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102 WP-Tonic: WordPress eCommerce, and Shopify Vs WooCommerce


JD: Well we’re live. Hi there folks, this is WP-Tonic, episode 102, with myself Jonathan Denwood and my beloved co-host. Say hello John. JL: Hello.
JD: Hes gone to hello folks. I never know what he’s going to say to that. So
in this episode folks, we’re going to be talking about e-commerce. And we’re going to
start the first part of the show talking about some of the basic pitfalls that
you should understand around eCommerce. About fully hosted solutions and
not fully hosted – more like WooCommerce comes to mind. And
then in the second part of the show we’re gonna talk about some of the
extensions that John’s used that he’s found really useful when it comes to
WooCommerce. How does that sound, John? JL: Sounds amazing. JD: It does doesn’t it? So let’s start
this conversation off John. So what is the basic difference between
a fully hosted solution? – let’s say we’re choosing Shopify – and a solution that you’d
host yourself, like with WooCommerce? What’s the difference, John? JL: Sure, so there’s solutions out there
for like e-commerce like Shopify, Big Commerce – various ones. They’re
basically software as a service where you pay a monthly fee and you can, you
know, throw up some products on on your site and you can customize it to a
degree. But as long as it’s within their templates – their kind of range of how the site’s
going to look. So you pay them each month, and you can get a certain amount
of products. And they take care of processing the payments, and you don’t need to worry about hosting. And the limitation with that is
– there’s a degree of flexibility that you’re giving up with
that. It has to kind of fit within what they offer for either the layout for the
solutions or products – any of that. So, with a hosted solution – say if you’re
hosting your own – whether it’s through WooCommerce on top of WordPress – whether
it’s Zencart, Magento or any of the other e-commerce platforms out there – you’re responsible for the hosting. But
you get a lot more flexibility with these types of shops. You can make it
whatever you want, if you have someone to develop that solution for you. But
the drawback is, again, you know have to have someone on hand
that’s going to be able to keep up with the updates. With
updating software, and making sure that you have adequate hosting, and
coding your solution to begin with. JD: Yeah, that’s great, John. I just want
to point out to folks I’ve got experience – not as much
experience as John when it comes to WooCommerce, but I’ve done a few. And I did quite a few Shopify about a
year or two years ago. Which is like five years and in web
design, I suppose. But one thing I want to point out is
that with Shopify, a lot of the functionality you get from third parties, and when
Shopify has updated, sometimes there’s a problem because the
third party Shopify plug-in doesn’t get updated so some of these problems crossover with
one another. So it’s not purely you’re going to have more problems with a fully
hosted solution yourself than with Shopify. it’s a bit blurred. Would you agree with that, John?
JL: Oh! Well see
that’s very interesting. Because that’s a common thing – not so much in WooCommerce because most of the extensions they handle themselves. but there are
– because it is such an extensible thing… There are a lot of third party plugins
that don’t always get updated [on] the day that WooCommerce gets
updated. So it’s interesting to hear that Shopify has a similar kind of problem.
