The Best eCommerce Plugins for WordPress
Thankfully, WordPress is designed for extensibility through add-ons called plugins. There are many eCommerce plugins available, enabling you to add an online store to any self-hosted WordPress site. By choosing and installing the right plugin, you can easily begin selling products within minutes.
This article first explains the benefits of eCommerce plugins for WordPress. We’ll then introduce several of the most popular solutions and highlight their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, we’ll discuss choosing the right one for your WordPress website.
Why Use a WordPress eCommerce Plugin for Your Online Store
If you already have a WordPress website and want to get started with an eCommerce store, there are plenty of available plugins to choose from. By building onto your existing site, you can avoid the hassle of creating and managing a brand new eCommerce site completely from scratch.
In other words, WordPress eCommerce plugins make the switch from blog to the online store a cinch. There are a number to choose from and each has its own benefits, so let’s take a look at your options.
WordPress eCommerce Plugin Comparison
Of course, every plugin will have its own unique features and strengths. We’ve compiled the best WordPress eCommerce plugins. Let’s explore each one.
One of the biggest benefits of working with WooCommerce is access to a wide number of third-party extensions. As an open-source plugin, any developer is welcome to build their own WooCommerce extensions and customize the platform. Most of the common payment gateways also offer a WooCommerce extension plugin—some even for free.
Overall, the WooCommerce plugin is a robust option for almost any kind of WordPress store, as it provides most of the features you need out of the box. Many advanced features will likely have an available extension, too. If you’re looking for a flexible store with various options for growth, try WooCommerce.
WP Engine offers WooCommerce Hosting specifically for online stores built with this plugin. Double your store page speed, serve more concurrent shoppers, gain access to Stripe Payments integration and storefront layouts for quick setup, and enjoy auto-plugin updates for every store. Find out more here or speak to a representative now!
Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is yet another robust WordPress plugin offering full eCommerce functionality. As you can tell by the name, there’s a bigger focus on selling digital products than physical ones. As such, its options and add-ons are geared toward advanced digital product sales.
As EDD is particularly streamlined for digital sales, you may find the interface makes more sense if you’re selling products such as PDFs or software. The EDD plugin is also capable of selling physical items, but the process is not nearly as intuitive and isn’t included out of the box, unlike WooCommerce.
You’ll also discover that advanced digital features such as recurring subscriptions and software update APIs are readily available in add-on form—something that may be a bit harder to find in similar plugins.
Shopify is a separately-hosted eCommerce management service, which can be integrated into WordPress using an officially supported code. The Shopify Buy Button creates a standalone mini-storefront on your WordPress site, connecting it directly with Shopify’s shopping cart platform.
As the Shopify Buy Button is not technically a WordPress plugin, it’s not fair to directly compare it to the rest of this list. That said, Shopify offers a free trial period, so it may be worth trying both WooCommerce and Shopify yourself to compare.
Alternatively, WP Engine offers the Atlas Shopify Blueprint for connecting Shopify storefronts to a WordPress backend. Find out more here!
BigCommerce for WordPress is a scalable solution that provides the best of both worlds, integrating your content and commerce seamlessly as you present customers with both important information and access to the products and services you provide. The WordPress plugin is a way to continue using the front-end and content management systems you already love while supercharging your eCommerce offerings, even if you sell products across multiple sites.
Because there are no transaction charges for the seller and the plugin handles your PCI compliance for you, BigCommerce for WordPress is great for building complex catalogs and managing high traffic, lots of orders, and important analytics.
With more than 65 payment gateway integrations available right out of the box, it’s one of the most powerful eCommerce plugins for WordPress, especially for sellers using multiple channels such as such as eBay, Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Shopping.
Additionally, similar to the Shopify Blueprint for Atlas, WP Engine also offers a BigCommerce Blueprint for spinning up headless eCommerce sites that connect to an existing BigCommerce storefront.
What’s the Best WordPress eCommerce Plugin for You?
If you’re looking for an eCommerce plugin that can handle any situation, WooCommerce is a good place to start. On the other hand, if you’re more focused on selling digital products, Easy Digital Downloads may be more suitable and will also offer intuitive features specific to your needs.
If you’d like to avoid managing your online store in WordPress altogether, a managed service such as Shopify will still let you embed Buy buttons on your website.
Whichever route you choose, it’s important to remember what drives your eCommerce site is the server it’s installed on. A stellar hosting provider such as WP Engine ensures consistent uptime and fast-loading pages for your users, as does taking steps to protect your customer’s personal data. Find out more here or chat with us now!