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View Full Version : Ecommerce, shopping carts and my site



ColbyM
04-01-2011, 02:40 PM
So right now we are using Weebly as a site developer and their shopping cart accessories are not too great. We want to make our site more ecommerce friendly and upgrade to using a site like Volusion or Americommerce but are not sure if it will work with Weebly.

Do anyone know anything about Weebly and how we might be able to mix it with an ecommerce site? I know we can add hmtl with Weebly but mostly they do all the writing for us, its a drag and drop site.

My site should be in my signature. (new to forums)

Duston McGroarty
04-01-2011, 11:08 PM
Hey man - I'm not too familiar with Weebly and it's extras but I would suggest
taking a look at the WarriorForum (sorry to drive traffic away from this forum)
there are some super-smart techy guys over there.

Harold Mansfield
04-01-2011, 11:56 PM
I know Weebly as the free blog site where I used to drop articles for backlinks. Are we talking about the same place?

vangogh
04-02-2011, 03:32 AM
I'm not familiar with Weebly specifically, but it looks like dozens of others offering a free site. That's great if your running a personal blog or site, but if your site is a business site you really are better off hosting it yourself for a few reasons.

1. Using something like this for free sends a message that you can't afford to spend even the $100 a year it costs to host your own site. If you can't afford that why should I as a customer trust you have a solid business? Should I trust you can afford the cost of building a quality product? Can I trust you'll be open for business in 6 months when I have a question?

2. These kind of free sites typically don't give you complete control over your site. Just guessing about Weebly, but I would imagine you never get direct access to your site files and always have to work through their interface. That usually prevents you from doing things with your site you want to do. You tend to run into issues in regards to optimizing for search traffic. I don't know that Weebly works like this, but experience tells me it does.

3. Many features you'll want for a business site are available only if you upgrade to the pro version. it's not expensive, but it's basically in the same price range as a shared hosting account that would give you complete control over the site. Unless you upgrade to pro you're stuck with the Weebly footer on your site meaning you're business is forced to give them free advertising.

4. While free themes and drag and drop sound great, the themes aren't necessarily great for your site. it looks like you can customize the themes, but again it's through their interface and just because it's easy doesn't mean you'll end up with a site that effectively helps your business.

5. I don't see anyway to build ecommerce into it, though it may be possible. There's only so much information available on the site.

None of the above is meant to be a knock on Weebly or any similar sites. Weebly looks pretty nice for someone looking to have a personal site. For business though you really want to have more access and control over things. Personally I like WordPress. It's free and hosting will cost between $5 and $10 a month. There are many free and low cost themes to get you started a well and you'll have an easier time adding functionality like a shopping cart or having the theme customized.

While WordPress is my choice there are a variety of other free and open source content management systems you can use. Drupal is another that comes to mind.

mattbeck
04-02-2011, 03:43 PM
Check out Shopify maybe. Very easy to use ecomm platform, run by a bunch of very cool Canadians.

Volusion has more features, but it's terrible to use and the people who run it give me the heebie-jeebies.

They sent me an absolutely insane contract that they wanted me to sign to become an affiliate. Terrible taste in my mouth after that.

Wordpress is great, and there have been many strides toward using it for ecommerce, but it's really more of a CMS/blog platform.

Harold Mansfield
04-02-2011, 05:09 PM
Wordpress is great, and there have been many strides toward using it for ecommerce, but it's really more of a CMS/blog platform.

Most shopping sites are built on some kind of CMS. You can find plenty of WP shopping cart and ecommerce solutions:
WordPress e-Commerce Plugin a WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin by Instinct | Instinct Entertainment (http://www.instinct.co.nz/e-commerce/)
WordPress › WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart WordPress Plugins (http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wordpress-simple-paypal-shopping-cart/)
MarketPress - WordPress eCommerce - The complete WordPress ecommerce plugin - works perfectly with BuddyPress and Multisite too to create a social marketplace, where you can take a percentage! - WPMU DEV (http://premium.wpmudev.org/project/e-commerce)

But you aren't limited to Worpdress only stuff. You can use any solution, just like any other site.

ColbyM
04-06-2011, 12:48 AM
It does have the free service for anybody to use, but we are using the "pro" version that we did have to pay for. Does give us more features including a shopping cart we can use with google checkout and/or paypal but just doesn't give us control like you mentioned.

Does wordpress walk you through setting up the site, for those beginners?
And the ecommerce is very important for us, what are Wordpress' capabilities with shopping carts?

