Discover five new eCommerce plugins for WordPress to make your life easier
One of the best things about WordPress is the host of easy-to-use eCommerce plugins and tools that are available. It allows developers to produce exciting eCommerce experiences for users without a massive price tag, or without sacrificing full site functionality, like you would with something like Shopify or Wix.
Whether you’re experienced with the WordPress platform or this is your first shot at building a website, we think there’s something to suit your needs in this list. We’ve selected the best WordPress e-Commerce plugins that serve their own unique purpose, suited to different types of businesses.
This takes number one on our list, because for some basic online stores, this plugin is the only thing you’ll need to provide a successful online shopping experience for your users. It’s the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress and powers an impressive number of big brand websites, including Weber BBQs and Orange Amplification. There’s also a range of official and third-party extensions for other features, including shipment tracking, cart abandonment reminders, Google Analytics integration and plenty more.
The ins and outs of WooCommerce:
- Mix and match to suit your needs
- Extensions for just about everything imaginable
- Incredibly popular, ensuring plenty of support, integration and tutorials
- Helpful reporting
- Tax integration, stock control & plenty more
- Free, but paid extensions available
- Great for a basic site, or someone with a clear vision of what advanced features they want
The fact that WooCommerce is developed by contributors to WordPress.org and the owners of WordPress.com ensures reliable and efficient updates as WordPress develops. Most themes developed today are also designed with WooCommerce in mind. Although WooCommerce itself is free, plugins range from tens to hundreds of dollars. With that in mind, we recommend WooCommerce for those who are after a basic site, as well as those with the money to invest in a completely customised system to suit their needs.
While WooCommerce has a host of digital download extensions as well as built-in features, this plugin is simply one of the best on the market for this purpose. If you’re selling software, eBooks, PDFs, music or some other digital content, this is the plugin for you. Easy Digital Downloads also has a range of extensions available.
Easy Digital Downloads considerations:
- Less clutter from physical product-centric features
- Full shopping carts, engagement tools and discount codes included in basic package
- Extensions are tailored for digital products, e.g. eBook previews
- $499 / p.a. for all access is fantastic for large site developers
- Lifetime All Access pass available for an additional $499
- Consider whether you’ll ever sell physical products. Even little things like merchandise could be a pain in the future to add if you choose a digital-centric eCommerce plugin
The pricing structure for Easy Digital Downloads runs between $99 – $499 annually, depending on the features you desire. It isn’t as popular or as versatile as eCommerce, but there’s still an active community available for assistance. It’s incredibly easy to use and its simplicity is a feature. Not having to deal with the physical items and the clutter their various add-ons bring is great in improving site speeds (Read: How Website Hosting Affects SEO).
Ecwid differs from other eCommerce plugins for WordPress in that it offers comprehensive integration with other platforms, including Facebook Stores, Google Shopping and more. This would be a particularly great plugin for someone selling handcrafted or other niche goods best suited to Facebook. The pricing structure is pretty good too, offering a few options between Free and $99 / month. The $15 and $35 / month options would suit nearly all businesses perfectly.
Why select Ecwid?
- Centrally manage the product offerings you’ve got on multiple platforms
- Extensions available to do most things you desire, with an ever-increasing library
- Track inventory, manage sales and view detailed analytics / reporting
- Great value for money
- Ecwid hosts store data themselves. With other plugins, you’ll need to obtain PCI compliance from your hosting provider for secure transactions.
- Ecwid products can be transferred to other sites easily
It doesn’t have the same amount of features as say, WordPress, but that’s not where this plugin shines. As Facebook stores become increasingly popular, having a tool like Ecwid is a great way to improve organic reach without the stress of managing inventories, customer engagement and analytics on three separate platforms. We think it’s a great option for brands in their infancy, selling handcrafted or fashion goods that might traditionally struggle with getting organic reach to their site.
If this is your first WordPress site and you’re not intending on hiring a developer, EasyCart might be the plugin for you. It’s steadily grown in usage and is quickly finding use for small business owners and keen DIYers. The pricing is phenomenal, sitting between free and $99 a year, with a 14-day trial available to experience paid features. Whether you have small turnover, are doing eCommerce as a hobby, or are simply experimenting to see if it’s the right fit for your business, EasyCart’s low cost makes things a lot less prohibitive.
Choose WP EasyCart if:
- You’ve got a small budget
- You’re developing the site on your own without experience
- You don’t need a whole bunch of frills
- eCommerce isn’t your site’s sole purpose
As we mentioned above, one of the downfalls with WooCommerce is the endless options available. It can be a little bit daunting to know exactly what your site needs, when it seems there’s a solution (in the form of an extension) for every problem you hadn’t thought of. This is where EasyCart shines. You essentially get the kind of simple all-in-one service offered by the likes of Wix, Squarespace and Shopify, but you get control over hosting, SSL and other site management tools that might have initially attracted you to WordPress.
We mentioned Easy Digital Downloads earlier, and this is essentially it’s subscription-based sibling. Easy Digital Downloads does allow subscription-based downloads, and WooCommerce does have subscription-based plugins, too. Memberpress takes it to a whole other level and essentially allows you to develop an online service with customised permissions, with an eCommerce system to boot. Pricing sits between $258 and $698 / p.a. Extensions are available as well, with progressively more available at each service level.
Features of Memberpress include:
- Highly customisable permissions for different levels of members / subscription
- Integrate your subscription-based platform and eCommerce in one
- Array of great eCommerce features from standard, including coupons, affiliates, reporting etc.
- Timed release content (they call it ‘drip’ content) for subscribers, including early access for different users
- Easy setup
- Works with any WP Theme
The Best eCommerce Plugins for WordPress:
Our list of the best eCommerce plugins for WordPress included options to suit a number of different applications or scenarios. We’d love to know which eCommerce WordPress plugin in your favourite, or if you think we left an important option off the list. Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!