Join Patrick Rauland for an in-depth discussion in this video Using native WordPress platforms, part of WordPress: Ecommerce.
- Throughout this course I've mentioned a lot of different platforms. In this video, we're gonna look at all the platforms that are built on top of WordPress. In general, the platforms that are built on WordPress are fully-featured Ecommerce platforms, they have user management, they allow you to have multiple payment gateways, live shipping quotes, digital product delivery, et cetera. If you want a full store, I recommend using a platform that's built on WordPress. Many WordPress plugins are open source and GPL-licensed. That means you can take the code and do just about anything with it.
The four platforms I will discuss in this video are licensed this way. If you don't like how the products are displayed, you can change the code. If you don't like the order management system, you can rip out that code and replace it with whatever you want. Open source platforms give you the most flexibility. All of the plugins I'm going to mention use the Fremium model. They allow you to create an entire store for free. Advanced or niche functionality is usually paid out on. All four of these platforms allow you to take payments via PayPal. This is included in their core functionality and you don't pay anything for it other than PayPal fees.
If however you want to use Amazon to process credit cards, then you'll need to purchase the Amazon add-on. These extensions are premium plugins that you install on your site. Because WordPress is open source, anyone can write code that modifies one of these platforms. There are official extensions sold on the developer's site and unofficial ones offered elsewhere. Feel free to look for alternatives but don't let price be the deciding factor. Ecommerce is complex and the software needs to be updated constantly. Trust should be the most important factor.
This chart shows the most popular Ecommerce platforms. The first platform to mention, purely because of its market share, is WooCommerce. You can see the next largest service is Magento which is another content management solution like WordPress. WooCommerce is massive in the Ecommerce space. WooCommerce is great because it gives you access to a platform with the Woo team's brand behind it. If you're looking for an all-around platform that's good at just about anything, WooCommerce is the way to go. Because of their popularity, they'll have the most integrations with other services.
The downside to this popularity is that they update less often because they have to be more careful not to break the huge number of sites already running on it. This also means that they are very careful with their updates which makes them a very stable platform. Easy Digital Downloads or EDD has 2.7% of the WordPress market which is great for an Ecommerce platform that only handles digital goods. If you want to sell digital goods, especially software, it's built for that and will handle it better than a platform like WooCommerce that's good at everything. EDD is built by Pippin Williamson, one of the most respected developers in the WordPress community.
iThemes Exchange is one of newer players on the market. I mention them because like WooCommerce, they have an excellent brand supporting them, and that's the iThemes brand. They make quality WordPress products like BackupBuddy as well as quality content on their blog and in eBooks. The last platform I will discuss is WP eCommerce which was one of the first platforms. A lot of internal WordPress APIs weren't available when they built the plugin. What that means is that once WordPress supported custom post types, they had to spend a lot of effort rewriting the plugin. I haven't personally used this system but it's been out for a few years and works very well for some users.
You may have noticed that I put a lot of emphasis on who makes the plugin. That's because Ecommerce is incredibly complex and you need to make sure you're keeping your system up-to-date. In the last year, WooCommerce put out two dozen updates most of which are bug fixes. This has a little to do with the quality of WooCommerce code and everything to do with the complexity of Ecommerce. That's why I usually put my faith into a reputable developer that has a track record of developing quality code.
To start, you need to understand the market for your product or service so you can build your website around it. So Patrick Rauland kicks off with some key questions that will help you define your audience and organize your products. He'll then help you set up a payment gateway with PayPal or Stripe, ship orders, collect taxes, and secure sensitive data. And if you weren't convinced already, Patrick reviews the benefits of WordPress ecommerce tools as well as a selection of third-party tools that integrate beautifully with WordPress. Plus, get bonus tips on marketing your new website: attracting and retaining customers and increasing the value of the average order.
- Defining your audience
- Organizing your products
- Marketing your WordPress site
- Increasing average order value
- Getting paid
- Checking out with PayPal or Stripe
- Managing and shipping orders
- Collecting tax
- Protecting sensitive data
- Using WordPress or third-party platforms for ecommerce