Even in a – what do you call it? – like a SaaS. Like as software-as-a-service like type
solution. So, yeah. JD: I think they would argue that it’s
not quite as comparative a situation to a fully hosted [versus] a self hosted
solution. So, let’s move on. So,
obviously if you’re going to take payment apart from if you’re going to use PayPal, you got to have a secure socket
certificate, haven’t you, John? JL: Yeah definitely. So opening
an e-commerce store online – definitely you’re going to have to set
aside a little bit bigger budget. Like monthly and even initially. More than [you would for] just
a straight-up brochure site or marketing site, because you’re going to
have to have things like a SSL certificate to keep people’s information encrypted. And also some payment gateways. Like the
Stripe extension on top of WooCommerce requires it. You know, that’s just one of the expenses
for sure. You’re going to want to have adequate
hosting for your eCommerce solution – whether that’s WooCommerce or what have you. Cause the one thing to understand is
these eCommerce plugins, they aren’t JUST plugins. They are fully fledged web
applications. And that cheap shared hosting, that’s like five dollars a month,
ain’t gonna get it done. You have to have adequate hosting in
order for this stuff to work. JD: Yeah, we did in a previous
recent episode folks cover the hosting options. So if your memory can go back that far. What kind of price [are you looking at] to get something that’s going
to work with WooCommerce? [For hosting] Are you looking at between
fifteen to twenty nine dollars plus for hosting per month? JL: Sure, so I would recommend for most
people something like WP Engine, which is
twenty nine dollars a month. If you buy it for a year it’s like $290 a year. Flywheel is the same [price]. You could
definitely get something like Siteground. That would be like the bare minimum [hosting I’d recommend]. So those three I would definitely
recommend. JD: Yep. So, like I say, InMotion Siteground, WP Engine, Flywheel –
there’s quite a few. But we have them listed in that episode, which I will put a
link in the show notes. So you can get [those resources] there folks. But you’re gonna need
decent hosting if you’re going to go down the WooCommerce [route]. When it comes to Shopify, folks, it starts at around twenty nine dollars a month
and goes up. They do sound a bit less but that’s only for actually
selling on Facebook. They include the Secure Sockets
certificate in their twenty nine dollars as well. The other thing I’d like to
point out to folks is when you’re going — it’s a little bit confusing actually. Actually I should ask John about this. There’s a lot of options when it comes
to SSL certificates. A lot of hosting providers do charge a
fair whack. But there’s a lot of choice as well. But I would suggest you don’t
actually go for the cheapest. Go for the next one up. What would you say to that John. JL: Yeah, so definitely… so the SSL certificates there’s a way you can get like a free SSL
certificate from Let’s Encrypt, and that’s going around right now. But I
wouldn’t recommend that for your eCommerce store. A lot of people are
saying that that’s still kind of a nightmare to get configured with hosts.
For even regular sites I would definitely opt into getting something
that’s state-of-the-art security and encryption. You know, try and future-proof this
stuff as much as possible. JD: But there’s a wide span of prices. What kind of price range do you think somebody should be
looking at? JL: You know, it varies
because you can get – you can get like a SSL for as little as sixty or
seventy dollars. And it can go up to like 200 or 300 dollars [yearly] depending on
what you want to have. Do you want to have the whole or just a little part of the
browser bar turn green? And have the highest level of security? You know, maybe not that – but I would
plan somewhere between a hundred and two hundred dollars there for your SSL. That’s
about what you should budget out for that. [The SSL] JD: Yeah, I would agree with that, folks. So you need your Secure Sockets certificate – with Shopify or with WooCommerce. You are going to be buying some third-party plugins as well, because it
just goes it just goes with the territory, folks. There’s always
additional functionality that you really need, and it’s a lot cheaper to buy third
party plugins then to get something coded up for you. It’s going to be a lot
cheaper. So the three areas where you normally
end up buying additional plugin functionality. Well, you also
need to plan out – the three I would say is shipping, sales tax – not always additional plugins but you need to think things out. I apologize, folks. It’s shipping, sales tax, and if you need integration with your accounting
system. Would you agree with that, John? Those are the three things you’ve got to start thinking of. JL:Yeah definitely. So, shipping is a
big one. Because most people – most eCommerce stores are going to be for
physical goods, which go through the mail. You know, sometimes its virtual products,
but not always. You’re going to need to know the sales tax laws in your
state. Every state has different laws in regards to who was responsible for the
sales tax at the end of the year. So, know about that. Do your research. And integration with
your accounting software – something like QuickBooks or whatever it is – definitely
do the research into that, too. And find out if you have
integration that’s possible – to where you can pull those sales directly down into
your spreadsheet. JD: Yeah, it’s great stuff. When it comes
to starting off folks, this is only my advice. But if you’re just trying the
concept out initially, and you’ve got an initial group of products that you’re going to put on the site and just try out – I would try and keep it as simple as
possible and I would be interested to see if John agrees with this. But if you just trying it out, keep it
simple and I would suggest you work out what you mean average is to ship out
those starter products, and say to people you are doing free shipping, but include
the mean average put on top of of the price of the products. Would you
agree with that idea? JL: Ha-hah, I’ve got first-hand
experience with this, actually. JD: I thought you might.
