Create an eCommerce Website with WordPress in under 5 minutes

In this 5 minute tutorial Adam Purcell of Hungry Dog Media walks you through all of the steps needed to create your first eCommerce website with WordPress and the WP e-Commerce Plugin.

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Shopp underwhelms

The latest Shopp 1.0.6 update totally underwhelms. We’ve had a play and after a quick look at the full feature list we have nothing really interesting to report back asisde from the obvious and necessary modifications for WordPress 2.8 compatibility.

In order of preference our WordPress e-Commerce Plugin reccomedations are still as follows:

  1. WP e-Comemrce
  2. Yak
  3. eShop Plugin
  4. Shopp

Vanilla Cart WP e-Commerce

A new theme for the WordPress e-Commerce Plugin has been released. You must check this Theme out – its very nice and I’ve tested in on the new WP e-Commerce 3.7 beta release – very nice.

Download Vanilla Cart Theme

Paypal Website Payments Pro VS Payflow Payment Gateway

Okay so if you were wondering what the difference between Paypal Website Payments Pro and Payflow Payment Gateway then this is for you. I just read an article titled ‘understanding the new paypal‘ and finally it makes sense.

  • Express Checkout (WPP): Activate it on your store if you want to provide an alternative checkout option, similar to Google Checkout. When you activate Direct Payments, Express Checkout is also enabled automatically (this is a PayPal requirement)
  • Direct Payments (WPP): an easy way to support credit card payments on your store, without having to get an Internet Merchant Account through your bank.
  • PayFlow Pro: a more robust payment gateway that is the way to go if your store gets/is busy (several hundred orders a day). You do need an Internet Merchant Account.
  • PayFlow Link: if you use a professional shopping cart, you don’t need it.

(WPP) = this is part of PayPal Website Payments Pro.

Massimo Arrigoni asks Matt Watts, business development manager at PayPal what the differences are – and here are some of the things he said.

What are the main differences between Website Payments Pro and PayFlow Pro, in terms of features?

Website Payments Pro combines a gateway and merchant account into a single solution. Merchants intending to use this service open a PayPal business account, submit an application, and are vetted accordingly. The reporting functionality is limited with Website Payments Pro, so for any merchants who are transacting over about two-hundred orders monthly, they’d most likely want to use PayFlow Pro. PayFlow Pro is a gateway only and requires the merchant to find their own banking relationship for the Internet Merchant Account. PayFlow’s functionality is more advanced from a reporting standpoint, so reconciliation of transactions is much easier.

When would you advise a company to adopt WPP vs PayFlow Pro? What are the elements that should trigger a decision towards one solution versus the other?

If the merchant is new to the e-commerce landscape, they’re probably better off working with WPP for processing, simply because it’s an all-in-one solution that is inexpensive. However, for merchants who are established, process numerous orders daily and need more advanced reporting, then PayFlow Pro is the better solution.

[Massimo’s note: getting an Internet Merchant Account for Payflow Pro is probably harder than getting approved for Paypal Website Payments Pro, especially if you have a brand new business].

Could a store have both PayPal Website Payments Pro and PayFlow Pro active ( e.g. to use PayPal Express)?

It would be possible for a merchant to have PayFlow Pro and WPP active on their site. However, merchants typically have one gateway and one merchant account for direct credit card payments. When Express Checkout has been integrated into a shopping cart like ProductCart, then it can be used with any gateway the merchant wants to use (ie. If the merchant is using, PayFlow, or WPP, they’ll be able to add Express Checkout).

[Massimo’s note: assuming your shopping cart supports both, you would not activate Direct Payments and PayFlow Pro on the same store, since to the user they look the same = a credit card form on your Web store. But you might indeed want to have Express Checkout active together with another payment option (e.g. or another payment gateway). If you enable WPP Direct Payments, then Express Checkout is enabled automatically].

When would you advise a company to adopt PayFlow Link?

PayFlow Link merchants typically don’t have much experience with e-commerce and they want a solution where they can cut and paste HTML into their website to post payments to our secure form. Since most shopping carts have other payment gateways integrated and merchants don’t need to worry about the integration, PayFlow Link becomes irrelevant since the primary market it serves is lower-level, new merchants who can’t integrate API-based solutions.

[Massimo’s note: Back in the old days when SSL certificates cost hundreds of dollars a year, a payment system like Payflow Link was a popular option as you would send customers to a secure page, outside of your Web site, and didn’t have to buy an SSL certificate. But… it’s 2007 and the cost of SSL certs has come down dramatically, so having your own SSL certificate should be a no-brainer if you are serious about running a professional ecommerce store.]

WP e-Commerce Plugin on

A new video on how to customize your WordPress e-Commerce site has been launched on the WordPress.TV website and rumor has it many more are on the way.

View Tutorial

eBay and Amazon directors to speak at Catalyst UK

“Hitting high growth on the world’s online marketplace” will be the topic for Mark Lewis, eBay UK MD, when he speaks at ChannelAdvisor Catalyst next month. Unsurprisingly the eBay session where Mark spoke last year was one of the most well attended sessions, and one at which he announced free gallery and the move towards lower cost insertion fees. I’d expect it to be equally well attended this year, eBay haven’t made any platform or pricing changes so far in 2009 but if there are any in the pipeline I’d expect to Mark give a preview.

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Geek Credits: Web Currencies vs. Local Currencies