12 Essential Free WordPress eCommerce Plugins (And Why You Need Them)

If you run an online eCommerce store, then you know that WordPress is a great platform to use. It's versatile, easy to use, and there are tons of great plugins available to make your life easier. 

But running an online store can be a lot of work. Between managing inventory, shipping products, and dealing with customer service issues, it can be tough to find time to focus on marketing your business. 

That's where free WordPress plugins come in handy! In this article, we will discuss 12 essential plugins that every eCommerce business should install. These plugins will help you manage your website more efficiently and improve your marketing efforts.

12 Essential Free WordPress eCommerce Plugins:

1. WooCommerce Marketplace Plugin

This is the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress. It allows you to create an online store from scratch and sell products and services directly to your customers. WooCommerce is free to download and use, but you may need additional plugins to customize your site with advanced features like payment gateways, discount codes, or shipping options.

With more than five million active installations, the WooCommerce plugin is a go-to for anyone looking to create an online store. It offers everything you need and wants from your website–without any technical knowledge required.

2.  Jetpack by WordPress.com

Jetpack is one of the most popular all-in-one solution plugins for WordPress sites, and there’s a good reason— it's packed with features! Among its many features are social media integration, security, backup, and performance tools.

Social media integration is essential for any e-commerce website. With Jetpack's social media features, it's easy to connect your online store with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and more. 

Of course, security is essential for any e-commerce website. Jetpack provides a wide range of security features, including malware scanning, automatic and real-time backups, reporting, and hack protection.

3.  Yoast SEO Online Plugin

If you're looking to rank higher in search engines, then Yoast’s free SEO plugin is essential for driving traffic and increasing sales. This powerful tool can handle all of the important aspects of on-page content optimization, from controlling titles and meta descriptions right down to creating XML sitemaps so that Google knows about your website.

4.  Really Simple SSL

Moving your WordPress site to HTTPS is a great way not only to protect your site and all who visit it. With the nasty "Not Secure" warnings that Google has been adding for non-HTTPS sites, the Really Simple SSL plugin will help keep people safe and give them peace of mind when they visit yours.

The availability of free SSL certificates has made it easy to move your WordPress site from an unsecured connection without costing you anything. Really Simple SSL plugin takes care of all the heavy lifting for this process, making safe redirects and handling other updates needed on sites that already have a valid certificate installed--all in just one click.

5.  Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR / CCPA

Owning an online store has to go through legal compliances, which can be a pain point for a lot of business owners. This is where Hu-manity.co comes in, with its free WordPress plugin.

The Cookie Notice & Compliance for GDPR/CCPA plugin + web application version includes technical compliance features to meet requirements in over 100 countries and legal jurisdictions. This free plugin helps you add a cookie consent notice, as well as customize your site’s privacy settings based on user preferences. This way, it meets the standards set forth by both Europe's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Civil Code Procedure Act (CCPA).

6. Akismet Spam Protection 

Akismet Anti-Spam is a super simple plugin that helps keep your site clean of spam. All incoming comments are screened by Akismet before they're allowed on the website, ensuring only legitimate visitors can leave their comments on your posts.

7.  Smush Site Image Optimizer

Created by WPMU DEV, Smush is a free WordPress plugin that optimizes your images as you upload them to your site. This not only saves on storage space, but it also helps your pages load faster- a must for any e-commerce website.

Smush is the perfect plugin if you're looking to speed up your page loading times without sacrificing image quality or sacrificing valuable storage space on your server. It's easy to install and use, making it an essential tool for any e-commerce website.

8.  WPForms eCommerce Plugin 

If you have an online store, then you know that customer feedback is essential for success. WPForms is a free WordPress plugin for creating custom forms and surveys. It's easy to use and lets you gather valuable customer data and feedback. With this data, you can improve your store's customer experience and boost sales - an essential for any e-commerce business.

9.  Google Site Kit for WordPress 

Site Kit is Google’s official plugin for WordPress that provides insights into how people find and use your site. The tool provides accurate and current information on multiple products in a single dashboard that is accessible without any additional effort or cost - all at no charge.

In e-commerce, it's essential to know where your traffic is coming from and what pages they're visiting. Google Site Kit for WordPress gives you all of this data and more so that you can make informed decisions about how to improve your website and increase sales. 

10.  WP Mobile Menu – The Mobile-Friendly Responsive Menu

WP Mobile Menu is a free WordPress responsive mobile menu that transforms your website navigation into a user-friendly mobile experience. With this plugin, you can provide easy access to your site's content on any device - even if he has no coding knowledge! It works with all WP themes and will give visitors an enjoyable experience using their smartphones or tablets as well as desktops.

11.  Easy Digital Downloads

With the rise of online marketplace shopping, selling digital products has become easier than ever with Easy Digital Downloads. This free WordPress e-commerce plugin will help you manage all of your digital product sales through a simple, user-friendly interface.

Easy Digital Downloads has a lot of free integrations available across most major payment methods and extensions that allow you to add features like memberships, email subscriptions, and more. It's a preference for many business owners that want to sell digital products online.

