E-Commerce: The Latest in WordPress Evolution

ecommerce

At first there was blogging. Then after a number of years, talks turned to the idea of WordPress being a true content management system. Now, WordPress is coming into a new phase of its evolution and is becoming the number one e-commerce platform on the Internet. If you own an e-commerce storefront, or are thinking about starting one soon, you’ll want to take a look at WordPress for your e-commerce platform.

Along with the easy to use interface, there are a number of plugins available that can be installed on the platform to help you with your e-commerce functions and features. The third party shopping cart plugins have been slowly evolving along with WordPress for the last several years. Being able to integrate your WordPress content management system and shopping cart will help to create a seamless user experience for your customers. Being able to sell products on your WordPress site has come a long way, and having the seamless integration will benefit your e-commerce site in a number of different ways.

WooCommerce

One of the most comprehensive wordpress ecommerce plugin on the market, WooCommerce offers a host of powerful features. WooThemes, an online company that offers a large catalog of rich WordPress themes released their e-commerce framework as a fork of the popular Jigoshop plugin notes Brian Casel, founder of CasJam Media. E-Commerce sites that use the WooCommerce plugin are able to feature multiple product types on their site including, simple, configurable, and downloadable. The plugin also offers inventory management tools, comprehensive tax and shipping options, powerful marketing tools, and extensive reporting features. This plugin is extremely powerful despite its easy to use interface.

Cart66

All of the e-Commerce functionality that you would come to expect can be found with the Cart66 plugin. It is easy and perfect for many types of online WordPress stores notes Kyla Glover, writer for WP Explorer. When you use this plugin with your WordPress site you are able to configure your products, work with your shipping and tax options, track your inventory, as well as a number of other things. The difference with Cart66 as compared to other WordPress e-Commerce plugins, is the premium membership subscriptions and the ability to sell both digital and physical products with this plugin. The ability to set up premium membership subscriptions is helpful if you are selling items that need to be set up on a recurring payment or if you are selling a monthly subscription of some kind. There are two versions of Cart66 that you can use, the free ‘lite’ version that has limited functionality, or you can purchase a licensed version for between $89 to $399.

Shopp

The Shopp plugin is licensed as a core framework for between $55 and $299 depending on how many sites you are planning on using it on. It is one of the older e-Commerce plugins for WordPress and has had a lot of time to be developed and improved upon since it first entered into the market. The plugin is easy to install and use, and it seems a lot cleaner that the free plugins, notes Kyle Prior, reviewer for Six Revisions. Of all the other e-Commerce plugins for WordPress, Shopp’s design customization feature is simple. Like WooCommerce, Shopp has a number of premium add-ons that add additional functionality to the site. Many of these can be purchased for $25 each. One upgrade for Shopp that stands above the crowded realm of WordPress e-Commerce plugins, is the Priority Support Calls add-on. This feature allows storeowners to receive faster response times when they have questions about their plugin.

Get Shopped

This plugin is also known as WP e-Commerce. This e-Commerce plugin for WordPress has been around for quiet awhile and has over 2.5 million downloads in the last 5 years, according to Practical e-Commerce. It takes a much simpler approach to selling your products than many of the other plugins that you can find on the Internet. Like Shopp, this plugin provides you with a majority of the more common e-Commerce functionality, plus it includes a few features that make it stand out from the crowd. The core version of this plugin is free to download, and if you want additional features you can purchase them as premium extensions. You can even purchase a package that includes live product search, some payment gateways and other premium benefits.

WordPress has come a long way since it first came on the market as a blogging site. Now with some great looking themes and some easily integrated plugins, anyone can turn their business into an e-Commerce site. The possibility to sell products on WordPress has come a very long way and in fact has become the norm for e-Commerce storefronts. With the plugins and framework that have been developed, being able to sell your products online through your WordPress site is a great step forward.

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