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Thread: Setting up an online store on an existing site (on wordpress)

  1. #1
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    Setting up an online store on an existing site (on wordpress)


    I have recently set up a website for a client using wordpress, a free theme. I would like to set up a simple store, selling a relatively small amount of products, 50 max, and we are happy to have only paypal as a payment option. It is merchandise and music releases so the client will be getting the products ready himself and sending them himself also.

    I have begun research online but it is a minefield, I think I have found something and then I see the charges! We are fine to pay a reasonable online fee for the service but preferably not commission as it will be a relatively small amount of stuff and at small enough prices.

    Can anyone recommend a simple, good option for this? I wouldn't mind if one had to leave the site to visit the store but preferably not. Are wordpress plug-ins a good idea? Then I see stuff about SSL certificates and it all seems complicated. I have some web knowledge, enough to create the wordpress site but I am not very confident in this area.

    Would greatly apreciate any help, I have looked alot online but am getting nowhere!

    Many Thanks
    Last edited by Kay; 21 May 2014 at 8:19 pm. Reason: Promoted to front page article

  2. #2
    Publishing Mentor dsieg58 is a Premium Member
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  3. #3
    Moderator Kay is a Premium Member
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    Hi ritildag and welcome to Experienced People. A digital goods service could be the answer you're looking for. Some of these services also enable you to sell physical goods. Briefly, they will facilitate the payments and do the digital product fulfilment for you. It would take too long in a forum post to explain what they do, how they work, and how much it'll cost you. However, you are in luck because this is a problem I've encountered before. So I wrote a report about it. (Actually I advertised this in the BSTE section of our marketplace last month.)

    It's a 30 page report and it'll tell you all you need to know about going down this route. The report also compares six of the best-known service providers including Gumroad and E-junkie. There are pros and cons of using each service and much of what's right for you will depend on the exact nature of the product(s) you're trying to sell. The report is for sale on Gumroad here:


    It's "pay what you want" pricing, so you can get it free if that's what you want to do.

    You can see from the scenarios outlined in the report that the costs can vary wildly depending on what you're selling. With some products such as small reports and eBooks with low volume sales, there's not much to choose between them. To find the best for you, you have to crunch the numbers. Urgh.

    And now I have even more good news for you. I have a tool (free to use) which crunches the numbers for you. If you get the report, it'll lead you to the tool. Of course you can go straight to the tool without the report, but you probably do need the report to understand why and how to use the tool. Good luck.

    If you get the report and/or tool, please come back and let us know how you get on with it. The tool is new so I haven't publicised it much yet.
    British Expat - helping people to live and work abroad since the year 2000.

    The joy of Internet delivery - the cartoon illustrating this will make you laugh!

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    Hi ritildag,

    Did you check Woocommerce? (
    It's a very popular webshop solution and the plugin is free.
    It has premium extensions but based on the requirements you mentioned I don't think you'll need them.
    It supports digital products, as well as shipping costs, taxes, coupons, special sales, and Paypal gateway of course.

    I used it for few small customer projects and I'm happy with it.

  5. #5
    Top Contributor grynge is a Premium Member
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    Hi ritildag,

    I have used a few over the years, woocommerce as DanieleB suggests above, and also Tribulant which is a paid plugin, Jigoshop a free plugin, getshopped a free plugin, and a few more that the names escape me right now, for larger sites I use woocommerce (more features and more complicated), and I use tribulant for smaller ones (less features and easier).

    I would like to suggest maybe because you are only having 50 products why not just use a paypal plugin like WP Easy Paypal, this allows you to put a payment button on individual pages and posts. Unless your client needs to have his own separate tracking for orders he could just use his paypal account to do all invoicing and payment processing? With this method there is no need to modify the theme to suit a particular cart, no need to set anything up, you make a post about the product and add the payment button not much simpler could it be.
    And they thought me broken, that my tongue was coated lead, but I just couldn't make my words make sense to them, if you only listen with your ears ... I can't get in
    Non ducor, duco

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to grynge For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (21 June 2014), KenW3 (21 May 2014)

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    @ritildag, You are correct that online store software and solutions is a minefield. I have acquired sites with or subscribed to about a dozen of the monthly fee solutions. Each has their features and flaws; Sometimes problems are only apparent after using the stores.

    I use the ShopperPress.com theme for products I carry (and for Amazon affiliate items) when using WordPress, but have never used it for digital download products. Yes, it has a (one-time) cost, but you do not want open source because paid products have an incentive to maintain compatibility with the frequent WordPress upgrades.

    Be aware you can do a second separate WordPress install to your site if it is a different URL path. You can install a separate WordPress store to a subdomain [eg: store.yourdomain.com] or a path [yourdomain.com/store] and keep the blog section open for other use such as product promotion and discussion. With articles, you can drop buy direct links in or link to your store, so a separate store URL helps quite a bit. You can also add a hosted solution such as Volusion or BigCommerce, as they allow you to use your own URL (which also does not need to be your primary SLD.TLD) and can be a subdomain or path.

    @dsieg58, Yes I did look at e-junkie and it's a good implementation, but just didn't like the name. I don't want to think of my customers as addicts to my data (even though I very well might prefer they are ) The SLD seems attractive to MMO sellers, but sometimes offensive to buyers? I am not currently selling digital items but previously had good experience with DPD, Digital Product Delivery. A trial is available at GetDPD.com
    Last edited by KenW3; 21 May 2014 at 4:23 am.

  8. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to KenW3 For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (21 June 2014), dsieg58 (21 May 2014)

  9. #7
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    Hi ritildag,

    Welcome to EP, this is a great place to find answers!

    I have a site running on WP and I sell a few digital products on it. It was a bootstrap project so I really wanted minimal expenses. I use a premium theme called Thesis, which I have been using on my WP sites since 2009. It's super easy to customize and the support is amazing, it'll set you back $87. Then I use the Woocommerce ecommerce plugin which is free. However, the plugin is not compatible with Thesis but there's a great integrator which you can buy for $49 (basic pack). The support from the developer is also great and you can get help from him inside the forum for Thesis.

    Together, this creates a beautiful store on WP, it works so smoothly and I can personally say I have never had any problems. The store is so easy to customize and it handles digital and physical products.

    Here are the links if you want to check them out:

    Thesis Theme
    Woocommerce Integrator

    P.S. I am in no way affiliated with either of these, so I'm not getting paid for telling you about them. I'm just an evangelist of their products because they are just so easy to use and create beautiful websites.

    Hope this helped!

  10. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Gabi For This Useful Post:

    Chabrenas (21 June 2014), Kay (21 May 2014), KenW3 (21 May 2014)

  11. #8
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    I'm not going to recommend a product, but I will strongly recommend an approach, whether you choose to use a product that you integrate with your site or go for a hosted solution (but particularly for the latter).

    The devil is always in the detail, so spend plenty of time creating a comprehensive test data set, then you can really hammer a hosted solution such as Volusion during the 14 day free trial period. Here are a few of the things that could disqualify a potential solution:

    1. Built-in addressing systems failing to cater for taxation rules applying to countries you want to sell to. (Isle of Man & Chanel Islands have given me problems with some products)

    2. Displaying and selecting product options efficiently (particularly important if you sell clothing with sizes and colours)

    3. Automated handling of stockouts. (control at the option level, post OOS notice, offer to email client when you receive stock, take and fulfill back orders, etc.,)

    4. Adding new products and modifying details of existing ones

    5. Options for setting shipping charges, and ease of update when postal rates change

  12. The Following User Says Thank You to Chabrenas For This Useful Post:

    KenW3 (23 June 2014)

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