it almost every sphere of human life starts to evolve so rapidly that it is more like a fiction film. They say eCommerce will reach more than $4 trillion sales in 2020 and it’s just in two years! So it is just the ideal time to create your brands WordPress online store. Not having an eCommerce website is almost a suicide for a modern company.
So, wheels up and let’s talk more specifically.
Why should you choose to build a website with WordPress?
The first question almost anyone would ask is: “Hey! Isn’t WordPress a blogging platform?”, so I’ll dot the I's and cross the T's from the start.
Yes, WordPress started as a platform for blog creation.
No, that’s not the only thing it is capable of.
Come on, on the beginning mobile phones also was created only to call each-other and look where we get now. WordPress is far from that blog-crafting machine it was 14 years ago.
Of course, there are multiple other CMS’s for eCommerce website creation, but I, personally, think that WordPress is the best of them.
Here are a few arguments for this position:
There’s no equally popular CMS. WordPress is the most popular content management system on the Web and about 30% of all existing websites were built with its help. It is free, open source, intuitively understandable and there are thousands of WP eCommerce tutorials, so finding necessary information will be a child’s play. E-commerce WordPress themes will be simple to install and customize, as well as fast to fill it with content.
There are hundreds of thousand themes for WordPress. Since WP is an open source platform everyone can build a template for it. Just imagine how many themes were already created during last 14 years. Of course, only a part of them will fit for building an eCommerce website, but that will still be an enormously big number. You will have a really wide range to choose from.
There are a huge number of plugins for WordPress. One of the reasons creating a website with WordPress is so convenient is the wide pool of different extensions that give you an opportunity to add almost any functionality possible. You just take any preferred template and add all the stuff you need via plugins.
It is obvious that there’s nothing ideal in this world (except, maybe, the first “Matrix” film and good luck arguing that). WordPress also has its disadvantages, like:
Payments. Really cool and pixel accurate themes are paid and there’s nothing you can do with it. Free templates are often nice too, but they have sufficiently reduced functionality and go without eye-catching stock photos you see in a demo. So, if you want a WordPress eCommerce website that will impress the visitor from the first sight you will have to pay for it.
Compatibility problems. Sometimes things just don’t fit each other. It is true for humans and it is also true for WordPress templates and plugins. Some themes are not compatible with plugins you would like to install ad you will have to spend time looking for a fitting one.
Upgrade issues. WordPress releases different upgrades frequently. Guys are trying their best to make your work with this CMS as smooth and easy as possible, but after some time it could piss you off. To make sure your eCommerce WordPress online store will work without any problems you will need to update all your functional and then customize if needed and that could take a lot of time.
How to build an eCommerce website on WordPress?
Let’s assume I managed to convince you and now you are looking for a way of building a WordPress online store. Look no further than WooCommerce. There are numerous ways of adding online shop functional to a WordPress website, but WooCommerce is the simplest and the most convenient. This spectacular plugin has been downloaded over 7,000,000 times, and its following is greater than those of many full-fledged content management systems. WooCommerce is robust, secure, and easy to work with.
Here’s a great step-by-step tutorial that describes the fundamentals of using the WooCommerce plugin for eCommerce WordPress website. It focuses on the setup process and details on using the functionality of WooCommerce for turning your content-focused website into an e-store. The eBook also suggests other plugins and themes that can help you further expand the functionality of your store.
It will teach you how to do the following things:
apply themes and shape your website pages,
set up shipping and taxation options,
adjust product catalogs and add new products,
get your checkout and shipping options right.
You can download this free eBook by filling in the form below:
Is WordPress safe for an eCommerce website?
Generally, security is important for every website, but when someone breaks your personal blog you lose only some texts and photos. That’s not a pleasant situation, but it will be really pissing off if someone will break your WordPress eCommerce site and cause some money loss. “Is WordPress secure?” that is a question every cautious business owner asks before starting to create a website.
Let’s be sincere, you don’t really think that there is at least one 100% safe platform, do you? Even Swiss banks are being robbed sometimes, let alone the internet that has lots of loopholes any wise hacker could use. The only thing that is, by now, considered unbreakable is blockchain, and still, I’m sure that is not for long. Every platform has its vulnerabilities and all you can do is choose the one that has an acceptable level of safety.
Now, when we mentioned that, let’s talk about why is WordPress safe enough for your eCommerce website.
As I’ve mentioned before there is an enormous amount of extensions that could add, literally, almost every functionality you want to have on your WordPress eCommerce website, including security arrangements. You don’t need to be a security expert; plugins will do everything for you. They can monitor users’ activity, block suspicious actions, alert some kind of violations, create security keys and do the subscribers’ personality verification. There are both free and paid plugins, so you will be able to increase WooCommerce security even if you have a limited budget.
