It’s easy and inexpensive to build a WordPress site. Can it be just as simple and inexpensive to sell digital products on WordPress? Yes.
There are a lot of options, so we’re comparing three popular platforms for selling digital products on WordPress: Easy Digital Downloads vs. WooCommerce vs. Selz.
There’s a lot to think about as you decide which platform is the best fit for your unique business. All three have a free WordPress plugin and affordable plans, but which is worth the commitment that you’re making when you get started?
After all, it’s tough to know what will matter most until you really get into adding products to your site. It’s even harder to anticipate and troubleshoot the issues that might come up after you start selling.
Easy Digital Downloads vs. WooCommerce vs. Selz: Platform Overview
WooCommerce is an ecommerce plugin for WordPress only. It also has themes, plugins, and extensions all designed specifically for WordPress.
You can sell digital and physical products, plus services. WooCommerce now powers over 30% of all online stores using WordPress, making it one of the most popular ecommerce solutions available.
About Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is another WordPress-only option. This tool is specifically for selling digital products. It also includes some extra features for sellers, like discount codes and analytics.
They also offer additional integrations and plugins to expand the functionality of their platform.
About Selz, Ecommerce for Growing Businesses
Selz offers a free WordPress plugin to sell digital products. In addition to their highly-rated WordPress plugin, Selz is a powerful selling solution for building online stores. They also make it easy to sell directly on social channels like Facebook and Instagram.
Merchant Maverick calls Selz the “magic wand of online sales platforms”.
You can use Selz embeds on multiple website platforms, including WordPress, Wix, Blogger, and many more. Overall, Selz is an ecommerce solution that saves time for small businesses. It also offers many exciting features specifically for digital product sellers.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t already have a WordPress site you love, Selz is the obvious choice. Neither WooCommerce or Easy Digital Downloads offer a free, hosted online store option.
Easy Digital Downloads vs. WooCommerce vs. Selz: The Digital Differences
Different types of products need different features and each of these platforms has different options.
WooCommerce is an open source platform that offers a wide range of apps and plugins to sell digital products, physical products and services.
Easy Digital Downloads products
This plugin is for merchants selling digital products or digital services. It is possible to sell physical products with the platform, but shipping requires an additional plugin. They don’t recommend their platform if you’re selling mostly physical products.
You can sell digital products (eBooks, videos, online courses, apps, etc.), services (like coaching) and physical products using Selz technology. These simple instructions show you how easy it is to sell on WordPress with Selz.
Many educators use the Selz platform. They appreciate having extra options to add to their digital products.
For example, you can sell live one-on-one sessions in addition to streaming videos. You can also sell accessories or equipment alongside downloadable PDFs. This combination of product options makes it easier to expand your product options quickly.
The Bottom Line
All three platforms let you sell a range of different products, but Selz and Easy Digital Downloads are better for digital products because they offer more specialized features for digital download sellers.
Best WordPress Plugin for selling digital downloads
Because this is an important distinction, let’s talk more about selling digital products on WordPress.
The process of uploading and setting up a digital item isn’t as easy as it is with Selz, but it isn’t overly complicated if you’re familiar with uploading files to a hosting service. WooCommerce does give a step-by-step guide on how to do this: Digital/Downloadable Product Handling.
That said, most of the special options for selling digital products are through extensions that you purchase through their marketplace. This means you’ll need to research each extension on your own to decide if it meets your needs.
Easy Digital Downloads vs Selz
Easy Digital Downloads is for selling digital products, and they offer multiple options for selling digital downloads, including subscriptions.
If you’re selling digital downloads, you want an ecommerce solution that is reliable, affordable, and easy to use.
Both Selz and EDD make it easy to create digital products and to bundle multiple digital files into a single digital product bundle. Both platforms give you the option to download an unlimited number of products.
Check out this video from Kyle and Command Creativity that shows you how simple it is to use Selz to sell digital downloads.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to digital downloads, Selz is the easiest to use. It doesn’t need any extra extensions or features to sell downloads of any kind. That said, Easy Digital Downloads offers extensions for affiliates and subscriptions that Selz does not, though those features are in the works.
So, the platform that’s best for you depends on the kind of digital products you are selling. For most digital sellers, Selz is the most comprehensive and user-friendly platform.
Easy Digital Downloads vs. WordPress vs. Selz: Ease of use
All three platforms emphasize how easy they are to use, but they define easy in very different ways. After all, tech-savvy has been a buzzword for many years now. As the use of technology expands, so does the true definition of savvy in the tech landscape.
Are you comfortable with logging in and using online apps, but feel a bit over your head with code? Can you figure out new tools quickly, or does it take some time or a specific problem for you to really understand what you’re working with? The process of setting up your online store should be simple. It shouldn’t be frustrating or complicated.
However, some ecommerce solutions are for more tech-focused businesses and others are for anyone, regardless of skill level.
