Should I Switch my E-Commerce (5)

Should I Switch My e-Commerce Website to WordPress?

“I heard you mention that it was best to have your website on wordpress.org.  Do I need to make a switch over?

What’s the benefit of doing this?  I read online that you can pay $12 for a custom WordPress.com domain? Does this then mean that the .org issue is resolved?”

Answer: If your e-commerce platform doesn’t provide the features and flexibility that maximize sales, you need to switch.

When your blog is hosted on WordPress.com, you don’t technically own your blog.  It’s kind of like you’re renting the building (your website) rather than owning you own home.

The traffic and authority you gain from blogging on a WordPress.com or Blogger.com blog isn’t directly associated with your website.

You’re doing the hard word and WordPress.com (in your case) gets all the credit.

WordPress is my number one recommendation.  While it may cost more in the short-term switching to WordPress, it allows the control and features you need to make more sales over time.

Learn more about the many benefits of switching to WordPress.

You can pay $12 for a custom WordPress.com domain? Does this then mean that the .org issue is resolved?  

No.  While the WordPress.com blog will look like it’s on your domain, you still won’t have full control and flexibility of your blog like you would with WordPress.org.

Here’s an infographic describing the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org that may help.

An effective e-commerce website needs to have a simple way to take payments, plus control, design and navigation that sell your wedding accessories.

Many wedding pros choose a simple and inexpensive e-commerce platform that works great until they realize that they aren’t getting the SEO benefits and flexibility they need to really maximize leads and sales.

Learn more about how to generate real leads with your blog here.

It looks like Volusion (which you’re using, correct?) does NOT allow an installation of WordPress.org.  You also don’t technically own the contents of your website, so if you wanted to move to another web host, you’d have to rebuild your site on a new platform.  It’s kind of like you’re renting the website from them.

This would be a deal breaker for me because I want control of my website.  Read more about the Pros and Cons of Volusion here.

Investigate the pros and cons of the top e-commerce website solutions for small businesses first, then choose the option that best fits your needs.

I don’t have personal experience with e-commerce software. However, I hear good things about WooCommerce (for WordPress specifically) and BigCommerce.

Check out the features of these programs to start. Then you can dig into research for reviews from there.

My recommendations in order of preference:

  • Leave Volusion and build a new website platform with a WordPress.org site and e-commerce software, something like Woo Commerce that works with WordPress.This would be an expense (I’m guessing thousands, but you’d have to get an estimate) because you’d be building a new site from scratch and it would cost a bit to duplicate the same features you currently have with Volusion.
  • Buy a new domain and install a WordPress.org database on it.  Then migrate your WordPress.com blog posts over there and link to it from your current Volusion site.This would be less expensive because you’re only building a blog that matches your website design.
  • Keep things as they are make the best of it!  Link to your current blog from your home page (there is a way to do this in Volusion, but you’ll have to hire someone.)  You’ll be limited with what you can do on WordPress.com blog, but you can still generate traffic and leads.

You’ll have to make a choice based on your situation, how much money you have to invest, and what’s best for you.  If you want a quote on doing #1 or #2, I highly recommend WP Help Club.

Don’t be overwhelmed!  Do your best and you can always make changes later as your business grows.

What do you think?

photo credit: arsp_025 via photopin (license) (Placed image on a background and added text)
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Stephanie Padovani

Stephanie is a Hudson Valley wedding insider, blogger, writer, and wedding business coach. Want to book more weddings at higher prices? Quit dealing with price shoppers? Transform your wedding business so that it supports the life you really want? Look her up! They don't call her the Wedding Business Cheerleader for nothing. :)

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4 thoughts on “Should I Switch My e-Commerce Website to WordPress?”

  1. Great post Stephanie! I’ve been meaning to post about this forever 😉

    I would also add that you need to be very careful about using WordPress for e-Commerce. Despite the popularity of plug-ins, seasoned developers often discuss privately amongst each other how insecure it can be for processing transactions. WordPress and related plug-ins are sometimes easily hacked and could put your business at a liability risk of millions if it violates PCI compliance or results in a security breach of client information. I would consult with a PCI compliance expert through your merchant provider first before choosing your platform and make sure your plug-in is super secure.

    Also, if it’s helpful to other readers considering selling through a cart, here are some tips about getting set up to take payments online: http://brideappeal.com/blog/taking-wedding-payments-online

    Whatever you decide, good luck!

    1. Great info about the security issues, Kathy. When you finally post about this, let me know so we can link to it!

  2. In my opinion it depends on the photographer’s goal. For wedding photographers, NextGEN Pro is the ideal Ecommerce platform for WordPress. It allows pricelists for selling galleries of photos for print, includes proofing and also can sell digital downloads. There are many other Ecommerce platforms, like WooCommece which you mentioned, for WordPress. But none are designed for selling photos other than NextGEN Pro.

    At the same time, there are platforms like SmugMug which are designed for photographers to sell and can be somewhat matched to a WordPress site, and use a custom domain. So it comes down to what the photographer wants. If they want to handle the maintenance of WordPress then go WordPress. If not, go elsewhere.

    Food for thought 🙂

    1. Solid advice. You need to be clear on your website needs, technical ability and what you can afford. There’s not a one size fits all solution.

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