WordPress developers do their best to give you a safe product. They constantly search for issues and release patches that resolve those security vulnerabilities. It could be annoying to update your eCommerce website all the time, but that will make sure you a high level of protection.
Regular software verification
If you thought that anyone could write a plugin and then download it to WordPress plugins archive you are wrong. Before a theme, plugin or other extensions will hit the virtual shelves it is checked by a special volunteer team. If anything is not clear with the coding, they contact the author and work out the safe and transparent solution.
So, is WordPress good for eCommerce? Totally yes. There’s no other CMS that give you an opportunity to customize a site in any way you like. Shopify, OpenCart and other eCommerce platforms are much less flexible and variable.
As you can see, the security of your eCommerce website is in your hands. Here are a few things you can do to make your WordPress online store protected:
Install WP eCommerce SSL key
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) is a cryptographic protocol, that secures communication between two machines, a server, and a browser. When an “http” protocol transforms into “https” it means that an SSL is used. SSL certificate activation is not a default function; you need to obtain it and install to the server. This function not only provides your eCommerce WordPress website customers safe shopping but also increases your brand’s authority and trustworthiness.
Make passwords strong
Long passwords with different symbols are complicated to remember, so many users tend to create short and weak combinations. We are all lazy beings and don’t want to spend efforts on things we consider unnecessary. I think that you too try to make passwords as short as possible and that is a mistake. To make your WordPress eCommerce website safe you have to think of complicated combinations of letters and symbols that will be hard to guess. To make sure everyone uses the strong password you should install a specialized plugin on the website.
To be sure that customer's credit card data is completely secure, you can use payment gateways like PayPal. Such kind of mediators have already done all the needed security measures and you won’t need to think about it. Besides that, a user will also feel himself more confident, because he will be performing a payment via the trusted service.
Think about using a CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems will help you to manage and store all the information about your communication with clients. That is a valuable data and storing it on the WordPress is not very safe. Choose a nice CRM tool and keep all the information there. This step will prevent stealing customers’ private data if a hacker breaks into your WordPress eCommerce site.
Don’t ignore backups
If your site will fall under the hackers attack you will need to restore it when an attack is stopped. And that would be really hard if you haven’t made backups for months. It is hard to remember about such things, I know, and luckily you don’t have to. You can install a plugin that will do backups automatically once in some, defined by you, time.
Seek for vulnerabilities
Get yourself a security scanner and regularly do scans. Specialized plugins go through your website and track weak sections and loopholes, so you can fix them. It will be especially important if you integrated a big number of extensions. Even if they were built by one developers' studio and are fully compatible – there still could be vulnerabilities.
If you will follow all the advice and do regular updates your WooCommerce security will be at a high level. All you have to remember is that your WordPress eCommerce site protection is all up to you. Don’t be thoughtless and everything will be OK.
WooCommerce WordPress Themes
I think that’s really great that you can find a ready-made solution almost for everything nowadays. Clothes, food, tools and, of course, digital stuff too are easy to find on the internet. Surely, you can create a WordPress eCommerce website from scratch by yourself. That is how such things appear on the internet. It will need good coding skills and few days, weeks or months (that depends on how cool are you in that). But why to, if there is a bunch of ready-made solutions?
In fact, you don’t need to write a single line of code to create a website, that’s why you have chosen WordPress isn’t it? There are lots of WooCommerce WordPress templates that have all the necessary functionalities built-in. You just download them, install to your eCommerce website and you’re almost there. A little customization, a day or two on adding content and that’s that – you are a proud owner of WordPress online store.
P.S. If you’re going to start a WooCommerce website from scratch, our online store the best place to start.
Our WooCommerce themes have been designed by professionals, and, depending on your needs, we offer a vast array of additional services that can help you launch your website within a couple of hours. Have a look at our WooCommerce templates and see for yourself:
You will be surprised at the amount of WordPress eCommerce plugins. Maybe even overwhelmed (yeah, there is really a huge bunch of them). An inexperienced website creator could be confused which to choose. Like a child in a candy shop that doesn’t know what type of chocolate to pick, because he wants all of it.
First of all, let's define what should you look at while looking through a list of eCommerce plugins for WordPress.
What goods is it best for?
Not all of the extensions are universal and could be used for all types of shops. A WordPress store plugin that is perfect for a digital stuff selling website (like videos, software, electronic books) could be bad for physical products shop. Non-digital merchandise needs platforms, that take into account storage, shipping, and inventory management. While choosing the best WordPress eCommerce plugin for your business, the first thing you should look at is whether it is good for your type of online shop.
What payment gateways is this plugin compatible with?
If you want to use a concrete payment gateway on your eCommerce WordPress website, you need to make sure it is available in a chosen plugin by default. At least there should be an option to add that functionality via an addon. The convenience of payment functionality affects customers’ loyalty and traffic, so don’t ignore that.
