Is WordPress Safe for Creating an Online Store?

Is WordPress Safe for Creating an Online Store?

Table of Contents:

Nowadays, dozens of thousands of online outlets emerge daily. This trend leads to unprecedented market growth and attracts the attention of many. And it is expected to keep going for years to come.

Have you ever wondered what eCommerce facts and figures from the COVID-19 period show? 

Over 2019-2020 alone, eCommerce sales grew by around 30%, and for the next five years, they are projected to rise by another 50%. Growth rates like these do not go unnoticed.

Let us take a look at this booming market more closely:

Retail Ecommerce Sales Worldwide

Source: Statista

Besides noticeable growth over 2019-2020, online shop sales are expected to expand by almost five times in the next ten years. There is no doubt there is great potential in becoming an ecommerce owner in this day and age. 

Yet, what does it take to launch an ecommerce store? Where to start from and what to consider? How to choose an online shop platform, compare alternatives, or come up with an initial calculation of investment costs? Is there anything specific we need to consider in advance?

Today, we will look at some of the basics for launching an online store. We will see how to choose an ecommerce platform, focusing on the most popular website builder — WordPress. We will turn extra attention to the security aspect as any online shop has to be able to safely process sensitive personal and billing data.

Let’s jump right in!

WordPress for Ecommerce: How Does it Work?

WordPress is by far the world’s number one platform for creating websites. More than 35% of all websites globally run with the help of WordPress at the core. 

Originally built as a blogging platform, the CMS now features full-stack functionalities that help you build any type of site (blog, online shop, membership page, and hundreds more).

The WordPress platform is free, open-source, and incredibly easy to use. It features a simple WordPress installation process and an easy-to-navigate admin panel. WP is equipped with thousands of free and paid themes, plugins, and extensions, which help you transform your project into the type of website you wish.

Using WordPress, you may also access a vast developer network where you can always look for help and support resources.

Does WordPress do Ecommerce?

Here comes the answer – yes, you can definitely create profitable online shops using WordPress! However, you would need an ecommerce plugin for this purpose. Make careful research beforehand as there are numerous add-ons to choose from depending on your business case. 

Here is a look at the top five WordPress plugins for ecommerce.

Which WordPress Plugin Should You Use for Ecommerce?

The most popular ecommerce plugin for WP is WooCommerce. It accounts for more than 30% of all online shops worldwide. The add-on rightfully stands out as an undisputed market leader. 

Yet, depending on the type of shop you would like to launch, you may also like:

Browsing the top eCommerce platforms reveals that almost half of all online shopping sites are developed via a WordPress plugin. 

Source: Emerge

WooCommerce is an option you may equally apply to any type of online business. Its market position often labels it as the #1 WordPress ecommerce Plugin.

What is WooCommerce?

One of the main reasons why WooCommerce is so popular is its seamless integration with WordPress. As it’s based on WP, Woo offers thousands of free and paid themes, unlimited online products, and well-vetted plugins developed to serve the app. You can find a ton of add-ons in relevant WP marketplaces.

WooCommerce is a top ecommerce option for WordPress because it gives you great customization freedom. With its help, you can easily launch any product online, build reservation systems, or run any other type of project that accepts digital payments

Woo is an ecommerce plugin that lets you create a feature-packed shopping cart with relevant security features all in place. 

Other top features that ensure WooCommerce’s prominence are its free and open-source nature, overall user-friendliness, mobile responsiveness, scalability, and built-in security

Even though WooCommerce is free, it may become expensive if you are using hired developers and/or paid extra features such as premium themes or plugins. To calculate all the underlying costs, you need to include your domain name and hosting services as a minimum.

Should you be interested in exploring the various WooCommerce aspects, please take a look at our selection of articles, discussing them in detail. 

Is WordPress the Right Choice for YOU in Ecommerce?

Using WordPress can easily be your best ecommerce bet if you would like to simply start selling online. In such cases, all you need to do is install WordPress and activate your chosen online store plugin. 

Still. WordPress comes with its underlying risks.

Being so popular makes the CMS a perfect target for cyber-attacks and hackers worldwide have continuously exploited any vulnerability they can find. This goes double for online shops as personal and financial data are involved in the mix. 

Every WooCommerce site owner has to be very careful when dealing with the security aspects of their projects. 

What are the Advantages of WordPress Ecommerce?

