User Guide 2017-07-28T19:18:10+00:00

SEO

Optimize Your Titles For SEO

The title, the contents of your page’s <title> tag,  is one of the single most important factors for ranking in the search results. Not only is it the literal title of the tab or browser window, it’s also the first line people see in the search results, followed by the URL (or the breadcrumb) and the snippet, usually the meta description combined with a date:

snippet title seo

On many blogs, the title for blog posts is still “Blog title » Blog Archive » Keyword rich post title” or “Blog title » Keyword rich post title”. For your WordPress blog to get the traffic it deserves, this should be the other way around, for two reasons:

  • Search engines put more weight on the early words, so if your keywords are near the start of the page title you are more likely to rank well.
  • People scanning result pages see the early words first. If your keywords are at the start of your listing your page is more likely to get clicked on.

For more info on how to create enticing titles for your posts, read our article on crafting good titles for SEO.

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WooCommerce

Configuring WooCommerce Settings

Welcome to the WooCommerce command center. Inside this panel you’ll find all the core WooCommerce settings such as catalog settings, pages, payment gateways, shipping methods and tax rates accessible via the tabs at the top of the screen.

To configure your shop go to WooCommerce > Settings. Then browse through the content below to get more information on the WooCommerce Options.

Base Country/Region

This defines your shops base country (i.e. the country you are based in as a seller). It determines default tax rates and customer locations.

Currency

Choose the currency of the store

Allowed Countries

Here you can select whether you want to sell/ship to too countries, or a select few – useful if only trading within your own country for instance. Customers outside your allowed countries will not be able to checkout.

Specific Countries

Define the countries you’re willing to sell/ship to. You must set the “Allowed Countries” option to “Specific Countries“.

Store Notice

Enable site-wide store notice text by selecting the checkbox then editing your message below. This message will show up across the top of your site and can be stylized by adding the following class to your custom CSS: p.demo_store {background: white;} (for example)

Cart, Checkout and Accounts

Enable a coupon field or a comments field at the checkout and enable guest checkout (no account/registration required) or force secure checkout. If you select the option to force SSL/HTTPS an SSL Certificate is required.

SSL is a cryptographic protocol which provides communication security over the Internet. Shopping carts use this protocol to protect sensitive data typically gathered during the checkout process.

It goes without saying that if you’re using a direct payment gateway (such as PayPal Pro, which transfers credit card details) you must be using SSL and should be looking at PCI compliance.

Fortunately, SSL certificates are inexpensive and your host will be able to install one for you providing your server meets other security requirements.

Registration

Here you can allow registration on the checkout page or ‘My Account’ page and enable the option to register using the email address as the user name.

Customer Accounts

Choose whether to:

  • Prevent customers from accessing WordPress admin
  • Clear cart when logging out
  • Allow customers to repurchase orders from their Account Page

Styling

Here you can enable/disable the default WooCommerce stylesheet or edit the styles colors.

Scripts

Choose whether to enable/disable the lightbox (enables on product images only). You can also enable the ‘enhanced country select boxes’ which will allow the country fields to be searchable.

Downloadable Products

Specify the method of delivering digital products. Forcing downloads will keep URLs hidden, but some servers may serve large files unreliably.

After you have adjusted the settings, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to Save Changes.

Catalog Options

The Catalog options allow you to adjust many settings for your shop pages. Here you can determine the ‘Default Product Sorting’ for your products by: custom ordering + name, popularity, average rating, or ascending/descending price.

Define ‘Shop Page Display’ to show products, sub categories or both as well as the ‘Default Category Display’. For example, if you have a t-shirts category, when a customer visits that page, do you want them to see the t-shirts category or subcategories or both.

Add to cart options include the ability to enable a redirect to the cart page after a product is added or whether or now you want to display the ‘Add to Cart’ buttons on the archive product pages.

Product Data

Here you can chose to enable product SKU / weight / dimension fields on the backend and whether to display that meta information on the frontend in the ‘Additional Information’ tab. You can also set the weight and dimension units of measure.

Product Ratings

Determine whether you would like to enable ratings on reviews, whether or not they are required when leaving a review and whether you’d like to show “verified owner” labels for customer reviews.

