WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world, with over 30% of the world’s top 1 million websites running on the platform, so it makes sense that some clever developer out there would find a way to add ecommerce functionality to the WordPress CMS, but which ones are the best?
Well that is what I am going be looking at in this post and giving the pros and cons of all the plugins mentioned.
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The most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce, which has effectively become the official ecommerce plugin since it was acquired by Automatic who are the owners of the WordPress platform.
In its standard form, the plugin is pretty limited in terms of functionality the plugin is designed to be used a base that can then be built from. Due to the popularity of the plugin, the development community has created a huge selection of plugins (over 1,000 free ones alone!) and this means that a variety of different ecommerce websites can be built, such as:
- B2C Ecommerce Websites
- B2B and Trade Only Websites
- Membership Websites
- Subscription Websites
- Multi-vendor Marketplaces
WooCommerce Pros & Cons
WooCommerce Summary – EcommerceGold Score 3.8 / 5
WooCommerce is a very solid option for selling on WordPress, especially as the core plugin is completely free to use but it is not the most stress free option to use due to the reliability issues that you can face, to minimise this, you want to keep the number of plugins on your site to a minimum and use a theme with good WooCommerce integration.
I have written a more detailed WooCommerce Review, if you want to learn more about this plugin or you can check out WooCommerce for yourself by clicking the button below.
Take a Look at WooCommerce
The free WordPress Ecommerce Plugin
The first of the hosted checkout options is Ecwid, which is the most complete offering of all the hosted options on this list. This is because Ecwid integrates fully with WordPress, allowing you to manage all of the ecommerce aspects such as creating products or managing order directly from the WordPress dashboard.
There is also a very good selection of ecommerce features that come included with Ecwid including:
- Secure PCI compliant checkout
- Sell Physical & Digital products
- Discount Coupons
- Gift Cards
- Facebook Messenger live chat
- Social Selling (Facebook and Instagram)
- Large Selection of Payment Gateways
You can also try Ecwid completely for free with their free package, which allows 10 products and has limited features. If you want access to more products or features, then you will need to go for a paid package and they offer three:
- Venture Package $15/m – Up to 100 products
- Business Package $35/m – Up to 2,500 products
- Unlimited Package $99/m – Unlimited products
Another feature that you get with Ecwid is access to support. This is limited on the free package but on the paid packages it does include live chat and email support, with phone support also included on the Business and Unlimited packages.
Just to be clear, this support is just for the Ecwid platform, not for WordPress in general.
Ecwid Pros & Cons
Ecwid Summary – 4.2 / 5
Ecwid takes a lot of the stress out of running an ecommerce website on WordPress due to the fact that you only need one plugin and there is a team of technicians working to make sure that the platform is working. It is a great option for a normal B2C ecommerce store, whether you are selling physical or digital products.
If you want to know more about Ecwid, check out my Full Ecwid Review or take a look at the Ecwid platform for yourself by clicking the button below.
3. Shopify Lite
Ok, so this isn’t a plugin BUT you can sell on WordPress using Shopify and in my opinion, it is a very good way to sell on WordPress, especially if you only have a small amount of products that you want to sell.
The way Shopify works does require a bit more work on your part but it works really well. This is because you create a product and/or collection with in Shopify, then create a Buy Button for it and then simply copy and paste the HTML code on to your chosen WordPress page (if you want to know more about this, then check out my How to Use Shopify with WordPress post).
With the Shopify Buy Button, your customers can also check out without leaving your site as the Shopify checkout appears as a pop up. You then manage your orders from the Shopify dashboard, meaning that none of your customers data is stored on your site or server.
To use Shopify with WordPress, you only need to use the Shopify Lite package, which is $9/m but also has a 2% transaction fee for any payment taken not using Shopify Payments. Even though it is called the Lite package, you do get a good selection of features, including:
- PCI complaint checkout
- Social Selling via Facebook
- Discount codes
- Sell physical or digital products
- Multiple payment gateways
- Customise button to fit your business/brand
- 24/7 customer support
Shopify Pros & Cons
The Shopify buy button is a very good option for adding ecommerce to an existing WordPress website but does require a little more work as you will have to create pages within WordPress and then paste the Shopify code in for it work, which can be time consuming if you have a large number of products.
