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How to Choose the Right WordPress Shopping Cart – Part 8 – Session 1 Q&A

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Now what we’re going to do is open it up to questions. So, I am going to open up my question window here and I’m going to start taking questions. I’m going to start off with a question from Eve. She asked, will I ever teach how to use or tweak an API and the answer to that is sure although you’re going to have to ask me specifically you know, what you want to do. That kind of instruction generally comes from a specific request so if you’re working with a specific plugin and you want to do something specifically with an API then you need to say, okay, I’m working in Genesis and the Agency Child Theme and I want to add this from the WooCommerce API into my template, how would I do that?

That’s the kind of question you need to ask in order for me to answer those kinds of questions. I probably am not going to do a class on how to manage your way through the MarketPress API. Maybe I’m mistaken, maybe a whole bunch of you would want that and so maybe I will. I like to remind you that this is the point in which you can use that question when you’re to ask me questions so your dashboard thing there has a place for you to ask questions, please open that question window up and start asking them.

Credit Card Processor’s Income and Credit Score Qualifications

Let’s see, Bliss has a couple of questions. He asks, “Re: credit cards. The store provides the framework to accept credit cards. Does the credit card processor have income and credit score qualifications to accept credit cards?” Well, some do and some don’t. You know, unless PayPal has flagged you as being fraudulent, if you’re here in the US, you can pretty much always get a PayPal account that will let you set up the credit card processing. There are different but you know, authorize.net may in fact have some criteria.

The thing is that, it’s not like going to your bank to do credit card processing because what you’re really doing is you’re using a payment gateway, not a credit card processor and so the credit card gateway is going to have some rules but just about anybody can get some kind of a payment gateway to work for them so you don’t really have to worry about that too much. Let’s see, in advance to the class you asked, “Which store option is most easily scaled?” I guess what you really have asked, actually, let me just unmute your microphone, Bliss since I find you here in my list. Okay, Bliss I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Which Store Options is Most Easily Scaled?

Bliss: Yes, I’m here.

Rick: So you’re talking about which store option is most easily scaled? It seems to me like we really have sort of to, scaled in which direction? Scaled in number of products or scaled in the number of purchases?

Bliss: Number of purchases.

Rick: Well you know, it probably doesn’t matter in number of purchases. They can probably all handle thousands and thousands of purchases, that’s probably not a problem. There may be come a problem in fulfillment when you have thousands and thousands of purchases and you need to manage fulfillment, you’re going to want a system that has a really good fulfillment manager like WooCommerce rather than a system with no fulfillment manager like MarketPress. So it might be if you just got a handful of sales every month or a handful of sales every week, fulfillment management may not be a big deal and MarketPress may work but it certainly not going to be the appropriate tool for lots and lots and lots of sales because you will have a hard time tracking fulfillment management.

In terms of the catalog size, probably the ones that will scale best are going to be WooCommerce, Shopp and MarketPress. Also probably going to be the ones that scaled best for catalog sites because they have the largest range of categories and sorting and attributes and that sort of thing so probably WooCommerce at the most extensible. Is there another way in which you want to think about that?

Bliss: No, I was going to sell 3 for ebooks and hopefully sell more as time goes by and then possibly at your membership to the site later on but that’s about the extent of it.

Rick: Okay well, we’re going to talk about that more next week but probably in that case, you’re really talking about WP eStore because if you’re talking about only selling digital products or intangible products then WP eStore is hands down the most full featured and the easiest and the best of all of the choices. So if it’s ebooks and memberships, WP eStore without question.

Bliss: Okay, thanks very much.

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

Bliss: You too.

What is the Best Multilingual eCommerce Plugin?

Rick: Okay let’s see, Janis has a couple of questions too so Janis Gulbis? Good morning Janis, I just unmuted your microphone. Good morning, Janis or good evening, Janis? I can hear something at the background. Okay, could be that English may be an issue there so she asked, “Are there multilingual eCommerce plugins and which ones are the best?” The best multi-lingual eCommerce plugin is going to be WooCommerce. WooCommerce will interface with WPML which is world-class state-of-the-art multilingual plugin and WooCommerce is going to probably be the best at that for that task. She also asked if the spreadsheets with the questions and feature comparisons will be available with the replay and the answer is yes, both of those. As soon as I finish those spreadsheets, they will be made available, it will be available in advance of next week’s presentation because I will be using them in next week’s class.

