Is WordPress Good for Ecommerce?

WordPress is an incredibly popular content management system; in fact, it is the most popular tool in the world for creating a website.  But what if your business relies on ecommerce website?  Can WordPress meet the current and changing needs of your company?  In other words, is WordPress good for ecommerce?

First, let’s get some background about WordPress and how it relates to ecommerce.  Without question, WordPress is an impressive content management system.  There are more than 60 million online installations of WordPress and one-sixth of all websites in the top million sites ranked by traffic are driven by Word Press.  Moreover, more than half of these top million sites that use content management systems are built with WordPress.

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Because it is a free, open source content management system with a variety of useful tools that are easy for even novices, WordPress is obviously going to be one of the most popular platforms powering website design.  Not only does it integrate themes and plugins so that appearance and functionality can be easily customized, it is regularly updated to meet new and improved standards for functionality and security.  Moreover, most hosting providers are optimized for single-click conversion of WordPress sites.  But is WordPress good for ecommerce?  There’s no simple answer, so let’s look at the pros and cons.

Benefits of WordPress for Ecommerce

Clearly, WordPress is a popular and powerful tool for website design, but there are some more specific benefits that make it good for ecommerce.

First, there are themes.  Because there are myriad themes available for WordPress, many of them are suitable for ecommerce.  You can edit themes to suit your own business model, and the open source approach let’s you make as many modifications as you see fit.

Then there are the plugins.  Basically, there seems to be a plugin for everything.  Whatever functionality you want your website to have, WordPress delivers.  Being an open source platform that is so incredibly popular, many developers create free plugins that add more and more flexibility to WordPress sites.

But what are the drawbacks?

Drawbacks of WordPress for Ecommerce

Unfortunately, no picture is completely perfect.  Indeed, one of the major drawbacks of WordPress for ecommerce is its popularity.  WordPress sites are more susceptible to hacking attacks and even constant upgrades to WordPress security cannot protect you all the time.

Moreover, WordPress can be a bit cumbersome when it comes to processing large numbers of orders as servers can be overwhelmed by the number of concurrent scripts that WordPress needs to execute.  This is partially related to the need to customize your site with plugins and also creates another problem when it comes to upgrading.  Upgraded WordPress sites are not always back-compatible with important plugins.  This means that some of your customizations may not always be available.

So, whether or not WordPress is good for ecommerce is really based on the fact that it was not developed as an ecommerce platform.  It may be a great tool for small businesses that require a simple ecommerce platform, but for bigger movers and shakers a more ecommerce driven platform will likely be a better solution.  Still, WordPress is making strides every day, and eventually it may compete very well in the ecommerce market.

Whats your experience?