Tag Archives: wordpress ecommerce

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Online Shopping

Four Good WordPress E-Commerce Plugins

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Hello from Allan at MindVisionmedia.net again, I hope this post finds you well.

I get a lot of inquiries about which plugin or program to use for WP e-commerce. I have used several myself and installed and set up several for clients as well and there are 4 that really stick out for user friendliness and cost to get started. I would consider all of these to be from simple to moderate in technical detail and ability. Almost anybody can set one of these up in no time depending on how many products you have and the specifics you need for each.

Be sure to check with your hosting company to make sure they have enough WP support to run your e-commerce option. These are all free and offer other features, options and add-ons that you can purchase to enhance your online store and the control features you have.

ecwid-logoThe first is Ecwid, this free plugin offers a handy e-commerce widget that is easy to implement on any page or post through the use of a shortcode.. The set up at Ecwid.com is friendly and easy as well providing more options than one would expect from a free service. Once you have your products created and all of the settings configured, it is just a matter of dragging the Ecwid e-commerce Plugin widget into the sidebar of your choice or add the store to a page of your choice using the provided “shortcodes”.

The free plan includes all standard e-commerce features, and paid plans start at $15 per month and grant you more advanced features such as discount settings and inventory control. Check it out and see if it’s the right e-commerce solution for your WordPress site or Blog.

Online ShoppingNext we have Shopify, get your online retail plan going with this stylish and versatile e-commerce solution. What I like about this one is the ability to customize the look and feel pretty much however you want. I have worked on and seen some pretty nice “looking” online stores using this one.

They offer over 100 templates and even have an iPad Point-of-Sale feature that syncs all of your online and brick and mortar products, inventory, orders etc making it easier for business owners to manage their business.

WooCommerceProbably one of the most known free e-commerce plugins for WordPress  is WooCommerce. This is another option for your online store that offers great themes ($) to help you customize the look and feel of your business.

You get all the basic features including order management, shipping and tax adjustments, customer account area, sales reports, inventory management options, coupon options and a whole lot more. If you are looking for a plugin that is popular, this is it. A quick note to consider though is that not all hosting companies offer full WordPress support which can impact whether or not you can run WooCommerce on your server. Check with your hosting company to see if they support WooCommerce before you get all exited, I have had personal experience getting one all setup and the hosting company couldn’t run it properly.


WP ECommerceThe last one is WP e-Commerce. A bit of a trend setter, this e-commerce option was one of the few solutions for WordPress years ago before a lot of the others were developed. Of course this one has everything you need as do most, control over inventory, shipping, discounts, orders, multiple language and currency options, Google Checkout and a lot more, free.

You can buy other features and add-ons to enhance the product but you can definitely get started and go a long way with the free version. These guys were around before all of the options available today so they have had the advantage of finding out what works and what features to provide for those who choose to use this e-commerce option, tried and tested.

So if you are trying to configure an online store or shopping cart, set up an e-commerce site, sell stuff on your blog etc, these 4 WordPress e-commerce options provide enough versatility and comparison to help you make a good decision for your needs. Again just a reminder to check with your hosting company to make sure your choice will work on your current server configuration. Enjoy and happy selling!

Allan Whitney

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The Flash ActiveX Monopoly

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For years the Flash ActiveX plugin has dominated the Internet with its proprietary control over the ability to view most of the Internets dynamic content. But those days are soon to be over as new open-source format technologies emerge such as HTML5, WebM and OGG. The predominant Flash plugin has done us well in terms of allowing us to view impressive dynamic content and video but the vulnerabilities and hassle of continuously updating the plugin and controlling the end-users ability to view most of the web without installing it are some of the reasons for its demise.

