How can I build an online store in WordPress?

Since a lot of people want to sell their stuff online on their own website (whether it's selling their E-Books, their Music in either digital or CD format, T-Shirts, Handcrafts or anything else) in this post I will explain how I built my EBookStoreToday.com website. I think it's great and I'm very happy with how it works.

Chapter 1: The minimum requirements to build your own store
Chapter 2: About PayPal and PayPal accounts. Which are the differences? Which account should I choose?
Chapter 3: How to setup WordPress to use it for the store
Chapter 4: How to build the store

Chapter 1: The minimum requirements to build your own store

• You have to have a Hosting which supports PHP and allows you to have MySQL Databases hence allows you to install WordPress. If you don't have a hosting yet have a look at this page.
• You have to install WordPress on your server. If you don't know how to install WordPress have a look at this page.
• You either need to have a PayPal Premier account or a PayPal Business account. If you don't have a PayPal account yet signup here to get one.

Chapter 2: About PayPal and PayPal accounts. Which are the differences? Which account should I choose?

PayPal is probably the most used payment method on the web. A lot of people use it. It's fast, it's safe, it works great and it also allows you to easily receive payments made with credit cards.

To sell stuff through your website and accept payments made by credit card you either need a Premier or a Business account.
What's the difference between a Premier and a Business account? Using a Premier account people will see your personal name in addition to your business name (if any). With a Business account people will only see your business name. If you choose to have a Business PayPal account you also need to have a bank account with your business name to transfer money. You can't have a Business PayPal account and transfer money to a bank account with your personal name. Applying fees are the same for both accounts.

Chapter 3: How to setup WordPress to use it for the store

If you already have a blog and now want to sell a few things I would recommend you to have another WordPress installation just for the store. Place a link in the navigation of the main blog which leads to the store.

On my store I added a blog-post for each of the products being sold with the following structure:
- Brief introduction to the product for people to quickly know what it is about
- More detailed description
- Price and add to cart button (shopping cart appearing in the post)
- FAQ about the product
- Customer reviews using the blog’s commenting feature

In addition to each product having its own post I also added a page with the FAQs on buying things (it's important for your customers to know how it works but it's even more important for you as a seller to tell them since it saves you a lot of trouble) and added a page with a list of all the products.

Of course if you don't want to have an extra WP blog for the store you can also just add all your products to a single post or page if want. I just find it cleaner to have a post for each product with its description.

Chapter 4: How to build the store

EBookStoreToday.com uses a plugin called eStore which you can buy at tipsandtricks-hq.com for 39.95$. It allows you to sell digital-content as well as non-digital content. It is really easy to use, works great and if you should ever have a problem the support is excellent.

This is how to use the eStore plugin...

Installing and setting up the store

1. Go http://www.tipsandtricks-hq.com and buy the WP eStore plugin (39.95$). If you would like to have an Affiliate Program for people to promote your products and earn a commission for each sale they generate you may want to buy the WP eStore plugin and WP Affiliate Platform plugin (together 55$).

2. After you bought the plugin from the previously mentioned site you will get an e-mail with a link to download the plugin. Click on the link and you will get a folder called “wp-cart-for-digital-products”.

3. Upload the “wp-cart-for-digital-products” folder to your wp-content/plugins/ folder with your FTP application
4. Go to your WordPress blog admin area and activate the “WP eStore” plugin from “Plugins”.
5. At the bottom of your left-sided menu bar you will then see “WP eStore” appearing. Click on it.

6. Go to Settings. This is where all the settings are done. Everything is well explained and really easy.

Set the e-mail you’re using for PayPal where you will get the money sent to (if you don't have a PayPal Merchant account yet click here to create one), set the currency, Add to Cart button text or Image (by entering the URL to it in the appropriate field), allow shopping cart anchor, E-mail notification has to be checked, you can edit the random code if you want this is used to create the encrypted links for downloads, duration of download link (I think 72 hours is good), download e-mail address which is the e-mail address that will appear in the “from” field, then you can change what the e-mail says which the customer will receive and the e-mail you receive (note the codes for first name, last name, product name and product link used for downloads of digital content).