JL: Yeah, I do actually. So in theory, free shipping and building it into the price
is a good idea. And that can work as long as all
your products are similar size and weight. JD: Yeah.
JL: Now if you’ve got products that are
different sizes, different weights, or bulky – where they’re large [items] –
you can average that out. But you’ve got to average for
the farthest place that you’ve got to possibly ship it to, and build that into
the price. Because otherwise, you can end up eating a lot of the cost yourself. But the reason that you would might want
to build the shipping costs directly into your price, and just do free shipping is because if you do, ship bulky items, a lot of people are going to be turned
off by seeing the shipping price being really huge.
And again, it depends on what you’re shipping through the mail. If it’s like smaller or medium sized
products, it’s not a big deal. If they’re bigger
products, you should really research,
because again, you can eat a lot of the cost right away. JD: Yeah I might suggest – like I said, folks, everything John just said is totally correct. But I’m only suggesting this as a
start-off policy. And you’ve really got to know around what your margins are.
Like what John said, you know, have you got those initial products to the size?
And weight? Are they very diverse? If that’s the case, then what I’m saying probably isn’t
going to pan out. But if you can do it just to start off with, it will just save you
a lot of working out with pen and pencil and calculator. And I just think it’s the
simplest way to start. But sometimes you just can’t do that, folks. So I think we’re going to pause, folks.
And we’re going on to our first break. And when we come back, we’ll talk about the other
two major things. We’ll talk a little bit about WooCommerce, and then, this
probably is going to be a three-parter. This is quite a large subject, and we’ll
get back to you in a minute. We’re coming back folks. We’re going to talk some
more about e-commerce and about some of the things you’ve got to understand and some
of the pitfalls that catches out a lot of people. And if you understand
these before you start on your journey of e-commerce domination, then things will
go a bit better for you. So let’s go on to sales tax now. There have been changes, and I might be a little be out of date, but I know John isn’t.
There are some states where the actual districts are allowed to put additional
sales tax on. And funny enough, Nevada is one of those. Nevada is broken out
into 16 districts that makes Southern and Northern Nevada, folks. And there is a
sales tax. But each district have the right – and DO – for additional
surcharge on the sales tax. I don’t know [about] WooCommerce, but
when I was working with Shopify, it couldn’t handle that, and there wasn’t a third
party that did. What you had to do was work out the mean average again. You worked out the mean average of the 16 districts with the addition. And some you lost a
little bit on, and others you gained on. And I think Florida and New York are similar. Also, it used to be, if
you were based in the state and someone who’s buying from that state, or you had
warehousing facilities in the state, but somebody was buying from you, you had to
charge them tax. But I don’t know if that situation’s changed. Am I out of date a
little bit, or roughly right, John? JL: No, what you’re talking about is
the sales nexus. And basically, the the rules of whatever state you’re
in – and I can share links with this later – I
think there’s actually an article about this on my site –
that links to another site that talked about this extensively. Depending on what state you live in, either the the person who’s
buying from you, or you – the person who shipping – is responsible for the sales
tax. In California, you’re responsible for sales tax. And each
county has a different [tax] rate, and
each city has a different rate. Here in Sacramento, I think it’s – I
want to say it’s like 8.75% is the rate. I have a client who’s down near Orange
County and I think there it’s 9 percent where he’s living. So yeah, it is going to vary. I think WooCommerce does some of
that calculation on its own – of knowing where you’re at and
what state you’re in. JD: Because it changed, didn’t it? They brought out this [legislation] to deal with Amazon. And I’m not sure if it’s national or state by state. Where
if you buy something online, you’re supposed to – if you’ve got state tax, you’re supposed to actually tell the
state what you bought, and pay the tax, or something like that, isn’t it?
