We’ve put in a shopping cart for a client that’s not working, and we need some help!
The cart is currently using the WP-ecommerce plugin. Even the developers of this plugin admit this thing needs to be scrapped and rebuilt from scratch. Yeah. Anyway, the products on the site require a very sophisticated level of functionality that affects shipping based on country and zip code.
We’ve hacked the plugin to pieces to make this work, and there are still errors that are costing her sales. It would be easy to limit shipping on a product-by-product basis, but that’s not the way her store works. Like on Cafe Press: I want the slogan that says “My mom can beat up your dad.” Once I select the slogan, I can choose to purchase that slogan on a t-shirt, mug, or bumper sticker. However, if I live in London, I shouldn’t even be offered the bumper sticker, for example, since it can’t be shipped.
See our problem? Got any WordPress solutions for us??
(I asked my friend and WordPress expert Angela Bowman and here’s what she suggested)
Comparing e-commerce options for WordPress is like comparing apples to oranges. A big difference between the various solutions is whether or not the solution is a full-featured store software that has reporting, gift certificates, cross selling, and other option or is simply a glorified shopping cart. Which you choose will depend on your e-commerce needs.
For the most part, NONE of the WordPress plugins are full featured e-commerce solutions. They are simple applications with some of them having more features than others.
When comparing WordPress solutions, they fall into the following categories:
1. Store products based on WordPress posts and pages. In other words, you create posts within a certain category, and these posts make up the products in your store.
2. Store products managed via Custom Post Types. I prefer these solutions, because my clients have many products, and I don¹t want to deal with the products in the WordPress Posts area as I want to keep my blog very separate from my store products. The best of these is the Shopp Plugin.
3. Theme based solutions. These work similarly to the post-based products, and perhaps are a good solution for someone who has very basic needs and doesn¹t have to have customize a lot. A popular e-commerce theme is Market Theme.
4. Simply PayPal add to cart buttons that can be created on the fly. This would be for a site with just a few simple products.
5. Full featured e-commerce software packages such as Magento and x-Cart that could be visually hooked up with WordPress site, so that WordPress would handle the overall look of the site while Magento or x-Cart takes care of all the shopping aspects. Though Magento now has a WordPress plugin to take advantage of the best of both worlds.
6. Hosted e-commerce solutions in which the products are managed via vendor but displayed on your WordPress site using shortcodes or a plugins that integrates the two, such as Ecwid, Shopify (not integrated with WordPress), and OrderStorm.
I use Shopp Plugin for many clients because of its easy-to-use templating system, but I’m becoming more inclined to use hosted solutions so as not to have to deal with security issues, SSL certificates, server bandwidth, and updates.
Thanks for this help, Angela! You can ask her more questions about WordPress because she’s also… AskWordPressGirl!