If you’re already familiar with WordPress, it’s the natural choice. There’s still a learning curve for those new to eCommerce, but familiarity with the underlying user interface will allow you to get up and running more quickly than with a dedicated eCommerce application like Magento.
The plugins we’re about to look at are also the obvious choice if your goal is to extend an existing WordPress site with eCommerce functionality. The best WordPress eCommerce plugins make it almost trivially easy to setup and manage sales on your WordPress site without requiring you to launch a whole new site just to sell from.
While there are far too many WordPress eCommerce options to consider in a single article, the three we will look at are among the most popular and user-friendly.
WooCommerce is a complete eCommerce solution for WordPress. It’s also by far the most popular, so popular that it was purchased by Automattic, the company founded by WordPress’s creator Matt Mullenweg. If future support and development influence your choice of plugin, WooCommerce is a strong contender.
Just like WordPress itself, WooCommerce has as strong ecosystem of extensions that add features and modify functionality. You can build any store you can imagine with WooCommerce.
WooCommerce is popular for a reason; it’s the best general eCommerce plugin available. For WordPress users new to eCommerce, WooCommerce is almost certainly the best option.
Easy Digital Downloads is, as the name suggests, an eCommerce plugin focused entirely on the sale and delivery of digital goods like ebooks, software, podcasts, and anything else that can be delivered over the web.
Easy Digital Downloads includes everything you’d expect from a full-fledged eCommerce application, including an intuitive and streamlined checkout process, mobile friendly design, excellent customer management features, a powerful and flexible discount and promotions system, and great eCommerce analytics and data reporting.
WooCommerce is perfectly capable as a platform for selling digital goods, but if you intend to sell only digital goods, Easy Digital Downloads should be at the top of your list.
Finally, iThemes Exchange is a eCommerce plugin designed to make it as easy as possible to get products on sale. iThemes is a respected WordPress development house that also develops the popular BackupBuddy and iThemes Security Pro application.
One of the nicest features of iThemes Exchange is its modular design. If you only need to sell one product without a lot of bells and whistles, iThemes Exchange is perfect, but as your store grows and you need more features, they can easily be added.
If you’re comfortable with WordPress and are looking for a platform to sell your products, there’s no need to invest time and effort to learn a more complex platform like Magento. WordPress has everything you need to build a full-featured online store.