WordPress is not designed exclusively for online stores. The engine is widely used for different areas – business cards, blogs, and corporate portals. Thanks to its versatility, convenience, and, of course, free access, WordPress has been at the top of the CMS ratings for years. And in terms of interface simplicity, it outpaces the competition, making it convenient even for beginners. Throughout the world, the engine is used for a third of all websites on the Internet.
For online stores, WordPress will also be the right choice. But to break into the field of e-commerce and make a lot of money on sales will not work without installing plugins. You will not be able to create a convenient resource for yourself and your visitors. There is good news! There are hundreds of plugins for WordPress sites – paid and free. Many of them are designed directly for online stores. We have prepared a list of the top plugins that will help you organize sales if you use WordPress, and today we tell you about each’s strengths and weaknesses.
Best plugins for creating online stores on WordPress
Our list includes 3 of the most popular and used plugins. Among them:
- WP eCommerce;
Let’s take a closer look at each of the plugins.
WooCommerce has more than 5 million active installations confirm this during its existence and is the most popular WordPress plugin for an online store.
Immediately after installation on the site appear standard sections for online stores – catalog, personal page of the buyer, shopping cart, checkout. Then in the settings, you can choose location, currency, product characteristics, such as colour. This is enough for a simple novice store. Edit the previously set parameters can be on the admin page.
The plugin allows you to configure a convenient way to receive online payments. You can choose either PayPal or Stripe. These services are not the most suitable for runes. Besides, WooCommerce enabled websites can integrate with other platforms. There are more than a hundred options to add by installing additional extensions. The site owner can choose a convenient shipping option and specify the territory to which it applies.
Essential marketing tools are provided by default to promote products and increase demand. You can set discounts, conduct promotions, send visitors coupons to buy products from the catalogue.
The plugin also allows you to get sales data and view statistics. WooCommerce’s own analytics system will be enough to manage sales. If desired, you can also integrate analytics from Google.
Use WooCommerce is free. The plugin is freely available, and this does not mean that it lacks in its capabilities. You can sell or resell anything you want in any quantity – and merch of a band with a catalogue of 10 t-shirts and cosmetics from AliExpress. If the functionality is not enough, WooCommerce can be extended by plugins, such as auto-unloading products to marketplaces or booking products that are not in stock. They can also be free, and then the online store site’s cost will only include payment for hosting and domain. There are also paid extensions – with them, the costs will increase but will consist of premium features & support from the plugin developer.
Before the release of the now popular WooCommerce, this plugin was in the lead. Now, WP eCommerce is used by more than 60,000 websites, which is why it takes second place in the ranking.
The plugin allows you to manage products in the admin panel – go to the section with the appropriate name. Here the user can add or delete items, create categories, add product labels. A handy feature of WP eCommerce is the ability to create several different variants of the same product. For example, if you sell electric guitars of the same model but in different colours, you don’t need to create additional cards – add several variations of the same product.
You can also use WP eCommerce to distribute coupons for store products. This tool is also in the product line management tab. The user can select the specific products that the promotion code applies to and set the expiration date.
Like WooCommerce, WP eCommerce is also available for free. But if you want to expand its functionality, you’ll have to install additional extensions. In most cases, the price starts at $12.
The plugin is mainly used for Western online stores, so useful information in communities and forums can only be found in English. The interface is less clear than in WooCommerce, so beginners may have problems. There are also fewer tools and features provided in this plugin. But overall, WP eCommerce – is not a bad plugin for online sales if you are willing to understand it and buy extensions.
At the moment, eShop has been downloaded more than 10 thousand times, which makes it one of the most popular plugins for online stores in WordPress. It has the necessary tools you need for online sales, but some nuances are better to consider before installing it.
Management is done through the eShop tab on the admin panel. Here the user can work with products, customize the catalogue display mode, and choose delivery methods. It’s also possible to track the status of orders, work with the product database, and view documents uploaded to the site. eShop provides the ability to configure emails to customers – for this purpose; the plugin provides ready-made templates that you can fix at your discretion.
The main problem is that the plugin is in English.
‘By the way, talk about extensions: eShop has them, and they are free. But there are just over 20 of them, which may not be enough for a large online store. The plugin itself is also free, which can be considered its clear advantage.
By all parameters wins WooCommerce, is a simple, convenient, and functional plugin, which by default has all the necessary tools for the organization of sales in the online store. WooCommerce is free, many extensions for it are also freely available. It is also easy to get started with, even if you have not encountered online stores before. Its popularity and several million downloads only confirm the quality of the plugin.
But that doesn’t mean that the other products on the list don’t need consideration. WP eCommerce and eShop are also free, and if you want to test them, you don’t have to spend money. They also have strengths, and some users may find the interface more user-friendly.
If you decide to use WooCommerce, however, it is worth choosing your hosting responsibly. Vital if your online store is a large site with thousands of catalog items. The power of regular shared hosting might not be enough, so we recommend considering VPS hosting – with it and the store’s work, and as a result, sales will be stable and uninterrupted.