Not to mention that an entire community has been left out of the ability to use the plugin or view Flash content for years. Apple (Mac) users have had ongoing issues with Flash content and interfaces built on Flash platforms and the time has come for them to be able to view whatever they want without being inadvertently victimized and ridiculously excluded in this content war which involves Adobe, Microsoft and Apple. Now I don’t hate Flash, I use flash and have been using it for years to design, develop and present content, but allowing it to be the predominate platform through which everyone can view content on the free Internet is not in the best interest of the Internet community.

This ongoing feud has given birth to emerging technologies that will put a timely end to this monopoly and war by big companies who act like children when it comes to who does what and who can view what. For developers it has always been a nightmare to try and please everyone at the same time. A tremendous amount of work encoding and embedding multiple versions and formats of web content has been nothing short of a hassle for most if not all. Especially independent developers who aren’t associated with a big marketing firm or web design company who commonly have large teams of individuals working on development and implementation of web content.

Most if not all of the mainstream browsers are already implementing support for the new formats and technologies which threaten the Flash ActiveX plugin. Updates are being distributed that will allow everyone to view even the pre-existing Flash content that is on the Internet today with whatever browser they have. There are also many tools available to help convert Flash content to a more suitable open-source format. New coding and encoding formats like HTML5, WebM and OGG are granting freedom to the internet user and making the World Wide Web a real community again, free of discrimination and division when it comes to viewing content that is meant for everyone to view in the first place.

As a developer myself, I have been waiting for this day for a long time and I am happy to say it is coming to fruition right before my eyes. Monopolies and proprietary control are often not good in our society and for it to have impacted the Internet the way it has for so many years is sad in my eyes. But thanks to some very innovative and hard-working individuals on the back-end, we will all be free very soon and have the ability to view old content as well as new content created with the open-source concept in mind. What a relief is all I can say and a big Thank You to all those involved with HTML5, WebM and OGG!

Do a Google Search for:

  • Flash Vulnerabilities
  • WebM
  • HTML5
  • OGG
  • YouTube HTML5 Project

Written by Allan Whitney

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Responsive Web Design

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Where would we be without the mighty WordPress in this fast expanding technologically driven society?
Responsive Web Design has become a fascinating frontier for both the advanced and the beginner in the past several years. With the onslaught of new devices that can access the internet, the standard for web design has had to up its game. As a designer, you never know what type of device your visitors are going to be using to access your site or blog.
Couple that with the social media craze that has swept the world and you have a beautifully orchestrated symphony of innovation and content management working together to deliver content and allow people to stay in touch and in tune with the world around them. The power of WordPress responsive themes has allowed many to conform to this new standard with the ease and control of this incredibly powerful CMS.

With ready-to-go Themes already built on the cross-platform concept, it allows even the absolute beginner to have a web presence viewable to anyone, anywhere and on any device. If the process was strictly a coding process on the design level, there would be a lot of stress in the web design arena these days to convert or build a site that will conform to the new standards. The technical process for designing a responsive theme or site is still new and going through developmental changes that continue to improve the whole idea of cross-platform design, it just gets better and better each day.

This has rekindled the website community and opened up new jobs and careers for developers and designers alike to provide this innovative design technique to millions of businesses and individuals with a web presence. There’s a new product now called “responsive” that all existing websites must adapt to and this means sites all over the world must be converted and brought up to the new standards or they will become somewhat obsolete for the millions who rely on the Internet to research and navigate to products and services.

The convenience of viewing a site that is responsive without having to scroll or change view settings on your device will most certainly spoil the Internet user over the years to come and sites that don’t adapt will be cumbersome and laborious to navigate and view on the many new devices and platforms.
Even site hosting companies have adapted and are offering web building tools and web building services that comply to the new standards and include social media adaptations.

No doubt the months and years to come will be amazing and thought provoking as technology bridges the communication and logistical gap that plagued us all in years past. Just think about the days of writing a letter and using snail mail, the phone booth or the pager and before! Now there is no excuse for not keeping in touch or finding out whatever you want to know about anything with just a couple of clicks! A big shout out to the WordPress community for getting us where we are today!

Written by Allan Whitney


January 2018
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