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7 Incredible WordPress E-commerce Plugins For 2017

7 Incredible WordPress E-commerce Plugins For 2017

WordPress initially started out as a blogging platform, but today it’s being used as the primary solution for building many e-commerce sites. WordPress has a powerful plug-in architecture which makes it possible for anyone to transform a fledgling site into a sleek digital shop. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on dedicated shopping cart software and you’d rather build your own with WordPress, then you are in the right place.

Once you’ve decided to build an e-commerce site with WordPress, you might be wondering which plugin is the best fit for you. Well, don’t fret. We have researched and put together a list of seven of the best WordPress e-commerce plug-ins to aid you to choose the right one. All the plug-ins mentioned here are free to use and suitable for creating any type of WordPress e-store.

1. WooCommerce

WooCommerce is by large the most popular and widely used e-commerce plugin for WordPress. It has more than 18% (approximately) share on the internet market in e-commerce and boasts notable clientele like Entrepreneur, Cosmopolitan, and Harley Davidson.

Its top features include integration with PayPal, multiple shopping, easy inventory management among others. On top of these, you can incorporate many other powerful extensions with WooCommerce that can help you to expand your simple site into a multimillion-dollar e-commerce store. Moreover, there are many free and paid themes that allow you to transform your online shop to meet your specific needs.

2. Easy Digital Downloads

If you are thinking of selling a digital product, Easy Digital Download is the right choice for you. It is simple to use and setup, lightweight, and has a broad range of features. Its powerful reporting system can be used to keep track of earnings and sales with an interactive graph and complex data table to analyze your performance.

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Moreover, EDD code is written with WP coding standards in mind, making it one of the most developer friendly e-commerce solution available in the market. Additionally, its code is also easy to change and with many free themes and extensions, and is one of the best e-commerce plugins.

The only downside of Easy Digital Download is that you can’t sell any physical products. But, if you only deal with digital products, this is a huge advantage because it has managed to exclude the useless features keeping only what will be useful to you.

 3. WP Ecommerce

With over more than 3 million downloads, WP Ecommerce is one of the most popular plugins, second to only WooCommerce. Whether it’s a physical inventory, digital download, subscriptions or membership, you can use WooCommerce to sell any sort of products.

Though simple, it is a very powerful plugin and allows you to customize HTML and CSS. One of its many unique features is its streamline checkout process that plays a great role in increasing the conversion rate of your store. In addition, its integration with many payment processors and shipper makes it one of the best plugins for a beginner.

Finally, it’s free, but you can unlock advanced features anytime with a premium upgrade.

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4. MarketPress

MarketPress is an effort by developers to put together all the features and power of several different plugins into the one single standard plugin. As a result, MarketPress is well designed, feature rich, and easily customizable.

When you start with MarketPress, it comes with a beautiful theme. It is easy to configure as you can customize your store without altering a single line of the code. Moreover, creating new products or categories and managing orders is relatively easy in MarketPress.

Initially, MarketPress is free but you will have to spend some money to upgrade it to the premium version and unleash its full potential.

 5. iTheme Exchange

iTheme exchange, the product of iThemes, is simple, intuitive and extremely extendable plugin. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, you can create your platform easily in comparison to other plugins.

One of the most unique features of iTheme exchange is that it has its own database table for the customers. This is helpful because information about the customer is automatically added to this page during the exchange of products. However, this plugin is still at an early stage and growing, which means it has got a smaller community compared to others.

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If you want to use it just install, activate, add payment process, products and start selling goods and services.

6. Shopp

Shopp is highly professional and high-performance e-commerce plugin for WordPress. The catchphrase of Shopp is, “Publish with WordPress. Sell with Shopp.” It is simple, straightforward, and clever and gives you a preconception about what you will get without any difficulty.

One of the distinctive features of Shopp is its security cart, which doesn’t need any security add-ons. Its SEO friendly code, responsive design and compatibility with the themes of WordPress and Plugins make it one of the most desirable plugins available in the market today.

This plugin is free but you will have to pay for support and access to community forums. The starter package of Shopp is priced at seventy-five dollars.

