With the recent advances in information technology, more and more businesses are doing their best to have an online presence. Having a website however is not enough. Some companies have taken their business to the web and there are companies that do business solely online. When talking about e-commerce, online retailer Amazon is the first to come to mind. Thus, even small to medium-scale enterprises are starting to conduct their business online. The main issue is what platform should one who wants to conduct e-commerce be in.
For new entrepreneurs who want to go into e-commerce, one solution often suggested is to use free and open source platform. One such platform that is considered by budding entrepreneurs is WordPress. WordPress started as a blogging tool but currently includes a content management system. Statistics show that around 20% of the top 10 million websites use WordPress.
Should you or should you not?
Since WordPress is free to use then it means less expense. Being open source means you have the ability to customize it according to your needs. WordPress also has e-commerce plug-ins, which makes us think that the answer should be quite obvious. The reality however is, if you really want your business to prosper in the long run, then do not use WordPress as your e-commerce solution!
The main reasons why you should not use WordPress as an e-commerce solution?
1. Security. With millions of users, it is not unthinkable that there will be a lot of attempts to circumvent the security of WordPress. In an online business, security is very important because if it is compromised then say goodbye to your clients. There are a number of ways for you to secure your online business if you are using the WordPress platform but this may entail some technical know-how. Would you have any idea on how to disable trace and track? How about disallowing proxy comment posting? How about enabling Suhosin PHP?
2. Bugs. In addition to security issues, there is also the problem of bugs. The poor documentation is bound to give you headaches and even if you buy their e-commerce plug-in, your problems will not go away. There are still bugs even if you are using the “paid” version.
3. Customer support. Yes, WordPress does have customer support. More often than not though, it is very difficult to get hold of. If you manage to get hold of them, there are cases when customer service charges fees for issues that you want solved. You can also visit the different forums discussing problems encountered with WordPress but this will also entail some know-how.
4. PCI Compliance. This is the biggest reason why you should not use WordPress as an e-commerce solution. It is very difficult to make WordPress PCI compliant. PCI is the industry standard in ensuring that companies who do online business maintain a secure environment especially in dealing with customer credit card information. Since WordPress is open source, you will need to do a lot of customizing in order for your business to comply with these standards.
In conclusion, while WordPress is a good blogging tool and has an excellent content management system, it is not good as an e-commerce solution. If you plan to go online for your business and want it to last long, then avoid WordPress and find another platform. What are we using the most as of late? Shopify, and here are some reasons why.