WooCommerce vs Easy Digital Downloads: Who Comes out on Top?

Running an online business always remains many challenges, from choosing the right product to building up a strong marketing strategy. The truth is, creating an online store website is one of the hardest tasks. You might trust Shopify and BigCommerce as your e-commerce platform.

However, if you own a WordPress site, WooCommerce should definitely come into mind. You know what? There are actually multiple other ways you can use WordPress to turn your site into an online shop. And Easy Digital Downloads (EDD) is another big name that’s worth your consideration.

But WooCommerce vs Easy Digital Downloads, which one is better? Some people misunderstand that WooCommerce is only used to sell physical products while EDD best fits sites offering digital items. Still, there is more to ponder than just the types of products you will sell.

We have summarized some important points to provide you with key differences between these two WordPress eCommerce plugins. We base on basic factors to make our comparison, including core shopping features, compatible add-ons and extensions, payment gateways, user experience, and pricing.

Before we begin, let’s quickly take a look at a brief introduction of the two plugins.

About WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads

Although both solutions help add a shopping cart to your WordPress site, each primarily provides you with a different method to showcase your products online.

Receiving over 5 million active installations, WooCommerce stays steadily at the leading position in the WordPress e-commerce niche. This big cheese contributes 8% to the market share worldwide. This number jumps up to 21% when looking at the top 1 million sites.

In the beginning, it was built to manage and sell physical products only. The plugin feature is brought to a higher level by handling digital products now.

Your virtual products will be effectively displayed on e-commerce stores created by Easy Digital Downloads. With more than 60,000 active installations, EDD seems not as popular as WooCommerce. Despite this fact, the plugin still plays a significant role in WordPress online businesses by providing initial support for downloadable things. EDD’s latest version of 2.7+ lets you sell physical products at the moment.

Core Shopping Features

As fully-services e-commerce solutions, WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads allow you to generally list products for sales, accept orders from customers, manage them, and collect payments.

Since WooCommerce mainly serves physical products, it includes shipping and inventory options by default. EDD, on the other hand, requires the Simple Shipping add-on to handle this function.

There is a common report area of the two plugins showing the sales and the earning status of your store. In the WooCommerce Subscriptions report, you can see your income in the last 7 days, one month, a whole year, or even a custom period of time. Stock levels, as well as taxes, are also available there.

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Via the Downloads section in your WordPress dashboard, EDD enables you to manage your store and its files and view reports. You can decide to look over your product-specific reports, sales, and earning graphs.

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Viewing customer information and managing the categories and tags of your downloads become much easier. As a result, you’re able to build a better marketing strategy based on their buying journey.

Add-ons and Extensions

Add-ons and extensions assist you in adding more powerful features to your store effortlessly to extend their functionalities. Thanks to these plugin integrations, you can customize the checkout process, upsell customers, add a place for buyers to leave reviews, protect product files, and more.

Appearing as open-source plugins, these two solutions receive a vast number of supportive add-ons and extensions, from their companies as well as third-party WordPress contributors.

5,600 WooCommerce plugins on WordPress.org and 2,700 solutions on CodeCanyon give proof of its popularity. For Easy Digital Downloads, this number drops to 600 and 300 respectively. Despite the lower number of supporting plugins, you already have everything needed to handle your digital products.

Compatible Themes

The default shop page of these two plugins looks quite simple and monotonic though. You need to impress customers at the first sight by applying eye-catching themes. As a matter of fact, any clean and modern WordPress themes should work well with both WooCommerce and EDD.

However, you’re required to use specific themes designed for WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads. These themes will give you stylish templates for your checkout and shopping cart. They also make your website look more likely an online shop, rather than a blog or a simple business site.

On top of that, some themes extend your shop features such as product inspectors, one-click checkouts, and quick add-to-cart buttons.

When searching for WooCommerce themes on WordPress.org, about 980 results show up. On ThemeForest, over 1,200 themes appear for this search term. The total number of EDD themes is 372 on ThemeForest, equal to one-third of WooCommerce’s.

Payment Processors

In terms of payment gateways, both WooCommerce and Easy Digital Downloads integrate seamlessly with big names like PayPal, Stripe, Authorize.net, 2Checkout, etc.

For WooCommerce stores, PayPal and Stripe are integrated into this e-commerce platform by default. So you can freely use them without spending a dime. The same thing goes for EDD with PayPal. If you intend to use Stripe as your payment processor, it will charge $89.

To make sure your customers have a wider range of payment gateway options, please seek help from additional plugins. WooCommerce is well-known enough to have better support for small and local gateways.

EDD also has a comprehensive list of payment gateway extensions. In fact, this number is lower than WooCommerce.

User Experience

Both plugins make it easy for you to create an eCommerce store from a WordPress site to sell products. Each one primarily supports a type of product so there are still differences in how you add new products and display them in your store.

WooCommerce on board you by a wizard that gives options of completing a series of actions. You can base on that wizard to configure every aspect of your shop.

The process of creating a WooCommerce product is exactly the same as pages and posts. A basic product page should include product details, its price, and product images. It’s necessary to add other important information like tags, categories for easy organization in your inventory.

The Product Data section at the bottom of the product page lets you decide other factors such as inventory or shipping methods. If it’s a virtual or downloadable item, remember to check those options.

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Although Easy Digital Downloads doesn’t show a wizard, setting up and creating products is as quick as a wink.

Adding a new product is similar to publishing a blog post plus uploading the product files. The hardest part comes to produce your intellectual products, then let the EDD plugin handle all the other jobs.

Out of the box, it’s possible for you to determine how many times your file can be downloaded or when it will expire.

One thing you should notice is that when selling physical items, there is no option to add a product description or a featured image like what you do in WooCommerce.

Instead of publishing a new product page, you can easily embed it into an existing post via shortcodes. Your file now is covered under a download button.

Pricing

As mentioned, these two plugins don’t cost you anything to install and set up. However, you need to buy at least a few add-ons and extensions to extend their functionalities.

To get the WooCommerce software licensing, you have to pay $129. And the recurring payment costs $199. On Easy Digital Downloads, software licensing is $199.Both software licensing and recurring payments are $199.

The price of individual WooCommerce premium plugins seems lower. In fact, the bundle selling model of EDD saves you a lot of money. You can buy a set of Easy Digital Downloads extensions at a more affordable price, compared to the single plugin prices combined.

Blue Creature vs Violet Ninja, Who is the Winner?

WooCommerce, without a doubt, stands out to be an experienced veteran in the WordPress e-commerce industry. Easy Digital Downloads, also proves a giant in this niche.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution and we don’t have the exact answer for the question of who is the winner. It depends on your store’s unique needs.

If you mainly sell physical products and might think of downloadable ones in the future, pick WooCommerce. In case digital goods are your strength, then EDD should be an ideal tool.

There are so many things you should take into account when choosing an e-commerce solution. Especially paying attention to their features, the ability to integrate with other plugins, pricing, and the ease of use.

Still getting confused about which is better? Leave your thoughts in the comment box below to let us know.

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