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Build an Online Store Using Shopp

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This is the main page for a Live Seminar Series that we held in December 2011 through January 2012 on creating an Ecommerce website using WordPress, the Thesis theme and Shopp.  Below is a description of what we accomplished during the course and links to each of the lesson pages where the video tutorials are shown.

A Fully Functioning Online Store using WordPress, Thesis and Shopp

We created a store that sells educational products.  Those products include physical books, ebooks, audio CDs, downloadable audio and DVDs.  The unique elements of this store are:

  • Selling both physical and downloadable products
  • Providing secure download links from Amazon S3
  • Complex physical shipping calculations – including speed of delivery and distance using real time US Postal Service data.
  • Authorize.net as the payment provider
  • Dedicated SSL certificate – hosted at Bluehost
  • Product Catalog search
  • Product sorting by type and category
  • SEO for the products – including configuration of sitemap

Shopp and the Thesis theme are a Perfect Combination

Ecommerce plugins for WordPress have a long history of compatibility issues with themes and other plugins.  If you look at their FAQs you’ll routinely see the disclaimer that they do not promise that their plugin will work in all conditions.  Some popular plugins, like WP eCommerce make assumptions about templates that don’t apply to Thesis.  Others hard code styles with their markup that can throw off the display of the site.  Still others fail to follow WordPress’ recommended coding standards and can run havoc on your site.
Shopp to the rescue!  Shopp and Thesis work flawlessly together.  They are both very carefully designed and coded and they are designed to be customized.  Those familiar with customizing Thesis using hooks and filters will feel comfortable with Shopp’s system of hooks and filters.  However, the good news is that most of the customization you may be interested in doing only requires a little HTML and CSS.

Build an Ecommerce Website Course Outline

Lesson 1 – Site Organization and Installing the Plugin

  • Introduction – what we are building
  • Organizing a WordPress Ecommerce Site with Shopp – The Tools
  • Organizing a WordPress Ecommerce Site with Shopp – Two Approaches
  • Organization of our Products
  • Organization of our Store
  • Install Shopp

Lesson 2 – Setup Shopp

  • General Settings
  • Checkout Settings
  • Payments – setup PayPal
  • Shipping
  • Taxes
  • Presentation
  • System
  • Setup and configure Authorize.net

Lesson 3 – Create the Product Catalog

  • How to Organize Product Categories
  • Create Product Categories
  • Create a Product with both physical and digital variations
  • Create a Product with multiple variations
  • Understanding the default Shopp catalog display
  • Rearrange product categories
  • Multiple levels of product variations

Lesson 4 – Configuring the Product Catalog

  • Configure Secure Storage and Download of Downloadable Products at Amazon S3
  • Configure US Postal Service Shipping
  • Multiple Levels of Product Variations and Addons
  • Product Variations – a couple of case studies
  • Add Widgets to the Store
  • Adding a Display Order to Products
  • Understanding the Various Views and Templates

Lesson 5 - Customize Shopp Templates Part 1

  • Introduction to Shopp Customization
  • Using Shopp Template Tags
  • Add Customer Inputs to Order
  • Customizing the Catalog View
  • Customizing the Category View

Lesson 6 - Customize Shopp Templates Part 2

  • Customizing the Category View
  • Add Customer Input to Products
  • Customize the Product View
  • Conditional Customer Input

Lesson 7 - Final Customization and Testing

  • Customize the Shopping Cart View
  • Customize the Checkout View
  • Customize the Product Display Widget
  • Test Transaction Processing
  • Managing Order Fulfillment
  • Managing Customers

Lesson 8 - Set up PayPal Testing Environment in Shopp

  • Create a PayPal Sandbox Account
  • Create Seller Account
  • Create a Manual Buyer Account
  • Configure Shopp For Testing
  • Test the System Website
  • After Testing – Process a real transaction

Lesson 9 – Upgrade to Shopp 1.2.1

  • Backup the Site
  • Perform the Automatic Upgrade
  • Upgrade Shopp Add-ons
  • Upgrade Customization Files
  • What’s New in Shopp 1.2?
  • Customize the Shopp Category Template

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