WordPress has become one of the most influential and widely used content management systems (CMS) online. With an estimated 60 million installs and boasting nearly one-sixth of the top million sites utilizing its backend management, this free and open source application is truly an indispensable resource for businesses looking to sell online.
Frequently releasing new versions to address concerns about functionality and security, WordPress is also well regarded for its point-and-click installation and support from most online hosting companies. However, what truly guides WordPress’ unquestionable success is the utilization of customizable themes and plugins. The CMS possesses a vast library of themes, the majority of which do not deal with buying and selling online, but this still leaves a good deal options. The number of plugins developed for WordPress is just as impressive. Built to solve a plethora of simple or complex needs and extend the platforms reach, plugins continue to evolve and adapt to the changing online climate. In essence, with the proper combination of themes and plugins, the CMS can be transformed into an ecommerce program that satisfies nearly any requirement.
To begin using WordPress as an ecommerce system, a domain name must be acquired. Domains provide sites with a unique address they can be located at, much like a phone numbering system. Once the domain has been chosen, web hosting must be purchased. Hosting gives websites virtual residences for a specified period of time, storing important system and backend files and scripts.
With these two elements in place, users must then visit WordPress.com or choose the one-click installation option from their hosting account admin panel if available. Set-up has been streamlined through successive versions, though a manual install does require moderate server-side familiarity. Once WordPress has been installed, the remaining work involves theme selection, setting up a payment processor, and fine-tuning checkout options.
It is important to understand that WordPress’ function is to manage site content online. Simply put, WordPress is where users control the look and feel of their site. It does not process payments from an ecommerce transaction, but instead provides an access point. It is still very important to choose a WordPress theme developed specifically with ecommerce in mind. The more robust themes give users remarkable levels of control over howecommerce elements integrate with one another, how payments and shipping should be directed, and typically reduce the time it takes to modify a standard blog site into the trusted façade of a virtual store that has used by online consumers. Payment processors are the worker bees which handle the acceptance of credit card purchases. One of the most popular services is Paypal, which has been heartily embraced by the small business community online.
Digital products which exist merely in virtual space are often managed by delivery service plugins. Music downloaded in MP3 file formats, for example, benefit from delivery systems. Once a user purchases a virtual good, the delivery service will process the request and deliver a link for downloading to the user email provided. WordPress site developers have come to depend on these plugins for greater efficiency, since they would otherwise be required to receive the request and manually formulate and send each and every download email. In addition to the increased efficiency, delivery systems have evolved to handle physical products as well, incorporating essential information like tax and shipping data.
WordPress stores are valuable, inexpensive solutions to online business needs. Extremely search-engine friendly, free, and easy to implement, there are few better options for getting a company established online and generating new levels of financial success.