The MarketPress download page starts out with a big guarantee:
The easiest to use, best designed and most powerful ecommerce / shopping cart plugin available for WordPress today – guaranteed.
So we’ve gone ahead and put it to the test, read on to discover if MarketPress is really the best e-commerce plugin for WordPress…
MarketPress is straightforward to install, you simply upload and activate it as with all other WordPress plugins. It also works perfectly with Multisite and BuddyPress.
If you are using WPML for multilanguage and need integration, there is a specific MarketPress plugin and documentation available on the WPML site. WPML translates everything that MarketPress does, including the checkout and purchase confirmation emails. Nice, all good till here.
The plugin mostly uses the WordPress native interface so it is very easy on the eyes, if you’re familiar with how WordPress works you’ll easily understand the interface of MarketPress. I love the fact that it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, and uses the WordPress API to its fullest extent.
Unlike other plugins, noextra tables are created for products, product categories, or product tags. Instead, MarketPress makes use of custom post types and taxonomies. In this way things are kept cleaner and there is less of a risk of things breaking in the future. Many other plugins which introduce their own tables can present bottlenecks and performance issues, which MarketPress avoids completely.
MarketPress Support – Documentation and Forums
There are no lengthy documents to go with this plugin, however you do get a step-by-step guide for setting it up directly within your WordPress dashboard, by clicking the ‘Help’ link at the top right of the screen. I found it easy to follow and set up, so I don’t have much concerns here. There is a video which explains the basic usage of the plugin:
I would however add that you’re expected to know WordPress quite well and be comfortable with learning by doing when setting up your shop with MarketPress, especially if you have needs that go beyond the basic setup. On the other hand, the MarketPress support forum is very active so you can rest assured that you have people you can rely on if you hit the limits of your shop setup skills or if something breaks.
Here are some of the features I’ve liked:
- Ability to sell digital downloadable products.
- Accepts multiple payment gateways and also manual payments (many clients ask for the manual payment option)
- Discount coupons can be applied to an order (again very handy and a frequent request from clients)
- Multi-language support (works with WPML)
- Four handy widgets (shopping cart, product list, product categories, product tag cloud)
- Sales and order tracking
With regards to theming and styling your store, MarketPress does not come with any themes out of the box, however you can easily create your own theme that matches the rest of the website.
The MarketPress theming system works in the same way as the WordPress one, so if you can build a WordPress theme, you can quickly learn how to make a MarketPress theme. It’s noteworthy that WPMUdev also have 2 full-featured MarketPress themes available:
To download MarketPress and use it on unlimited websites, you can purchase it for $39 (includes 1 month upgrades and support), or become a member at WPMUdev on a yearly basis.
MarketPress also comes with a money back guarantee, so there are no risks involved in trying it out.
I’ve found MarketPress to be one of the cleanest e-commerce plugins for WordPress. It’s a cinch to set up so you can get a store up and running very quickly. In my opinion it has the best interface of all shopping cart plugins for WordPress.
The fact that it uses WordPress admin styles is a huge plus for me. The dashboard quickly becomes messy when plugins start adding their own interfaces and styling, and thankfully MarketPress avoids this problem.
I would like to have affiliate management built into this plugin, it would be really be brilliant with this addition. However I should also mention that WPMUdev already offer a WordPress affiliate management plugin, so their idea might be that of keeping the two things separate.
Conclusion: Thumbs up from us! If you’re looking for an efficient e-commerce plugin, you’ve found it in MarketPress.
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