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Building an E-Commerce Website

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Please note that this course has been replaced with the new “Sell Your Digital Products with WP eStore

This is a 16 lesson course intended to take a beginner from zero to building a fully functioning e-commerce website with WordPress, Thesis and WP eStore.  There are 93 self paced videos that will take you step by step through each part of the process. You’ll need no prior knowledge of website building. These lessons build on the “Start Building Your Website Here” video tutorials.

If you are interested in selling digital products only using WP eStore, go to our How To Sell Digital Products Online with WP eStore course where we teach you how to build a store using WordPress, WP eStore and Thesis 2 or Genesis 2.

Before you begin

  1. Have a hosting account with a domain name and WordPress 3.0 installed
  2. Have a copy of Thesis 1.7 or Thesis 1.8 installed on the site and activated.

What we are building

We are building an e-commerce site that will sell both physical and downloadable products. You can see a finished copy of the site here.  The site will have 12 products, each with variations. This system will be suitable for products with relatively simple shipping costs or with secure, encrypted downloads. We will be configuring the site to use PayPal as our payment provider. The site will have a shopping cart so that customers can purchase multiple products and multiple quantities. Upon purchasing a product the customer will be added to our email marketing list. Finally we will have a free give-away that will require sign up with our email marketing system so that we can send them special offers.

Lesson 1 – Organizing our Ecommerce Website – Information Architecture

  1. Overview of the site
  2. Summary of the Major Components
  3. Sales Component
  4. Information Component
  5. Marketing Component
  6. User Experience Component

Lesson 2 – Layout the Ecommerce Website – Building the Structure

  1. Making Effective Use of Thesis Page Titles
  2. Using WordPress Page Order to Organize Pages
  3. Setup Main Pages
  4. Setup Permalinks & Category Structure
  5. Setup Thesis Navigation Menu
  6. Setup Product Detail Posts

Lesson 3 – Install and Configure WP eStore

  1. Pre-flight Checklist
  2. Purchase and Install
  3. Configure General Settings
  4. Configure Payment Gateway Settings
  5. Configure Product Categories

Lesson 4 – Add Products to our Store

  1. Review Product Checklist
  2. Add your First Physical Product
  3. Add Variations, Shipping & Inventory Control to your Physical Product
  4. Add a Digital Download Product & Simplify the Creation of Additional Products

Lesson 5 – Create the Catalog Pages

  1. Install a bonus product display plugin
  2. Introduction to WP eStore shortcodes
  3. Various ways to display product categories
  4. Various ways of displaying all products in a given category
  5. Various ways of displaying individual products on a post or page
  6. How to add the shopping cart to the site
  7. Add “Buy Now” & “Add to Cart” buttons to product pages
  8. Fix the Thesis CSS for button images

Lesson 6 – Organize and Configure a Large Product Catalog

  1. Organize a large number of products in to categories and subcategories
  2. Displaying Super categories, categories and products using shortcodes

Lesson 7 – Styling Category and Product Listings

  1. Customize the display of category listings using CSS
  2. Use custom classes to selective apply CSS
  3. Customize the “simple view” of product listings
  4. Customize the “grid view” of product listings
  5. Customize the “box view” of product listings

Lesson 8 – Configuring Thesis Design Options

  1. Configure Thesis Site & Display Options
  2. Configure Thesis Fonts & Colors
  3. Configure Other Thesis Design Options
  4. Using Thesis Manage Options

Lesson 9 – Styling the Full Width Framework of your Ecommerce Website

  1. Using the Full-width Framework
  2. Move the navigation menu
  3. Header background image
  4. Header foreground image
  5. Footer background images
  6. Create a custom search button
  7. Add search to header

Lesson 10 – Floating Boxes Navigation Menu

  1. Understanding Navigation Structure
  2. Setting Thesis Design Options
  3. Styling Menu Text
  4. Spacing & tab sizes

Lesson 11 – Create a Widget Ready “Fat” Footer

  1. Create the widgetized areas
  2. Install widgets plugin
  3. Install recent posts plugin
  4. Configure pages widget
  5. Configure recent posts widget
  6. Configure bookmarks widget
  7. Configure text widget
  8. Styling the footer widgets

Lesson 12 – Add Featured Products to the Ecommerce Home Page

  1. Install Dynamic Content Gallery
  2. Configure Feature Box
  3. Add gallery to Feature Box
  4. Add DCG images
  5. Configure DCG options
  6. Customizing the CSS

Lesson 13 – Control Which Widgets Display in Sidebars

  1. Embed a YouTube video using the Text Widget
  2. Create a Product Listing Widget using the Advanced Recent Posts Plugin
  3. Create a Related Products widget
  4. Install the Display Widgets Plugin
  5. Place the Shopping Cart on Specific Pages
  6. Edit the appearance of the Shopping Cart with CSS

Lesson 14 – Adding the Email Marketing Component

  1. Signup for AWeber
  2. Configure your customer list
  3. Integrate AWeber with WP eCommerce
  4. Configure your prospects list
  5. Add free download to the site
  6. Add AWeber signup form

Lesson 15 – Install and Employ Google Tools for your Ecommerce Website

  1. Setup Google Account
  2. Install Google XML Sitemaps
  3. Tour of Google Analytics
  4. Add Google Analytics
  5. Add Google Webmaster Tools
  6. Tour Google Webmaster Tools

Lesson 16 – Using “Comments” for “Product Reviews”

  1. Understanding Thesis Filters
  2. Change “Add Comment” to “Add Review” using Thesis filters
  3. Change “Comments” to “Reviews” using Thesis filters
  4. Use a Template Tag to adjust comment numbers
  5. Install a Recent Comments Plugin to display product reviews
  6. Customizing product reviews with CSS

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2 Comments… add one
2 comments… add one
  • Teo November 12, 2013, 4:17 am

    I am interested to take this course or something similar to create a WP site with selling vouchers for a certain company. We will create the nominal vouchers with a code, allow people to pay via Credit Cards and PayPal, give them the voucher to download with their private data and the code, and then, they can go to the company and get the service/product for the value of the voucher emitted by us.
    1.I need to know if you can help me to implement such a page on a simple site and how much will cost me the tuition – I want to replicate what I learn.
    2. how much will cost me the intermediat company which makes the bank transaction between the credit card/paypal to our accounts. I suppose there is an anual fee or monthly fee

    Thanks in advance,
    Teofil B.

    • Rick Anderson November 13, 2013, 1:38 pm

      Teo – The “tuition” is the membership fee. Which is $197 till November 30th. After that it goes up to $297. Yes, the ecommerce course will give you everything you need to do that. Different credit card transaction companies charge different fees. However PayPal is about 3%. You can learn more by visisting their site.