JL: Yeah, your out-of-state purchases – that’s like state tax and so, with Amazon, I think at the end of the year – l guess [the merchant has to figure the state tax]. As far as that [goes]. And again, depending on what
state you live in, or you do business in – that [sales nexus] could be anywhere that you have
a warehouse or an office. Basically, that’s your nexus of operation.
You have some sort of physical presence there, that could be considered
like your home state. JD: Because when it comes to Amazon and your order, they know your home address and work it all out, at Amazon. And then you get charged and they pay it. But if you’re buying off a
website that doesn’t charge you the extra, you’re supposed to be declare it at the
end of the year, is that right? JL: Yeah, you have to. Say, if you’re
like the person selling goods – if you’re the merchant, you have to declare how
much you sold, and you get taxed based on
whatever the tax rate is for your city & state. And depending on how
much you sell, – basically, yeah.
JD: But the good news is, folks, there’s a lot of information up out
there about about this. We’re just giving you a little inkling
that you have you got work this one out. Because especially if you’re based – now I’ve
been told this – I don’t know if this is true, John – especially if you’re based in California.
Because I’ve been told by certain individuals that the California state
income tax board are even less friendlier than the Internal
Revenue Service. Is that right, John? Are they even less happy people? [than the IRS?] JL: Uh, I don’t know. I think they’re
about equal. JD: Let’s hope so. So we’ll get off that one,
because I don’t get myself into trouble. So John was being very diplomatic
as usual. So it’s just a little bit complicated, but like I said, folks, the
good news is there’s a lot of information. And we probably have some
links in the notes on the website. JL: Although I want to tell you – I just want
add this for the people at home. WooCommerce does allow you to enter the prices either inclusive of tax or exclusive – either with the
tax or without – and you can calculate the tax based on either your address, of your
shop – or for the customer, [their] shipping or billing address. And so depending on what
state you’re in, once you KNOW what laws
adhere to your state, you can set up your cart to adhere to
those laws, to where it’s not a big sticky mess at the end of the year. JD: Yeah, that’s great. So, I’ve
probably totally confused the audience. John’s trying to trying to clear my
verbal mess up. Thank you, John. But folks, it is a little bit
complicated. We’re going to move on before I confuse you even more. So let’s go on to the other thing that
kind of turned up periodically about halfway through the actual project. Until
I learned to bring it up on Day One and give the clear options to my clients. And
that was integrating with your accountancy. And a lot of clients got on a high horse about this, and I always say to them, “You know, let’s get some
customers first. Let’s get this thing rolling. And you’re making little bit of money. And
THEN maybe worry about it.” But they said “What happens when we get inundated. You know, we get inudated straight away?” Which would be great, if it
happened. I never knew a client who didn’t have an enormous online
marketing budget. He was buying for traffic. Didn’t get inundated. So I always thought it was best to get the ball rolling, and then have some concerns about this. The other thing was that Shopify or some of the WooCommerce
didn’t have fantastic integration with the with the leader which is QuickBooks.
What’s the situation now when it comes at the present? Got any knowledge
of that, John? About integrating with QuickBooks?
JL: So there’s a lot of different
ways you can integrate with QuickBooks with WooCommerce. WooCommerce itself has an extension [called] QuickBooks Online Integration. And so
you can integrate with [them] anywhere within the US, United Kingdom, Canada, and
Australia. So you can sync your customers, inventory, and products. So
that’s definitely one way that you can do that. There are other third party plugins that
will do that. I believe that QuickBooks has one of
their own, so there’s definitely that. There’s other people that make products that
will do that. you can also integrate using a Zapier – you know using their system of – basically, if this happens, then make
this happen over here, and then make the applications talk to each other. JD: Yes, so I just want to say about Zapier, folks, that it’s a kind of – they provide a kind of little micro [applets] –
kind of a hosted solution. They have made little applets. (The best way I can describe this). They make kind of
third-party applications [able to] talk to one another. They do some of that. Have you
used any of these at all with QuickBooks? Is there any kind of that [integration] that you;eve been recently happy with, or not really?
