I have been working on a large project for the past couple of months. It is a custom WordPress site for a client, which includes a store. I have never used WordPress for an ecommerce site. The closest I have come is to create a WordPress site and an ecommerce site with matching themes, so that the end user would have the experience of a single site. This solution is not ideal because the site administrator would have to do store administration separately.
I had been experimenting with various beta and RC versions of WP e-Commerce (WPeC) from time to time. When I began working on my project, there was a relatively working version of the plugin available. After paying $25 for a single site license for the “Gold Cart” files, my nightmare began. The Gold Cart adds multiple image upload, a product search option, and some additional payment gateways including authorize.net.
The first challenge was customization. Making (what should have been) the simple change of showing the product images on the right instead of on the left of the product description involved some pretty insane CSS. And then some more for IE7. And more for IE6. Luckily, I find a CSS challenge to be a fun learning experience.
There were a few bugs at first, but nothing that seemed like it couldn’t be fixed. It is here where I would like to mention Shayne from S-Tastic Designs. Anyone who has had the frustrating experience of working with WPeC has probably gotten help at some point or other from Shayne. He is not one of the developers, but I think he may be a top reason why people do not run screaming from this plugin. That, and the fact that there are were no alternative ecommerce solutions for WordPress that offer as many features and payment gateway options. WPeC seems to get buggier with each new release.
Enter Shopp, a brand new ecommerce plugin for WordPress. So new that it was just realeased earlier today! Shopp costs $55 for a single site license. Payment gateways other than PayPal Express and Google Checkout require an additional $25 module.
I have been beta testing Shopp for a while and have been impressed from the very beginning. The developer, Jonathan Davis, has been amazingly supportive of the beta testers. He has been available through various means of communication every day and always answers questions in the forums. If you have ever had the experience of trying to get help through the WPeC forums, you will know the joy and satisfaction that this kind of support can bring.
So, on to the comparison! Versions tested are current as of today. Shopp v 1.0 with Authorize.net module and WP e-Commerce v 3.6.9 with Gold Cart addon.
As mentioned above, Shopp wins. No contest.
Display Options – Shopp offers a choice of list view or grid view for store pages right out of the box. The customer has the option to change the view. It took under a minute to make the same display change that I made in WPeC.
WPeC has a module called Grid View available for an additional $15. I did not purchase the Grid View module, so can not compare. List view was similar in both plugins: product thumbnails and descriptions. Product links in WPeC were constantly breaking. There is a link in the administration settings to ‘Fix Product Group Permalinks’. Why can’t they fix themselves?
Both plugins offer the option for downloadable products. These are handled very nicely in Shopp. After purchasing the download, the client is sent to an order completion page that includes a link to the download. They also receive a nice looking email with order details and download link.
WPeC’s implementation of downloadable products was so buggy that I am not even sure I can describe what it is supposed to do. Different versions of the plugin contained different bugs, including no download link in the emails received by the client. One place where WPeC wins over Shopp is in the downloadable product administration interface. WPeC incudes a list of available downloads to choose from, while Shopp wants the product path.
The product upload feature did not work for me in WPeC due to the large file size of the products. I did not test this feature in Shopp because the files were already on the server.
Product Variations are included in both plugins, but once again Shopp’s implementation is miles above WPeC’s. Product variations are things like different colors or sizes available for a product. Shopp offered more options for per variation settings, such as different shipping fee, product weight, sale price, etc.
WPeC’s product variation interface consisted of a few blank text fields with the labels of ‘Name’ and ‘Variation Values’.
Promotion handling such as coupon codes and other types of discounts is another place where Shopp shines. WPeC offers the option for coupon codes with a choice of dollars or a percentage for discounts. Start date and end date can be entered, along with additional options to use just once and to apply to all products.
Shopp’s promotion options are pretty impressive. Promotion types are dollar or percentage discounts, free shipping, and ‘Buy X Get Y Free’. Options for start date, end date, and whether the promotion should apply to the catalog or order are provided. The best feature is the conditions for the discount. They are “booleanesque” for lack of a better word and work similarly to setting rules in most common email programs. An example of this would be ‘For products where (all/any) of these conditions are met: (Name, Category, etc.) (is equal to, does not contain, etc.) CD.’
Shipping Options were similar for both plugins except that the options actually work in Shopp. Some of WPeC’s shipping options are broken and seem to break even more with each new release. I have been trying to get support for shipping problems for a while now, along with other folks having similar problems. No reply from the WPeC developers. Stores remain unusable.
I like Shopp’s administration interface better than WPeC’s. The WPeC admin interface is unusually wide. I have a 24″ monitor at 1900 x 1200 resolution, but I like my browser windows at a more manageable size.
The WPeC admin is a little clunky, but overall works pretty well. One feature I really liked is that on the Products admin screen, editable product details appear on the right when you click a product link on the left. I do realize that it is the wide interface that makes this possible. This made switching products and adding or changing details very easy. As far as the actual Product Details section goes, I found it cluttered, but usable.
