Is WordPress Good for Ecommerce? We might have the answer. Soon after the pandemic hits the world, the physical stores in most parts of the world shut down – due to the contagiousness of the novel COVID-19. With that, citizens across the world have started paying more heed to online selling & buying and it continues to grow strong every passing day.
Sniffing the trend, some smart people have decided to either completely shift their business to online or add online selling into the marketing mix.
To function stores online and sell the items, there’s a need for a platform that hosts the store. Since you’re here reading the content, you’re planning to open an online store and are actively looking for a better option to host your store on. Since WordPress is a well-known content management system and website builder, you want to know whether WordPress is good for eCommerce websites.
WordPress can be potent for an eCommerce website/store or can be totally fatal – depending upon the business need. For example, for a business with a few products, WordPress is the best option and for stores with a 100s product list — other options could be better.
Is it enough to drive a decision?
Well, there are so many factors combined to formulate a decision, and by the end of the post you would know
When you could use WordPress for eCommerce and when to shift to other popular eCommerce platforms like Shopify and Magento.
When to host a website on WordPress and when shouldn’t.
Whether WordPress is secured for ecommerce websites and does it provide better security?
What is that one Reason where WordPress becomes a no brainer? Even if all other requirements go against the decision
So, without further ado, let’s dive into considerations,
Consideration before choosing any host for your store
The Size of your store drives your choice
The size and the products in your eCommerce store are the key factors to drive the decision.
Stores that are big and have a lot of products require prompt handling, which includes clear listings, sleek and intuitive navigations, and much more. Whereas, small stores with fewer products don’t need outrageous handling.
That says if the store is big enough, it would have more problems, especially in regard to maintenance of server and theme. Since WordPress’s WooCommerce is open-source and extremely customizable with third-party plugins and themes, it risks the potential of breaking your store.
The plugins and theme used could have loopholes and errands for malicious coding–any abrupt changes could damage the site completely. Or routinely maintenance could waste a lot of time- which you could invest in doing something productive for your business.
Nonetheless, there’re a lot of amazing and huge eCommerce stores based on WordPress’s WooCommerce and are running smoothly. The fact is, these stores used highly paid themes and well-coded glitch-free plugins, backed up by good web hosts. Alongside, it requires maintenance fees.
Summing it up, stores that are huge with 100s of products are better hosted on other amazing WooCommerce alternatives (there’s a downside, discussed below). Whereas, WordPress’s WooCommerce is potent for websites that have a few products.
We have discussed the impact of size. And now let’s discuss an amazing Woocomerce alternative.
Shopify VS WordPress Vs Magento for Ecommerce
This’s one of the fierce debates. Some savvy marketers believe WordPress’s WooCommerce has more to offer, some believe Magento has amazing features for eCommerce, and some marketers vouch for Shopify, and believe Shopify has an edge over others.
In reality, all claims can be correct depending on your needs. Let’s compare together to elicit which one is better for your needs.
Themes & Plugins
Shopify offers a classy set of well-designed templates. This means, that all their themes are professionally designed – even plugins come with no glitches. Whereas, the number of WordPress themes and plugins is second to none in terms of quantity. But can be hazardous to choose among the best. In simple terms, businesses with no or little technical knowledge can start a store on Shopify and pick a theme and plugins from the lot.
Whereas, businesses with budgets could start with WordPress + WooCommerce, providing they have the technical knowledge or have technical staff managing the store.
Last comes Magento, it doesn’t explicitly offer custom themes, so you’ve to rely on third-party tools for premium themes and you’ve to build ground up. So it requires prompt handling and technical knowledge to manage a site. Since it requires rigorous support, it could break your bank.
Based on where you’re in your business, and technical skills you can select what works best for you.
All the themes and plugins on Shopify’s official website are responsive. This means, that all can adjust automatically across any device without looking botched up.
To select the best WordPress themes and plugins, you need to have knowledge–of which ones are responsive. Though, it’s easy to find out. Just do a google search; as you did to read this content. And you will have a lot of options before your eyes.
Same as WordPress, for Magento you require some knowledge about themes that would work for the kind of site you run. But because it’s a bit complex it could cost you more than the other options.
Anyhow, it’s always better to work with professionals like us who’ve been maintaining stores for years.
