Build Your Own Business Website header image

How to Choose the Right WordPress Shopping Cart – Part 18 – Session 2 Q&A

Difficulty Level -

Whoops, you've found some protected content!

Watch the opening clip of this video to preview it,
the full video is available to free and paid members.

With that, I’m now going to open it up to questions. Lachie asks, would Drupal be a better option for a large and complicated store than WordPress? Well, it depends on who you are, I mean if you are a Drupal developer, sure but when your site’s in WordPress, then no. There’s really a million different potential options out there and all of them are probably good in a certain context and maybe better in a certain context than another but the folks that are members here are generally working only in WordPress and Drupal would be a whole brand new thing to learn. And then you have to ask yourself well, if you’re going to bother learning a whole new thing, maybe the thing to do is just to use one of the other open source shopping cart. The real answer to your question is, I don’t know.

I don’t know whether or not Drupal would be a better option because I’m not a Drupal developer, I don’t build sites in Drupal and I don’t teach Drupal so I don’t really know what its functions are and my recommendation I guess, would be to try and find somebody who knows enough about Drupal to be able to make the same kind of comparison between Drupal plugins. I don’t know if they call them plugins or what they call them in Drupal but obviously, there are a variety of eCommerce solutions available for Drupal as well and for that matter, as soon as you decide that you’re going to look beyond WordPress, there are a number of other CMS’s out there that may be worth looking at as well and I’d have to actually say, I don’t know about all of those because the only thing I really know is WordPress. I have built stores in asp.net before but that was a few years ago and I’m sure it has progressed way beyond where I was before.

Let’s see, Marcia is asking a question. Good morning, Marcia I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Marcia: Hello?

Rick: I can kind of hear you.

Marcia: Hold on a second. That’s better.

Rick: That’s way better, yeah. Okay, go ahead and ask your question.

Marcia: Okay, I recently had a website built for me and they said that I would have to go back to them for any eCommerce. They didn’t use a theme, we wanted them to use a Thesis theme but I think my demands were too great for them and the way it’s laid out that they didn’t use a theme so to WordPress site without a theme is what I’ve been told.

Rick: That’s not possible but what is the URL?

Marcia: www.successfulchristianparent.org I have a products and services page.

Rick: So somebody actually created, oh pardon me, give me just one more second as I look at this. Somebody actually created a theme for you or a child theme for you called successfulchristianparents, I mean they named it that. Okay, it’s a child theme of the WordPress Twenty Twelve theme and so that’s what it is, it’s a custom theme that was built as a child theme to the WordPress default theme of Twenty Twelve.

Marica: Okay.

Rick: Okay? So then your question is, how will the stuff work?

Marcia: So will I be able to use this eCommerce things with this theme then?

Rick: Yes, you should be able to use eCommerce with these.

Marcia: You can see my very novice attempts to start this over on a products and services page that they provided so far.

Rick: So these are books?

Marcia: Yeah and they them link to Amazon.

Rick: Sure.

Marcia: The “Life Lessons” is going to be a subscription thing, I don’t have the whole process put together.

Rick: If you’re just using Amazon links, okay, well let me just take a step back. MarketPress is going to work out of the box for you with this theme, I am almost certain.

Marcia: Okay.

Rick: Since it’s built on Twenty Twelve.

Marcia: Okay.

Rick: MarketPress works flawlessly with Twenty Twelve and so does WooCommerce so unless you’ve got something really weird going on, the chances are, both of those are just going to work right out of the box with Twenty Twelve.

Marcia: Okay, great.

Rick: I mean with this child theme. Both Cart66 and WP eStore are always going to work because they don’t create special templates, they don’t rely on special templates.

Marcia: Okay.

Rick: And so, either one of those should work for you as well. So you’re selling some books?

Marcia: Books and eventually going to have mp3s and I have ebooks and print books and mp3s and then I have this “Life Lessons” that’s going to be a subscription type of deal where people sign up for a month at a time and I send them out mp3s or emails.

Rick: Well, I would start off by loading WooCommerce on your site and see what happens.

Marcia: Most of what you were going through with your sample, I was going, yes, yes, yes. I was like, you said let’s figure out Marcia’s eCommerce site. Most of it matched pretty well.

Rick: Yeah and WooCommerce also does have the ability for you to do this, where when you click here and it just takes you to the Amazon. You can create products on your site that have rather than actually processing a transaction on your site, it actually just link you off to a certain Amazon location, that’s absolutely possible with Woo. And I would say the chances are, WooCommerce is going to work fine, it may not look exactly the way you want it to do and you may in fact, find that you need to add a template or more to the site so you still may want to use the developers to modify a WooCommerce template so that it matches everything completely but I’m pretty sure that WooCommerce is going to work just fine here.

