WordPress is an amazing CMS when it comes to setting up a website for a personal blog, corporate website, or even an eCommerce site. Building an eCommerce website using WordPress is really easy, with a variety of plugins and development options available, but there are a number of challenges that you have to face before launching your online shop.
In this two-part series, I intend to cover in detail some of the problems and challenges that you will most likely face and some of the solutions that are available to help you overcome the hurdles.
Choosing the Right eCommerce Theme
Depending on your store design concept and what you intend to sell, choosing the right eCommerce theme for your site can be a difficult choice to make.
After all, not every WordPress theme can be suitable for an eCommerce site: You have to take into consideration how the various different pages will be, from the catalogue page, to the shopping cart and finally the checkout.
The whole process has to be simple and easy for any client coming to the site, regardless of whether they are visiting the site for the first time or not.
One Plugin Solution That’s Fits All
Despite that are available on the market, it's really difficult finding a single one that offers almost all of the solutions that you may need. Each of the available plugins tends to cover some of the basic features, so to leverage the best out of it, you will probably be required to purchase add-ons, which come at an extra cost.
Also, looking at the type of product that you will be selling, particular WordPress plugins are best suited for a certain type of eCommerce site as compared to general site for example a digital good’s site will best work with easy downloads as compared to a site that takes full advantage of all the functionalities of a WooCommerce plugin.
Website Scaling and Growth
The number of concurrent scripts that a simple WordPress blog executes can sometimes overwhelm servers. From there, imagine in the case of a busy eCommerce site. Processing a large volume of orders can really prove to be a pain in the neck, especially as the store gains popularity when even more and more products and services are added to the site.
The whole management of products requires sufficient knowledge and organization to ensure the smooth operation. This is not say that none of the plugins can manage this, and we'll look at the next post in the series. Specifically, we will be covering some of the best plugins that can address this particular problem.
Website Security and Passwords
Most of the eCommerce sites using the WordPress platform tend to use other third party payment methods and merchants to handle the cash transaction, this is much easier and it will take a lot of paperwork and procedures to be allowed to store customers debit and credit card details on your database.
Despite this, customers are still required to login to the store either to do simple and easy checkout and also take advantage of the discounts that come with returning customer, in this scenario, some customers use the same passwords associated with the cards they are using on the site, this poses a serious security threat.
Requiring customers to come up with a stronger password can be start to dealing with this issue. In the next part, I also intend to cover on how to implement such security measures and protecting the site against brute force attack.
WordPress Core, Theme and Plugin Updates
One of the best things about WordPress is the frequency of updates that are released. This update addresses some of the most recent problems facing the CMS. Although this is really a good thing, some themes tend not be compatible with the updates thereby causing the website to either break or not behave the way that it should.
Pushing updates manually on your site can really be helpful, especially when you are not sure about your theme’s compatibility with future WordPress updates. You can always check with the plugin developer or theme developer to ascertain the themes compatibility.
Theme and Plugin Support From the Developer
As much as this may seem like a big deal, during the development or the theme customization process, you need to have all the necessary support.
Choosing the right plugin or theme from the right developer may be prove to be a lifesaver. They can at least offer solutions to some of the problems you may be facing, or even offer custom development services to address your specific need.
In this post we have covered the basic problems and challenges that you may face when developing a WordPress eCommerce site, from choosing the right theme for your website, the right plugin to some of the security concerns for example user passwords.
What's Up Next?
Join me in the next part of this series where will deal, in-depth, the ways of how best to secure your site, analysis of some of the plugins you can use to manage big stores and some of the qualities you should look for in an eCommerce theme.
In the meantime feel free to leave any comments or questions below!
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