Chapter 15. Ecommerce

At some point, you may want to charge for access to your app or otherwise accept payments on your site. In this chapter, we go over the best ecommerce and membership plugins available and give you a few pointers for choosing among them. We’ll also walk through the steps of setting up a typical paywall in the software-as-a-service (SaaS) model.

Choosing a Plugin

There is one ecommerce plugin for WordPress that is nearly synonymous with ecommerce: WooCommerce. Since the first edition of this book published, back in 2014, WooCommerce has come to dominate not only the WordPress ecommerce platform, but ecommerce in general. We’ll give a brief introduction to WooCommerce here and go over a few of the hooks and filters app developers would be interested in.

Despite the fact that WooCommerce is a well made and maintained product, there are cases in which other ecommerce plugins may be more appropriate. We also cover Paid Memberships Pro (a membership-focused ecommerce plugin) and Easy Digital Downloads (a virtual goods-focused ecommerce plugin).

The plugins we cover in this chapter have these features in common:

  • Integration with multiple payment gateways

  • Secure checkout forms

  • Saved order information

  • Products (or membership levels) with pricing

We’ll point out the unique features of each type of ecommerce plugin in the following sections.


It is hard to calculate ecommerce platform market share, 1 but WooCommerce probably accounts for at least ...

Get Building Web Apps with WordPress, 2nd Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.