WP e-Commerce, WordPress Plugin

I’ve been working on setting up my new site and decided to try out the WP e-Commerce plugin on it for dealing with selling the products. I would have used Secure Delivery however I need to give the option of a shopping cart to visitors as most will hopefully purchase two products, the main product and an upgrade license (more on this another time).

WP e-Commerce is just like any other plugin for the installation. Just unzip the files and upload the directory to your plugins directory, and activate it in the WordPress admin. You then get an extra menu for it, where you can set your shop settings, other preferences, and start adding categories, brands and product information. It can deal with physical products or digital products, the latter was what I was interested in. You can also easily select which fields to have in the form on the front end, and which of these fields to send PayPal so that they’re prefilled. As I’m only looking to sell digital products I took the address details out as these are not needed.

The lite version of this plugin allows you to sell products via PayPal only. Whilst it’s called ‘lite’ it’s not that simple as such. You can have your products in categories, there’s a shopping basket and it uses the PayPal IPN for instant notification. I’ve not gone through the whole process but I would assume that if you’re selling a digital product it will also then provide a download link to the buyer to download the product, as I’ve had the option to set how many times the product can be downloaded by the buyer.

There are optional extras that cost a little extra (very little to be honest!) which I may look at in the future if the site gets busy enough to need them. Whilst I could have coded this all myself I figured that it was worth looking at the plugin and to be honest it’s a good plugin to use. I may also convert one of our other product selling sites over to it as that’s been needing a shopping basket for months but I’ve just not had the time to sit down and really finish the coding myself. With this plugin I could probably get everything added over a couple of days (100+ products) and convert the site to WordPress and hopefully, if my thinking is right, see the sales rocket 🙂

So if you’re after a free, light, product selling script then this is a good option to look at.

46 Responses

  1. Chance says:

    Doh- Oh well, I guess you’ll like the Secure Delivery update we are working on releasing in a week or two where we add cart support 😛

  2. Sarah says:

    Hey Chance, that’s good news 🙂 I probably won’t have this new site done before then so will hold off until I see your new release 🙂

  3. Jenny says:

    I was thinking of using this plugin when I got my new design site up. We’ll see how it goes. Is it easy to use?

  4. Sarah says:

    Hey Jenny, yeah it’s pretty easy to use once you work out what does what (I ticked the wrong boxes at first and wondered why my product images were not showing!). I spent last night altering some of the core code however as I didn’t like some of the markup it output, however it’s not too bad otherwise. It’s simpler to use than osCommerce that’s for sure! Of course you lose some flexibility than if you used your own custom code but at the end of the day time is a factor and this gets things done quicker 🙂

  5. Dan Milward says:

    Thanks for your post. I hope that our e-Commerce plugin for WordPress works for you.nnWe fancy it as quite a powerful e-commerce solution these days.nnAnyway if there is anything we can do to help let me know.nnRegards,nnDan

  6. Sarah says:

    Hi Dan, cheers for you comment. My only gripe would be the markup used on the front end output, but otherwise it’s a great plugin so far, I’ve not set the site live that’s using it yet, still uploading all the products!

  7. Dan Milward says:

    Let us know how you get on.nnOne of our plans for the next major release is to make it more template driven and CSS based… stay tuned :)nnCiao,nnDan

  8. Musashi says:

    I am looking into magento (just search for magentocommerce in google) now because i never liked osCommerce much. It is brandnew and suitable for some serious business. And of course it is free.nAnd the standard-design is good to look at without much work.

  9. Sarah says:

    I’ve looked at Magneto, whilst it sounds good it still seems a bit overkill for a basic digital product site. I also wasn’t keen on the output and design, although I’m sure with a bit of work you could improve on that.

  10. Dan Milward says:

    And Magneto won’t integrate with WordPress.nnAlmost all of the other packages base your entire website around the shopping cart – this is fine except they are not very good at being a normal website too. I’m not sure how good magneto is – but some of the other packages are terrible.nnWP e-Commerce bolts onto WordPress the best blogging and CMS platform there is. So you will get the best of both worlds. You get a powerful modern website with industrial strength / modern e-Commerce features.

  11. Sam Deeks says:

    My first impression of e-commerce plugin was hopeful.nnBut I’m struck (as others are) by the total lack of meaningful documentation.nnBy documentation, I mean “instructions for people who aren’t YOU so that they can learn how to use the software you’ve developed and, hopefully, later upgrade and pay you”nnI can’t find how to upload an mp3 file as a product. Pretty basic stuff but no instructions anywhere.nnAnd in looking, all I find is unhappy people who also can’t make your software work. No guides, no resolved queries. That’s business suicide, where I come from.nnIs the problem that the developers actually don’t know how to monetise their efforts and end up dumping their anger and frustration on the people they sucker into investing their valuable time and effort on their projects?nnWhatever the reason for the total lack of ‘how to’ documentation, I think it’s costing you in terms of your online reputation and ultimately, the numbers of people who will pay for your premium product – which just seems counterproductive to me…?

