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Lesson 3 – Part 1 – Pre-flight Product Checklist

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This video is part of our old WP eStore Course Go to our Updated WP eStore Course for current videos.

In the first part of this lesson we’re going to go through a setup checklist to deal primarily with the product relationships in our e-commerce website. WP eStore starts off with a Product Catalog and then inside of that Catalog it has as many product categories as you choose to create. Within those categories you insert your products which have to be part of a product category and not just part of the catalog directly. So even if you only have one product you also have one category to go along with it.

WP eStore Product Categories

In WP eStore a Product Category is a large logical chunk of your subset of products so you want to think of breaking them down by their defining characteristics and then those defining characteristics would serve as a category. If you’re a pet store and you have cats, and dogs, and fish, each one of those things could be a category. However, if you’re a pet store that only sells dogs you might have breed 1, breed 2 and breed 3 as product categories and then products within each category.

This sort of thing shows up in the e-commerce website that we are creating; one of them is a standard mailed book and the other is an e-book. If you only sell e-books you might break those e-books down by the content type of those e-books. So, in the place of e-books you might have marketing e-books and website design e-books as product categories and then various books inside those.

A couple of our members are artists and they have various types of expressions of their artwork. One of them might have a product category of paintings, of painted tiles and then maybe of prints and inside of each of those categories they would split up their wares.

The point of this is that your Product Category ought to be a large descriptive division of your wares. So what’s in Product Categories? They are comprised of names and descriptions, target URLs and thumbnails. Now the category name is fairly obvious, right? It would be Books or e-Book or Paintings or what have you.

Description of the Product Categories

Description would be a brief description of sales as you would find on a catalog page. You can see an example of these on our demonstration site. If you take a look at our Catalog, it has these categories:  Books, Software, Downloadable e-Books and Video Training. Those are the four big ones. This is the label or name of the category. This is the description of it and this is its thumbnail.

Category Target URL

Then if you select the Category it takes you to the URL of that category. So the Target URL is the main category description page that would have the products on it. Back here on our e-commerce website if we select the name it takes us to that target URL. In this case the target URL for this category is That is the Target Category URL.

Category Thumbnail Image

Then finally if we look back here this is the thumbnail image. And that wraps up the four parts that you need completed to have all the information for your category setup on your e-commerce website.

WP eStore Product Setup

Next we need to take a look at the Products in WP eStore which have similar kinds of requirements or pieces of information that you need to have when you set them up. You need the Name, the Price, a Short Description and a Thumbnail Image URL.  You also need a Product Page URL, whatever Variations you may have, a Shipping Fee and a Shipping Weight.

Let’s take a look at our e-commerce website. Within the category of Books, you can see that this is the full short description. You have the name, the short description, the price, and the variance – in this case we have three different languages you can choose from and if you choose French the price goes up by five bucks. The variance can have price differences. You might do this with colors or sizes of t-shirts – whatever the variant might be and then the thumbnail image.

Product Requirements

So that was the Name, Price, Short Description, Thumbnail Image URL and Variations. You also need a product page URL which is the page that we created in the last lesson. Then a shipping fee and a shipping weight.

If we come back over here to our e-commerce website again and select this, it takes us over to our product page URL and gives a more thorough and complete description. This whole shipping cost kicks in when you click the Add to Cart button. The Add to Cart button is there because we said that shipping cost was $5.00, the original price $24.95 but when you add $5.00 of shipping it’s $29.95. We’ll talk about how shipping weight might apply. You would apply the shipping weight or you would use the attribute of shipping weight when you were going to use a system that determines shipping cost by weight such as the PayPal system that we’ll talk about later.

Product Attributes

Finally what you have for products is called Product Attributes. This is something that is not actually part of the WP eStore software.  We will be using Thesis and WordPress to create these attributes and apply them to the products. An Attribute is something similar to those characteristics we looked at before but it is not being tracked or controlled by WP eStore, but we still want some method of tracking them.  For example, Author, Publication Date, Page Count, perhaps an ISBN Number or a book type like Soft Cover or Hard Cover – potentially the dimensions of the thing or the duration of something.

Any different kinds of attributes that you may want to define about your particular products should be listed. You’re not going to enter those in the WP eStore interface but we will create them for your post so when you create a product post you’ll enter this kind of information. For example Author – Laura Nugent, Pages – 247, Publication Date – those are the attributes that are not managed by WP eStore but that we still want to be represented. So we’re going to do that with our Attributes.

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