More and more leading brands are using WordPress to build their websites – Yelp, MTV News, Time Magazine, Disney Books, Spotify Newsroom, New York Post, and Ted Blog are just a few well-known names. Thanks to its flexibility, easy-to-use admin panel, and wide range of plugins, it has long become a prominent content management system. So, how great is WordPress for eCommerce? Do its advantages outweigh its downsides? Let us find out in our ultimate guide.
5 Benefits of Using WordPress
1 You can significantly save your budget
The challenge businesses face today is how to find practical eCommerce tools and not to spend a fortune. While such tools as Shopify, Magento, or BigCommerce are great for boosting your business, the pricing can be pretty costly. The price is why companies are looking for alternatives to Shopify and other eCommerce platforms.
Advanced Shopify monthly plan is $299, and Magento year plan may rise to $15,000, whereas WordPress eCommerce is only $49,9. If you are a new business, you can enjoy all the top-notch features without draining your wallet.
2 You can enjoy a wide choice of design templates
One of the essential eCommerce metrics a business needs to examine is the time spent on your website. Design plays a significant role in how long a visitor views a page. 50% of customers think that design is essential for a brand.
And while one can spend hours trying to design a perfect template, the other will save their time and use over 9,409 free WordPress themes to customize their website fast and effectively. With free design templates, you can pick a perfect website color scheme and incorporate photos and videos to make your website attractive to your visitors.
3 You can benefit from SEO-friendly platform
Improper linking, overlapping title tags, or nonsense URLs are just a few common challenges one should deal with to improve SEO ranking. Otherwise, all the work spent on a persuasive and appealing design as well as exciting content will be useless.
The good news is that WordPress focuses on making websites easy to read by search engines. You can easily craft permalinks with keywords that you need to boost your SEO campaign. One can add meta tags within a few clicks to any of your web material (images, videos, posts, etc.)
Finally, you probably know that 39% of customers leave a page if a picture is loading for too long. You may have no worries, though, as WordPress can help you optimize page speed. It does so by clearing the needless cache or compressing the pictures.
4 Top 5 WordPress plugins to try
There are over 59,688 free plugins one can use to improve their website. Whether you’re looking to implement easy-to-use forms for payment/communication, or you need to boost your email marketing campaign or secure your website – you can find all the required plugins. We will take a look at 5 top must-have plugins.
- Google Ads Plugin: If you need to target a broad audience and save your advertising budget, you can easily use the Google ads plugin. It is so simple to create a perfect campaign to reach a specific target audience based on data such as interests, location, language, etc. This way, you may be sure that your campaign will bring new clients.
- Google Workspace: If you need to optimize collaboration in your company or set up Google WorkSpace emailing, you can do so by using the WP plugin.
- LiveChat: Chatbot technology is on the rise, more and more people are using this way of communication, and the demand will only rise. For this reason, the LiveChat plugin is essential if you want to keep up and offer your clients fast responses.
- WPML: If your business needs a multilingual website, it may seem like a challenge at first. The thing is that you can’t create one by default using WordPress. However, the good news is that you can employ a simple-to-use WPML plugin.
- Sucuri: Last but not least, the plugin we’d like to examine is the security one. With Sucuri, you can ensure your WP website is protected. It will help detect and block various malware threats and attacks.
5 Pull WP data with various integration tools
Say you need to import or export CSV files to/from WP, or you want to secure your website with a backup, or you should collect and examine data for marketing needs. You can quickly achieve your goals by integrating WordPress via different tools. You can easily pull data from WordPress, connect WP to Slack, or import/export data to/from Dropbox.
We’d like to devote special attention to integration via Google Sheets, which is an essential step for extending your website. With the help of this integration, one can study various metrics like visitors, views, likes, CTR, and others.
By connecting your WordPress to Google Sheets, you can effortlessly arrange the needed data to see if you’ve reached the desired results. If not, then you adjust your upcoming strategies. Tracking traffic and conversion, experimenting with content to see what works the best, and mixing WP data with data from other channels are possible thanks to a simple WP integration with Google Sheets.
What are the downsides of using WordPress?
We’ve already examined how you can benefit from using WordPress. However, we need to provide a detailed overview of WordPress’s common drawbacks to paint the whole picture. There aren’t many, but there are a few.
1 Errors and plugins failing
When you use a WP template, it doesn’t have all the features you need. That is why one needs to install a wide range of plugins designed by different sources. As a result, some plugins may be outdated, some mail fails, and some may need the proper permission.
However, despite common challenges with plugins, don’t panic too soon. Firstly, you may turn to the Support team or check Twitter, as it is likely that someone has already gone through the same difficulty. Secondly, you might want to check the possible reasons why there’s an error:
- There’s a ‘parse error’ in the code
- You may have gone beyond your website memory limit
- You use the wrong WordPress (there’s WordPress.com and WordPress.org)
- You’re uploading the incorrect file format (it should always be zip files)
- There is a problem due to disabled plugins by the Network Admin (if your website is linked to a multi-site network)
So the issues with plugins may often occur, but you can also quickly correct these errors by finding the needed answer online.
The thing that you can often promptly do – is check the plugin rating before installing it.
2 WordPress wasn’t specifically designed for eCommerce
WordPress wasn’t intended to serve eCommerce needs in the first place. For this reason, despite having an abundance of plugins, sometimes WP may not satisfy certain e-trade functionalities. Some WP modules might not work together; thus, you might be spending time trying to fix the error instead of focusing on your e-business goals.
On the other hand, many would argue that WordPress is bad for eCommerce. If used smartly, one can have a secure and effective eCommerce shop. For instance, you may use the WooCommerce plugin and enjoy endless possibilities, various features, and customization opportunities.
3 Privacy Risks You Need to Know About
Like any platform, WordPress has its vulnerabilities and may often be the victim of cyberattacks as any platform. Here are a few things you should know about to protect your website.
- First and foremost, avoid shady plugins and themes. Make sure you customize your site with updated functions, and this way, you will prevent security risks.
- Secondly, control who has permission to enter your site. Protect your site with two-factor authentication. If you have multiple users, carefully give permissions to prevent hackers from accessing your website.
- Thirdly, use security plugins to avoid SEO spam (hackers may access your site and add spammy keywords)
- Finally, always use watermarks to protect your site from hotlinking.
These are only a few security risks you may face due to commonly used plugins, themes, and core software. Hackers are looking for outdated functionality to break into with malware.
To put it another way, WP shared functionality is making your life easier, on the one hand. And on the other hand, these joint plugins and software make your site more vulnerable to hacker attacks.
Before installing this or that plugin, always think twice, and never forget about security precautions.
This detailed overview has examined the top pros and cons of using WordPress for eCommerce. Our task was to see whether its benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Despite not being initially designed for eCommerce, WordPress has long proved to be an effective platform to satisfy e-business.
Thanks to its flexibility and possibilities to customize, thanks to its low rates and abundance of features – WordPress is a solid competitor to eCommerce platforms.
While it’s sometimes highly criticized for plugins failures and security risks, this platform is not less protected than any other eCommerce alternative. More importantly, as one of the top content management systems, it solves problems fast to meet clients’ needs.
So should you use WordPress for eCommerce? We may confirm a ‘Yes’. Will there be challenges? Definitely, but aren’t there challenges anywhere?
Author: Olena Prykhodko is a Marketing Specialist at Coupler.io, a data integration tool. She has 1+ years of experience in outreach and content marketing. Olena loves networking with people, so connect to her on LinkedIn and share your feedback about the article.