Coming Soon: Build a Website AND an Online Store

For months we've been telling you we're working on something huge. It's so big, in fact, we've given it a code name: "Project Tuscany." Now, it's time for the big reveal. We're so excited about this we can hardly stand it. Project Tuscany's upcoming launch represents the biggest upgrade to LightCMS in its history. It's the culmination of years of planning and months of careful development. So what's so great about it? I'm glad you asked:

On June 8, 2011, we're adding powerful yet easy-to-use online store functionality to the LightCMS platform.

Revolutionary Interface

There are no confusing dashboards to navigate. With LightCMS, just browse your site as normal and drop the new "Product Listing" element into any region on any page with a click. One more click, and you'll be setting up your first product. Creating a store has never been so easy.

Robust Product Settings

Though extremely easy-to-use, the LightCMS online store offers powerful features. For each product, you can configure basic information, upload multiple images, create unlimited product variants with customizeable options, track product inventory, track weight for shipping, add product tags, and much more.

Seamless, Secure Shopping Cart and Checkout

The user experience for customers is managed by an intuitive, well-designed shopping cart and checkout process that's built into every site. SSL security is automatically ensured. Payment processing can be handled by PayPal, Google Checkout, or

Store Admin for Backend Management

While products can be added and edited right on your web pages as mentioned above, we also provide a complete store administration interface for backend management, bulk updates, and fulfillment. Through the various management screens you can:

  • Get an overview of store activity
  • Fulfill, cancel, and refund orders
  • Manage customers
  • Export customer email addresses
  • Perform batch changes to products and listings
  • Configure store settings
  • And much more

No Additional Monthly Cost!

That's right! The new online store functionality will be added to all paid LightCMS websites at no additional monthly cost (free websites will have access to store functionality in test-mode only). This means that all existing paid websites on the LightCMS system will instantly be able to implement the store. 

The only cost for using the LightCMS online store functionality is a 1% transaction fee (2% on the basic plan) in addition to any fees charged by the payment processor you choose, such as PayPal or

Plan Limits

The only limitation on the store functionality is the number of product SKUs you can have in your website's store. The SKU limitation for each plan level will be:

  • Basic - 100 SKUs
  • Plus - 500 SKUs
  • Advanced - 2,500 SKUs
  • Pro - 10,000 SKUs
  • Premier - Unlimited SKUs

Profit-Sharing for Rewards Members

Designers who qualify for LightCMS Rewards will receive up to 25% of the transaction fees collected from all websites under their account (12.5% of transaction fees for Basic plan sites and 25% of transaction fees on all other sites). This provides yet another source of passive income for designers who use LightCMS to build websites for their own clients.

Website Opt-Out

If you are a LightCMS designer, you will be able to control whether the store is available to each website under your account individually by visiting Website -> Settings -> Advanced Tab and looking for the "store access" setting at the bottom of the page. This setting will only be visible to account owners so you will have full control over store access for all websites under your account.

By default, store features will be added to all LightCMS websites at launch. However, we will be providing a way for you to tell us if you would prefer to have all of your websites opted out of store features at launch, thereby allowing you to opt them into the store individually. We'll be communicating further about how to elect this option in the next week or two so stay tuned.

Scheduled to Launch June 8, 2011

We're so excited to bring you this update. Our team is working hard on the final details and planning to launch on June 8, 2011. There is no scheduled downtime for this update. At the time of the launch, we'll also be unveiling a completely redesigned LightCMS website that will include new and improved help resources. More details on this and other store-related information to come, so be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Oh, and remember to follow @aLightCMSserver for fine-grained update details.

64 comments (Add your own)

1. Eric Granata wrote:
This looks great. Nice work, chaps!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 2:11 AM

2. David Crowther wrote:
Will you be able to choose what currency your store uses? You know, for the very small amount of users who use the internet outside of the US... :)

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 4:42 AM

3. Brad Parnell wrote:

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:09 AM

4. Ed Goble wrote:
Looks great. Very timely, thanks!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:12 AM

5. Lisa wrote:
Great feature! My clients will love it.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:14 AM

6. Kevin Irwin wrote:
This sounds amazing! Once again you guys are making our lives ten times easier. Just another reason why LightCMS is my favorite CMS!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:18 AM

