Most products for sale online are straightforward, with variations mainly in colors and sizes. WordPress ecommerce plugins can be an easy, inexpensive way to sell these items. If you already have a WordPress website, or plan to build one, here are four popular WordPress ecommerce plugins.
- Number of themes on ThemeForest: 123
- Number of plugins on CodeCanyon: 165
- WordPress.org downloads: 1,549,902
- WordPress.org rating: 4.1
- Cost: Free
WooCommerce is the second only to WP e-Commerce for the number of downloads. But it has the highest plugin rating of the four choices in this article. There is strong activity and support from the community forums on WooThemes, although to receive premium support you must purchase a theme or plugin from WooThemes.
A strength of WooCommerce is the large amount of plugins and themes available directly from WooThemes or on third party sites such as ThemeForest and CodeCanyon. The number of available themes dwarfs any other WordPress ecommerce plugin. Many choose WooCommerce for that reason.
WooCommerce is free. If you have simple products, use a free theme, and don’t require many customizations, this can be one of the cheaper choices. The costs can add up, however, with premium plugins.
One downside to WooCommerce is that takes a good amount of development to create custom product pages. You can, however, extend the functionality from simple products to complex ones with plugins, such as Gravity Forms Add-ons. I’ve done this for a recent client, as shown in this example.
- Number of themes on ThemeForest: 13
- Number of plugins on CodeCanyon: 40
- WordPress.org downloads: 2,581,768
- WordPress.org rating: 2.8
- Cost: Free, with premium packages available.
WP e-Commerce was one of the first ecommerce plugins for WordPress. With over 2.5 million downloads, WP e-Commerce has remained the most popular choice for the past 5 years. It has a good amount of themes on ThemeForest and through its own website.
WP e-Commerce also has the most polarized ratings on WordPress.org, with more 1 star reviews than any other ecommerce plugin. Since moving the forums to WordPress.org, many users cite a low amount of support. Premium support is an option for users that need personal attention.
WP e-Commerce comes standard with many features that WooCommerce requires a plugin for. This includes multi-tier pricing for quantity discounts. WooCommerce requires a $129 Dynamic Pricing plugin for this.
- Number of themes on ThemeForest: 6
- Number of plugins on CodeCanyon: 54
- WordPress.org downloads: 278,968
- WordPress.org rating: 3.9
- Cost: Free
Jigoshop is the predecessor to WooCommerce, which was built as a fork of this open source ecommerce platform. Jigoshop is still going strong, however. It has one of the best ratings from users on WordPress.org.
Although its selection of themes and plugins on CodeCanyon and ThemeForest is small, Jigoshop has a large amount of premium themes for sale on its website.
For support, the WordPress.org page is free. Access to Jigoshop.com’s community support forum, however, costs $39.99 per month. An annual support contract is $239.99 per year, saving $249.00.
- Number of themes on ThemeForest: 4
- Number of plugins on CodeCanyon: 0
- WordPress.org downloads: 124,136
- WordPress.org rating: 2.9
- Cost: Free for Lite; $25 per month for Cart66 Cloud
Unlike the other three plugins, Cart66 Lite is available on its WordPress.org page only. It has the smallest number of downloads. But is worth considering, depending on your business. Like WP e-Commerce, Cart66 Lite has polarized reviews.
There are not many themes available for Cart66 on ThemeForest, but with premium Cart66 packages such as Cart66 Pro or Cart66 Cloud, you’ll have additional theme options.
Some advanced integrations — such as Gravity Forms or additional payment gateways — require the Cart66 Professional (paid) version. Only community support is available for Cart66 Lite. You must upgrade the plugin for premium support. Many reviewers have noted a lack of documentation for Cart66 Lite.
Choose What’s Best for Your Business
Read the WordPress.org forums, especially posts like this one that compare the different plugins. Read the reviews on every plugin page . Look for users who have found problems or solutions that are most relevant for your situation.