A recent article How to Turn a Normal WordPress Installation into a Working Online-Shop discusses how to turn a normal WordPress installation into a working online shop. Although the article is very thorough and well written, it is not the easiest method to turn your WordPress installation into a working online shop. The easiest way to achieve this is by downloading and installing the WP e-Commerce plugin.
Assuming you have a working version of WordPress installed you must do the following:
- Download the e-Commerce plugin
- Copy the folder to your local plugins directory
- Activate the plugin and configure it to your liking
Once the plugin is installed the most important things to do are:
- Set your default shipping country and associated shipping settings
- Setup and configure the presentation settings
- Setup your receipt notification email address
- Setup your payment gateway
- Add products
- Upgrade to gold if you want to add multiple images to products
These are the instructions for setting up PayPal for your WP e-Commerce store.
- Browse to PayPal and sign up using your email address
- Under Profile > Shipping Settings check the allow transaction-based shipping values to override the profile shipping settings listed above
Google Checkout Setup
These are the instructions for setting up Google Checkout for your WP e-Commerce store
- Browse to Google Checkout and click sign up now
- Select whether or not your business has a Google Account for services like AdWords or Gmail?
- Create your account using your Gmail email address
At your WP e-Commerce store's Admin
Now that you have a Google Checkout account setup enter your Google Checkout Merchant ID and Key into the payment gateway settings page in the WP e-commerce admin panel
- Under e-Commerce > Gateway Options choose Google Checkout as your payment gateway.
- In "Google Checkout Merchant ID" enter your Merchant ID.
- In "Google Checkout Merchant Key" enter your Merchant Key.
- Choose your Server Type (Sandbox vs Production), currency, and button style
- Click the button that says "Submit"
Now that you have setup your shop and have a working PayPal account you are ready to start selling! Upload your products and have fun.
For more detailed information on how to use WP e-Commerce you can read (or contribute) to the new WP e-Commerce project Wiki.
Why stop there? Business blogging is really starting to take off. More and more people are starting to use WordPress to power their websites - especially now that there are so many powerful plugins. Lets take a quick glance at some of the plugins we use to turn your average WordPress install into a business blogging solution.
- Static Front Page. You might not want the front page of your web site to be your blog. See Creating a Static Front Page.
- Forums. Use bbPress or WP Forum depending on the requirements. Both are easy to install and both have a range of useful features.
- Email Newsletters. Use WP Campaign Monitor because it is simple to install and easy to get the hang of. It also integrates with WP e-Commerce lite.
- Surveys. Information is power. Use the Survey Fly plugin because it is powerful and easy to use. Administrators can download .csv reports that they can manipulate internally using proper spreadsheet software.
- Statistics. Use WP SlimStat because it is so easy to install.
- Google Analytics. Google Analytics tells you everything you want to know about how your visitors found you and how they interact with your site. Google Analytics for WordPress automatically tracks and segments all outbound links from within posts, comment author links, links within comments, blogroll links and downloads. It also allows you to track AdSense clicks, add extra search engines, track image search queries and it will even work together with Urchin. The WordPress Plugin repository has other Google Analytics plugin listed under the analytics tag.
- Search Engine Optimization. Search Everything enables the searching of Pages, Comments and more. No Hacking or modifications necessary, just install, activate the plugin and configure it under Options > Search Everything
- Ecommerce & Shopping Cart. Turn your Wordpress Installation into a fully functional Ecommerce Platform. See the available Ecommerce Plugins & Ecommerce Themes for Wordpress.