I Am Still Not Convinced With Using WordPress eCommerce Plugins
I wrote a post comparing Using A Blog Vs. Using An eCommerce Website, which discusses the differences between a blog and an eCommerce system. Then over the last few weeks I've been writing reviews looking at the different eCommerce plugins available for WordPress. If you want to see the various reviews, read the articles section under eBlog Reviews. What I am exploring today are the different options available to integrate a blog into an existing eCommerce system. If you have read all of my reviews about the different eCommerce plugins for WordPress, you will see that I am still not completely convinced. WordPress for blogging is a fantastic system and is more than capable of handling large volumes of data. Though, once you add on an eCommerce plugin it does not have the same functionality in comparison to an eCommerce system, which are more robust to handle large consumer transactions. Now, the big challenge is, most eCommerce systems do not have a blog interface built-in, which raises the question of how to integrate an eCommerce system with a blog?
Why Have An eCommerce System Integrated With A WordPress Blog?
Over the years, web users have found blogs to be more compelling to look at than just shopping sites. Most blogs have written reviews and information relating to a product or service, allowing any web user to do their research before making a purchase. Imagine that you were looking to buy the latest iPhone and you wanted to look at some reviews and read other people's opinions before spending your money. If you typed "iPhone review" in Google, the first site that appears is usually a review site such as Cnet or Smart Company, which all run a blogging application such as WordPress. These review sites usually only provide a review and opinions, but don't have a link saying where to buy. This is where having an eCommerce system integrated with a WordPress blog can benefit your Internet business. Instead of the customer going to other websites to read reviews and opinions about the product (by that time they may have forgotten your website), you can have your own reviews and comments linked to your products. This encourages the customer to stay on your website and helps them save time looking for other places for reviews and opinions.
Additionally, the benefit of having a WordPress blog integrated with your eCommerce system, is that it helps to increase your search engine rankings. With higher search engines rankings, your Internet business will be found much quicker and also help with becoming an authoritative site.
How To Integrate An eCommerce System With A WordPress Blog?
Luckily for us, most eCommerce systems have a special add-on package which has been developed by experienced programmers. At this point, I would recommend you hire a web developer to install or modify an eCommerce system because it will can save time for you to focus on other important business tasks. Though I will explain to you how it generally works with some systems I have test:
Magento: This is a relatively new eCommerce system that is taking the eCommerce Open Source market by storm. It's very user friendly and is very powerful, just like how WordPress has been very successful for many Internet businesses. Magento has an add-on extension called Lazzymonks WordPress Integration 2.61, which allows WordPress to be integrated with their system. You can easily access WordPress from Magento's administration as well and would save you the hassle of logging out of Magento and logging into WordPress.
OsCommerce: This system has been around since March 2000, which shows a long history of eCommerce development for them. OsCommerce also has an add-on which is quite easy to install – the WordPress Integration. Unfortunately this add-on does require you to log onto WordPress separately. Once you have installed WordPress with OsCommerce you will be able to still post your articles as normal and all the posts will be integrated into the OsCommerce theme you choose.
ZenCart: This is the system I have been using for many years for many of my clients and own eCommerce shops. It is easy to set up the WordPress On Zencart add-on with a few installation files to upload. Though, I found it wasn't matching the style of the shopfront at first with this basic add-on. I did hired a programmer to modify some files which generated a good result in the end.
With many Internet businesses seeing the growth of web users searching on blogs and search engines today, it would be unfortunate to see you lose sales because you did not have a blog integrated with your eCommerce shop. There are great benefits with having both these systems integrated into your Internet business and someday eCommerce with integrated blogs will be the new community called e-Blogging.