• Video: Moving Forward With WooCommerce and How Store Owners Should Adapt to Post Covid World

    Video thumbnail showing Brent Weaver, Deyan Georgiev, Sean Conklin, and Ronik Patel

    Watch the video on Facebook.com

  • eCommerce Emergency Preparedness

    Man standing up at a long desk and an open laptop computer holding boxes that appear ready to ship with more boxes sitting on the table

    I was chatting with a lawyer friend of mine recently and he suggested the topic of emergency preparedness and management as we approach one of the year’s busiest shopping seasons, BFCM. No doubt, lawyers typically deal with things after they have become serious. I concur this is a great topic and is timely especially for […]

  • Who should have Administrator access?

    Man sitting at laptop with security icons and code overlaying the view

    I often come across sites that have questionable WordPress administrator accounts. I work with clients to reduce this exposure. It’s dangerous offering full privilege accounts to anybody besides fully trusted and technically capable vendors and staff. Regular review is recommended since there tends to be shifts in staff and roles over time. Here’s why admin […]

  • Video: Final website Prep for BFCM 2021

    Video thumbnail: ShimppingChimp eCommerce360 series, topic BFCM Strategies to crush BFCM 2021 Final website prep to maximize BFCM sales, featuring Sean Conklin of Coded Commerce, LLC

    Prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday (BFCM) 2021. In this episode of eCommerce 360, Sean from Coded Commerce, LLC offers best practices in website preparation for attracting and serving maximum visitors.

  • Product short versus long descriptions

    Man at a desk wearing a button shirt showing his hand writing in a journal in front of a laptop that has what could be a product title, subtitle, and description on the screen

    I see clients get this wrong all the time. It sounds so simple, but apparently it isn’t! As I work to figure this out, I’ll post my observations. Here’s examples I’ve come across in client product catalogs: Missing short descriptions Long descriptions placed in the short description area Duplicate descriptions, merging short and long content […]

  • WooCommerce Subscriptions for rentals

    For Rent sign in a store window

    We recently launched a project that utilizes WooCommerce Subscriptions, in particular variable subscriptions, to achieve rental management. This makes for an interesting use case of the official Subscriptions add-on. WooCommerce Subscriptions is a large application. It’s quite popular, reasonably well documented, affordable, and critical for businesses that rely upon recurring revenue and automation. Using this […]

  • WooCommerce Action Scheduler bloat

    Hand with old fashioned stopwatch timer

    Action Scheduler is an open-source library for WordPress in use by premium plugins that perform sometimes heavy, time based operations. Here’s some things to be aware of, especially for WooCommerce sites.

  • Dealing with Elementor bloat

    Screenshot fo Elementor Builder

    There is a performance cost to operating a page builder, Elementor being no exception. This effect can be mitigated by paying careful attention to the following.

  • Browser-safe fonts and page performance

    Comparison chart of font styles between browser synthesis and actual font styles between weights 300-800 and italic versus normal

    Fonts are one of the more critical web page performance items. Some sites load unnecessary fonts, font styles, font formats, failing to set them to load in display:swap mode, or failing to declare the unicode-range to load. Any of these can deteriorate performance. Twenty fonts most devices already have There’s no need to load the […]

  • Hello Elementor and goodbye bloated themes

    Hello Elementor theme screenshot showing placeholder contents in a mock web page layout

    My favorite WordPress and WooCommerce theme nowadays is Hello Elementor. It’s more of a theme placeholder than a traditional theme really. Haven’t you heard? Themes are dying!

  • Importing customer and order histories into WooCommerce

    Abstract image of color cut outs partially overlapping

    I recently imported over 100,000 orders for a client who was migrating into WooCommerce. This is a complex process as disparate systems are never easy to get in sync, even when doing a one time export/import operation. Here’s some findings that may help you with your next big data import project.

  • WordPress as a component system

    Kenwood component stereo system with record player, tuner, amplifier, equalizer, casette tape, compact disc, and speaker components

    Remember component stereo systems? WordPress is a component system too. Or it’s supposed to be if you’re using it optimally. From sites I’ve inherited I’ve observed developers breaking this by: Replacing the entire front end through decoupled architectures rather than installing clean optimal components Building an entire custom theme or developing a bloated child theme […]

  • Meetup presentation on Storefront theme and WooCommerce Blocks

    WooCommerce Blocks - the most flexible way to display products on posts and pages

    Check out the WooCommerce Storefront theme and the new WooCommerce Blocks Cart and Checkout feature releasing within the week.

