My ECommerce Notes
I am going to put my thoughts and tips about building an ecomm site.
I realize that there are not a lot of WA-ers doing this. But keep in mind that an ecomm theme (i.e. Storefront) has TWO distinct parts - the store and the SITE. And so, the WA-er who is committed to producing quality content can still do that. You can have your cake and eat it too.
I have 3 reasons why I want to venture into the ecomm arena.
1. It can be part of your expanding web business. You will run into people asking you to build an ecomm site for them.
2. A lot of you are selling stuff.
3. It can be used to promote teachings, services, and intangibles. As a teacher and consultant, I am finding the ecomm template to be helpful in promoting my services such as counseling and consulting. It will also help in promoting my digital products. I will explain more later.
My strategy here is the visit this blog and put in my two cents as I experience them.
Anyway, I wanted to start this and see if there are others who are walking this path. I invite the conversation. I hope this helps. Here goes
ECOMM THOUGHTS AND TIPS
1. Use WooCommerce: free
2. Use their top rated template: StoreFront. Download the free version. Very mobile friendly.
3. Use Youtube for tutorials on StoreFront. The advantage of using Woocomm/storefront is that there are so many tutorials. Even if you don't use StoreFront, you can still use the various WooComm tutorials. They are all helpful.
4. Using the long youtube tutorials. Some tutorials are over 2 hours long!. But they are very helpful and you don't have to view all of it. Go down to the description section and it will have a clickable table of contents to quickly take you where you want to go.
5. Some tutorials will recommend Jetpack. But be careful. Browse WA for Jetpack discussions. I chose not to use it.
6. I used "Contact Form 7" for my contact page. You can install this free plugin
7. WooCommerce Product Archive Image Slider: This is a modest slider at the bottom of each product that lets you browse the different images you placed for a product. Install as plugin.
8. YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier: This is an awesome feature that lets you zoom into an image. It works on tablets and handhelds too - just use your finger and touch the image to zoom. Very fancy and effective. Install plugin.
9. Storefront Site Logo. You need to install this plugin if you want to add a logo to the top of your website.
10. YITH WooCommerce Wishlist: install plugin for a simple and clean wishlist to increase conversion.
11. Social Media Widget: I really like this simple and clean widget for your sidebar. It's a real space saver and simply does its job.
12. LARGE FILE PROBLEM. WordPress does not allow large media files to be inserted. So, you must learn FTP. This will allow you to upload your large files to WA (which is essentially a large storage drive). Click the following tutorial:
You might run into connection problems like I did. If so, contact the WA support team and they will help.
Then you still need to make these files available inside your media library so that you can insert them into your site.
THE MOST IMPORTANT TIP: you must ADD a plugin "Add from Server" and use it to import your large files to your media library.
13. CLEAN LINK DISPLAYS - I don't know what the official tech term for this is, but the links that appear in the address bar are all clean. It doesn't contain all those % & * ^$# that make the link look messy. This theme, StoreFront, has built in functions that present these links clean and I really like that.
14. I embedded YouTube videos into the sidebar to advertise video series I have produced. I really like how it looks there and stays there no matter what page they visit.
THINGS I DON'T LIKE ABOUT THE STOREFRONT THEME:
1. The header is too big and so, it takes up too much space. As you advance pages, the headers greets you with 40% of your monitor space! This forces you to scroll down to see the actual page. There should be a way to go straight to the content of the page.
2. I cannot change the color of the sidebar. That stinks!
I will be back for more....