JL: No, I can’t [really say] – I haven’t actually done this particular
integration. I’ve done other integrations that are
mind-boggling, but not this particular one. Why don’t you share your experiences
with us?
JD: Oh, they were nightmares, trying to integrate Shopify with third-parties
that were pretty expensive. Dismal support. I got the blame for it. [After that] never went after, never went [back] down that route, and couple that with dissatisfaction with
some of the third party [Shopify and Quickbooks plugins] – but it was a couple years ago. I don’t know what happened to the
time, [in the meantime] because I’ve been building my SaaS, my maintenance companies are all. I’ve
not being building eCommerce websites. I’ve been doing [website] maintenance.
JL: Can’t say I blame you. JD: So we maintain normal packages but some of our clients
that we built very tight relationships with, we do support eCommerce, but it’s not through our normal
packages. But they haven’t got integration with QuickBooks, so we don’t
have to deal with that. I don’t actually. Now they’re the three [things that need to be addressed] that came to my mind. Are there other things that when people start on this road of
e-commerce domination, that people have got to keep in mind, John? JL: Definitely. There’s a lot of things- there’s a lot of questions that need to be answered when you’re
going to build an e-commerce store. And number one, I think, with that is what type of payment gateway integration are you going to need? Now WooCommerce comes with PayPal [integration]
straight out of the box, but most people are going to want to take credit cards. And
so you’re going to need either Stripe or they’re going to need
Authorize.net or some other means of [credit card payment] support. Maybe you want to take Amazon
Payments. Basically, there is an extension for
everything underneath the Sun with WooCommerce. But it’s just getting
whatever third party payment gateway you’re using – whether
it’s Stripe or Authorize.
JD: I’ve heard on the news – I just wanted to know if you have
ever heard – I’ve heard some really great stuff about
BrainTree – about their integration. Anyone – anything to do with that? Integrating with BrainTree?
JL: I have not had any integration with BrainTree. Most of the people that I
deal with either go with Authorize or Stripe. JD: Yeah
JL: So one or the other. Stripe seems to be a little bit easier. JD: Yeah, well I like Stripe, but some people
would say that below a thousand [dollars per month in sales] you’re paying a little bit high. But I think it’s
worth it, because i think it’s a bit like the other things I said, folks. Just to
get started, if you’re looking to get started, I think
Stripe is one of the easiest ways to go. If you want to take
Stripe and PayPal at the same time on the same check out – does WooCommerce do it, or are there kind of third party plugins that allow you to have both options on the check
out? JL: So are you saying you want to check out part with this, and then part with that? JD: Yeah, given the option, you know – given the
option to either pay with credit cards which would go through Stripe or pay by PayPal – JL: OH, ok so that that’s pretty
simple. Like I said, with Stripe, there’s a Stripe extension for
WooCommerce, and as of a few months ago it’s like, totally free. It’s right after I bought a license.
But, it goes to show. Basically what you’re going to need:
Say you’ve got either Stripe or you’ve got Authorize or you’ve got BrainTree –
you’re going to need an account with them – with that payment gatewa. And then
you’re going to need the extension that allows your site and WooCommerce
to talk to the payment gateway because this is what people don’t understand…
Why eCommerce sites – they think it’s really that super simple to
set up. See, here’s the thing – all these parts have to work together. And if
any part of these – like anything in the chain – either the hosting, or WooCommerce, or the extension, or your payment
gateway, or the bank – if anything like that – any little piece comes unhinged – it can be a disaster and things don’t go as expected. So yeah, basically you’re going to need an account with whatever your payment gateway is [going to be]. You’re going to need
the extension. [Then] get all your credentials set up
with your payment gateway account. Put those into the extension on
WooCommerce and usually you’ll do some some test runs – like
sandbox transactions. Make sure everything is working correctly and THEN
you take it to production (which means it’s live) and you’re actually taking
transactions. It’s probably good to do a few test transactions make sure things are going nice. And then push it out
live.
