If you sell products or services, you could probably benefit from an online presence. As one of the world’s most popular Content Management Systems (CMSs), WordPress is an excellent choice for building a standard website or blog. However, you may be wondering: is WordPress good for your e-commerce store?
WordPress’ community of e-commerce plugins and themes makes it the perfect base for your online store, as long as you follow security best practices.
Fortunately, many of the features that make WordPress so prevalent among bloggers and business owners also apply to the world of online shopping. By taking advantage of this platform’s built-in functionality and installing a few additional tools, you can create a show-stopping store in no time.
In this post, we’ll discuss the concerns users have about choosing WordPress as their e-commerce CMS. Then, we’ll share four benefits that make the CMS the perfect foundation for your online shop. Let’s get started!
The Potential Concerns of Using WordPress for Your E-Commerce Store
Most online stores collect a wealth of customer information, including payment details. This can make your e-commerce site an attractive target for hackers.
If a malicious third party manages to break into your store, they could potentially steal all of your customers’ personal data, including credit and debit card information. This could have a devastating impact on your business, resulting in a loss of sales and consumer trust. You may even find yourself in legal trouble.
To help defend your online store against attacks, it’s important to choose a secure platform. When asked about web security, over 70 percent of developers, freelancers, and agencies confirmed that they are increasingly worried about their WordPress websites. In fact, 25 percent of those surveyed dealt with a hacked WordPress site in the month prior to participating in this survey.
However, the truth is that security should be a concern for website owners. Any site can become a target for attack, but with an e-commerce store, you may attract even more interest from cybercriminals.
It’s important to remain vigilant against potential security threats across all platforms. Fortunately, if you opt for WordPress as your CMS, there are additional steps you can take to make your store far less susceptible to attack.
Why Choose WordPress for E-Commerce (4 Advantages)
Running an e-commerce store requires much more than simply publishing a few product listings. To set your store up for success, you’ll need access to the right platform and tools. Below are four reasons to consider using WordPress as your e-commerce CMS.
1. It’s Completely Customizable
WordPress is highly customizable. As an open-source platform, you can modify it to meet your exact needs.
Even if you don’t want to dig into the underlying code, you can extend the core CMS with a wide range of themes and WordPress plugins. This includes many themes designed specifically for e-commerce, and dedicated shopping plugins such as WooCommerce:
As one of the most well-known e-commerce tools, WooCommerce has everything you need to build an online store, promote your products, and process payments. Today, it’s used by nearly 4.5 million websites, including 30 percent of the top one million e-commerce stores. The plugin also has the largest market share of the top 581 e-commerce platforms and technologies, powering over 29 percent of all online stores.
However, WooCommerce is just one option available to WordPress users. For example, the Ecwid Ecommerce Shopping Cart plugin is another popular choice that supports over 40 payment options:
Once you’ve chosen your plugin and theme, you can even customize the specific pages that make up your online store using a page builder. This enables you to create high-converting product pages and a frictionless checkout process:
There are many WordPress-compatible page builders on the market, but Beaver Builder and Elementor are high-quality options. The flexibility of available tools that you can use with WooCommerce is in stark contrast to other e-commerce platforms, which often have strict restrictions imposed by the vendors.
2. You Have the Freedom to Extend Your Existing WordPress Site
Thanks to the sheer variety of e-commerce plugins and themes, it’s easy to build an entirely new WordPress-powered store. However, if you already have a WordPress website or blog, you could convert it into an online store. For example, if you run a popular parenting blog, you may decide to launch your own merchandise or even create premium content for your audience to purchase.
Most e-commerce plugins integrate seamlessly into existing WordPress websites. This means that transforming your blog or site into a revenue-generating store is often a simple matter of installing a plugin such as WooCommerce.
If you already have some experience with WordPress, it typically makes sense to stick with this platform. That way, you can continue using the WordPress tools and tools you’re accustomed to. In addition, many of the workflows will feel familiar. If you’ve ever created a page or post in WordPress, you should have no problems adding products using a tool such as WooCommerce:
Adding an online shopping experience to your site can be an effective way to monetize your existing content and audience. It can also eliminate much of the work and costs associated with building and launching a new online store. For example, instead of purchasing a separate domain or web hosting plan, you can convert or extend your existing site to provide e-commerce functionality and start generating sales without increasing your spending.
3. You Can Choose From a Wide Range of Payment Gateways
If customers cannot pay using their preferred methods, they’re more likely to abandon their online shopping carts. With evidence to suggest that 69 percent of customers fail to complete the checkout process, cart abandonment rates pose a huge threat to your profits.
If you’re targeting an international audience, you should also consider that certain payment gateways will be more popular in different parts of the world. It’s also possible that shoppers in some locations may be legally required to pay additional fees in order to use a particular payment gateway.
To maximize your earnings, it’s important to choose a platform that supports as many payment methods as possible. The good news is that WordPress has the potential to support hundreds of gateways.
As a customizable and flexible platform, WordPress always supports new plugins and techniques that you can use to add more payment methods to your online store. You can even accept Bitcoin using a plugin such as the Blockonomics decentralized payment processor.
4. It’s Search Engine Friendly
For most stores, over 40 percent of revenue can be attributed to organic traffic, with 39 percent of online purchases influenced by relevant searches. If you’re going to set your online store up for success, it’s important to lay search engine-friendly foundations.
Out of the box, WordPress has everything that you need to appeal to search engines. This includes optimizing your permalink structure. If there’s a disconnect between your permalink and site structures, the search engine bots may struggle to understand how your content is organized, which can prevent your products from appearing in relevant search results:
Unoptimized permalinks can be an issue for all sites. However, they can be especially problematic for e-commerce stores, which tend to have many different product categories and subcategories. This can result in long, complex, and messy URLs.
With WordPress, there’s a plugin for everything – including performing Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To really take your SEO to the next level, you may want to install a plugin such as Yoast SEO or All In One SEO (AIOSEO):
Both of these tools enable you to set a focus keyword for each page. This is the word or phrase you want the content to rank for. Your chosen SEO plugin will then evaluate your keyword and provide actionable suggestions on how to improve your search engine rankings for this particular term, which can help drive relevant traffic to your store.
Launching a successful online store isn’t easy, and security is a concern whenever you’re processing customer payments. However, if you’re considering launching an e-commerce site, WordPress has a lot to offer.
Let’s recap four reasons to create your online store in WordPress:
- It’s completely customizable.
- You have the freedom to extend your existing WordPress website.
- You can choose from a huge range of payment gateways.
- It’s search engine friendly.
Do you have any questions about creating an online store with WordPress? Let us know in the comments section below!