Marcia: Okay, great. Thank you.

Rick: And WP eStore and Cart66, they will both just fine without any question. They have limitations, I didn’t talk too much about Cart66 because one of Cart 66’s limitations is its calculation of taxes. If you live in Oregon and you don’t have any state sales tax then it’s probably not that big a deal but if you live in Washington State where you have to charge sales tax for residence in Washington State but not for anywhere else, Cart66 makes you handle that inside of PayPal which I consider to be a deal killer plus you want to do the subscription thing which really is I think also a deal killer for Cart66.

Marcia: Yeah and that’s going to be a pretty important part of it eventually.

Rick: So then I would load WooCommerce on your site and see if you can make it work. That’s how I would approach it.

Marcia: Okay. Thank you very much for your help.

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

Marcia: You too. Bye.

Rick: Bye. And Dr. Jeff, okay Dr. Jeff I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Jeff: Hi Rick, we have to stop meeting like this.

Rick: I guess so.

Jeff: But not until I get my site up and running.

Rick: Okay.

What is the Advantage of Using Opt-In Form in WP eStore?

Jeff: I’m just wondering if there’s an advantage to the opt-in form that comes with WP eStore, is there an advantage to that over what you can create at AWeber?

Rick: No, it’s either way around actually. The opt-in form for that WP eStore will let you create, just saves that email address to WordPress and so it gives you their email address and you can send them emails but you’re going to be sending them emails rather than sending them from a service and you really want to send your marketing emails from a service because very quickly you’ll get marked as a spammer otherwise.

Jeff: And there’s a lot of marketing that I’ll be doing. Well, I’ve already signed up with AWeber but I thought maybe that their form would integrate with AWeber but if it doesn’t….

Rick: No, it doesn’t and I would just go ahead and use AWeber form. If you watched one of my things on AWeber and Thesis 2, you’ll see I generally recommend you just grab the most generic version of the form possible and then use a Thesis 2 to style it.

Jeff: Yeah, I tried a couple and they don’t look good design wise and huge. I want it to fit up in the header area, got the header area set up as 2 columns, two thirds and one third so I’ve got the header image on one side and I want to put the opt-in box on the other.

Rick: Yeah so what you want to do is just use AWeber’s most vanilla-generic form with no styling whatsoever and put that in there and then you can use Thesis to style it. Have you seen either of my Case Studies on doing that?

Jeff: Can you name one? If it was part of some other course…

Rick: No, no it’s a standalone seminar for Thesis 2 and it’s How to Create a Feature Box with Graphics, Text and an AWeber Form in Thesis 2. That’s really it.

Jeff: Okay. I did see one such course from you, you styled somebody’s opt-in form for them and that’s probably the road I’m going to have to end up taking, I guess.

Rick: Yeah. Well, on a simple form, a small form, it’s actually pretty easy.

Jeff: Good. I’ll have a look at that and I’ll send you an email sometime before the weekend, I’ll try to email to let you know.

Rick: Okay.

Jeff: And if we can hook up sometime before next Thursday because it looks like next Thursday is Simple Store with WP eStore, is that still planned as that?

Rick: Yeah, it depends on what happens with Thesis 2.1. If Thesis 2.1 comes out in the next week, I was actually planning on re-arranging that schedule and starting with WooCommerce. If it doesn’t come out, then I was going to start with WP eStore.

Jeff: Okay.

Rick: But you haven’t begun any work on WP eStore yet?

Jeff: No, I’ve just installed it and that’s what we’re talking about yesterday, I’ve got some changes to make in the layout so I’m trying to get that done before next Thursday.

Rick: I do have a lot of instruction on WP eStore and almost all of it is still perfectly relevant, setting it up, setting the configurations, creating products, all that stuff. All that stuff is really still just the same and it certainly the same as the first week. By the time we get into delivering free products and stuff like that, that’s the point at which there begin to be some new changes but in the first week where we just set up a simple store, well it’s not the same version, all of the settings are still the same.

Jeff: When it’s going to be simple and straightforward

Rick: If we don’t do WP eStore next week, you can look on the site at the WP eStore stuff and easily configure your site with the instruction that’s there.

Jeff: Okay. I’ll do that and I’ll be in touch within the next day or two.

Rick: Okay, great.

Jeff: Thanks Rick. Bye.

Rick: You betcha. Take it easy. Bye. Okay, let’s see Cindy Shipley, is Cindy here? She’s here but I can’t seem to turn her microphone. Let’s see, I’m going to send her an audio pin so Cindy if you’re still listening, I just sent you an audio pin. If you’ll enter that pin, pound sign (#) that number and pound sign (#), I’ll unmute your microphone and we can chat about your question about the use of Volusion rather than the stuff we talked about here.

