Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Four Good WordPress E-Commerce Plugins

Hello from Allan at MindVisionMedia.net again, I hope this post finds you all well.

I get a lot of inquiries about which plugin or program to use for WP e-commerce. 
I have used several myself and installed and set up several for clients as well and there are 4 that really stick out for user friendliness and cost to get started. 

I would consider all of these to range from simple to moderate in technical detail and ability. Almost anybody can set one of these up in no time depending on how many products you have and the specifics you need for each.

Be sure to check with your hosting company to make sure they have enough WP support to run your e-commerce option. These are all free and offer other features, options and add-ons that you can purchase to enhance your online store and the control features you have.

The first is Ecwid, this free plugin offers a handy e-commerce widget that is easy to implement on any page or post through the use of a shortcode. 

The set up at Ecwid.com is friendly and easy as well providing more options than one would expect from a free service. Once you have your products created and all of the settings configured, it is just a matter of dragging the Ecwid e-commerce Plugin widget into the sidebar of your choice or add the store to a page of your choice using the provided "shortcodes".

The free plan includes all standard e-commerce features, and paid plans start at $15 per month and grant you more advanced features such as discount settings and inventory control. Check it out and see if it's the right e-commerce solution for your WordPress site or Blog.

Next we have Shopify, get your online retail plan going with this stylish and versatile e-commerce solution. What I like about this one is the ability to customize the look and feel pretty much however you want. 

I have worked on and seen some pretty nice "looking" online stores using this one.

They offer over 100 templates and even have an iPad Point-of-Sale feature that syncs all of your online and brick and mortar products, inventory, orders etc making it easier for business owners to manage their business.

Probably one of the most known free e-commerce plugins for WordPress  is WooCommerce. This is another option for your online store that offers great themes ($) to help you customize the look and feel of your business.
You get all the basic features including order management, shipping and tax adjustments, customer account area, sales reports, inventory management options, coupon options and a whole lot more. If you are looking for a plugin that is popular, this is it. 

A quick note to consider though is that not all hosting companies offer full WordPress support which can impact whether or not you can run WooCommerce on your server. Check with your hosting company to see if they support WooCommerce before you get all exited, I have had personal experience getting one all setup and the hosting company couldn't run it properly.

The last one is WP e-Commerce. A bit of a trend setter, this e-commerce option was one of the few solutions for WordPress years ago before a lot of the others were developed. 

Of course this one has everything you need as do most, control over inventory, shipping, discounts, orders, multiple language and currency options, Google Checkout and a lot more, free.

You can buy other features and add-ons to enhance the product but you can definitely get started and go a long way with the free version. These guys were around before all of the options available today so they have had the advantage of finding out what works and what features to provide for those who choose to use this e-commerce option, tried and tested.

So if you are trying to configure an online store or shopping cart, set up an e-commerce site, sell stuff on your blog etc, these 4 WordPress e-commerce options provide enough versatility and comparison to help you make a good decision for your needs. Again just a reminder to check with your hosting company to make sure your choice will work on your current server configuration. Enjoy and happy selling!

Allan Whitney

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