Best ECommerce 2018

Glenn Uncategorized Leave a Comment

There are hundreds of E-Commerce options out there and in this post, we are going to share with you our opinion on the best ECommerce options for different uses and price points. We've spent hours researching and testing so you don't have to. Here we go:-

Image  Best ECommerce 2018 woocommece best wordpress ecommerce plugin

Best WordPress E-Commerce 2018

WooCommerce

The best ECommerce plugin for WordPress is WooCommerce; many other plugins have tried and failed to replace it as the leading Wordpress ECommerce plugin and at varying levels have been unable. There are so many reasons to love WooCommerce including its price (the base WooCommerce plugin continues to be Free) and also its extendability - there are thousands of WooCommerce plugins for a whole manner of various purposes. Plugins provided directly via WooCommerce (aka 'Extensions') are of high quality and regularly updated, so you can be confident that your site isn't going to fall flat, but there is a price for this assurance, as typically these are premium plugins.

WooCommerce Plugins we recommend

  1. Stripe - a free plugin by WooCommerce to take payments with Stripe Payments
  2. WooCommerce Subscriptions - create a fully functioning subscription site with recurring payments. Subscribers can manage their subscriptions and put them 'on-hold', 'renew', 'cancel;' subscriptions via the WooCommerce admin dashboard. $199.00 for a single site (bundle options available).
  3. WooCommerce Memberships - an easy-to-use, site-wide membership solution that brings your content, shop, memberships and subscriptions together. You can set Free Trial periods, member-only products and offer discounts and perks as well as creating member only viewable content. This plugin is recommended as a partner to WooCommerce Subscriptions with which it works seamlessly. $149.00 for a single site (bundle options available).
  4. WP All Import - technically this is not just a Woo Commerce plugin, but with the WooCommerce Add-On, this plugin acts as the ultimate product import export solution for any WooCommerce store - it will save you hours of time when uploading multiple products to WooCommerce from an XML or CSV file. The bonus here is that WP All Import is also the best all-around WordPress import export plugin out there and can be used for a range of import/export capabilities. This is a stellar WordPress import export plugin and the only one we recommend and for that reason, we urge you to go for the one-off 'Elite Bundle' at only $199.
  5. Booster for WooCommerce - is the Swiss army knife of WooCommerce products that gives you a suite of useful enhancements such as Wholesale Pricing (the best we've found for this), WooComemrce Shortcodes, Currency Exchange Rates, EU Vat Number validation and many, many more. Well recommended and the base plugin is Free.

WooCommerce plugins work on a subscription basis and range from $49 to $249. One thing to be aware of is that WooCommerce recently changed their subscription renewal process and now plugins renew at the original payment price. That's not a deal-breaker as you can have a fully functioning E-Commerce site without them and in many cases will only need one or two, but it is a consideration if you are going all in with WooCommerce. While 'WooComemrce' plugins do cost more than they used to, you don't have to use the ones they offer, and there are many alternatives provided by companies like Yith and CodeCanyon that provide numerous quality WooComemrce plugins.

The WooCommerce Back-End & Front-End

For those of you already familiar with WooCommerce the interface will be satisfyingly familiar to you as it's a fully extended 'Custom Post' which is just a 'post' with tailored 'custom fields'. There are basic details like price and discount price that you will need to enter along with a product description, product images and this can be further extended with product variables like Colour, Size etc. along with whether the product is a physical or virtual product. The beauty of Woo Commerce is that Add-Ons/Plugins can significantly extend the standard fields with just about every conceivable need you may have.

WooCommerce Pros

  • Cost Effective

    The base WooCommerce plugin is absolutely Free. Other plugin prices vary, but invariably are very affordable, even for extensive functionaility enhancements.

  • Familiar WordPress Interface

    WooCommerce extends WordPress so users of this fine CMS will find WooCommerce very familiar. It’s easy to pick up as a complete novice also.

  • Highly Extendable

    The base WooCommerce plugin gives you just about everything you need, but you can extend WooCommerce with just about every conceivable need with countless themes, plugins and custom code.

  • Built on WordPress

    WordPress continues to be the World’s most popular CMS (about 60% share), beating others like Drupal, Joomla & Magento year on year. It is open source and has a highly active community. If you get stuck, an answer is just a click away, and failing that custom WordPress development is inexpensive.

