How To Build An Affiliate Store With Free Tools

Template Demo
Updated information Oct 2009 – There is a good extension that can help you build a joomla affiliate store, It is commercial however. Also if you are interested in building a WordPress affiliate store you could take a look at my friend’s site.

The free version of PolarBearPro can be found in our downloads area – the template details can be found here.

The template demo is something we’re quite proud of – To liven things up we built an affiliate store for iPod Accessories using Virtuemart and products from various affiliate product directories.

We started out thinking the demo would just look more appealing if it had a purpose, and some content that reflected a real world example of what could be done with a Joomla site and some free extensions.

In the end we realized this could be something our readers would be interested in learning how to build for themselves.

So here goes: The store was built entirely using free tools. Any products sold generate commissions for the store owner and you don’t have to carry any stock or deal with customers. It’s also an online business that won’t cost you a penny to setup!

We built our online store with the following free tools:

If you don’t have a hosting account you will need one – It’s about the only thing you will pay for and it’s a cost that comes with running almost any site (except your free blogger blogs, etc).
If you are just getting started and don’t already have a web host then a very reasonably priced Joomla host I like is iPower – plans start at less than $50 per year. You can also register a domain name through them.

Over the next few days I will be working on a full step-by-step tutorial explaining the entire process we went through to achieve what you see in the demo. Every step has been screen captured so you can see just how easy it is to put together your own store.

If you find the idea of building your own store like this exciting then subscribe to our feed or email update service and be the first to get the guff.


 Add your comment
  1. anybody here know of a good site to find more info on how to make a shopping cart? I\’ve got this site bookmarked and im gonna keep checking it out, but i still would like to find a site that covers how to make a shopping cart a little more thoroughly..thanks

  2. I currently have all my sites running through WordPress and have been looking for a way to experience Joomla and I think you just brought to me! Look forward to seeing your tutorial. Thanks a lot.

  3. I can’t wait to see the rest of the tutorial! Just discovered your site today and love the Black Bear template!

    • Thanks for the nice feedback Jeff,
      Did you build with Joomla?
      Will try to get the rest of the affiliate store tutorial finished as soon as possible – have been really bogged down through December and doing a big catchup now over the Christmas break!

  4. Wow! You all know so much. This blog is really helpful. Thanks so much!

    • Thanks Nga for your spam comment with your dodgy affiliate links.
      I’ve removed the link and will replace it with a random site – lets see… will have your traffic.
      A little word of advice – sit down and set up a Joomla site or blog of your own and do some real work, write a review of the product you are trying to spam and maybe you will get some real sales… Good luck!

  5. BigBear, So glad I found your site! (Griz comments) I’ve been struggling with Joomla for a week now and have found several answers to my million and one questions. Joomla is very cool, so is your blog. THANKS!

    • Hi Norman ;-)
      Joomla is cool, but there are plenty of niggly little things to work through.
      Feel free to email me if there is anything specific.

  6. I use oscommerce since it has so many modules and a huge support base, i guess ill have try joomla shopping cart before posting any comparisons. Ill keep you updated….

    • I’ve heard good thing’s about OS Commerce. I’d like to give it a try but am not doing a lot of shopping cart work at present. What CMS features does OSCommerce have? I guess one of things for a lot of people is that if they choose Joomla or Worpress for their main CMS then they may want to find an option that plugs into their CMS. In that regard I’m also interested in whether anyone has looked at bridging these options?

  7. Joomla is really cool and with the number of people working on Joomla themes, I guess its high time to move from paid template services to Joomla.

    Good work you guys are doing!


  8. Today i installed joomla and I must say it is really cool. are there any plugins to install? Where can i find any?

    sry for my bad english :)

  9. omg i searched a long time but never on itsself ;) thx!

  10. Who can recommend the best banner advertising to go with my affiliate store? Or even a C-P-A network might integrate well when someone enters in an email address/zip code. Any suggestions?

  11. I take it the step by step tutorial was never done?

  12. The tutorial is still being worked on and is scheduled to be the next major post on this blog.

  13. I personally checked out the template demo for Ipod Accessories. Its cool and I found it useful in building my own online store. I may consider Joomla to start with. I am looking forward to the tutorial. Thanks.

  14. I think that Joomla is not the best basis for building a store! There are a lot of vulnerabilities in the code, as I was aware.

    • There are no known vulnerabilities in Joomla, There may be vulnerabilties in the shopping cart plugin you choose – as is the case with any CMS.

    • Additionally when you build an affiliate store there are really no considerations at all – you are not selling your own products – only referring visitors to other sites and getting paid.

  15. I was looking for something like this. I think Virtuemart will work great with Joomla. Thanks for sharing the information. Cheers mate !

  16. Have been looking at Magento lately as well. It’ something to keep an eye on.

  17. I heard Magento is a resource hog and wont run well on a shared server – I use JShop but want to go opensource maybe virtuemart or cubecart or oscommerce depending on ease of use, security and features. Anyone know a good review on opensource ecommerce packages.

    • Mmmm maybe depends on your shared hosting provider. I’m quite impressed with Magento so far, If you are in the mood check out the keynote address on their homepage, bottom right, (It’s 30 mins long) certainly gives the impression Magento is kicking ass. You can integrate the logins with Joomla as well through jFusion.

      I do still like Virtuemart and Joomla.

      5beans is looking cool BTW.

  18. great stuff here. these free tools is works. it quite easy to build an affiliate website and there are many tools to do that. but it’s very to hard to make profit. nice post thank.

  19. what types of affiliate fees (percentages etc.) do you get? are people making money using this approach?

  20. Have you finished the tutorial? I’ve never used joomla but I think I might because that virtumate looks like a cool way to setup a store. I’m a little confused though as it seems to be built for a real store, yet your example is going through affiliate links?

  21. I would love to see the tutorial as well!!!

  22. too bad the tutorial is not ready yet, btw I was looking at mageto too, didn’t know it can work with joomla with jfusion though

  23. Any word on the tutorial?

    I’m a WordPress buff but a complete novice when it comes to Joomla. I was drawn to this site in my search for free ways to set up an affiliate store with a CMS (all the WP options I found were paid).

    Anyway, I could really use the tutorial you mentioned. I set up Joomla on my domain with your template and installed Virtuemart but I have no idea what to do next.

    If anyone can weigh in with some help, I would really appreciate it.

  24. Great post. I was looking for something like this. I’m hoping to start an online store. The article is very informative. It mentions all the stuff I need to start the store. Thanks a lot. This is very helpful.

  25. Bump for the tutorial! :)

  26. Hi

    Thanks for posting such a valuable piece of information. I am looking forward to using this in future. The article is quite informative for those looking for free downloadable stuffs. It mentions all the stuff people might be looking to start a store. Thanks a lot. I hope this would be very helpful.

  27. sometimes i get confused, but people always says, joomla is the best, and other people says wordpress, but could anyone answer me, who is really the best, and is joomla and word press competitors, or same company, i am starting to learn about joomla, a lot.

  28. Hello to you :) I can?t understand how to add your site in my rss reader. Help me, please

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