E-Commerce Plugins: Our Top Picks and More
In the past we’ve published a post that showcased many of the best WordPress e-commerce themes. If you’ve been thinking about using WordPress for an e-commerce website you may be wondering which e-commerce plugin is the best fit for your needs.
One important part of blogging or running an online business involves getting visitors to notice your most important items or content. Using a notification bar at the top of the site is a great way to draw the visitors’ attention to something specific. It could be an announcement for a new product, an important customer service announcement, a link to a popular blog post, a call-to-action for subscriptions or opt-ins, or any number of things.
Notification bars are often used by bloggers as an alternative to using a popup, which can be more intrusive to visitors than a notification bar. For example, on this blog we’re currently using a notification bar to promote our free e-book that is a bonus for anyone who signs up for our email newsletter. Notification bars can be highly effective, and WordPress users have a number of different options for setting up their own notification bar.
There are several different options available, and in this article we’ll look at 10 of the best WordPress e-commerce plugins to choose from. We’ll also share with you our favorite notification plugins for WordPress. Hopefully these resources will help you find the plugin that is best for your project.
WP e-Commerce is one of the plugins that has been around and has been popular for several years. Before many of the other e-commerce options for WordPress existed WP e-Commerce was on the scene. The plugin itself is available as a free download, with a variety of upgrades and add-ons available for purchase. WP e-Commerce includes features like flexible coupon codes and discounts, control over shipping calculations, product and category RSS feeds, multilingual, support for multiple currencies, PayPal and Google Checkout integration, one-page checkout, admin dashboard for sales overview, basic inventory control, and much more.
Jigoshop is another long-standing e-commerce plugin for WordPress users. Jigoshop is also available for free download with premium themes and extensions that can be purchased. The themes will help you to get a professional-looking site without the normal costs associated with having an e-commerce site designed and developed. The extensions of added functionality, such as different payment gateways, marketing enhancements, and more. Some of the extensions are offered by 3rd party developers.
Features of Jigoshop include order management, a customer account area, inventory tracking, product import/export, discount codes, related products, control over tax and shipping charges, product search, and more.
WooCommerce, from WooThemes, is another extremely popular e-commerce plugin. One of the biggest benefits of using WooCommerce is that the selection of premium themes that are available to purchase. WooThemes of course sells their own themes that are ready to use with WooCommerce, but there are also a number of third-party themes that have been developed to integrate with WooCommerce (you can see many of these themes in our recent post 40+ of the Best WordPress eCommerce Themes).
WooCommerce can be downloaded for free, with extensions available for purchase. WooCommerce features include sales reports, control over shipping and tax charges, a customer account area, order management, product and inventory management, coupon codes, and more.
Cart66 offers a free version and a professional version with a few different license options available. The free version includes the basic e-commerce features like order management, promotions, control of tax and shipping charges, support for multiple currencies, customizable email reports, and more.
Cart66 has a few features that I think make it a unique plugin and possibly a better fit depending on the needs of your specific project. The professional version offers support for recurring payments and membership access. Also, both the free and the professional version allow you to sell products from any page or post. The professional version integrates with the popular Gravity Forms plugin, which can open up a lot of possibilities as well.
Shopp is a premium plugin that has been around and has been one of the more popular e-commerce plugins for several years. A single-site license is available for $55 with unlimited developers plugin for $299. Features includes things like coupon codes, control over tax and shipping, related products, RSS feeds, grid and list view, order management, email notifications, integration with many payment gateways, and more.
eShop is a free e-commerce plugin that has been downloaded nearly half a million times. It includes features like multiple product options, basic stats and sales data, shipping and sales tax options, configurable email templates, basic inventory control, and more.
MarketPress is a free(and premium) e-commerce plugin by WPMU for WordPress users. It’s a complete e-commerce solution for selling everything from digital download products to material items.
Ecwid offers e-commerce widgets for several different content management systems, including WordPress. The Ecwid WordPress plugin is available for free download, and it integrates with your social profiles, such as your Facebook page or profile. The free plan includes all of the standard e-commerce features, and paid plans are available starting at $15 per month. Paid plans add features like discount codes, volume discounts, and inventory management.
If you’re looking for a solution to sell digital products, Easy Digital Downloads is a great option. It was creating specifically for selling digital products, so it won’t include extra features that you have no use for if you are not selling physical products. It’s a free plugin with extensions and themes available for purchase. One of its biggest advantages is the simplicity, but it also includes features like discount codes, user purchase history, sales reports, file download log, and more.
WPdeposit is a premium plugin that has been included on this list because it offers a unique alternative to the other e-commerce plugins. With WPdeposit you can sell credits, basically the same way stock marketplaces like ThemeForest, iStockphoto, and other stock sites sell prepaid credits. Customers then use the credits to make purchases.
Notification Plugins & Resources:
Foobar is a feature-rich WordPress plugin that offers plenty of customization options. We use Foobar here on the Vandelay Design Blog to display our notification bar, and I highly recommend it. Unlike Hello Bar, Foobar can be purchased for a one-time fee of $17. Also, since it is a WordPress plugin, it is very easy to set up from the WP dashboard.
You can create an unlimited number of different Foobars, and you can choose the specific one to use on any post, page, or category. This makes it possible to create notification bars that are highly relevant to specific content, which should increase its effectiveness. You can totally customize the look of your Foobars, including colors, height, shadows, and fonts. You can also enter custom CSS if needed.
NotifySnack from SnackTools is not a WordPress-specific option, but it can be used on WordPress-powered websites. Both free and paid options are available. Once logged in to their site (you’ll have to create a free account first) you can create your own notification bar very easily. You’ll get options about colors and styles, and they have several pre-made themes that you can choose.
WordPress Noticiation Bar is a free plugin that includes basic features to set up your own notification bar. You can create your own call-to-action message and button, and choose the colors for your bar.
Notification Bar is a similar free plugin with basic functionality. Create your own message, choose from 5 color schemes, and it hides automatically after 7 seconds.
Notification Bar Plugin is available for a one-time purchase of $20. You can create an unlimited number of notification bars, use them on any page or post, use social icons, add custom HTML, and more. Of course, you have full control over details like colors and font size. One cool feature is that you can extend the bar to show a larger amount of text or images.
Simple Notices Plugin is a free WordPress plugin from Pippin’s Plugins. It allows you to post a simple notification message to your site.