How to implement an eCommerce platform with WordPress

ecommerce

WordPress is one of the most widely-used blogging platforms on the planet. For many consumers, WordPress is equated with WordPress.com, which is a hosted service that anyone can use.

For businesses, however, WordPress.org is where the installable packages can be downloaded such that you can host WordPress on your own on-premises data center servers.

With WordPress up and running, you can then hire the likes of South America software outsourcing companies to help build your site to perfectly meet your needs. One such need is eCommerce. That’s right, the world’s most popular blogging platform can be retooled, without too much work, to serve as your company eCommerce solution.

As for a WordPress-driven eCommerce solution, it is possible to roll out a platform that can serve your large business, one that can take credit/debit cards, offer a full-featured online store, and empower you to sell anything, anywhere.

Even better, a good amount of the third-party tools you’ll need to make this happen are free.

Let’s take a look at how you can get things started and a few of the plugins you can depend upon to make it all work.

WordPress

Obviously you’ll need a running instance of WordPress to build your eCommerce site. Instead of using the hosted WordPress.com solution, you should consider deploying your own instance, as you’ll have more control over what can and cannot be installed. Any IT admin should be able to install WordPress on an existing server. If you don’t have anyone with the skills, you can always hire a third-party, such as a South America software development service.

Once you have WordPress up and running, it’s only a matter of installing the necessary e-commerce add-ons. We’ll now examine some of those tools.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is an open-source, highly customizable eCommerce platform for WordPress. With WooCommerce added to WordPress, your company can then sell anything you want. And with nearly 78 million downloads, you can trust that this addon is not only widely used, but widely supported. WooCommerce includes the following features:

  • Product, cart, and checkout pages.
  • Secure online payments via credit card and other alternatives.
  • Highly configurable shipping options.
  • Label printing.
  • Content integration.
  • Automated tax calculations.
  • Google Analytics, MailChimp, and Facebook integration.
  • Dashboard with embedded key metrics.

You can also enhance your store with paid extensions and even modify functions and build on top of the REST API and webhooks with the help of your in-house developers or software development service provider.

Easy Digital Downloads

If your company offers digital downloads such as image files, books, music, and more, you will want to include the Easy Digital Downloads plugin. This addon is a complete eCommerce solution for selling digital products via WordPress.

Easy Digital Downloads offers an extensive third-party plugin system to greatly extend the feature set, integration for the most common forms of merchant processing and, with the inclusion of third-party extensions, can support many more payment gateways.

The free version of Easy Digital Downloads supports both the PayPal standard and Amazon Payments gateways. The premium version, on the other hand, offers:

  • Stripe
  • PayPal Pro/Express/Payments Advanced/Adaptive Payments
  • Braintree
  • net
  • 2Checkout
  • SOFORT Banking
  • BitPay
  • Coinbase

For a complete listing of supported payment gateways, check out the extensive listing here.

Ecwid

Ecwid is another full-featured eCommerce solution for WordPress, that happens to be PCI DSS Level 1 certified (the gold standard for eCommerce solutions worldwide). With over 1.6 million businesses worldwide making use of this plugin, you can be sure it’s a reliable, powerful tool that can empower your WordPress site to sell your digital or physical products.

Ecwid very user-friendly and includes real-time shipping integration and selling via Instagram and Facebook. And with the addition of a mobile app (available for both iOS and Android), you can easily manage your store while on the go.

Major carriers integrate into Ecwid, with plugins for:

  • USPS
  • UPS
  • FedEx
  • Canada Post
  • Australian Post
  • And more

Finally, Ecwid includes unlimited storage (limited only by your server’s storage capacity), regular backups, and seamless upgrades and updates.

MemberPress

MemberPress is the ideal solution for selling subscription-based products with WordPress. With MemberPress you’ll enjoy an incredibly easy setup, powerful user access rules (to give you granular control over what content users can view, based on their membership level), community forums, coupons for promotions and giveaways, security, and dynamic pricing pages.

The one caveat to MemberPress is that it’s not free. You can choose from the following plans:

  • Basic $149 USD/year – 1 site. Unlimited members and content, works with PayPal & Stripe, 1 year of support and updates.
  • Plus $249 USD/year – Up to 2 sites. Includes all features in the Basic plan, plus works with Authorize.net, sell corporate accounts.
  • Pro $349/USD/year – Up to 5 sites. Includes all features in Plus, with the addition of affiliate royalties and Pro add ons.

eCommerce is but a Plugin Away

With the help of any of the above plugins, you can take your WordPress installation to new heights of eCommerce. And if you or your staff aren’t up to the task, you can always find a third party perfectly capable of creating what you need.

There are outsourcing companies all over the world, ready to help. From North or South America software outsourcing services and points across the globe, you shouldn’t have any problem finding a team to build your perfect eCommerce solution.

Conclusion

You should know that there are a lot of eCommerce solutions available (such as PrestaShop, BigCartel, and Megento), some of which are perfectly suited for enterprise-level companies and some of which are not. But given the number of WordPress deployments around the globe, the vast amount of developers working to expand, secure, and improve WordPress, and the incredible ease of use found in the WordPress platform, it makes perfect sense to base your eCommerce solution on this particular platform.

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash