WordPress is one of the fastest growing blogging platforms. It provides for the blogs to be much more than what ‘blogs’ used to be. It is like renting (for free), your own space in the virtual world and using it anyway you want. You can customize it to make it a daily journal or political campaign platform or an online store! With over a thousand plugins and themes, WordPress really is the most user-friendly blogging platforms available.
In fact, the wide array of options that WordPress gives in terms of plugins is what makes it one of its kinds. Plugins are, basically, tools that let you extend the functionalities and utilities of your blogging platform, WordPress in this case, and let you customize the virtual space according to your needs and requirements. A perfect combination of shopping cart plugins would let you convert a normal WordPress site into a fully functional and user-friendly eCommerce store.
A shopping plugin will, in short, let you run an online store a WordPress website, equipped with all the options that a standard online shopping website provides. The official source for WordPress plugins is http://Wordpress.org/extend/plugins/, however, developers keep on adding to the stack and in the end the deal is not about finding a plugin, but finding a plugin that would fit your requirements.
Before you go on to choosing a shopping cart plugin for your site, lets chalk down some VERY important things you’d need to determine to narrow down the search to what plugin would be the best for you.
- The plugin should support your payment gateway.
- If you are a novice and not the nerd-who-knows-everything-about-PHP, choose a single-click-install-plugin that is easy to install and does not involve any complicated procedures or codes.
- Always go for updated plugins or for plugins that have the option for updating to latest versions. This way, you get to ensure the security and the various features that WordPress offers from time-to-time.
- Needless to say, it is very important that the shopping cart plugin looks clickable. It should be attractive and in sync with your blog theme. Plugins that support customization are a must-have.
- If you want to provide for extra features like discounts, and different combinations of shipping and postages, you’d need to check if the plugin is flexible enough to provide all of them or if it can work in sync with the other plugins.
However, free plugins rarely provide for all the above features and use of premium plugins is advisable.
The plugins listed below are not in any order, each is best in own capacity.
WP e-Commerce is one of the most popular shopping cart plugins for WordPress websites. It offers a number of functions and is flexible enough to accommodate the needs of a technological novice or a plugin developer alike. It is 100% customizable, has a hassle free system of checkout, supports all major trusted payment methods and has in built features for various shipping options. One of the best things about WP e-Commerce is that it is quick to install and gets working in minutes.
WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart
It is not exaggerating when it says it is simple. Perhaps one of the most simple shopping cart plugins with PayPal that allows users to sell online in just one click and gives the option of placing the ‘add to cart’ button with options on the main box or the sidebar. With minimum number of configuration items, it keeps the plugin light weight and lets the website run smoothly.
WordPress eStore Plugin
It allows you to sell anything, tangible and intangible, with an easy streamline checkout, a light weighted shopping cart and ease of customization. It provides for a robust support and once purchased, can be used on any website and not just WordPress. However, the best part is the automatic-instant-digital-product-delivery-system in which you get an encrypted download link upon payment. The link expires after a certain period of time or after a certain number of downloads, thus ensuring the security of your digital assets.
WordPress shopping cart plugin
Compatible with WordPress 3.4+, it comes with a variety of options that very smoothly integrate your online business with a fully operational shopping cart into any WordPress. However with the wide variety of multiple payment options, product organizing and customizing options, shipping modules, affiliate products, and features like discount coupons etc., it is one of a kind that integrates so many features and options into one easy-to-use interface.
Cart66 gives you the option of easily creating product variations, keeping track of the inventory, and creating promotional offers along with some of the best payment methods and a very flexible usage design system. It also provides for downloading Cartlite, a cheaper version, however with fewer features. It has been catching developers’ eyes for quite some time now and with its new and variant features, is sure to make a mark.
Users might also find the following plugins helpful. They are innovative and in some aspects, certainly better than the above 5, however with a lower feature induction capacity.
Shopp – Is specially designed for a natural and safe WordPress e-Commerce experience and provides various add-ons.
PHPurchase – Perhaps the only 100% customizable plugin for WordPress.
eShop – A simple and easy to install plugin that adds a PayPal powered store to your WordPress site.
MiniCart – Provides for the option of including a mini button in each individual post, thus enabling each blog entry to act as its own online minim store.
Yak for WordPress – Each product has a unique blog entry which also acts as the product code.
WP Auctions – Allows you to host auctions on your blog or website easily and for free.