Let’s see, is Ernest here? Let me see, no, Ernest is not here and Jenny, is Jenny here? Jenny is here. Jenny I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Jenny: Okay. Hi, Rick.

How to Manage Dropshipping Products?

RicK: Hi. So you asked about dropshipping products?

Jenny: Yes, exactly.

Rick: Yes. Actually, WooCommerce has an extension called Advanced Notifications that can be used for selling and managing drop shipment type of stores.

Jenny: So basically the extension, the money is transacted on my website and then it sends notification through the dropshipper to ship the product.

Rick: That’s correct.

Jenny: Yes?

Rick: Yes.

Jenny: I see, okay.

Rick: However, this is the only plugin that I know of that does that though, the rest of them don’t do that.

Jenny: Okay, thank you Rick.

Rick: You’re welcome, have a good day.

Jenny: You too, bye.

eCommerce for Food Catering Business

Rick: Bye. Okay let’s see, next Shikha. Okay, Shikha’s not here but she asked about any tools or plugins required for eCommerce food catering business. I think you’d had to be more specific about that but it seems to me like eCommerce for food catering is more like an intangible product and so then, you’re left asking yourself what your product catalog’s really going to look like and if you’ve got several different dinners, several different deserts or you’ve got sort of ways of adding things on and taking things off and that kind of stuff. My guess is that probably WooCommerce is going to be the best for that just because it has the largest, the most flexibility in chaining or bundling products so you could say, okay, well we’re going to add a chicken dinner, we’re going to add for 10 and we’re going to add another 2 people and so on and so forth. I mean I think that WooCommerce is probably going to be the most capable of handling that.

When to Use Dreamweaver?

Lachie, I’ve just unmuted your microphone. Good evening or good morning, Lachie.

Lachie: Good morning.

Rick: So you had a question?

Lachie: Thank you for the course, I thought that’s very good this morning.

Rick: You’re welcome. So you want to know about Dreamweaver?

Lachie: Yes, I have a little knowledge of Dreamweaver and I’m probably assuming that when you’re using WordPress, so it does the job of Dreamweaver.

Rick: Yes and no. Let’s see, CS5 and CS6 have the ability for you to set up a local server and run your WordPress through Dreamweaver on your local machine and that can actually synchronize with the remote server so it is possible for you to use Dreamweaver to modify things like your CSS. If you’re working in Genesis, you can modify templates and stuff like that using PHP and you can do that kind of work in Dreamweaver. You probably wouldn’t use Dreamweaver in Thesis except perhaps just for editing CSS but yes, it can be helpful. I do something similar to that for plugin development and for skin development. You know when I’m working on programming intensive things, I do develop on a local server and I use NetBeans as my IDE or Integrated Development Environment which is essentially the same thing as Dreamweaver in that regard.

However, what you can’t do in Dreamweaver is use its templating system because Dreamweaver is creating HTML and you’re not really creating HTML, you’re working inside of the context of WordPress so you end up having to hand code your PHP or your HTML and your CSS, that kind of thing but otherwise, sure, Dreamweaver can be useful if you’re used to editing in Dreamweaver. Now, it can also be a total pain in our end just trying to get all that stuff set up so it’s the one thing you want to evaluate but there are a number of my members that I routinely see during this work in Dreamweaver. Anything else?

Lachie: Well, what lets you a really really good using Dreamweaver which would be very easy in Dreamweaver in what phase?

Rick: Well, I don’t know because I’m not really really good in Dreamweaver and never was so I’m not sure what your work flow would look like if you were fast and competent at Dreamweaver. Myself, I wouldn’t use Dreamweaver ever because it’s a very complicated piece of software to learn how to use and I already am fast at the tools that I use but if you’re already really good at Dreamweaver, would it still be a good tool for development in WordPress, I don’t know. If you’re developing in WordPress and you’re not already good at Dreamweaver, I wouldn’t bother becoming good at Dreamweaver because most of Dreamweaver’s functions aren’t useful in WordPress because Dreamweaver creates templates and links parts of templates and all that kind of stuff and that is all inherent in WordPress and so you can’t use those functions of Dreamweaver.

Lachie: Well, this is really good, thank you.

Rick: You’re welcome. Anything else?

