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WordPress: Multi-user mode with e-commerce plugin for digital products?

Posted on 2010-11-15
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi folks,

I'm being asked to tackle a project and I'm not totally sure which direction I should take.  The clients want:

An attractive/professional web site but one that is deployed rapidly
The ability to update/maintain their own content
There will be multiple contributors.  Each contributor will have their own discrete area of the site under their control but overall control remains in an admin's hands
These discrete areas should also be attractive/professional but templated and easy to deploy
Contributors will have the option to sell digital products (e-books and videos) through a central store but they do not necessarily need to be able to add products to it.
Store may also feature dead tree products
Usual range of bloggy, interactive features required...posts, comments, calendar, image uploads, blah blah blah but has to be easy for non-technical end users

Obviously, we are looking at a CMS of some sort.  My first thought was to deploy WordPress in multi-user mode so each contributor has their own blog environment and add an e-commerce package to the overall site.  However, I'm not all that familiar with WordPress's e-commerce plugins and I'm really not familiar with e-commerce in multi-user mode and I want to be sure I have that part down cold as the whole project collapses if the cart solution doesn't work right.  

So my question is:  what are some of the better WP e-commerce plugins that can handle digital product sales as well as physical items with varied shipping options in multi-user mode?  I am completely open to commercial plugins, not just free ones, especially if the plugin developers provide responsive support.

I am also open to being talked into using a different CMS package.  If you think WordPress + something is not the right way to achieve the goals stated above and a different product combination will achieve it, please tell me which ones and why.  The "why" is crucial for me, so please...no bare links.  I can Google just as well as the rest of you.

Thank you!  I appreciate any replies in the next 24 hours as I have to decide if I am going to bid on this or not.
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Question by:Jason C. Levine
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Graphixer earned 499 total points
ID: 34157562
I looked into this very thing last year.  The solution I settled on was the Shopp plugin for WordPress.  It's a relatively simple system and not as fully hashed out as something like OSCommerce, but it integrates directly into WordPress and is fairly simple to set up.

The drawback is that the plugin is developed by one guy.  He's moderately responsive so support is OK but not on par with even a small company.  Maybe that's changed at this point?  He did have some people helping with online support issues.  There were also some glitches with the shipping lookups which I hope are fixed by now.  I handed the site I put together over to someone else, so I haven't kept up with how Shopp is doing.

Another CMS like Drupal might be overkill, especially if quick deployment is a factor.  My experience with other ecommerce packages is limited, so I can't offer other recommendations.    

In any event, I hope this helps.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 34159481
Thanks, Graphixer that helps.  I've not yet deployed WordPress with any CMS so even one review gives me a good starting point for further research.   I would like to avoid Joomla or Drupal with Virtuemart as I don't plan on being the primary admin for this project once it is delivered.  The end result has to be fairly simple to use by relatively non-technical people.

I'll look into Shopp, though.  Thank you.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 34331907
I ended up using a different plugin (WP e-Commerce) but Shopp would have worked too.  Thanks for the help.
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