There are lots of great reasons to build an e-Commerce web site. Perhaps you are a small business owner with goods or services to sell. Maybe you are an author or musician who wants to sell documents, audio files, or other digital downloads. Whether as part of a business or hobby, running an e-Commerce site can increase your sales, public profile, and your income.
Building an e-Commerce site used to require a vast amount of time, technical knowledge, and money. It meant hand-coding the site from scratch yourself, hiring one or more developers, or purchasing a yearly license for a pre-built e-Commerce solution. Surely there must be an easier way.
There is. For anyone who starts researching how to create an online store, the myriad of options seem overwhelming at first. There are literally hundreds of pre-built e-Commerce packages available, most of which promise to get the user “running in a matter of minutes.” Unfortunately, they also promise to separate the shop owner from hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. On the other hand, one can also find a few free e-Commerce platforms. While most of these are promising, the free cost often carries a high price tag in terms of greater complexity or in time wasted learning the ropes of a new platform.
This brings us to the WordPress software. Not only is it a popular package for building a standard web site, but it can also serve as a powerful e-Commerce platform with the addition of the WP e-Commerce Plugin. Thousands of people have already chosen to use WordPress as the foundation for their online stores, and there are many reasons why you should, too. Yes, WordPress is free, and yes, it’s easy to use, but it’s also easy to modify and update. Extending the capabilities of WordPress is a breeze, and you certainly do not need a team of developers to get your store up and running.
As we will discover, WordPress is more than capable of handling an e-Commerce site. This chapter provides context for how WordPress fits into the puzzle of e-Commerce web site construction: what it can do and why it’s so good at what it does.
Chapter 1 covers:
- Reasons for enabling WordPress for e-Commerce.
- Some business and website possibilities of the combination of WordPress and the e-Commerce Plugin.
- What you sign up for when you decide to use WordPress for e-Commerce
- A basic overview of the features included in the WP e-Commerce Plugin.
- How to upload and activate the WP e-Commerce Plugin into an existing WordPress installation.