WordPress is still my CMS (content management system of choice) for most clients because of its ease of use and adaptability. However, because the platform was originally for “blogging” it does not have any built in ecommerce (online shopping) features. Many first time website owners and buyers get suckered in to purchasing an ecommerce platform but will then find they are stuck with that system for their website.
Why Use WordPress for Your Online Store?
The beauty of using an ecommerce plugin on a WordPress install is that you can still alter the website around the “store” and have access to a wide range of powerful plugins. Because there is so much support for the WordPress platform you will have no trouble finding a couple of great ecommerce plugins (as well as plugins for those plugins).
For the purposes of simplicity, and the fact I have worked with these programs extensively, I will only be speaking about two particular ecommerce plugins for wordpress: WooCommerce and WP-Ecommerce.
WooCommerce and WP Ecommerce Comparisons
Both Woocommerce and WP Ecommerce have a lot in common and, to be honest, you can get a lot of functionality out of each. The big difference is that I have found WooCommerce a little but more user friendly although it is still difficult to configure if you don’t know what you’re doing. I also found Woocommerce to be a little “prettier” from the get go without the need for any additional addons. For WP-Ecommerce to be looking like a professional ecommerce store you will probably need to purchase the “Gold Cart” addon.
Both feature very easy to use stock control and are relatively easy to integrate with Paypal for secure payment and accepting credit cards. For Australian users, both have Australia Post shipping addons, although there is a WooCommerce one available for about $17 while the WP Ecommerce one costs about $69 – a big difference!
While I am hesitant to declare one better than the other I do now use Woocommerce for a variety of reasons. My advice is to try both out as they are free plugins and see which one you are more comfortable with. For an example of Woocommerce in action you can visit my art gallery.