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How to turn a normal WordPress installation into a working online shop

Posted By Darren Rowse 5th of October 2006 General 36

Ever thought of adding a shop to your blog? I know some of you have as you’ve asked me how to do it. There are a few options emerging for bloggers. We’ve seen Chitika launch Shoplinc and Amazon launch aStores – but both don’t really give you a heap of control over how your shop runs and looks.

Another option that does give you more control is to make your own store. There are lots of ways to do this. I’m not expert enough to really outline them all (if there is anyone who is that would like to do a guest post on the options please let me know) however I came across a post today that could be useful for some looking at these options.

It appealed to me because it uses a tool that many of us know and love – WordPress.

Serial Deviant is the one who wrote the post and you can read it at How to turn a normal WordPress installation into a working online shop.

It does assume some knowledge of HTML and CMS but as many of you are more than proficient with them I though I’d share it. Give it a go and let us know what your results are like!

found via Andy

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Wow, thanks for this! I’m actually in the process of trying to sell my artwork as prints, so this is basically what I’ve been looking for.

  2. Now I have to find something to sell.

    Hmmm how about chickens?

  3. Thanks for this information. Just what I was looking for. I don’t have the experience or skills right now to do it, but I think I have someone who can help me with it.

    Once again, you’ ve provided a link to information I needed!

  4. Interesting, I’ll be giving this a go on a personal beta server of mine to see how it works out. Fingers crossed!

  5. Good info. You can do anything with wordpress. Can wait for the next release. For stuff to sell… overture is your friend to find the products. William. http://ineeddough.com

  6. I am an aspiring blogger and always look for good quality articles and pieces of writing which tell me diverse ways of enhansing my online profits through free online blogs.Your article is marvellous and gives a very detailed and indepth insight into this topic.I have learnt many new strategies and would gladly test them.I am really grateful to you for writing such a comprehensive article with super money making tips.

  7. Good find Darren,

    I’ve been playing around with this idea for a while now – turning a basic WP installation into a full on e-commerce site/blog.

    I think that’s the next (natural) direction for bloggers to go down.

    I’d love to hear of people already doing it.

  8. […] I’ve recently read a couple of blog posts about how Web 2.0 technologies are beginning to morph with “normal” brochure or ecommerce websites. ProBlogger Darren Rowse recently posted on how to turn a normal WordPress installation into a working online shop and Stephan Spencer (a Kiwi!) also wrote a great post on the rationale behind converting his corporate website into a website-blog hybrid. […]

  9. Hi Darren its a great idea but I found that it didn’t work very well on my site. WordPress is great and there a lot of great plugins. This one obviously needs more work. When it works properly I think it will be great.

  10. Hi, thanks so much for linking to my tutorial. It’s a bit embarrassing but a real thrill that enough people find it useful to link to it. I’m not a programmer nor a designer, so it’s doubly mortifying/flattering!

  11. I think the easiest way to turn your WordPress install into a working shop is to just use the WordPress shopping cart plugin WP e-Commerce :)

  12. […] Blogs   I recently read an article on How to turn a normal WordPress installation into a working online shop. Although this was a very thorough and well written article it is certainly not the easiest way to turn your WordPress installation into a working online shop. […]

  13. […] I recently read an article on How to turn a normal WordPress installation into a working online shop. Although this was a very thorough and well written article it is certainly not the easiest way to turn your WordPress installation into a working online shop. […]

  14. I am more blogger a striving and look for always good quality articles and pieces for letters, which explain different ways of Enhansing my on-line profits to me by free on-LINE-blogs.

    Your article is amazing and gives a very detailed and detailed idea of this topic. I learned many new strategies and would examine her gladly. I am really grateful you for the letter such of a complete article with the supermoney, sharpening form.

  15. I like that way of setting up a store. But if you are not able to do it, you can use data feeds from afiliate programs.

  16. i want to know the wordpress ecommerce lite database all
    details.where i will get that tutorials?

  17. i am interesting to implement it to my business. i am learning it now.

  18. not again says: 10/22/2007 at 9:56 am

    WP e-Commerce is a scam.

    They are ripping off thousands of people. Don’t be one of them.

  19. Hi:
    This is a good idea of a WP shopping center! I am keeping my fingers crossed

  20. How is WP-ecommerce a scam? It looks like a free plugin. The upgrade to their paid version is $15. I was thinking about downloading it and playing around with it, but if you know something we don’t you should explain why it is a scam…

  21. @ doug,
    WP-eCommerce is not a scam. There is a free version and upgrade versions that you can pay for. They all work. I don’t know if that is the same guy that posted in Rip Off Reports about this, but the beef of some people has been that the support until very recently was not very good. Now they appear to be working out a deal with a person who has been spot on, on the support forum.

    If you’re looking for a cart, I suggest giving it a try. I am not one of their team, but I did write a short seo manual for the cart for my blog readers as it does lack in this area.

  22. Right David…

    It is NOT a rip off….people were complaining about the lack of support, but that is being worked out and is much better now…

    Also, a lof of complaints can stem from one of the following:

    1. People trying to hand code something into the plugin when they don’t know what they’re doing.

    2. The theme that they are using for WordPress isn’t compatible with WP Ecommerce.

    Again, it’s not a rip off…I would highly recommend it for anyone wanting to open a store front with a WordPress installation.

