Hey everybody so I'm new to webdesign (Not with graphic design though) but I've learned a bit of CSS and HTML5, enough to design a simple 10-15 page website. However I feel that without offering eCommerce services I vastly limit my client base.
So first off, is there an easy way to implement a simple eCommerce system without resorting to Word Press or outsourcing to a php developer. This Word Press plugin really impresses me: http://getshopped.org/ So say a jewelry store wanted to sell some of their items online, how would I go about doing this?
WordPress seems really versatile (Though I hear drupal is far more powerful) since it can be used as a CMS and because its plugins really pack on some flesh to it. But right now my niche is small businesses with basic needs.
Also, is there a way to style Word Press with CSS? That seems to be the ideal option as far as I know but I also have read that you need some knowledge in PHP to do so. Any recommendations?
Or is there anyway to convert a CSS design into a wordpress template?
Hi webdesignoob. Welcome to the forums.
is there an easy way to implement a simple eCommerce system without resorting to Word Press or outsourcing to a php developer.
Indeed, yes. You basically have three options:
1) install a shopping cart on your site and deal with all the coding and security (probably the best option but the hardest);
2) use a service like Shopify, which is ready made for ecommerce and the whole site is hosted with Shopify, so that you don't have to worry about security etc. You can style the site as you please, and just pay a monthly fee;
3) a middle option is to have your own site but to included payment buttons that take you to a separate, 3rd party site. The simples version is PayPal, but it's a bit ugly, so there are better options like FoxyCart, where you can style the payment pages just like your site so that the customer doesn't know he/she is on a different site.
is there a way to style Word Press with CSS?
Yes indeed. You can totally customize WP with your own theme, styling etc. It can get a bit messy, though, so beware. You really need to know HTML and CSS well, and preferably a bit of PHP. You can also get ready-made themes instead.
Oy Vey! I've been looking through some CSS to Wordpress tutorials and it doesn't seem that difficult to do. I've also been looking at a few other options such as Magento which is geared towards ecommerce type sites, which seems to have more robust security features and a better backend for inventory management. I think the way to go is to build an ecommerce test site for myself and see how it goes. As always easier isn't always better.
I have a question though while I'm here already. What's the best way to test your website for compliance and other things (I mean besides using the WC3 code checker)? What I mean is what's the best way to iron out all the kinks and bugs? Do you simply just test it in every browser and screen and OS possible?
And forms! Argghhh. I suck so much at PHP, is there like a solid PHP script that I can buy and just style myself?
You have probably already discovered this. but you can edit the CSS/PHP of a WP theme directly from the dashboard (appearance: Edit theme), tho I like t work on back up copies, for safety. Still, editing the theme in no way affects the DB, so your data is safe.
Since you mentioned Magento and Drupal, have you considered Joomla? Joomla seems to be very Magento friendly , there are plug in for carts and IMHO, it is as powerful as Drupal, and almost as easy to figure as WP ( well as long as you aren't coding plugs... but those are those learning too)
cart66.com is a nice WordPress plug-in for eCommerce.
If your looking for a really simple solution you could just create paypal buttons.
I wouldn't suggest it for someone who wants to sell many products, however.
I use a very easy to use free package from Oscmax.
It uses Open Source (thats why its free) and has a great shopping cart and help forum.
It is regularly updated and has some very nice features.
The shopping cart can be configured to take Paypal, Sagepay, most major credit cards and it has built in shipping modules for Fedex, Royal Mail and many more.
Free yourself from the hassle of installing anything, maintaining a code base, doing regular security patches, and all that other stuff, and have a look at the excellent Shopify.com. I've used this for UK stores, and it works a treat.
I suggest you to simply purchase cPanel based hosting with free shopping cart. Shopping cart have all features built-in for eCommerce setup.
I would recommend using an e commerce platform and then adding an onsite WordPress blog to it. E commerce plugins tend to have very suspect security, whereas e commerce shopping carts are specifically designed to keep things secure.
I would also recommend using a cart that has a hosted solution. They have to keep their software up to date, security-wise, when it is a hosted software or people would stop using them. Carts that you buy and host yourself are always lagging far behind in security patches - if they provide them at all - and you have to constantly check for updates and install them yourself. Good hosted shopping cart solutions automatically update the security of the website software - you don't even know it happened.
I recently moved all six of my e commerce websites over to a new platform called Zulu Cart (I won't link to it, but you can look it up). Although I know CSS, HTML and a decent amount of PHP, I prefer to not use it if I don't have to. Zulu is all point and click, drag and drop and you can completely customize the look of everything without ever having to monkey around with CSS files in your cPanel. If you can use Microsoft Word, you can use Zulu Cart - it's that simple.
e-junkie is pretty cool in that it adds a whole admin system and minimal pop-up shopping cart to your paypal buttons.
Volusion is another decent solution for feature-packed eCommerce. Although, customizing Volusion stores can be tricky.
I would recommend WooCommerce from Woothemes who create high quality wordpress themes, they also create wonderful premium plugins like WooCommerce.
This topic is now closed. New replies are no longer allowed.