The eCommerce market has gone through a lot over the last decade. Many of the biggest stores have streamlined their approach to maximize their profits, while at the same time the market has become more welcoming to small newcomers. The introduction and subsequent development of platforms like WordPress played a major role in that. It’s currently relatively simple for the average person to get their own storefront up and running in a very short time, and focus on their products.
And while WordPress is still a very popular solution for eCommerce, there have been some discussions regarding its current viability in recent years. There are some valid arguments on both sides, and it’s interesting to follow the debate. So let’s take a look at the current state of affairs, and how WordPress fits into the picture.
The Current State of the eCommerce Market
The eCommerce market has evolved a lot in a very short period of time. Currently, there is a lot of diversity in terms of store sizes and coverage. Various small stores are able to operate without needing to expand too fast, while others have been able to take their target markets by storm through some careful planning. And of course, a lot has changed behind the scenes over those years.
One of the biggest changes we’ve observed is the shift from developing specialized in-house solutions to using out-of-the-box suites and customizing them to specific needs. This can be seen across all levels of the market, with both big companies and small players taking advantage of the developed ecosystem for platforms like WordPress.
The Rise of WordPress
WordPress started out as a generic content management system (CMS) platform, and it eventually evolved into a very powerful tool capable of addressing a number of different issues. The rise of various eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce played a huge role in that, and WordPress is currently one of the most popular ways to get a site up and running with as little work as possible.
Whether it will remain at the top is hard to say, but there are no reasons to believe otherwise right now. The developers of WordPress are still putting active work into maintaining their product and interacting with their community, so it’s reasonable to assume that the platform is going to be around for a long time.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of using WordPress as your main eCommerce platform.
Benefits of Using WordPress
- Lots of plugins: WordPress has been around for a long time now, and has built a solid community around itself. There is a huge ecosystem of plugins and extensions for the platform which introduce various kinds of additional functionality, address issues, and allow users to tweak it exactly to their needs. This is one of the main reasons for choosing WordPress over other solutions for a lot of people.
- Easy to customize: the platform is also simple to tweak under the hood, and offers lots of customization options right off the bat, even before any specific plugins are installed. Users can easily transform the appearance and navigation flow of their sites and have them behave exactly like they want to, without compromising lots of resources or development time.
- Lots of support/community support: the huge community around WordPress is a benefit in itself. Issues take very little time to resolve with so many eyes focused on them at any given time. Bugs don’t linger for too long, and it’s easy to get support for any specific problems you might experience.
- Great for SEO: WordPress is designed to be good for SEO, and this has been a major point in its development through the years. The platform remains a great choice for those who want to make their sites stand out without having to invest too much work into fine-tuning their HTML code. There are even various tools specifically designed to improve the SEO of your WordPress site. Some of them are free and are actively supported by the community, so you should definitely check what’s available on that corner of the market.
Disadvantages of Using WordPress
- May need some work to suit your needs: the flexibility and customization of WordPress is also one of its major problems in the eyes of some. There are so many packages and plugins available for everything, and all of them are so easy to customize, that there is a significant expectation that you are going to go out of your way to tweak settings in order to get the results you want. There are solutions that offer a lot of functionality straight away, with relatively little work. WooCommerce is a good example of that. But if you want to make your store truly your own, you should be prepared to do some work.
- Potential compatibility issues with plugins: WordPress plugins are developed by the community and not by the people behind WordPress itself, for the most part. This means that you may occasionally run into compatibility issues between certain plugins, which can be a headache to resolve. As long as you stick to tried and tested mainstream solutions, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you start digging into more obscure, specialized packages, you may run into issues on that front sooner or later.
Should You Use WordPress for eCommerce in 2022?
With all that in mind, is WordPress still a good choice for eCommerce in 2022? The short answer is yes. The platform offers many features for setting up an eCommerce store, especially if you’re using something reputable like WooCommerce. However, you should be prepared to do some heavy lifting in terms of customizing your site and the plugins you’re using. You will usually only need to go through this once, and after that you can just enjoy your site running smoothly with minimal interaction. And depending on the budget you’ve allocated for your project, you may also be able to hire a WooCommerce Agency to resolve all those issues for you in the first place as well as sign up for a WooCommerce maintenance plan.
If you’re serious about your store and intend to run it for a long time and expand it as much as you can, WordPress is one of the safest bets you can make.