We are super excited about three upcoming ecommerce websites we have been developing. Two are being developed in wordpress with woocommerce and another with Shopify. So we are in fantastic position to really explore the benefits of the two platforms. But first I’ll tell you about our experience with wordpress ecommerce design and why are starting to use it.

Ecommerce is complex beast. There are always requirements for integrations and bespoke functionality. Often the ecommerce plugins for wordpress fell short of the mark. Perhaps they are suitable for small shops who only needed basic functionality but nothing shone – for the last few years we have only experimented with wordpress ecommerce a few times because of this. But things are changing!

A lot of developers will groan how developers try and shoe-horn wordpress into fulfilling every role. Magento is for ecommerce, WordPress is for content management. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Ecommerce web design needs to explore these new platofrms. The reason is our clients are familiar with wordpress and can use it well. They love it and rightly so. Magento, or other advanced ecommerce platoforms, may be a lot more comprehensive but consequently they require a lot more expertise. If you don’t ahve the resources to manage the product to it’s full potential it can hinder your online growth. For that reason we have had our eye on wordpress ecommerce plugins and have been waiting patiently for someone to step upto the mark and produce a killer wordpress ecommerce integration.

Last year we saw Jigoshop which looked beautiful and had some great functionality. A massive improvement from Shopp and the WPMU ecommerce plugin we had been eyeing up previously. Then Woothemes took the controversial move of forking the Jigoshop platform and making Woothemes. That means taking the basic code and making it their own. For right or for wrong they have a great product now.

In particular we are happy to see they have included a lot of extensions which are business critical for a number of our clients. In particular they have included the ability to integrate with a Sage POS and also some accountancy packages.

We had been using Shopify because of their incredible integration with Xero accountancy and Vend POS system. Perhaps WooCommerce are going to be able to rival and better Shopify? The benefits of Shopify are the integrations ‘that just work’ (to steal an Apple phrase). But their blogging platform and extensions are no rival for the massive wordpress repository. If we have a good experience we will focus more on woocommerce development.

We’ll let you know what are clients think but until then do let us know what you think in the comments.