Good morning everybody and welcome to this first session of our summer seminar series on setting up eCommerce websites with WordPress. Over the next 2 weeks we’re going to be spending all of our time talking about How to Choose the Right eCommerce Plugin for your site.
Various Ways to Sell Products Online
While we are focusing on how to sell your products from your WordPress site, there are actually a number of ways for someone to sell products online and sell products online from your WordPress site.
Using a PayPal Button
For example, if you’ve got a single product, you can always use just a PayPal “buy now” button inserted into one of your pages. Without any special configuration or with very limited configuration and with very small amount of energy on your part, you can process a PayPal transaction just by sticking a button for your product on a page. So that’s one way that you can sell your products online.
Using a WordPress Shopping Cart Plugin
The second way is the way that we’re going to spend 13 weeks talking about and that is to use one of the various WordPress plugins on your site.
Using Separate System Not Integrated into your WordPress Site
Another popular way is to have a completely separate system installed on a subdomain. It’s not inside of WordPress, it’s not run via WordPress, it’s run via something else and there are a couple of good examples of that of open source software that let you do this. Two of them in particular are Magento and osCommerce, you can get a hosting account with somebody like Hostgator or BlueHost or InMotion hosting.
Those hosting companies actually have the ability for you to install those eCommerce platforms on a subdomain or on any other domain on your site in the same way that you can install WordPress. So there are these other entirely separate systems that can be stand-alone and nevertheless not integrated in your site but be in a subdomain on your site.
Hosted System Embedded on your Site that Processes off Site
There are also a variety of hosted systems and by hosted system what I’m talking about is something that actually processes everything for you off of your site. So an example of a hosted system might be E-Junkie or FoxyCart or Wazala.
Each of those hosted systems allows you to embed say, product descriptions and “buy now” buttons or cart buttons or catalog pages into your site. But it’s not really part of your site, it’s embedded via an iframe or something else like that and all the processing that happens actually happens outside of your site and happens on the embedded system server.
So if you do that with E-Junkie it’s going to cost you anywhere between $5 and $40 a month depending upon how many products you’re selling. The typical price for FoxyCart is about $20 a month and the same thing is true for Wazala, it’s about $20 a month. Those are 3 hosted systems that you can use to essentially embed a store without actually having to manage the store inside of WordPress.
Hosted System Separate from Your Site
Now, there are also hosted systems that are entirely separate from your site so it operates in very much the same way but on its own website, you may be able to sort of integrate some widgets into your site but it’s not really embedded. As soon as you go to the store, you’re actually going to a separate site and there are a couple of well-known examples of that.
First, there is the Amazon Webstore which cost you $39 a month plus 2% of all of your sales, there is Shopify which is a little cheaper, it costs you $29 a month but it’s still again, 2% of your total sales and then there is Volusion which only costs you $15 a month. Each one of those systems is not embedded into your site, it’s entirely separate from your site and you go from your site to stores in those systems.
Finally, you have the opportunity, of course, to be part of an eCommerce ecosystem which is naturally entirely separate from your site and good examples of that are like selling your products on Amazon or selling them on Etsy or selling them on eBay.
You might link back to your site but by on large, all of the selling, all of the advertising and all of the management, everything happens inside the context of these superstores or eCommerce ecosystems that are not related to your site whatsoever.
Those are the various ways in which people can sell online.