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There are several necessary steps to setting up your eCommerce site. First, it needs to look appealing and be functional enough to handle customer orders. Then, you also have to implement themes and other useful add-ons. But how do you control these parameters in the most effective way? The entire setup and management are straightforward, and eCommerce plugins are there to help.

How do you pick the right plugin for your eCommerce website? Of course, an online store’s purpose differs between owners, and you must know what you want from yours. However, several factors contribute to the right eCommerce plugin for you. For instance, Shopify development and static WP webpage generator have different plugin requirements. If you have stores worldwide, you also need a multilingual website for that.

This article highlights some key points and steps you must take to pick the most effective plugin for your eCommerce store.

Have a Good Hosting Service

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Hosting is one of the essential prerequisites for your eCommerce store. Moreover, it’s the foundation on which your store would reside subsequently. However, getting a good hosting service isn’t so much about what you should do. Instead, it’s about what you shouldn’t.

Free hosting solutions may seem cost-effective on the onset but present a myriad of problems in the future. Therefore, you shouldn’t get a free hosting service. However, WordPress Engine is a suitable option if your eCommerce store is already in the WP ecosystem. It provides a bundled hosting service that’s consistent with any other WP applications you might have.

On the other hand, you can go for hosting service options like BlueHost if you’re starting on a lower budget.

Decide on What Forms of Product you want to Sell

There are various ways you can sell your products in an eCommerce store. For example, you have an online book store. Would you want customers to download them as eBooks, get them in hardcover, or both? You can have them sold directly on the site in downloadable formats or have a link to physical goods instead.

You must make the decision, as it would determine what kind of plugins you can use. For example, some plugin options only support digital downloads, while others handle physical goods. Furthermore, if you plan to implement both product types, you can choose a plugin to manage them.

Choose a Payment Platform

It might interest you to know that most eCommerce store plugins come with their prebuilt payment platforms. Some of the more popular ones you can expect are PayPal, Authorize and Stripe. This is because they are often more widely used, and you need to have one for your eCommerce store.

However, it’s essential to do the necessary research on your customer demographic as well. From what country and city are they shopping? Does the payment platform support the country from which they shop? These factors should influence your choice of a payment plugin.

Draw up the Add-Ons you Need

Add-on applications are handy for your online store, especially when you’re in the WordPress ecosystem. You can choose numerous options. But how many of them would you need for your store? It’s best to make a list of add-ons you’d need in your eCommerce store.

Your list should have four main categories:

  • Add-ons that are must-haves
  • Add-ons that are important for your store
  • Helpful add-ons that you might not need
  • Add-ons that are not relevant to your stores

These categories can better help you to pick add-on applications for your eCommerce business. For example, do you want a wishlist add-on for your store? A “save-for-later” plugin can be a cheaper alternative if you consider it. Also, it’s best to consider whether a slideshow-style or carousel-style display is the best for your product image.

Pick the Right Theme

Whatever plugin you decide to choose for your store, you must use themes that support them. Thankfully, you have a broad theme selection that can cater to your store’s niche and plugins. For instance, you can choose business themes, fashion themes, or multipurpose ones that would suit any eCommerce site you must have set up.

Don’t Forget Aftersales Support

So you’ve got the necessary plugins for your eCommerce website, but what’s next? You don’t want a vendor to leave you immediately after purchase, especially when you have a very low to average technical WP know-how.

Apart from the features you usually get, an eCommerce plugin should provide aftersales support such as configuration, setup, and troubleshooting. You must consider your options and see which one of them gives you the most support after purchase.

Pricing and More

Pricing rounds up the eCommerce plugin considerations you might have. It can come down to how much you’re willing to pay for any plugin. Thankfully, most options have a tiered pricing plan to fit any budget you might have. Typically, you can get a “basic” subscription plan which is often the cheapest, all the way up to the “premium”, most expensive plan.

There are other details to note as well. For example, some plugins might require manual installations through FTP access. Also, you may need to carry out terminal commands and programming if you have ancillary services like Static Site Generators on your eCommerce site. Therefore, ensure that you have the proper technical knowledge to install and configure your plugins.

Wrapping Up

Picking a plugin for your store seems pretty straightforward, but choosing the right one is not so much. Suppose you’re starting an eCommerce for the first time. There are so many options available to you, especially if you have an SEO-friendly WordPress site. Some of them exist as bundles with various necessary extensions.

You have excellent examples like the WooCommerce plugin that offers extensions like accounting, marketing, reporting, and payment processing. You can also try Shopp with its theme widgets, product searches, and multiple product image extensions.

However, it bears mentioning that you should consider certain factors before pulling the trigger on a plugin purchase. You’ll need to ensure that it’s compatible with your hosting service and you have the suitable themes for it. The points mentioned above can help you further on how you can pick the right plugin solutions.

Author’s Bio: Lori Wade is a writer who is interested in a wide range of spheres from eCommerce to web development and new technologies. If you are interested in the above topics, you can find her on LinkedIn. Read and take over Lori’s useful insights!

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