Is WordPress Good for eCommerce?
WordPress powers over 35% of all the websites operating across the internet. With more than 60.8% share of the CMS market alone, it is without a doubt among the best content management systems.
Other than CMS, WordPress also has a commanding presence in the eCommerce market. WooCommerce, an eCommerce plugin for WordPress, ranks among the most popular plugins with more than 68% usage distribution. Moreover, it runs over 3 million live websites globally.
Should you choose WordPress for your eCommerce site? Read on to discover the advantages and drawbacks of this CMS for eCommerce.
How to Use WordPress for eCommerce?
If you want to run a multipurpose site, you should go for WordPress. It is the best website builder out there and is way ahead of competitors like Drupal and Joomla. You gain the flexibility to create any kind of website using the Admin panel.
You can create an eCommerce website on WordPress using plugins. Search from over 55,000 plugins within its library before installing and activating those that match your needs. There are quite a few plugins like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce, and more that will help set up an online store quickly and easily. WooCommerce is the most popular plugin that gives you complete control over your store.
To learn more about the best available eCommerce plugins for WordPress and how to use them, continue by reading more in our next article.
Most of the plugins that integrate with WordPress are designed to ease the task of adding products, managing inventory, and running reports. You can add as many plugins as you need to make your store more user-friendly.
While some eCommerce plugins are free, some like Shopify charges a monthly or annual subscription fee. However, keeping the site on WordPress gives you full-fledged control. Besides, WordPress is highly compatible across devices and optimized for search engine crawling as well.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using WordPress for Ecommerce
First of all, WordPress is an open-source platform and is offered for free. You need to bear the cost of hosting and buy a domain before you are ready to get started. Even the most popular eCommerce plugin, WooCommerce, is free to an extent.
The best part about WordPress is that you can use it to build a multipurpose site. Still, this is not the case with eCommerce only platforms. It’s difficult to run blogs or other content strategies for SEO. If you’re eyeing a small-scale online store, WordPress is a good option. However, if you plan to run a big eCommerce business, a dedicated eCommerce platform might be a better strategy. Also, if you are new to website design and development, you will find it easier to create full-fledged eCommerce sites with a plethora of plugins and themes.
Here are some of the advantages of using WordPress for eCommerce:
- Simple To Install and Operate – You do not need any coding knowledge to build eCommerce sites on this platform. Just download the desired theme and make changes by dragging and dropping the content around. Everything can be accessed via a sleek dashboard.
- Smooth eCommerce Integration – Get access to a lot of free and paid themes to design your online storefront as you need it. Add as many plugins as needed to make your eCommerce website feature-rich. With WordPress, you do not even need to hire a developer. Plus, it is extremely easy to manage content using this platform.
- Easy Customization – WordPress makes the process of adding and managing inventory easy and straightforward. It provides an easy-to-use dashboard that you can use as quickly as you write a blog post to configure complex products. Additionally, you also get the benefit of SEO (using plugins like Yoast, RankMath, and more).
- Multiple Payment Gateways Supported– eCommerce sites need to support a lot of payment options. WordPress supports PayPal, ChronoPay, Google Pay, CCAvenue, and many other third-party gateways. The WooCommerce plug-in, for example, accepts pre-installed payment methods like Simplify Commerce, PayPal, direct bank transfer, cash on request, and check payment.
While there are not many disadvantages of using WordPress, there are some notable drawbacks of employing WordPress for eCommerce purposes:
- Editing Themes and Plugins can get tricky
- WordPress sites are prone to cyber-attacks
- You will have to make peace with a lot of frequent updates
- Limited customization for eCommerce (compared to Shopify or other pay to use platforms)
How About Competition Between Plugins vs Ecommerce Only Platforms
Recent data pointed out that more than 500+ websites are created on WordPress daily, while 60 to 80 sites are created on platforms like Shopify and Squarespace. Talk about dedicated plugins and WooCommerce (dedicated eCommerce plugin for WordPress) powers over 28% of all online stores.
While Shopify is more of an all-in-one platform, WordPress plugins are only a good fit if you have an existing website. Other eCommerce platforms like Magento and OpenCart are not as user-friendly unless you understand the nitty-gritty of coding.
When you build an eCommerce site on WordPress, you have to find a hosting provider and buy a domain to get started. On the other hand, platforms like Shopify come with integrated hosting. If you check the associated price, eCommerce-only platforms costs can rise rather quickly. However, with WordPress, small business owners gain the luxury of using free and freemium plugins along with themes to run their stores.
Ecommerce only platforms focus on security, and most provide built-in SSL for encrypted transactions and are also PCI compliant. This might not be the case with WordPress as your hosting provider might charge you additionally for an SSL certificate. Another important difference to mention is that while plugins are built with SEO compatibility in mind, extensions for eCommerce-only platforms can get tricky for average users.
Although WordPress has a lot of features, it is not the right fit for everyone. If you want complete control of your eCommerce site without paying hefty subscription fees as well as transaction charges, WordPress is what you need. A small to medium-sized eCommerce site will work perfectly, but a large site will run into hiccups like slower load times, outages, and difficulties scaling.
On the contrary, if you want everything to be taken care of by someone or need a lot of payment and third-party integrations, choose an eCommerce only platform. To wrap it up, we recommend that you consider business needs, coding familiarity, potential traffic, and scaling goals before determining the appropriate eCommerce website solution.