Guest post by Bonnie Koenig
Anyone who has been blogging for more than a few months begins to wonder how they can make money from their blog. Many people rely on advertising to make money but others create their own products. In fact, there are many small businesses which use a blog as a way to promote the products they offer. WordPress users have several plugin choices that can help them sell their items.
E-commerce is one of the most popular store plugins. It has a free version, which is one reason it’s very popular. Unfortunately, it can slow down the site load time and may require an experienced html programmer to get the look and feel just right. E-commerce also offers a number of functional upgrades that require purchasing. The business owner who is not clear on exactly what they want may find they are spending more money than they would have liked.
WordPress Shopp is another popular program. While many people with small shops are happy with this plugin, others complain that it is only good if the user has a limited number of products. While it is somewhat adaptable, not as many people use it and some find it more difficult than the e-commerce plugin. This plugin was originally free but now it appears that there is only a paid version for download.
Cart 66 is a premium plugin. There is an upfront cost, though many developers may purchase a developer license allowing them to use this plugin for their clients. It is has some great functionality and can be personalized to integrate with the overall look and feel of the blog. This is one plugin I have not played with and can only take the word of other developers that it is an easy plugin to customize. For the user, Cart 66 can be used on any post or page so it is easy for the end user to work with as well.
For those users with only a few products, Cart66 now has a product called Cart66 lite which can be downloaded for free from WordPress.
A new plugin to the mix is Market Press. It is designed for those who are running a multi-user site so it allows products from multiple sellers. Market Press seems quite new and I have not read any reviews on it. I would love feedback from anyone who may have tried it out
Another selling option is Prospress. Prospress mimics creating an auction site. Users who want to allow bidding for items on their site can do so. It can be set so that anyone with an account on the WordPress site can create an auction item. However, there is currently no way to have the website owner charge others for the use of the auction site. Prospress is still being updated and there are many requests for this function.
These five plugins offer a lot of functionality for small business owners to list their items for sale on their WordPress site. All integrate easily with a PayPal account for receiving funds securely. They have varying levels of ease of listing items and how they integrate into the overall WordPress platform. It is important to take one’s needs, both short term and long term into consideration when deciding upon an e-commerce solution. Happy selling!
Bonnie Koenig and her cat Cheysuli have been online together since 2006. Cheysuli blogs over at http://www.mysiamese.com. Bonnie blogs wherever someone will let her.
Excellent information-I’m printing it now!
Joan, I’ll clarify a bit about the e-commerce plugin. There is a group on linked in that has a thread (several) about e-commerce plugins. The people who love e-commerce love it. Those who hate it HATE it. If it seems to work for you, take the free version for a test drive and see what happens.
We don’t use WordPress but still found this article interesting. A Xazzle storefront doesn’t allow folks to get a true idea of what the designs look like and Zazzle is heavily into self-promotion, so we recently opened a new Blogger blog to isolate and showcase our own designs.
That is one of many things I am hoping to learn more about at Blogpaws. I am an illustrator and I would like to add some things for sale on my blogs. Only 4 more sleeps until Blogpaws!!
Great post, this is the kind of resource that keeps me coming back to BlogPaws!