But for $9 a month, the Shopify Lite plan is a great option and from a security perspective is very good as all of your products, orders and customer information are managed completely separately from your WordPress website.
4. WP EasyCart
A relatively unknown name is the world of WordPress ecommerce is WP EasyCart but if you are planning on building an ecommerce website on WordPress, then this plugin is something you do want to consider.
Unlike its counterparts WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, WP EasyCart comes loaded with a range of features as standard and they are all built in to the plugin, so no need to install lots of additional plugins but the learning curve for the plugin is a little steeper due to the amount of options that the plugin offers.
WP EasyCart also works with most WordPress themes, which gives you a lot of choices when it comes to the design of your site.
WP EasyCart offers a free to use plugin but if you opt for this, you will pay a 2% transaction fee on top of your payment gateway fees but this is waived on the paid options, which also include additional features such as digital downloads and subscriptions.
WP EasyCart Pros and Cons
WP EasyCart Summary – EcommerceGold Score 4.1 / 5
Definitely an ecommerce plugin that is flying under the radar! The free plugin offers a much more complete package than WooCommerce and the premium package is only $99/yr and includes a very good selection of features and integrations.
I have written a more detailed WP EasyCart Review, if you want to learn more about this plugin or you can check out EDD for yourself by clicking the button below.
Try WP EasyCart
The free WordPress Ecommerce Plugin
The next option on this list of from on of the biggest names in the world of ecommerce (no pun intended!), Bigcommerce. This might be a surprising option for some but the team at Bigcommerce recognised the popularity of WordPress and felt that their platform could work very well on a WordPress website.
Integration between Bigcommerce and WordPress falls somewhere between what Ecwid and Shopify offers, this is because they do have a plugin that imports all of products and categories and displays them within your WordPress site, the checkout also works using iframe, so that you have a secure checkout seemingly on your WordPress site, even though it is actually on the Bigcommerce servers.
But you actually manage your product listings, categories and order from the Bigcommerce dashboard, not the WordPress dashboard. Which means that less sensitive data is stored on your site/server.
Unfortunately, Bigcommerce is the most expensive option on this list as they haven’t created an WordPress specific plans, the plans they offer are:
- Standard $29.95/m – Up to $50k annual turnover
- Plus $79.95/m – Up to $180k annual turnover
- Pro $299.95/m – Up to $400k annual turnover
As these plans aren’t WordPress specific, you may find that you are paying for features that you aren’t going to use, such as the website builder. But you do get a good range of features with Bigcommerce, including
- Product Ratings & Reviews
- Promotions & Special Offers
- Multi Channel Selling (inc Facebook & Instagram)
- Discount Codes & Coupons
- Social Sharing
- PCI Compliant Servers
- Large Selection of Payment Gateways
- 24/7 Support
Bigcommerce Pros & Cons
Bigcommerce Summary – 4.1 / 5
In its current configuration/set up, Bigcommerce isn’t the most viable option as it is quite expensive and some of the features don’t work with the WordPress plugin. Hopefully they will continue to work on and improve this plugin in the future as the potential is definitely there.
I have written a more detailed Bigcommerce Review, if you want to learn more about this plugin or you can check out Bigcommerce for yourself by clicking the button below.
So there it is, my list of the best ecommerce plugins for WordPress (yes, I know that one isn’t!).
But there is one quite popular plugin missing from this list and that is Easy Digital Downloads (known as EDD) and that is because I don’t rate the plugin very highly and if you want to know why, then check out my full Easy Digital Downloads Review.
All of them are very good options and it very much comes down to you and your business as to which is the one that you should go for but in terms of a balance between price, features and general ease of use it does come down to Ecwid and Shopify for me but fortunately, you can try them all out for free so that you can test them out for yourself.