Created 2014, updated June 2021.

One of the joys - and sometimes pains - of WordPress is API integration. And e-commerce. WordPress online ordering has grown and become very intuitive - but sometimes the client wants more than what just one plugin does.

So, I had to share my experience with a complicated Gravity Forms order form integrated into Cart66, plus a Zapier integration to send resulting orders to a Google docs spreadsheet. Oh, and did I forget merchant services via Paypal?

I haven't found another form creation plugin, nor e-commerce platform, that allows this integration - and there are plenty out there. Caveat: You have to have a developer's license with Gravity Forms to hook in Zapier. But this integration has simplified the process and freed up time for the client, so it's win-win.

Simplify online ordering with a mix of software

The scenario: First Slice Pie Cafe had online ordering for a few years, and I added in longer, more complex order forms for their Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday catering. It's been successful, but they wanted to reduce the time employees are spending re-inputting these orders into their Google Docs spreadsheets.

Cart66 with Gravity Forms allows pretty much anything - including conditional fields, a must when someone can get a small apple pie or a large vegan apple pie. More than one column, description text... it's all here. Paypal integration has been flawless and I love that I can turn on sandbox to test ordering from WordPress instead of digging through Paypal's site.

Eliminate managers’ order entry with automatic entry

The real workhorse here is the Zapier integration, sending new orders directly to a Google Doc. This alone saved hours of manager work inputting entries (common in a smaller business) and there was no risk of typing errors or missing an order.

The Zapier integration is phenomenal - but not without a few pitfalls. Spreadsheets have to be created to Zapier's specifications, and blank rows aren't allowed. This causes some errors here and there, but was fine with some spreadsheet experimentation.

And I've noticed it sometimes fails (with notifications to me) - though Zapier does usually give quick solutions, which requires employees check that all orders are in, in case one slips through. Regardless, it does solve the issue of retyping data and saves so much time.

Have a favorite API integration? I'll admit, I'm geeked out over multiple integrations.