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Ecommerce tips to help increase sales

By | Ecommerce, Marketing, Woocommerce, Wordpress | No Comments

In this post I’m going to give some tips to help you increase your sales.

horse-herd-fog-nature-52500 (1)

Speed – Make your website load quickly

Customers like fast sites they can browse quickly and find what they need. Slow loading pages will make many potential customers go to elsewhere site to buy, bottom line you lose money.

There are lots of ways to increase website speed including:

  • Fast hosting (you get what you pay )
  • Caching (this can bring big gains)
  • CDNs (content distribution networks)

There are many other ways check out this article I wrote on speeding up WordPress if you’d like abit more depth on some of these.

Monitor Uptime

How often do you check your site uptime ? If you don’t you could be missing out on loads of sales because of site downtime. Check out monitoring tools such as pingdom.

Test your website on different Devices

Check does it look good and is it easy to navigate on mobiles, tablet etc… A website that is hard to navigate = lost sales. Its essential you test this after updating themes , plugins etc …


Abandoned Carts / Cancelled Orders

Alot of the big retailers woo these customers back by offering a discount/voucher code. You could (and maybe should) be doing the same.

Make your Offers prominent

If you are running an offer or incentive, don’t hide this away put it somewhere it can easily be seen by the Customer, a good example if to place a banner on all pages.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 15.45.01

Email Signup

Your best customers are your existing customers, why? Because if they have purchased from you before and like your product / service, they are likely to buy from you again. But sometimes you need to remind them you exist. This is why it’s important to capture customer/fan email addresses and get them signed up to your newsletter.

Ask for Product Reviews

Let your customers generate new content for you, boosts SEO (and more people find you). You could offer a voucher code to incentivise.

Get Social

  1. Post onto social networks as you add products, this generates good quality relevant inbound links to your website.
  2. Put social links in your customer emails, lots of customers will ignore them, but some will tweet etc… Again free inbound links

The feedback I’ve had over the last few months suggests that Pinterest and Instagram are best for promoting products (probably because of their more visual appeal).


Outreach to Blogs in your niche/field

Do promotions, asking bloggers in your niche (bloggers that have a good following), to feature your promotion.

Closed Feedback Solutions (such as Feefo)

Systems like Feefo only allow real reviews, and Google trusts them and bases its staring system on such systems.


Try out Heatmaps

This can help you see how people are using your website and help with insights, see plugins such as this for an example.


I hope you find these tips useful to increasing your ecommerce website sales.

beginners guide to theming Woocommerce

How to make a WordPress Theme, Woocommerce Compatible from scratch

By | E-commerce, Ecommerce, PHP, Programming, Theming, Woocommerce, Wordpress | 6 Comments

In this post I’ll going to explain how I took a WordPress Bootstrap Theme and made it Woocommerce Compatible. I couldn’t find many good tutorials on this so I’m writing this one, so that it might help someone else.

The Process to make a theme Woocommerce Compatible

I’m going to take the very nice DevDmBootstrap3 theme and make it Woocommerce Compatible.

  1. I created a child theme of DevDmBootstrap3
  2. I added the required stuff needed to that child theme

I’ll skip over 1 (there are plenty tutorials of how to do that out there), and move right onto 2.

Complete code below (can be put in functions.php)

Sidebar Code for Woocommerce (wp-content/themes/THEME/sidebar.php )

The DevDmBootstrap3 theme didn’t have a sidebar.php so I added one to my child theme with the following:

Explanation of Code

Remove the Woocommerce default wrappers (this drops wraps the Woocommerce content in the theme, so everything looks nice), see remove_action lines.

Next, we need to make our own wrappers so Woocommerce can nicely be wrapped into the theme and all looks good. See functions gbb_theme_wrapper_start() and gbb_theme_wrapper_end(), in these functions I wrap the content in the theme (todo this on different themes this will vary slightly).

Roughly speaking the contents of the 2 wrapper functions will be output between the header.php and footer.php files of the theme you are using.  As you can see below I’ve added content to drop in relevant stuff from the DevDmBootstrap3 theme such as the menu e.g. ‘topnav’ .


