WisdmLabs is a certified WooCommerce Expert. 30% of the projects we undertake involve WooCommerce development. 1 in 5 leads that comes our way is related to WooCommerce. 7 out of the 9 premium plugins we’ve built are extensions to WooCommerce.
But we sell our plugins using Easy Digital Downloads.
In April of 2014, WisdmLabs was ready to launch its first premium plugin- The Product Enquiry Pro for WooCommerce. After debating whether selling on our site was better than on a marketplace (this article pretty much sums up our sentiments), we concluded selling on our site was the way forward.
This meant, we had to pick an e-Commerce plugin. And by ‘we’, I mean ‘I’. Because I was the one who had to make the decision.
To be honest I had no clue.
For me, WooCommerce was the obvious choice. We hadn’t dabbled much into WP e-Commerce or Jigoshop. The developers had in-depth knowledge about WooCommerce. Easy Digital Downloads was another option I wanted to consider, since we were to sell digital products. We had worked with it on a client project as well, and were satisfied with it.
“Choosing an eCommerce platform is like buying a house”
Choosing an eCommerce system, is the most important decision you have to take when creating an online store. It’s like buying a house. You have to get it right the first time around. Moving can be expensive and dreadful. Hence the decision has to be well thought out.
I took an objective approach, and weighed out each plugin against the requirements.
#1 We needed a store to sell Plugins
At a glance, both WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads fit this requirement. Both are free, and can be easily used to set up an eCommerce store. Here’s what they say:
WooCommerce: “SELL ANYTHING. BEAUTIFULLY. Whether it be t-shirts in all their shapes and sizes, music files or software. Even affiliated products from a marketplace. It’s all possible.”
Easy Digital Downloads: “Say hello to the world’s easiest way to sell digital downloads through WordPress for free”
All good so far. I compared the specific features we needed:
|Sell Digital Goods||Yes||Yes|
|Payment Gateways Included (PayPal)||Yes||Yes|
|Allow Guest Checkout||Yes||Yes|
|Customer Account Creation||Yes||Yes|
|Terms & Conditions Settings||Yes||Yes|
|Add Sale Prices||Yes||Yes (Paid Add-on)|
Good enough for me!
Easy Digital Downloads : 1
WooCommerce : 1
#2 We needed Licensing and Affiliates Systems added
The basic requirement was the availability of a licensing add-on and an affiliates add-on, for the eCommerce plugin picked.
Both the plugins provided these needed add-ons.
However, I didn’t stop at that. I considered future requirements. I compared several other available add-ons, and the extensibility of the core plugins.
|Licensing||Yes – $129||Yes – $82|
|Affiliate (AffiliateWP)||Yes – $49||Yes – $49|
|Indian Payment Gateway (PayU India)||Yes – $79||Yes – $49|
|Product Bundles||Yes – $49||Yes – In built|
As far as the add-ons were concerned, they were available for both these plugins. But the add-ons for EDD (which we would be looking to integrate) were cheaper than the add-ons available for WooCommerce.
I evaluated the extensibility of each plugin as well. WooCommerce has always been an exemplary plugin. It has the needed hooks and filters to override the provided functionality.
EDD undoubtedly is cleanly coded as well. How do I know this? a) It’s been built by Pippin Williamson and b) I consulted a senior developer here at WisdmLabs, Sumit, who evaluated the plugin as well.
If I had to consider the financials, the score now would be:
Easy Digital Downloads : 2
WooCommerce : 1
#3 We needed the Optimal solution
By now, I was pretty much rooting for EDD, even though my manager heavily favoured WooCommerce. Yes, WooCommerce was certainly the obvious choice. But EDD was the logical choice. Like I said, picking an eCommerce plugin is like buying a house. And with that house there is maintenance.
WooCommerce certainly provided lot more features. But they weren’t the ones we needed. We weren’t (and certainly aren’t) planning on selling shippable goods. And we did not need the additional load to maintain. I certainly didn’t want to be the one dusting cobwebs.
Selling digital goods was a part of WooCommerce, but selling digital goods was what EDD was built around.
Hence, the most important reason why Easy Digital Downloads was the eCommerce plugin for us, was because “it was the optimal solution for the problem at hand”.
Easy Digital Downloads : 3
WooCommerce : 1
So were there any pitfalls?
There were certain drawbacks, I can’t deny those:
- Absence of Sale Prices: We would have certainly liked to include sale prices, but we use Coupons instead. EDD does provide a paid add-on for sale prices, but coupons work just as well. JC Penney would agree.
- Most add-ons are Paid: We aren’t in the process of integrating any new add-ons, but most of the add-ons available for EDD are paid, while WooCommerce has several free add-ons.
- Few unfriendly words thrown my way: We love WooCommerce. My manager certainly seemed to think choosing WooCommerce was the better decision to make. But he couldn’t deny the facts either. EDD was a better fit.
Would we ever switch?
Looking at the way things are going, my guess is ‘No’. Certainly time will tell. But we are very satisfied with the functionality it provides us. More importantly we’ve gotten to explore an entire new eCommerce system, which is great for us. We have the expertise to now build over and expand it as well.
Choosing Easy Digital Downloads was certainly not an easy decision to make. But we are happy with it. We bought a great house, and it suited us well.