7. Once you’ve set it all up hit “Update options” at the bottom of the page.

Now we have to add the products you will be selling.

Adding digital products (products which can be downloaded like E-Books, Music in .mp3 format, ...)

1. Select the product on your computer and make a zip out of it. On a Mac go to File=>Compress... or ctrl+click=>Compress...
2. Take the zip file and put it in a folder where you will put all the files you will sell on your store. Rename the folder to something hard to guess like 776tzweg89912
3. Upload the folder to the root of your server. The URL of a product will then be:
yourdomain.com/foldername/productname.zip
4. Go to WP eStore “Add/Edit Products”
5. Enter a name for the product and a price
6. Go to “Additional Product Details”. Enter the URL to a picture for the thumbnail of the product where it says Thumbnail Image URL, enter the URL to the product’s page where it says Thumbnail Image Link, enter the URL to the product page where it says Product Page URL
7. Go to “Digital Content Details” and add the URL to your product’s zip file where it says “Digital Product URL”. Entering this address into your browser should start the downloading process. Note that people buying the product will never see this address since they only get an encrypted link. “Downloadable” should be checked.
8. Variations. Click on the “Learn How To” links to know how to use it. I don’t use it. Shipping (usually digital content has no shipping costs). Inventory control (if you want to limit the number of available copies, usually digital content is not limited). Buy now if you don’t want to use a Shopping Cart or if you for example want to have a friend selling his stuff through your store you can set his e-mail so the money goes straight to his PayPal account. Subscription if you want to offer a membership.

Adding not-digital products (products which can’t be downloaded like T-Shirts, handcrafted products, ...)

1. Go to “Add/Edit Products”
2. Enter a name for the product and a price
3. Variations. Click on “Learn How To” Links to know how to use it. This is used for T-Shirt sizes and more.
4. Shipping: read this.
5. Inventory control (if you want to limit the number of available copies).
6. Buy now if you don’t want to use a Shopping Cart or if you for example want to have a friend selling his stuff through your store you can set his e-mail so the money goes straight to his PayPal account.

How to add the “Buy now” or “Add to cart” link near the product’s description

When you go to WP eStore, Manage Products you see the list of all your products. Each product has an ID number (1, 2, 3, 4, ...)

To add an “Add to cart” button for a product on the product’s post take the following code

[wp_eStore:product_id:ID NUMBER:end]

Replace ID NUMBER with the ID of the product and paste the code where you want the button to appear. Example for product 1:

[wp_eStore:product_id:1:end]

How to add a Shopping-Cart widget in your WordPress blog’s sidebar

Go to Appearance, Widgets and drag the “WP Cart for Digital Products” widget into the sidebar.

How to have the Shopping-Cart appearing in a post or page

Add this code to the post or page where you want it to appear:

<!--show-wp-cart-for-digital-products-->

How to have a list of all the products displaying on a page

Add this code to the page where you want the list to appear:

[wp_eStore_all_products_stylish:end]

How it works when someone buys something from your store

The customer gets two e-mails. One from PayPal to confirm that the payment successfully went through and one from the store (the one you set up in the Settings) which confirms the order and provides the encrypted links for downloading the digital products. This e-mail is sent automatically. You don’t have to do anything.

The seller (you) gets two e-mails as well. One from PayPal confirming the payment received and one from the store confirming the order.
On the PayPal e-mail you also get the customers address at which you should send the products which can’t be downloaded. I would recommend you to send an e-mail to the customer to ask whether the address is correct or not before shipping the items (maybe he recently moved and didn’t update the address in the PayPal account yet).

More...

All you could ever wish to know about the eStore plugin is written in the support area documentation. There’s also a Startup Guide for dummies if mine wasn’t good enough.


This FAQ is also discussed in my WPFAQ.org E-Book (sample)


© WPFAQ.org - Tutorials, Tips & Tricks is made with WordPress and for WordPress.
It's an EBookStoretoday.com company. It’s presented by Cédric Giger and hosted by HostGator.com

Thank you for visiting and supporting my website,
- Cédric -




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