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Is Wordpress any good for eCommerce?

Discussion in 'Website Design Forum:' started by uberbaby, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. uberbaby

    uberbaby Member

    Hi everyone

    I'm a graphic designer that specialises in brand identity, and I specifically work with businesses in the vintage and retro field.

    I currently offer Wordpress websites myself, but have never done an eCommerce site using it (nor do I want to - I'm looking for others to help me on that, and I will post in the relevant section for that!).

    So I'm wondering if Wordpress is any good as an eCommerce site? And if no, any recommendations please?

    If it helps, I'm creating some business start up packages to include brand identity but I also want to offer websites in one or two of the options, and I'm sure I'll get requests for online shops, so thought I should add options for regular sites and eCommerce sites?

    Thank you in advance!
  2. PoundPig

    PoundPig Member

    WordPress is extremely powerful and with such a huge community you are never to far from the answer your looking for! Also if you have the right skills to open it up server side then you're laughing.

    Somethings to be aware of when offering it to your clients:
    What level of payment gateway integration: SSL / Iframe / Redirect

    To be fair I have created a page on it: Custom WordPress eCommerce Website
    uberbaby likes this.
  3. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    I'm working on an e-commerce site at the moment that's powered by WP and woocommerce. It's quite a simple process but there's a huge amount of variety when it comes to payment gateways. The easiest way, and one that's integrated into most wp ecommerce plugins is 'paypal redirect'. The drawback is that it temporarily takes the customer away from your site and onto paypal but the benefit is that its free, and doesn't require any additional SSL licenses.
    uberbaby likes this.
  4. uberbaby

    uberbaby Member

    Thanks for your reply @PoundPig - yes, I love WP myself, so I'm definitely keen to use it for e-commerce if possible, which as you say it is!
    Thanks also for the link to your page - great with lots of info.

    Though I know what SSL / Iframe / Redirect are (in a basic way!), when it come to stuff like that I hope to hand it over to people like you :D

    I see you've replied to my other post too, so I will respond to that there. Thanks again
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  5. uberbaby

    uberbaby Member

    Thanks to you also @bigdave - also a great help, and sound quite straightforward. My worry is I'll mess up someone's hard earned cash if I do it all wrong, haha, so in an ideal world I can work with someone to do it. I know nothing about SSL licences, not sure I want to get into that :D
  6. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    I know this is very boring and practical but do think about the long-term effects of outsourcing. You will always be the person who the customer returns to if it goes wrong. If you didn't put the site together then how can you support it? The developer will probably disappear into the night (and why shouldn't they?) and you'll be left with plug-in updates, SSL renewals and so on. Just bear that in mind as you figure this all out.
    Paul Murray and uberbaby like this.
  7. uberbaby

    uberbaby Member

    That's a very good point @Corrosive - I do agree entirely. But it is a tough one... I want to play to my strengths and stick with doing design, rather than doing something half-heartedly such as build in this case - I do WP sites right now using templates and tweaking them with HTML & CSS, but have no inclination to learn PHP or ecommerce etc as it's not why I'm in it. And more of my clients want more than just their brand identity when they come to me now... :icon_smile:

    So it's difficult to work that out - do you have any suggestions for this? I'd be interested to hear what everyone thinks.
  8. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    Code is definitely something you've got to be interested in to learn. It is possible to build a site by googling how to do each bit as you go along (it was my starting point and corrosive will confirm some of the HTML messes I produced during that learning process) but it's slow going and probably not that cost effective if you've got other paid work waiting for your attention.
    uberbaby likes this.
  9. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    I think you just need to choose your development partner very carefully. Make sure there is an agreement (including SLAs) in place for what will happen if something goes wrong or even for a support retainer (this can be passed on to the customer). Also do some background research, speak to previous customers, find out how long they have been in business and so on. There is no reason this can't work if you do your homework and don't jump at the first offer. Hope that helps.
    uberbaby likes this.
  10. uberbaby

    uberbaby Member

    @Corrosive That really DOES help! Thanks so much. All makes total sense, and some ideas there that didn't cross my mind before either - so much appreciated! :icon_biggrin:
  11. Corrosive

    Corrosive Moderator Staff Member

    You are welcome.
  12. RDB

    RDB Member

    I have seen a lot of people use Wordpress for an eCommerce platform and have been very happy. But I would if it was me use something along the lines of either Magento, BigCommerce, OpenCart or similar. But its up to you.
  13. Sam Cowley

    Sam Cowley Member

    We've used it for websites before, however it gets tricky when you have to customize the sites. Plugins are often going out of date and you have to make sure everything is compatible with your themes. If you want it really fluent and easy going, look for a pre made theme and make sure you're happy with the ecommerce options already provided in the WP set up. That way it'll be much more seamless and satisfying for both you and the client.

    For higher end clients, we always use Magento. It's a dream, just expensive.
  14. bigdave

    bigdave Moderator Staff Member

    The key to using WP for ecommerce is the theme. Free themes are no use unless you're happy with it out of the box as they're so complex you've got little or no chance of hacking them about with any real success. Premium themes from the likes of themeforest are often difficult to get your head round but almost everything is editable.

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