Best Free WooCommerce Plugins for WordPress eCommerce Websites
Seeing as how the market is so large, we wanted to find out which free WordPress ecommerce plugins stand out. The conclusion is in: We believe WooCommerce serves as the best free WordPress ecommerce plugin. Throughout our research, over the past two weeks we narrowed the field down to eight, with Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) and Ecwid ranked right behind WooCommerce. We like WooCommerce for its superior integration tools and beautiful potential layouts. EDD has better tools for digital goods, while Ecwid looks to be the simplest for beginners.
The advent of the digital world has made starting a store online easier than ever. However, there are still steps that you need to take to set yourself up for success. For instance, having the right ecommerce solution in place ensures that you’re ready to transform your website with everything from shipping support, to a checkout.
The question is, which free WordPress eCommerce plugins are best for your WordPress website? A quick search on Google brings up tons of options, ranging all the way from HubSpot to SendinBlue for email marketing and landing pages.
The good news about WordPress ecommerce plugins is that they integrate with an existing WordPress site. Therefore, if you run a blog and eventually decide to sell eBooks or merchandise, you have the capabilities to do so. We primarily looked at free solutions, since, frankly, the free solutions are far better than any paid ones.
Free WordPress Ecommerce Plug-ins
Along with existing sites, these plugins integrate with new WordPress installs, and some reputable WordPress hosting companies offer one-click ecommerce installations with WooCommerce included. Upon installing an ecommerce plugin, your WordPress blog or business site immediately gains functionality for selling digital and physical products.
Editor's note: This post was originally published on October 24, 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Services like web design
You can even accept donations if you're running a church or another non-profit.
Our final decision was based on quite a few factors, but overall, WooCommerce (read our WooCommerce review) is completely free for making a pretty substantial online store, and the market is catered around WooCommerce, with developers making all sorts of extensions and themes that integrate with the plugin. The reason for this is that WooCommerce is open source, giving users the benefit of open and active development and support community.
Real, digital and subscription products can all be sold through WooCommerce, and it's one of the few plugins that allow you to scale up quickly as your company grows. Along with several marketing extensions (email marketing and social media,) dozens of the top payment gateways, and extensive product pages with variants, groups, and affiliates, the feature-set defeats all other offerings from free ecommerce plugins.
As for the other solutions, some individuals and companies are bound to find them more suitable in certain cases. For instance, some of them are more useful for when a company is only selling digital downloads. Others are insanely easy to set up and manage on a simple blog, making them more ideal for beginners. Not to mention, a few of the plugins integrate with other CMSs (content management systems,) offering a little versatility to bloggers who aren't on WordPress.
A great example is comparing WooCommerce to Ecwid. Although the overall feature set for WooCommerce beats out Ecwid, you're more likely to choose Ecwid if you're trying to integrate with Weebly, Wix or Joomla. On the other hand, WooCommerce only combines with WordPress.
WooCommerce has support for digital products, but you're better off going with EDD if that's all you sell. We like WooCommerce for those companies that sell both physical and digital products since you get the combination of tools.
Seeing as how all of the solutions covered are free, we won't really discuss price. A more reasonable comparison tool would be the pricing (and availability) of themes and extensions.
EDD offers a solid set of extensions, one of which supports physical products. But that's one of the main reasons it sits in second place: Because you must pay for that extension. As for the reason, EDD defeats some of the other solutions on the market: EDD has everything from discounts to codes to solid data reporting. The main benefit would have to be its extension library, though, since many of the options below don't provide anything extra besides the core features. Oh yeah, and the EDD checkout looks super basic and user-friendly.
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