If you’re about to start an e-commerce or company website, you need a nimble platform that will allow you to customize it. You will also need some good plugins that will add or enhance certain features on your online store and the out-of-box experience for customers.
For example, you might want to ensure that your website is fully responsive for mobile users and offers an intuitive layout so it’s easy for visitors to find the products they’re looking for. In addition to this, you’ll also need a decent amount of secure storage space to upload products to and sell them to customers. Things like the secure storage of data, intranets, and customized domains are important for anyone looking to build a company site.
In this practical guide, we’ll share some tips on what would be the best e-commerce features to use on your WordPress website. We’ll cover:
- The options available to you if you want to create an e-commerce or company website.
- The difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com
- How to make your e-commerce or company website performant and customizable.
- How to use plugins to enhance your company website - for example, we’ll look at which plugins to use for creating an e-commerce order form or searchable document library.
Let’s get started!
What options are available to you?
If you’re looking to build an e-commerce site or a company website, there are many platforms out there for you to pick from. However, before choosing a platform to power your website, you should consider some important factors:
- Design and customization options. What design and customization options can you expect to get out of the box? Does the platform support third-party plugins and features or not?
- Cost-performance ratio. Is the platform optimized for performance or will you have to integrate with tools to improve performance?
- Security. How secure is your data on the platform? Who has access to the information you upload on your website?
In addition to this, it’s also a good idea to consider website speed and bandwidth. This will determine how many visitors you can cater to and the experience they’ll get. If you plan on setting up the website yourself and maintaining it, you should look into the customer support options available to you.
WordPress.org vs WordPress.com
If you’re new to WordPress, you might have come across two different platforms at some point – WordPress.org and WordPress.com.
WordPress.org and WordPress.com are different platforms – especially in terms of web hosting – that run the WordPress content management system (CMS).
WordPress.org (usually referred to as ‘WordPress’) is open-source software used as the operating system for blogs and websites. With WordPress.org, you host your own blog or website.
WordPress.com, on the other hand, is a managed hosting provider. It takes care of all of the web hosting side of things for you. You don’t have to download software, pay for hosting, or manage a web server. All you have to do is create an account and then pay upgrades to have access to additional features.
The WordPress.com Business plan is perfect for anyone looking to set up a company website. It allows site owners to use third-party services – custom plugins, themes, and code – to enhance their site’s look and feel and get advanced features. It’s perfect if you want to add features to your website or store because it complements third-party plugins like those offered by Barn2 Media.
From a more technical standpoint, with the WordPress.com Business plan, you get 200 GB of storage space.
A variety of businesses can benefit from the Business plan thanks to its wide range of available options. You get a custom domain name and hosting, enhanced website performance and security, and backups, In addition to this, you can rest assured that your site will be mobile-friendly and have intuitive navigation and UX. Plus, you can publish SEO-friendly content thanks to the SEO tools it comes with.
Enhancing your WordPress.com website
If you want to use any third-party plugins on your website, you need a platform that supports them, like the WordPress.com Business plan. You can use plugins to enhance your WordPress website and get access to advanced features that aren’t available out of the box.
Let’s look at how you can enhance your WordPress.com website with two Barn2 Media plugins.
WooCommerce Product Table
The WooCommerce Product Table plugin is perfect for just about any e-commerce store. Whether you sell accessories, grocery items, digital products, or car parts, you can use the WooCommerce Product Table plugin to create a one-page order form.
This way, customers can browse through the product catalog and add products to their cart as they go. It saves them from having to visit single product pages and, therefore, speeds up the purchasing user flow. This has a positive impact on conversions. It can also increase your average order value by allowing customers to add multiple products to the cart from one page.
The product table is searchable, sortable, and has filter options. Customers can use the search box to find the exact product they’re looking for. In addition to this, they can sort the columns in the table or filter by categories, tags, or custom taxonomies.
You can choose which columns to display on the front-end. The best part is that the WooCommerce Product Table plugin works for physical products, digital goods, simple products, and variable products.
Document Library Pro
If you’re looking for a way to add a document or resource library to your company website, you can use the Document Library Pro plugin.
It offers instant search, sort, and filter options that make it easy for users to quickly find documents and files. You can use it to display a document library anywhere on your WordPress.com-powered company website.
You can choose to list all documents or categorize them into folders. The plugin supports all file types and third-party URLs as well as embedded audio and video players.
How to enhance your WordPress.com website using Barn2 plugins
Here, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step tutorial explaining how you can create a website on WordPress.com and enhance it using some Barn2 plugins.
Step #1: Create an account
You can create an account on WordPress.com for free or go with a paid plan right off the bat. The benefit of a paid plan, like the Business plan, is that you get a free custom domain for a year and 200 GB storage space on the server.
In addition to this, you’ll have access to dozens of themes – free and premium – and advanced design customization options. Plus, your website won’t have any WordPress.com ads. You’ll also have the option to install any third-party plugins on your website to enhance its features.
Step #2: Choose a theme
After creating an account and setting up your website, you’ll be prompted to choose a theme. For those unfamiliar, a theme is like a template that determines the look and feel of your website. You can find an industry-specific WordPress theme for your website or choose to go with a more generic, corporate theme.
You can browse through the available themes for WordPress to use on your website. It’s also worth mentioning that you can switch themes later on and customize them however you’d like.
Step #3: Add third-party plugins
Now that your WordPress.com website is set up, you can add third-party plugins to it. To get started, get the WooCommerce Product Table plugin and the Document Library Pro plugin.
To do this, head over to Plugins → Add New from the WordPress admin panel. Next, click the Upload Plugin button and upload the plugin files. Click the Install Now button to continue. Repeat this for both plugins.
WooCommerce Product Table
Head over to WooCommerce → Settings → Products → Product tables to activate the plugin. Enter your license key and click the Activate button. You can configure the plugin’s settings from the same screen.
You can choose which columns to display on the front-end, how to present variations, and much more. Once you’ve configured the different options, click the Save changes button to proceed.
To add some product tables, you can simply tick the boxes on the settings page to enable them on the Shop and Category pages. Alternatively, you can use the Gutenberg editor to add product tables to pages and choose which products to include in each one. To do this, create a new page in WordPress where you’ll add the product table. To do this, go to Site → Pages and click the Add new page button.
You can choose a pre-made template or start with a blank page. Next, enter a title for your page and create a new block in the Gutenberg editor. Search for WooCommerce Product Table and add it to the page.
It will look something like this on the front-end:
Document Library Pro
After installing the plugin, navigate to Documents → Settings from the WordPress admin panel to activate your license key. You can also configure the plugin’s settings from the ‘Document Libraries’ tab of the settings page.
Next, upload your documents to WordPress by heading over to Documents → Add New. Once that’s done, find the page titled ‘Document Library’ and you’ll see a list of documents. You can also use the [doc_library] shortcode to add additional document libraries.
Your document library might look something like this on the front-end:
If you’re looking to create a performing and well-thought-out business site, WordPress.com is definitely worth considering. You can sign up for the WordPress.com Business plan, choose a theme, and install third-party plugins on it for advanced features. In this way, WordPress.com helps to bring value and performance to just about any business website.
Depending on your specific needs, the combination of Barn2 plugins and a WordPress.com Business plan may be a great match for your business website. By installing third-party plugins, you can achieve an agile business website in no time.
Ready to build a performing business site? Sign up for the WordPress.com Business plan today.