Turn Your WordPress Blog into an eCommerce Site

by Annie Wallace March 8th, 2011 

The popular blog tool and publishing platform WordPress can do much more than broadcast a persons thought of the day. It can also be a launching point for brand new businesses. Compatible with a variety of management and customer service plugins, a WordPress blog can quickly be turned into a real money-making machine.

eCommerce Plugins

A starting point for converting your blog into a business enterprise is getting an eCommerce plugin that will provide the necessary management tools for running a successful operation. These include checkout services, inventory tracking, product placement, shipping options, and so on. Some great eCommerce plugins are:

WordPress eCommerce ($)

wp e-commerce

One of the more popular picks on WordPress, this simple plugin has many management features to run an online business. It is compatible with payment systems like PayPal and Google Checkout, and offers plenty of design customizations.

Shopp ($)

wordpress shopp

This flexible eCommerce plugin has features that can tackle everything from shipping methods to tracking sales. Through Shopp, orders can be seamlessly transferred to QuickBooks for easy accounting. 

eCommerce Themes

In conjunction with the eCommerce plugins there are themes for eCommerce.

Themes can not only help change the design and presentation of your blog into an online store, but also its functionality. An eCommerce theme provides customers with the usual shopping experience theyre accustomed to when buying online. The number of eCommerce themes available is vast, so here are a few suggestions:

Crafty Cart

wordpress crafty cart

This free and simple theme is compatible with many eCommerce plugins.

SimpleCart ($)

wordpress simplecart

A so-called child theme for the Upthemes framework for WordPress themes.

Market Theme ($)

wordpress market theme

As a premium theme, Market Theme is customizable and features an easily navigable interface.

Customer Contact Plugins

Once your store or business is up and running, what happens if a customer has an issue or a suggestion? Or what if you want to find out the preferences of your customers to make your site even better? You need the help of some of the online survey add-on's below:

Fast Secure Contact Form

 si-contact-form screenshot 3

This contact form is one of the most popular, quickly allowing visitors to get in touch via email. It is customizable and is very adept at blocking spam. Additional features include various data fields and the support of attachments.

Mingle Forum

 mingle forum

This basic forum plugin is also customizable and features moderation tools, category folders, and even a search function. After installation, itll be easy to hear what your customers have to say.

Surveys

wordpress surveys

Build the survey that will provide that information you want to know most from your customers with this plugin. It supports custom questions and answers.

With a few basic online tools, transforming from blogger to entrepreneur is but a few clicks away. What type of Donald Trump-like aspirations do you envision for your blog?

Annie Wallace

Annie Wallace is a stay-at-home mom, blogger and newbie entrepreneur. She blogs on all things social-media. Check out her The Rise of Social Media article from the History of Social Media series.

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5 Responses to “Turn Your WordPress Blog into an eCommerce Site”

  1. Rob says:

    What I'm really interested in – and struggling to find is an eshopper plugin or template that allows Amazon affiliates to add multiple items to their basket before they leave the site to checkout on Amazon. They all seem to leave my site when any single item is added to the basket. Yes, I know that all purchases made during that visit will earm me money as the affiliate referrer but I feel that the sudden jump to amazon makes the customer feel that they have been slightly duped by a gateway site.

    • Rick LaPoint says:

      Hi Rob,

      Check http://www.wpzonbuilder.com for the plugin I use.

      See my article in the ComLuv link below for an examination of two sites using it. One is mine, and the other is owned by a buddy.

      Hope that helps.

    • MK Safi says:

      Rob, there are two plugins that do what you want. ShopperPress and WP Zon Builder.

      WP Zon Builder is a plugin made specifically for building Amazon affiliate stores with a built-in shopping cart. ShopperPress, on the other hand, is not specific to Amazon affiliate stores only. It's rather a complete ecommerce plugin that happens to handle Amazon affiliate stores very well. You can get more details about Amazon plugins with built-in shopping cart here.

      Good luck with your affiliate store!

      MK

  2. Ivan says:

    Turn WordPress into an ecommerce site is good. Snce WordPress is good for SEO. But WordPress is resource consuming. If you have only 500 products, it's okay. But in my experience, i tried to use WordPress to host more than 100K products. And the result is WordPress couldn't handle it. And took more CPU load. I suggest that using other natural ecommerce CMS is better to handle your ecommerce site, and have WordPress to do your sales page or official blog.

    Regards

    Ivan

    • Ruud Hein says:

      Interesting, Ivan. 100K products sure is a lot. Maybe a static dump of each page would have worked?

      I like the idea of splitting between a shopping cart and a WordPress part. Good idea.