12.  Ultimate Social Media Sharing Icons

Social Media Share Buttons Popup & Pop Up Social Sharing Icons by Ultimately Social is a free e-commerce plugin that lets you add share icons for any of the most popular social media platforms. With this simple yet powerful tool, it’s easy to give your online store an instant boost in traffic by making it easy for customers to share your products on their social media networks.

Are there considerations when choosing e-commerce WordPress online plugins?

There are plenty of considerations when choosing e-commerce WordPress online plugins. It depends on the type of store you're running and the features you want to offer.

1) Do the wp eCommerce plugins have the ability to be flexible for your store?

When looking for an eCommerce plugin for your WordPress site, choose the ones that are easy to use and can be adjusted to fit the needs of your company. Having a wide selection of product options for addons and extensions will give you the flexibility you need to get the most out of your eCommerce store.   

2) What features does the WP plugin offer?

A product's features are the things that make it unique. Remember that features are not necessarily what differentiates one product from another. Most of the time, the quality of the user experience sets it apart from the rest.

An online store is no different. The plugin should include everything needed to run your online stores, such as a shopping cart, checkout process, and order management system. Remember, the features of your eCommerce plugin can make or break the success of your store, so you'll want to be sure that it offers everything you need before making a decision. 

3) How often is the plugin version updated?

When selecting a WordPress eCommerce plugin, it is important to consider the frequently updated ones. Plugins that aren't frequently updated can result in compatibility issues when your WordPress version is updated. This could lead to a negative experience for customers.

If you're wondering how to find out how often a plugin is updated, look at the changelog. The changelog is a log of all the updates made to a plugin - including what was changed and when. This will help you determine if the plugin is being actively developed or not.

4) What business support options are available?

It's not enough to choose a plugin with great features. If you're not sure how to use those features, you'll need help from the developer. This is why it's essential to consider the support options that are available before making your decision.

You can check out the support options available by reading through the developer's description on their website or by sending them a message directly. It could be from customer service for any product-related assistance or technical support for any technical issues. If you can't find any information about support, don't hesitate to ask for help.

5) Are tutorials available for the plugin?

When choosing a WordPress eCommerce plugin, it's essential to consider how thorough their tutorials are. It is important that you have all of your questions answered and get any assistance when needed. After all, if this is something new for you, then there will definitely be some things that need explaining before taking full advantage of its features

6) What are the user reviews saying about the products?

If you are considering a free plugin for your e-commerce store, it's essential to read through some of its reviews. This will give you an idea of what others think about the product before making your final decision on whether or not it is right for you. Reading customer reviews can also help identify any problems that might have been encountered by other customers.

7) Is this plugin for eCommerce in WordPress compatible with your website's theme?

Not all WordPress plugins are compatible with all WordPress themes. That's why it is essential to check the plugin compatibility before downloading an e-commerce plugin for your store.

You can do this by reading through the developer's website or contacting them directly if you have any questions about compatibility issues with a specific theme. In other words, make sure that the look of your e-commerce website doesn't change when installing a new plugin. If there are any issues after installation, contact its developer for assistance.

8) Are these WordPress eCommerce plugins up to date with the latest security standards?

Security is a top priority for any business, whether it's online or offline. That's why you'll want to make sure that the e-commerce plugin you choose is up-to-date with the latest security standards. This will help protect your website and customers from any potential attacks and data breaches.

You can check the security standard of a plugin by reading through its changelog. The changelog will list all of the updates that have been made to the plugin, including any security enhancements that have been implemented. If you're not sure how to read a changelog, don't hesitate to contact the developer for assistance.

Final Thoughts and Things to Remember About Free WP e-commerce Plugins

Choosing the right e-commerce plugins can help you streamline your marketing efforts. It's a critical step in creating an automated marketing machine that can help you drive more sales.

But there is no one-size-fits-all approach to using e-commerce plugins. You need to find the essential plugins that will help your business grow.

Here are some things you should remember:

  • Don’t use too many e-commerce plugins on one website. Doing so can slow down your site and might even compromise its security. So don't go overboard!
  • Always read customer reviews from people who have used it before. This will give you an idea of the plugin's capabilities and whether it suits your needs or not.
  • Some e-commerce plugins are better for small businesses, while others are designed for larger stores. Make sure to pick the right one for your business size.
  • Always test drive a plugin before committing to it. You don't want any surprises once your website goes live.
  • Make sure that the e-commerce plugins you choose are compatible with the rest of your site's features.

Do your research and choose wisely. If used correctly for your business, free WP e-commerce plugins can help take your business to new heights. 

About the Author
Geri Mileva, an experienced IP network engineer and distinguished writer at Influencer Marketing Hub, specializes in the realms of the Creator Economy, AI, blockchain, and the Metaverse. Her articles, featured in The Huffington Post, Ravishly, and various other respected newspapers and magazines, offer in-depth analysis and insights into these cutting-edge technology domains. Geri's technological background enriches her writing, providing a unique perspective that bridges complex technical concepts with accessible, engaging content for diverse audiences.