Lachie: An awful lots of things would ever do for that.

Rick: Okay well, I’ll be around to ask more questions so fire away in your convenience.

Lachie: Thank you.

Are eCommerce Plugins Compatible with Caching?

Rick: You betcha, bye. Okay let’s see, Yvonne. Good morning Yvonne, I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Yvonne: Hi.

Rick: So you want to know about eCommerce plugins in compatibility with caching?

Yvonne: Right.

Rick: That’s a pretty complicated question or the answer is complicated in any case because it depends very much on what kinds of things you’re selling and whether or not the plugin anticipates being used in the context of a specific caching plugin. Now, I know that WP eStore which is a plugin that I believe you’re using, WP eStore has directions for making it compatible a couple of the major caching plugins like WP Super Cache and W3 Total Cache. In my case, I don’t follow its instructions even though I’m using W3 Total Cache because I’m not trying to save session data for shopping carts and that’s what’s its focus on so I don’t disable those aspects of the cache but it’s necessary in order for you to retain session data in your shopping cart. So that’s why it’s complicated because you have to ask yourself, does your plugin anticipate being used in the caching context and if so, what aspects of it need to be adjusted.

Now, I believe and I’m not absolutely sure of this but I believe that WooCommerce is specifically designed to work with W3 Total Cache and so looks for W3 Total Cache and then anticipates those caching settings, may even modify W3 Total Cache caching settings so that everything works well. I believe MarketPress does the same thing with WP Super Cache. The way I think that you’ll want to purchase is you want to choose the ideal shopping cart and then once you’ve done that, you want to choose a caching solution that works best with that shopping cart and the way you’re going to figure that out is by going to the shopping cart’s support forum and searching for that caching and then going to the caching plugin support forum and searching for your shopping cart and see what different things people are experiencing.

Yvonne: That was my other question because I just you know, a lot of times if you want to look into these things, is there a common place you could go or how you go about finding what works with what so you just answered that question, thank you.

Rick: Yes, the place you go was to go to the support forums for both plugins or just search on Google for both of those things combined and see what you learn by doing that. But you may discover that for example if you’re searching on WooCommerce, you may discover that WooCommerce says we are completely compatible with W3 Total Cache. Well at that point, that’s the one you want to use if you’re using WooCommerce because they have already done the heavy lifting for you then. But caching is always problematic in an eCommerce application because eCommerce writes cookies, writes session data, modifies pages, uses Ajax to refresh pages, none of those things work automatically on a cached page so in some way or another, caching has to be modified or adjusted in order to accommodate that.

Yvonne: Okay, thank you.

Rick: You’re welcome. Anything else?

Yvonne: No, that will do it.

Rick: Okay, have a great day.

Yvonne: Thanks.

Which eCommerce Solutions Support Bitcoin?

Rick: Okay, Jeffrey asks me which eCommerce solutions support Bitcoin? You know, I think there’s only one, I think the only one that supports Bitcoin is WooCommerce. Let’s see, WP eStore might but I don’t think so, let’s see payment gateways. Okay, it got an addon plugin that does okay, Stripe, CCBill, ClickBank. Nope, I think the only one that supports Bitcoin is going to be WooCommerce and that’s it.

What Type of eCommerce Store is Classified as an Amazon A-Store?

Okay, Phil Marston asked,”What type of eCommerce store would you classify an Amazon A-Store as?” An Amazon A-Store is really just an affiliate marketing store where you are displaying products that are being sold on Amazon site on your site and you’re not collecting any of their money and you’re not responsible for any fulfillment, you are essentially displaying a set of products on your site that when they click on the purchase, they’re purchasing it and getting fulfilled directly through Amazon. That’s really not an eCommerce site per se, at least not in the way that I’ve just spent talking about it, that is an affiliate site.

Now, as it turns out, some of these plugins and I didn’t mention this because this is really sort of not inside the context of setting up your own store to show your own products which is what I’m really talking about but a couple of these stores will actually let you set up a product catalog for products that you do not sell, products that you’re not collecting money more and essentially when you click on a “Buy Now”, it is taking you to the site that is selling the product. So it absolutely is possible for you to do something like that with both WP eStore, WooCommerce and I believe, MarketPress where you can essentially use them as affiliate marketing stores where it looks like you’re selling something online but in fact, you’re not selling it online.