Essentially what I’ve done is created a bootstrap row with 2 columns: column 1 is two thirds width and column 2 is one third width.

Column 1 (col-md-8)

This contains the main Woocommerce content.

Column 2 (col-md-4)

This contains the Woocommerce sidebar.

After that I declare Woocommerce support in the theme, and lastly create a sidebar for the theme (that I can use as my Woocommerce sidebar). The sidebar can be seen in the themes sidebar.php template file (which I created for this theme as it didn’t have one).

And thats about it in nutshell as they say, hope you find this useful.






Woocommerce third party theming

Theming Jigoshop , this is the best resource I could find (Jigoshop is a fork of Woocommerce or vice versa)


Update 27 June 2016

To Download the latest version of the Woocommerce Compatible theme click here

In this version there is no sidebar on woocommerce pages (except on cart / checkout, this can be switched on/off via devdm-theme-options is needed).

To have a sidebar in the shop / product page etc this can be setup via the wrapper functions see file: make_theme_woocommerce_compatible.php (as in the tutorial above).


TODO at a later date I will do a part 2 to this tutorial to  create the rollover cart contents script (that will be put in the header to quickly preview whats in the cart).




Onsite SEO for Ecommerce websites 2016

By | Business Growth, Ecommerce, SEO, Woocommerce | One Comment

In this post I’m going to talk about some of the things you can do to improve your Online Store’s visibility in Search Engines such as Google. To get more sales of your products and services. Onsite SEO for Ecommerce websites isn’t difficult but does require some perseverance.

Onsite SEO for Ecommerce websites

SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate

This means encrypting communication between a users computer and the server that your website is on. Google has added this as a ranking factor in its search algorithm and it will also give your customers and potential customers more confidence in your website when they land on it (i.e. help increase conversions).

Unique Product Descriptions

Many online stores use the manufacturer’s description of a product on the product page on your website. The problem with this is Google doesn’t like duplicate data, so if you can write your own product description this is going to benefit your website ranking. Use tools like Googles Adword Keyphase planner to get ideas or tools like keyword checker to see what other stores are doing.

Speed of page loading

Another important ranking factor for Google is how quickly your pages load. Check out Googles PageSpeed insights to see how quickly your page loads from Googles perspective.

Use the Alt tag on images (especially on the product page)

Its another useful ranking signal (and there are tools that can automate it for you), that can help boost your product/s pages above the competition.

Product Reviews

Try to get your customers writing product reviews (maybe incentivise them with a discount). You will get unique natural content about your products. That search engines will like and boost you up abit more.

NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) in footer on every page

Another factor the search engines like is your Name , Address and Phone number clearly stated on every page.  Also use the itemprop attribute for every part of the address and phone number e.g. for phone number something like this: <p itemprop=”telephone”>873873873</p>

Offsite SEO Bonus Tip: Link Building is Dead

I know the tips here are onsite but I just thought I’d throw this one in as well. Alot of inbound links are no good (or very little good). The links that google likes are links that have been put there in editorial content, ie in the middle of an article / page etc.

The type of links that are pretty useless for SEO purposes are blog and forums comments and signatures etc. So be very careful about paying people todo offsite SEO link building.


There you have some of the ways that Onsite SEO for Ecommerce websites can help you start to rise above your competition and get more sales. If you would me to help with your Ecommerce SEO contact me to discuss an Ecommerce SEO package tailored to your needs.










Woocommerce – Add an Important Admin Note to the Order Report for Order pickers to view

By | Ecommerce, PHP, Plugins, Programming, Woocommerce, Wordpress | 7 Comments

In this article I’ll show you how to add an Important Admin Note to the Order Report, very useful if there’s some information you want to add for Order pickers to view. For instance maybe the item is fragile you can highlight this to the order picker.


Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 15.21.07

This plugin allows you to enter an Admin note on the order and then displays this note on order report screen.

Screen Shot 2016-01-14 at 15.23.27

If you just want to get the plugin please click here to download the plugin. The rest of this article will run over how to create a plugin like this, so if you have an interest int he programming side of wordpress, this is for you.