JD: Yeah, that’s great John. Time’s flying. Like I said, this is going to be a three-parter, folks. And and so we’re going to go for
a second break, and we’ll be back to kind of finish off this. And there maybe
talking about some of the WooCommerce extensions that John recommends and has
used. Back in a minute, folks. We’re coming back folks Talking more about e-commerce and
dominating your market. So we were talking about gateway
providers – like we were saying, I think Stripe is the easiest way to go. So another thing I wanted to say to you: when we discussed this also last Saturday, we had to abandon Blab for technical reasons, but we had a great Google Hangout and
it will become, hopefully, going live tomorrow on the WP iTunes. But we had a great discussion about
e-commerce, folks, and those little bit – one of our great panel [members] kind of disagreed
with me, but I think when you’re really really starting out on this, it might be
worthwhile looking at something like Shopify. But there was disagreement with
my position, and I’m I’m fine with it but one thing I would say about it is, I would
try Shopify but I wouldn’t invest a lot of money with it. What I mean is making some really – that
really fits everything you want there and then for future plans, I would
just use it as a way of testing the waters really to see if
there’s a demand, so at your marketing message. And just try it out, but don’t spend a lot
of money on third-party extensions with Shopify, and spending a lot of time on a
personalized custom design. I would get going and then at some stage I would
hire somebody like John, and get a really truly custom theme that meets all your
requirements. And get somebody like John to help you build something that’s truly
customized to the uniqueness of your business. Would you agree with that, John?
JL: Well yeah,
i definitely agree that you should hire me to build your custom site. If you go back and listen to last
Saturday’s discussion, there was some
disagreement, but there was some of the panel that said Shopify
is is good for a temporary solution. But what you’re saying, I’m completely on
board with: is before you sink a whole bunch of money into a custom site, and before
you drop thousands of dollars on building out this this custom or self-hosted WooCommerce
site – test and make sure that your
product ideas have a market. Shopify is good for a temporary [solution]. It might not be great for a permanent solution. JD: Well, some people would disagree with
that, wouldn’t they? I agree with you but we’re WordPress junkies, aren’t we?
But I think we try and be balanced – John and
myself – we try to be balanced. But some people just really really love Shopify. But I think there are tools, and they have the right place at the right
time, don;t they John?
JL: Sure, everything has its place, and you know some tools are
better for different things. But the big thing is to test your idea
and make sure that your minimum viable idea is, you know, out there. Make sure that your
products – there’s actual demand for them and if there is and then go ahead
and scale up. Do your custom site. But it’s good – you can test it [product demand]
on something like Squarespace or a Shopify, before making a big commitment. JD: I’ve never used SquareSpace. It’s okay, but I would prefer
Shopify, because of all the extensions. But like I say, the problem with that is you
can get very sucked into it and then when you do need to move to fully custom
solution, it’s become a bit of a nightmare.
And you spend a lot of money, so it’s a balance. I would start with
Shopify, but have the key things that I need – buy those, and have a cut-off point where
you’re just going to get the key things. You might have to buy some extensions, but then [you are] going to stop and then you’re planning [the site]. I would say for the fully
hosted solution, compared to some of the others, I’m going
to butcher them – I can never pronounce the names John – Magento? Compared to Magento, is another [eCommerce solution]. They
offer two flavors actually, folks. They offer a fully hosted solution and
one that you have on your own server. I would NOT use the hosted solution
because you get sucked into their [ecosystem] and WooCommerce, as compared to their [fully hosted] hosting is a
lot easier to use. And don’t get me wrong, if you got a really really really
enormous e-commerce shop and you’re really doing a lot of turnover [in sales] – I’m talking fifty, one hundred, two hundred
thousand in a week +, you want to look at it, [Magento], but the list – there’s not many people doing that. So I think WooCommerce is the most
flexible and easy. It’s not easy, but compared to some of these other fully / self
hosted solutions, it offers the most flexibility, the
biggest development community, the biggest community of third party
plugins – would you agree with some of those statements, John? JL: I would say it’s definitely the most
flexible, its most extensible, there’s the most high-quality third party plugins to
make it do what you want. And I think if you’re in that [range] – anywhere from just
starting out to just below the enterprise level, then that’s a good solution [WooCommerce]. I think when you start getting to the enterprise level, you can definitely
start looking at Magento as well. I know that there are some enterprise
shops that are on WooCommerce, but then you’re getting
into more a complete solution, looking at hosting and all
kinds of tweaking.