You create a catalog for it but when somebody clicks on it, it really takes them to the real place where they’re making the purchase and passes the affiliate link on to them so that’s something very similar to the Amazon A-Store idea that integrates with these plugins that I’m talking about. Some people do that for Amazon instead of using Amazon A-Store so you can essentially create your own Amazon A-Store simply by creating your own product catalog with links where the “Add to Cart” buttons or the “Buy Now” buttons are actually links to the Amazon purchase.

Managing Wholesale Products

Phil asks, what about B2B? Phil, I’ve just unmuted your microphone. I’m sorry, not Phil, pardon me, Jon Hearn. Jon, I’ve just unmuted your microphone. You asked the question, “What about B2B sales?” Are you with me John? Maybe don’t have a microphone, I will leave your microphone unmuted here for just a moment. I suppose by B2B you’re talking about wholesale selling and you can certainly sell products wholesale, that might be a context in which you require membership in order to make a purchase. So if you’re a wholesaler, you may also sell to a certain number of people or take orders from certain people that already have wholesale developed relationships with you and in that case, probably the best choice for you is WooCommerce because WooCommerce also gives you the ability to have a very extensive user profile configuration and so you can have the user set up their own configuration that allows you to collect a sort of PO number with a purchase and lets them set up all kinds of information about the company like your tax, account number and things like that. So if you need to have that information and you want them to be able to maintain it for you and stuff like that which you have it right there in your customer settings. WooCommerce is something that would be good for that.

Jon: Can you hear me now?

Rick: Yes, I can, yes.

Jon: Sweet. Yes, that definitely answer my question. I guess the only other, if it had ought to be is the ability to billing which is actually the processing of sales.

Rick: Yes, absolutely. Now as it turns out, all of these systems will allow you to essentially create a pay by check, really is what that really kind of turns out into a system where they don’t actually have to process the actual financial transaction on the site and WooCommerce will integrate in the things like, FreshBooks and QuickBooks and stuff like that so you can actually pass that sales information on to directly from your website into a third party program that handles accounts receivable.

Jon: Okay.

Rick: Again, WooCommerce is probably the light tool for that job because it can in fact, integrate with at least a couple of accounts receivable systems and so you don’t have to manually pass data back and forth.

Jon: And then did the accounts receivable or WooCommerce provide the ability to print packing slips, print an invoice, all that kind of stuff?

Rick: WooCommerce will, there’s an extension that will print packing slips and invoices and all that kind of stuff.

Jon: Okay.

Rick: Yes.

Jon: And that can also be applied to Thesis 2?

Rick: Yes it can.

Jon: and won’t crash?

Rick: Yes.

Jon: Okay. Great, great information.

Rick: You’re welcome, anything else?

Jon: No, I think that’s it.

Rick: Okay, have a great day.

Jon: Thanks.

Rick: Okay, Jon Turner asked, what did I say I use in the place of Dreamweaver? I use a software called NetBeans, it’s essentially an editor for well, it’s originally a Java Editor but I use the PHP version of NetBeans. If you look at my series on Tools of the Trade under Customize Thesis Like a Pro, you’ll see my discussion of installing and using NetBeans, the different aspects of NetBeans that I use but it’s what I do all of my programming in, is NetBeans. Let’s see, Bob Jordan had a question or a comment, is that right? Am I missing something here? No, I don’t think so. I’m just going to turn your microphone on, Bob just to see whether or not you had a question. Bob, did you have a question? I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Bob: Can you hear me?

Rick: Yes, I can.

What eCommerce Plugins Work with Thesis 1?

Bob: Good, okay. I actually joined 2 hours late so I’m going to go back on how to do this so my question was going in. I am afraid or literally don’t have time right now to work on Thesis 2, I was curious can I start with Thesis 1 and then use Thesis 2 without a total rebuild?

Rick: You can do that with WP eStore and you can do that with Shopp and Cart66. Those are the only 3 out of these 5 that work with Thesis 1.

Bob: Okay, thank you.

Rick: You know really, you can do anything you want with Shopp and WP eStore, is the right tool for the job for digital so those two things include the full range of tools and they both work in Thesis 1. If you’re going to use Shopp, you want to use my plugin that’s available on the wordpress.org repository but I have extensive videos on the site on how to use Shopp which is why I’m not teaching Shopp again this time around because we have plenty of stuff on Shopp.

