Two of the most popular eCommerce solutions for WordPress are WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. Before we get into the WooCommerce VS Easy Digital Downloads debate, let’s see what each platform is about and where each excels:
“The most customizable eCommerce platform for building your online business”
With more than 2.9 million websites making use of its services (as of January) and 90,143,169 downloads, WooCommerce is — without a doubt — the most popular online store platform. 22% of the top 1 million sites employing eCommerce are doing so with WooCommerce.
“Say hello to the easiest way to sell digital products with WordPress”
With unlimited file downloads, discount codes, extensive activity tracking and full data reporting (to name but a few features), Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) comes with powerful functionality and intuitive controls baked in. As of writing, the plugin has 2,440,000 downloads, a 4.7 user rating, 104 extensions and themes, and more than 180 project contributions.
Now that the introductions are out of the way, let’s unpack what makes these eCommerce wunderkinds so popular, as well as how they compare to each other in our WooCommerce VS Easy Digital Downloads debate:
As the name suggests, Easy Digital Downloads was developed to move digital products. You can, however, extend the platform to handle physical products with add-ons. WooCommerce, on the other hand, was created specifically for physical and digital products. A few factors to consider when making your choice:
- What is the primary selling focus of your eCommerce store — physical or digital?
- If it’s digital, do you expect to expand your offering in the future (and vice versa).
- If yes to the above, then perhaps WooCommerce is the best choice as it was built with both in mind.
If you’re selling to international audiences, WooCommerce is the better option as it’s been translated into 51 languages, while EDD is only available in 10 variants.
WooCommerce’s extension marketplace is far larger than EDD’s, offering a broader catalogue than its competitor. Illustrating this disparity, WooCommerce currently has more than 100 payment gateway options listed on its website. Easy Digital Downloads does have a comprehensive list of extensions, but in terms of choice, it’s not as much as WooCommerce.
But that’s not the end of that! Practically speaking, you’re not really going to use 81 payment gateways on your eCommerce store, are you? In fact, most businesses would be perfectly served by having just the leading payment options in their store. Both WooCommerce and EDD offer:
- PayPal (free on both platforms)
- Stripe (free on WooCommerce; $89 on Easy Digital Downloads)
In summary, while both support the leading gateways, WooCommerce is the wiser choice. It offers more payment gateways for free and has a wider selection of local gateways to support smaller businesses internationally.
Add-Ons, Themes and Extensions
In terms of amount, there’s no beating WooCommerce and its abundance of add-ons, plugins and extensions. But, as with payment gateways, you’re not going to install a thousand plugins on your website and run the risk of overloading it.
Both platforms offer high quality, great-looking themes, as well as add-ons that extend their respective functionalities. If you’re looking for something niche, however, choosing WooCommerce and its vast number of solutions is the best way forward. Easy Digital Downloads — while lacking in the choice department when compared to WooCommerce — has everything you need to move digital products. Not to mention a few beautiful themes, too.
It’s a tie in this category. After all, there’s a reason these eCommerce platforms are so popular in the WordPress community!
With 90,143,169 downloads and 2.9 million websites using it, you’d rightly expect WooCommerce to have a community to match. Made up of passionate WordPress users and developers, you gain access to a deep pool of knowledge and guidance from the experts with WooCommerce. It’s worth mentioning that the internet is bursting at the seams with helpful guides, blog articles and opinion pieces for assistance as you navigate your WooCommerce journey.
Easy Digital Downloads does offer support and community, just on a smaller scale. If you’re new to eCommerce and website development, WooCommerce and its huge community of experts is the best choice here.
In terms of performance, Easy Digital Downloads is built to be lightweight and practical. Whereas WooCommerce goes all-in on virtually everything. If you’re looking for something simple, streamlined, or for a digital online store, then the WooCommerce VS Easy Digital Downloads debate is tipped in EDD’s favour here.
In a previous blog post, we detailed WooCommerce’s costs, as recommended by WordPress:
“WooCommerce is a plugin, so you’ll need a WordPress site that can use plugins. The very first thing you’ll need to do is choose is a host for your store and buy a plan.
This is actually quite easy. WooCommerce and WordPress both recommend hosts like SiteGround, BlueHost, and Pressable. These hosts are great to start with, although if you’re migrating an eCommerce store, or will be running a large site, work with a host with specific WooCommerce expertise. WordPress.com also offers a Business plan, which allows sites to upload plugins.”
So while WooCommerce itself is free, you’ll need a WordPress website to run it. This comes with its own set of costs, which we dive into here.
The base Easy Digital Downloads product is free to download, but then you miss out on all of the extensions that give your store its power. These include email marketing tools, single site licenses, and marketplace functionality. To gain access to these, Easy Digital Downloads offers four bundles:
It’s a close one in the WooCommerce VS Easy Digital Downloads debate, but EDD’s various bundles give you a clear advantage here. Not only are the packages more cost-effective, but they give you access to a number of extensions in one easy-to-access place. WooCommerce’s extensions, on the other hand, are cheaper individually but mean you’ll have to source them yourself. And if you’re new to the game, you’ll need expert advice to ensure you’re not wasting your time or money.
WooCommerce VS Easy Digital Downloads: Conclusion
It’s a tough one and there is no right answer in the WooCommerce VS Easy Digital Downloads comparison. Each platform is popular for a reason — they’re both exceptionally well-made and come with premium add-ons and extensions that make your eCommerce store more powerful. In the end, it comes down to what you require of your online store.
If you’re new to web development, require something more intuitive and simple to set up, and have more physical stock than digital, go with Woocommerce. But, if you intend to sell more digital products and require a platform that’s lightweight and streamlined, go with Easy Digital Downloads.
Still Unsure? We Can Help!
We understand if you’re still unsure which eCommerce platform to go with — it’s a difficult decision.
We’d like to help you. Kaira has been developing WordPress and WooCommerce plugins and themes for over a decade, so you could say we know our way around the latest trends and platforms in the industry.
To chat about your eCommerce options or website development in general, please get in touch here. If you’d like to see examples of our work, check out our very own WooCommerce plugin, WooCustomizer, and our latest (and fastest) theme, Overlay.