By Chris Gilbert, Bayshore Solutions Director of Development
In software development, a plugin is a piece of software or program that can be used to add or extend functionality or specific capabilities to an existing program. NopCommerce is a solid e-commerce platform written in such a way to easily allow for the integration of plugins. This modular architecture feature makes it easy to edit and add new features to your store.
What Are Some Example Plugins in nopCommerce?
Out of the box, nopCommerce ships with quite a few plugins that are truly useful in setting up and managing your online store. Example plugins are payment methods such as PayPal and Authorize.net, shipping rate computation methods like UPS and FedEx, tax providers, discounts, widgets, and more. In addition, you can find more plugins on the nopCommerce extensions page or customize and create your own.
Types of Plugins Used In nopCommerce
It’s important to understand the different types of plugins that exist and how they are used.
The payment method plugin is used for payment processing. These plugins will integrate with your payment providers and are in charge of authorizing, capturing, voiding, and refunding payments for orders.
Shipping Rate Computation Method
In order to calculate shipping rates, provide shipping estimates, tracking numbers, and allowable delivery methods, you use the shipping rate computation method plugin type. Many shipping couriers use web services in order to retrieve real-time rates.
Similar to the shipping rate computation method plugin type, the tax provider plugin type is used for getting the available tax rates. Customization can include getting tax by postal code, taxing different rates based on product type, or offering the ability to have tax-free weekends.
Discount Requirement Rule
Discounts are a great tool store owners can use to entice customers to buy more. However, you may be interested in offering more than just a 10% off coupon. In order to provide your customers with unique discounts based on location, previous order history, or just a “buy two and get the third free” offer, you would use the discount requirement rule plugin type.
Exchange Rate Provider
If your store is interested in selling internationally, you will want to use the exchange rate provider plugin to integrate with any system that you are using that will provide you with the currency exchange rates.
External Authentication Method
Many users do not want to go through the process of creating a new account for every site that they shop. Leverage the fact that a user most likely already has an account on Facebook, Twitter, or Google, and let them authenticate on your site with their existing account. To do that, you should use the external authentication method plugin type.
A widget is a rendered block of content that is displayed on your site. It can be just an HTML content block, but can also be used to display images, banners, or anything else. Widgets can then be placed in various locations throughout the site, for instance, on the contact us page.
Last but not least is the miscellaneous plugin type. This is used if your customization requirements don’t fit into any of the above type. With a miscellaneous plugin, your options are endless. You can customize nopCommerce in almost any way and add functionality that fits your needs.
Take Your Store to the Next Level
We’ve looked at what plugins are and how they are used in nopCommerce. There are a variety of plugin types that can be used to add or change functionality to the system which can make nopCommerce perform exactly as your needs require.
Interested in learning more or how to get started with your own plugin for nopCommerce? Bayshore Solutions is a nopCommerce Gold Partner and has developed many e-commerce websites over our past 20 years.
Contact Us to get your business store online and delivering results today.