Capitalist
04-06-2011, 05:22 PM
I highly recommend Ecwid. It's free to use, but there are some advanced features you'll eventually want if you go big-time, that are $17 per month. It will integrate into *any* site, including Facebook pages, which is nice. I use it and love it for my decal business.

If you want to build your own site, I recommend WordPress and the wp-e-commerce plugin from Instinct. Both are free, and work great out-of-the-box. They take a little more work to get set up, though.

vangogh
04-07-2011, 11:48 AM
Does wordpress walk you through setting up the site, for those beginners?

There's no specific walkthrough within WordPress, but there are plenty of tutorials around. It's an easy install. Many webhosts allow you to install it with a few clicks. It's fairly easy to use, though there is a learning curve. I've walked clients through the basics in an hour at most.

LindaDuyer
09-29-2011, 07:23 PM
There's no specific walkthrough within WordPress, but there are plenty of tutorials around. It's an easy install. Many webhosts allow you to install it with a few clicks. It's fairly easy to use, though there is a learning curve. I've walked clients through the basics in an hour at most.

I realize this is an older thread, but I'm venting..... Grrrrrr, I've tried to install WP e-commerce numerous times and it has failed to install. I'm not sure if I should be cursing godaddy or my old computer.

I'm new to WordPress but I like it, except when these things happen, or rather don't happen. I think the plugin stuff is the most challenging for me. But I usually don't have trouble installing and activating them, just trouble using them.

Sorry about the boil. lol


Linda

vangogh
09-29-2011, 08:13 PM
I can understand your frustration. wp-ecommerce is not my favorite plugin. I've had a hard time getting it to work myself. It seems like different people and sites can see different rates of success even though the followed the exact same steps.

I've switched to using Shopp (http://shopplugin.net/) as my go to WordPress shopping cart plugin. It's been much easier to work with for both myself and my clients. The people behind Shopp are also much better at offering support.

Having said that the general state of ecommerce plugins for WordPress needs a lot of improvement.

LindaDuyer
09-29-2011, 10:34 PM
Oh good, it wasn't just me..... this time. Thanks! :)

So I see this is not a free plugin, and has single-site and two developer access levels (much more expensive). Is the single-site sufficient? And I'm guessing the addons are necessary, such as paypal, USPS, UPS as basics. Are those costs just functionality of the software? Or do the addons give you everything you need to set up to those?

And does it work like a separate page of your WordPress website? I can still use my format (I created the template, didn't use a WP template)?

Sorry for the naive questions. I'm not ready yet to sell (I'm only setting up services first), but I anticipate the possibility of sales.


And what is the "Shopp Improved" when I searched plugins? Is that different?


Linda

vangogh
09-30-2011, 12:39 AM
No it definitely wasn't just you. If you read through the wp-ecommerce forums you'll find lots of people having trouble. You'll also find very little reply from the developers. I'm being hard on wp-ecommerce, but there are people who really do like the plugin and say it works really well for them.

Shopp isn't free and you likely will want an addon or two. You generally need addons with wp-ecommerce too though. In the end both are going to cost you $100 at most to be up and running how you want. The addons of Shopp should give you what you need. You do need to set them up and will need accounts with USPS, etc. I think all you need to do to get the addons working is to add your login information to the service you're trying to connect to. PayPal comes with Shopp.

Both plugins will integrate with your WordPress theme, though you may still want to customize how they look a little. With both some things will show up automatically and some things you need to get to know the plugin to make show up how you want. For example with Shopp you can create a new WordPress page and add what's called shortcode to the page where you would normally type the copy. The shortcode might show all the products in a certain category or your best selling products. wp-ecommerce is similar.

None of the shopping cart plugins are as simple as turn it on and everything works how you want. They all require a certain amount of setup through various settings and you typically want some of the pages they produce to be customized a little to better match your theme.

Shopp Improved looks like a plugin that extends the Shopp plugin by adding related products and similar. You can add those things without the plugin if you don't mind digging into the plugin files and editing them. Shopp Improved will make it easier by having some additional input fields on the admin side so you don't need to know the code.

LindaDuyer
09-30-2011, 09:10 AM
Thanks for the great info!

And I see you're approaching your 10,000th post, which means you've been busy :)
Congrats!


Linda

vangogh
09-30-2011, 11:22 AM
Glad to help. I hadn't realized how close I am to 10,000 posts. Should be any day now, maybe even today. :)

LindaDuyer
10-13-2011, 08:03 PM
The payment gateways of Shoppe........ any preference? And what cost can I expect, approximately, associated with setting up the credit card payment method, other than the plugin addon cost?

