Today, there are very many aspiring entrepreneurs looking to get into the lucrative e-commerce industry. In their quest to launch their eCommerce store, they are faced with numerous tough choices starting with the choice of eCommerce platform. The eCommerce platform market is saturated with an array of options from Shopify to BigCommerce to OpenCart to Magento and many more. As such, picking a suitable platform can be tricky especially for newbies.
Like with most things in life, popularity is often the preeminent motivating factor in choosing an eCommerce platform. That is why WordPress, with over 75 million installations and powering a sixth of all sites in the top million sites by traffic, is the go to platform for any purpose including creating an eCommerce site. 75 million people cannot be wrong, right?
WordPress for ecommerce
WordPress is an open source content management system. It currently has the largest share in the market today powering over 50% of all sites that use a content management system. It has transformed over the years from being a blogging tool to become the perfect website platform capable of running all kinds of websites. Its versatility is attributed to its range of themes and plugins. They can be used to create a very professional eCommerce website.
WooCommerce is the most popular plugin solution for developing an eCommerce site on WordPress. It is free, secure, enjoys, word-class community support and has a wide range of themes for quick and effective creation of a functioning eCommerce site. Other plugin options for developing an eCommerce site on WordPress include Easy Digital Downloads popular for creating stores to sell digital items and Dokan, which is perfect for creating a multi-vendor marketplace.
Creating an eCommerce site on WordPress is very easy. You only have to follow a few steps outlined below-
-> Obtain a domain and web hosting account to install your WordPress software.
-> Install the WordPress software which is free, pick a theme for your website and install necessary plugins for example for SEO and social media integration.
-> Install an eCommerce plugin like WooCommerce or Dokan to provide you with all the eCommerce features you need for your online store.
-> Configure your eCommerce store.
Reasons To Choose WordPress for ecommerce
Popularity aside, there are a number of other factors make WordPress the ideal platform on which to develop an eCommerce site. They include the following:
Security is a fundamental requirement of eCommerce sites due to the rising incidence of cybercrime. An eCommerce platform plays a key role in ensuring the security of the eCommerce websites running on it.
WordPress, thanks to its popularity, is a prime target for hackers. By Infiltrating the WordPress core, hackers would be able to launch an attack of epic proportions. Despite this threat, many popular and successful eCommerce sites run on WordPress because they trust its security.
To bolster security, WordPress releases upgrades all the time thanks to contributions by its large web community. It also offers security plugins to monitor your site and prevent attacks by locking out suspicious IPs and blocking brute force attacks.
SSL encryption also secures payment details, login details and other sensitive information transacted on your online store. SSL certificates also protect customers from phishing attacks and reassure them that they are transacting in a safe environment. Since SSL encryption is not enabled by default on WordPress, each website administrator has the choice of obtaining their preferred SSL certificates at cheap price from their vendor of choice.
2. Ease of use
WordPress’ original source codes are publicly available. Anyone can easily download the software from the official WordPress website or obtain it alongside their web hosting account from any of the hosting companies that provide a one-click installation of WordPress.
WooCommerce, the most popular WordPress eCommerce extension is also readily available, easy to install and use. You do not need any coding skills to manage or customize it to your liking. If you already have another WordPress site, for example a blog, you only need to install the free eCommerce plugin on the same WordPress to create an online store.
3. Community support
Being an open source platform, it enjoys the support of a large community who actively contribute to its constant expansion of core offerings. This gives it a very reliable development cycle and keeps it ahead of the wave of contemporary and emerging web standards. In case you stumble upon some difficulties, you can rely on the large community of fellow users or on official resources like Make WordPress to offer you insights into any concerns. You can also consult the WordPress Codex for more information about the software.
WordPress is free to use, edit and redistribute. Its eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce are also free. It comes with a variety of customization options that allow you to create a powerful and professional eCommerce site without breaking the bank.
For a non-WordPress user looking to launch an online store, you only need to pay for a domain name and hosting plan for your WordPress. However, if you are already using WordPress, installing the eCommerce plugin and creating an eCommerce platform will not cost you anything. You might incur costs if you choose premium clearance for additional themes and plugins or when you buy SSL Certificate for website security.
5. Adaptable plugins
Plugins are essential to SEO and conversion optimization in an eCommerce site. WordPress avails free of charge plenty of plugins to facilitate various purposes including product inventory, payment, customer reviews and many more. These plugins can help you create a site that functions to its greatest capacity and provides your customers a smooth online shopping experience.
6. Mobile friendliness
Mobile web browsing has long overtaken desktop. More than 50% of online shopping today is done on smartphones and tablets. Additionally, Google intends to start using mobile-first indexing in 2017. Optimizing your eCommerce site for mobile is therefore the smartest SEO move you can make right now.
WordPress is already mobile friendly platform. It works on all devices. On it, you can develop a responsive eCommerce site that offers easy navigation and an attractive layout for mobile users.
The bottom line
WordPress is a free, powerful and secure platform, trusted by millions of eCommerce merchants to anchor their online stores. It gives you complete control of your eCommerce site and allows you to combine your online store with any other purpose such as corporate page, blog, portfolios, etc. With its numerous themes and plugins, you can create a professional eCommerce site that is unique, efficient and friendly even on mobile.