10 Best Free WordPress Plugins for Ecommerce
Starting an online venture is a lot easier than it was a few years ago. Back then, web designing was the domain of professional developers and coders. Today, anyone with a business idea and an internet connection can open an e-store. WordPress is among the best platforms for beginners who want to expand their enterprise globally. One of the core reasons for its popularity is the availability of some superb plugins. Here are a few simple and effective e-commerce plugins trending this year that every budding entrepreneur must check out once.
WooCommerce is by far the best e-commerce plugin for WordPress users who wants to build a functional and reliable web store within minutes. Even most popular e-commerce website builders use it for creating online stores. You can sell out both physical and digital products online, create catalogs, integrate shopping carts, add different payment gateways and other features to your store. WooCommerce integration also gives you complete control over the design and performance of the site. Then, it lets you add shipping in real-time and other after-sales services. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about any third-party charges because you can self-host your store and control the domain.
Jetpack is a multi-purpose e-commerce plugin that allows you to do a little bit of everything. With Jetpack you can control the design of the store, access different WordPress themes, and image galleries, and add other mobile-friendly features. You can even integrate marketing solutions like social media buttons, Google Analytics and PayPal features to the store. You even get Google Sitemaps indexing support that helps boost your website performance, track potential leads and convert them to successful sales. The app also provides a degree of protection against online threats, virus attacks, and malware infestations by creating a firewall over the server and monitoring the downtime, speed, and usage.
Akismet is another plugin developed by the Matt and his team at Automattic (WordPress);it comes pre-installed with every new WordPress core installation. The app basically checks for spam content and filters out offensive comments, ads or other spam. Here, the user can see exactly which of the comments were blocked and for what reason. Moderators can also see which of the comments were approved and were posted by which client/visitor. Akismet is free for personal blogs and has to be subscribed for if you’re applying it to a commercial website.
Yoast SEO is a time-tested and well-known WordPress plugin that takes care of the SEO support of the web store. A good SEO framework makes your website more visible and accessible to the user. This doesn’t just include throwing a few generic keywords here and there in the content but optimizing the page in such a way so that it gets featured in the topmost sections of prominent search engines. With Yoast SEO, you can improve your SEO rank, improve your content and also track the website’s performance. The functionalities also include customizing meta tags, alt tags, and heading.
The registered feature is available by default on the WordPress dashboard; the User Registration plugin makes the entire process all the easier. Once you have enabled the feature from the WP dashboard, you can check on the “Anyone can register” to enable membership option. After that, any user can register on your platform via his username/email id and password. However, that’s not all, with the User Registration plugin, create a user-end registration form for new visitors and potential customers. You can create multiple user forms with multi-column support, recaptcha options, email notifications etc.
Google XML Sitemaps
Google XML Sitemaps is one of the most useful and practical plugins for WordPress that e-stores can apply. The plugin helps search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing to locate and identify your website and provide better indexing. An XML Sitemap is automatically created the moment you launch the app. Sitemaps also help in identifying and locating the website and enhancing its visibility. Your content is featured across various search engines, being accessible to more and more people, and hence gaining more and more buyers and revenue. The plugin also sends out notifications automatically to all major platforms about the updates you’ve made on the site.
Nivo slider is an image-relatede-commerce plugin that allows you to add different images, manage and customize them to your liking. It is a great solution for people who want to add attractive images to product catalogs, insert samples and video tutorials etc. The slideshow feature lets you add image sliders, carousels to make the store far more appealing to the visitor. The slider can be inserted anywhere from the catalog to the home page. Nivo Slider has empowered over 3 million websites till date and offers both a free and a premium version.
W3 Total Cache
Caching is a smart way to improve the performance of the website or store. Caches are but temporary files where you can store the website data so as to load the page faster the next time the user wants to access it. WordPress cache plugins like W3 Total Cache reduces the page loading time drastically, adds more flexibility and also impacts the SEO of the platform. Plus, you get various types of caching options like Page Cache, browser caching, object caching, database caching and a lot more. It even allows you to integrate CND services, minimize HTML, CSS and JS files to save up almost 80% of the bandwidth.
VaultPress is among the best security plugins for e-commerce websites introduced by WordPress. The plugin creates an automatic backup of your website and in real-time. All and any changes that you make on the website gets reflected on the cloud storage copy. The jetpack powered theme sync text, images, videos, and other content forms seamlessly, providing further protection against online threats. VaultPress is an all-in-one platform where you can restore websites, create backups and manage multiple websites from a single dashboard. The platform also scans and detects any major and minor risks, protects your page against spam and comes with Akismet integration.
WP Smush is an e-commerce plugin that deals with images, i.e. uploading and editing pictures to make your content more engaging. However, adding more images and graphics can slow down the website as it consumes a lot of memory. And compressing the images hampers the overall look and feel of the website. WP Smush helps you overcome this problem. It reduces the size of the image without affecting its quality. It optimizes all image formats- JPEG, GIF, and PNG formats. The advanced compressing options allow for further customizations. What’s more, the bulk smush feature allows you to compress more than 50 images at once! And all your data is auto-saved in the media library.
The Bottom Line- What’s the Best Option?
Finding the best e-commerce plugin is a tough task and not because there are no good third-party apps around. On the contrary, there are just so many apps around that the first-time user feels overwhelmed by the choice offered. This is where we come to help. WooCommerce plugin is by far the best app we have tested which is suitable for both small and large-scale enterprises.