Sheesh, I'm such a novice at this........

vangogh
10-14-2011, 12:37 PM
PayPal is going to be the easiest to set up. Some people have issues with PayPal, but it's always worked well for me. Beyond PayPal I think you'll need to set up a merchant account with the service first. For example I have an authorize.net account, which I got through a bank in my area. Lots of paperwork to fill out to get the account. The plugins with Shopp exist to make it easy to connect WordPress and Shopp to your merchant account, but you need the account for them to work. I've only used authorize.net, which has always worked well for me. I'm not familiar enough with the others to know about them.

KristineS
10-14-2011, 01:41 PM
If you do decide to use Paypal, they have something called PayPro Flow (https://merchant.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=merchant/payment_gateway) that can be used as a gateway. You can get everything through Paypal which is convenient. We've used this solution and it's worked well for us.

LindaDuyer
10-14-2011, 03:44 PM
Thanks!

I saw on TV today wepay.com which touts being easier and cheaper than paypal. (they were in the news because they're handling the global donation process for ongoing protests.... smart business decision, it got my attention! lol ). Has anyone used that?

vangogh
10-15-2011, 01:00 AM
I haven't used them before, though the name is familiar.

technowonder
02-02-2012, 11:36 AM
Do anyone know anything about Weebly and how we might be able to mix it with an ecommerce site?
I really think Weebly is a briliant tool that makes it very easy to build websites and means that if you hand a website over to a client who are not particularly IT savvy, that they really can maintain it themselves.

I've also used WordPress as well and also really like this as a CMS. I consider it easy to use, but I probably put Weebly up there as easier to use from someone with little web site experience. However, WordPress is much more powerful in being able to extend your website when it comes to things like ecommerce plugins/shopping carts and many other wonderful add ons you may want to bolt on to your site longer term.

As for improving the shopping cart in your Weebly site or having an alternative to wp-ecommerce, this shopping cart provider offers you a cart add in for as both a WordPress ecommerce plugin and as a Weebly ecommerce widget, so if you started off with a Weebly website and changed to WordPress or vice versa, you could keep your cart the same and it would move with you between sites, simples! (as those Meerkats would say). Have a a look at ShopIntegrator as it could be just the extra ecommerce features your were looking to have for your Weebly site: ShopIntegrator Weebly store ecommerce widget (http://www.shopintegrator.com/news/weebly_store_ecommerce_widget_launch.html)

...or if your more interested in the WordPress ecommerce instead now: WordPress ecommerce plugin and shopping basket/cart, sell products and sell digital downloads with WordPress (http://www.shopintegrator.com/cms/wordpress-ecommerce-store-plugin.html)

riancorbijn80
11-01-2012, 06:53 PM
Thank you for having this conversation Im trying to look and see what is the best ecommerce for a decent cheap price out there . Have a few questions i like the idea weebly .. easy .. but no search option.. i was taking a look at wordpress and wp-ecommerce, wow that looks confusing and looks like people having trouble with the wp-ecommerce. Im also looking into shopplugin.net recommended by vangogh . Im all new to this and trying to understand.. with wp-ecommerce and shopplugin.net looks like they charge you.. is that monthly or one time fee? It seems you need wordpress to have either wp-ecommerce and shopplugin.net.. whats the purpose of wordpress.. why do you have to have both?? Sorry if im jumping im trying to get an understanding . I just need a easy ecommerce site for around 100 products for right now that gives me options like search option.. able to set up a certain amount on qty i have a available per item and able to link a certain item i am selling to multiple categories if need be. .. can you help ?

billbenson
11-02-2012, 03:28 PM
The point of using Shopp and WordPress together is you use WP for articles, additional information on products etc. That will help you in the search engine rankings.

vangogh
11-09-2012, 07:15 PM
Both WP Ecommerce and Shopp have one time fees for different things. WP Ecommerce is free, but you'll probably want some of their add on features which cost a little each (again a one time fee for each). It's similar with Shopp, except Shopp will cost $55 to start. Woocommerce is a new shopping cart that people seem to like.

There are other ecommerce plugins for WordPress with similar setups. They generally come low cost or free if the only payment method you need is PayPal and you don't mind limited features. If you need payment with something other than PayPal or need shipping modules or other features you should expect to pay.

Figure you can get something that will work for your site for $100 or less.

fconsig
12-11-2012, 02:03 PM
I see from your site you chose Volusion. How has it worked out?