What is eCommerce? And why is the capital letter in the middle?
Ecommerce is all about buying and selling online. Whatever you're buying or selling, money is exchanged for goods or services, generally by use of some kind of software bridge from your website to a payment gateway - like PayPal or Stripe.
How to Add eCommerce to Your WordPress Site
Ecommerce functionality can be added to your WordPress site through various paid or free plugins - added software (programs) that extend what WordPress can do. Examples include:
WooCommerce and WordPress
For a small business, WordPress with the free version of WooCommerce is more than adequate, provided you have the right hosting environment. This means that WooCommerce works adequately with PHP5, but better with PHP7. In the simplest terms, you’ll need dedicated WordPress hosting from your provider - or the option to upgrade PHP from your cpanel (if you have one).
Things to think about:
- Do you want to use a page builder like Eliminator? In that case you’ll definitely need PHP7 - Eliminator works fine with PHP5 … until you add WooCommerce. Then it doesn’t load properly with PHP5.
- Do you have enough memory on your platform for everything to work fast and easy? Both WordPress and WooCommerce take up a lot of memory when working, so you’ll need 60–128MB working memory from your host.
- Do you want to integrate your ecommerce site with services like MailChimp, a membership site or aweber? Actually, WooCommerce plays well with most integrations.
- Do you want to offer coupons, sales, buy together options etc? Yes, you can do this fairly easily.
- Do you need to be tech savvy? Weeeelll, not really. What you will need is at least one person who is willing to experience the learning curve, which is steep. Or you can get someone to set it up for you, for a fee. Either way, you need to be very clear about what you want from your ecommerce site. You can find some options here: Everything you need for your WooCommerce store
- And what about themes? Again, this can be tricky. WooCommerce says it works with pretty much any theme. It doesn’t work well with all of them - test it first.
- How secure is WooCommerce? It has its own security built in, but you might want to think about an extra layer of security - iThemes is good.
- What about SEO? Yes all products/services can be optimised for SEO (search engine optimization) - you’ll need something like Yoast or AllInOneSEOPack to help you do this. Or, if you have the budget, you can employ someone to do it for you.
- Payment options? WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with PayPal, Stripe (which I prefer) and Bitcoin. Most world currencies are supported.
- Would you be able to run a business like Amazon on WordPress? Nope - too much traffic. You’d need dedicated servers and a much bigger dedicated environment.
Is WordPress Good for eCommerce?
All that being said, is WordPress good for eCommerce? Sure - WordPress with WooCommerce is certainly good to run an ecommerce site for small businesses with limited budgets. But not a big traffic site like Amazon.
Why the capital letter in the middle? It's an affectation, left over from the early days of programming, when there couldn't be spaces in names. What the programmers did was to run words together with a capital at the beginning of each word so that meaningful - and legible! - names could be given to their programs.