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eCommerce and Atahualpa


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  #1  
Old Dec 12, 2009, 11:31 AM
jack96161's Avatar
jack96161
 
66 posts · May 2009
There seems to be a growing interest in integrating an eCommerce function in Atahualpa based sites...

At the risk of opening up this forum to discussion of non-Atahualpa related issues, I'd like to see some feedback on:

1. What, if any, eCommerce plugins have been found to work in Atahualpa and...
2. Any Atahualpha specific workarounds that might have been found useful.

In my own experience, I've implemented a Zen Cart site before, but besides being a very complex package, any 'integration' or even association with the main Atahualpha site is a thankless task. This seems to be the case for every external eCommerce package I've looked at. Prestashop looks like it might be easier to re-skin to look like the main site, but I'd really prefer a fully integrated solution.

As already mentioned here - the less said about the wp-commerce plugin the better -- a monumental waste of time and effort.

I've purchased a copy of Shopp, and it looks like it might provide the best option - a reasonable feature set for any small to medium online operations, and so far no apparent conflicts with Atahualpa or any of the other plugins I rely on.

Anyone else with opinions and/or experience to share? -- for the sake of Flynn and others here, directly related to Atahualpa please...

Jack
  #2  
Old Dec 13, 2009, 09:38 AM
Shepherd Jim's Avatar
Shepherd Jim
 
301 posts · Feb 2009
Bristol, midcoast Maine USA
I just wanted to add my VOTE to the idea of establishing an ongoing eCommerce discussion here in the BFA Atahualpa Forum.

Like you, Jack, I've sort of arrived at the Shopp plugin as being the best horse to get on at this point. My previous eCommerce experience is more limited: offline we've had an old-fashioned merchant account through our local brick & mortar bank. Online we've historically asked our customers to phone us with their credit card information. Our current site Hatchtown Farm goes as far as having a PayPal "Buy Now" button in a text widget in the right sidebar. I have secured an SSL certificate (a Shopp requirement) from GoDaddy, but we're not ready yet to un-veil a catalog and cart.

I do run ShepherdJim.com as my test site. I've just gotten to the stage where, following Shopp's fairly friendly documentation, I've installed a set of Shopp's php templates in a "/Shopp/" sub-directory inside of the "/themes/atahualpa344/" directory. These templates can be modified and will survive upgrade downloads of Shopp. I'm guessing that when Atahualpa is updated I'll have to copy the whole "/Shopp/" directory to the new Atahualpa installation.

BTW: If you want to put Shopp through its paces, it's safe to put stuff in the cart at ShepherdJim.com and then "proceed to checkout". You can provide fake name, address, etc ...thought you might want to submit a real email address so you can see what the plugin sends out confirming your "purchase". Note: You will have to provide something close to a real credit card number. Shopp does some "checking" to see if the account number is "real" -- I tried to use "1234123412341234" and it immediately told me it was "invalid".

Like Jack, I'm hoping a few Ata lurkers will come forward to discuss and share their eCommerce experiences.

Jim
  #3  
Old Dec 13, 2009, 09:58 AM
Liston's Avatar
Liston
 
26 posts · Oct 2009
Scotland
Hi All,

An update. After some time of trying to work with ecommerce solution on WP, I deceided to look further afield. Unfortunately WP does not have a decent OS commerce solution

Ecwid is pretty but just doesnt have the feature set in place yet. Very useful for a small sized online business though.

For my main business website (the others will remain with WP) I am now going to be using Drupal and Ubercart. Ubercart so far seems to be working a treat, and is a lot more useful that any of than WP ecommerce which seemed riddled with bugs.

Keep checking back to ukbarbell.com (still on WP) to see the progress of the site. A little test can be seen at anotherworldscuba.com

Perhaps after Themeframe, Flynn could work on a competant ecommerce solution for WP?

John
  #4  
Old Dec 13, 2009, 01:52 PM
jack96161's Avatar
jack96161
 
66 posts · May 2009
Glad to see some interest in eCommerce with Atahualpa. People's requirements for an eCommerce solution run the gamut - from a simple PayPal button to a complete major business system with inventory, reports, etc. BTW, I hope Flynn continues using his talents developing these wonderful web building tools - eCommerce systems are another world entirely and are best built by business experts who can specialize around their talents.