Is the chosen WordPress eCommerce plugin compatible with your theme?
It would be really offensive if a plugin you choose won’t go with your theme. That’s a pity, but sometimes they just don’t fit each other. Check your WordPress theme and plugin compatibility before download to avoid disappointments.
Does it have some support options?
Problems may occur any time and in any place and they are always unexpected. It is not the most important feature of WordPress eCommerce plugins, but it would be really great to have some help if needed. Make sure that plugin developers are easy to contact with and ready to resolve your issues.
Now, when you know what to look at, here are five best WordPress eCommerce plugins (and they are completely free).
WooCommerce plugin is one of the best of its kind and that’s why I’ll start with it. Let’s go through the list of requirements I mentioned before.
This WordPress eCommerce plugin is universal, you can use it to sell both physical and digital products.
WooCommerce is very flexible if to talk about payments. It has the functionality to accept all types of credit cards, PayPal and bank transactions and even cash on delivery. You also can add any of more than 140 payment gateways, specific for some region, via add-ons.
This plugin has a wide community of developers and enthusiast, so you won’t be alone. There are numerous guides and documentation, that explains how to use it, help section and community forums.
This WordPress eCommerce plugin is also very popular. It has the mobile version and is compatible with such platforms as eBay and Google Shopping, which allows you to sell your products not only on your own website but on the other global platforms too.
Ecwid plugin will help you to sell everything, from clothes and furniture to software and movie files. It has all the needed functionality, including shipping and taxes calculating features.
This plugin has over 40 payment options, so you won’t have problems with adding the one you need. It also has PCI DSS Level 1 certificate, which means you will be able to accept any bank transactions without issues.
Ecwid has 24/5 support, offered via chats and e-mail. There are numerous community forums, available round the clock, so you won’t be left alone with your problem.
Shopp plugin’s made for developers, and its creators speak of it proudly. It has a big number of customization options, so the plugin could be suited to any website. One of its most sufficient features is high-performance indicators.
Shopp is universal and, more than that, you can not only make stores of physical and digital products, you will be able to create a number of stores and conveniently operate them via only one plugin.
The number of available payments gateways is not very big, but all the transactions are safe and secured because its developers pay lots of attention to security measures.
The documentation is understandable and well written, but only users that bought a premium version can get online support.
WP eCommerce WordPress plugin was released in 2006 and since then is helping businesses to sell stuff. It has an intuitively understandable functionality and nice design.
This plugin is good for every type of store. It has WordPress shopping cart, preview, wishlist and everything needed for digital products store, and WP eCommerce shipping features will fit physical products shop.
WP eCommerce WordPress plugin has 17 payment gateway add-ons, including Stripe, FedEx, and XERO.
To make learning how to use the plugin simpler, creators shoot understandable and detailed videos.
This plugin has a paid version with a greater set of functionalities, but to try it on the free one will be enough.
With WP EasyCart plugin you will be able to sell real stuff, from cosmetics to cars, and also digital products, like memberships, apps or audio files.
The free version has built-in PayPal and Stripe payment functionality. More than 30 gateway add-ons are available only for premium users.
Specialized tutorial-videos show the installation and maintenance details, but online support is available only to those who subscribe to a paid version.
WP eCommerce tutorials
I gave you a set of tools, but they won’t teach you how to sell something on your WordPress eCommerce website. It is obvious that just putting products to the pages is not enough. There are dozens of tricks that will come in handy for a beginner entrepreneur. How to place products, what other tools to use, how to do the marketing – you will find lots of WP eCommerce tutorials on YouTube.
Here are three of them I consider the most interesting. They describe creating an eCommerce WordPress website with some free materials (themes and plugins), so it won’t cost you anything.
How to Create an Ecommerce Store: WordPress Woocommerce Tutorial
How to Make An Ecommerce Website With WordPress Using WooCommerce & Astra
WordPress Tutorial For Beginners | Create an Ecommerce Website In Under 15 Minutes
And here’s a whole learning course on Ucademy, that will show you all the process in the smallest details. It costs only about $10, so it won’t leave a hole in your pocket.
You now have it all, from the beginning to the end. I gave you the basics and all is up to you now. With this article, you will be able to creatple your WordPress eCommerce website and understand what to do to bring it to perfection. Good luck with bringing your WordPress online store to the global and overwhelming success!How do you find this article? Is it detailed enough? Maybe you noticed something missing? Please, leave me a feedback in a comment section below and I’ll expand the article to make it more interesting and useful for you.
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A passionate WordPress monster since 2018. Loves professionally built website templates, is Elementor Page Builder fan and becomes extremely curious when it comes to trying some new site creation tools.