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Part 9 – Question and Answer

Difficulty Level -

Actually, we’re going on longer than I thought we would, so we’re going to go ahead and stop here. Next week, we’ll go ahead and configure payment gateway settings and then review the WooCommerce emails and then we’ll get all into setting up products and the product catalog and all the rest kind of stuff.

So, with that I’m going to open up to questions. If you have some questions now is the time to ask them. A couple of people asked me in advance, Julianne asked me what is the best for a product site, is it Carta or Agility? Actually, neither of them. They’re both going to work just fine, neither of them, they in fact, have the same structural sizes, so the settings will be the same either way. It just depends on stylistically, what you want.

By the time you get around to customizing the appearance of the site in Carta, I will have added the ability to customize the WooCommerce shopping cart buttons inside the Design Options. That will exist in both the Agility and in Carta so it really won’t matter.

Linda says what should we have in place of… actually, is Linda here? No, Linda is not here. She asked what should we have in place before we integrate WooCommerce. Well, you need to know what your products are, obviously. You have to have fought your way through, what kind of a store you actually have to create, which means that you’ve watched that original seminar on “How to choose the right shopping cart” then you’ve gone through the checklist and identified those things that you want to do. You’ve made up your plan, and then you’ve compared the checklist and your plan to the comparison checklist. If you don’t do that, you’re not going to be in the position to choose the right plugin but otherwise, it makes sense for you to have product images and product information ready to go.

Charles asks me whether or not I have an experience of Gumroad as a payment processor. They’re claiming to be the next PayPal but Aweber blocks their site, are they legit?

I actually have no idea whether or not they’re legit except that, the whole idea of somebody else being the next PayPal doesn’t seem legit. The cost of entry into a payment processing system, I mean, if you’re going to become a competitor to PayPal, you have to do something that PayPal doesn’t do. And you either have to let the user, like for, you have to be able to be fully integrated with the bank. The store seller has to be able to modify the sale, that kind of thing, which is something they can’t do in PayPal. So, you have that as a potential reason for using something other than PayPal. You might want to sell something that PayPal doesn’t let you sell like, adult material, or alcohol, or firearms-related materials. So you may need to use a payment processor that’s different from PayPal for that.

You’re looking for a compelling reason to use something other than PayPal and start-ups that say that they’re going to be the next PayPal, probably, they’re either catering to a market that’s not served by PayPal like the adult entertainment industry or something like that, or they’re just blowing smoke because, PayPal is the largest online payment provider for a reason. The reason is they’re easy, they’re inexpensive. You get your money instantly and it’s not hard to get an account and to set up an account. If you are in the US or the UK, PayPal, or Canada, or Mexico, or you know, Western Europe, PayPal is something that’s simple to use. Nobody is actually cheaper than PayPal even those people that tried to advertise that they’re cheaper, they’re only cheaper because they charge a smaller percentage theoretically than PayPal charges, except that they charge you a monthly fee. At which point, they are not cheaper than PayPal. I haven’t seen anybody that’s actually less expensive than PayPal. I wouldn’t say you absolutely shouldn’t consider them but they have to have a heck of a sales pitch before you bother with it.

Okay, Steve’s got a couple of questions. Good morning Steve, I just unmuted your microphone. Hey Steve! Are you with me?

Steve: Hi. Oh, sorry, can you hear me?

Rick: I can, yeah. So you have a couple of questions about ClipCart?

Steve: I wasn’t expecting that. When I looked up the visual theme plugin, there were several to choose from and I want to make sure I’m clicking on the right one. The Themedy visual, you called it.

Rick: Oh, okay. Well, let me see. Okay, oh maybe I’m not signed in.

Steve: Yeah, I’m using the Genesis.

Rick: Okay. So, where’s that little thing about?

Steve: Well, if you could just go to the plugins, if that’s possible…

Rick: Their plugin? I didn’t see them having a plugins page.

Steve: No, no, no. I’m talking about using it for the Themedy, you just add the Themedy visual plugin?

Rick: Yeah. And you think that there’s a…

Steve: There’s a really…

Rick: You know of a plugins page on Themedy where you can see that?

