Cart66, previously known as PHPurchase, was one of the very first WordPress e-commerce plugins on the scene. Over the years the company has experimented with different WordPress e-commerce products but this week marks a major milestone. Cart66 Hosted has launched the first fully managed WordPress e-commerce platform.

In partnership with the folks at Pagely, the Cart66 Hosted platform provides fully managed WordPress hosting plus its flagship e-commerce product, Cart66 Cloud. This hosted solution was created to make security and PCI compliance something that customers don’t have to think about. Store owners can concentrate on selling, instead of trying to wading through all the technical aspects of managing an online store.

The Cart66 Cloud handles everything related to the secure storage and delivery of digital products, customer order history, storage of customer credit cards, payment gateways and all the e-commerce features you would normally get by installing a dozen different plugins and add-ons.

The Rising Cost of WordPress E-Commerce

Cart66 is delving into an area of e-commerce products and services that hasn’t yet been fully explored by other companies. The all-in-one approach is unique, given that most of the leading WordPress e-commerce solutions have business models centered around creating dozens of commercial add-ons or high cost bundles. Each piece of that puzzle adds up, especially when you include the costs of hosting, PCI compliance, backups and anything else server-related. Even with conservative estimates on all of these requirements, the price tag and responsibility of hosting and securing an online store will be fairly considerable for the average small business.

There’s also quite a steep learning curve for hosting your own WordPress e-commerce site. It’s not easy and will require store owners to study up on everything related to site maintenance and security. Many prospective store owners would gladly opt for a WordPress-powered store but have trouble grasping the whole concept of hosting, much less installing SSL certificates or getting a dedicated IP address. No matter how easy a WordPress e-commerce plugin is to use, if the user cannot get WordPress operational in the first place, he’s out of luck. The only other option for someone in this position is to pay a developer thousands of dollars to set up and build his store for him.

Cart66 has identified a segment of the market that has been overlooked. What do you think about hosted e-commerce? Is this a product that’s long been needed in the WordPress market?

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