WordPress is a free CMS platform with easy installation and maintenance. You can add various ecommerce functionalities like WooCommerce, BigCommerce, or any other. 

Apart from online shopping, you can use your WordPress content site for practically anything else such as blog posts, memberships, subscriptions, etc. 

Finally, the CMS has one of the largest developer communities out there that can support you in practically any issue you may have. 

Why is WordPress not good for Ecommerce?

As we mentioned, WordPress is the most attacked CMS so you need to ensure you have all security measures put in place. 

For starters, you will need to update both your WordPress core and every single plugin when developers release new patches. Although generally a reliable and stable platform, this still may create issues that require some bug-fixing. 

Installing a firewall, applying secure authentication, activating an SSL certificate, configuring an antivirus solution – all of these are great practices when it comes to securing WordPress.

But to do all that, you may also need some basic HTML and PHP knowledge to use WP properly. Building such experience may take time to master or an additional budget to hire developers.

Is WordPress Secure: What you Need to Know?

According to recent statistics, there are over 90 000 hacking attacks per minute aimed at WordPress websites. New and unmaintained WP sites represent the most frequent targets of such attacks. 

So, is there anything we can do to prevent falling victim to a hacker? 

Quite a few things, in fact!

What Can You Do to Better Secure WordPress for Ecommerce?

For starters, you can make your commerce website secure by installing an SSL Certificate. This helps you guarantee your traffic encryption and prevent problems with hackers. When successfully installed, your SSL certificate will change your website URL prefix to HTTPS

Secondly, draw a summary list of all security measures you can implement yourself. It may include items such as: 

  • Keep WordPress updated – installing all regular updates released by WordPress is a must. This involves patches not only to your core commerce website but also to your themes and plugins; 
  • Secure your devices – no measure can help your ecommerce site unless all devices you use to access WordPress are clean and safe from malware; 
  • Apply strong passwords and permissions – this may look obvious, but it is often overlooked. Restricting your password access by a strong password and disabling the file editing function can do a great job in this respect;
  • Back up your WordPress ecommerce site – this is indispensable for preventing unwanted loss of data or errors. A recent backup can restore a working copy of your ecommerce website anytime. 
  • Set spam filters – you can adjust your spam filters and keep them updated to maintain a clean and uninterrupted email communication with your clients.

These are just a few security tips that should be included in your maintenance routine if you want to stay protected. 

Another vital thing to look after with extra care is your payment processing. Multiple payment processors, payment gateways, PCI compliance (payment card industry compliance), and checkout procedures are essential things to consider.

Targeted Security Plugins to Help you Out

Besides the security features that come with the platform, you may also choose to install targeted WordPress security plugins. These require additional maintenance as well. 

If you would like to browse a specific plugin specialized for ecommerce, you can take a look at Astra

WordPress’ site security plugins often enable the following security functions: 

  • monitoring  site activity; 
  • tracking and detecting suspicious traffic activities;
  • preventing unauthorized access to the website;
  • blocking brute-force attacks.

Other notable WordPress security plugins include Jetpack, Wordfence, Bulletproof, and many others that have the sole purpose of hardening your online shop defenses.

The Importance of Professional Ecommerce Site Hosting

As a general piece of advice, online shops work great on VPS hosting, especially compared to shared services. Virtual server providers may further offer tailored protection and regular security monitoring activities. 

To get an idea of how a VPS can help your online sales, you may take a look at the unique hosting offering presented by ScalaHosting

Our managed VPS deals offer store owners a powerful, resource-packed server with professional support from our trained professionals. Each client gets at least 1 CPU core and 2 GB RAM, 30 GB SSD space, and a free dedicated IP address.

Security-wise, all Scala VPS accounts come with a daily backup solution,  SSL certificates, and SWordPress Manager for automated WP protection.

ScalaHosting lets every site owner benefit from an affordable virtual private server, equipped with a customizable Admin Panel (SPanel). The all-in-one hosting management solution helps you deal with domains, emails, site files, databases, and essential security settings.

To give you an even wider range of servers and datacenter locations, Scala partners with DigitalOcean and AmazonAWS for even more robust VPS plans.

Key Takeaways

WooCommerce accounts for more than 30% of all ecommerce sites. A major reason behind this is the reliability and easy hosting entry for shop owners. 

Although the security component is an aspect that requires particular attention, it is absolutely possible to master it if you follow some basic safety guidelines.

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