Some of the criticisms of WordPress, when compared to other purchase based platforms is the lack of in-built functionality on the platform to handle payments.
Shopify, for example has store/cart functionality built in, and accepting payments really is a breeze.
Woo commerce is arguably the king of processing payments in the WordPress platform powering 28% of all online stores on the web. Woo Commerce is a powerful and customizable platform, but can often be complex to setup, needing custom integrations. There’s also a cost involved in accepting payments with WooCommerce (USD 129 per year).
For those WordPress websites that need to process simple, or occasional payments, such as selling ebooks or occasional services, WooCommerce may be an over-kill. At Evolocity, we recently faced this situation, and began searching for a simpler (and cheaper!) alternative WordPress shopping cart.
In this blog, I’ll provide an overview of how to setup a simple WordPress shopping cart and accept payments in your WordPress site in 15 minutes!
For this exercise, I used (and recommend) the WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart Plug-In. This is a simple WordPress shopping cart plugin, that allows your site to accept payments and credit card transactions via PayPal.
The shopping cart plugin provides a simple shopping cart functionality to sell products or services to your customers. The beauty is that it lets you add the shopping cart anywhere in a WordPress post or page. Even via a widget in the sidebar, footer etc.
Setting up a Shopping Cart on your site
To find the plugin, login to your WordPress admin console, go to plugins, click “Add new” and search for: WordPress Simple PayPal Shopping Cart
Install the plugin, then activate it.
Next, go to settings:
Click “WP Shopping Cart”, where you will be presented with the following screen:
The only fields I typically change, are:
- Currency (and Currency symbol)
- Shipping cost
- Return URL – This is the page the customer will be redirected to after a successful payment. Similar to a “Thank You” page. It’s useful for analytics and for any conversion ads you may want to run.
Next, click on the “Email Settings” tab and customise the email body and email accounts as required.
Now that you’ve installed and configured the plugin, it’s time to setup the e-commerce facility on your website
How to use the plugin
The first step is to go to an existing WordPress page or post where you’d like to add a shopping option, such as add to cart and checkout option.
The next step is to add some text. Here, you’ll want to list the product or service you are selling, as well as the price:
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To add an “Add to Cart button” after the text, use the following code:
[ wp_cart_button name=”Best SEO Guide” price=”14.95″ ]
You can call the wp_cart_button anything you like, and update the price field.
The end result is:
The colour/type of the button can also be changed. you can find more buttons/graphics here.
The following line of code displays the shopping cart (after an item has been added to cart).
Here is the result after adding the Shopping Cart code (after adding the product to cart)
Once the customer has clicked the “Check out with PayPal” button, they’re directed to PayPal to complete the payment processing:
That’s all there is to it!
In conclusion, I find the WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart Plug-In surprisingly powerful, offering customised emails, grouped shipping options, currency support and customised post checkout pages. You won’t however find much more complicated options, such as affiliate/referral handling or the options to handle payments your way.
All payments are handled by PayPal, which provides you the safety, without the exorbitant handling fees. Please note that PayPal takes around 3% commission of the sales price (depending on the location/sale price), so you’ll need to factor that in.
If you’re looking for a simple payment processing option for WordPress, the WordPress Simple Paypal Shopping Cart PlugIn is an excellent choice.
It’s simple and quick to setup and does the job without complex configuration. Also, If you’re anything like me and don’t feel comfortable handling payments yourself, PayPal is an excellent choice.