JD: It never stops when you get to that size, folks. But it
means you’re doing very well, as well. So that’s the right side of it, isn’t it,
John?
JL: It’s a good problem to have. JD: Yeah I thought it was a nice problem. So
shall we look at some of- quickly – some of these third party extensions? And you
started off with Stripe as your first 3rd party plugins for WooThemes. What is this plugin about? It’s about Stripe basically, isn’t it? JL: So basically, this is a payment
gateway. If you have a Stripe account,WooCommerce very generously made this extension completely free. You can use
it up for to 25 sites totally free. This used to be – I think it
was like 99 dollars for one site and I think it went up to like – I want to say it
was $299 after that.
JD: It was a quite expensive third-party plugin, wasn’t it? JL: Any of them are going to be, but you
can take basically all major credit cards with this. I think Stripe – it’s a little bit easier to set up than Authorize – JD: Which is the next one.
The Authorize.net extension comparison – So is this the one that integrates Authorize with WooThemes? Is that it? JL: So there’s different ones.
There’s different extensions for WooCommerce for Authorize integrating
with WooCommerce. There’s a SIM
solution, there’s DPM, and basically the big
difference is with these is do you want Authorize to handle the PCI
compliance or do you want to capture stuff [payments] directly on your site. A lot of people use the DPM
because it basically what happens is they go to process the payment, it hands
off to Authorize, they handle all the PCI compliance, where you’re not storing people’s
personal information or the credit card information on your site, it does the transaction, then it hands it
back to WooCommerce. JD: So I’m rushing you a little bit, cause we’ve got about six minutes. JL: So let’s do it: Six minutes, Doug E Fresh you’re on. JD: Table Rate Shipping, what does this do? JL: Ok so Table Rate Shipping: a lot
of times you’re going to want to have different shipping rates and
different shipping tables, depending on where you want to ship – I
know that WooCommerce is changing their core functionality very soon –
to integrate different shipping zones directly into that plugin. It’s going to
be a major change coming down really soon. But basically, this allows you to
make different shipping rules and different shipping zones, to where if
you’re shipping out to different places, you can have specific rules apply to
products.
JD: Rather important, isn’t it. Then we go on to Gravity Forms Products Add-Ons. JL: Okay, so people who
develop [websites], they know that Gravity Forms has conditional logic and
stuff like that. So I have used this before. Basically you can make
different options for different products. Gravity Forms
integrates with the product itself. You can set up different product rules
and say, like on this like specific product, add these different form items, and you can make check boxes or radio boxes. This is all items to where you can —
For example, I used this on a website before, where people were ordering
different coffee beverages, espresso drinks and stuff like
that, and smoothies. And [using this] they could add protein powder, or they
can add an extra shot of espresso or whatever [to the order]. So this allowed people to
order online with different form
fields in there without having to tweak out WooCommerce too much. It just
builds right in. JD: So it sounds rather important
actually, folks. Sounds really tasty. Add-on really. Next one: WooCommerce
Subscriptions. I suppose we could have a whole episode about this really – couldn’t we?