Pricing Options

Define where the currency symbol  should be placed and other options such as the decimal separator and whether to remove the zeros or not.

Image Options

The image options define the size of your product images and thumbnails.

After you have adjusted the settings, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the page to Save Changes.

Page Setup

Specify the base page for your shop, choose a title for it and specify your terms page (optional).

Shop Pages

Here you specify your WooCommerce specific pages. These will be populated by default once the plugin is activated should you choose to use the automatic set up option. You can change these pages to better suit your store.

Don’t forget to Save Changes!

Manage Stock

The main option on this tab is to declare whether your store should manage stock or not.

Hold Stock

New in WC 2.0! – You can now manage how long you hold stock for unpaid orders. When the customer adds a product to the cart, the stock is reduced and held for x amount of minutes before the item will be released from the cart and the item stock replenished. If you do not want this option, you can leave this field blank.

Notifications, Stock Threshold and Visibility

If Stock Management is enabled you can then define stock notifications for low / out of stock, set the thresholds and whether to hide products on the storefront if they are out of stock.

Finally, set the format for the stock status displayed on your shop.

Save Changes!

Tax Options

The tax tab lets you define the tax rates for your store and set up how tax should work. The tax rules system in WooCommerce has been built to be as flexible as possible to work with any country. Tax rates are applied based on the customer’s shipping address.

Shipping Options

 

Here you can enable shipping sitewide. If you’re selling digital products, you may want to turn shipping off entirely. You can also enable the shipping calculator on the cart page or choose to hide the shipping costs until an address is entered.

 

If this option is left unchecked it will hide the shipping fields. All billing fields will still be required.

Shipping Method Display

When a customer selects their Shipping Method Display you can chose to show a radio button or select box.

Shipping Destination

Next, define whether you will only ship to the users billing address (shipping address fields will be hidden at checkout), and whether you want to ship to the billing address by default (‘ship to same address’ box will be checked at checkout) or you can choose to collect a shipping address even when not required.

Shipping Method

Here you can also choose the default shipping method and drag and drop the preference of order you have for the various options to be displayed. To setup the shipping methods themselves use the mini menu just beneath the tabs:

WC-Settings-Shipping-Tab

Don’t forget to Save Changes!

Payment Options

WooCommerce comes bundled with PayPal standard and three offline methods (Cheque, BACS, Cash on Delivery & Mijireh Checkout). It can also easily be extended to integrate with dozens of other payment providers.

On the Payment Gateways section you can specify a default payment gateway (this will be highlighted first during checkout) and drag-and-drop to modify the order in which the payment methods appear on the front end.

Each gateway is configured separately, click on its name in the menu below the WC setting tabs to bring up each of the specific options.

 

Email Options

New in WC 2.0! – Now you will find many more options to customize your shop emails. Including sender ‘from’ name and email address, email template customizations, and response customization.

Email Template

Here you can add a custom header graphic to your store emails. A good width to make this image would be 600px. Upload your image via the Media Uploader, then copy the URL of the image. If you have any store specific information such as phone numbers or additional contact details these can be added to your email footer.

Best of all you can make the WooCommerce emails match your brand identity by modifying colours of certain elements. The background colour of these inputs matches your selection (in hex).

Order Status Emails

For each order status you will find additional options just below the WC settings tabs:

WC-Settings-Email-Tab

Each of these options allows you to enable notifications for the order status, manage who receives the notification, and to customize the message.

HTML Templates

WC 2.0 makes it even easier to customize your email templates by providing a quick link to copy the template file to your theme or view the template for customization! To edit the template go to the Order Status you wish you edit (New Order, Processing Order, etc) scroll to the bottom of the page to Copy File to Theme or to View Template.

Integration Settings

The integration tab is where you configure integrations with third party services (not including payment gateways / shipping methods) such as ShareThis, Google Analytics and ShareYourCart.

Google Analytics ID

If you want to use WooCommerce’s in-built support for Google Analytics enter your ID here. You can then enable standard tracking and eCommerce tracking.

WooCommerce omits the tracking tag when an admin is logged in.

