Creating a money-making website with WordPress is an easier process when you take advantage of WordPress ecommerce plugins. We know this firsthand, having spent countless hours helping others build WordPress stores, as well as building them ourselves. We think WooCommerce is the best WordPress ecommerce plugin for the majority of users. It is incredibly easy to use, while delivering a host of highly useful features.
The Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugin for Most
When you install WooCommerce, you have the ability to customize the plugin to match your exact needs. You don’t need to be an expert to have immediate success in setting your WordPress ecommerce site apart. And, if you do have a little bit of expertise in this regard, WooCommerce has numerous features that will help you design a truly unique and impressive online store.
WooCommerce is open-source and free to install. WooCommerce makes money by offering add-on extensions and themes for a fee that you may want to use, but it also has a number of free storefront themes on offer.
The Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugins to Consider
- WooCommerce – Best for Most
- Shopify – Best for a High-End Online Store
- Ecwid – Best for Multiple Types of Sites
- BigCommerce – Best for Complex Product Catalogs
- Easy Digital Downloads – Best for Selling Digital Products
When It Makes Sense to Invest in WordPress Ecommerce Plugins
You may already have a strong WordPress site or you may be looking to create a new one altogether. Either way, when you want to begin selling products, WordPress ecommerce plugins greatly simplify and enhance the process. They run the gamut of tools from building better store designs to automating and streamlining inventory management and order fulfillment.
An ecommerce plugin for WordPress will make it far easier to build your online store, especially if it walks you through every step required to add products, set prices, add photographs, create descriptions, and perform other aspects of creating an online store.
To make sure your customers find your online store as trustworthy and professional looking as possible, plugins can also help you with design. These online store themes will deliver a look and feel that will impress visitors and boost conversions.
As your customer base and online store grow, the work may become overwhelming. A quality WordPress ecommerce plugin will simplify the process of selling and shipping your items, freeing up your time for other aspects of running your business. Powerful plugins help you create shipping labels, streamlining the process of sending your products to your customers.
Your online store needs to be able to accept payments easily from your visitors. The ecommerce plugin for WordPress that you select should be able to, at a minimum, connect your storefront to popular and trustworthy payment gateways. Additionally, it may be able to calculate sales tax and shipping costs for you.
#1 – WooCommerce – The Best for Most
WooCommerce is one of the most popular ecommerce plugins for WordPress, and with good reason. It has multiple aspects to it that are extremely easy to use, yet it also can handle any complexities that your online store may have.
WooCommerce themes contain excellent designs, and you’ll find some beautiful online store options even among the free options.
You can sell both digital and physical products with WooCommerce, as well as affiliate products.
For physical products, WooCommerce has features aimed to help you with inventory management and shipping options. It can handle all the most popular payment gateways, plus calculate taxes for you.
WooCommerce is free to use when you are only tapping into the basic features. However, if you would like to make use of high-end themes, extensions, and other advanced features, you will run into some fees.
We like WooCommerce as a WordPress ecommerce plugin, but we also included it in our list of the best WordPress plugins overall. It’s safe to say that WooCommerce ranks highly in a lot of criteria that we feel are important for WordPress users.
See what WooCommerce can do for your WordPress store by signing up today.
#2 – Shopify – The Best for a High-End Online Store
Shopify is a standalone web store builder but also offers a separate WordPress plugin that simplifies merging the two platforms. If you select Shopify to go with your WordPress site, you will receive one of the best online store management interfaces on the market.
The Shopify and WordPress sites you own will be separate. Basically, you will use the WP Shopify plugin to create a buy button that connects your WordPress store and Shopify account.
With Shopify, you receive an all-in-one ecommerce tool that can help you with managing your inventory, accepting payments, calculating taxes, and setting up shipping. Shopify even gives you abandoned cart recovery and multi-channel selling as default features, something that WP ecommerce plugins rarely offer without add-on costs.
Shopify offers multiple fixed pricing tiers ranging from $39 to $399 per month. Take advantage of their three-day free trial to try it on for size.
#3 – Ecwid – The Best for Multi-Channel Selling
With Ecwid, you can use its plugin to quickly begin selling products on your WordPress store, but it also offers compatibility with sites like Tumblr, Facebook, Tiktok, YouTube, and more, allowing you to sell your items through those channels as well.
Ecwid makes it easy to market and sell products on all of them, rather than picking different ecommerce plugins for each platform and site.
Against some of the other WordPress ecommerce plugins on our list, Ecwid offers quite a few more features as part of its basic package, including automated tax calculation, inventory management, and discount coupons.
You can begin using Ecwid for free. As long as you have 10 or fewer products, you can continue using it for free forever. Or, subscribe to one of the pay tiers, which allow you to sell far more products and which offer several extra features. Paid tiers run from $12.50 to $99 per month.
