WordPress is a platform that was primarily made for blogging. But that doesn’t mean it’s bad for other things like business websites, portfolios and others.
But, Is it good for ecommerce?
Yes, WordPress is good for eCommerce and is a great place to start if you are looking for a cost-effective solution. However, it is a bit hard to learn when compared with a dedicated eCommerce platform like Shopify.
WordPress and Woocommerce
WordPress is an open source content management system while Woocommerce is an open source ecommerce plugin for WordPress.
WordPress alone doesn’t have an eCommerce functionality. It uses the help of Woocommerce to provide this functionality.
They both are developed by the same company called Autommattic.
Why is WordPress Good For Ecommerce?
1. Initial Investment is Low
The best part of starting an eCommerce store on WordPress is that it is the most affordable option that you can get.
So that means you save around $25/month which you could use to buy other themes or extensions.
Related Article – How To Scale Your eCommerce Business Using Fiverr?
2. Large library of Plugins/Extensions
WordPress and Woocommerce are both open source. And due to this, there are hundreds and thousands of plugins free and paid that you can use on your eCommerce site.
If you ever plan to start a store with WordPress, make sure that you install the following plugins
- WooCommerce, Ofcourse
- Elementor, for designing your store
- Mailchimp or Beeketing, for email marketing purposes
- WooCommerce PDF invoice and packing slips, for creating invoices
- WooCommerce Google Analytics Plugin, for tracking your orders, traffic etc
3. No Fees for Receiving Payments
Another great feature about Woocommerce is that it doesn’t charge you any transaction fees of its own. This is a huge win when compared with Shopify which charges about 2% on their default payment gateway.
However, this will also depend on the payment gateway that you are using!
2 Reasons Why I Won’t Recommend WordPress for Ecommerce
1. Overall Usability
WordPress does have a bigger learning curve than compared to Shopify. It will take some time for you to get used to it.
Designing your website would be the biggest hurdle you would have to face when you use WordPress. Since it doesn’t have a built-in page builder, you will have to use a third-party plugin like Elementor or Thrive Architect.
This is quite the opposite in the case of Shopify where you have a dedicated page builder which is very easy to use.
You will also have some problems navigating through your WordPress dashboard for the first few days till you eventually get used to it.
2. A Lot of Themes Look Outdated
A lot of themes developed for Woocommerce looks outdated and are far behind Shopify themes.
They all lack something that’s there on almost all Shopify themes. Moreover, The amount of professional themes available for Shopify are limitless.
Related Article – Is Dropshipping Without Shopify Possible? (The Ultimate Guide)
How To Start an Ecommerce Site on Woocommerce
The eCommerce industry skyrocketed during the pandemic when a lot of physical stores started selling online.
A problem that most people faced before they started was the decision of choosing a platform. Whether to go with Shopify or WordPress.
I hope you would have an idea on which to choose by now.
Anyway, here is a small tutorial on how you can set up your WordPress eCommerce store.
The first thing that you need to do is buy a hosting and a domain name. You can get both of them together for as cheap as $3.95/month on Bluehost.
I recommend Bluehost because it has proven to be fast, reliable and cheap. Moreover, you get a free domain and a free SSL certificate along with it (Which saves around $20 together).
Here’s a small Tip – When you are on the checkout page of Bluehost. After the page loads completely, Move your cursor to the top of the window, a pop up will appear which will give you a discount. Click on “Claim savings” and buy it.
One more Tip – Uncheck all the “Extras” during checkout. (Will save you a lot of money).
Once you buy the hosting and domain from Bluehost, you will go through a setup wizard. Follow the instructions correctly and finally, you will be able to log in to your WordPress dashboard through Bluehost
Once you log in to your dashboard, it might look somewhat like this.
Then the first thing you need to do is to install a couple of plugins so that you can design and accept orders on your website.
The plugins are; (Click the link below to download the plugin):-
After downloading the plugin. Go to your WordPress dashboard.
Click on Plugin -> Add new and then on the top left of the page you will see an “Upload Plugin”. Click on that and upload each plugin one by one.
WooCommerce Plugin activation
When you activate the Woocommerce Plugin, you will go through a setup wizard which sets up almost everything for you.
Here’s how you should set it up:
1. Input Your Address On the First page and click on Continue
2. Next, Choose your Industry.
3. Now, Choose the Product Type that you are going to sell. Obviously, it would be “Physical Products”.
4. On the next page, Just answer the 2 question and I strongly recommend that you check the second option. This will be needed to setup your abandoned cart recovery email which is not there by default.
5. Then, you will be asked to select a theme. Select any free theme of your choice. Or you could select some premium themes from here.
6. Next, they will ask if you want to install the services plugin. Just click on “No. thanks” and move on.
Woocommerce should be successfully installed now and You will be redirected back to WordPress.
All the basic setup has finished! Now you will need to setup Payment gateways, design your homepage, create legal pages, configure your shipping etc.
Use the following video as reference for doing the above mentioned things. It’s a bit too long but, that’s something you have to deal with. Anyway to save you some time, you can start from 12:57.
Related Article – Are Shopify Stores Profitable? Can You Still Make Money in 2021?
Best Alternative – Shopify!
Shopify is withouth doubt the best alternative to WordPress and Woocommerce. It is surely my go-to place for starting a online store. It is not just mine, but a lot of other eCom experts use it too.
And that’s mainly because of it’s easiness of building a store.
The only problem is that it’s like 5X times expensive than WordPress. This makes them inaccessible for a lot of broke beginners.
They do offer a 14-day free trial which is great. And if you can sell some stuffs before the trial period ends, you might actually be able to pay for the subscription.
So, WordPress is a good place to start your eCommmerce journey, especially if you are a complete beginner and wants to spend a lot less money.
But if you are someone who does have a bit of experience in the eCom industry, I would highly suggest you to select Shopify since it’s going to save you a lot of time.
So , that’s pretty much it. I hope I have helped you with this article. Hope you have a great day ahead.