When it comes to finding the right WordPress shopping cart for your needs, it’s all much too much rather like Charles Dickens’ opening lines for A Tale of Two Cities: It’s the best of times, it’s the worst of times.
I say that because it looks like WordPress eCommerce is finally about to get serious, what with the revolutionary Jigoshop shopping cart plugin that promises to provide a robust solution comparable to Zen Cart, Magento, and the like. On the other hand, Jigoshop’s been forked by competitor WooThemes, threatening to split the development community along two mutually exclusive lines.
It all depends on how you want to look at things. Forking is entirely the point of being open source, and should provide enormous benefit to end-users, ultimately. Forking in this particular case, others point out — of a still-nascent plugin practically right at its debut — can well result in shutting down everything for everyone involved, the community of end-users included as competition for little ROI cause serious developers to abandon the WordPress market.
And in the midst of all this, you just want a WordPress shopping cart system that does what you need for your business to succeed.
Tall order, eh?
Maybe not next year. In another twelve months, the picture should be much, much clearer. But until then, what’s a business-owner to do? Use WordPress only for blogging and general content management while relegating online retail to more robust solutions?
Not necessarily. It just depends on how well you understand your own needs — and, more to the point, how technical you’d like to get. Right now, eCommerce is not only possible with WordPress but fairly easy. It still remains to be seen whether enterprise-level needs can be met adequately. But for the overwhelming vast majority of small business owners and, especially, webpreneurs of the sole-proprietor variety, WordPress will most likely prove quite competent at most tasks. Again, it’s really just a matter of knowing what you need and matching that with what’s available — which is another way of saying understanding the technical stuff involved, as not all options will offer…well, all options!