What I'd really like to see is some workable system that is an add-on to a Wordpress site, not a separate, online sales-only solution. One of the major attractions of Wordpress is the rich set of plugins to chose from, but... not all plugins play well together and not all play well with certain template systems. Atahualpa has done a better job of this than many others I've used, but too many plugins assume they're the only one installed, and tend to step on others that act the same way. Flynn has done a super job easing some of these problems, but he can't accommodate every plugin writer.

I'm hoping that users here will report their success, problems, work-arounds, etc. that relate to implementing eCommerce within an Atahualpa site. To start with, are there any Atahualpa sites currently using an eCommerce system that we can see and evaluate?

Thanks, Jack
  #5  
Old Dec 15, 2009, 11:13 PM
waded1
 
5 posts · Nov 2009
Washington, USA
I'd like to also chime in on this subject. I am in the process of completing the basic layout of my site. Next on the list is e-commerce.

I have created several sites using other themes but have been very impressed with the Atahualpa theme. I currently have an online store running for our company. It is a dedicated online store through Network solutions.

The new site I am working on isn't geared for a dedicated online store but blending in e-commerce to my existing pages would be great.
  #6  
Old Jan 13, 2010, 01:51 PM
rickheck
 
139 posts · Oct 2009
I used WP eCommerce to build this site: http://www.leanns-design.com , using Atahualpa as the theme.

I had no problems integrating the Atahualpa theme with WP eCommerce.

There is limited support on their forums, which slowed me down a bit. But once I got used to the settings there, I was able to implement the store for my client.

...Rick...
  #7  
Old Jan 13, 2010, 07:04 PM
jack96161's Avatar
jack96161
 
66 posts · May 2009
I'm impressed - yours is one of the only positive remarks I've heard from a real wp-commerce user. No bug, no crashes? Amazing. I haven't looked at it for more than a year but my experience was complete disaster. One question: what version of wp-commerce did you use and what extras did you actually have to pay for?

Jack
  #8  
Old Jan 13, 2010, 07:17 PM
rickheck
 
139 posts · Oct 2009
No crashes. Minor bug of a the regular price not showing up on an sale item (only the sale price was shown). Was easy to fix.

I built that site Oct/Nov 2009, so used the current version (whatever it was then). Got one of the optional modules to allow grid display of items.

It's not a high-volume site, but the client likes it. (For a high-volume site, I'd do Zen-Cart.) I have a *very basic* version of both on my http://cellarweb.com site.

I looked at several WordPress-based e-commerce sites, and WP e-commerce seemed the best for a low-volume site. The cost was minimal, support was OK. But the resultant site worked well for my client.

...Rick...
  #9  
Old Jan 20, 2010, 12:10 PM
newbonic
 
20 posts · Dec 2009
Yorkshire, UK
That's a nice jewellery site mate.

Unfortunately, like others here I've had a real struggle getting the Instinct WP e-commerce plugin to work properly. I'm on the verge of giving up trying, writing off the money spent thus far, and moving all of my efforts to SHOPP TBH.

Possibly, one of the reasons why I've encountered so many problems is that I have to make it possible to order & dispatch to the UK, EU, US, Canada, Oz etc. (yours is US only I believe). And I want to get Google Checkout to work.

WP e-commerce seems to be riddled with bugs, the support is indifferent to abysmal (even for the paid for Gold Cart) and the on-line documentation is chaotic.

Still, it's been an education and learning experience for me!
  #10  
Old Jan 20, 2010, 12:19 PM
rickheck
 
139 posts · Oct 2009
I'd agree that WP-ecommerce support (and docs) are not the best. And the add-in is probably only best for small sites.

I haven't had an opportunity to try to build an international ecommerce site. But I am not sure that a WP add-in is a good choice for anything other than a small low-volume site.

You might want to look into a ColdFusion-based solution. One I have followed (but not used is CFWebstore (www.cfwebstore.com). I've been following their support mailing list, and there seem to be many satisified international users. The product is very robust, and the support is excellent (the developer is very involved in the support forum).

You would need a ColdFusion host, which costs a bit more than a basic host, but there are hosts that will support ColdFusion.

It might be a good alternative for you. I'd recommend checking it out.

Good luck...keep in touch.

...Rick...
  #11  
Old Jan 27, 2010, 04:33 PM
jonasgrumby
 
19 posts · Aug 2009
I've got three sites running eshop w/ no problems. One is using Atahualpa.

