Shopify for WordPress Makes E-Commerce Easy

by | Jul 28, 2016 | Web Design

There are several ways to develop an e-commerce store for your WordPress website. But there are a lot of details to manage with many of the existing e-commerce plugins, and you may need to buy more add-ons to get your store to work right. Not to mention, some of the interfaces are downright clunky. Shopify’s new WordPress plugin, however, is a great solution for integrating e-commerce on your website.

What Is Shopify?

Shopify is a hosted e-commerce platform. Anyone can build an online store with Shopify’s tools without a developer. It has a friendly admin area for users and handles all of the data compliance for you.

There are several price tiers for you to choose from. You get a website and an online store. It’s a great deal, unless you’re trying to customize your site and its content outside of the basics.

Shopify uses Liquid as its template. Liquid isn’t impossible to update yourself, but it’s difficult. Fortunately, if you opt for a WordPress website, things are much easier. WordPress has a wide array of customizations you can use to build your e-commerce website. Not only does it allow for better content management, but it’s also excellent for SEO efforts. It’s the best tool for content marketing bar none. And Shopify now integrates with WordPress!

How Does Shopify Work with WordPress?

To get started, you need to sign up for a Shopify account and choose the Shopify Lite plan. The Lite plan is only $9 a month. It has all of the benefits of the other plans, just without a website hosted on Shopify. Log into your WordPress site, and install the Shopify for plugin. After you’ve installed the plugin, connect your Shopify account.

Screenshot of Shopify Plugin on WordPress Dashboard

You’ll manage your store through the Shopify plugin. Begin by adding products and setting up your payment and shipping information. You can also generate return policies, a privacy policy, and terms of use in your Checkout section.

You can easily add products to pages or posts in WordPress. You’ll notice that a new button appears on the editor screen next to Add Media. It’s Shopify’s “Add Products” button. You can add an individual product or a collection of products. Then, you can choose if you’d like to embed it as a simple “Buy Now” button or a button with a product image. A shortcode appears in the Editor pane that will display your choice of product.

Screenshot of Shopify Plugin's Add Product button on WordPress

After you publish, your visitors can buy the product and check out through Shopify’s cart. It’s that simple.

Are There Any Issues with the Shopify Plugin?

Depending on your goals, the Shopify plugin may not work for you.

If you value SEO, the Shopify plugin pulls in products via JavaScript. In other words, your product descriptions aren’t going to contribute to SEO. One solution to consider is creating product templates in WordPress. These templates would include the product image and description on a separate page. Then, add the “Buy Button” shortcode to the template. But then you’re inputting the same information in both Shopify and WordPress.

If you have a small selection of products, this isn’t a big deal. If you have quite a few, and if those products fluctuate in quantity, this isn’t a good long-term solution. An option to bypass this is creating connections with Shopify’s API. But there isn’t a lot of information available for developers yet. After all, the plugin came out in March 2016. You could forgo product pages and create rich content on a page to anchor a collection of related products instead. That way, you get the best of both worlds.

You should also consider purchasing an SSL certificate for your WordPress site. While Shopify handles all customer transaction security, users won’t see that until they checkout. By then, they may have abandoned the site completely. Get out in front of that potential dealbreaker!

Also, tracking customers may be difficult with Google Analytics. On Shopify’s other plans, this is simple to set up. On the Lite plan, you need to add your tracking script with the correct liquid objects integrated.

Is the Shopify Plugin Worth It?

None of the above issues are dealbreakers if you want to start selling online. If you’re looking for the easiest option, it’s hard to argue with Shopify’s shopping experience. It’s a fantastic addition to your website. There are some potential issues involved, but they’re easy to work around. Shopify’s benefits outweigh those minor hindrances, particularly if you’re just entering the e-commerce market.

In four simple steps, you can add Shopify to WordPress.

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