Can You Safely Send Credit Card Information Via Wufoo on WordPress?

Todd Phillip, doesn’t look like he’s here but he asked whether or not credit card information can be sent via a Wufoo form on WordPress and still be encrypted and kept safe and the answer is, no. Anytime you are going to do something like that, you want to do it inside of a secure system and the Wufoo form is definitely not that. Most of the systems that we talked about or actually, all of the systems that I’ve talked about here have really managed credit card information off of the site, none of the credit card information is stored on your site or even entered on your site. By the time they get around entering credit card information, they’re now on a secure server integrated with whatever payment gateway you’re using.

So Charles Lam, is Charles Lam still here? No, he wondered what eCommerce plugin to use and the answer is, I don’t know. Did you get anything out of the discussion, did that help you figure it out? Well, you know that looks like all the questions I have. Does anybody else have a question that they would like to address their answer? If you do, please put it in the question box otherwise, we’re just going to call it a day here. Sure, Jeff can have a follow up okay, follow up question.

Where to Place a Feature Box with Graphics?

Jeff: I just had a look at how to create a feature box with graphics. The feature box is often in the sidebar, isn’t it or can it be anywhere?

Rick: The fact that it’s a feature box is irrelevant really. I mean this person wanted it as a feature box but the styling doesn’t really have anything to do with whether it’s a feature box or not. Actually, the styling of the form doesn’t anything to do with whether or not it’s a feature box.

Jeff: So I can still put in the header widget area then?

Rick: Absolutely, absolutely.

Jeff: Okay, great. Thanks.

Rick: Yes, you’re welcome. Bye. Okay, if there are no other questions I’m going to go ahead and call it a day here. We will be back next week and we’ll either be starting with WP eStore or we’ll be starting with WooCommerce depending upon whether or not Thesis 2.1 is released and if Thesis 2.1 is released next Wednesday afternoon then the chances are, we’ll still be doing WP eStore because I want to have time to really test and prepare. Anyway, these videos will be posted on the site by next Tuesday and you should be able to find them by clicking on this How to Choose the Right WordPress Shopping Cart and you’ll have entire collection of last week’s videos and today’s videos including the download links for the resources. Lachie asked, should you have a directory box? I’m going to unmute your microphone. Am I saying it Lachie, is it Lachie or Lachie?

Lachie: Yes, it’s Lachie.

Rick: I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear.

Lachie: Yes, it’s Lachie.

What to Do with the Directory Box when Installing WordPress?

Rick: Lachie, okay go ahead and I’m not sure I understand the question. Should you leave the directory box blank when installing WordPress? Where is the directory box? I’m just going to look and see what it looks like right now.

Lachie: This is what you call a folder name?

Rick: Yes. So if we are let’s see, let’s just go to CPanel, so when you go to install WordPress, as I recall what you do is you choose the domain name that you want who install it in and then it chooses the directory to install it.

Lachie: Yes.

Rick: Before I just say that definitively, I just want to see an action here for a second.

Lachie: I think I put something like BYI or something with a publishing link I think.

Rick: Wow, this is really slow.

Lachie: I push it to be a Drupal, it would probably be…I thought it was compatible with WordPress.

Rick: No, it is not. It’s its own kind of content management system and it’s more clearly directed at developers, not ordinary users and not by most of the people that are members of my site really. Okay, where is the install? So if I click on that to install it, we’re just going to have to sit here and watch this thing do its thing and so we say, install and then it gives you say, the opportunity to pick the URL or the domain. This is where I would not install or add a directory, I’m going to let it install itself directly to the directory that’s associated with this subdomain so when I create a subdomain, it created a directory called Thesis and now when I install it, it’s going to install it in the server path public_html/thesis and if I put in fishsticks here, it would install it in the directory path thesis/fishsticks but I don’t that, I want it actually installed directly in the directory that was created when I created the subdomain. Is that a reasonable answer?

Lachie: Yes, it does. You did it just the way I did.

Rick: Yes, leave it blank.

Lachie: Yes, thank you. Genesis is the same with Thesis or which one do you use, Thesis or Genesis?

Rick: Well, the choice of Thesis or Genesis is dependent upon what you want to accomplish. If you have a Genesis child theme that looks exactly the way you want it to look, then Genesis is going to be way faster for setting up your site than Thesis is going to be but if you want complete control over the appearance of your site, then Thesis is going to be substantially easier to accomplish that than it would be in Genesis. So it really depends on what your philosophy of approaching the appearance of the site is. Because the thing is, is that if you’re in Genesis and you want to change the appearance of it, you have to break open a code editor and you have to write code and if you don’t have any choice about that, that’s the only way to customize the appearance of the Genesis child theme and whether it’s CSS code or HTML or PHP, it’s usually a combination of all of that and you’re better off being an actual WordPress programmer and in that case, Genesis is fairly easy to customize if you’re already there.