  • WordCamp Los Angeles 2020 Presentation on Database Cleanup

    WordCamp LAX 2020 WordPress Tricks of the Trade

    Video on database cleanup, prune legacy plugin and theme cruft to free-up resources

  • Abandonment issues

    Abandoned roll-up door with graffiti Never Forgotten

    Theme and plugin abandonment is common. Themes and plugins need to be updated about monthly to reflect testing with latest core components, addressing community requests, fixing issues and developing new features. It takes a critical mass for the business side to work.

  • WordPress Santa Clarita Presentation on Database Cleanup

    Presentation: Database cleanup, pruning cruft and optimizing WooCommerce sites

    I’m presenting on the topic Database Cleanup at two events coming up. Everyone’s invited! The first venue will be WordPress Santa Clarita Valley Meetup the evening of Tuesday Sep 15th 7:00pm over Zoom. The second venue will be taking place mid October and will be announced soon…

  • WooCommerce Maintenance

    WP Updaters Logo showing a laptop, desktop monitor, and mobile device showing updates in progress

    In a recent post about Shopify I discussed the ups and downs of proprietary eCommerce platforms. I described how one can balance the benefits of a hosted solution with the benefits of open-source software by implementing what I labeled a “Shopify-esque” edition of WooCommerce – achieved by relying on official themes, plugins, hosting, having Automattic’s […]

  • Privacy policies are required

    Smart phone loading Facebook with a pen eraser scratching out the logo as if in an attempt to erase

    Privacy policies are required by state, federal, and international laws for websites that collect any personal information, such as name, email, address, phone. The policy describes what information is collected, how it’s collected and why.

  • The Internet re-imagined

    Small airplans pulling a sign readying STAY AT HOME!

    Last week I enjoyed a webinar with partner company Pantheon by the same title covering strategies during the 2020 Covid-19 crisis. Pantheon is a provider of enterprise-grade developer-operations friendly managed WordPress hosting. Following are my notes.

  • Local WordPress development multi-environment sandboxes with fully-trusted SSL

    Mac laptop with code editor in view

    There’s myriad options for local WordPress development environments. Some are quite simple to set-up, usually connected to a paid hosting service that funds the local dev project. Some automatically install WordPress while others require manual installation into the web root htdocs plus database initialization. For Linux users like myself the options are primarily: direct installation/configuration […]

  • It’s just like using a Word Processor

    Desk with scrapbook in foreground and blurred laptop with word processor on screen behind

    Think of the WordPress block editor as an ever-expanding word processor for your website.

  • Presentation on Sensei LMS

    Desk with several stacked books, an apple on top, pencils and ABC blocks

    Last week I presented at our WooCommerce Los Angeles Meetup group on Sensei LMS. Sensei is an Automattic, Inc. open-source project offering free classroom features for WordPress powered websites.

  • How to keep using older Apple hardware

    Ubuntu 20.04 desktop modified to look like MacOS top bar, background, dock, and window control bars

    While indirectly related to my concentration with WooCommerce online stores, I thought I’d share the exciting progress I’ve made concerning two older iMac computers and how open-source community software has extended the useful life for these obsolete Apple products.

  • Essential WooCommerce Plugins

    About a dozen colorful wires on a large switchboard with dials and switches

    Now it’s time to talk about the best and most essential plugins to use on a WooCommerce site. Here’s the 14 plugins that I run on my own site.

  • Repair or Replace?

    Car being repaired

    Recently a question came up about whether it’s better to repair or replace a WooCommerce site that wasn’t well built. I’d like to take a moment to make a recommendation based on my expertise.

  • Video: WooCommerce Simplified

    Screenshot of Bookshop - a child theme of Storefront

    I recorded a video today for my YouTube channel. Check it out if you’re interested in WooCommerce basics.

  • Shopify?

    BuiltWith eCommerce usage distribution in the top 1 million sites, with pie chart and sidebar categories

    I recently had a client move a smaller WooCommerce site over to Shopify. Bummer! Usually it’s the other way around from where I sit. I understand Shopify to have a mix of good and bad qualities to its business model. Here’s my thoughts.

