WordPress shopping carts with Magento features

The beauty of WordPress is that it brings traffic to your site if you post good content frequently- and if you want to sell stuff, traffic is good.

The problem with Shopping carts online- is they are only that – a shopping cart- a store, with no advertising- except what you pay for. Magento is an amazing open source shopping cart solution- but, it’s not a CMS- and it doesn’t give you the ease of posting that WordPress does- so- enter Visser labs– with their plugins that bring the WP e-Commerce plugin some of the cool functionality of Magento- without the the complexities.

The first is the ability to have 2 different price levels- one for wholesale- and one for retail:

Wholesale Pricing for WP e-Commerce uses custom User Roles to apply different pricing levels against preferred customers (e.g. Subscribers, Wholesalers, Staff, etc.).

via Wholesale Pricing | Visser Labs.

Another gives you the ability to do wish lists:

Add to Wishlist for WP e-Commerce also allows WordPress users to manage their Favourites entries and remove items they no longer desire. Easy integration to WP e-Commerce and comprehensive step by step instructions are included.

Or offline credit card processing- for those who don’t want to charge when ordered- but when shipped:

Offline Credit Card Processing allows store owners to process credit card orders offline by accepting the credit card information and spliting the card number into two parts; partial save to the database while the rest e-mailed to the store owner.

Check out their site for more plugins to this e-commerce solution for WordPress.

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Upcoming features of WordPress 2.7

Over at the WordPress Codex you will find an overview of WordPress 2.7’s (potentially) upcoming features.

A number of additions to this new version will be good news to the people who develop WordPress themes and WordPress plugins, but we discovered several notable entries that will be of interest to users and administrators.

  1. The ability for readers to subscribe to a post’s comments is now part of the core, and does not require the “Subscribe to Comments” plugin (a plugin we install on every one of our client’s sites!).
  2. Sitemaps, a file format developed by Google, is a very powerful tool for informing search engines (not just Google) about where your content is, what it is, and how frequently it’s updated. Currently, in WordPress 2.6, a plugin is needed to automate this process; WordPress 2.7 will apparently make this part of the core. We can only speculate if the same level of functionality will be present in the core implementation versus the “Google XML Sitemaps” plugin that we use.
  3. In WordPress 2.6 and below, comments on posts have no heirarchy, and how one reader “responds” to another reader is not dealt with in any officially sanctioned manner – it’s basically a flat listing of comments. The Codex entry hints at “comment threading”, which potentially means comments can be nested, like a message board. This might be a dream come true for sites with large, active communities.
  4. Geotagging is growing in popularity, and it gets a mention in the Codex. How this will be implemented is currently an unknown, but for some bloggers, especially those who use their WordPress site to organize events, could really benefit from a unified way to introduce geodata into their posts.
  5. Lastly, we see “versioning of template edits”. We surmise that this means template editing from the Dashboard will have some form of version control, like Posts do in 2.6, and ultimately, it implies enhanced theme editing abilities in the Design section of the Dashboard. For people like us who do frequently template wrangling, this might be one of the best things to happen to WordPress since its original conception!

We will keep posting as we learn more about WordPress 2.7.

If you’re interested in how you can leverage WordPress/blogging to increase your online visibility, we humbly suggest you take our inexpensive, informative, one day seminar – Websitetology.

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Trouble in WordPress 2.5 land

It seems there is quite a bit of frustration with the new “Add media” controls in WordPress 2.5

The 2.5.1 update didn’t fix them- but, at this point, enough people have griped that the development team has to know they laid an egg with this part.

I just grabbed this whole post from the support site to give you the run down, the link at the bottom of the post is from someone who choses much more colorful language to describe his experiences-

WordPress › Support » Problems/steps backward with Add Media functionality
I was quite eager to try the add media functions in v2.5, but it seems either I am missing something or there are some fundamental problems.

Add Video
This seems fundamentally broken. I cannot believe that any user would expect that this would only create a link to a video rather than embedding the actual video. The only good news seems to be that using YouTubes embed code now works in a post without needing to use a plug-in like Easy Tube.

Add an Image
While this works–and the ability to upload multiple images is a plus–the interface to produce even basic functionality seems to have taken a step backwards. Case in point: I wanted to upload an image and have it right-justified with text wrapping around it. I had to go through no less than three dialogue boxes to achieve this.

Step 1: A box for uploading the image and adding ALT text.

Step 2: Requires the user to then click on Gallery for the ability to edit ALT text again, plus set image link, size and basic justification. I am not sure why this cant be rolled into the first step and I am not sure why all the options for justification cant be included here.

Step 3: In order to get the text to wrap, I then need to select the places image, click on the Image button, which pops up a dialogue box similar to what we had in the previous version, which gives the kind of control over the image that SHOULD be in Step 2. And, oddly, the justification selected in Step 2 is not reflected in this dialogue box.

With 2.5, its suddenly more clicks and LESS intuitive than it was before to perform a pretty basic use of an image in a post. It really does seem like at least one of these three steps could be eliminated. In the end, I can get what I want, but now its more involved than it used to be, with a workflow that is not at first obvious.

Add Audio/Add Media
I have not tried these yet, but fear that Audio will produce similar results to video. And its not entirely clear what “Add Media” is for. Flash content? Something else?

But my real issue is with video and these extra steps in just using simple images. Unless someone can show me that I am missing something here. Any help welcome.

If you follow the link, there are some good comments- including mention of the “Flexible Upload” plug in which we are about to start testing.

For the more colorful post- I can’t even post the link- go here.

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