The issues I'm interested in are:
  • How to make the post thumbnails clickable in search results and multi-post archive (category, tag, etc.) pages (this may be a native WP thing and not a theme-related issue, but I don't know)
  • How to get Atahualpa to show full posts in multi-post archive pages instead of excerpts (so that my Add To Cart buttons will show on those pages).

Some of the reasons I chose eShop are that it creates SEO-friendly links, it's easy to set up (including configurable shipping rates), accepts multiple forms of payment, and the support in their forum is superb. I think Atahualpa is a great theme because it is highly configurable without having to hack the scripts, but the flip side is that sometimes it's tougher to make it do the things you want it to do because the option you want may not be available in the admin.

Thanks for any ideas you may have about my questions.

BTW if you don't want the post date and all of that other stuff showing in the footer area, just replace the style info in the Style POSTS & PAGES > FOOTER Box with:

visibility: hidden;
  #12  
Old Jan 27, 2010, 04:45 PM
jonasgrumby
 
19 posts · Aug 2009
Rick you are right. All of the WP ecomm plugins are best suited for sites that have a relatively small number of products, largely because you can't import or upload product & category data. You have to enter them one at a time via the web, which can be comparatively slow. There are also a limited number of payment options that can be used, and AFAIK none of the page/post based ones offer a way to have Add To Cart buttons on the multi-post pages (although Rich at eShop showed me how to make eshop do that today). The ones that are not page/post based (like WP Ecommerce) are usually not as good for SEO, and may require a separate search box on the site to search the product data. At one point I tested every WP ecomm plugin I could find and I chose eShop.
  #13  
Old Jan 27, 2010, 11:31 PM
rickheck
 
139 posts · Oct 2009
Another option for a more-robust site would be ZenCart. It has some good secure features, and a pretty active support forum.

There's a bit of a learning curve, especially if you want to make significant changes to the 'look'.

But it does let you import some of the data to reduce setup time. And it does seem to have security in mind, and is PCI compliant (last time I looked).

Worth a look.
  #14  
Old Jan 27, 2010, 11:47 PM
jonasgrumby
 
19 posts · Aug 2009
I've used Miva Merchant to set up sites with 8,000 to 10,000 products and I still think it's a fantastic ecommerce platform, especially the last open-source version. Unfortunately you need to have a host that runs their database engine and that usually costs at least $35/month for shared hosting. For a bigger business that's pennies though.
  #15  
Old Jan 28, 2010, 07:19 AM
newbonic
 
20 posts · Dec 2009
Yorkshire, UK
Jonas - are there any costs associated with the eShop plugin? And do you have a sample site we can look at to see it in action?

I'm trying to get Google Checkout to work with wp e-commerce - but it's buggy as buggy can be, and can I heck as like get it functioning! The site I'm working on only has a few dozen products, so I'm prepared to ditch the Instinct product and move onto something that works if that's what it takes to get the job done.
  #16  
Old Jan 28, 2010, 07:32 AM
newbonic
 
20 posts · Dec 2009
Yorkshire, UK
Ah, just had a look at the eshop support forum and it says:

eshop & google checkout announcement
Having spent the last few days looking into all the various options for this I have decided that to integrate in a similar way to paypal is not possible. To achieve the same results a SSL certificate would be a requirement, which is not what eShop is for. eShop is a *low cost* option. If you are purchasing an SSL then you should be thinking of going for a full blown shopping cart such as Trading Eye.
.....etc


So the search continues!
  #17  
Old Jan 28, 2010, 02:25 PM
jonasgrumby
 
19 posts · Aug 2009
Hi newbonic. There is no direct cost to using eShop but like the message says it is very hard to make Google checkout work with any Wordpress plugin because WP does not natively support SSL and Google checkout requires that your pages are secure. What all of the WP plugins do is to hand off the non-sensitive information to a third party that securely collects the sensitive (i.e. payment) info. Sounds like you need a full ecommerce platform rather than trying to make a blog act like one. Like the eShop comment says, these WP plugins are meant to be low-cost alternatives. The fact that you don't have to buy a SSL certificate every year is one of the costs that you save.