7. Sarah Lynn Seaton wrote:
Yeah!! Seaton Shoots Photography will be using this feature! Having our brides pay deposits online will be great.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:20 AM

8. Nate Cradit wrote:
Unbelievable. You folks just rock. This is awesome, and the way it's going to be integrated right within the system is amazing. THANK YOU!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:26 AM

9. Kristi Bradley wrote:
This is wonderful news! My job just got easier. Thank you.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:38 AM

10. Sean Lukasik wrote:
I'm really excited to be able to offer this capability to my clients. As a designer, not worrying about the development side is a lifesaver!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:38 AM

11. Tim Wall wrote:
Thanks for all the encouraging words, everyone!

@David, yes, you will be able to set your own currency for the store.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 8:13 AM

12. Crystal Kelly wrote:
I knew you have been hard at work, I could only speculate that a full shopping cart was the next full feature to be added. Can't wait to use it. I hope it has the capability to sell 'downloads'.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 8:20 AM

13. Keith Storm wrote:
This is very cool. We actually just started a couple of projects; One with Shopify and one with another cart. I'm glad we haven't progressed very far with those, because this sounds so much better!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 8:40 AM

14. Jake Whitton wrote:
This is so great. I don't know if I'm more excited about this or the birth of my latest son. JK, but keep up the awesome work!!! I love you guys.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 8:49 AM

15. Jessica Hillman wrote:
Can't wait to try it out!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 8:56 AM

16. Sumit Thukral wrote:
Definately an added advantage for building ecommerce websites.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 8:59 AM

17. Grant Novey wrote:
This is outstanding! I'm excited to try this functionality out.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 9:10 AM

18. Hope wrote:
I'm so excited for this launch! In the beginning stages of an e-store and was planning to use don't have to...yay!
The design of the product listings will be customizable too, yes?

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 9:11 AM

19. David Garrison wrote:
I swear you guys really understand what it means to be a true technology partner. Thank you for all of your hard work. I know that a project like this isn't easy to accomplish. One quick question. Does the new store feature offer drop ship? It seems like every single store I have built requires it.

Thanks again. You guys rock.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 9:13 AM

20. John Wright wrote:
This is great! I was going to go with ejunkie for an upcoming project, however, I will be implementing your solution instead.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 9:15 AM

21. Tim Wall wrote:
@Crystal, downloads / digital goods won't be included at launch, however, we are already planning for that to be our first big post-launch feature, so it shouldn't be too long after launch.

@Hope, yes, the design of the product listings, detail pages, shopping cart ... etc., will be customizable through CSS styling, just like the rest of the LightCMS platform.

@David, thanks! We won't have drop shipping capabilities right of the bat. It's something we will be looking into. If you want to email support with an overview of how you currently use that type of functionality, that would be helpful for us to see.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 9:25 AM

22. HP wrote:
WOW! Awesome job. THANK YOU! There is no other company like LCMS

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 9:28 AM

23. David George wrote:
OUTSTANDING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Opens up possibilities for the REST of my clients that I have been converting to LightCMS one-by-one!!!!!!!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 9:50 AM

24. jovenville wrote:
good stuff excited about it!

can we already sign up? and get all our necessary items in place so when u pull the trigger we can do it already!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 10:42 AM

25. Tim Wall wrote:
@jovenville, you can sign up for a LightCMS account any time, if you haven't already, however the new store functionality won't be added to the account until June 8th.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 10:50 AM

26. Blair wrote:
Question: how does it work for free accounts? You mentioned test mode. How does that differe from paid accounts?

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 1:28 PM

27. Tim Wall wrote:
@Blair, test mode means you won't be able to process live transactions. The store features will be available on free websites so that you or your clients can set up products and explore the system, but in order to process transactions, you will have to upgrade to a paid account.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 1:38 PM

28. Veronica Cannon wrote:
Woot! This is fabulous news. Can't wait.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 2:28 PM

29. SuPeRfAn wrote:
Matt Grimm is the biznitch.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 3:26 PM

30. David LaGuerre wrote:
This is amazing - much better than I had anticipated.

As a reseller....
"The only cost for using the LightCMS online store functionality is a 1% transaction fee" - how is this collected? Can it be collected at the same time (one transaction) when you bill clients on our behalf?

