WordPress, the free website-building software, is EVERYWHERE.
If you’ve dabbled in blogging, you’ve likely heard of it. (It’s widely considered “the standard” for blog sites today.)
I often come across people who started a WordPress blog– crafters, fashion enthusiasts, photographers, etc.– with no intention of selling anything on it, then sometime later they decide to turn their blog into a business.
And often these people feel very confused and conflicted.
Their site has already been built, after all, and they’re comfortable using it, so the thought of learning to use a brand new system like Shopify or BigCommerce totally bites.
The good news, though, is that you can leave your WordPress website alone. There are plenty of options that will let you sell straight from your existing WordPress site, no overhaul required!
Let me lay out some of these options for you below, along with my recommendations for who each one might best serve.
Do you have only a few items to sell? If so, “Buy” buttons might be for you.
And since using them is as easy as copy-and-pasting some code into your site’s posts or pages, I’d highly recommend this route for anyone who has lost a fight with a shopping cart before.
Going with the “Buy” buttons method means you can add or delete products on-the-fly, without the continued help of your web designer.
Some companies that offer “Buy” buttons are:
The Shopping Cart with Hosted Checkout
On the other hand, maybe you have more than a few items to sell– such that keeping up with “Buy” buttons would become a real hassle?
Still, you’re not very technical, or the responsibility of website security really terrifies you.
The answer then, I’d say, is to use a shopping cart with hosted checkout.
What this means is you can have the shopping cart appear to be on your website, but the complicated and secure part of the transaction is actually handled on somebody else’s site, so you simply don’t have to worry about it.
Some great companies that offer shopping cart software complete with hosted checkouts:
The Completely Self-Hosted Shopping Cart
The only problem with the above (hosted checkout) method is that you don’t have 100% control over your site’s whole shopping experience. If this bums you out, then the most ideal solution is going to be a fully self-hosted shopping cart.
Given this shopping cart will be hosted completely on your own site, you and/or your web designer can truly customize every pixel as you choose.
The price you pay for total control is that this route is more technical than the others. As long as the credit card payment form is on your own website, you’re going to need to have an SSL certificate installed for security. Also, if your checkout process ever becomes error-prone, it will be on you to take care of it.
That said, I truly believe that anyone can tackle maintenance of a self-hosted shopping cart with practice. It all depends on what you’re open and willing to take on.
The very best company I recommend for your full-featured shopping cart on WordPress is WooCommerce. You can check them out here:
Finally, I’d like to leave you with just a few more tailored recommendations, should they apply to your specific business!
For the Etsy Seller
For the Etsy seller who needs help getting their own website off the ground– or who currently owns a WordPress website that they never use since all their stuff is on Etsy– there is an incredible WordPress plugin called Etsy 360.
Etsy 360 displays all of your Etsy products exactly as a shopping cart would, but without any of the technical hassle of setting one up.
Also it updates just as your Etsy store updates, so it’s extremely low maintenance.
By auto-generating single product pages, Etsy 360 keeps the whole shopping experience on your website, up until a visitor clicks “Buy.” That means your visitors only leave to pay, and also, you don’t have to worry about security at all on your own site. For more details:
And that concludes my best e-commerce recommendations for selling straight from your WordPress blog!
As I hope I’ve convinced you by now, there’s truly some great options available.
As for which option you should go with, I suggest taking on what’s comfortable for you and working from there. After all, a shopping cart you don’t get around to installing is certainly no better than a simple “Buy” button that you do.