  12. Sarah says:

    Hi Sam, Sorry but you seem to have me confused with one of the plugin developers. I didn’t develop this plugin so maybe you need to voice your complaints to them directly?nnDan Milward, who’s commented on this post, is a developer, but this isn’t his site.nnPersonally I’ve found the plugin very simple and easy to use, uploading a digital product (such as an MP3 file) is very straightforward. Create a new product and at the bottom it asks you to upload the file.nnHowever, as I said at the start. This isn’t my plugin so you need to voice your complaints on their forum, not my blog.nnThanks

  13. Sam Deeks says:

    Yep, sorry Sarah, I know it’s nothing to do with you. I started off making a comment after seeing your post and the follow up comments and by the end I was addressing it to Dan (who has posted here). My apologies.nnPlease feel free to take it and this one off.nnI arrived at this post by Googling “How do I upload a digital file with wordpress e-commerce plugin?” or very similar – so don’t be surprised if more people arrive looking for clues!nnCheers!

  14. Sarah says:

    No problem Sam. In answer to your question of how to upload an MP3 file, I double checked the plugin on one of my sites and the last option when adding a product is ‘Product Download’ where you can either select an already uploaded product or upload a new one. That’s where you’d add your MP3 file.nnI’ve uploaded over 100 digital products to the site using this plugin without a problem. Hope that solves your question.

  15. Dan Milward says:

    Sarah I am sorry this happpened on your site. Sam I’m sorry you struggled to get things working!!nnJust so everybody knows though we are working on a new documentation page which is available on our site – plus there is a “ton” of info on the forums (including MP3 instructions) for people that choose to read it.nnI’m also working out how to bring back the wiki that we had to unfortunatly take down…nnAnyway. More good news is that we’ve just uploaded a new version 3.6.6 🙂

  16. Sarah says:

    Dan, no problem 🙂 Will take a look at the new plugin version once I get a spare few minutes 🙂

  17. Andrew says:

    Dan,nnWhere is the forum with this information?

  18. Dan Milward says:

    Hi Andrew. Our forums are at:nnhttp://www.instinct.co.nz/forumsnnHi Sarah. Thanks for your email the other day on affiliate stuff. I am presently meditating on which system to use / how to do this.nnCiao,nnDan

  19. Ramzwatcher says:

    In my opinion, its better to use other open source software for ecommerce website such as Magento, zencart, oscommerce etc.nnIf you want to have a blog for your e-commerce site, i suggest to just add wordpress later on as you can transfer the design later on.nneView list of open source software

  20. Goran Giertz says:

    I did not know that there was an commerce plugin for WP, I thought it was only Blogging software. 60,000 users thus far and integrating into all the big providers, Google, Paypal etc. Thanks for the heads up.

  21. Sarah says:

    @Ramzwatcher – The plugin is open source software. Zencart and osCommerce are overbloated scripts and Magento is a bit much to power a basic digital product download site. Imagine if you had 5 products to sell. Would you build a shop to sell those 5 products, or just get a small stall on the market? Similar idea. Why use a major shopping script to sell 5 products? I’d rather save my bandwidth and disk space, but the amount of time it would require with each upgrade.nn@Goran – No problem. It’s a nice little plugin.

  22. Dan Milward says:

    @Ramzwatcher – I tend to disagree too. WordPress is so much more then just a blogging tool, it is one of the best website frameworks in the world.nnFor me a good solid framework is the most important factor in any website – regardless whether it is e-commerce site, a blog, an events site, or just whatever.nnIf you start with a great website framwork (WordPress), and then add a great e-Commerce solution (WP e-Commerce) then you get the best of both worlds.nnMy problem with most of the other solutions available is that they try to be everything to everybody…

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    […] WP e-Commerce, WordPress Plugin The lite version of this plugin allows you to sell products via PayPal only. Whilst it’s called ‘lite’ it’s not that simple as such. You can have your products in categories, there’s a shopping basket and it uses the PayPal IPN for instant notification. I’ve not gone through the whole process but I would assume that if you’re selling a digital product it will also then provide a download link to the buyer to download the product, as I’ve had the option to set how many times the product can be downloaded by the buyer. […]

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