Selling online used to require extensive technical knowledge. You needed to know how to code your own store, process payments, and more just to get started. That doesn’t take into account managing products, inventory, and finances required to run a business.
But today, WordPress makes it easy and extremely affordable to open an online store. You can get a domain and hosting for about $50 per year, and it only takes five minutes to launch your site.
From there, add one of these ecommerce plugins with a few clicks and you will be on your way to add products, connecting a payment gateway, and selling your first product.
Billed as one of the most popular ecommerce website platforms available, BigCommerce provides numerous ways to sell at the enterprise or small business level as well as works effectively for B2B companies. It offers a buy button for blogs and email as well as a completely customizable ecommerce site building tool, using its own product features, APIs, and integration with other tools like WordPress.
You will be able to manage shipping and payments as well as immediately list your products on sites like Amazon, Google Shopping, eBay, and Facebook. There are numerous pricing levels and a free trial that make this WordPress plugin work for everyone.
The biggest and most powerful ecommerce solution for WordPress is WooCommerce. WooCommerce is a formerly independent company that was bought by Automattic, the company that makes WordPress, in May, 2015. WooCommerce allows for selling both digital products and physical products with limitless options to customize. It works with most WordPress themes, connects with many different payment gateways, and while it has many options, it is generally pretty easy to work
Like any other plugin available in the WordPress plugin directory, you can download and install this plugin for free. The easiest option is to click on the plugins link in your WordPress dashboard and searching for WooCommerce to install automatically. Additional features and extensions are available for free and purchase at WooCommerce.com.
Easy Digital Downloads
If you only plan to sell digital products that can be downloaded, Easy Digital Downloads, sometimes lovingly referred to as EDD in the WordPress world, is a great choice. Unlike WooCommerce, which has an army of coders working behind the scenes, EDD is a small team of contributors led by WordPress pro Pippin Williamson.
EDD is easier to work with than WooCommerce, as it has fewer options from the start. But like WooCommerce, the core is free and there are plenty of paid plugins to extend the features to include additional payment gateways, selling options, and more.
iThemes is one of the biggest WordPress focused companies in existence. It is responsible for iThemes Security, one of the most popular WordPress security plugins, and Backup Buddy, one of the most popular backup solutions. Like iThemes Security, iThemes Exchange is a free plugin with premium features available.
This plugin is all about making selling on WordPress easy. It takes about five minutes to get your first product up for sale. It is optimized for the Stripe payment gateway, though PayPal is also supported. Add-ons allow you to offer coupons, multiple items in one cart, additional reporting, and membership features for your site.
MarketPress not as big as WooCommerce or EDD, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth considering. Out of the box, MarketPress contains 15 payment gateways, shipping features, Google Analytics support, social sharing features, inventory management, and an easy-to-follow setup wizard.
This plugin comes from the team at WPMU DEV, a group that creates valuable WordPress developer resources, tools for site owners, and a handful of high-quality plugins. WPMU Dev offers a suite of useful plugin for $49 per month, but MarketPress is available free of charge.
While it doesn’t work through a native plugin like the others, Shopify is also worth a mention. With Shopify, you create a store on the Shopify platform that you can then embed into a page on your WordPress site.
Shopify and Shopify Plus are meant for selling across the entire web, not just on WordPress, so it may do more than you need. The price tag is also a heck of a lot higher than the free plugins above, with a basic plan starting at $29 per month. But it is very easy to use and requires very little technical knowledge, so it is a popular option as well.
Selling online is easy with WordPress
With WordPress, starting a website takes five minutes. Starting a store takes just a few minutes more. If you have something to sell, there are plenty of platforms to choose from. Between eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, you have a huge reach. But there is nothing like having your own website with your own .com.
At a cost of about $50 per year, your business can’t afford not to have its own website. WordPress powers 26% of sites on the web, and for good reason. If you have been holding out, start your WordPress site today!