The Shopp admin is much cleaner and for the most part, more intuitive. One thing I found confusing is that you need to select a product type of ‘Shipped’ for items that are not donations or downloads, even if they do not require shipping. It is easy enough to use since all you have to do is uncheck the Shipping box to make shipping options go away and remove shipping references from the cart and checkout.
Shopp wins. Do not use WPeC if you value your time and/or sanity. Up until now, WPeC has been the only game in town, but not any longer.
56 thoughts on “WordPress eCommerce Plugins: Shopp vs WP e-Commerce”
Didn’t you get a free copy of Shopp? If you did, that’s still an affiliation of sorts… or in any case should have been declared in review.
Yes, I did get a free copy. You are right. I will amend my disclaimer. Assuming all goes well, I do plan on purchasing the developer version of Shopp next time I have a similar project.
Sadly, I can hardly understand a word of that. My new blog is a wordpress one but I can’t even manage to update it to the ‘new version’ which it continuously reminds me about.
I am in awe of your talent!
Best wishes for a splendiferous New Year
Thanks Maddy. I hope you have a great new year too! Email me if you want some help with your site. I am pretty short on time now, but things should slow down some by mid-January.
Yeah, I think your right about Shopp being better. Yet, I have to use WP e-Commerce since I need Ideal (Dutch banking) payment and Shopp doesn’t have that, when it does, I’ll use it instead.
For one, i have to agree with Lori, I have used both WP and recently shopp
I was using wp-ecommerce, until i found the varations were broken, so i went and bought shopp and thank god, it works, it has a few minor quibbles and might be lacking a few things but it does everything i want it to do, so for me its perfect.
I have tested both plugins too and I don’t believe the Shopp hype. The WordPress e-Commerce plugin has way more features and I have not had any issues… it is way more industrial.
I prefer the WordPress e-Commerce Plugin or even Yak. I especially prefer the WP e-Commerce admin interface – I think that their Screen Options make it far surperior.
I am using variations on digital downloads because I sell MP3 files.
I can upload files and then associate them with variations or upload them via f t p. Essentially I use WP e-Commerce to sell different quality MP3 files of the same song for more or less depending on bit rate.
So depending on the variation my customer chooses they will be presented with a link to download the file securely. The Same link is also emailed to them for their conveniance.
– Geek Girl
Edited by LB to add spaces between the letters in ftp because wordpress was strangely turning it into this: http://ftp.
Shopp can also use variations for digital downloads, but if I was selling digital products only, i would also prefer the admin interface of wp-ecommerce over shopp. The broken shipping options in WPeC wouldn’t matter either since there is no shipping required.
I have not heard many good things about Yak. Would be curious to try it some day.
I agree with your assessment. WPeC is crap. I installed the free version 3.6.9, it seemed to work ok so I decided to purchased the gold cart and all of the modules.
So mind you this is a clean install of WP 2.7, and I go to add my freshly minted new gold cart activation code.
Excited with my purchase and ready to get started building my e-commerce site I type in my activation codes and submit.
Well that was my first mistake….
Activation of the gold cart crashed my site. To recover I renamed the plugin. I can easily reproduce the error, documented it with a support ticket and a forum plea.
Waited for a few days and still get not viable answers.Until I checked today and the forum post is marked resolved. Great, a bit presumptious to declare victory before I even try the solution, but okay lets give this solution a try. NOPE. Did not work.
This is the worst software I have ever purchased. $90 spent and I cannot even activate it to see it. The Free version is better then the for pay software. Give me a break.
No documentation, No Support. Cannot activate. Why even waste your time?
I am moving on. Learn from my mistake and save your money and try something else.
For the people who say the author is biased, she was compensated for her time for participating in the beta. Who cares, if the software can at least activate it has to be worth more than WPeC.
Or you could listen to me and use the WordPress e-Commerce Plugin.
I activated the Gold Files + MP3 modules without incident. All works fine for me.
I guess there must have been something else going on for you Mike because it works fine on my laughing squid web host.
I would still use WP e-Commerce over Shopp. I just prefer the UI and the features suit me more – and the guys seem more cool then the shopp guys.
I got personal support from the WP e-Commerce guys after about a week. But I knew it was the Chirstmas holidays so I didn’t expect immediate results.
Also there is a growing documentation project on their site. To say there is no documentation is just plain stupid… but then again you are a male and males don’t like to read 😉
I have tried WP e-Commerce and was quite impressed with the user interface but since I am looking for a plugin that integrates PayPal Website Payments Pro, I am afraid WP e-Commerce will not suit my needs. It might suit the needs of Geek Girl but I am really looking at the customers perspective.
I have a lot of e-commerce experience and have found that customers do not like to be moved off of your website, even if it’s PayPal. For my customers used to using PayPal, they will always continue to do so on my websites but for the sizable majority of my customers, the limitations imposed by only having PayPal as a payment option is to limiting.
I know from personal experience because in my businesses infancy stage, all I accepted was a PayPal Express type of shopping cart. Once I integrated PayPal Website Payments Pro to my existing shopping carts using a very nifty Dreamweaver extension called eCart my sales went through the roof! On some sites sales jumped by 75%! So, what purchasing decision will an experienced e-commerce shop owner make? The one that does not alienate any of his/her customers and will make him/her the most profit, that’s the bottom line. Yes, it will require me setting up an SSL certificate for each domain but the profits gained far out weigh the modest outlay in costs and set up time. If and when WP e-Commerce decides to include PayPal Website Payments Pro either by default or as an ad-on feature, this is one customer who says yes to Shopp but no to WP e-Commerce.