Bob: Excellent, thanks.

Rick: Okay, you’re welcome. Anything else?

Bob: No.

Rick: Okay, well you have a lovely day.

Bob: Thank you very much.

Rick: Bye. It looks like my very last question was from Jim and he asked what my favorite cigar is and I think today, my favorite cigar is the Rocky Patel Edge Corojo. The close second would be the Joya de Nicaragua Antano cigars so those two kind of trading out back and forth. In fact now that I’m done with this, I’m probably going to go smoke one of those but that’s it. Now, if you have other questions, if there are other people with questions, now is the time to ask them because I’d be glad to continue answering but if we’re done, we’re done.

Angie’s got a question, let’s see, “Can it be my membership question?” Sure, why not? Hi Angie, what was your membership question? Oh, the one you’re talking about for next Wednesday. No, I’m sorry I thought you were talking about a membership plugin but no, let’s keep that topic to next week and Bob asked, when will this session be online? The session will be online on Tuesday. Okay, everybody thank you very much for joining, it was a good full course, we’ll be back again next week for part 2 and then actually the following Wednesday, yes the following Wednesday, we’ll start actually building a store.

Let’s see, it doesn’t look like I have now that I said, okay, thank you or quitting, it does look like I have one other question from Miche Meizner. Hi, I’ve unmuted your microphone, I probably messed up your name. Mitch or Miche or Michelle, do I have your name right?

Miche: Miche.

Rick: Miche, okay there you go.

Miche: Miche.

Rick: Okay, so fire away, what’s your question?

Miche: Yes, so I am custom jeweller, I just want really a handful of products that somebody could go on to my site and purchase directly without having to discuss it with me first and so I would need a certain number of variables that don’t actually change the cost but you know, they’d need to tell me what finger size, what kind of metal, what they want to engrave and that kind of thing and then if you think that would change the cost like say the width of the band and I’ve been wanting to set up my own cart for years and I just get overwhelmed every time I look at one of them and I’m wondering what you would recommend to be the best to go with?

Rick: Well, tell me about shipping, how do you provide shipping for these?

Miche: Yes, I would do flat rate. I don’t really have to deal with tax at this point. So somebody would you know, they have maybe 2 or 3 choices like second day or overnight or going through the postal service again with the flat rate because everything, I have to ensure it and make sure it’s covered so it’s simpler to just do that than to do individual pricing.

Rick: Are you working in Thesis 2?

Miche: Not yet. I started to kind of mess around in there and find my way so I’m hoping to at this point. I have a website that another company built for me and runs with their own proprietary cart but I’d like to have a some kind of WordPress site of my own you know, and handle the shopping cart myself so at least this is the best way to go. I’m a little familiar with that, I’m more familiar with just kind of WordPress in general.

Rick: I would say your best choice in this situation would be MarketPress.

Miche: MarketPress, okay.

Rick: Yes. MarketPress has the added advantage of having a bunch of boxes that I created for Thesis 2 so it gives you a lot of styling opportunity.

Miche: Okay, great.

Rick: And then all flat rate shipping thing works flawlessly in MarketPress and since you don’t have the taxing, you don’t have to worry about that, it has really good multiple image management and extensive variations but doesn’t sound to me like you’re going to be maintaining, are you going to have an inventory controls of this?

Miche: No, because I make everything to order so you know, unless things really get out of hand in a good way, when I get a ton of sales then I guess I would either have inventory or at least want to have a notice so that…Oh my gosh, 10 of those just sold and I better get packing to the studio.

Rick: MarketPress is probably the right tool for that job but come next week anyway and we’re going to work our way through it.

Miche: Yes, definitely I want to you know, I just want to sort of get a headstart and look at it so thank you, your seminar has been great, I appreciate it.

Rick: You’re welcome, Miche. You have a great day.

Miche: Thanks, you too.

Rick: Bye. Okay and with that, we’re going to call it a day. You have a lovely weekend, I’m going to have a live Q and A session on Wednesday morning at 9AM Pacific daylight time and Wednesday evening at 5PM Pacific daylight time so if you’ve got other questions about this, just go there and do it. Hey please, plus 1 this, Facebook like this, retweet this, do something, I’d really appreciate that and we’ll be back again next Thursday morning. Everybody, have a lovely weekend. Bye.

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