However, Thesis is intended to give you that kind of flexibility without requiring you to write code, without requiring you to be a programmer. Sometimes we find ourselves using programming tools anyway and talking about it in programming ways anyway but Thesis gives you a lot more control over the appearance of your site simply by clicking buttons and making selections and dragging and dropping things around. However, there’s a substantial amount to learn when you’re doing that because it’s an extremely powerful piece of software therefore, there’s stuff to learn in order to do it and so you have sort of simple and easy but not very easily customizable or you have very easily customizable but not simple stuff to learn and those are really your two choices when you’re choosing between Genesis and Thesis and either one of those choices is a valid choice. It’s a valid choice to say I like this child theme, I’m going to use it as it is and I’m going to build my store on it, that’s a perfectly acceptable choice and you’ll have your store up and running faster than if you said, you know, I really want my store to look a certain way so I’m going to need to customize it using Thesis. You’ll have more control over the way it looks but it will take you longer to do, that’s pretty much your trade off.

Lachie: It is very good, that was an excellent situation for me because I’m on the same track.

Rick: Good.

Lachie: Thank you very much.

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

Lachie: Thank you very much.

Rick: You’re welcome. Bye. Okay next up is Jon Turner, Jon’s got a question. Good morning, Jon I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Jon: Good morning, Rick. How are you?

Rick: I’m doing well, how are you?

Jon: I’m good. Hey, this is a little bit off topic but I was thinking that you have said that Thesis 1 was still going to be developed, is that true or have they just kind of drop that?

Rick: Well, I don’t believe that they have dropped it but I know that there’s been no development on it. In October of last year, they said that Thesis 1 would continue to see development and I’m guessing that had there been compatibility issues between Thesis 1.8.5 and WordPress 3.6, they would’ve pushed out an update to Thesis 1.8.5. So I think they’re going to keep it compatible with WordPress as WordPress evolves and once development of 2.1 or 2 settles down, they may very well go back and add functionality on to 1.8.5, I don’t know.

Jon: Okay. I’m just kind of curious, I have multiple sites built with 1.8.5 and I had really seen much from them as far as further development or anything.

Rick: No. I mean my philosophy about it at the moment is that I’m not doing anymore development for 1.8.5 so all of my plugins, I will continue to maintain and keep them working in continuing versions of WordPress so that work in WordPress 3.6 but unless something happens with Thesis 1.8.5 in terms of new development, I don’t intend to create any new plugins for 1.8.5, I mean it’s a perfectly acceptable development platform but for all the hard stuff too is just so much easier than 1.8.5 that I wouldn’t develop in 1.8.5 any longer.

Jon: Yeah. I know 1.8.5 pretty well and I just haven’t had the time to spend in 2.

Rick: Sure. Somebody just commented that my admin username and password is here but I haven’t actually created, this is its suggested stuff, there’s no actual WordPress site out there with, this is a WordPress username and this is a password so I’m fine here, you don’t have to worry that but in case anybody did worry, I’ll just kill it. There’s no reason why you need to change to 1.8.5 either unless you want to use WooCommerce but if you’re happy with your sites, there’s no reason to upgrade them to 1.8.5. You may not have noticed that BYOBWebsite is still at 1.8.5.

Jon: One more quick question, what were you using to figure out what the theme etc was on that gal’s presumed website?

Rick: View source, I just viewed the page source. Every browser has this ability for you view the page source and then once you do that, you can see where the CSS file is so this is the Cart66 theme, is grizzly-theme.

Jon: Okay.

Rick: Alright? Use the kind of wp-content and themes and look for the name of the folder after themes at the CSS files are in.

Jon: Okay, awesome. Hey, thank you very much.

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

Jon: You too.

Rick: Bye. Finally, Scott Cramer, good morning Scott, I’ve just unmuted your microphone.

Scott: Okay, can you hear me?

Rick: I can, yes.

Scott: Okay, I just want to say, thanks!

Rick: You were the one who said that my account password…

Scott: I was just worried because I didn’t know. Probably everybody’s honest but I was just worried about you because I appreciate what you do for all of us.

Rick: Okay, well you have a great day.

Scott: Okay, thank you, Rick. Bye.

Rick: You bet, bye. Okay, I guess that is it now unless I inadvertently deleted somebody else’s question. So we’ll be back on Wednesday for QandA, Wednesday morning and Wednesday evening for QandA and then we’ll be back again next Thursday for either WP eStore or WooCommerce depending upon what happens with Thesis 2.1. So everybody have a lovely day, I look forward to chatting with you again soon. Bye.

0 Comments… add one
0 comments… add one

Leave a Comment