WooCommerce Cons

  • Updates & Security

    To be fair maintenance and security issues are a malaise of ‘WordPress’ and not just WooCommerce. If you are using multiple plugins then keeping on top of updates and security can be a headache. We recommend iThemes Security Pro Plugin to alleviate this problem significantly.

WooCommerce Review Roundup
Best Wordpress ECommerce

WooCommerce is a familiar, simple and highly extendable ECommerce system that can be managed by a complete ECommerce novice and WordPress Pro for a minimal budget. For WordPress, WooCommerce is the 'go-to' ECommerce option.

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Best Cloud E-Commerce 2018

Shopify

Cloud-based* ECommerce has come on leaps and bounds and ranges from the very basic to enterprise-grade ECommerce. Our top pick in this category is Shopify, and that is primarily down to its ease of use and also the range of functionality that can quickly get you going with a feature-rich online store without the need for constant software updates (as updates are automatically pushed
to the cloud). 

Shopify pricing is affordable at the starter end on the 'Basic Shopify' package, and that's $29 per month and then ramps up to 'Shopify' at $79 per month and 'Advanced Shopify' at $299 per month. You do also need to factor in 'Shopify Payments' transaction fees of 2% - 0.5% and then even more if you are using an external payment gateway.

Cloud-based is a term that refers to applications, services or resources made available to users on demand via the Internet from a cloud computing provider's servers.

The Shopify Back-End & Front-End

When you log in to Shopify, you are presented with a straightforward interface which is broken down by Orders, Products, Customers, Analytics, Discounts & Apps. The Apps help you to extend your Shopify store much like WooCommerce/WordPress plugins and are utilised by more than 80% of Shopify stores. Favourite Apps from the Shopify App Store include integration with popular Accounting software like Xero (our pick) and QuickBooks as well as those you would expect from Social Media and CRM Integrations. The Shopify App model is typically by monthly subscription, and depending on the app provider this can be relatively costly. Prices range from free to as much as $299 per month, which pushes many of these Apps into the premium bracket. We'd like to see Shopify push these prices down to make the full range of Apps more accessible to entrepreneurs with small budgets and big ambitions. That said there you can't fault the level of choice as there are hundreds of Apps to choose from and so most needs are covered.

Shopify Pros

  • Quick Setup

    Getting started with Shopify is rapid, and you can be selling online on your own domain within a few hours.

  • Good range of themes

    The range of Themes is sufficiently broad and so having a pretty self-contained e-commerce store with minimal input is within reach. However, the best themes are premium and will set you back about $180 – but the time saved makes them a worthwhile investment for beginners.

  • Affordable at the lower end

    The ‘Basic Shopify’ package is affordable at only $29 plus transaction fees, and that fares well in the cloud-based marketplace. The prices for premium packages are a bit steep, but are based on you making big bucks.

  • Low Maintenance

    A stellar benefit of all cloud-based ECommerce is its low maintenance, and Shopify is no exception. Typically all you need to worry about is your product line and sales processing – the updates are taken care of for you in the background. This frees you up to focus on selling, which is why you are there in the first place right!

WooCommerce Cons

  • Closed Source

    Shopify is a closed source and premium cloud-based ECommerce system; Apps are also typically premium additions and can be expensive.

  • Less Dedicated Developers

    Shopify is not a complicated system (and so this is a limited minus), but there are less dedicated Shopify developers than alternative platforms.

  • Closed ECommerce Eco-System

    Like most cloud-based systems once you have adopted Shopify it’s hard to leave to an alternative. Be sure that Shopify meets your current and future needs before you jump onboard.

Shopify Review Roundup
Best Cloud E-Commerce 2018

Shopify is a great choice for anyone looking to set up a functional and extendable ECommerce store quickly and with minimal input. Great for novices & entrepreneurs with aspirations of running high worth ECommerce sites. 

About the Author
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Glenn

A highly experienced Web Designer / Web Developer (Webflow, WordPress, Weebly & Custom), Front-end / Back-end Developer & New Media Specialist, with extensive knowledge of a wide spectrum of technologies in the Development and Creative Industries, built up over a number of years.