WordPress Shopp Review

Recently we developed a site in WordPress that went well. Just before the intended launch the client asked for a shopping facility to be added in to the site. Off course WordPress doesn’t have any built in e-commerce facility. The choice was either to make a sub section of the site using any one of a number of independent e-commerce systems or to find some kind of add on that we could build into the already deployed WordPress system.

We only looking to sell 2/3 products at one time so we didnt need the power or functionality of a full e-commerce system. A plugin we thought should be sufficient for our needs.

After many hours of searching and reading reviews it came down to two choices. Wp-Commerce or Shopp.

It seemed that lot of the reviews found bugs in Wp Commerce and we found no different. While it claims to be a cutting edge e-commerce system, it seemed to have some glaring glitches with the inventory and site structure. It seemed to be a system that needs more development time, but certainly has potential. Just not for us.

Paying $55 for the standard install of Shopp we were quite hopeful this would work. It installed ok with no problems. In WordPress its controlled by its own section within the admin section. After looking through all the options we were a little stumped where the prices for the products were set up. After a few G searches it was no surprise that they were supposed to be in the product section. Since the admin is powered by some well thought Javascript and Ajax we thought there must be a conflict with a plugin. (Probably the biggest and most found error when it comes to functionality of WordPress or any other Website coding platform.)

Going through the tedious procedure of uninstalling one plugin at a time then testing the cart options we found it. Wp Lightform Since the validation of that form is controlled by only Javascript it isnt the best of contact forms to use anyway. Spam can get through it quite easily!

To accept payments online, the easiest is Paypal Express. This method sends customers to the Paypal site to make payment either through their own Paypal account or through a credit card. The customer is then returned to your own site to confirm transaction. After inserting the details for Paypal API for the their Express shopping facility it was time to test the site out.

For some reason we were getting page not founds on the products. There seemed to be a problem with the permalink structure of the products. After searching through the Shopp Forum it was suggested that we resave the cart page. That worked and seemed to reset the permalink structure to what it was meant to be.

Styling and setting up the layout is controlled by an over riding template system. It seemed to work well enough. Since we only had two products we simply set up featured products on the default shopping page. There were numerous options that could display categories and other options but we didn’t explore those areas.

There are options in the system that include taxes and delivery but we also didnt have the need to explore full functionality. It would be in these areas that the site could fail, as that’s where really complex coding is required to satisfy the functionality required. If it worked like the rest of the plugin however it should all work as its meant.

After thoroughly testing the cart in numerous browsers and platforms the shopping cart system was ready to use.

Quick Summary:

If you are looking for light e-commerce system that can take payments through the web using Paypal then give Shopp a try. There are enough options to sell successfully online just don’t expect it to have the full customisation options of a stand alone shopping cart such as Zen Cart, Magento or Cube Cart.

4/5 losing a point due to the small problems we had with other plugins ( not Shopp’s fault) and the small problem with wrongly pointed links