Now that I have completed a 2-Day intensive reading course at the local community college, I can safely say I can read!.
First off I want to apologize to Lori, when referring to the author I meant “she”, but could not edit my original comment after I caught the error. If you wouldn’t mind updating my comment to reflect the appropriate pronoun I would be most thankful.
Secondly, I would like to retract that there is no documentation for WP e-Commerce
There is end-user How-to documentation for WP e-commerce. With my new reading skills I read all 23 pages of it again, including every read me file twice for good measure. It was so much fun reading that I was disappointed that it ended so soon. Especially right when I was just getting to the good part, the documentation that tells us how the software is designed to work so we could all have at least a general idea of how to approach solving our technical issues.
In comparison, there is already as much or more documentation for Shopp. This is concerning due to the fact that WP e-Commerce has been available for years and Shopp was just released.
I would have expected much less support available for Shopp at this point in time.
Technical documentation targeted to developers implementing the software is what is missing for WP e-commerce.
If you are going try to make money using any Word Press plugin, it is important to know how it is designed to work. I see this as a requirement for the Wp e-commerce Gold Cart software, if I am expecting to really use this plugin to sell stuff to real customers.
So according to Geek Girl, if you only want to be cool and do not care about the supportability or the usability of your e-commerce plugin you should choose WP e-Commerce without further consideration.
You will be confident that you are cool, and your customers will totally think your cool too when they cannot buy stuff from you when or if it breaks. If you have actual business requirements some other options to consider are Magento Commerce, Shopp, and OS commerce.
E-commerce functionality is exclusively business software, therefore it is judged much more critically my business will lose money or go out of business when if it does not work.
With that said, no software is perfect and every tool has its job. Your needs and experience will vary, so pick what is best for your specific requirements.
Also consider that my experience has been limited to the latest release WP e-commerce 3.6.9, I am sure the Instinct developers will address the problems at some point. I wanted it to work, and will keep an eye on the software as they continue to make improvements.
@robert, darling. e-Commerce has nothing to do with being cool, I was merely pointing out that I did not like the guys over at shopp and prefer working with Instinct.
I think you’ll find that business is about people working with people. I’ve been doing e-Commerce for over 10 years too and I spent over 5 years of my career on mobile commerce with Vodafone. So please don’t give us “your high and mighty” talk.
The personal support I received from the WP e-Commerce team was great and I liked them. They are good guys and they are cool + professional – I say that even though I had to wait for them to come back from summer holiday.
I use authorize.net because I don’t like using PayPal Website Payments Pro. So for me that is not a reason to use Shopp.
You can read the WP e-Commerce Documentation project on their site. You click WP e-commerce. Then you click documentation project.
Stick with the winners. Serious sites should use WP e-Commerce for online business – my sales are great and my SEO is awesome.
The best thing anybody can do if they are interested in e-business is:
1.) Install the WordPress e-Commerce plugin
2.) Activate Google Base
3.) Install all-in-one SEO plugin
4.) use a light theme (like thematic)
5.) install xml sitemaps plugin
There are probably more things you can do. But that is a good place to start 🙂
Can you show us the site you use the WordPress e-Commerce Plugin on? It would be great to see someone who has it running so well.
You also have to consider that you’re only selling downloadable digital goods. Therefore, you have not had to work through the same issues as those of us who are selling physical products & need a stable plugin. If all you’re doing is selling MP3’s, then Instinct’s plugin is fine. Also, I’m sorry but Instinct’s documentation stinks. The Wiki docs is mainly being written by users who have resolved their own issues by relying on the forum contributers.
I’m sorry, but if you’re running a very large business (outside of selling digital goods online), the e-Commerce Instinct plugin is a poor choice.
I promised to report back here once I was able to provide my final activation assessment of both of Shopp and WP e-Commerce.
I paid for both plugins, $90 for WP e-commerce and $55 for Shopp. I actually found Shopp on this very blog post looking for technical information on WP e-Commerce. I do not work for or know anyone of these companies or developers, I do not dislike anyone, I only want the software I paid for to work.
Actually the truth is I really only come back for the drama of Geek Girl’s responses, she can be vicious ..wink wink.
Please note that my assessment stops at just getting the software installed and activated, I have been too busy lately to even start evaluating the full functionality of the two plugins.
So I finally found some more time and got WP e-commerce gold cart to activate without errors.
It turns out that the gold cart did not handle a null value exception coming from the payment gateway on activation. Since php was running out of memory once activated, maybe we it was causing an infinite loop. Only the developers know for sure.
Since my install was clean, I had not made any settings on the free WP e-commerce cart before upgrading. Once I went back to the free cart and activated the payment gateway the gold cart activated without issue.
The only other issue I ran into was with an incompatibility with the OIO publisher plugin.