7. Shopify Buy Button for WordPress

Not every WordPress site needs a full-blown ecommerce setup on the backend. Sometimes you may only have a few products you want to offer online. In other cases, you may be looking for a fast, simple, and user-friendly way to sell a product on your site.

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The WordPress buy button from Shopify is a good choice in those scenarios. Sure, you could use it to build out a site selling a lot of products too, but, if you are looking for something quick and simple, this new offering from Shopify is something you are going to want to check out for sure.

Like many of the others listed above, they too offer a free WordPress plugin. The plugin includes secure checkout, shipping integration, and product sales tracking features. Style is not overlooked either, with the easy built in customization options.

If you are looking for a way to sell your products online, WordPress is a great place to build your site and the plugins covered here are all great choices for adding the needed functionality to your new site.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on October 15, 2019

To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

To Automate or not to Automate Your Personal Productivity System

We are all about doing things faster and better around here at Lifehack. And part of doing things faster and better is having a solid personal productivity system that you use on a daily basis.

This system can be just about anything that helps you get through your mountain of projects or tasks, and helps you get closer to your goals in life. Whether it’s paper or pixels, it doesn’t really matter. But, since you are reading Lifehack I have to assume that pixels and technological devices are an important part of your workflow.

“Personal Productivity System” defined

A personal productivity system (at least the definition that this article will use) is a set of workflows and tools that allow an individual to optimally get their work done.

Workflows can be how you import and handle your photos from your camera, how you write and create blog posts, how you deploy compiled code to a server, etc.

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Tools are the things like planners, todo managers, calendars, development environments, applications, etc.

When automation is bad

You may be thinking that the more that we automate our systems, the more we will get done. This is mostly the case, but there is one very big “gotcha” when it comes to automation of anything.

Automation is a bad thing for your personal productivity system when you don’t inherently understand the process of something.

Let’s take paying your bills for example. This may seem very obvious, but if you can’t stick to a monthly budget and have trouble finding the money to make payments on time, then automating your bill payment every month is completely useless and can be dangerous for your personal finances.

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Another example is using a productivity tool to “tell you” what tasks are important and what to do next. If you haven’t taken a step back and figured out just how your productivity systems should work together, this type of automation will likely keep you from getting things done.

You can only automate something in your personal productivity system that have managed for a while. If you try to automate things that aren’t managed well already, you will probably feel a bit out of control and have a greater sense of overwhelm.

Another thing to remember is that some things should always be done by yourself, like responding to important emails and communicating with others. Automating these things can show your coworkers and colleagues that you don’t care enough to communicate yourself.

When automation is good

On the other hand, automation is a great thing for your personal productivity system when you understand the process of something and can then automatically get the steps done. When you know how to manage something effectively and understand the step-by-step process of a portion of your system, it’s probably a great time to automate it.

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I have several workflows that I have introduced in the last year that takes some of the “mindless” work from me so I can be more creative and not have to worry about the details of something.

On my Mac I use a combination of Automator workflows, TextExpander snippets, and now Keyboard Maestro shortcuts to do things like automatically touch-up photos imported from my iPhone 4S or open all the apps and websites needed for a weekly meeting to the forefront of my desktop by typing a few keys. Once you open yourself up to automating a few of your processes, you start to see other pieces of your system that can benefit from automation.

Once again; none of this works unless you understand your processes and know what tools you can use to get them done automatically.

The three steps to determine if something is “ripe” for automation

If your workflow passes these three steps, then automate away, baby:

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  1. You can do this process in your sleep and it doesn’t require your full, if any form of attention. It can (and has been) managed in some form prior to automating it.
  2. The process is time consuming.
  3. The process doesn’t require “human finesse” (ie. communicating and responding to something personally)

Automating your personal productivity systems can be a great for you in the long run if you are careful and mindful of what you are doing. You first need to understand the processes that you are trying to automate before automating them though. Don’t get stuck in thinking that anything and everything should be automated in your life, because it probably shouldn’t.

Pick and choose these processes wisely and you’ll find the ones that take up most of your time to be the best ones to automate. What have you automated in your personal productivity system?

Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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