Steve: No, no, no, no. In WordPress, if you go to new plugins, you said if we add the Themedy visual plugin…
Rick: Oh, no. I don’t believe that’s on I believe that is something that’s part in…

Steve: It was just in my app

Rick: It was just inside of ClipCart. Let’s just look and see though, Themedy…

Steve: Okay

Rick: Yeah. No…

Steve: Yeah, I’ve seen it but then it let’s me choose

Rick: Well, you don’t choose any of these.

Steve: Okay

Rick: None of these are what I was talking about. The Themedy visual designer plugin that I was talking about is available from inside the theme itself or from inside of Themedy’s own website, and I’m looking to try and find that now… core features, that’s it. And so, Themedy has this… the design tool, here we go. Oh well, okay, they’ve got this, their design tool which has all of this different styles that can be used with their theme. But it comes inside the theme, it doesn’t come from outside.

Steve: Okay, thank you for clarifying that.

Rick: Yeah, no problem. And you asked about ClipCart with a different shopping cart?

Steve: Oh, what had happened was when I had a downloaded the ClipCart last week and then imported all the pages and automatically put in that cart66, then I just deleted that with the available products in there.

Rick: Yeah. It is compatible with both, if you’re using cart66, of course cart66 does not create the product pages and so, ClipCart then creates the products post type and product categories and creates all that stuff and then applies cart66 to it. Whereas, it doesn’t do any of that with WooCommerce. With WooCommerce, so that’s WooCommerce will create all that stuff.

So, you could theoretically, use ClipCart with other eCommerce systems like cart66 because you could use the same thing with WP eStore and ClipCart, because you let ClipCart build your product pages and product categories and then just use WP eStore for the actual processing, just like they’re doing with cart66. But I just don’t think cart66 is a viable store option, actually, except for the simplest possible store configurations.
Steve: Okay, sounds good.

Rick: So, anything else?

Steve: No, that’s it.

Rick: Okay, have a good day.

Steve: Thank you.

Rick: You bet.

Steve: You too.

Rick: Okay, so then Collin asks what are permalinks? Permalinks are, essentially, what they really are is pretty permalinks. What that means is that, what WordPress does, is it rewrites the URLs on a site so that they look like this, This is a pretty permalink.

Now, if we look over here at, let’s see… oh, it’s too late. Those permalinks have already been setup. Actually, we probably could change the permalink here so you could see what default permalinks look like. So, you go over to Settings and Permalinks here, and we got it default and we save changes. Go to the homepage, and now let’s go to the menu. Notice, this is a standard default WordPress URL. It has that that little query string, and it says, page_id=20 so it says, at this site, what are we looking for? we’re looking for something with page id equals 20.

If you go to the main store page, it says, where do you want to go? Let’s go to the archive page that is showing the post type of products. And then if we go to our product page, it says, where do we want to go, well, let’s go to the product that equals flying ninja. Those are the standard default WordPress links.

Now, they’re actually crumby links because they fail to have good semantic markup. So what you want to do instead of that, is to use something like, post name. What I do is something like category post name because I think that’s the only real semantic way to do it. So I’d say, %/category/%postname%/ and then when I do that, then I’d come back down here to the shop basic category. And instead of shop, I’d say products; /products/%product_cat%/ and save these permalinks.

What they do is rewrite this query string and turn it into a URL so now it says shop, right? If you go to a product, it says products and then the product category and then the name of the product. So, products/posters/flying-ninja. That’s essentially the way this works. You end up with a page name or the page name hierarchy or the category hierarchy or the post name or the product hierarchy, that kind of thing. That’s what a permalink is and for SEO purposes, you want this kind of a permalink. You do not want a permalink that has a question mark in it.

Collin, I’m just going to unmute your microphone here. Hey Collin, I just unmuted your microphone. Are you with me?\

Collin: Okay, thanks. So it’s just the way to clean up the look of the links and help with our SEO then…

Rick: Yes, it’s primarily, an SEO thing.