  • Big WooCommerce Stores

    View of store shelves packed with products and clerk int he foreground checking labels

    WooCommerce is known as the leading eCommerce platform for having millions of installations worldwide. It’s had a reputation for scaling challenges. Not any longer! A recent official blog post covered this topic and included examples of six larger WooCommerce stores and a link to the official showcase of sites by category. Scaling is defined there […]

  • Co-organizing WordCamp Santa Clarita 2020

    University Center - College of the Canyons

    WordCamp Santa Clarita 2020 #wcscv website is now live and the call for speakers is up! Our call for sponsors, volunteers and opening of attendee tickets is forthcoming. Please stay tuned or subscribe for updates (see footer). I hope to see folks there in early April.

  • Making Good Plugin Choices

    About a dozen colorful wires on a large switchboard with dials and switches

    Plugin decisions tell me a lot about how the site was put together. Each plugin consumes resources and slows down a site, particularly on weaker hosting. Plugins can also clog-up the database by caching a bunch of data or storing oversized settings…

  • Smaller Business Trumping Bigger Business

    Chalkboard reading: Thank you for shopping local

    You must be noticing it too — incompetence has been on the rise in the service industries. Bigger businesses continue to automate customer service and support areas they should not automate and fail to properly automate the mundane workloads that they should be. Employees are more often under trained, under compensated / unprofessional in their […]

  • Case Study: Pep Boys Automotive

    Car battery being installed by a gloved technician

    I had a pleasant eCommerce experience earlier in the month and thought it’s worthy of sharing. This was not WooCommerce specific, but it makes the case for investment in eCommerce solutions. This workflow could easily be built using the open-source WooCommerce framework. I had been noticing my 7-year old KIA being increasingly sluggish to start. […]

  • PHP 7.4 is here and performing well

    Race track photo showing gridlines and counting down 11 to 1

    WordPress hosting companies are notoriously behind in upgrading PHP – the web service that processes a website’s data and logical code into HTML output. The cost of this delay is enormous in terms of website maintenance and performance. The jump from PHP v5 to v7 was a big one that required software updates and often […]

  • WooCommerce Store Manager

    View of store shelves packed with products and clerk int he foreground checking labels

    I’ve long held a belief that clients themselves (or their staff or VAs) should be empowered to manage content and that they naturally wish to do it themselves. Consider a Store Manager.

  • WooCommerce Website Accessibility

    Handicapped parking sign

    Website accessibility (codename: a11y) has always been an important quality dimension to a website. In recent months website accessibility has seen tremendous growth not only for the purposes of inclusion, customer growth and search-engine optimization, but also to shield litigation, frivolous or otherwise, in connection with federal and state laws (ADA, Disabled Persons Acts, and […]

  • Giving a Theme or Plugin Developer Admin Access

    Man sitting at laptop wearing headphones, microphone at a busy office pod with two other workstations in the periphery

    Let’s say you’ve reported a bug that you’ve observed in a theme or plugin. Good job by the way! Should you provide the developer admin access to your production site so they can diagnose or repair the issue? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

  • Presenting at WordCamp Riverside 2019

    Logo: WordCamp Riverside 2019 November 8-10, 2019

    I’m preparing a presentation for WordCamp Riverside 2019 running November 8-10. It’s just a couple of weeks away. My presentation begins at 10:00am on Saturday the 9th. I hope to see you there!

  • How to fix time-to-first-byte (TTFB) problems

    Hand with old fashioned stopwatch timer

    Time-to-first-byte (TTFB) is one of the most useful website performance metrics. It’s also one of the hardest to improve. Caching plugins can’t do much for it; actually they contribute to it. Caching plugins don’t fix cache warm-up, authenticated sessions, submissions / processing, and administration. To improve those you need to get TTFB in range. The recommended target is 0.5 seconds. Here’s my tips to optimize your TTFB.

  • WooCommerce – The Leading Open eCommerce Framework

    UpCity Blog Post September 4 2019 WooCommerce - The Leading Open eCommerce Framework

    Check out my blog post WooCommerce – The Leading Open eCommerce Framework featured on UpCity. In this article I discuss where WooCommerce and open-source fits into the overall eCommerce Platform segment and popular proprietary systems. I also discuss community events and some technical tips.