Posting content on eCommerce websites is the best way to gain organic traction and sell more products. Providing, both Shopify and WordPress have amazing content management systems. Whereas, Magento doesn’t match the two on these premisses, rightly so; since it was developed by keeping product scalability in mind. However, you can manage content on Magneto.
In comparison, WordPress’s content management supersedes any other content management system by a country mile. As WordPress captures 61.8% market share.
WordPress has content versioning—every single version of a pis age separately reserved/hold within a post or on a page and can replace/use or insert. Unfortunately, Shopify doesn’t have that luxury.
Next, WordPress allows setting different categories and tags flexibly when comparing with other options. That presents in a visually appealing and easily navigating way so anywho one lands on a website can easily navigate through.
For posting content—WordPress is the spearhead. But if we talk especially about product placing and management, both Shopify and Magento are intuitive and straightforward. The reason beithat ng, both are eCommerce dedicated SaaS solutions.
Plus, the option of ‘automated collections’ (Automated collections means you can use product titles, tags, price, etc. to create collections.) in both stores tie the competition among the two for an ultimate choice for companies with 100s of products.
SEO for WordPress Vs Shopify
For eCommerce business, SEO plays a huge part—essential to getting discovered organically. No business can always rely on Google Adwords or Facebook ads to generate traffic. At some point, every business wants organic traffic that sells its product.
Most WordPress themes and plugins are SEO-friendly and provide better optimization opportunities. However, to nail the SEO of your eCommerce stores hosted on WordPress, you need some key understanding of Meta descriptions, alt text, Product URL, page load speed, and much more.
Next, if you lack knowledge of SEO, then Shopify is a better option since most of the SEO functions are automated. But there’s a downside to it, you can’t create simple URL structures on Shopify.
Last, Magento offers optimization options for Google like it’s responsive (operating equally well across devices), user-friendly, and also feature-intensive (add as many features), but has issues with loading speed… And page speed contributes a lot to SEO.
Blogging for Ecommerce
We would want to discuss blogging separately from the above content management subhead because blogging is a marketing strategy to attract a lot of customers.
Blogging is by far one of the most tremendous ways to generate immense traffic on the website and sell more products organically.
When you create content besieging the product you sell – your customers see you as an authority and chances of organic selling increase. Because they’d believe that these guys have knowledge and authority over the subject – they’d consider buying.
Through blogging, we create funnels to sell products, and funnelling requires different strategies for unique products. So it’s a high-end strategy to convert prospects that land.
In light of the study, blogging prominence is unequivocal if you want to sell products on auto for your eCommerce business. And for this purpose, WordPress is the spearhead. It has some amazing features and supports content publishing and SEO.
Whereas, Shopify and Magento are super focused on product placement and automation. It’s safer to say that if selling through a blog is in your marketing mix, then WordPress can be the best option.
No, it didn’t say that Shopify and Magento do not support blogs and content. In fact, Magento is quite user-friendly and requires no technical knowledge to add posts. But WordPress has no substitute in this category, and it’s because WordPress is widely acknowledged as a CMS that supports blogging.
Functionality Matters for Ecommerce Website
Better functionality is the most preferable choice for eCommerce for small businesses. WordPress, Magento, and Shopify provide better functionality. However, Shopify triumphs over WordPress in some ways. The reason is, that Shopify is an all-in solution for eCommerce stores, so it’s intuitive and easy to set up and offers everything you would need to kick-start the store and take it to the target audience.
About Magento, it beats both of them. Magento was developed with scalability in mind. You can have over 1000 products listed on Magento without much trouble – provided you have the correct technical support.
So for the functionality of huge stores – no comparison to Magento. Hands down. Next, Shopify can also be great for functionality, and you can operate it without much technical know-how. Whereas, WordPress does offer great functionality by using third-party integration tools such as WooCommerce.
Nonetheless, with additional lightweight plugins, you can make your store more functional.
The point is if you can afford to work with developers and want better, customized functionality of your store, then WordPress could be the choice. But if you don’t have a budget and are just starting out – Shopify is the answer.
Security for E-commerce
If your website is not secure, your business is at risk.
Providing that Shopify has better in-built security. It’s Shopify’s responsibility to provide you with a secure website. Once your business is set up, you’d not need to worry about cyber-attacks as Shopify has it covered for you.
