Setting up a blog or website, even an eCommerce site using WordPress is actually fairly simple with an abundance of helpful advice and support from both providers of ecom solutions, as well as tutorials and articles on starting up. There are many plugins and tools available for the would-be eCommerce site owner using the WordPress platform, but that is not to say that you won’t face some challenges that must be met if your site is to be a success.
Start With the Right Ecommerce Theme
Although there are a lot of fantastic WordPress themes readily available, not all of them are going to be ideal for eCommerce purposes. Though some of the pages may seem suitable, if you choose a theme that does not have catalog pages, description tools and a shopping cart that are easy to find and use, then your business online won’t be as successful as it is not set up the right way from the start.
Additionally, some themes are not great about compatibility with WordPress updates. As one writer has discovered, “Some themes tend not be compatible with the updates thereby causing the website to either break or not behave the way it should. Pushing updates manually on your site can really be helpful, especially when you are not sure about your theme’s compatibility with future WordPress updates.” Generally, you can get in touch with a developer and ask if the theme struggles with updates.
You will also want to discover whether an eCommerce theme has support from the developer beyond the implementing of WordPress updates. Whether it is a developer of the theme or even a plugin (something we touch on next), you need to know if there is support for any issues. Nothing brings an end to an eCommerce site purchase faster than an error message to visitors. Be sure that your WordPress eCommerce site can be corrected quickly in the event of malfunctions.
Choosing The Right Plugin
There is quite a choice of WordPress eCommerce plugins available, and you really don’t want to find yourself in the unenviable position of managing, updating and/or replacing multiple instances on a regular basis. It is best to locate one plugin that gives you the solutions you require.
After all, the plugins you use may be based on the products or services you sell. To avoid the very biggest threats, stick to a WP plugin that is specific rather than general. For example if your product is a digital download then the Easy Digital Downloads plugin will be sufficient, rather than WooCommerce which will do the same task, but has a lot more functionality that you might not need.
Some eCommerce plugins
As previously mentioned, and popular for the ebook/information publisher, the Easy Digital Downloads plugin is designed for that specific niche. The WooCommerce plugin is the most widely used, and user-friendly and is a more general solution. Get Shopped is another popular, general ecom plugin, as well as Cart 66 and Shopp being another couple of notable solutions.
Each has its pros and cons, and each could spare you a lot of the headaches that can accompany the creation of an eCommerce site. The point is to assess them based on your actual products, your level of skill in using the technology, the costs, and the amount of support and positive feedback.
Finally, if you want to only make gains from your e-commerce store, with a lot less pain, then you need to think seriously about all aspects of web security. Unlike the standard blog or informational website, when you have an online store you have everything from third-party payment sites to private client information all at risk.
This is why you will want to find the very best security plugins for the following functions: File system security, user login and account security, firewall security and database security. The most trusted solution for a lot of ecommerce sites is the All In One Security Plugin or the Bulletproof Security Plugin, but if you want it to be someone else’s responsibility then you can take advantage of wp support plans that ensure that you are protected from such problems.