ShareThis Publisher ID

In the mini menu beneath the WC Tabs you will see the ShareThis options. ShareThis will add social sharing buttons to the widget on the products page. To enable simply enter your ShareThis publisher ID.

ShareYourCart

To learn more about ShareYourCart please see the documentation linked within that tab.

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Related Products

In the WooCommerce admin area when you are editing the product data there is a “Linked Products” tab.  Products can be related to each other in three ways:  Up-Sells, Cross-Sells, or by having the same tags or categories.

Linked Products tab

Linked Products tab

Up-Sells

Up-sells are products which you recommend instead of the currently viewed product, for example, products that are more profitable or better quality or more expensive.  Depending on your site’s template these products will display on the single product page underneath the product’s description.

Cross-Sells

Cross-sells are products which you promote in the cart, based on the current product.  Depending on your site’s template they will display on the cart page underneath the cart products table with a thumbnail image.

Related Products

Related products is a section on some templates that pulls other products from your store that share the same tags or categories as the current product.  These products can not be specified in the admin, but can be influenced by grouping similar products in the same category or by using the same tags.

 

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Product Variations

Variable products are a great feature of WooCommerce for offering variations of a product with different prices, stock and more. They can be used for offering variations of a product e.g. a large t-shirt vs a small t-shirt. Each variation can have different properties and prices.

Adding attributes for variations

Set the product type

To add a variable product first selection the type ‘variable’ from the product type dropdown. The interface will change to reflect your selection.

Choose the variation product type

Choose the variation type

Define variation attributes

On the attributes tab add some attributes to your product – you can use global attributes or define some custom ones specific for your product.

Add your attribute to the product

Add your attribute to the product

Make sure to assign all values of the attribute to the variable product which will become options and check the ‘variation’ checkbox on each attribute to tell WooCommerce its for your variations:

Add attributes and ensure the variations checkbox is checked

Add attributes and ensure the variations checkbox is checked

At this point you need to save your product

Add variations

After saving your product you can now begin to add variations, or link all possible variations. To add a variation, click the ‘add variation’ button. A new blank row will appear ready for you to input the data.

A new variation

A new variation

Each variation of a product may be assigned the following data:

  • An image – click the icon to see the image uploader. After you choose an image click ‘insert into post’.
  • SKU – Set the SKU for the variation, or leave blank to use the variable products SKU.
  • Stock quantity – Stock for the particular variation, or left blank to use the variable product’s stock settings.
  • Weight – The weight for the variation, or left blank to use the variable product’s weight.
  • Dimensions – The dimensions for the variation, or left blank to use the variable product’s dimensions.
  • Price – The variations price. Required.
  • Sale price – The variations sale price.
  • Downloadable – If this variation is a downloadable product, check the box. You can then input file URL and download limits.
  • Virtual – If the variation is virtual, check the box.
  • Enabled – Uncheck the box to disable the variation. It will no longer be available.
  • Shipping class – Shipping class can affect shipping. Set this if it differs from the variable product.
  • Tax class – A tax class for this variation. Useful if you are offering variations spanning different tax bands.

If the sku, weight, dimension, and stock fields are not set then it simply inherits the values assigned to the  variable product. Price fields must be set per product.

Bulk editing

Above the variations you have access to some bulk editing tools to speed up data input:

product-variations-5

Linking possible variations

Instead of adding each variation one at a time, you can click the ‘link all variations’ button. This will create a new variation for each and every possible combination of variation attributes (max 50 per run).

So if your example you had 2 attributes – colour (with values blue and green) and size (with values large and small) it will create the following variations:

  • Large Blue
  • Large Green
  • Small Blue
  • Small Green

Setting default variations

On the frontend, variations need to be selected before an add to cart button is displayed. However, if you define a default variation to use then it will be displayed immediately:

 

The result: Frontend

On the frontend, when viewing a variable product, the user will be presented with dropdown boxes to select the variation options; selecting options will reveal the stock, price and add to cart button for the variation so the user can purchase the product.

