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View Full Version : Anyone using WP ecommerce yet?



lav
06-13-2010, 08:44 AM
Im using Joomla for my business site and Wordpress for my personal site. After using both for a while now Im thinking of redesigning my business site using wordpress purely because I enjoy using it more and could see myself updating the site more frequently.

I chose Joomla for my business site because of the wider range of options regarding layout and was told that Wordpress had limited e-commerce capabilities. Well 12 months into it Im finding that unless I spend money on a good ecommerce extension Im not going to get the usability that I want anyway and as far as the layout is concerned well I spend more time trying maintain things on the joomla site than I do adding content.....

Anyway Im not starting a debate on which is better but I am interested in hearing some feedback on WP ecommerce from people who are using it and I have been looking around trying to find a few good examples of where it has been used. Anyone seen any nice sites using it??

Patrysha
06-13-2010, 10:39 AM
Messed around with the plug in some, just for fun...but haven't really used it yet in a live site so can't really help much...

vangogh
06-14-2010, 11:33 AM
I used the WP Ecommerce plugin for a couple of sites and didn't like it at all. Things sometimes worked and sometimes didn't and the developers are horrible when it comes to replying to their support forum or responding to emails from paying customers. There's little to no documentation about the plugin either.

However I did find a plugin called Shopp (http://shopplugin.net/), which I do like. Things work and there's actually some documentation to help. The support forums seem a little better. I Haven't had to email them any questions directly. I have been moving all of the sites that used wp-ecommerce to Shopp without problem. Much easier to work with too. The only downside is there isn't a free version you can use while developing to test, though there is a demo on the site.

The plugin costs $55 and you'll likely want to buy an extension or two to get it set up like you want. Figure about $100 total. Hardly expensive, but you will have to commit the initial $55 to get it working on your site.

I have no comparison to Joomla as I don't use Joomla, but I can honestly recommend Shopp.

lav
06-14-2010, 10:24 PM
Shopp looks pretty straight forward. I looked around the features section and forum to see if there was an option to have the cart turned off and have the shop as just a catalogue but couldnt find an answer. Its not a requirement but something Im thinking of doing. Also I noticed in the forum that some were having problems with shipping for Australian users. Im not surprised as I havent seen an out of the box solution with Australian shipping options.

At this stage I will probably set up my new site without a shop to start with but I just want to make sure that there is a good option available. $55 for an ecommerce solution is nothing provided it works reasonably well. My main goal is to get more quality traffic first and then implement ecommerce in the near future.

vangogh
06-15-2010, 12:08 AM
I'll have to think about that. You could just remove all the links to the cart itself. That won't technically turn it off, but no one would be able to find the cart. You could even 301 the URLs in case someone gets curious and tries to access them.

I can't offer any thoughts on Australian shipping, but from what I've seen shipping must not be the easiest thing to get right. I don't think I've ever see any cart handle shipping all that well. I think it's more the shipping companies than the carts or maybe it's one of those things that's harder to do than it would seem at first.

billbenson
06-15-2010, 01:25 AM
and have the shop as just a catalogue
I think he means turn off all the functions related to selling / purchasing a product ie buy now, whats in cart box, people that bought this like this, etc. and use it as strictly an informational catalog.

lav
06-15-2010, 02:01 AM
That is what I was meaning billbenson, I have hundreds of products and a shop would be the easiest way to set it up. I want to trial the idea only to see what happens but I am hoping it will be the difference I need to be able to attract and retain larger companies who order larger quantities more frequently. Of course for these particular clients I would be able to supply at a considerable discounted rate compared to those that require 1 item every now and again. It is just a thought at this stage. Of course if this worked well shipping problems would be obselete

vangogh
06-15-2010, 03:00 AM
I knew that's what you meant. I'm not sure it's possible to turn the cart off completely. I would think most carts would go under the assumption you want to use the cart if you're adding the cart plugin. My suggestion above was a way to use the cart without really using the cart.

If all you want is a way to display the products then you'd probably want to set that up using custom_post_types in WordPress 3.0.

The other option I can think of would be to show all products at 0 quantity so there's nothing to buy and see if they could still display in the catalog. I think that's possible. Things like buy now, etc can all be turned off. That's what I meant by not linking to those pages. You'd probably have to edit some of the plugin theme files as well and Shopp makes that fairly easy to do without having to edit the default files that get upgraded.

KristineS
06-15-2010, 01:54 PM
I've seen people using some version of WP ecommerce for t-shirt shops. So far, from a shopping standpoint, I haven't been impressed.

It still looks too much like a blog to me. It's also a pretty simplistic shopping interface, or at least the ones that I've seen have been that way. I suppose it could be that the people using WP ecommerce don't know how to use it correctly, but all the versions I've seen seem to have the same flaws. If it were a user problem, you'd think they'd at least have different issues.

vangogh
06-15-2010, 05:02 PM
It still looks too much like a blog to me

That's more to do with the design of the theme than the shopping cart aspect. The cart plugin does have to work within your theme. Most leave the default look of the cart on the basic side and leave the rest to the site owner to design it further.

KristineS
06-16-2010, 02:33 PM
Maybe that is the issue Vangogh. I guess keeping the theme consistent would make sense. As I said in the previous post, as well, I'm not entirely sure the people who were using the plug in were using it correctly.

vangogh
06-16-2010, 03:56 PM
The cart plugins are really a way to organize your products and add them to a shopping cart. They connect to ways to collect credit card or paypal info etc. Most will naturally offer some layout, but they can't know what you're theme looks like so the design is limited.

I think it's more that most people who add them don't take the time to design the catalog pages and shopping cart pages to match the existing site. Some plugins don't make that easy to do. With others it's not to hard.

Raincity-dude
06-21-2010, 08:24 PM
I used the WP Ecommerce plugin for a couple of sites and didn't like it at all. Things sometimes worked and sometimes didn't and the developers are horrible when it comes to replying to their support forum or responding to emails from paying customers. There's little to no documentation about the plugin either.

I can absolutely and totally agree with everything Vangogh has said.

Stay away from that plugin and the headache that will come with it.

vangogh
06-21-2010, 08:36 PM
I take it you've used it and had similar problems.

It's sad because I think wp-ecommerce could be a very good thing. It was pretty much the first shopping cart plugin and so is the most well known. If you look through their forums and the general WordPress.org forums you can see so many unanswered questions. The developers seem to make more excuses than anything else. I can't even count how many times they said something like "well some threads and emails slip through the cracks" That's no excuse.

If you look around at the people asking questions some have few if any problems and others can never get the plugin working. I was able to get it working, but it never worked great. Sometimes something would work and another time it wouldn't. I didn't find it user friendly or easy to customize at all. We're still waiting to hear back on a couple of emails send to their support. It's been about 4 months and these are emails from customers who paid for support by virtue of having purchased the plugin. It's one thing to not respond to a forum thread offering free support and another not responding to emails from paying customers. I guess those emails feel through the cracks.