QA and testing must be becoming difficult for the amount of functionality in WP e-commerce because if you do any amount of searching the main complaint is that the quality is getting worse as the plugin has matured and quality varies widely between releases.
Unfortunately there really is not much to say about Shopp because it activated with no issues and did not have any incompatibility with any of the plugins I use.
It is clear Shopp is playing catch up on and does not have all of the functionality available yet, so depending on how complex your e-commerce needs Shopp may not work for you today.
For now the decision boiled down to features (WP e-commerce) versus stability (Shopp).
I am just happy that their is competition in this space as both product will be better for it. Since I own both, I have nothing left to lose but time.
I’ve had a very different experience with WP-E in attempting to get my shop running from Geek Girl. In the past week I’ve found and fixed 5 bugs in the WPE code and I’m running into a few additional ones right now so I’m reconsidering using it. I am happy to see that there is now an alternative that did not exist when I started this process.
I made several attempts to contact Instinct regarding my gold-cart purchase and finally got the files I needed from Shayne. Not a good sign when outside support is better than internal. Others have had the same problem as I – evidence this thread: http://www.instinct.co.nz/forums/topic.php?id=543
Since I’ve been wading through the WPE code to fix things it’s clear that the code has been through a few twists of evolution as it’s getting a bit messy. Some parts of the code are contained in classes, while elements related to the same logic are directly manipulated in functions outside the classes. It’s not surprising that new versions are introducing new problems. There appears to be a few function naming schemes in place, presumably as the naming evolved over time.
With respect to variations, the programmers of WPE have made comments that adding some needed flexibility and defaulting would be too hard (See http://www.instinct.co.nz/forums/topic.php?id=1355)
I know there are many sites out there running with WPE. What isn’t clear is how many have had to struggle to get them to the point of functionality.
Geek Girl, to get the great service from Instinct, are you buying support tokens from them?
I think WP Ecommerce is great. I have also used Shopp and don’t hate it either. I think competition is good for growth (for all involved). There will always be faults found no matter what system you’re using (not directed at anyone, just public in general) and there will always be greener grass.
So, if you’ve found something that makes you happy, be it Shopp, or WP Ecommerce, then that’s great.
If you do need help with WP Ecommerce, the support is there, I’m not hard to find.
Thanks Xevo, Likqid Paper, Geek Girl, Mike, Robert, User54, seiryu, and shayne for the information, opinions, and stories.
I agree with Shayne that the competition is good for everyone.
WP e-Commerce would be an amazing plugin if it wasn’t so buggy. Even though some people get it running without problems, there are obviously issues with stability and functionality. Perhaps now that there is some competition, these issues will be addressed and fixed instead of people being so defensive about them.
Shopp is great right out of the box, and I expect it to keep getting better. It is really nice to work with the clean code of Shopp. For me, that gives it a huge edge, but I will try WP e-Commerce again when it is more stable.
It has been really good chatting with you over the past few weeks. I am looking forward to having you beta testing our next version.
The WordPress e-Commerce Plugin code is very solid now, especially with the shipping fixes and the WordPress 2.7 optimizations that 3.6.10 brings to the table.
Seiryu. Support is always given when it is not actually a feature request in disguise – the WordPress e-Commerce Plugin forums are the home to thousands of resolved threads.
Oh and posting links to resolved issues in our forums is just strange – I don’t even think you read those posts properly.
So. Delta Variations are on our radar now – the WP e-Commerce variations are much more logical and easy to use then any of the competing plugins.
Unlike Shayne, at this point Arbie is a volunteer moderator on our forums but he is not Instinct staff so when he talks about a new feature being difficult to build I suspect he means that it is more just a 5 minute free fix.
The wordpress.org fourms which are largely moderated by volunteers too, I would not be surprised if that is the same as the shopp forums – so I don’t get your point. Heck if you want support from Automattic… it is going to cost you $2500.00 minimum.
Lori. The linkless posts here – it does not give credibility to the quality of your posters nor does it give the posts integrity.
On that basis alone. If you want a decent plugin and you want to be part of a friendly WordPress community (that has been contributing to WordPress for over 4 years!!!) then come over to Instinct and meet the team.
My point, support is not always given on WPEC. I made a couple attempts to directly contact Instinct using the ‘contact us’ page to get a fresh copy of the gold files. I received no response. I found an UNRESOLVED topic (see first link in my post above) discussing the issue and posted on it, still no response (id = draca there). Did *you* read and understand this thread? Reading through this and other posts, it seemed that some were getting help from Shayne so I found his website and directly sent a plea to him for the gold files. (Thank you again Shayne!)
So, do I feel I was supported? NO. Was this a veiled request for a new feature? Not to me. I paid for gold files back in ’07, and for a variety of reasons, the implementation was put on hold. Revisiting in December ’08, I was unable to get a refresh copy to match the latest version of WPEC until I directly contacted Shayne outside of the Instinct website.
On the variations – yes, I understand that this is a feature request and I even found the new feature request topic and added some thoughts there. (http://www.instinct.co.nz/forums/topic.php?id=166) I’m not alone in looking at a resolved thread expecting some form of solution.