  • Splitting a Store From Its Site

    Two Parallel freeway bridges

    Recently a client brought in an interesting request to split their store off onto a subdomain, for example https://store.mywebsite.com. There are both advantages and disadvantages to this idea. I thought I’d share those insights with my audience. Pros The plugin load gets split, so each site runs less plugins or customization risks above the core […]

  • The Importance of Payment Gateway UX

    Brown leather mini wallet with three credit cards pertruding

    During a recent Amazon Pay webinar I attended entitled Optimizing Your Mobile Checkout, I couldn’t help but notice their prioritization of credit card fields. This stuck out to me because I’ve observed all manner of credit card gateway user interfaces. Research data is telling us to pay particular attention to these fields. Of the presenter’s […]

  • How to have a Perfect WooCommerce Site

    Laptop showing a home page

    After working with dozens upon dozens of WooCommerce sites, here’s some of my best tips…

  • Hello Good Lookin’ – Check out these beautiful WooCommerce websites

    Brown eye showing partial man's face

    Somebody call the cops, because it’s got to be illegal to look that good! Check out these good looking and effective WooCommerce powered websites…

  • The most popular themes for WooCommerce websites

    Avada by ThemeFusion example windows

    Recently I’ve been assessing WooCommerce sites based in California as part of a new client outreach effort. Through this process and its first 100 subjects I’ve discovered more data on where people host their WooCommerce sites, what errors are showing up (SSL, JS/console, ADA, state compliance), performance metrics, who they use for hosting/registrations/email, what all plugins they use, and which theme they selected. I’m compiling this data into something more useful. For the time being, here’s the data on theme usage.

  • Why You Should Avoid WooCommerce Template Overrides

    WooCommerce template files out of date notification in WP Admin

    There’s an irritating message we see whenever a site has modified WooCommerce template files and the WooCommerce plugin updates one or more minor versions. There can be one or more default WooCommerce template file(s) that had been copied into the child theme and the HTML code tailored for the design. It’s not unusual to see up to 10 of these conflicts on a custom designed site. I’ve even seen sites with dozens! On sites affected by this development strategy every WooCommerce core update causes fear and the responsibility to test the update on staging prior to updating on production.

  • WordPress WooCommerce Developer Hourly Rate Research

    Cartoon of a business man sitting at a computer desk with programming languages JS, CSS, HTML, PHP, C++ hovering above like speech bubbles

    How much should your developer be charging you? This is a complex question to answer because the range is quite wide and there are many factors that contribute, such as location cost-of-living, skill level, how sharp the developer is and how busy his/her schedule is. I’ll provide you with United States oriented research I’ve come-up with.

  • WooCommerce Los Angeles Presentation: Performance Through Database Cleanup

    Hand with old fashioned stopwatch timer

    Join WooCommerce Los Angeles Meetup back at WeWork Santa Monica Broadway on Wednesday, June 5th at 6:30pm for a demonstration session on database cleaning.

  • WooCommerce, Skunkworks Edition

    Aircraft in front of Lockheed Martin hangar at dawn with skunkworks logo, pilot walking towards the aircraft

    Awhile back I voluntarily moved into a role developing a customized enterprise WooCommerce platform to power a couple dozen properties. I eventually came to understand this as a Skunkworks – a project “developed by a small and loosely structured group of people who research and develop a project primarily for the sake of radical innovation”, Wikipedia. The company did not adopt the solution. It was a categorical failure to them, yet a personal success for me to learn from.

  • Developing With WooCommerce – #IEWP Dev Meetup (Learn Code)

    IEWP background - Inland Empire WordPress with caption We Are IEWP - It doesn't;t matter if you have been working with WordPress for a short time, not at all or many years you are welcome to come & learn more!

    Many thanks to Inland Empire WordPress for inviting me to give a WooCommerce tech session on April 9th, 2019. Meetup details here.

  • Maximize Your eCommerce Profits with Cross-Selling

    Shopping collage with lots of pink products like shoes, sunglasses, purse, brush, a hat and a phone

    I highly recommend the article Maximize Your eCommerce Profits with Cross-Selling* from the Official WooCommerce Blog*. It was written by Stephen Roe on August 9, 2018.

