Now that we’ve covered the advantages of using WordPress to sell your products, we’re going to move on to the disadvantages.
Why You Might Not Want To Use WordPress to Sell Your Products Online
Now, as it turns out there are also disadvantages to using WordPress, in particular, disadvantages to using WordPress to sell your products and services online.
WordPress is Always Changing
One of the disadvantages is that WordPress is always changing. Now, I didn’t really think about this as being particularly critical 3 and a half years ago when I started this business. But I have observed in hundreds of members that the fact that WordPress changes so much is something that just doesn’t work well for some people.
Because WordPress is always changing, things need to be updated and upgraded. And when you upgrade things, that also opens you up to opportunities for a failure. Things can go wrong during the upgrade process. In fact, if something’s going to go wrong, most of those things happen during some sort of an upgrade.
So WordPress is always changing which means that there is a certain amount of uncertainty and a certain amount of complexity associated with that. Because WordPress is open-source and because WordPress does not exercise control over people who develop for it, there are routinely compatibility issues.
One of the reasons why we’re talking about 6 different plugins instead of 20 different plugins is because I’ve chosen plugins that are compatible with both Thesis and with Genesis. There are some eCommerce plugins that are not compatible with either Thesis or Genesis.
So you’ve got this question of compatibility with your plugin to your theme and you also have questions of compatibility between plugins. You’re using a specific eCommerce plugin but you also want to use a specific caching plugin and perhaps they don’t work together. Or you wanted to use a specific eCommerce plugin and you want to use a different membership site plugin and they might not work together.
So you have this opportunity for compatibility issues between plugins and that can be a problem. Then you also have a potential problem of plugin to host compatibility and this is especially the case with European hosts in my experience.
I’m not sure why this is but many European hosts have obligatory security settings that make setting up and installing eCommerce systems in WordPress very difficult or impossible. Some of them prevent the saving of session data, there are some European rules against setting cookies on users’ browser and some eCommerce systems are dependent upon being able to read and write to cookies.
Most of the issues have to do with the permissions the host gives to plugins to write and to save to the database so when you save to sessions and things like that. But it happens that there are some plugins that are not going to work with some hosts.
However, if you’re working with one of the big US hosts like Bluehost or Hostgator or InMotion hosting, you’re not going to have any problem but if you’re working with a free host or if you’re working with your own server sometimes you can have compatibility issues there.
WordPress is Not a “set it and forget it’ Solution
In any case, this is not and will ever be a “set it and forget it” solution; it’s just the one thing that WordPress is not going to be. So if you want to be able to set up your store and let it go on its own without regularly updating it, making sure everything is working and that sort of thing, WordPress is not going to be the solution for you.
What if I Don’t Want to Deal with Updates?
In that case, you are better off spending some extra money on one of the other solutions and letting it go with that because it’s absolutely not a “set it and forget it” solution.
Complex Issues Can Arise
In addition to all of that, sometimes you’re going to have to manage and figure out complex things. For example, if you’ve chosen a payment gateway that works with your bank and the payment gateway requires you to have SSL certificate for your site, you have to acquire that. It can be a little complicated getting that SSL certificate setup and getting your website working with SSL, so that can be a little tricky.
The same thing is true for testing. If you have complicated taxes, complicated shipping, SSL, product variations and you start testing, it can be a little tricky figuring out where problems lie when the testing doesn’t go nice and smoothly. So, sometimes there’s complexity to be managed.
I mentioned shipping and taxes earlier but these can either be very simple or can be very complicated depending on where you live. If you’re in Quebec or if you’re in California, your tax calculation system needs to be quite a bit more complicated than if you’re in Washington state or in New Zealand.
Some places have simpler requirements for calculating this things and some places are more complex. WordPress pretty much requires you to figure this out yourself.
Naturally, I’m here to help but it is nevertheless the case that one of the disadvantages of creating an eCommerce site on WordPress is that you end up managing some complex things that you might not manage if you chose a hosted solution.
Really, you need to be a hands-on type of person. If you’re not a hands on type of person, then this is not the right solution for you because you’re going to have to get your hands dirty over and over and over again.