 

Variations on the front-end

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Adding Images & Galleries

The featured image

The featured post image is the main image for your product. It is the image which will be displayed within your product loops (IE on product categories, up sells, related products etc) and the initial focus of the image gallery on your product details page.

adding-product-images-and-galleries-4

Adding the featured image

Adding product galleries

adding-product-images-and-galleries-1

Product galleries simply display all images attached to a product, with the Featured Image being the primary image.

You can create a product gallery using the same method as adding a featured image, rather using the Product Gallery meta box instead.

Re-order and removing images from product galleries

Images in the product gallery can be re-ordered easily via drag and drop. Simply re-order your images by moving them around.

To remove an image from the product gallery, hover over the image and click on the red “x”.

Image dimension settings

On the catalog tab, WP Dashboard -> WooCommerce -> Settings -> Catalog, of the WooCommerce settings you’ll see three image dimension inputs.

  • Catalog Images appear on your shop loops. Product categories, up sells / cross sells etc
  • Single Product Image is the main image on your product details page
  • Product thumbnails are the gallery thumbnails on your product details page (if you have a gallery)

adding-product-images-and-galleries-2

The images you upload will be resized to match the values your input here accurately as possible. IE if your settings are 100×100 and you upload a 300×600 image it will be resized to 100×200. You can also choose to ‘hard crop’ your images which will force them to be the size specified in these settings, regardless of the raw image you upload, but will be cropped rather than distorted in scale.

Remember if you change these settings after uploading product imagery you will need to regenerate your thumbnails within WordPress for the changes to be applied to your current imagery. To do this we recommend using the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.

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Managing Products

Now for the fun stuff, adding your products! But before diving into your first product you should familiarise yourself with how product categories, tags and attributes work.

Adding a product

Taxonomies

As you would expect, categories and tags work in very much the same way as any other post type categories and tags. They can be applied before, or during the creation of a product.

Attributes on the other hand are a little different – they can be added per-product, or you can set global attributes up for the entire store to use (for example in layered navigation).

Product Types

With attributes and categories set up and stock management configured, we can begin to actually add products. When adding your product the first thing to ascertain is which type of product it will be.

  1. The Simple product type covers the vast majority of any products you may sell. Simple products are shipped and have no options. For example, a can of drink.
  2. Grouped product is a collection of related products which can be purchased individually and can only consist of simple products. For example, a simple product for a PS3 could be a grouped product as there are 80GB, 120GB and 200GB variations of that same parent product.
  3. An External or Affiliate product is one which you list and describe on your web site, but is sold elsewhere.
  4. Variable product is a product which has several different variations, each of which may have a different SKU, price, stock options etc. For example a tshirt available in several different colours and/or sizes.

Adding a simple product

Adding a simple product is a straight forward process and not too dissimilar from authoring a standard WordPress post. In the Products menu click Add Product; you will be presented with a familiar interface, and should immediately see where to type the product title and full description.

A familiar interface for adding product informationA familiar interface for adding product information

Under the main dialog box is the Product Type panel. Here you define the product type (as outlined above) and whether it is a downloadable (digital), or virtual (service) product.

Virtual products don’t require shipping – an order containing virtual products won’t calculate a shipping cost

Product data

Next is the Product Data tab set. This is where the majority of the product data is input.

Product data is added from this panelProduct data is added from this panel

General tab

  • SKU – stock keep unit, used to track products. Must be unique, and should be named so it does not clash with post ID’s.
  • Price:
    • Regular Price – The item’s main price.
    • Sale Price – The item’s sale price.
  • Tax:
    • Tax Status – The items’ tax status.
    • Tax Class – Which tax class the product belongs to. You can set up tax classes in WooCommerce > Settings > Tax.

Inventory tab

The inventory tab allows you to manage stock for the product individually and define whether to allow back orders. If stock management is disabled from the settings page, only the ‘stock status’ option will be visible.

Shipping tab

  • Weight – Weight of the item.
  • Dimensions – Length, width, and height for the item.
  • Shipping Class – Shipping classes are used by certain shipping methods to group similar products.

