The How To Guide to WordPress with WooCommerce

Start your engine

Start your engine (Photo credit:

Well, maybe this should read…how I did it, or better yet – how I plan to.

Firstly, besides by family – I love the web, shopping on the web, wordpress, motorcycles and volkswagens…not necessarily in that order.  I work at a great company called Clickstop (who is a retailer of many goods online – check us out) – but I never like to quit learning.  I came to the company a web developer and have since taken over as the eCommerce Director.  One would think I totally get all things eCommerce and this little journey I have embarked on is crazy…but the thing is – making wholesale changes on sites like ours is not a real good idea.

So, to increase my knowledge – I decided to get a site going which I could continue to pursue my passions (see above) and learn more about my job and the things that go into it.  So, I purchased a defunct ecommerce site called ““.  The site was started a few years ago as a drop shipper of motorcycle fairings direct from the factory in China.  Its an interesting business model – and we’ll get more into that as we work on the site and tell the story here on the blog.

Image representing WooThemes as depicted in Cr...

Image by None via CrunchBase

One of my other passions (see above) is wordpress.  So – part of my learning process is also to see what else I can experiment with on wordpress which furthering my ecommerce knowledge.  If you are familiar at all with wordpress, you know it is awesome – but it doesn’t have any ecommerce tools build in.  So, after using WooThemes for quite a while – I chose to leverage their ecommerce plugin called WooCommerce for the site.  WooCommerce is free, as are a number of great themes which are already designed for an online store.

My first challenge will be to get the store up and running, transferring it over from a Ruby on Rails site.  Then there will be a laundry list of things to do after that.


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Web Development is finally cool

Chrome Developer Tools

Chrome Developer Tools (Photo credit: RubyJi)

I’ve been working in web development as a developer since 1998.  Many developers work at companies with large buildings with many offices, and teams are often moved around for logistic purposes. And a curious trend is happening: developers tend to end up in nice shiny offices, whereas other departments – like Administration and Finance – are slowly being pushed down into dingy basements.

OK, maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but you get the idea: developers might not get all the girls like in the movie The Social Network, but sure they get better coffee and wider windows. All this confirms a simple thing: developing is cool again, although some detractors may say that it’s finally cool, implying that it was never cool at all.

The main reason for its rise in popularity is, in my mind, the myriad of apps that are constantly launched now are having more impact on other people’s lives than ever before. Developers are finally producing things that are closer to people, and like for books, movies or songs, it’s easier to imagine a real person behind them. Many believe that the marketplace offered by iTunes App Store played an important part in transforming developers into superstars, but the point is: coding is now closely associated to creation, in a space where art and logic come together.

So whether your purpose is to make money or to express yourself (although you could achieve both), this is a great time to learn developing skills. There are many possibilities to choose from: websites, web applications, or apps for computers and mobile devices.

Making it to the hall of fame of ITunes is hard, and many failed while few succeeded. However, to be a successful developer you don’t have to go the rockstar way, you can work on customized jobs for specific clients too. All sorts of companies, big and small, are hiring developers to create customized apps to improve their customers’ experience and take advantage of the explosion of mobile usage.

At this point, the last preconception about code programming is that it’s very hard to learn. The good news is: it’s not, not harder than any other skill anyway. You understand the basics, climb up the learning curve a little, and after that it’s all about exponential learning.

How does that sound? If you feel like giving it a go, or if you have just started, let us know what you are interested in for your learning adventure.

NOTE: We have teamed up with TeamTreehouse to offer you a way to learn how to program if you want to learn to build websites, create iPhone and Android apps, code with Ruby on Rails and PHP, or start a business head over to TeamTreehouse – START TODAY!.

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