WordPress is the most popular website builder in the world, with over 20% of the world’s websites running on the platform.
It is also an incredibly versatile platform, with plugins that allow you to do pretty much anything but one of the most popular questions is how to add an ecommerce store?
Well there are a variety of plugins that you can choose from to do this but which ones are the best?
To answer that question, I created this post to list the best plugins to help you start selling from your WordPress website.
Disclosure – this post does contain affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a service from one of the links in this post. I receive a small commission that helps me keep this site running.
#1: Ecwid – Best Overall Plugin
In my opinion, the best option for adding an online store to WordPress is Ecwid as it brings together all the performance and security of a fully hosted ecommerce platform, directly in to your WordPress dashboard.
The Ecwid platform and plugin, really does bring together the concept of content + commerce in one easy to use package. You can test the platform out for free as their introductory plan is free for life and allows you to sell up to 10 products, for many businesses, this might be all they need.
To get access to all of the features of Ecwid, you will need to upgrade to one of their paid packages, which are very reasonably priced at £15, £35 and £99 a month. With the all of the paid packages you get the following features:
- Secure PCI compliant hosting on Amazon Web Services
- Unlimited Bandwidth
- No Turnover Limit
- No Transaction Fees
- Sell Digital Goods
- Discount Coupons
- Gift Cards
- Custom Meta Data
- Social Selling (Facebook and Instagram)
- Large Selection of Payment Gateways
One of the big pluses of the Ecwid platform is the ability to sell directly via your Facebook pages and Instagram accounts. Being able to monetise these social platforms is great and removes the extra step of having to visit your site to buy from you.
Unlike some other plugins mentioned on this list, you get support from the Ecwid team. This means that should you run into any difficulties with the ecommerce aspect of your site, there is someone you can contact to help you get up and running.
You also don’t have to worry about update conflicts, which can be an issue for some ecommerce plugins. This is because the Ecwid platform operates independently from your WordPress site even though it appears in your dashboard and one the front end of your website. This also means there there is less chance of you facing theme issues as well, which is good as not all themes are ecommerce friendly.
So that is all the positives but there are a few negatives with the platform as well, the main one being that if you want to offer anything more than traditional b2c ecommerce, you won’t be able to do that on the platform. The second is that to get access to all of the features, you will need to be on a paid plan, which you will need to pay on top of your existing hosting fees.
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#2: WooCommerce – Best Self Hosted Plugin
WooCommerce powers more ecommerce websites than any other platform in the world. This is a testament to how good this plugin is.
Originally developed independently, the plugin was so successful that Automatic, the company behind the WordPress platform acquired the plugin.
While the basic WooCommerce plugin is very basic when it comes to features, the amount of add-on plugins available is incredible. From adding basic functionality to being able to create multi vendor marketplaces and booking website to name but a few. With the basic plugin, you get the following features:
- Free to use
- Discount Coupons
- PayPal Payments Standard
- Auto Generated Email
- Custom Delivery Methods
- Sell Digital Goods
As I said above, it is pretty light on features but there is a good chance that there is a plugin out there that can do what you need.
While you can get limited support from WooCommerce, there is a huge amount of knowledge out there online when it comes to the plugin including how to guides for most things. There is also good support from the WordPress community who will usually give very good advice if you post a question in the public forum.
Now, there is no arguing that WooCommerce is a great plugin but it does have a couple of drawbacks. The main one being that WooCommerce is quite a resource heavy plugin which can slow your site down quite a bit unless it is set up correctly, this can sometimes be compounded if you require a large number of plugins to get it working exactly how you want it.
A second thing also refers to the plugins, if you require specific functionality that isn’t available in free plugins or payment gateways other than PayPal, Stripe and Klarna then you are going to have to pay for it and some of these plugins can be quite expensive.
Check Out My Full Review
Of the WooCommerce Plugin
#3: Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) – Best for Digital Products
The third option on my list is probably the most specialised plugin, even though it can be used to sell physical products, the primary function of Easy Digital Downloads is giving you the ability to sell digital products directly on your WordPress website.
As the primary focus is digital products, they have stripped out a lot of the features that you would need to sell physical products, meaning that the plugin is lightweight and won’t cause too much drain on your server resources.
The core plugin is free to install and use and gives you all the basic things you need to start selling your digital products. If you want more advanced features, then you will have to buy the premium version of the plugin. But with the core plugin you get:
- Individual Customer Management
- Discount Codes
- Data Reporting
- PayPal and Amazon Pay gateways
EDD have also got a range of extensions that you can install to improve the basic plugin and these are a combination of paid and free. There also a good selection of third-party plugins on the WordPress directory that offer more features to the core plugin.
While the plugin is very specialised, sometimes it is better to have the right tool for the job, rather than trying to make something else work. Before you commit to using EDD, I would recommend thinking about what features you need and seeing if these are going to cost you and how much as annual costs could soon mount up, especially for a new website.
Check Out EDD
Free WordPress Plugin
So there it is, my selection of ecommerce platforms that offer a good selection of b2b features that will enable you to build a very good trade website for your business.
Many of the platforms offer very similar features but some offer something a little bit different such as Quotes (ShopWired) or Pro Forma Invoices (Bluepark) and will very much depend on your business as to which features that you need.
Before committing to any of them though, I would recommend giving the platforms a try first to not only see if they can do what you need but also to see if you find the platforms easy to use.