The answer may be as simple as installing a SSL cert and hacking the plugin to make all links to the checkout pages https:// rather than http:// but that is just a guess. All three of the eshop sites I have put up have used (or will use) Paypal.

http://bonesnstones.net
http://oldcarnetwork.com (currently in test mode)
http://alliesnaturalvending.com (under development w/ Atahualpa and in test mode)
  #18  
Old Jan 29, 2010, 05:44 AM
newbonic
 
20 posts · Dec 2009
Yorkshire, UK
I'm happy to accept that google checkout (GC) is difficult to implement in blog oriented software. But my beef with the instinct wp-ecommerce plugin is that their published specs and publicity say that one of the payment processing options is GC.

If they'd have just held their hands up and said GC doesn't yet work, then I would have not paid $40 for their gold cart, and chosen a different solution. I notice that the Shopp pluging supports GC, so presumably it's doable.

So kudos to eshop, but judging by the posts on their forums, Instinct are alienating a lot of existing wp-ecommerce customers, and no doubt putting off a lot of potential customers. Which is a shame as it has the potential to be a useful product.
  #19  
Old Jan 29, 2010, 11:06 AM
jonasgrumby
 
19 posts · Aug 2009
If you look at the eShop suport forum you'll see that Rich & Esmi (the plugin authors) answer almost every question themselves. Once in a rare while a user helps out and answers a question. The two biggest complaints about WP-Ecommerce (IMO) are lack of support and the fact that it doen't natively create SEO-friendly links. There's also the beef about how you have to have a separate search box on the site because the product data is not stored in the native WP tables. I tested WP-Ecommerce and decided not to use it.
  #20  
Old Feb 2, 2010, 11:22 AM
newbonic
 
20 posts · Dec 2009
Yorkshire, UK
Just thought I'd add that I today got google checkout to work straight away with shopp (took about 30 mins to set up), with the same settings that didn't work with wp e-commerce.
  #21  
Old Feb 3, 2010, 03:31 PM
victorm
 
11 posts · Feb 2010
I took a different approach - iframe and zencart integrated, until a solution I can trust becomes available.
  #22  
Old Feb 5, 2010, 08:41 AM
tobywinn
 
15 posts · Jun 2009
Good to hear others opinions and thoughts.

I have built my first ecommerce site using the wp-ecommerce plug in and actually found it quite easy. The documentation is fairly rubbish so I bought the Bible which explains it all.

Its exciting when the sales start coming in - if you have stuff to sell get on and build a site and watch the 's come in!

The main downside is PayPal - quite a few people cant remember their logins or struggle with it then quit and go and buy somewhere else but its easy and cheap.

http://www.amberpumpkin.com

Good luck

Toby
  #23  
Old Feb 6, 2010, 12:50 PM
krystyna
 
121 posts · Apr 2009
I'd be curious to know if anyone has tried Atahualpa with Magento, since Magento does have an extension that ties WP to it. The main issue I see here is that Magento's theme takes precedence, so one would have to jump through a lot of hoops to make the theme look consistent from one platform to another.
  #24  
Old Feb 6, 2010, 08:06 PM
joan
 
50 posts · Sep 2009
Brisbane, Qld, Aust
I would also be interested if anyone has Magento working with Atahualpa. I have been around the world with shop plugins. eCommerce is slow and complicated from the backend. eShop does not give the number of option dimensions that I need (x 3) to represent prices on a tour itinerary, eg:
Winter
Date Single Twin
1/12 100 80
2/12 100 80
3/12 100 80
Summer
Date Single Twin
1/6 200 160
2/6 200 160
3/6 200 160

Wonderful & 'Simple Paypal Shopping Cart' gives me the flexibility to add a button to each line above, and driven from the a database table that I created. It also lets you have negative values for specials... However, when I add more fields to collect extra customer information (eg passport number), I cannot get it to write to a table. See http://travelhorizonstyle.com.au/days/1-day/golf/ ... When an item is added to the cart and the checkout page displays, fill in the input boxes and press [Next] & I get errors. If anyone has any suggestions to fix this error I would be eternally grateful.
  #25  
Old Feb 9, 2010, 04:47 AM
sweeper240
 
71 posts · Jun 2009
Santa Monica, CA
Send a message via Skype™ to sweeper240
Looking for a ecommerce plugin that will allow me to keep track of quantities of items left.

Generally speaking product is a service, that would occur on number of different days during the month. On each specific day there are only 20 seats available.

Is there a shoping cart that has a calendar and then can dynamically keep track of seats purchased for a specific day?

Thanks,

Paul

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