With many budding entrepreneurs looking for secure and reliable online sales platforms to sell CBD products, the latest news from JetPack could be concerning. Following the trend of many online developers and companies, JetPack isn’t allowing users to sell CBD-based products via their services.

According to JetPack, users won’t be able to use their services or any plugins which require a JetPack login to sell CBD-infused products. Despite the industry growing at a spectacular rate, the sale of CBD remains somewhat of a grey area and, as such, there are a number of platforms that have banned their sale. However, JetPack’s latest announcement may be disappointing for online CBD retailers, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to sell your goods online; you’ll just need to ensure that you aren’t using any JetPack services or services which rely on JetPack, to do so.

Developed by Automattic, JetPack is a popular way of building, updating and maintaining your WordPress site. Designed to make it easy for users to customise their websites with free content, it has been particularly popular with new users. Whilst you can continue to use JetPack on e-commerce sites to sell a whole host of other goods, you won’t be able to rely on it if you want to sell anything which contains CBD.

Selling CBD using Woocommerce

As JetPack is developed by Automattic, it won’t come as a shock to learn that WordPress hosting and CBD-based products don’t mix either. Automattic develops both WordPress and JetPack, and it appears they’re taking the same approach across all of their products. To avoid potential reputational damage or legal quandaries, Automattic has decided to ban the sale of CBD-infused on all of their sites and platforms. In addition to this, you won’t be permitted to use Automattic plugins to assist in the sale of CBD-based products either.

Whilst the lasted news from JetPack may sound extreme, you will still be able to find a secure and efficient way to sell CBD. In fact, JetPack has confirmed that you can still use WooCommerce to sell these products. Providing you don’t use JetPack-related plugins or services, or host your site on WordPress.com, you will still be able to use WooCommerce.

Of course, given that some WooCommerce features rely on JetPack services, you will have to find alternative options you can combine with Woocommerce. Both Woocommerce Tax and WooCommerce Shipping rely on JetPack, for example, so you would need to use alternative shipping and tax plugins to facilitate the sale of CBD-containing products.

Is WooCommerce still the best way to sell CBD

Until the recent announcement for JetPack, it was commonly accepted that WooCommerce was a fast and easy way to sell goods online, including products that contain CBD. Easy-to-use and inherently customisable, retailers could create their own unique storefronts using the WooCommerce plugin. Furthermore, the option to use WooCommerce Shipping and Tax streamlined the sales process and made retailing online simple for everyone.

So, is WooCommerce still the best platform for your online business? If you’re selling products that contain CBD, the answer is probably yes. While there are no more restrictions in place, and you won’t be able to use some JetPack-related plugins, such as WooCommerce Shipping and Tax, you can still benefit from the easy-to-use features, customisable designs and simple user interface.

Furthermore, the fact that WooCommerce is an open-source plugin could be advantageous when it comes to selling CBD-infused goods, such as edibles, CBD oil, tinctures and creams.

How important is open-source development?

When you use an open-source plugin or platform to see your goods, no-one else has control over your website. You can use free open-source plugins or paid-for alternatives, but open-source developments mean you aren’t at risk of someone else owning or being held accountable for your advertising, sales or financial transitions.

Compared to other popular e-commerce sites, such as Shopify, for example, using an open-source plugin has a number of benefits. As Shopify is a private company, an opposed to an open-source platform, they retain control over your website. Similarly, as Shopify hosts websites as well, they may be more likely to take action against sellers who are advertising products that contain CBD.

To date, Shopify is being used to sell CBD-based products, but sellers are not permitted to use some of the standard features, such as Shopify’s payment system. In essence, this may sound similar to the WooCommerce approach – you can use the platform, but there are some features or plugins which will be unavailable or disallowed if you’re selling CBD.

However, the confusion over the online sale of CBD is on-going, and there may be further changes in the near future. If Shopify decides to ban the sale of CBD products on their platform completely, they could simply shut your store down. In fact, Shopify could close your online business without giving you any notice at all.

In contrast, the open-ended design of WooCommerce ensures that no other individual or company retains control over your online store, so your site being shut down is far less likely to happen. Providing you use a hosting company that hasn’t prohibited the sale of CBD-based products, and doesn’t use any JetPack-related services or plugins, there’s unlikely to be an issue with you using WooCommerce to advertise or sell CBD and CBD-infused products.

Managing your online CBD store

If you’re thinking of launching an online CBD sales platform or you’re already using WooCommerce to sell your CBD-based goods, you may need to make some slight changes to your CBD website. By switching from WooCommerce Tax and Shipping, for example, you can use alternative plugin providers who do not prohibit the sale of CBD via their services. Similarly, you can switch your hosting to an alternative company, who won’t claim that CBD can’t be sold on the sites they host.

Whilst this change needn’t be difficult, it can be tricky to custom plugins to work alongside other platforms, so you may want to access expert help. With professional assistance, you can maintain your WooCommerce store, or launch a new one, and ensure you’re using alternative plugins and providers to facilitate your sales.

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