Some businesses are content to use their websites simply as a means to give customers and potential customers basic information about their businesses, and perhaps provide email and telephone contact information. If the business has a physical location, then a basic website might also give a map or driving directions to that location.

Shopping cartBut other businesses use their websites to actually sell products and services over the Internet. If a business is using WordPress for its website (and an increasing number of businesses are doing so), then the easiest way to facilitate doing business over the Internet is through a WordPress ecommerce plugin.

A WordPress plugin is a small package of computer code that you install into your WordPress website. Plugins are used to extend the functionality of a WordPress website in a particular way, such as an email sign-up list or a photo gallery. There are even plugins to help you conduct business over the Internet; these are usually referred to as “ecommerce plugins.”

What should you look for when searching for a new ecommerce plugin for your business website?

  • Does it work well with your current theme? As you may have already discovered if you’ve used any plugins before with your WordPress website, not every plugin works well with every WordPress theme. Test any ecommerce plugin before committing to use it on your website.
  • Does the developer actively support the plugin? Furthermore, sometimes a plugin developer will stop supporting (and updating) his or her plugin. After a certain amount of time, as the underlying WordPress code itself gets updated, a plugin might at some point stop working with the newest version of WordPress. Take a look at the developer’s history of supporting their plugin before deciding to use it on your website.
  • Does it work well with the types of products you sell? Ecommerce plugins are often designed to help sell certain types of product. For example, a particular plugin might be designed to help a business sell physical good and keep track of the inventory of those goods. Other plugins will be better suited for selling products like ebooks where there aren’t any inventory restrictions. Is the plugin you’re considering designed to work with the types of products you sell?

Credit Cards

  • Does the plugin work well with the type of payments you want to accept? In order to conduct ecommerce transactions on your website you’ll need a means for accepting payment from your customers. You may want to accept Visa, MasterCard, PayPal, Amazon Payments, Google Checkout, or some combination of these payment methods. Verify that the plugin you’re interested in supports the payment types you want to use.

Selling goods or services from your WordPress business website doesn’t have to be a difficult proposition. Search for an ecommerce plugin that fits your needs and goals and you’ll be able to start selling in no time. If you need assistance choosing a WordPress eCommerce Plugin or setting up your online store click here to request assistance.