Linked Products tab

Using up-sells and cross-sells you can cross promote your products with one another. They can be added by searching for a particular product and selecting the product from the drop down list:

adding-and-managing-products-3

After adding them, they will be listed in the input field:

adding-and-managing-products-4

Up-sells are displayed on the product details page. These are products which you may wish to encourage users to upgrade to based on the product they are currently viewing. For example if the user is viewing the coffee product listing page, you may want to display the tea kettles on that same page as an up-sell.

adding-and-managing-products-6

Cross-sells are products which are displayed at the cart and related to the users cart contents. As an example if the user adds a Nintendo DS to their cart, when the arrive at the cart page you may want to suggest that they also purchase spare Styluses.

Grouping – Set this option to make this product part of a grouped product.

Attributes tab

On the attributes tab you can assign attributes to a product. You will see a select box containing any global attribute sets you may have created (E.G. platform).

Once you have selected an attribute from the select box, click add and you will be able to apply the terms attached to that attribute (E.G. Nintendo DS) to the product. You can choose to hide the attribute on the frontend by simply leaving the ‘Visible’ checkbox unticked.

Custom attributes can be applied here too by choosing ‘Custom product attribute’ from the select box. These are added at the product level and won’t be available in the layered navigation.

Advanced tab

  • Purchase note – Enter an optional note to send the customer after purchase.
  • Menu order – Custom ordering position for this item.
  • Enable Reviews – Enable/Disable customers reviews for this item

Excerpt

Finally you can add an excerpt which should be a short description of the product. Typically this will appear next to the product imagery on the listing page whilst the long description will appear within the Product Description tab.

Taxonomies

On the right hand side of the Add New Product panel you will see your product categories in which you can place your product, just like a standard WordPress post. You can also assign the product tags in the same manner.

Product images

You can add both a main image and a gallery of images

Setting catalog visibility and feature status

In the publish panel you can set catalog visibility for your product.

 

Catalog visibility

Visibility can be set to:

  • Catalog and search – visible everywhere
  • Catalog – visible in catalog loops, but not search
  • Search – visible in search results, but not in the catalog (categories/shop page)
  • Hidden – only visible on the single product page – not in any product loops

Adding a grouped product

A grouped product is created in much the same way as a simple product. The only difference is that you will select “Grouped” from the Product Type dropdown in the General product tab details as shown below.

To create your parent product select 'Grouped' from the Product Type Dropdown.

To create your parent product select ‘Grouped’ from the Product Type Dropdown.

Upon setting the parent product as ‘Grouped’ product type, the price and several other fields will disappear, this is fine, you’ll be adding this information to the individual child products. Once you’re finished with the parent product, publish it and come back to the Add New Product page.

To Create a Child Product inside a group

To create a child product, go to: Products > Add New to add a new product. The only information you’re required to fill in here is the following:

  • Title
  • Product Type = Simple

You can also add your price and other product details as needed. Next, go to the Linked Products section to select your parent product from the Grouping dropdown as shown below.

Grouped-product-child-settings

If you wish to control the order in which products are shown within a group, edit the “Menu order” option under the “Advanced” section in product data.

Adding a virtual product

When adding a simple product, you can check the ‘virtual‘ box in the product type panel. This will remove un-necessary fields (such as dimensions).

Adding a downloadable product

When adding a simple product, you can check the ‘downloadable‘ box in the product type panel. This will add two new fields:

  1. File path – path or url to your downloadable file.
  2. Download limit – a limit for the number of times the customer can download the file. Left blank for unlimited downloads.
For maximum flexibility, downloadable products also incur a shipping cost (if for example you were offering both a packaged version, and a downloadable version of a product this would be ideal). You can also check the ‘virtual’ box if the downloadable product is not shippable.

Adding an external product

Choose ‘External/Affiliate’ from the product type drop down. This will remove unnecessary tabs such as tax and inventory and insert a new product URL field. This is the destination at which users can purchase the product. Rather than add to cart buttons, they will see a read more button directing them to this URL.

Adding a variable product

Variable products are arguably the most complex of product types. They let you define variations of a single product where each variation may have a different SKU, price or stock level.

To mark a product as featured go to: Products > Products and select the Star in the featured column. You can alternatively select the Quick Edit option to select the Featured option.

Select the Star in the featured column to mark featured products.

Use the Star column to mark featured products.

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