Back to the issue with support, I’ve found a couple more bugs with no response (http://www.instinct.co.nz/forums/topic.php?id=3187 and http://www.instinct.co.nz/forums/topic.php?id=3232). Granted, these are newer but it adds to my growing list of frustration. I have five separate fixes applied so far in my WPEC 3.6.9 build with several more needed to get various issues resolved so that things function well and present customers with a good experience. I’ve also posted code changes and one of the fixes (http://www.instinct.co.nz/forums/topic.php?id=2963).
Regarding variations, I have to disagree that WPEC is easiest or most logical. I’ve been building up my site now using Shopp and the interface for managing them is clean and provides the default value ability that I was looking for. The method of display is great on the end page (using the “From $x” text) and definition within the system is straightforward. In trying to fix some of the problems with WPEC (to get behavior Shop already provides) I started digging into the database definitions – Wow… there’s some convoluted table setup. In contrast, the database setup in Shopp is much cleaner. It’s clear, to me, that variations are a bolt-on in WPEC that need some work to make a clean part of the base system. In Shopp, variations are doing just what I needed.
I’ve also received great support from Jon on Shopp. I got into a chat session with him and we quickly found the problem and I had a patch from him later that day. Now that was great service!
Good talking with you too Dan. Glad to hear that improvements are coming. Would love to beta test.
I take offense at your comment about the credibility and quality of the people posting here. Not everybody has a website, and some people who do have websites do not want to give the link out to a bunch of strangers. Their posts have as much integrity as everyone else’s.
Dan, alot of us have been over to Instinct forums and then left. Whats so friendly about arbie abusing people? I think you would be better served fixing your product than spruiking it everywhere.
Since you question my credibility as a customer, I respectfully choose another vendor to do business with.
The features or stability of your product no longer is relevant. It is a shame; I was really looking forward to 3.6.10 and trying again.
Thanks Lori for this post, it has given us the information we needed most.
Wow, in the middle of having struggled through a long period of trying ti understand wp-ecommerce I now find shopp. I’ll have to give it a try with my next project as I have invested too much time and some cash into the paid for upgrades and documentation as well.
I’ve managed to get an understanding of wp-ecommerce, though a few things which assumed would be simple are just really over complicated.
I do think Instinct, who created wp-ecom are shockingly bad at communication and might do well to hire some communication help. Maybe they should hire “Shayne” who seems to keep saving their butts when people have no idea what’s going on.
Does Shopp allow for creating products using post functionality? I think that’s one of wp-ecoms main flaws, would have been better to latch onto the standard post creation interface than to have a seperate interface which functions completely seperately.
I wish I could get a trial version of shopp though, hesitant to pay for something again before putting it though it’s paces.
Since Posting the previous comment a number of developments have taken place regarding my experience with wp-ecommerce. The guys at Instinct are working on a major upgrade and introduction of more shortcodes and template tags which was one of the areas I had a problem with. They also released a few beta versions for the upcoming release for testing purposes. I’ve also learnt a thing or 2 by scratching around in the system. I’ve made contact with Dan Milward who has provided some help with some of my problems as well.
It’ll be interesting to see what the system looks like in a week or 2 when 3.7 is released. Wp-ecommerce have also been involving the community alot more and requesting feedback, beta testers and helpers to make the system alot more user friendly.
Will have to keep an eye on it.
The wp e-commerce is a great plugin,however ,it’s only a lightweight shop tool,but I’m satisfactory with it.
Still,there are some problem for me.
1.No exactly products search function.
2 . can’t upload multiply images for one kind product.
3.Can’t add comment for each product.
Anyone can give me some suggestion?
[Broken link deleted by LB]
Here is a lovely site made using the WP e-Commerce Plugin as opposed to Shopplugin.
Beautiful e-Commerce design: http://www.icondock.com
You will notice:
1) It has a modified drop shop
2) It has multiple images for one product
3) Great SEO
We are currently working with another open source WordPress project to make a really amazing comment system – when you get comments. You will “really” get comments.
Also if you want comments in the WP e-Commerce Plugin. Use the “add to cart” or “buy now” shortcode on a page or a post that has comments.
– Download the WP e-Commerce Plugin
That is a really nice site. I am a fan of N.Design Studio. For some reason couldn’t get the lock, calculator, or home icon into the cart in Safari. Worked fine in Firefox.
What happened to Geek Girl? as soon as someone asked her to produce her fabulous WP ecommerce site she disappears? I would love to not have to learn an new package, but happily welcome anything other than wp ecommerce, my experience has not been pleasant.
LOL – she probably has better things to do with her time?
I suppose for you Andy it is in your interests to discredit any e-Commerce solution since you offer your own right 😉
The WP e-Commerce Plugin will always be the leader in WordPress e-Commerce Plugins. Why?
1) The WP e-Commerce Plugin is chosen by WordPress Rock Stars – http://www.icondock.com
2) There are indeed great resources and there are many many more videos to come – http://wordpress.tv/2009/03/16/getting-set-up-with-the-wp-e-commerce-plugin-settings-and-configuration/
3) We’re releasing the next alpha build soon which comes with a better template engine then xxxxx. I say this because in our opinion we are more true to the WordPress loop… and its all designed by some real WordPress Rock Stars.
