If you’re concerned that cheaper eCommerce plugins just won’t fit the bill, then let’s settle this once and for all today. I’m going to review six of the top eCommerce plugins and see if we can find something that’s worth making the switch for.

  • MarketPress

    The MarketPress e-commerce plugin from WPMU DEV is the quick and comprehensive solution for building (or re-building) your e-commerce store in WordPress. Unlike other plugins, there are no extensions necessary in order to tap into the full functionality needed to run an e-commerce site. It comes with everything you need.Highlights

    • Included in your WPMU DEV membership
    • Works with Upfront
    • Step-by-step quick setup wizard to help you get your store back up and running right away
    • 15 built-in payment gateways
    • Integrates with Google Analytics
    • Various tax and VAT settings
    • No extensions needed to access all the features
    • Can build a single store or network of stores
    • Sell digital or physical products
    • Built-in gallery display for product images
  • Cart66

    If security is a major concern for your e-commerce store, then the Cart66 plugin is one you must look at. It comes chock-full of sales-enhancing features, all of which are protected by their PCI compliance, CDN, and secure hosted payment page.One thing to note about Cart66, however, is that they offer two subscriptions. The first one comes with the standard highlights mentioned below. The second one costs significantly more, but offers more in the way of being able to manage the entire shopping experience from start to finish (like mailing labels, drip campaigns, etc.)


    • PCI-compliant hosted payment portal
    • Built-in CDN for additional security
    • Includes over 100 payment gateways
    • Sell digital or physical products
    • Advanced shipping and tax rate calculator
    • Coupon integration
    • MailChimp integration
    • One-click Buy Now links for your other marketing platforms (e.g. email, social)
  • Easy Digital Downloads

    One of the very few e-commerce plugins for WordPress that’s available for free, Easy Digital Downloads is a great option if your site is in the business of selling digital products like software, ebooks, and images and if you need a simple store setup. Anything beyond creating products and adding discount codes will require a paid extension or upgrade (but that should be expected with a free plugin anyway).Highlights

    • It’s free
    • Works with most major payment gateways, like PayPal and Amazon
    • Create digital product pages the same way you’d create anything else in WordPress (which means it’s super intuitive)
    • Discount code creation
    • Built-in reporting system
  • eCommerce Product Catalog Plugin

    This free e-commerce plugin is great for creating and managing a physical product catalog, which is made even more easy with its drag-and-drop catalog builder. Now, while you could spring for the premium extensions that give you access to things like quote forms, product reviews, and a shopping cart, you may be best off using this in conjunction with a safe and secure payment gateway instead.Highlights

    • It’s free
    • Drag-and-drop builder
    • Customize your design or use pre-made templates
    • Works with over 150 currencies and four price formats
    • Build a catalog for up to 100,000 products
    • Granular product catalog organization based on categories or tags
    • Control shipping options
    • SEO-friendly: includes metadata as well as separate catalog sitemap
    • Includes breadcrumb functionality
  • iThemes Exchange

    The basic iThemes Exchange plugin is a simple and intuitive way to set up your products and get your store running in no time, so, if time is of the essence, this speedy solution may fit the bill. However, it is important to note that there’s a lot more you can do with this e-commerce plugin, but it requires extension activation (and payment) in order to tap into that advanced functionality.Highlights

    • Unique but simple interface that streamlines product entry setup
    • Sell digital and physical products
    • Integrates with Stripe (their preferred payment gateway) as well as PayPal
    • Add-ons available for reporting, tax calculations, multi-item shopping carts, product metadata, and more
    • Pro Pack designed for membership websites and other recurring payment services
  • WP eCommerce

    If you’re looking for something that is a step up from a free e-commerce plugin but not quite as robust as a premium one, you may be interested in the WP eCommerce plugin. They keep it simple in terms of setting up a new store, but have also built this plugin with the developer in mind, offering a number of APIs to extend the functionality of your online store.Highlights

    • Integrates with reliable payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe
    • Manage tax and shipping rates
    • Coupon management options
    • Configure for recurring billing, processing refunds, and more
    • Includes on-page marketing options, like “Share This” and “User Who Bought This”
    • Monitor sales from within the tool

Wrapping Up

Sadly, WooCommerce may still be seen by many to have a leg up on the competition, what with their long-standing presence as the top eCommerce plugin on the market. And for some of their customers, the price jump will simply be a drop in the bucket—but I’m sure those customers are far and few between.

For developers that don’t want to work with a plugin developer that doesn’t have their best interests at heart, just know that there are other options available that are just as (if not more so) reliable and feature-packaged. You don’t need to risk angering your own customers by raising your own prices in order to compensate for WooCommerce’s ever-shifting pricing structure. You also don’t need to work with a plugin that many customers have called out for lacking in support. Your business deserves a better partner than that.