I often get this question from current and potential clients – I want to add ecommerce to my wordpress website, but how much does it cost? My answer? It depends. There are many different ways to set up ecommerce and each business owner I talk to has a strong preference on how they prefer to accept payment. Here are three of the most popular options.

Option 1: Accept payment through PayPal

The easiest way to accept payments is by using PayPal. To use this method you will simply need to have a PayPal account. We would then integrate PayPal into your website’s shopping cart. With this method, consumers will leave your website to enter their payment details.

For example, here is what someone would see when checking out of your shopping cart with just PayPal. Also note, consumers can even check out with Paypal with a credit card.


Then they would be taken to PayPal’s site, as shown below. The consumer has the option of paying via their PayPal account or by credit card (look to the second yellow/green triangle) where it says “Pay with a debit or credit card, or PayPal Credit:”


Once the customer is finished with the transaction they can be re-directed back to your website.

For this option you will need:

  • Shopping cart built into your website
  • PayPal account
  • Bank Account to transfer your money

PayPal does not charge a set up fee, but it does charge you a percent of each sale ( 2.9% + $0.30). This option is the easiest to set up, has the lowest upfront cost, and is a great option if you want to accept payments easily internationally. The clients that prefer PayPal like that the payment is not happening on their website, so they don’t have to worry about someone hacking their customer information.

Option 2: Accept credit cards on your website

With this option, the consumer never leaves your website. From a branding perspective this option is preferred because your brand is front and center the entire time. This process is a little more complicated and requires more work by both the web development team and you, the business owner, to set up. Here is an example of how this process works.

how ecommerce works

For this option you will need:

  • Shopping cart built into your website
  • Merchant Account (start by asking your current bank if they offer this service. They may also provide a payment gateway package.)
  • Payment Gateway (like Authorize.net or a similar service)
  • Bank account
  • Plus, a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate to transfer your customers information securely (Normally purchased through your hosting account)

This option often has set up fees and is more time consuming to set up for the web development company, but can be cheaper if you have a large amount of sales per month. For example, if you have consistent sales over a certain amount, you may be able to negotiate a lower fee per transaction or per month. Depending on your target consumer, accepting credit cards on your website is often also viewed as “more professional” than PayPal.

Option 3:

Another option is to use a combination of these two, where you offer both PayPal and credit card payments as shown below. This also is a great way to test which form of payment your clients prefer – how many pay via credit card? How many via Paypal? Based on those statistics, you can decide which platform gets the most sales.


Are these the only three options for ecommerce? Definitely not! These are just the three most common forms of ecommerce.

If you are a winery or in retail, there are also options for integrating ecommerce into your POS, plus websites like Vinoshipper.com, where for an added fee per transaction they will handle all of the ecommerce for you. Need more info about these options? I love to get technical (and design, too!) – email me at [email protected].