Whether you’re already running an ecommerce website or just beginning to build your first online store, it can be frighteningly easy to be inundated by the amount of plugins available for your website. Finding the best plugins for your website is absolutely critical, because having too many plugins can represent an increased security risk for your website, and having too many plugins can slow down your website dramatically.
We’ve scoured through many of the top plugins for ecommerce websites so that you don’t have to, and will present here our top picks for ecommerce entrepreneurs. Sure, there are more plugins out there in the sea, and plenty of them add value: but if you want to be absolutely certain that your website has a strong start, these plugins are absolutely essential.
How do you set up a store? Choose a payment gateway? Make products, add shipping, or take care of all the other minutia of going from ‘nothing’ to ‘online store’? The answer should absolutely be WooCommerce.
Woocommerce operates on a freemium basis, meaning its basic features are free to use, by anyone. It offers several free payment gateways which look and function beautifully, and can be set up by a new user with no experience in approximately 15 minutes. It’s compatible with the majority of WordPress themes, and easily organizes almost all aspects of running a store for you. If you need additional functions, like massive product lists, product importing, auction functions, recurring payments… you can easily pay for plugin-addons, which are very sensibly priced at between $30 and $70 for annual use in most cases.
It’s pretty difficult to run a store that no one goes to. Yoast SEO assists with that problem, and makes SEO marking any page or product an easy and painless affair… even for those individuals who’ve never had to worry about SEO before.
There’s a reason this plugin is endorsed by millions of users: it’s streamlined, simple, effective, and combines many of the features you’d otherwise download several different SEO and social-sharing plugins for. While just downloading the plugin itself won’t get you ranking at the top positions in SERPS, it certainly makes the legwork much easier.
Instant Search Plus
Instant Search for Ecommerce is a revolutionary smart-search. And right about now, you might be wondering why you need a search plugin. Won’t your native search function do everything it needs to?
The answer is ‘no’. With an increasing percentage of ecommerce transactions happening on mobile devices, it’s important that you make it as easy as possible for potential customers to find what they’re looking for. Autocomplete functions, and a search tool which recommends products before posts and pages are a must-have. But Instant Search Plus has reported conversion increases for its users of anywhere from 30% to 150%, and improves traditional searches with recommended products and other fantastic perks.
Fantastic product images are another one of the most critical elements to help improve conversions; and are, unfortunately, often the most difficult part of an ecommerce store to deal with.
WooThumbs is affordable (coming in at just $25) and allows you to easily modify image thumbnails, and improve product image functions by plugging in zoom, sliders, and even video capabilities. It also modifies existing product gallery images into a carousel, which ensures that there are fewer clicks to complete purchase.
An ecommerce store is a simple beast, when you strip it down: a website with products and a cart is all you need. But a successful ecommerce store needs robust organizational capabilities, a great checkout gateway that’s safe and attractive, and should be easy to manage. Woocommerce ticks all of those boxes and then some! Woothumbs increases that ease-of-management and improves the customer experience by helping you make all of your products visually attractive.
Yoast SEO and Instant Search Plus handle two other key areas apart from the sale mechanic itself: they help to make your ecommerce website both easy to find, and easy to navigate, which are critical for ensuring that your website makes the most business it can.