Let’s talk about the tech knowledge you need for these three platforms.
Open source software is exciting because of all the opportunities it offers. But that can also make it complicated to figure out what you need to get started, what you need to grow and how to put it all together if you don’t have IT or coding experience.
Easy Digital Downloads
Some aspects of Easy Digital Downloads are easy to follow, while others require a little more technical understanding. Their platform is built with developers in mind, so if you’re not a developer you may not have the experience you’re hoping for.
For example, it is simple to add a product with their service, but a highlighted feature of their platform is the Restful API, something that many creators will be unable to take advantage of without the help of a developer.
While some online sellers are creating software and apps, others are looking for an easy retail-friendly ecommerce solution. The entire Selz platform supports all kinds of products and has a dashboard that’s really simple to use.
Another consideration for ease of use is how much a single platform can do for you.
When you first start selling from your WordPress site, you probably think any option that lets you securely collect payments will do. But the best way to grow and maintain a stable thriving business is return customers. So, before you pick a platform, ask yourself:
- What do your customers want and what tools can help you meet those high expectations?
- Are you able to easily collect emails for special deals and offers later on?
- Can you customize your receipts to suggest upsells or cross-sells for popular products?
- Are you doing everything you can to make sure your digital products are secure?
- Are you managing a handful of products or do you want to offer a large volume of products online?
But time management is a big deal for any small business, and every month more “time-saving” apps come out with new releases and updates. The burden of learning and managing a lot of apps, extensions, tools and plug-ins can create a lot of headaches.
These are just some of the basic features that come with any Selz plan:
- Unlimited storage, bandwidth and customers
- Buy buttons and widgets
- Fully customizable online store
- Advanced analytics
- Customer management
- Facebook store
- Discounts codes
- Secure digital file delivery
- Staff accounts
- Global tax settings
- Real-time fraud protection
- Inventory management
- Free SSL certificate
- Unlimited products
- Pages and built-in blog
- Custom domain
- Shopping cart
- Worldwide shipping
- Abandoned cart emails
While WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads offer some of these features, they require extra plugins and extensions to do it.
The Bottom Line
It’s great to be able to customize tools to your business, but your biggest time-saver will be a tool that can perform most of the tasks you need all in one simple place. Selz is the easiest platform to use because it doesn’t require a lot of add-ons to get the functionality you need.
Easy Digital Downloads vs. WooCommerce vs. Selz: Pricing
Another challenge with plugins and extensions? They can make it tough to understand how much you’re really paying for what you need.
With WooCommerce, in addition to the time and resources it takes to research each extension, these extensions come with added costs. These are just a few extensions that any ecommerce store needs and how it costs per year:
- Hosting: $3.95 – $5,000 per month
- Domain: $120 per year
- Themes: $20 – $100 per year
- SEO: $49 per year
- Site security: $100 and up per year
- Abandoned Cart: $29 and up per month
It could cost anywhere from $660 to thousands of dollars a year for these extensions alone.
Easy Digital Downloads pricing
Easy Digital Downloads is very cost effective, with annual plans ranging from $99 – $499 per year. But again, if there are specific features you’re looking for, like affiliate marketing, you’ll pay a premium. For example, the AffiliateWP extension alone could double your annual investment.
If you plan to sell five products or less, you can use Selz on WordPress for free. Your only charges will be a low transaction fee on each purchase.
And for $29 per month or $312 annually, Selz Basic Plan customers have access to all of the valuable features listed above.
Another thing to consider– if you’re selling digital products, storage may not be something you worry about yet. But if you’re planning to sell videos and other digital products, storage can be a big extra expense that Selz covers with no additional fees.
The Bottom Line
All three platforms offer affordable options for selling on WordPress.
Is it easy for you to learn with support documentation or would you rather get some one-on-one help to save time? Each of these platforms has a very different approach to customer support.
This review rates their customer service as fair, and for good reason. Not only is support for their customers limited to support docs, forums and help tickets, but it’s also limited to WooCommerce’s basic functionality. If you add one of their helpful plugins or extensions, you’ll have to disable it for troubleshooting.
Easy Digital Downloads
There are great reviews for the support team and documentation for EDD. As we mention above, some of their instructions are for developers by developers, so they may be a little trickier to follow for some sellers.
Selz gets rave reviews for support and help documentation. This article, How-Tos for a Happy Customer: Great Customer Service 101, goes into detail about how the Selz Customer Success team approaches support.
Selz also offers an ecommerce coaching service if you want to speed up the process of getting started.
The Bottom Line
The platform you choose should be in line with the kind of support you need to run your business effectively.
It’s challenging to choose an ecommerce solution when there are so many great choices available. But if you focus on your unique business needs, you will easily find the right technology, at the right price, to grow your business.
This post was originally published in April 2017 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.