Building an Online Shop with WordPress? These are the Best eCommerce Plugins!
Starting an online shop could be beneficial for your business. If you are running an offline store and want more sales, for sure an online shop could help you a lot. There are many ways on how you can set up a website to sell products. One of the easiest and cheapest ways is to use WordPress.
Even non-technical users can set up a shop with WordPress by installing an eCommerce plugin. While there are many plugins that you can use to build your online store, in this article I will show you the 5 best eCommerce plugins for WordPress.
WooCommerce is one of the most popular eCommerce platform, with over 14 million downloads and powering over 37% of global online stores (source). This plugins is easy to use and includes all the essential features that are needed to set up an online store. WooCommerce has over one million active installs according to WordPress.org repository.
WooCommerce has built a full industry around itself, hundreds of themes and plugins being developed for this plugin. A while back we wrote a complete tutorial on how to start an online shop with WooCommerce, you should check it out if you want to start your website using this plugin.
Also, if you want to learn how to use WooCommerce, check out our WooCommerce guide, where we cover most of its features and functions.
WooCommerce comes with the following main features:
- Intuitive, easy to use dashboard with reports, tracking, stock management, statistics and useful widgets
- It is fully customizable and works with any WordPress theme
- Integrates with all major payment gateways including PayPal
- Secure checkout via Mijirech
- Integrates with Google Analytics
- Supports multiple payment options such as credit cards, cash on delivery and cheque
With WooCommerce you can easily manage physical products or use it for selling digital items.
Easy Digital Downloads
If your website is focusing on selling exclusively digital and other non-physical products, probably the best choice for you would be the Easy Digital Downloads plugin. This free plugin makes selling digital products simple including lots of great features such as: cart system that supports multiple product purchasing at once, coupon code management, integrates with PayPal and Amazon, complete purchase and payment history, earning charts, data export option and others.
The functionality of EDD can be enhanced by adding extra free or commercial plugins to the system such as: software licensing, booking, MailChimp and AWeber integration, Dropbox file store, recurring payment plugin, invoicing plugin and lot more.
MarketPress is an elegant shopping cart plugin for WordPress that supports all major payment gateways and enables you to create an online shop with ease. Some of its main features are: support for multiple currencies, great for selling digital and physical products, manage taxes and VAT, multiple shipping options, coupons, integrated with Google Analytics eCommerce tracking, product vartioations, AJAX shopping cart widget, customizable urls, work with all WordPress themes.
This plugin is easily customizable, with some little knowledge of CSS and use of widgets you can create a unique looking online shop too. Here is a short video presentation of the plugin:
The premium version of MarketPress includes multiple store styles, shipping calculator module for UPS, USPS and Fedex and product personalization (such as custom field’s text).
With over 50 thousand active installs, WP-eCommerce is another popular online shopping plugin built around WordPress. This plugin has been developed and supported since 2006, being one of the oldest eCommere platforms for WordPress.
WP eCommerce is powerful and easy to customize with CSS and HTML. The plugin integrates with a dozen of different payment gateways and is compatible with many popular WordPress plugins and themes. Comes with built-in shipping and marketing tools and integrates with popular currencies too. The check-out can be secured with SSL.
Premium plugins for WP eCommerce are also available such as: members and subscription plugin, Fedex shipping, Amazon S3 integration, MP3 download manager, Mijireh payments, XERO and others.
Shopp is a free high-performance online store plugin for WordPress which enables you to setup a secure shopping cart to your website in minutes. The plugin is updated regularly and has over 6000 active installs.
The main features of Shopp are: easy catalog management, own secure shopping cart (no need for additional security extensions), easy to install and use, it is compatible with the majority of WordPress themes and plugin, SEO friendly and more.
If need help, you can purchase a Merchant or Developer support package at ShopPlugin.net which includes one year of support and updates, access to private forum and others. There are premium add-ons available too for Amazon S3, Authorize.Net, different payment integrations including PayPal and PayWay and others.
Whether you are looking to create your own online shop or you are developing an eCommerce website for your client, there are many options. My favorite is WooCommerce, probably because this plugin was the first that I tried out and used to create few shops for friends and clients.
I suggest trying out at least two plugins, comparing their features and seeing which is easier for you to use.
Probably you only want to find which the best ecommerce plugins are for WordPress, but there is one small thing I want to mention. Choosing the best shopping cart plugin for your website is only half success. To generate sales and increase your profits you need a good marketing strategy and reliable hosting to support your website.
While small shops (up to 20 products and low website traffic) can perform good on shared hosting plans, you should consider purchasing a VPS plan if you are serious about your eCommerce site. A virtual private server (VPS) will cost you around $20-$80 / month, depending on the server specs, but the reliability, performance and security of these servers cannot be compared to shared plans.
Here are three hosting providers that we recommend for eCommerce websites:
$14.99 / mo
$29.99 / mo
$9.98 / mo