Essentially to write this plugin we need todo 3 things:

  1. display the important Order Note input field on Woocommerce edit order screen
  2. save it when needed (i.e. when you save the order)
  3. display the note (in red in the graphic above) on the Woocommerce Order Report

So lets dive in:

Display the important Order Note input field on Woocommerce edit order screen

To display the order note field we need to do something like this (below). Print out the html for the text input field and add some explanatory note for the admin user.


Save it when needed (i.e. when you save the order)

In the code below I’m saving the Import Order Note, and before doing so checking that its valid.



Display the note (in red in the graphic above) on the Woocommerce Order Report

In this function I use the relevant hook to drop my Import Order Note into the Order Report in the correct place.


I hope you found that interesting, if you need any help with Programming WordPress or Woocommerce please get in touch.

Force a Woocommerce website to use ssl on https

By | Ecommerce, Security, Woocommerce | One Comment

Alot of clients want to have their website on SSL. As its good for customers to see your website on SSL and google also likes this so can give you alittle SEO boost too.

In this post I’ll show you have to have your WordPress (Woocommerce) website served on SSL.

The first thing todo is alter the general setting page so that http becomes https:

force woocommerce to use SSL (secure sockets layer)

We also need to alter the htaccess file like below to force everything to be redirected to SSL.

alter woocommerce htaccess file to force SSL


Your nearly there ! After that you may need todo a find and replace on your database to find things like hardcoded links in your posts (for example in your blog).

e.g. things like this (often images in your posts have links like this), need to be:

And thats it done your on SSL. You will of course need an SSL certificate setup for your website to get the nice lock in the browser URL bar, that will make your clients happy and buy loads of stuff from you. Here’s another good article on SSL for WordPress that goes into abit more detail than I’ve done here.



woocommerce table rate shipping plugin

Woocommerce Table Rate Plugin charge per item example

By | E-commerce, Ecommerce, Plugins, Woocommerce, Wordpress | No Comments

The Table Rate Plugin is one of the most useful plugins for Woocommerce. However if you’ve never used it before it may have you scratching your head as to how to use it. In this tutorial I’ve go over how to use it to charge per item and how to apply different rates based on the shipping location.

1. Create Shipping Classes

Select Products on left menu and choose shipping class from the submenu. From this page you can set up your shipping classes. For this example I’ve setup 2 Shipping classes called: Small and Large (e.g. in add/edit product for a small item you’d select the Small shipping class).

2. Create Shipping Zones

Firstly we need to create Shipping Zones in this example we’ll have 3:

  • UK
  • Europe
  • Rest of World

After we configure them we’ll end up with this:

Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 16.08.22

Table Rate Plugin charge per item example

So lets start with the Table Rate Plugin charge per item example. In the left menu goto Woocommerce -> Shipping Zones, fill in the zone name e.g. UK and fill in the countries for that zone (just the UK in this case) and click ‘add shipping zone’. Do the same for Europe but add the different countries (or select EU states if you only doing EU).

Woocommerce has a catch all Zone (Default Zone) so we can use this as the zone for the rest of the world. Use the method title to change what the user will see on the front end (in this case I changed it to Rest of World).

woocommerce configing the table rate plugin

Configuring Shipping Zones to have their own shipping costs

Next we can configure each of our shipping zones to use the relevant shipping class/es. Click on a zone (see below):

Shipping Zones

On the page below select Table Rates and click add:


Table Rate Plugin charge per item example

Scroll to the bottom of the page below (and use the setting in the screenshot). Then we can configure the costs of the shipping for the first shipping class:


Finally we add in the other shipping class and configure it as below:

table rate shipping expert london

In the  screenshot above I have configured shipping costs for large and small items for this particular shipping zone. To setup shipping costs of the other zones, repeat the steps from Configuring Shipping Zones to have their own shipping costs section to here.

This way you end up with different costs for Small and Large items based on where they will be delivered to. So logically you have something like this table below (for the cost of delivery for the different items to different parts of the world):


UKEuropeRest of World

Small Items£2£6£10
Large Items£4£10£18