What options do you have for adding a shopping cart to a WordPress site?
Well it so happens that when it comes to finding the best WordPress shopping cart, you have a huge number of choices, 3 of which are listed in this post. Of the 3, 2 are plugins for WordPress and the 3rd is a suggested e-commerce solution from Woo themes.
Shopping Cart Plugins
WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart
As the name suggests, this cart connects to PayPal. What can you do with this shopping cart plugin for WordPress? Well, quite a lot and in a short space of time with very few hassles. The functionality includes the following:
- An “Add to Cart” Button can be placed on any of your pages and/or posts.
- You just have to insert a shortcode (1 line of code) in the place you’d like the button to appear.
- At any time a customer to your site can see what they have placed in the cart.
- Additions and deletions:
- Customers can remove what they have added to the cart and of course add more choices if you are offering several products.
- You can connect it to other gallery-type plugins if you are selling artwork for example.
- You can easily test it before it goes live by connecting to the PayPal Sandbox, a virtual environment for testing that everything is working the way you want it to.
Because it is not over-loaded with endless lines of code, this plugin shouldn’t slow down your site.
At the time of writing, this plugin was scoring 4.2 out of 5 stars and had over 200,000 downloads. This is one WordPress shopping cart plugin that appeals not only because of its simplicity and ease with which it can be set up but also because of its neat appearance.
Another way to set up a WordPress shopping cart is via the e-Commerce plugin.
With this plugin you get the following functionality:
- Use shortcodes again to position the cart where you want it.
- It can be customized to suit.
- If you know HTML & CSS, you can alter the code to your heart’s content.
- Video tutorials demonstrating what is possible are provided.
- It can integrate with a number of different payment gateways such as:
- Money Orders
- Google Checkout
- and many others.
- It has many additional features such as:
- Discount options
- Shipping options
- Google Site Map
- Can highlight new products
- Catalog management
- Management of orders
- Supports catalog browsing
- Can use a product slider
- Can connect with gallery of images
- etc. etc.
When I first read about this plugin, it sounded extremely impressive; more complex to be sure but still impressive. It has had over 2 million downloads but it does concern me that at the time of writing this post, it had a lower rating of 2.8 out of 5 stars. However, as I haven’t used this plugin myself yet, I will reserve my conclusion until I have.
e-Commerce WordPress Themes
There are many, many e-commerce shopping cart options in WordPress Themes and premium themes that provide a shopping cart template. For example, I have been very impressed with the Woo Themes e-Commerce options. If you would like to try them out for your WordPress shopping cart solution, you can find them at www.woothemes.com.
If you are just starting out, then I would suggest the 1st option discussed, WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart, as it is easy to set up, looks professional and is easy to test.It is probably a very good solution if you are just looking to an eBook for example.
If you are looking for something more advanced and you have some experience in e-Commerce then I suggest looking at the other 2 options discussed.
Either way, I welcome your comments on what you end up using and your take on how effective the solution is.