Whereas, WordPress’s security is in your hands. It could be a negative point or a positive one. Since it’s in your hands, you can make it more secure and sturdy. But for that, you need to have knowledge about the best, glitch-free, and non-malicious code themes and plugins.
Besides, you’d need to keep checking on regular updates to avoid web crashing and give a smooth experience.
Last, Magento is no different from WordPress. Since it’s open-source and one has to mostly rely on third-party tools. So the concern with Magento is the same as WordPress.
The point is, Shopify is secured to some extent; no doubt. But for WordPress and Magento you’d need to be proactive. Proactive means to keep a check on everything and anything to avoid security concerns. Alongside, you need to bout your store’s security by working with professionals like us who know how to ensure the security of a WordPress store.
Caveat: If you go with Shopify, you need to make sure you’d purchase templates directly from Shopify. Else, you could risk compromising website security.
Does WordPress offer better integration for eCom stores?
Security for E-commerce
Integration of a store with other 3rd party service providers is important to make the website function better. So it would give customers a better experience and give you (as a store owner) an advantage to customize it to your needs.
Shopify allows you to integrate a lot of cool tools that would make it easy to build a complete ecosystem – that handles everything from product placement to checkouts. Though Shopify is always the second guess integrating with other solutions and only allow integration when satisfied since they’re managing your website security all by themselves. This results in fewer integration options with 3rd party tools when compared with WordPress.
Whereas, Magento offers an enormous range of features that you could integrate with your store. 1000s of plugins and integration options are available. But, could get complicated for non-technical individuals and small store owners with moderate budgets.
Last, WordPress has a ton of integration options. More than enough for any business requirements. Since it doesn’t screen security, you’d need some knowledge about secure options. And with more options, you can further embellish your website
Better work with professionals who have knowledge about everything you need for a sleek website.
If Aesthetics is your main concern, go with WordPress all the way
Have you ever purchased a product from a website that looks dull, mundane, and pale?
For an eCommerce store, aesthetics have remarkable weightage – without a doubt. It is right, as customers buy on emotions and later satisfy logic.
First, you have to win their heart, then prove to them the logic behind it. This’s the psychology of buying that comes in handy when making purchasing decisions.
This’s where WordPress chimes in and outshine. With the plethora of plugins and themes WordPress offers, you can create anything—anything means ANYTHING.
From the web layout to the colour combination, to the button placements, to the typography and literally everything. It gets fully customized and allows your product to stand out.
There’re a number of aspects that come in handy while selecting a platform to host a store. However, to sell the products and provide a seamlessly beautiful visual experience to your customers—you need WordPress + WooCommerce.
There’s no better choice than this.
It doesn’t mean to negate Shopify or any other alternative options. All the other options offer some incredible themes and plugins and integration options. But none could get closer to WordPress due to high customization.
The point is, if you truly want to sell products, you need a visually appealing website that resonates with customers on so many levels. Then WordPress is the answer.
However, if you think aesthetics have nothing much to do with selling then you have a lot to choose from.
Summing it up
After a thorough study on the topic, it’s obvious that both WordPress and Shopify have benefits and drawbacks.
Both are excellent choices – providing the need.
If you’re an up-and-coming eCommerce store owner and short on budget—you could go with Shopify. Or if you have 100s of products to lean with, Shopify is also a better choice, since it offers better automation and intuitive product placement experience.
And if you have a massive budget and have over 100s, or 1000s of products in your store, then you can consider Magento. The reason is, that you can get better customization over Shopify.
Whereas, if you have a moderate budget, not a huge list of products, and want to go all-in with marketing, aesthetics, and customization, WordPress is the ultimate choice. Not something you could consider, but a full and final option.
Before you leave the place, know that security is a huge concern and could sabotage your business in a matter of minutes if not catered to beforehand. So if you plan to go with WordPress, be sure you work with professionals, like us, who can handle website security, third-party tool integration, and website responsiveness.
The bottom line is, that WordPress is an ultimate choice due to its customization and Marketing benefits. Providing the technical side of things is handled by professionals like us.
Noushad is a Serial Entrepreneur and CEO of the leading Digital Agency ‘Zera Creative’ which is a modern-day Website and SEO Company that focuses on building, managing, and ranking world-class brands on top of major search engines. Noushad has 10+ years of experience in the digital and IT industry. He writes about SEO, Marketing, Branding, Websites, Productivity, and Life in general.