Shopping Cart for WordPress: WP e-Commerce

Just discovered a very nice shopping cart for WordPress. Fits in well with the upcoming FolioPress release. We will take WordPress from weblog software to CMS, bypassing bloat.

The WP e-Commerce shopping cart plugin for WordPress is an elegant easy to use fully featured shopping cart application suitable for selling your products, services, and or fees online.

WP e-Commerce is a Web 2.0 application designed with usability, aesthetics, and presentation in mind. Perfect for

  • Bands & Record Labels
  • Clothing Companies
  • Crafters & Artists
  • Books, DVDs & MP3 files

All is not rosy however with WP e-Commerce lite. The URLs for shopping cart pages are atrocious, something like:

yourdomain.com/products-page/?category=11

That takes us back to the bad old Mambo days. At some point John and I should do a rewrite of the plugin to incorporate search engine and people friendly URLs so that the above would read:

yourdomain.com/products/non-latex

or even

yourdomain.com/condoms/non-latex

While the URLs above sound like a joke, that store really exists. But don’t get the wrong idea: WordPress e-Commerce does power other more conventional and children friendly shopping carts.

For the moment, WP e-Commerce does seem horribly slow to load new pages. The sites using it are hosted in the States and not Australia so the problem appears to be with the script itself.

I advise serious performance testing before using WP e-Commerce.

If someone has performance figures for WP e-Commerce, I’d be delighted to see them.

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11 Responses to Shopping Cart for WordPress: WP e-Commerce

  1. Alan

    Hi

    Decent wordpress shopping carts are very scarce. Hopefully we will see more of them come out soon.

    Heres one that -

    1) Will accept Paypal (website pro, and website standard), Google Checkout, 2CheckOut and Authorize.net

    2) Uses your default Paypal settings (not IPN) so you can use it to sell stuff on several sites.

    3) Generates hacker-proof download links if you sell digital products.

    4) Has built in affiliate management system if you want to run an affiliate program, as well as ad/link tracking.

    Will work on just about any web site, not only WordPress.

    wordpressshoppingcart.info (aff)

    Nice blog theme btw, I really like the minimal type themes.

    Have a great day.

    Alan

  2. Pingback: My First Encounter with Wordpress… « Weird Knowledge Weblog

  3. Pingback: dragotown.com § e-Commerce with Wordpress and PayPal

  4. WP-Ecommerce plugin by Instinct is a fairly good plugin featuring basic functions in its free version. Said that, The plugin is soooo slow since it starts preloading ll the images you use fo reach product from the access to the very first product page. To be clearer, even if you just want to enter the store to view the thumbnails, that plugin will make it laod all the images for all your store (not just the thumbnails) right in your first product page. this might be due to the fact that WP-Ecommerce uses lightbox to build the gallery (nice look, i have to say), which by default is pre-loading all the images… So unless you rewrite that plugin to actually load the images of each product only when you hit the thumbnail to see the gallery, WP-Ecommerce is gonna slow down dramatically your entire site. Please programmer, if you have a solution to this, post it here or email me, I would really appreciate, since I’m not a programmer. thanks

    pg.provenzano@gmail.com

  5. Hello Pier,

    That’s a very astute observation about WP-Ecommerce. I had noticed that it was very slow back when I first wrote about it in 2007. I assumed that it was mainly an issue of code optimization which would eventually happen.

    It appears that the performance bottleneck is built in.

    You should write to WP-Ecommerce and let them know about this thread and perhaps they can fix WP-Ecommerce for us that it doesn’t try to download all the images right away.

    On the other hand, some kind of preload can be very useful as well for catalogues – the issue may just be that people are trying to preload images which are too large.

    A programmer would be able to set it up that the images preload as they can without interfering with the loading and performance of the website. If WP-Ecommerce was our plugin, that’s what we would do: regulate the rate and order of image upload.

  6. discopoland

    I am pretty sure I found the problem of excessive image loading. Check it out here.

    http://www.getshopped.org/forums/topic.php?id=2949#post-13599

  7. Hi DISCOPOLAND,

    thanks so much for addressing that file to my attention… so I did as you suggested, erased the function you pointed out, and the site loaded thumbnails 10 seconds faster. Unluckily there’s now a layout problem, and it looks like behind the thumbnails there are placeholders saying “no image”. So I had to restore the old grid_display_functions.php

    Please take a look at my site http://www.frustone.com , when you have time, and if you want to reply me my email is pg.provenzano@gmail.com

    thanks so much for the help so far

    PG

  8. Hi all,

    somewhere I have to say it: WP e-Commerce is far far the handiest plug-in for shopping, we’ve tried many of them. We went into the code very deep and have been tweeking with it for a while, so I see the inside of it, and I need to say that it has horrible solutions that really don’t comply with WordPress’ motto: Code is Poetry.

    Some field names in the database are reserved words, like name, description, or ORDER! This is awful, especially if you back up your database without using quotation marks for the field names. To continue, URL names for products are not stored in the product_list table, but in product_metadata, which is 8 times bigger and it would be absolutely unnecessary to use it for URL parsing. Third big problem: product_order table and item_product_association table hold almost the same information, which is way unnecessary, and is critical if you have over 2000 products. Any of these would result in an F, when examing from a programming language, the code of this plug-in is absolutely not poetry – I am not a poet either, but I see wonderfully constructed plug-ins that are truly pieces of art, and compared, I know what coplies with the geniality of WordPress, and what doesn’t.

    Simply said: the best cart plug-in, and still not good enough. I am a WordPress fan, religiously, and would never use Joomla or Drupal instead, but this is the point of view where those content management systems ARE BETTER then WordPress, for fact.

    With over 1-2000 products, even with deleted and disabled images, a website’s front-end and even it’s wp-admin slows down so much that it makes me desperately dream about something better, built from ground up.

    By an Artist, like so much of those, who publish wonderful plug-ins.

  9. Shopping Cart

    the information about usability, aesthetics, and presentation you give is good for bands & Record Labels

  10. Casey

    I love the wp-ecommerce plugin. It’s very customizable and integrates with wordpress superbly. It’s saved my online business. But I agree with Oszkar. There is a lot of coding in it that makes the browser’s ability to read it take forever.

    If it weren’t for the extremely slow loading times using this plugin I would give it 5 stars.

  11. JF

    The WP E Commerce plugin is a complete nightmare.

    I have sites with instant loading pages, although once you add this plugin to the site you’ll start seeing 5-20 second page load times. This is a major turn-off for customers…

    I think a blindfolded monkey banging on a keyboard would create better code than the WP E Commerce plugin. I advise you to avoid this plugin like the plague–the core code is written poorly by people who clearly don’t know what they are doing.

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