4) Unlike other people I know we have been serving the WordPress community to the best of our ability for over 6 years now – so sheesh please just give us a break eh 😛
If you know what’s good for you then you’ll use the WP e-Commerce Plugin and support the cause.
Dan, why do you always have to put people down? Why not use your powers for good? Make WP e-Commerce so great that people do not have so many reasons to complain about it.
I just read through each paragraph. I did not put anybody down – I’m sorry if it came across that way because it was not my intention.
I believe in telling the truth. And in this case I feel that people should know if Andy is offering another e-commerce solution. And I feel people should know we have been contributing towards a better WordPress community for a very long time.
Oh yeah and in terms of doing good, perhpas you’d like to know what we’ve been doing:
1) Six weeks + of development have gone into the new release of the WP e-Commerce Plugin (at least two more to go)
2) Many many many “good” man hours are going into the new video tutorials by another brilliant mind / third party friend of Instinct
3) We are in the process of helping promote WordPress in Japan through some of our recent company decisions.
4) We have commissioned a WP Wiki Plugin to the good benefit of around 1000 users
5) We have commissioned a Campaign Monitor Plugin which is about to be launched too…
Heck just about everything we do is for the benefit of others – it is part of our company creed. So I’m truly sorry (and genuinely hurt) that we can’t be everything to everyone. But we do our best and I will never stop telling my truth.
So go get the WP e-Commerce Plugin today.
I have been using wp-e-commerce for nearly a year. After researching all options, the apparent ease of setup, and WP integration made Wp-e-commerce the obvious choice. Unfortunately, my experience quickly turned into a nightmare. I really did give this plugin as much of a chance as I could.
– Support is terrible – the only way I could ever get a response was to play the “I paid for this and it is outrageous I am not getting support.” Then I would hear from Shayne. Never got a response from a developer.
– I have been apalled by the how the developers treat people who dare to crticize the plugin. It is an interesting business startegy to abuse your customers when they express dissatisfaction.
– Most importantly, the plugin is poorly coded. Many wp-e-commerce elements are loaded on every page even if it has nothing to do with the store. This creates unnecessary overhead. There are hardcoded styling elements, requiring core changes that are wiped out on upgrade. Coding is inefficient and generally sloppy. I have had to fix numerous bugs myself, and when sifting through the code, it is amazing how bloated it is.
I do believe in some cases, this plugin would work fine. There are many examples of fully functioning stores using this plugin. But there are many issues. I am working on moving to Shopp.
Sorry you feel that way Erenst but that is not every bodies experience. Look at this email:
I can’t believe I am finally saying this but Protx has been sorted!
They issued us with a new encryption password and this is now working. I can only assume that the original one was invalid for some reason.
This guy was almost ready to firebomb Instinct HQ (we’re small one stick of dynamite would probably do it) but as you can see it was not our fault 😛
WP e-Commerce rules. Sometimes people mess up and sometimes we mess up. We can’t answer everybody even if we wanted but we try. I’ll be honest with you – if somebody sends me an email and I know the answer is in the forums or in our docs I won’t answer it because I want to spend time helping people who help themselves first.
Also for instance it was easter here in NZ and I was off Plugin work for four days stuffing our ceiling with Pink Batts. I can’t help people while I’m doing that I can’t multi task that well and even though my iPhone helps I would have got in trouble had I not finished our bedroom (at the very least).
WP e-Commerce rules. The code has been overhauled and our testers love the new template engine!!! My goal for future releases is to improve the UI… its already happening though.
We love our users. And we do everything we can with the resources we have.
This blog post rules. I feel like I get to blog here myself 😉
Get the new shiny WP e-Commerce Plugin today.
Well, I tried WP e-commerce myself, bought the gold cart and the grid view…In my opinion there are tons of bugs in that plugin: I screwed up several times. Read all forums and tutorials..different shipping won’t work, the extras from the gold cart can’t be set properly..after 3 days of trying to see the thumbnails in a grid I gave up…and then I read this post and I bought Shopp. I have to say the comparison between the two plugins is really well done!!!
Go for Shopp
Hi Guys, Lori, Dan,
Just a little heads up on both of the e-commerce plugins. I’ve been using wp-ecom for a couple years now and god know I had to hack and slash my way through. I didn’t mind that since I love to learn and in the end It make me more knowledgeable in coding (I am a web designer). The template engine should have been brought up from the start in wp-ecom. In the last survey instinct sent, that’s was my main focus was. I have a few sites that would need an update of their backend but I can’t and wont do it for clients since it would be hell to redo.
I will buy the Dev license from shopp. As i feel my clients will appreciate the easy learning curve. Not that wp-com isn’t but I think in the end it will work out nicely for me. Plus all the templating, shortcodes just makes it for me.
Support is a bit slow at some times (on forums) but hey, I have shayne on skype if I ever need him. Jon seems like a great helpers as well with the online chat. But he will need some help when the shopp community will grow too great. (I am sure it will come).
