So we’ve gone over CMS, or content management system, environments and discussed the pro’s and con’s of each. But how helpful is easy content management when you’re trying to sell something? Can you or your developer easily set up a check-out system that will allow you to stretch your dollar a little further by fully using the capabilities that an internet presence can have without taking away the CMS website entirely and programming the whole thing from scratch? Absolutely!
WordPress has not dozens but dozens upon dozens of Ecommerce plug-ins available for your downloading and/or purchasing pleasure. Just like going into your local hardware store and saying “I need a tool”, you’re going to find yourself in a sea of equally helpful possibilities. You run into the same question, though, as you would by asking the hardware store owner for a tool, “What would you like the tool to do?” Even when you whittle it down to, “I want it to hammer nails,” you have several choices at your fingertips. So how do you decide?
You ask someone their experiences with the hammer manufacturers, simply enough. This can also work with Ecommerce Plug-ins for WordPress. Everyone has a “Best of” list to promote, and it can take a while to go through lists and websites and further searches for information. Out of these “Best of” lists, I’ve whittled the plug-in list down to four free plug-ins that particularly caught my (and apparently everyone else’s) attention.
First is WordPress Ecommerce. This is an extremely comprehensive plug-in. It has a wide range of functionality that is commonly used by several WordPress-supported CMS sites. This plug-in also has the support of its developer, who seems to be ready to search and find information that other people are saying about his product, the good, the bad and the ugly. Out of all the Ecommerce plug-ins, he is the developer I saw the most comments from in the user-comment feeds following the various articles I read. He seems to be constantly putting out new versions, honing and bettering his plug-in. The downsides of this plug-in range from being hard to set up to being very limited on the free platform. Design functionality does dramatically pick up if you upgrade to Gold Cart, and even free, WordPress Ecommerce is still considered to be the most comprehensive plug-in available for WordPress.
Next is Quickshop. It seems comprehensive, and it also seems a lot easier to set up and use. People who hate WordPress Ecommerce love it. The problem with it is that the developer is releasing it for free and is unmotivated to update it currently as he’s not getting paid for it. He still seems to have fairly good support for his tool, and from what I found from the users of Quickshop, they either had few to no problems with setup and implementation or accepted the adage, “You get what you pay for” when something was a bit more limited than their needs called for. Either way, there were very few negative comments about Quickshop.
Last on my list is Art Pal. This is another very easy to work with plug-in. It was designed to be this way. Originally, it was developed for artists to sell their creations online, something that appeals to me, in particular, who is interested in having such a thing for my photography. It’s extremely limited, though. But if you think about its limitations, it oddly makes sense due to its original function. This is a plug-in to sell art. When a person buys art, it’s likely one piece at a time. Even with my most favorite artists, I rarely ever buy more than one piece of art at a time. This plug-in is designed with that in mind. So, if your site wants to have the functionality to have several items ordered at once, this is probably not the plug-in for you, as the user is going to have to go through the entire checkout process one by one and may get fed up before they’re done with their entire purchase.
So that’s my take on the four most reviewed Word Press plug-ins for Ecommerce. So, how do you know which one is right for you and your site? That’s where TheeDigital jumps into action! With over 5 years of experience in website design, search engine optimization and Ecommerce, we can help put together the perfect website solution for you.