Hey, it’s Hoz with another Ask Hoz session and in today’s session, I’m going to be answering the admirable question: what is the best way to sell digital products with WordPress online?
Okay, this actually a great question and one I’m going to answer swiftly.
As controversial as this may sound to many, I don’t recommend that you use a free plugin to sell digital products on WordPress.
And no, I’m not a hater. I’ve been using WordPress professionally for over a decade and I have tried my fair share of free e-commerce plugins, including WooCommerce of course.
I’ve also worked on more client websites and stores than I’ve had hot dinners, so I have seen and tried a good few options.
That said, I think WooCommerce is a great plugin. It’s not the plugin itself that is an issue, it’s the whole workflow that using free plugins on an open source platform brings about. But I’ll get to this in a moment.
First, let’s see what we need to pull this marvel off in the first place…
Here's what we're going to be covering...
- 1 What do You Need to Start Selling Digital Products Online?
What do You Need to Start Selling Digital Products Online?
- a way to process payments online
- a way to accept payments online (i.e. a checkout page)
Those are the 2 magic ingredients.
At this point, I usually get asked:
What is the Best Theme to Sell Digital Products With WordPress?
The only answer to this is the one that creates more sales for you. That said, I’m not using WordPress as my checkout. Instead, I use SamCart’s proven templates, so there’s no guessing on whether the theme helps sell products – these templates have been put to the test via thousands of transactions.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. I do use WordPress, but not as my checkout.
We’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s look at ways to process payments online…
Accepting Payment Online for Your Digital Products
Essentially, only a bank can process a credit card payment. So we need a ‘bank’.
The payment processor I use is Stripe. I like this option because there are no monthly payments, so that’s 1 less bill to pay!
You could use PayPal as your payment processor, but this is not the setup I recommend.
I love and use PayPal, but in many scenarios, a PayPal button on a sales page just doesn’t cut it. It just doesn’t look good. It doesn’t inspire confidence and that can hurt your sales, whether you sell digital products with WordPress or physical products – it doesn’t matter.
Your Checkout Page
Now, here’s where we were talking about free ecom plugins and WooCommerce.
The reason I don’t use a free plugin like WooCommerce to sell digital products is that I find keeping up with the constant updates and troubleshooting software update-related plugin issues a tedious affair, especially when you run many websites.
I like to spend time setting something up and then forgetting about it Having to keep an eye on something as if it were a badly behaved child takes away from me focusing entirely on a new thing.
When you consider the low cost of a hosted solution, it just doesn’t make business sense to go crazy on ‘free’ and then spend a fraction of your time maintaining ‘free’.
So let’s take a closer look at my setup…
How I Sell Digital Products With WordPress: My Setup
I use a professional cart, so I don’t have to worry about things like:
- PCI compliance
- design or development
- testing whether the theme will help me sell digital products
The shopping cart I use is called SamCart.
On that note, if you sell digital products with WordPress and you’re using a plugin as your checkout page, then you need to make sure you are using a PCI compliant web host. Not being so can get your merchant account shut down.
It’s nice. It’s simple. And it works.
Let me add that using WordPress in this instance is actually optional. You can just send people straight to your checkout page, but depending on the product, sometimes a presell is needed, and I use WordPress to create the presell experience.
When it comes to setting up a product for sale is a walk in the park. It takes literally minutes and it’s super easy.
Let me demonstrate:
Watch me Set up a Digital Product for Sale in my Checkout System
To sell digital products with WordPress, all you need is the following:
- a way to process payments online (I use Stripe)
- a way to accept payments online (aka checkout page): I use SamCart
- optional: a landing page (I use WordPress when I want to presell the product)
Here’s all you need in 1 place:
This was an Ask Hoz question about how to sell digital products with WordPress, featured on the Youtube Channel. Make sure you CLICK TO SUBSCRIBE to catch all the video updates!
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