For many, the issue with using WordPress for ecommerce is the fact that its legacy is that of a blogging platform instead of a comprehensive shopping solution. Because of this, you’re using plugins for your ecommerce needs, which means you’re at the mercy of the functionality of that plugin with every WordPress update.
On the other hand, WordPress is also a highly flexible platform that is extremely easy to use and can get your ecommerce solution up and running very quickly. There’s no need to build up a solution from scratch, which other platforms often require.
There are additional pros and cons that are worth considering as well. Here are the key points to think about.
What Are the Pros of WordPress?
1. You don’t need to use another platform.
If you use WordPress already and you love what it can do, then the ecommerce solutions which are available to you in plugin formats make it really easy to stay put. You can create the store that you want without the need to learn another platform.
2. WordPress supports caching options.
This makes your ecommerce site a lot faster when loading after a visitor stops by for the first time. This is because data chunks are stored on user computers, essentially giving them a “preload” option. Decreased loading times can promote better sales, especially if you have numerous images that must be explored as part of the shopping process.
3. You can change the look of your site pretty easily.
Since you aren’t building a site from the ground up, all you need to do to change the look of your site is to change the theme you are using. Switching a theme will not generally cause a loss of data and you’ll have an instant update that will support your ecommerce goals.
4. Search engine optimization is easy for ecommerce sites.
WordPress for ecommerce makes SEO super easy to complete. There are a number of plugins that are available which can be installed, enabling you to instantly optimize your site for your specific goals. You don’t have to meddle with your FTP, PHP, or HTML to do it either. Follow a few instructions and you can do the same work that an SEO specialist would charge you to do.
5. There are no ongoing fees.
The only fees that you’ll have with WordPress for ecommerce are your site hosting fees, payment processing fees, and similar costs. You won’t face the flat monthly fees that build-from-scratch ecommerce solutions require.
6. You have access to infinite customization.
With WordPress, you really can create whatever store you want to have. There are no limits to the features that you can have because there are tens of thousands of plugins available to you.
What Are the Cons of WordPress?
1. Support for ecommerce issues is quite limited.
Because ecommerce is done through plugins on WordPress, the amount of support resources that are available should a problem occur are quite limited. Unless WordPress has provided the specific plugin being used, you’ll have to approach a third-party support line, blog, or forum, which means it can take some time to find the right path forward.
2. There are security issues to think about.
Your ecommerce plugin might not be the safest thing you’re using on the internet. It is worthwhile to change some lines of code within the plugin or platform if you’re using WordPress for ecommerce so that others can’t access your data.
3. Your theme will also need to support your ecommerce plugin.
Not every theme that is offered on WordPress, including many of the premium themes, will actually support an ecommerce plugin. You will need to shop for the right theme for your new site or look for an updated theme to use before you install the plugin. Otherwise your entire site might just crash down around you.
4. It can be very time consuming.
You’ll need to import all of your products, tweak all of your options, and make sure your payment processing is compatible with the plugins and theme that you are using. This can be a very time consuming process, especially when you’re first getting started, even if you already know what you are doing.
When looking at WordPress for ecommerce, it may not be the best possible solution that is available today. The pros and cons do show that it is a practical solution for those who may need one. If you’re not into coding, programming, or advanced design techniques, then manage your security issues effectively and you may just have the right ecommerce solution for your needs.