Start pushing your goods on more channels by using Ecwid with your WordPress site.
#4 – BigCommerce – The Best for Complex Product Catalogs
BigCommerce is well-known for its ability to help you create an online store that has a highly complex product catalog.
Until recently, however, you could not incorporate a BigCommerce online store with your WordPress site. Now that BigCommerce has a WordPress ecommerce plugin, you can take advantage of this seamless integration.
When you are running a complex online store with a large number of products and non-traditional selling requirements, BigCommerce is able to handle all the nuances and details in an easy-to-use interface. For example, a big benefit is BigCommerce’s capability to handle international currency with ease.
As an added advantage, BigCommerce has agreements in place with multiple credit card processing companies, ensuring that you will receive the best possible rates.
You do not have to understand coding to be able to build out your intricate online store on BigCommerce, regardless of the level of complexity required.
BigCommerce does not publicize its pricing, but you can request a pricing quote through the BigCommerce website.
#5 – Easy Digital Downloads – The Best for Selling Digital Products
Best for Selling Digital Products
When selling digital products like ebooks and music, using a WP ecommerce plugin that specializes in these products will provide the best results. Easy Digital Downloads has the features you want, and its basic package is free to use.
Easy Digital Downloads focuses on digital products such as ebooks, music, PDF files, and videos. This means it doesn’t give you features you won’t need as a digital-only product seller, such as inventory management or shipping calculations. By focusing on issues related to selling digital products, Easy Digital Downloads is able to give you the highest possible level of service.
Newcomers who are seeking to sell digital products will appreciate how easily they can begin using Easy Digital Downloads immediately. You also gain access to multiple other features for items like payment gateways and various marketing tools.
If you already have a WordPress site up and running with a theme that you like, Easy Digital Downloads can work in conjunction with nearly any WordPress theme. So, there’s no worry that utilizing it will push you back to square one on your site design.
You can select a free plan with Easy Digital Downloads or upgrade to a paid subscription plan. These plans start at just under $100 per year and go as high as almost $500 per year.
Methodology for Choosing the Best WordPress Ecommerce Plugins
As we put together our list of the best ecommerce plugins for WordPress, we focused on these major criteria of importance.
What Products Are You Selling?
Some ecommerce WordPress plugins will have specific features aimed at those who are selling physical products that require shipping and managing the inventory you have on hand. Others may have a focus on helping you sell digital products that don’t require shipping, like ebooks or music.
Or, perhaps you plan on selling both digital and physical products. Think about the products you plan to sell and make sure the plugin you’re considering fits those needs. The products we’ve reviewed here include options for any of the above scenarios.
Payment Gateway Support
You’ll need to select a plugin that will need to support the payment gateways you want to use with your online store. This is the technology that allows you to accommodate different ways for customers to pay and allows you to receive payments from your customers.
If you are planning to sell internationally, you may have specific payment gateways requirements. Understand that some gateways that claim to offer international support do not offer support in certain countries. Do some research in this area before selecting an ecommerce plugin if this is important to you.
Frequency of Updates
If the developer of the plugin does a poor job of updating the plugin, you probably are going to end up with compatibility problems in short order. WordPress constantly has new versions available. Some of these new versions may render your existing plugin incompatible, potentially causing your online store to stop functioning properly, which will frustrate customers.
Furthermore, infrequent updates to plugins can present other problems, like emergent security vulnerabilities or issues with integrating the plugin with other tools you use outside of WordPress.
You do not want to make use of a plugin that the developer clearly is no longer supporting. Check the list of recent version release dates for the plugin you are considering to make sure it gets routine updates.
Help from Fellow Users
Plugins typically aren’t going to give you a wide range of customer and technical support options, if any. Developers often provide online documentation about how the plugin works, providing troubleshooting suggestions you can try on your own.
However, if you need help from a real person, consider looking for an ecommerce plugin that has an extensive collection of other users. These users may even have an online community where people share their ideas and help each other troubleshoot problems. Selecting a plugin with a vibrant and active community of users can be an invaluable resource versus a plugin without many other users.
That being said, many of the options we’ve presented above are full-fledged offerings from mature companies (like Shopify and BigCommerce). Check their plans for support options if that level of assistance is important to you.
The Top WordPress Ecommerce Plugins in Summary
Although we prefer WooCommerce as the best WordPress ecommerce plugin for the majority of users, we understand your circumstances may warrant selecting another option. Shopify is another popular option, and we’ve put together a comprehensive WooCommerce vs. Shopify comparison that you may find helpful.
Ultimately, adding an ecommerce plugin to your WordPress site will give you the ability to create a high-functioning online store in very little time. We can’t guarantee that your new ecommerce site will be a huge hit immediately, but you’ll have a better chance with these plugins than you do without them.