Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why WordPress Isn’t a Suitable E-Commerce Platform?

With the recent advances in information technology, even small and  medium sized firms are moving towards eCommerce.  There are over 500 platforms for eCommerce development that makes it difficult to choose the best one for your business. One of them is WordPress which is a leading  Content Management System. Almost all of you are familiar with Wordpress, or at least heard about how easy it is to learn and implement. Doesn’t it sound good to add an eCommerce plugin and manage everything under your WordPress dashboard? Definitely it seems to be a cake walk, but reality is very much different.

Don’t get me wrong, even I love Wordpress and use it in my various sites. But, Wordpress is only a blogging platform and suitable only for content based websites. It doesn’t matter whether it has 1000 of plugins and themes available or it is free, the basic fact remains same that it is unsuitable for eCommerce. I am not saying that you can’t do anything with Wordpress, in fact, if your product catalogue is limited and straightforward and you don’t have a large range of products to sell (not more than a couple of dozen), Wordpress is more than sufficient for you.  But if you have big dreams for your store, then dedicated eCommerce platforms are better choice  as they are built from scratch for eCommerce and online stores, and also have specific features that make them easy to use as an eCommerce Development Platform.

WordPress is basically a content management system with extra features to use it as eCommerce but a dedicated eCommerce platform is basically a store management system

It is best to use a tool for the purpose that it was intended. Here is a list of the some points that make Wordpress unfit for eCommerce development:
  • I t can’t be used for sites with a lot of sales due to the heaviness of database queries.
  • You only get what you pay for, so you can’t expect necessary features for professional online store from free WordPress plugins. And support is available only from the community of users not from the original developers.
  • Being an Opensource it is simply available to everyone so it is the easiest target for hackers. As an online store owner, the last thing you want is your customers' information being stolen.
  • Last but most important point is that they are not PA-DSS compliant. It means you can’t accept credit cards on your site.  Your customer can only pay through  third party services like PayPal or Google Wallet, which will hurt your conversion rate in the long run.
  • Even if, Wordpress plugins for eCommerce like WP e-Commerce or  WooCommerce claims that their platforms support thousands of products, but generally they do not perform as well as a platform which is dedicated to eCommerce.
  • Although we can add several themes and plugins to make it work for eCommerce, but problem arises during Wordpress upgradation. Maybe your installed theme and plugin does work well with the upgraded version.
What do you want content or online store - WordPress CMS are born for Content and eCommerce platforms are born for online stores.

Conclusion: No doubt that WordPress is a great Content Management System, and I always commend it as a ‘blogging’ platform. Although we can make it compatible for eCommerce by integrating various plugins, but the basic fact remains same that Wordpress is not developed to be an eCommerce Platform. However, you can’t deny the importance of using a true store management system for your online store.  Questions?  Feel free to ask in the comments.

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