JL: Yeah really. So basically this allows you to have
recurring payments. Say if you’ve got protected content or
something you’ve given people access to, you can collect recurring
payments month after month, and set that up to where people enter their [credit] card, and it’s just almost like a membership [site]. There is a
plug-in for that, like WooCommerce Membership – that you can use
those two in conjunction. And this gives you a way to charge people on a
recurring basis. JD: Yeah. On to the next one: WooCommerce Tab Manager. JL: So in the default WooCommerce
product setup you’ve got different columns. You’ve got one for Product
Information, and then you’ve got one for Write a Review, and here’s Additional Details. With the Tab Manager, I’ve run into cases where I’ve had to add extra tabs with variable information. So you can change very
easily without having to go in and change the actual WooCommerce templates. You can just change the headings of each column. You can
add new tabs that you can control – like what’s in there, very specifically, without having to do a
bunch of override templates. So this this can be a really useful.
JD: And I think the last one is WooThemes documentation. Go on, what would you like to say about that,
and in general do you think the documentation has got a lot better? Is it really good –
what do you feel about it? JL: WooThemes, or WooCommerce, there’s
a lot of documentation for it. It is pretty developer-centric. I mean, as long as you understand
WordPress actions, hooks, and filters you can pretty much develop anything with WooCommerce – as
far as custom templates. There’s definitely people that do
custom plugins as well. Shop Plugins by Daniel Espinoza is one of those. He’s putting out some good stuff so
check that out. There’s a ton of documentation, but it is easy
once you understand how WordPress works. Like a newbie person, maybe not so
much, but if you understand how WordPress works, it’s extremely useful.
JD: Yeah,
this is why – there’s another suggestion why you might be better off, if you’re just
looking to try the concept, and you still might hire someone. I would advise you to hire a
consultant like myself or a true developer like John. True – he’s a unicorn. He’s one of those horrible
unicorns who designs and develops. There’s not many of them around actually. And he’s good at both of them. But it might be a good idea to hire a
consultant if you’re even going to go with Shopify route, because you do need – you can waste a lot of time in it. The thing is to get this up and running
and get the initial concept up and running and seeing if you’re taking cash.
Right? Is the online shopping cart ringing and then, yeah, I would suggest to give it six or
seven months, and then you look at moving to WooCommerce. You know, a lot of people
would disagree with many fights but that’s my honest opinion about it. Try it on something like Shopify, which I think is
the best and easiest to get going kind of focused ecommerce platform. And then look
look at WooCommerce. So that’s my bit. John, so how can
people get hold of you John, to find out more about this or get some
consultation or some help, John? JL: Sure, you can find me at my site, LockedownDesign.com and you can also follow me on twitter : @Lockedown_ . How do the fine
people get a hold of you Jonathan? If they want to hire you or use your
services at WP-Tonic?
JD: We are a [website] maintenance company, folks. You pay a monthly
subscription, It starts at $29.99 a month, for which we include two
small jobs in per month for that starting price. Then our medium is
$69.99 and we – if you have got a small job and maybe your developer –
your initial developer can’t help you because they are too busy or they moved
on – whatever. Instead of you having to go on
Fiverr or some freelance web site and deal with somebody you’ve never dealt with, you
pay us a monthly subscription and you get my support, and you get my team support.
And you send us a ticket and the problem is dealt with. And we’re doing full backups, security and if that’s of interest, then I think our offering is a fantastic service. I honestly do. Go to WP-Tonic,
and we’ve got loads of information or you could email me at [email protected] wp-
tonic.com or you can go to Twitter at @JonathanDenwood . And I’m on
there almost every day checking and people out. So you can get hold of me on
that. So I think one thing I want to
ask you folks to show your support to the show is to go to iTunes and subscribe to
show, and leave us a review. The reviews are really important. They will help
more people find the show and I would really – me and John would appreciate it if you
could leave a review, that would be great. JL: Five Star.
JD: Yeah, five stars. So, I think we covered a ton of stuff, haven’t we John? JL: Yeah I believe so.
JD: All right then, so we’re going
now, folks. See you next time on WP-Tonic JD: Say goodbye, John
JL: Peace!

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