Also, can this be marked-up by resellers?


Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 5:44 PM

31. Nickolas Brungardt wrote:
I am so glad that LightCMS is truely becoming a one stop "shop" for web designers, less having to find a suitable e-commerce platform that you can hope is easy for your customers to use. Only suggestion I have for anything after this upgrade is that we have more up to date plans that serve us better. So we can offer some plans with E-Commerce or all plans with it if he choose. But I am so glad to see this feature, it will be a major selling point for me when pitching my services to perspective customers! Great Job!!!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 6:32 PM

32. Hayley Lowe wrote:
absolutely stoked ... best news ever - was really, really hoping this was the big news - have got clients waiting to use it! YAY!

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 7:55 PM

33. JustinJuk wrote:
Well played, Sir. Well Played.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 10:06 PM

34. Tim Wall wrote:
@David, I am checking on the first part of your question and will get back to you. As far as "can this be marked-up by resellers?" - we've opted to provide profit sharing to rewards members (as outlined in the post) rather than allowing resellers to mark up the transaction fee.

@Nickolas - we will be including the store features with all plans, but you can determine whether or not to allow store features on all websites under your account. In this way, you will be able to charge clients for access to the store if you wanted to.

Wed, May 18, 2011 @ 11:07 PM

35. JustinJuk wrote:
Will this allow for digital downloads as well as hard copy sales?
Now I'm all excited and can't sleep. This is bigger than I expected. LightCMS Rocks.

Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 1:01 AM

36. Tim Wall wrote:
@JustinJuk, downloads / digital goods won't be included at launch, however, we are already planning for that to be our first big post-launch feature, so it shouldn't be too long after launch.

Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 8:15 AM

37. Tim Wall wrote:
@David, regarding the first part of your question about when will the transaction fees be charged, they will be charged at the same time as your recurring monthly fees. It will be a single transaction but will be broken out as a separate line item on the invoices and account statements. And it will work this same way for client billed websites as well.

Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 10:30 AM

38. Mel wrote:
This is a dream come true! Thanks LightCMS!

Will there be promo code options that can be added and how will shipping setup work? By price range? Per item? By weight?

Very excited about this!

Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 2:12 PM

39. Tim Wall wrote:
@Mel, promo codes won't be available right at launch but it's on our list to be added later. Shipping setup can be by price range or by weight per destination and there is a nice shipping set up feature that helps you configure all of that.

Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 2:28 PM

40. James Greer wrote:
Bummer, this this came out the day after I recommended to a client to use Business Catalyst because Light didn't have this yet :/

Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 2:34 PM

41. Instani wrote:
Will you be providing Mobile compatibility?

Thu, May 19, 2011 @ 7:26 PM

42. Meysam wrote:
In Iran we can not use International banking account. but Iranian banks have their internet service, run by a (.Net) script.
If LightCMS can work with Iranian bank scripts, so there are a lot of Iranians companies wants to launch their web sites by lightcms.
there is a list of some Iranian banks web site:

Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 2:49 AM

43. Tim Wall wrote:
@Instani, the store, just like all other aspects of LightCMS, can be styled for mobile devices in whatever way you wish. Since the designer has control over the HTML and CSS across the site, it is up to the designer to determine how the site behaves on mobile devices.

The only exception to this is that the checkout screen is not fully customizable by CSS because we must retain more control over that screen in order to ensure security. However, the checkout screen is narrow enough and simple enough to work for mobile.

We plan to continue our work on improvements with LightCMS and mobile in the months ahead.

Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 9:22 AM

44. Matt wrote:
This looks wonderful. I'm curious to see if it will work with a "plain jane" Paypal account or if my clients will need to upgrade to the Paypal processing account that requires an additional monthly fee.

Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 11:54 AM

45. Tim Wall wrote:
@Matt, "plain jane" Paypal accounts will work just fine!

Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 1:20 PM

46. Jim Eaton wrote:
Question: Can I configure the product listings so that a more info button can point to an external site? Redirect the product page URL to an external site? I have a client that wants to list products as an affiliate and then add their own products later when they're ready.

Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 1:25 PM

47. Tim Wall wrote:
@Jim, this wouldn't be possible through the new store functionality. However, you could use the blog element to create your product lists if you are just interested in pointing to an external site.

Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 1:30 PM

48. Jim Eaton wrote:
I thought of using the blog element. The problem is I want something that will be (very) easy for my client to use ... automatically sizing images, automatic styling of description and price, etc.

Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 1:40 PM

49. Tim Wall wrote:
@Jim, ah I see. I was thinking you just wanted a simple list of items that links off to another page. If you want to have a full product detail page and then within that page to have a link that takes you to another site, you could do that. However, there's no way to "turn off" the ability for people to add the products to their shopping cart on LightCMS, unless you hide those components with CSS.

Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 2:00 PM

50. Tim Wall wrote:
@Jim, I stand corrected on my last comment. I have discovered there will be a way to turn off the ability for people to purchase a particular product. So, you could set up your products in LightCMS but have them not "buyable" and then create links in the product description that point to an off-site place to purchase them.

Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 2:14 PM

51. Nickolas wrote:
Fantabulous! Will the team be able to style store fronts (similar to web design cut ups)? What will the fee be or is it included in normal xhtml cut-ups?

Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 6:51 PM

52. Keith Storm wrote:
Will the product pages list "related products"?

Mon, May 23, 2011 @ 9:28 PM

53. Tim Wall wrote:
@Nickolas, we won't be providing any store-specific design services. The store will have built-in styles and skins that will allow it to work well in the context of any design.

@Keith, there is no "related product" functionality at this time.

Tue, May 24, 2011 @ 2:48 PM

54. David LaGuerre wrote:
"@David, regarding the first part of your question about when will the transaction fees be charged, they will be charged at the same time as your recurring monthly fees. It will be a single transaction but will be broken out as a separate line item on the invoices and account statements. And it will work this same way for client billed websites as well."

3 words: Rock 'n roll!! :)

Wed, May 25, 2011 @ 10:17 PM

55. Carlos wrote:
Does anyone know if you will be able to set up "Add-to-cart links" outside a Product Listing element? For instance, you want to feature a product on the home page and need a quick way to add it to the shopping cart, will that be possible? Please let me know!

Sat, May 28, 2011 @ 6:46 PM

56. Benjamin Fjare wrote:
What percentage will transaction fees be by the time the client receives the money? The standard 2%-3% or something higher like 5%

Sat, May 28, 2011 @ 10:09 PM

57. Tim Wall wrote:
@Carlos, separate add to cart links won't be possible, but with LightCMS, you can add product listings to any region on any page. So, if you want to feature a product on the home page that you've already got on another page, just add a product listing element on the home page and tell it to show that particular product. Products can be added to any number of product listing elements throughout your site.

@Benjamin, the total transaction fee will depend on the payment processor you or your client uses. LightCMS only charges a 1% transaction fee (2% on basic plans), but your payment processor (paypal, ... etc.) will charge their own fees that will vary based on a number of factors.

Tue, May 31, 2011 @ 8:43 AM

58. Keith Storm wrote:
I'm assuming we'll have a tag we can embed in the template that will display cart status. For example (2 items in cart. $25.00)

Tue, May 31, 2011 @ 1:06 PM

59. Tim Wall wrote:
@Keith, yes indeed. The new shopping cart status token will provide all of that and more. Planning to release some details on that this week.

Tue, May 31, 2011 @ 1:23 PM

60. Frank wrote:
This is great! However, iDeal ( as payment processor is the standard here in the Netherlands. Without this, no webshop. Are there any future plans for iDeal?

Mon, June 6, 2011 @ 2:23 AM

61. Tim Wall wrote:
@Frank, we have plans to add more payment processors after launch. I can't say for sure if and when iDeal will be added but I will be sure it is on the list to consider.

Mon, June 6, 2011 @ 8:51 AM

62. Dustin Hile wrote:
Is there any affiliate incorporation? For example, if we had others who wanted to sell our products on their websites but they get processed though our website and then it shows how much they have made, etc through an affiliate account?

Tue, July 5, 2011 @ 9:26 PM

63. Tim wrote:
@Dustin, there isn't any affiliate tracking functionality at this time.

Wed, July 6, 2011 @ 8:19 AM

64. JF wrote:
I'd like to +1 Frank's suggestion to add iDeal to the list of payment gateways. This would allow me to switch over several sites from WP to LightCMS.

Sat, July 16, 2011 @ 11:32 AM

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