Collin: Okay

Rick: You know, Google strongly recommends that you use semantic architecture for the layout of your site. What that means is, parent page-child page relationships and category-post relationships so that you end up with, you know, something that looks exactly like this, where it’s /products/posters/flying-ninja. Because the thing is, anybody looking at this URL, knows what they can find there.

There’s no question in their mind what they’re going to find at this URL, which is perfect for SEO because there’s no question in Google’s mind what they’re going to find there. And it’s a meaningful permalink, it’s meaningful URL structure. WordPress calls them permalinks, other people call it the URL.

Collin: Oh, Okay. Back when you set that up. You change the… yeah, and under Common settings and Product permalink, what’s the difference between those two?

Rick: Well, Common settings affect pages and posts. And these are the settings; pages, posts, categories and tags, actually, all of the default components of WordPress. However, the product permalink base is something that WooCommere includes that applies to their store and their products.

Collin: Oh I see. Okay, thank you.

Rick: You’re welcome. Now there are plugins that would help you do this for other kinds of custom post types and other types of custom taxonomies or organizational structure. This is a very common thing to have to set on a regular WordPress website. Anything else?

Collin: Well, the database that you’re referencing when you’ve put in the percentages of the data, I mean the data file name, post name, product_cat, those are listed where?

Rick: Well…

Collin: Or that is something you know intuitively?

Rick: You mean, what the syntax looks like?

Collin: Yeah. Well… yeah, where you’ve put the… down under custom base, you’ve put %product_cat%, that’s referencing some place in the database?

Rick: No, it’s not. It’s a mask.

Collin: Oh, okay.

Rick: It’s a mask for a regurgitating data and actually, that’s not right. It’s /, % sign and it’s category as the keyword that WordPress understands. If, instead of that, you put fishsticks keyword…

Collin: Oh, that’s it! Keyword, where can I go to the list of keywords and start…

Rick: Okay, so it’s right here and actually, they call them tags. So when you go to the settings permalinks, here is a link that takes you to a setup that shows you what a typical permalink structure is and shows you the recognized tags that exists and how to set that kind of stuff up.

Collin: I just wanted to know where I can go to and learn some of this stuff, okay.

Rick: Sure, most of this, for you, I mean, I find that people get confused when they get down to this part here, Where’s my .htaccess file?, the thing is that, unless you are on some oddball host, you’re on with this some mainstream, modern host, this stuff is all handled for you automatically.

Collin: Okay

Rick: You don’t ever have to think about this. All you really have to think about is, which of these tags do you really want to show up? And semantically, the only reason why you would want a date in your tag, is because the date is significant, in respect to the content. So if you were having baseball scores on the Mets vs Dodgers game, then, the date in the URL has some significance. But a date in the URL that is a blog post about your favorite restaurant, does not have significance and so, you’re going to want to consider the semantic significance of the URL.

The chances are, almost never is date going to be appropriate. So, even though we’ve gone all these things here, really when it comes down to it, pretty much post name and category are really the only two that have the significance.

Collin: Okay. I appreciate that.

Rick: You’re welcome. Have a good day.

Collin: You too.

Rick: Bye, bye.

Okay, I don’t think there’s any other question so we’re going to call it a day here. We’ll be back again, on Monday to fix that site that’s totally screwed up and we’d be back on Wednesday in Live Q&A. Back again next Thursday for lesson 2. I can already tell, this is actually going to be 4 lessons because I have a lot more material where I was supposed to get to today, so you can expect, this is not to be a 3 lesson class but it’s a 4-lesson class. We’ll just see you all the next time around. Everybody have a lovely day, and I look forward to chatting with you again soon. Bye, bye.

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2 Comments… add one
2 comments… add one
  • Heidi Hafner August 24, 2014, 12:55 pm

    With regard to page set up… I want to set my site up with sub-catagories. I have several levels of catagories. i.e. Brand Name > Specific Area of Need (heart, skin, weight loss, etc.) > All products for catagory.

    How do I set up for “Specific Area of Need” instead of Brand Name?


    • Rick Anderson August 25, 2014, 7:36 am

      Heidi, I would use either Post Tags or a custom taxonomy that behaves like a tag for that. This way it won’t mess up your category/url structure.

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