MarketPress — Shopping Cart Review
MarketPress is a very clean and professional shopping cart plugin for WordPress by WPMU DEV. What I like most about it is the quality of integration with WordPress. Like other WPMU DEV products, this one feels as if it were developed by the makers of WordPress themselves.
While MarketPress lacks some features, it’s built on a solid foundation that allows it to be extended by developers easily. It’s also one of the most affordable shopping cart plugins to acquire, starting at $39.
Installation of MarketPress is easy, simply upload and activate. There are no add-ons or unnecessary configurations to worry about.
Technical support from WPMU DEV is the best among all other carts. It is mostly provided through the plugin’s dedicated forum. The forum is publicly open so you can visit it and see how active and helpful it is.
As for documentation, unfortunately, it is a little lacking. You’re expected to figure things out yourself, or use the inline documentation.
MarketPress is one of the most well integrated shopping cart plugins for WordPress. It uses the latest WordPress API to the fullest extent. It doesn’t create extra tables for products, product categories, or product tags. Instead, it utilizes WordPress’ custom post types and taxonomies. What this means for the end user is better performance and future extensibility.
For each product you create with MarketPress, you can specify as many variations as you like. Each variation you specify has its own SKU, price, sale price, and inventory control.
MarketPress shipping and tax management is not as flexible as some of the other plugins.
MarketPress is intended for shops that operate within a single state. So, you specify a single tax rate for all your orders, regardless of where they’ll ship.
As for shipping, first, you select the countries to where you agree to ship. Then, you set a base shipping rate for the “lower 48 States”, “Hawaii and Alaska”, “Canada”, and “International”. Then for each product, you specify additional shipping charges when you create it.
MarketPress has the best admin UI among other shopping cart plugins. It’s intuitive and easy to understand. Once you install the plugin, you feel as if there aren’t enough option pages, but once you dig deeper, you discover more screens where you can adjust the settings. So, the interface doesn’t interrupt you, and yet it can accommodate you when you need more flexibility.
The plugin makes use of WordPress’ built-in admin styles, so working with this plugin feels just like working with any other part in WordPress.
MarketPress currently supports the following payment gateways: 2Checkout, Authorize.Net, MoneyBookers, and PayPal Express. You can also accept manual payments, such as cash, telephone, check, or wire transfer.
It is possible to sell digital products with MarketPress. When you add a new product in MarketPress, you can specify a URL for a file to include. The file is uploaded to your wp-content/uploads directory without any protection. As long as you don’t reveal the actual location of the file to the customer, you’ll be fine.
When a customer purchases a downloadable product, they’ll be given a unique link from which they can download the product for a limited number of times. You set the download limits in MarketPress options.
MarketPress gives you the ability to offer discount coupons at your store. The coupons you create could be applied to any order. You can create a percentage coupon or a fixed amount coupon. You can set a start and an expiration date for each coupon. And you can set a limit to the number of times a coupon can be used.
MarketPress has four sidebar widgets.
Shopping Cart — this shows dynamic shopping cart contents along with a checkout button for your MarketPress store.
Product List — this one shows a customizable list of products from your MarketPress store. You can filter the products displayed by category or tag. It allows you to display thumbnails and buy button next to the products.
Product Categories — you can use this widget to display a list or dropdown of product categories. Remember that product categories in MarketPress are separated from post categories.
Product Tag Cloud — this one is for product tags.
Currently, there are no existing themes for MarketPress. However, MarketPress is completely ready for theming. The beauty of MarketPress theming system is that it is very similar to WordPress. If you (or a designer you hire) are familiar with WordPress, you’ll be able to theme and customize MarketPress easily. The theming instructions of MarketPress are bundled with the plugin’s directory at:
Even though WPMU DEV offers an affiliates management plugin, integration with that plugin is still not built into MarketPress. And there are no other options available.
MarketPress has full support for translation. You can translate the admin interface and/or the frontend of the store. There are no translations available currently, however.
MarketPress is currently powering many small online stores. You can see here some examples of sites using MarketPress.
To download MarketPress and use it on unlimited websites, you can purchase it for $39 (includes 1 month upgrades and support), $79 (3 months upgrades and support), or $209 (12 months upgrades and support).
Alternatively, you can become a WPMU DEV subscriber to get access to MarketPress and many other useful plugins and great support. The prices for WPMU DEV subscriptions are here.
There are no refunds with WPMU DEV. But the great thing about WPMU DEV plugins is that they are licensed under the GPL, which means that once you download the software, you are free to do with it whatever you want. You can install it on as many websites you want, and you can even resell it!