Most of you know that I’m rediscovering my inner artist, and I thought it would be fun to put some of my pieces up for sale, as a motivation to keep getting better and better and learn more. I’ve used Etsy and a free trial of shopify. Both have their advantages – etsy has a massive yet strong community of artists and shopify allows customizable store fronts and easy(ish) transactions. However, my crocheted scarves and sets were too buried in with all of the other crocheters and I don’t have enough real-life connections to make paying .20 per item for etsy or $24 a month for shopify worth it right now as I’m still brushing up on my mad skills. So I spent yesterday (I like to get as much out of my domain as I can 😉 ) installing wordpress on a subdomain and finding and installing a (decent) e-commerce plugin to host my own shop.
I worked almost as long as my husband doing roughly the same thing (except, he gets paid for it). I underestimated how much time it takes to find the right plugin and after that, get it set up so it actually looks right with the theme and make sure it’s all working (404 errors aren’t very fun) and add a few tweaks to the navigation. Needless to say, it took me about 5 hours (more if you count actually having to move all the products over from shopify) to get it all nice and working with a theme that works with it (tried to use this one, it just looked sad).
And then, I was done! I successfully installed and hosted my own shop! yay!
So if anyone else is thinking of doing the same here are some tips:
- I used the WP-ecommerce plugin. It’s not the best, but it worked better than the other ones that I tried. Ecwid was confusing and Zingiri didn’t work right for me, though they looked promising, just didn’t look like I wanted them too.
- Make sure you have time to spare – It took me 5 consecutive hours and I’d installed wp the night before…and then I had to move everything over on top of that.
- Whatever you do, don’t mess with the picture size, or the other themes, just keep it at default. It would have saved me a lot of “why is it not working?!” moments.
- I’m using Crafty Cart, since it was built to work nicely with the widget but there are some other nice themes that work too – Eco and WP-Creativix were some other ones that I liked (but if you search for “shop”, “ecommerce”, or “flexible width” you’ll find some other nice ones too).
- You can only upload one picture/thumbnail in the free version of WP-ecommerce, otherwise you’ll have to pay/upgrade.