We all know how popular WordPress is, and the rich palette of purposes its used for. One of the most controversial uses for WordPress is the creation of online web stores. It’s very easy to open up your online store with the platform, but what are the risks of doing so? Here, we’ll talk about the pros and cons of using WordPress for eCommerce purposes, and what you can do to take out the most of the platform.

The Bad

Perhaps the greatest weakness of WordPress in general is the platform’s security. Unless you install several plugins, and hire a professional programmer to change some lines of code in your platform, your website might not be the safest place for your users and their important data. If you want to create an online store, you need to make sure that you’ve taken all of the safety precautions, especially for keeping sensitive user data.

The best thing you could do it to hire an external security specialist, who will know exactly what needs to be tweaked so that the platform’s security is strengthened. This will include basic tasks such as changing the admin account name and password, the /wp-admin/ URL, and other more advanced things.

Another bad side of WordPress is that it’s not a platform created to support online stores. Its main purpose was to help people create their own blog. Nowadays you can create any type of website with the platform, but since the developers want to keep it multipurpose, you will have to install several different plugins, and a suitable theme before you can open your online store.

This CMS lacks integrated eCommerce solutions, so a plugin like WooCommerce, and a theme that supports it will be required. Of course, this means that you will have to occupy yourself with learning basics about the theme/plugin, tweaking options, and importing your products. If you’ve never before created an online store with WordPress, you will find that these tasks are time consuming mainly because there will be a lot of learning going on.

The Good

Even though we mentioned the need for plugins in order to create an eCommerce website, that also appears to be a strength too. Because there are several major eCommerce plugins on the market, each of them offering a different approach to the matter, you have a choice. You can compare the plugins and see which of them will perform best for your task.

If the platform had an in-built eCommerce feature, it would have had to be very well designed in order to please all of WordPress’s users. This would have lead to lots of complaints to the developers. Even if you start off with one plugin, and you’re not satisfied with the results, you can easily switch to another one. Exporting and importing data has been made very easy and the interface of different plugins is similar.

Since we’re talking about plugins, it’s notable to mention that WordPress also supports caching plugins. These are plugins which store chunks of your website on your visitor’s computers, and when they visit your website again, they use those chunks to decrease loading times. This is actually very helpful if your online store includes heavy images which take much time to load.

Because you’re using WordPress you can easily change the design of your website, by switching to another theme, without having to export/import data. If you’re planning on switching to a theme that is better than your current one, you won’t need to worry about loss of products, user data, or any information at all. This is one of the tasks at which WordPress is adept: easily switching designs without loss of data.

Another notable strength of WordPress is the fact that there are lots of SEO plugins, which enable you to optimize your website for search engines without the help of external specialists. Instead of having to meddle with HTML and PHP code, you simply go to the plugin and follow the steps it puts you through.

The Verdict

WordPress is not the best eCommerce solution out there, but it’s the most practical one. In fact, if you take your time to secure your website’s data, and learn to operate with different plugins, you will have no problem. But that’s not for someone who is entirely new to web programing.

If you want to put up an online store with a stunning design and lots of features, then WordPress is the platform for you. Once again, you just need to be sure that you don’t leak any data.