How to Build a Domain Name Portfolio with WordPress eCommerce

By on April 4, 2011

WP e-Commerce, the most widely used shopping cart and product management plugin for WordPress, has just undergone a major update. The WP e-Commerce 3.8 plugin update integrates directly with new WordPress custom post type features.

The development team happily announced considerable optimization and performance gains and hinted at a new plugin community.

By utilizing Custom Post Types and tight WordPress integration we have shaved off more the half the file size of our download!

The WP e-Commerce 3.8 release has been mostly about optimization and aligning our code and our User Interface with WordPress standards.Future proofing our software and stabilizing it by utilizing the most up to date WordPress hooks and filters has been our top priority.

…our goal is to foster a Plugin community around e-Commerce functionality so that the WP e-Commerce Plugin stays fast and lightweight.

WP e-Commerce Preview - Normal Looking WordPress Interface

Other notable WP e-Commerce 3.8 updates include:

  • New user interface
  • Integrates with WordPress Media Manager
  • Better template integration for WordPress themers

The new WP e-Commerce interface blends seamlessly with other WordPress administration pages. Anyone familiar with adding posts and pages will be right at home building an online storefront with WP e-Commerce. Today I’m going to help you do just that by helping you build a custom domain portfolio.

How to Build a Domain Portfolio with WordPress

In just a few simple steps you can now create a functional domain name storefront or portfolio using your choice of widget-ready WordPress theme.

Let’s get hands on! Follow along as I describe the basic steps in setting up the WP e-Commerce 3.8 plugin to sell your domain names.

1. Install WP e-Commerce 3.8

And you’ll want to upgrade to WordPress 3.1 if you haven’t. Go to Plugins > Add New and search for WP e-Commerce.

Make sure to install the original plugin and not an imitator.

2. Configure essential WP e-Commerce options

Under Settings > Store, setup your payment gateway and other basic WP e-Commerce options.

Note: Be sure your WordPress admin user email address is the same as your PayPal account if you choose to use PayPal.

3. Rename the “Products Page”

After installing WP e-Commerce you will notice a few new pages have been automatically created. Navigate to the newly made “Products Page” and rename it to “Domain Portfolio” or whatever you like.

4. Create new Product Categories

Build up your categories such as ‘Short Domains’, ‘Product Domains’, ‘Business’, ‘Shopping’, etc., for easy browsing.

5. Create a New Product for each domain

Be sure to include a description and any other details which may be helpful in marketing your domain for sale.

Example Domain Product Page

6. Set your price or a discounted offer and other details

Also upload an accompanying image, remove shipping requirements and check that other details are correct.

Note: You may want to create a custom-meta entry or edit WP e-Commerce theme files to create a “Make Offer” option that links to your contact page. You can also input external links to auctions or marketplaces which will override the shopping cart action.

7. Set Quantity to Limited

In the Stock Control area set the product quantity to 1. Presumably each domain is unique, so you’ll want to be sure to select this option.

You can also choose to be notified when a sale is completed.

8. Add your choice of WP e-Commerce widgets

Under Appearance > Widgets to your theme you can select widgets such as Shopping Cart and Latest Products, as well as special offers, a search bar and any other useful information for your visitors.

You now have a working domain portfolio powered by WordPress and WP e-Commerce!

You can view this example portfolio page on one of my sandbox WordPress installations to see the results of completing these steps.

Making the Most of It

If you take the time to thoroughly describe your domain and include related data you will gain targeted search traffic. WP e-Commerce allows you to interact with customers in a way that sales by email does not provide. Having a web based portfolio can also be a great way to track your sales and inventory even if a domain isn’t sold on the site.

You can further customize your WordPress theme files to integrate your domains and shopping cart however you like.

Another alternative is to invest in a premium WordPress theme that is customized for and compatible with WP e-Commerce 3.8. You may need to wait awhile for theme developers to catch up to the new release, but it should be any day now that themes will be updated.

How I Am Using WP e-Commerce

Want more WordPress ideas? WP e-Commerce was just 1 of 20 ways to make money blogging featured on DotSauce this year.

I’m currently working on multiple development projects using WP e-Commerce for clients and my own business.  While I have recently transitioned my focus to the DotSauce Domain Club, I am excited to say I will soon update the 2 year old AQDN marketplace with WP e-Commerce, a fresh look and new concept that is sure to turn heads.

Stay tuned for updates and let me know how your portfolio development comes along. If you have any questions about setting up a domain portfolio with the new WP e-Commerce, please feel free to leave a comment below and I will try my best to help you out.

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About Mark Fulton

Mark is the Founder of DotSauce Magazine and a full time web developer, domain investor, SEO and online marketing professional residing in North Carolina, USA. Visit MarkFulton.com for information on freelance website development, SEO and consultation services.