Shopify Launches Official Plugin for WordPress

Shopify announced today that the company is jumping into the WordPress market with a new official plugin and three WordPress themes. The Canadian company captures just 8% of the e-commerce technology market share, trailing WooCommerce (31%), Magento (19%), OpenCart (11%), Prestashop (10%), and others (13%).

The new Shopify Buy Button plugin is intended for users who already have a business set up on WordPress and are only looking to sell a few products with a buy button, as opposed to a full-fledged store. It allows users to sell products that have already been added to their Shopify stores and requires a $9/month Shopify Lite subscription.

shopify-wp

Shopify partnered with Themezilla, Themify, and Ultralinx to build Shopify-powered WordPress themes. The themes are only free to download for a limited time, which leaves users without updates unless they purchase the theme from the commercial provider.

The corresponding plugin is currently hosted on GitHub but is in the process of being reviewed for WordPress.org, according to product representative Daniel Patricio.

“Many users have already been using it through the themes for a couple weeks now so we just wanted to get it out there to the rest of our users,” Patricio said. “We are in the review cycle to get it listed and should be up shortly where people will be able to get updates as we add features.”

It is not advisable to use or install the plugin until it is hosted on WordPress.org, as Shopify currently has no way to deliver security updates to users. It is unclear why the company chose to officially launch its new WordPress integration without updates in mind, but this is a major concern. If a vulnerability were discovered, the company has no straightforward way to alert people who have downloaded the plugin from GitHub.

When asked for an ETA for the plugin’s arrival on WordPress.org, Patricio said, “We don’t have a timeline yet but will be getting it up there soon.”

12 Comments


  1. I think releasing a plugin on github first is pretty typical for almost every WordPress plugin or theme that comes out. It takes a while to get approval through those queues, so releasing on github is a great way for companies or developers to gather feedback and continue testing without waiting for WordPress.org approval.

    This feels like an unfair bias toward Shopify because it could be considered a competing platform to WordPress/WooCommerce.

    If the same criticism were given to every product, theme, or plugin that’s released in the same way, I probably wouldn’t say anything, but this article feels like it’s fueled by some Haterade.

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    1. No haterade here. It was the only reply I received when asking how users would be able to get security updates. I found it odd that a major platform like Shopify would encourage its large user base to use a plugin that doesn’t yet have a way of issuing security updates and has no idea when they will be able to. I printed the only statements I received. It also struck me as odd to launch with a GitHub-hosted plugin given that folks who opt for a hosted e-commerce experience are not always tech savvy enough to install a plugin from GitHub.

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      1. Right. I guess my point is that Automattic (and lots of other WP companies) roll out products that way all the time and it’s always celebrated, not criticized.

        FB Instant Articles is the type of thing that’s going to be most attractive to marketers, not necessarily technical folks, but was released on github first and shortly after on dot org https://github.com/Automattic/facebook-instant-articles-wp

        That release didn’t come with disclaimer. *shrug*

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      2. Ryan – Implementing FB Instant Articles isn’t really a plug-and-play scenario. The github repo has a disclaimer that the underlying API’s are still in flux and that the plugin is still in its early stages. The program doesn’t even launch until mid-April. Developers have the chance to customize the experience ahead of time – it’s a plugin mostly geared towards publications with developers who are knowledgeable enough to implement it. This is a totally different demographic from folks who are using a hosted e-commerce platform.

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  2. There’s no real issue getting approved on w.org quickly. Just ask. Email us. Simple. We’ll happily try to work within your timelines.

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  3. I think it’s totally fair that Shopify would release it on Github and little too harsh on them since most of the companies are doing that! So what Ryan is saying makes total sense.

    Having said that Sarah’s points are valid too since most of the Shopify’s users are non-technical. They wouldn’t want the hassle to update the plugin or wouldn’t know if the update is available on Github for their WordPress install.

    Lets agree that both of you are right :) Peace!

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  4. I agree with Sarah. No way, no how should anyone be processing customer credit cards with code that doesn’t have a way of applying security updates.

    If they want to release it first on github, it should be locked down to only work with testing or sandbox environments, not actually merchant processing accounts.

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    1. Hi Richard,

      We definitely wouldn’t want people processing cards in an insecure environment either. That’s why we only do so through SSL through our checkout. We don’t believe that is something worth toying with.

      As mentioned below, we are now on the plugin directory and I hope you give us a shot in the future.

      – Daniel

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  5. Thanks for sharing Sarah.

    I’ve recently encountered an interesting scenario for a client of mine. They wanted to use Shopify because they really enjoy using their eCommerce platform. However they also wanted to continue using their WordPress site for blogging and utilizing the powerful CMS features that Shopify can’t do.

    Soo I started researching for solutions.

    I came across this official plugin from Shopify but was immediately discouraged by their use of iFrames for embedding products. This particular client of mine was very adamant about the brand and wanted full control over how the products looked in relation to the rest of the site.

    So this lead me to ~5 months of custom development of a better Shopify / WordPress plugin. I’ve called it WP Shopify, you can check it out here: https://wpshop.io

    This comment is already getting long so to keep it brief, basically I’m using their API in conjunction with their JavaScript Buy SDK for the cart experience. I’m authenticating via OAuth and syncing all the product related data as custom post types giving the developer full control over how the products are displayed. Shopify also exposes Webhooks in their API which is working really nice at keeping all the data in WordPress in sync whenever you change product data in Shopify.

    Anyway, I’d encourage people to take a look at my plugin if you’re frustrated with the lack of flexibility in found in the official one.

    I’m aiming for a Feb 1, 2017 release. https://wpshop.io

    Cheers!

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