WordPress is much more than a blogging platform – it is a fully functional content management system that allows you to do everything you would expect from a custom-built design. If you have something to sell, WordPress is the easiest and quickest way to do it. There are dozens of options available for transforming a standard blog into a powerful ecommerce website, but four stand out:
In this tutorial, we will give you a brief overview of each and guide you through the installation process.
WooCommerce is perhaps the most complete ecommerce solution available for WordPress and provides you with a full, dedicated shopping website. If you sell physical products, it is recommended that you opt for a WooCommerce WordPress theme. One of these will set you back around $30-$60, but can be up and running in a matter of hours.
The WooCommerce plugin is separate from the themes and is designed to get your site ready to sell. To install this plugin, simply go to Plugins > Add New and enter “WooCommerce” in the search field. Click on Install Now, followed by Activate Plugin to complete the installation. Once the plugin is installed, select your country and currency.
WooCommerce has an easy to use admin panel and allows settings to be tailored to your requirements, including options to change appearance and set up payment gateways and product listings.
WP e-Commerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin around, allowing you to quickly set up a store to complement your website. It is based on the same layout as WordPress for ease of use and it supports a wide range of payment gateways. Installation follows the standard process via the Plugins Directory and is ready to go after payment details, product and pricing information has been provided.
If you want to sell things via your site without changing the overall look, Selz is fantastic. It is designed for the newbie and it manages everything from product displays to payment collection with minimum fuss.
Once you have installed the Selz plugin (again using the standard process), go to the Selz homepage to create your free account and make a product widget for your site. You will then be provided with a code that can be pasted into the Selz WordPress Plugin widget and you are ready to go. The whole process takes no more than a few minutes.
For a nominal fee of 5% on sales over 25c, Selz handles the payment side of things. It also lets you give away free items such as eBooks without charge.
We wrote a detailed guide on Shopify not too long ago. While it is not strictly a WordPress option, it is an excellent option all the same, Shopify works as a completely independent e-commerce solution that requires no installation via WordPress. This web-based portal provides you with a full online store inclusive of everything you would expect to see on any major online retailer.
Getting set up simply requires you to have something to sell and a credit card to register. Your shop can be hosted through Shopify or on your own domain and be linked to via your WordPress site.