Automattic Buys WooThemes

WooThemes, the team behind the wildly successful WooCommerce WordPress plugin, is getting themselves a new bankroll. Namely Automattic–yes, that Automattic–the company we can thank for WordPress itself.

The decision was detailed in a press release by WooThemes:

Over the past year, in response to the growing and more sophisticated requirements of the WooCommerce community, we have been exploring ways to accelerate our growth to be an even more accessible, easier to use, and enabling platform for our customers. We’ve met some very powerful and influential companies and potential investors, but none more ambitious and aligned with our values than the team at Automattic.

Source: WooThemes Joins Automattic

What are the implications of this move? We can easily expect to see baked-in integration with WooCommerce and the sites that are being hosted on the massive service.

And as for those who are hosting our WordPress sites independently like us, this likely means WooCommerce has cemented itself as the defacto eCommerce solution on WordPress in terms of theme and cross-plugin support.

This is something that was becoming true on its own prior to this announcement, so if you’re currently using any other WordPress shopping cart solutions out there like WP-Ecommerce or MarketPress, the time may come in the near future where you’ll need to move your operation to Woo.

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WordPress shopping carts with Magento features

The beauty of WordPress is that it brings traffic to your site if you post good content frequently- and if you want to sell stuff, traffic is good.

The problem with Shopping carts online- is they are only that – a shopping cart- a store, with no advertising- except what you pay for. Magento is an amazing open source shopping cart solution- but, it’s not a CMS- and it doesn’t give you the ease of posting that WordPress does- so- enter Visser labs– with their plugins that bring the WP e-Commerce plugin some of the cool functionality of Magento- without the the complexities.

The first is the ability to have 2 different price levels- one for wholesale- and one for retail:

Wholesale Pricing for WP e-Commerce uses custom User Roles to apply different pricing levels against preferred customers (e.g. Subscribers, Wholesalers, Staff, etc.).

via Wholesale Pricing | Visser Labs.

Another gives you the ability to do wish lists:

Add to Wishlist for WP e-Commerce also allows WordPress users to manage their Favourites entries and remove items they no longer desire. Easy integration to WP e-Commerce and comprehensive step by step instructions are included.

Or offline credit card processing- for those who don’t want to charge when ordered- but when shipped:

Offline Credit Card Processing allows store owners to process credit card orders offline by accepting the credit card information and spliting the card number into two parts; partial save to the database while the rest e-mailed to the store owner.

Check out their site for more plugins to this e-commerce solution for WordPress.

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Shopping carts for WordPress

While many bloggers are cashing in on paid advertising and affiliate fees, the options for setting up small shops is limited by “plugin” store solutions. WordPress is great for building community, the ideal way to target your customers, but when it comes to adding a simple solution you are limited to the three main options available now:
by Owen Winkler (RedAlt) which is currently down. It is the shopping cart I use on Websitetology. Current link:
Paypal or checks only, it has some issues with data entry in the phone field, and has limited tax, shipping, and notation options.

Note: June 08 This solution was pre WordPress 2.0, it’s highly unlikely that it still works.
Last time I installed this, there was no payment gateway. It was the nicest integration of the three, but without checkout, it was worthless. Since I haven’t tried to use it since June, I can’t tell you what the status is now.

UPDATE: June 08, this plugin seems to be abandoned.
WP e-commerce lite
We’re using this on It has no way of setting tax per order, or shipping charges. The only included gateway is PayPal, for a fee you can add and

UPDATE: Jun 09 This plugin broke again with 2.8. It’s been a constant headache.

We broke down and purchased the Shopp plugin it works flawlessly with 2.8.

We also looked at e-shop, but, we failed to rename the product page, and were in limbo for a while. It requires a page per post, which may or may not be a graceful way to handle things.

E-commerce with a WordPress shouldn’t be that difficult. While most of these solutions are limited to using WordPress with a PayPal solution, the ability to use other payment processors like or google checkout should be available. WordPress is the easiest way to build a community- so shouldn’t it be just as easy to sell to your community?
A more complex option is to build a ZenCart site and add a WordPress blog to it with this module:

JUNE 08: Another open source option that looks good for a cart is Magento:

There isn’t a WordPress module- or integration- but, it’s getting rave reviews as a well written piece of code.

There must be other shopping cart plugins out there- but this is what we’ve found. If you have any others, please leave a link in the comments.

UPDATE: Jun 09 found this link with 10 shopping cart tools for WordPress

UPDATE: Apr 8 2010: Here is a comparison chart of carts:

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