WordPress may have originally been developed as a blogging platform, but it has since evolved to become a fully-functional content management system capable of hosting everything from blogging to e-commerce. As an e-commerce solution, WordPress can be used to either establish an online store or to sell a limited number of products or services in conjunction with an organization’s main vision and mission. A good place to start is with PayPal.
PayPal is one of the world’s most recognized electronic payment platforms. It used to be owned by eBay, though it has since been spun off into an independent company. Since the spinoff, PayPal engineers have been working diligently to improve the company’s offerings. This includes making it easier to integrate PayPal with WordPress for e-commerce.
Creating PayPal Buttons for Your Site
There are two ways to integrate PayPal with WordPress for e-commerce. The first is to simply create PayPal buttons assigned to various products. This is a good solution for organizations that don’t have a need for a complete e-commerce solution. For example, imagine an independent IT consultant who just wants to sell a book he recently wrote.
Our consultant could open a PayPal business account at no charge. He could then go to the Seller Tools section of the PayPal website to create a button for his WordPress site. He just needs to enter a minimal amount of information; the site automatically generates the code. He then copies that code and pastes it into the page or post on his own site where he wants the button to appear.
Anyone who purchases the consultant’s book is automatically directed to PayPal upon clicking the button. PayPal handles the entire transaction.
Adding a PayPal Shopping Cart
Site owners with more complex e-commerce needs can install an actual PayPal shopping cart on their WordPress sites. Fortunately, WordPress makes it easy with a dedicated plugin known as ‘WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart’. This plugin makes setting up a shopping cart as easy as it can be.
Shopping carts can be installed site-wide or just on specific pages and posts. The plugin offers support for displaying individual shopping carts in the sidebar so that users can keep track of what they have already selected. They can even add and remove items directly from the sidebar.
WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart does not require any advanced knowledge of coding. If you are familiar with how to use shortcodes, you’re all set. All you need to do is set up your products and pricing through the plugin’s options. The plugin itself will generate a shortcode you then paste into your page or post.
Thanks to the efforts of PayPal and a number of plugin developers, WordPress users can integrate PayPal on their sites for e-commerce. This is yet another reason WordPress continues to be the most used content management system on the Web. If you’ve been looking for an e-commerce solution, you may have found it through WordPress and PayPal integration.