I just built my first WordPress e-commerce site for a paying client and wanted to share my experience.
This post will be best suited for: a business owner trying to set up their own e-commerce site on WordPress or b: someone trying to do the above, but for a client.
(pre-steps 1. buy a domain 2. buy hosting 3. install wordpress)
1. Theme: There are several WordPress themes that are optimized for the various shopping cart plugins out there like wp e-commerce and eshop. Many themes will work, however, even though they make no claims to be officially optimized for those carts.
2. Merchant account, payment gateway, and shopping cart: Normally these would be 3 separate bullet points but there’s a reason why they’re together- keep reading!
The client is responsible for setting up their business bank account, their merchant account, and payment gateway but they had no clue (this was their first online e-commerce venture) and neither did I so we worked together on this one.
There are many merchant accounts to choose from. These clients were considering Paypal, or a local bank’s merchant account. There are also several payment gateways available. The most well known (and widely supported by WordPress shopping cart plugins) are Authorize.net and Paypal.
Luckily with the suggestion of a seasoned e-commerce entrepreneur we got the client set up with this WordPress compatible shopping cart, 1shoppingcart. This is all online and is easily integrated with Quickbooks.
This is NOT a plugin, however. You simple use the URL’s provided in the 1shoppingcart online interface within your WordPress posts or pages and you’re DONE!
1shoppingcart has a SSL built in and they also offer their own merchant account with a payment gateway built in, e-onlinedata.
The pricing was within my client’s budget and was fairly inexpensive especially considering that we got the merchant account, payment gateway, and shopping cart knocked out in one fell swoop.
3. Plugins used:
4. I ran free stress tests on the site via Loadimpact.com
5. I submitted the site to search engines for free using this handy tool.
The client is thrilled and is already starting to show on page 1 of Google for some of their keywords. All in all, pretty good for my first time and the client and I are both happy with it.
Now are there better plugins out there for this application? Probably. There’s no way I could have found them all but so far these are working like a champ.
Got something to say? Know a better plugin that one I used? Leave a comment and let me know!