I will play around with wp-ecom as well but I will wait for ver. 4 to come out. It is a well rounded plug-in/program! Shopp seems to be great as well! But like I say after 2 years, I want to try something new. Viva Polygamy! (joking:)) I will be back in 2 months to praise shopp or welcome wp-ecom back.
Btw, Dan yes your product is good but I find a little bit of harshness in your tone. Even if it’s not wanted. I think Shayne had a “nicer guy” reply to some of the people’s harshness towards a “great-plug-in-that-make-some-people-cringe-sometimes”.
See you soon with my review.
I bought Shopp, only to find it does not support Paypal website payment standard.
I could not download a trial version before purchase (or a least didn’t find it), and there is no money back after purchase.
More on this: http://forums.shopplugin.net/topic/paypal-without-the-buyer-needing-an-account#post-449%22
I wish I had heard about Shopp before I lost over a month of my life trying to set up WPecommerce. My shopping cart now works perfectly (took 2 days to get it all set up). Excellent support as well. I’m still waiting for replies from the WPec for questions asked 2 months ago!! Arg!!! If you’re reading this, do yourself a favor and look into Shopp.
Hi Gabe, We’re sorry you’re having issues, unfortunatly we don’t have the resources to help everybody especially if there are threads in the forum that we feel are duplicates and that there are already answers out there.
Many thousands don’t have the same difficulties as you. See for yourself:
Also the WP e-Commerce Book will soon be published and for sale in your bookstores soon which should make moving forward even easier still. I’m glad to contribute helpful links on this site 🙂
Just an interesting note, if you spent this much time supporting people on your own forums and not defending your product all over the web it might not suck so bad.
Does anyone know if either Shopp or WPeComm support order history? I am looking into both, but one thing I need customers to be able to pull up past orders.
Using the WP e-Commerce Plugin your customers (if they are logged in) can click on the ‘your account’ link and it will display a new page. From there they should click on Your History.
Interestingly enough with the launch of WP e-Commerce 3.7.1 a lot of Shopp users are emailing us to let us know that they going to be using WP e-Commerce Plugin instead. Woot!!!
You can do that with Shopp for sure. Haven’t used WP eCommerce in a while but I am pretty sure it also has that feature.
Oh, thanks Dan! You were faster than me 🙂
I agree with Andrew. I’ve spent days now spending time stumbling through WordPress E-commerce, I’m hardly new at any of this, and have come to realize it’s loaded with all sorts of bugs and annoyances.
When it comes to anything you pay for, there are two expectations: 1) It works out of the box. 2) It’s possible to get real support.
I haven’t seen evidence that WP-Ecommerce does either of these things well. There are some handy features in WP-Ecommerce that Shopp is missing, but it’s far too buggy.
Spend time in your own forums answering customer’s questions.
I’d definitely not be annoyed if I saw more Forum engagement instead of discovering multiple posts on here promoting a book, promoting yourself, pitching your links, defending your software, and suggesting a lack of credibility to the intelligent folks who share the same annoyances and have taken the time to post here.
You even stated above you IGNORE emails and posts from paying customers when you know an answer lies somewhere deep in your forum or docs?
Nothing shows indifference like ignoring someone whose PAID you for your product – at least point them to a link or a Chapter for crying out loud. Heck, pay someone $10 an hour to do this for you a few hours a day and you will never worry about missing Easter again.
A little attention goes a long way in business – people will feel satisfied instead of hoodwinked – isn’t that worth the minimal expense so people will want to spend more money with you???
You’ve got competition now – and I’m definitely going with Shopp. I’m more than convinced after reading this forum post.
Double shame if you respond to this before helping your paid customers.
Lori, thanks for the great post. This is exactly the info I was looking for tonight.
Hi Adam from Twitter who “works on Shopp support” its nice you could post your opinion here… I wonder what other street corners you’re peeing on – I’ll have to go post the video on those posts too.
Tripple shame on you 😉
***** news flash ****
1) WP e-Commerce does work out of the box!!
Enjoy the 4th most viewed video on wordpress.tv
2) We honestly try to cater to everybody who needs support. And woot we actually are employing a community manager (so anybody looking for 1 – 2 hours of php work per day let me know).
Done today: http://www.instinct.co.nz/forums/topic.php?id=5964
Done today: firstname.lastname@example.org personally responded to 7 emails and logged into 5 servers and fixed 5 user errors (sigh…)
Done today: I have responed to about 15 emails
Done today about 15 man hours of work on WP e-Commerce Plugin
I don’t work for Shopp support. There are many people named Adam in the world. Again with insulting the credibility of others, it makes you look ridiculous doing business and responding to others this way. GO HELP YOUR CUSTOMERS and stop being paranoid because you have competition.
5 Minutes or Less….
Any WordPress plugin installs in 5 minutes or less – so what’s the point? I could install 10 plugins in 5 minutes or less, and I usually do when I create a new site. For anyone who is investing hours or even days troubleshooting all of the shortcomings in your software, this tells them absolutely nothing except that you like to promote yourself.
