This is a WooCommerce shoe store that I set up using 12 plugins, 16 code snippets, and a lot of logic.
- 650 products are purchasable from the shop page.
- Many products have multiple sizes and colors. The different sizes and colors for a product are grouped together.
- 4000 images attached to all the products. There were about 700 unique images.
- The site also has chat support, a custom login form, gift cards, and social sharing options on the product pages.
Plugins installed: 11;
PHP Snippets created/used: 16;
Discovering WordPress E-Commerce Plugins
The first and most obvious WordPress plugin I used for this project was WooCommerce. WooCommerce seems to be the absolute go-to for any type of WordPress e-commerce shop.
Another extremely helpful plugin I used (a bit pricey too) was WP All Import. Typically, to add products to a WooCommerce store, you would have to manually add products one by one. This process can be very slow since the WordPress admin area is not that fast. Also, like in my situation, each of your products could have multiple variations (sizes and colors, for example). Thankfully, with a wonderful plugin called WP All Import, it’s possible to import hundreds of products from a properly formatted Excel or CSV file. Getting the Excel file into the right format and attaching the images to the products is the tricky part. All in all, I imported about 728 products (and attached thousands of images) into this WooCommerce E-Commerce Shop.
Writing Custom Code to Organize Products
In order to get the Excel file into the right format for WP All Import, I developed two mini programs. Originally, there were about one hundred products, but each product had multiple sizes. I imported the products into a database so that I could manipulate them with SQL. I made a line for a parent product and a line for each shoe size. In total, there were about eight hundred lines and seven hundred products.
I found out that you cannot add galleries to variations (surprisingly) in WooCommerce. Thankfully, WooCommerce did have a plugin to add galleries to variations, but, unfortunately, it was not compatible with WP All Import. To get both plugins to play nicely, I used WP All Import’s API to add the right info to the products, just at the right time. The picture below is what the shop page looked like after importing the images. You can also see the search and filter widget I used to search and filter the products.
Importing the Products
After finding the right plugins, configuring them correctly, and creating custom code to get the Excel file ready, I imported the products into the WordPress WooCommerce shop. Getting all the settings in WP All Import set up correctly was a challenge (even after all the custom code). I encountered a couple issues with the images getting attached to the wrong products. I had to change the structure of the Excel file to fix that issue. I had no idea how useful being able to import products into a database could be. MySQL gave me a lot of control over the products. I updated the product dimensions for all 728 products in about one hour. This was only possibly because all the products were very similar (shoes), but I can’t image how tedious it would have been to do that manually. The picture below is the final product (no pun intended). I also used a plugin to turn the color and size choices into radio options and CSS to turn them into clickable buttons.
What Does It Do?
This WooCommerce shop displays 115 unique, purchasable products. Many products have multiple sizes and colors which are grouped together under a parent product (the total number of products, including the multiple sizes and colors, is actually 650). The total number of images attached to the products is about 4000 images. The site also has chat support, a custom login form, gift cards, and social sharing options on the product pages.
How Did I Do It?
I used 12 plugins (including WooCommerce itself), 16 PHP code snippets, and MySQL. WooCommerce allowed me to create the products, but it didn’t help me figure out how to organize or format them. I used MySQL to organize them into a format that could be imported into WooCommerce. The plugins I used helped me to import the products, let users filter the products, add chat support to the website, allow variations to have multiple images, change the format of the size and color dropdown lists to buttons, add gift cards, add a custom login form, and add social sharing for the products.