How To Create And Add A Shopping Cart To A Site


 How To Create And Add A Shopping Cart To A Site

When you're selling products on your website, or buying directly from a site owner (for example, on Etsy), there are many things to consider. You have to think about how easy it is for people to browse the site, what payment options may be available, and whether you want to display items in a grid or list format. In this article, I'll go over the basics of how to create a shopping cart on your site so that users can purchase products easily. For example, when my wife and I were recently searching for a birthday present for our son, we went to Amazon's website and used their convenient list/grid view option with one-click purchase options (see above). When we found what we were looking for, all I had to do was check out and place the order. The shopping experience is so seamless that it makes online shopping an incredibly attractive alternative to heading into a store.

Choosing A Shopping Cart Solution
The first thing you need to decide is whether to go with a hosted shopping cart solution or a stand-alone one that runs on your site. Hosted shopping carts generally have many more features and are easy to set up, but they also tend to be expensive (and many don't allow you to customize the appearance of your site). On the other hand, if you're sticking with a free theme, there's no problem using a stand-alone feature like Shopify or's WooCommerce store plugin. If you want even more customization, there are some dedicated shopping cart plugins that offer you control over everything from product pricing to shipping options (see below). It's really a matter of how much control you want over the appearance and features of your cart, and what you're willing to pay for it.
You'll also need to decide whether you want to integrate social media platforms so that users can share and promote products on Facebook or Twitter. Some shopping cart plugins offer this feature by default, while others charge extra for it as an add-on option or enterprise package. Ultimately, depending on the number of products and amount of customization required, a dedicated shopping cart plugin can cost anywhere from $50-$1,500+.
If you have a WordPress site or blog that's mainly focused on content (like this one), a hosted shopping cart solution may be your best bet. It's straightforward to set up and manage, and you don't need to worry about installing any software or updates on your site. You can also integrate social media sharing or review features into the shopping cart (or buy stand-alone plugins for these features). Stand-alone shopping cart software limits customization options, but that's okay if you're just looking for a quick solution.
Finding A Shopping Cart Solution
The easiest way to find a shopping cart plugin is by searching Google for " shopping cart plugin ". There are thousands of results. You can also look at several plugins ranked at the top of Google search results. There are plenty of other plugin directories with similar results. Another option is to search for " shopping cart plugin " on Facebook and Twitter. For example, I recently found a plugin that let me add a WooCommerce store on my blog with just two clicks.
Finding A Stand-alone Shopping Cart
If you want to go the stand-alone route, you have four options:'s WooCommerce , Shopify Plus , PrestaShop , or Magento . None of these three heavyweights have as much customization flexibility as custom built shopping carts like Xcart, osCommerce, or ZenCart . These are stand-alone shopping carts that can be installed on your site and customized to look exactly the way you want. Even better, they work with almost any theme.
The advantage of using a stand-alone shopping cart is that it you'll be able to make it as simple or complex as you want, and you will have access to numerous plugins that help customize your cart. There are also many third-party apps that let you add items directly from your Facebook page and buy products from Twitter or Tumblr. But unless you have a very large site, I don't recommend going down this path for the average user (especially if you're using a free theme).
Shopify Plus vs. PrestaShop vs. WooCommerce - Which Is Right For You
//Updated for 2016//
If you're trying to decide between Shopify Plus, PrestaShop, or WooCommerce, here's a quick breakdown of each solution:
WooCommerce : If you've never heard of WooCommerce, it's the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress and allows you to add an online store to your site in no time. It has over 2 million active installations . On the downside, its out-of-the-box functionality is limited , and it can't be used with other CMS platforms.
Shopify Plus: Shopify Plus is a hosted shopping cart solution that doesn't require any additional software to be installed on your site. It's easy to set up and doesn't require any coding knowledge . It also has more social media features than WooCommerce. The downside is that store owners have to pay additional fees for the amount of traffic they get.
Shopify: Shopify is a hosted shopping cart solution with more features than its entry level version, but it requires tech-savvy users . There are also many add-on apps that can help you customize the appearance of your store and integrate it with social media platforms.
PrestaShop: PrestaShop is a hosted shopping cart solution that's easy to set up, but it requires some technical know-how . It also has many plugins available that help you customize the appearance of your store and integrate it with social media platforms.
Xcart: Xcart is a fully customizable shopping cart that can be set up on almost any WordPress or Drupal site. It has an active community of users who regularly contribute new features and fixes, so if you have a lot of customization options to choose from, this could be the best option.
If you're starting out with your own site or site redesign, then Shopify Plus should be your first choice. It's easy to set up, and you won't need to worry about any additional costs for your business' growth. If you plan on hosting multiple ecommerce stores, or already have a highly customized store with dozens of products and thousands of customers, then Xcart could be the best option for you.
I don't recommend PrestaShop if you're a new user. There are many other options that offer greater flexibility without requiring as much technical know-how.
Other Shopping Cart Plugins For WordPress
Shopping Cart Plugins From Facebook Groups
Various Facebook groups contain active discussions about shopping cart plugins .

So what's the best way to go about ecommerce on your WordPress site? The short answer is that anything that gets the job done and doesn't break the bank is a good choice.
Below are some shopping cart plugins I recommend using:
WooCommerce : If you're an experienced WordPress user who wants to add a simple online store quickly and easily, this plugin will definitely do the trick. It's also one of the most popular shopping cart plugins for web-based applications . Its' flexible enough to be used as a stand-alone cart and/or integrated into other products like eBay or Amazon.
Shopify Plus: This is my top pick for new users.

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