Building an E-Commerce Site with ExpressionEngine & Exp:resso Store
Written by: Justin Long | On: August 4, 2012
One of the most requested features I get when I am building a site for a business is the ability to sell their products online. Luckily ExpressionEngine (my CMS of choice) gives me a great starting point to build a powerful store for my clients. EE has a vibrant third-party add-on community that has built some amazing add-ons to expand ExpressionEngine's core functionality. As I am writing this there are currently 4 e-commerce related add-ons. Membrr, CartThrob, Brilliant Retail and the one that I am going to focus this series on Store by Exp:resso. Each of the add-ons have a unique set of features and limitations so you will want to evaluate your project before you decide. The team at Exp:resso have developed a great comparison guide that can be found here.
Who Is This Series For?
Ideally this series is written for someone with a basic understanding of ExpressionEngine. If you are a web developer and are trying to learn ExpressionEngine I am flattered that you came here to learn something but there are 2 better resourses for learning EE (Train-EE and Mijingo) then this series. The ideal person will also have a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, jQuery and AJAX.
Who Isn't This Series For?
If you dont know HTML, CSS, jQuery, or ExpressionEngine then this series is going to be over your head. If you are unwilling to pay for commercial add-ons, I am going to use quite a few through out the series. If you don't want/need to learn to build an e-commerce site you probably aren't going to enjoy reading through this series, instead here is a long video of cats doing crazy things set to music.
What's the Plan you Ask?
As we go though this series we will build an e-commerce site for a fictional online food retailer. I am going to bypass (unless I hear otherwise) the basic pages that do not pertain to the actual Store implementation, this will include pages such as About, Legal pages, Contact Us, etc.
I plan on breaking the series up into a few sections:
- Installing Store & SetUp
- Creating Products
- Displaying Products
- Add to Cart
- Cart Templates
- Create a Wishlist
- Comparing Products
- Checkout Templates
- Account Pages
- Product Searches
For this series I am going to use a template that I purchased from ThemeForest. I am also going to use a few add-ons other then Store including but not limited to Structure, Playa, Matrix, Wygwam, Stash, Switchee, CE Image, Channel Images, Channel Ratings, Solspace Favorites, ZooVisitor, Freeform, URL Helper, Tagger, & Email from Template. Let me start by saying you dont need to use all of those but they can make your life easier.
Before we Begin
I am hoping that I can keep to a pretty regular schedule of getting 1, hopefully 2, entries published each week.