Anyway, keep up the good work – one annoyed customer in your forum resolved, about 1,000 to go, unless selectively ignoring customer’s questions is still part of your business strategy. You should definitely hire someone for this.
my friend sandy use the plugin WP e-Commerce(http://www.instinct.co.nz/e-commerce/),but the paypal payment seem can’t use.
Wow this page is seeing lots of knives trowing people!
Dan must be hard accepting criticism but please be more polite. it will go both ways and a long way indeed.
Again I’m here to debate the big issue. I was here on may 19th on the verge of buying shopp dev version.
Verdict: I love it. Compared to old versions of wp-ecommerce. ( i have to admit I haven’t played with wp-e since they have templating)
I am even implicated on the shopp forum to help other peers with css and templating. (which I was doing with wp-ecommerce as well)
Good support for a new product.
Now for easeof pain they have paypal standard.
Shopp is a 5 minute process as well like anything else out there for wordpress.
Upgrade is smooth.
I can get a new design up in a couple of hours.
Sure shopp probably lack all the extra features wp-e does. But what it does it doing it well.
Shipping options, variations are good as well.
Order history, client list are all exportable with csv, excel, txt format.
Anyhow One thing to spark another debate. Does wp-e comm works in tandem with Qtranslate?
This is the only thing thats getting to me from shopp, otherwise I am an happy wp dev/des for now with Shopp.
I am yet another unsatisfied user of wp ecommerce. I’m not really that critical of the plugin itself. The features are there, and having bugs in a multi-featured ecommerce solution is understood.
What I totally dislike, however, is the support/documentation of this plugin. As we can all see from the comment thread, Dan from Instinct certainly has a reputation for being a zealous promoter of his own product. I reckon that he’ll be better of doing marketing full time, and leave the Public Relations and Customer Service to someone else.
I must admit, seeing the “flame war” in the comment thread was really interesting! First of geek gal, and then came Dan. And oh boy, did things get interesting from that point or what? 😉
Here’s my own rants about the plugin: http://pinobolino.wordpress.com/2009/09/22/wp-ecommerce-vs-magento/
Oh, and there’s no point asking me to post links of my own store for credibility sake. The plugin did not make it past the testing stage, so it doesn’t meet the requirements and qualifications of a “live” plugin.
Allow me to just say this, I have read the readme.txt that came along with the plugin. I’ve been to the documentation wiki of the plugin (http://www.instinct.co.nz/e-commerce/docs/), and I’ve visited the forums (http://www.instinct.co.nz/forums). So on my part, I’ve done my homework.
I’ll keep this short: There won’t be a need for users to “buy” documentation (http://www.wpecommercebible.com/) if the support / forum / email / FAQ is already doing a good job.
To make matters worse, the ebook is sold by a third party. My gosh, that says ALOT.
P.S. @Dan Instead of declaring war on me, win me back as a customer. Due to the nature of the plugin, some users of your plugin run businesses and commercial sites. We have specific requirements and expectations. We know what we want, and we know how to source for alternatives.
Well after reading this, a few things are abundantly clear.
1) There are a lot of WPeCommerce users that have had a lot of trouble using that plugin.
2) Dan has validated #1 in his post talking about all the people he had to help in just one day!
3) Dan appears to be a pretty thin-skinned guy.
4) Dan can’t be bothered to answer his Tweets even though he invites us all to follow him on Twitter (personal experience). I guess finding a dance party or Jazz club is more important than answering inquiries from potential clients.
So my conclusion – I have liked what I have seen of Shopp, I have NOT liked what I have read about WPeC, nor does it seem to handle what I need, at least I can’t get the answer as to whether it CAN do what I need (nevermind whether it will actually work).
THANK YOU LORI for starting this discussion. I don’t think we’ll ever know how many people will save themselves countless hours of frustration by reading your review and the comments posted since.
Whew. What a thread. This thread has caused me some heart ache for sure.
The WP e-Commerce Plugin has had its fair share of constructive criticism, some of the above points are true… some aren’t.
Whatever the case may be I want you to know that when I’m concerned, honest constructive criticism never falls on deaf ears and that it is the putting right that counts.
The latest version of WP e-Commerce is really coming along. I’m quite happy with the progress the developers have been making.
The latest WP e-Commerce 3.7.5 RC3 is available and ready for testing – I really hope you like it. This version of Plugin is generally a whole lot more industrial strength and easy to use then ever before.
A book is being written about the WP e-Commerce Plugin and WP e-Commerce was chosen to power the ticketing behind the wordcamp.org website – so it can’t be that bad right?
All in all his thread hasn’t been all bad for me. Sure the personal attacks have taken their toll but at the same time I’ve met Lori. And I’ve also met a number of other people here who although were once negative towards us are now supportive and some are even using WP e-Commerce again.
Sadly though I’m leaving this town – I can’t keep coming back to this thread. It is important for me to focus on the things that are important in my life. Like our own Blog, the ongoing work on the WP e-Commerce Project and maybe even my family 😛
Hopefully at some point I’ll see you here again when (and if) Lori decides to post another new comparison based on the latest versions of both pieces of software.
I wish you all the best of luck with your respective businesses and thanks ultimately to Lori for helping us make WP e-Commerce a better Plugin.
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