WordPress Ecommerce Plugin: Top 7 features To Look For When Choosing a Plugin

I’ve used Zencart to build ecommerce websites over the past few years because it was free and included many great features. One of the biggest factors for switching to WordPress is that Zencart did not include a content management system. WordPress also allows me to easily install an ecommerce plugin for selling digital or physical products.

Since there are so many WordPress Ecommerce Plugins available I wanted to offer some options in this article to help people decide what plugin to use.

Why choose WordPress?

  • Ability to separate content from design
  • Ability to add unlimited pages
  • Create search engine friendly pages
  • Easy to install, customize, update and maintain
  • Allows unlimited users
  • 100s of plugins available
  • 1000s of free templates available
  • Automatically pings the search engines
  • Large active community of developers

Top 7 features to look for in an Ecommerce Plugin for WordPress:

1. Works with any templates

Most WordPress designers like to work with certain templates then customize them to suit their customer’s desires. For instance I build most of my WordPress websites using the Genesis Framework from Studiopress.

2. Company has been in business for several years

What if the company who sold you ecommerce plugin disappears? Your plugin will no longer work with the latest WordPress update so your customer’s site will suddenly fall apart. Make sure the company has been in business for several years and you have a backup plan in place should the company go bankrupt.

3. Fast, knowledgeable technical support

Before purchasing an ecommerce plugin test how fast customer support is by asking some pre-sales questions. If you don’t receive a knowledgeable response within 24 hours or less move on. You’ll save lots of time developing your site if you get fast support.

Some companies charge for premium support. For instance Shopp charges $49/incident or $199/incident for escalated support otherwise you’ll need to wait 24 hours to 4 days for regular support. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to spend that kind of time or money every time I have an incident. Look for unlimited technical support if you purchased an ecommerce plugin.

4. Ability to sell unlimited physical and/or digital products

Avoid purchasing a plugin that can’t handle unlimited products whether they are physical or digital if you want your shop to expand. Make sure adding products is easy to accomplish from the backend administration panel.

5. Works with multiple payment providers

Most ecommerce plugins work with paypal but what if you want to switch to your own merchant account. The shopping cart plugin must have the ability to work with the major providers such as authorize.net and allow easy installation of an SSL certificate for secure transactions.

6. Create search engine friendly pages

Product and Category pages must allow you to enter meta-information such as title, description and keyword meta tags. This means your products can be found in the search engines when someone does a search on a product keyword and results in generating more sales.

7. Shipping flexibility

Try to find an ecommerce plugin that integrates with UPS so your products can be shipped efficiently and quickly.

WordPress ecommerce plugins vary in the features they carry therefore review the features of each one before purchasing.

Let me know what other features you found necessary for building your ecommerce store by leaving your comments in the box below.

Related Articles
How to Create Your Ecommerce Website
How to Set up an Online Store Step by Step
Create an online store with ZenCart

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