  23. WP eCommerce is an interesting solution. Just as interesting, IMHO, is integrating Amazon RSS into a WordPress installation using a nice theme. I’ve created what I believe to be a pretty interesting shopping website using WordPress, but without using WP eCommerce.

    http://www.shop-network.org/

  24. excellent site and brilliant design, very professional indeed. good luck with it!

  25. Richard says: 06/12/2008 at 9:33 pm

    Another possibility for turning WP into a shop is the oddly named YAK plugin: http://www.briggs.net.nz/log/projects/yak-for-wordpress

    Seems okay from what I’ve seen of it.

  26. I use YAK WordPress Shop and I am really happy with it.
    My site has grown to 400 products and the sales went up a lot (after my SEO campaign). YAK uses a beautiful code and it was easy to extend.
    I researched WordPress shopping carts a lot before I made may decision. I’ve tested also WP e-commerce. It’s a very poor plugin.

  27. netpup says: 07/05/2008 at 5:00 pm

    the wp e-commerce guys always post about how their plugin isnt a rip off and about how it’s always the end-users fault.

    It’s Interesting that you never see people complaining about poor support or inability to integrate the YAK plugin or the eShop plugin.

    Of all the wordpress cart plugins available, wp e-commerce receives probably 99% of the complaints about their service, business model, poor communication, and so on.

    Define ‘rip-off’ however you want – get into semantics about where the problem lies (most smart business people I’ve ever run across DON’T blame the customer in the way that these guys do)…the bottom line is even if its not a ripoff, its a bigger headache and more down time for your store than the available alternatives…for a product that, for all its bells and whistles, doesnt help conversion at all.

  28. WP e-Commerce 3.6.7 update

    We’ve recently uploaded our best version yet. WP e-Commerce 3.6.7 comes with so many nice features and user interface improvements.

    The forums have been updated to use bbPress. And the documentation page has had a huge information injection. Plus one of the core team members has written a WP e-Commerce bible.

    The coolest new features are Google Checkout LV2 Integration (no crud code gets through google so I have no idea what netpup is ranting about), USPS integration, and a nice new settings page. Oh and it is fully div based.

    I’d also like to apoogise for netpups comment. All he does is Spam messages on other peoples sites about WP e-Commerce – he has an alteriar motive and we busted him on the wordpress forums :P

    So go on. Get out there and give the new version of WP e-Commerce a shot.

    Check out WP e-Commerce 3.6.7

  29. For those of you interested in a very easy solution for turning WordPress into an online store, you might want to take a look at the Market theme.

    There’s an online demo located here if you want to play around with it before you buy:
    http://www.markettheme.com/demo

    Basically, Market is a fully functional theme with a shopping cart system built right into it. Users can add various products to their cart and then when ready to checkout, the system sends them over to Paypal to complete the transaction.

    It’s quick, easy to setup, and all inclusive.

    It’s a great mtach for those who either aren’t technically savvy, or are simply in a hurry to get a store up and then go onto the next project.

  30. I have started a site with the first post addressing this issue. Right now I am accumulating, solving and sharing the javascript problem regarding embedding in posts. This prevents me from adding my A-store and strips out the object code of YouTube. If you’d like to see what I’m working on and sharing come on by. (http://recraig.oxyhost.com)

    For images to work I had to embed them in DIV tages, with some minor CSS to control their layout. The image code would stay but the images refuse to show. WordPress is quite buggy and unclean, but at least there is access to what’s under the hood.

  31. Didn’t mean to spam..but, I have been a victim of lack of ecommerce features in WordPress, too.

    Recently, I finished the first version of my software and immediately after launching it, the first upgrade includes the feature that will turn any wordpress blog into a ecommerce site instantly. No need to install a separate plugin in wordpress, and that means, no addition to possibility of hacking of your wordpress blog :)

    It takes a very simple approach and you will be able to sell digital downloads products from your wordpress blog.

    I have posted a short note about this feature on my blog that shows that what powerful tracking and testing options it can offer you, if you want to take a look at:
    http://sitemanpro.com/post_blog/whats-next-turn-any-wordpress-blog-into-full-ecommerce-site/

    I am going to implement this on my new blog at plrcheap and turn it into a plr store..incase you want to track the progress and see how it works.

    Regds,
    Deep

  32. Amber says: 03/04/2009 at 1:39 pm

    I’d suggest people stick with a Plugin. Sitemanpro requires you to sign up and host your products with them – if they go bust say goodbye to your product catalogue.

    If you use a Plugin your data is your data (i.e the same reason you use wordpress as opposed to blogger).

    Besides that I’d rather just have one site to manage everything i.e hello wordpress + plugins. Goodbye sitemanpro ejunkie and all the rest :P

  33. Amber – did you take the time to find out the “complete” details?

    On this page: http://sitemanpro.com/pricing/

    “Once I purchase, where will SiteManPro be hosted?

    The software will be hosted on your server. This is not a hosted service where you have to pay a monthly fee. You buy the license once and your license expires never. ”

    So even if I go out of business or ‘die’, your data remains with you..lol :)

    Regds,
    Deep

  34. Hi Darren, Just thought I would mention it here as this page ranks fairly high on the Google search for “WordPress online shop”… the link to the Serial Deviant site given on this tutorial seem to have some PHP errors. So maybe you want to replace it with another link that works.

    Also, The ‘WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart’ plugin could be a quick and easy solution for some bloggers trying to sell products from their blog (I don’t want to spam by putting links but anyone interested can do a Google Search and find the plugin)

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