Magento e-commerce is the leading open source e-commerce platform for high-revenue sites. It has unparalleled power and features out of the box, making it the best choice for high-volume retail sites with thousands of products. However, the main drawback to Magento is its rather lousy content management system (CMS) that pales in comparison to WordPress. Fortunately for Magento users, it is possible to combine the ease of use of a WordPress blog with the e-commerce power of Magento with Fishpig’s Magento WordPress Integration extension.
The Fishpig extension allows the Magento store admin to create and maintain a WordPress blog that integrates seamlessly into the Magento store. The existing Magento theme is used, so there is no need to style a completely new WordPress template to match the Magento store, saving a great deal of time and money. By using the default Google Sitemap creator in Magento, the WordPress blog URLs are automatically included in the site’s sitemap. Just like a traditional WordPress blog, posts can be categorized and tagged, and many popular WordPress plugins like Yoast SEO and Contact Form 7 can be used to further enhance the blog. The extension allows the logged-in Magento administrator the option to log into the WordPress administration console with one click; no need to remember multiple login credentials.
A key feature of this extension is to allow the blog to directly interact with the store. The extension adds the option to associate Magento products with blog posts and categories such that the product will appear on the sidebar of the associated post. This is very effective when a blog post is discussing a certain product, and that product also happens to be on sale. It is a great method to increase conversions with little effort.
This extension does have a few drawbacks, however. Configuring the extension is rather complicated and requires some experience with manually installing WordPress sites on a server. The vast majority of WordPress plugins will not work with this extension, limiting functionality. The Widgets are also limited, and there is very little flexibility with the sidebars. For example, creating a right sidebar in addition to or in place of the left sidebar is rather difficult and requires some code modifications.
Nevertheless, store owners who wish to incorporate a WordPress blog into their Magento store will find the Fishpig plugin to be extremely helpful. Once the initial configuration is sorted out, SEO and conversions will improve substantially while using the renowned WordPress CMS to easily publish posts.
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