  • A plugin too far

    About a dozen colorful wires on a large switchboard with dials and switches

    How many plugins is too many for a WordPress site? Well, there’s no real answer to that question. It depends on several rather circumstantial factors…

  • Discussing WooCommerce and Code Snippets on WP Plugins A-Z Podcast

    Logo for The WordPress Plugins A-Z podcast by John Overall WPPluginsAtoZ.com

    I joined John Overall on his podcast WP Plugins A-Z for Interview 32 discussing WooCommerce and Code Snippets. Give it a listen and let me know how I did! Podcast description: Today’s interview is with Sean Conklin from CodedCommerce. We previously reviewed some plugins Sean has worked on. For example: Benchmark Email Lite, all the […]

  • Cleaning up your WooCommerce Database

    Glasses sitting in front of computer screens displaying code

    There’s lots you can do to improve database (DB) performance, but each change comes with risks. Always thoroughly test changes in a development environment first before making permanent database changes in production. Growth in data requires a growth in hosting to handle the scale of database size and queries. There’s only so much you can […]

  • Invoicing using WooCommerce

    Lady with black fingernails holding a pen and typing on a calculator with invoices sitting on the desk in front of her

    I do all of my invoicing through WooCommerce for several reasons I discuss here. I also have notes about selling service line items in Woo.

  • Woo Meetup Presentation on Code Snippets & DevOps

    Code Snippets plugin banner

    I’ll be presenting at our WooCommerce Los Angeles Meetup in a couple of weeks on February 7th, 2019 at WeWork, 520 Broadway, Santa Monica. Join us!

  • Co-organizing WordCamp Santa Clarita 2019

    University Center - College of the Canyons

    I’ve been working with lead organizer Joe Simpson Jr. and co-organizer Rebeca Godin forming WordCamp Santa Clarita 2019. The event will be held on April 5th-6th, 2019 on a Friday and Saturday at College of the Canyons University Center during Spring Break time. WordCamp is a worldwide series of conferences, volunteer organized and attended by hundreds […]

  • WooCommerce Synthetic Load Testing

    New Relic sample APM charts for WordPress

    One of my favorite testing methods is load testing. It’s one of the most difficult to pull off, but serves the important purpose of revealing code bottlenecks.

  • WooCommerce Holiday Preparations

    Black Friday

    Hopefully you’ve been getting ready for holdiay traffic! I’ll recap many of the tips from the official Woo blog and work in a few of my own.

  • WordCamp Riverside presentation on WooCommerce Development

    WordCamp Riverside 2018 logo - Looking back to go forward

    I’m preparing a presentation for next month’s WordCamp Riverside 2018 the weekend of November 3-4. The topic will be Developing with WooCommerce.

  • Headless WooCommerce and decoupled architectures

    Train cars coupling brackets connected together

    A session I attended at WCLAX 2018 by Roy Sivan discussed headless WordPress and WooCommerce sites with a decoupled front end presentation layer.

  • Open eCommerce vs. Paint-by-numbers

    Paint by numbers example by Nicole Florian

    Open eCommerce can be contrasted to a paint-by-numbers application or drawing. There are many preset and cookie-cutter eCommerce providers out there, many of them quite popular and well regarded. Open-source software offers much more for a business or organization as it allows them to customize anything and make untold decisions to satisfy their unique needs.

  • Customizing WooCommerce with Code Snippets

    Code Snippets plugin banner

    Check out my video on the various ways to customize your WooCommerce sites, particularly using the Code Snippets plugin to better organize your PHP customizations. Also, check out my open-source library of WooCommerce code snippet samples.

  • Exporting and Importing WooCommerce Orders

    Abstract image of color cut outs partially overlapping

    I was recently tasked with migrating a legacy WooCommerce store into a newer environment and database. Here’s a couple of approaches you can consider if faced with a similar project – full database migration versus exports/imports.

  • WooCommerce for Nonprofits

    Team huddle

    Nonprofit organizations run on revenues from events, memberships, donations, and of course grants. Many are finding their way to WooCommerce to better fulfill their online eCommerce needs.

  • Load Testing WooCommerce Orders

    New Relic sample APM charts for WordPress

    In this video I demonstrate a basic load test of WooCommerce orders using the ReST API and artillery.io

  • Mass Products Exporting, Importing, Transferring with WooCommerce

    Miscellaneous Lego pieces, very colorful

    I recently worked with a client who had over 1,200 products with dozens of attributes, variations, and categories. Here’s how I migrated these products for staging.

  • Handling Phone Orders, Re-charging Orders, Post Purchase Up-sells or Cross-sells

    Lock on money with keys nearby

    An interesting set of questions recently came up: How best to take phone orders, change new orders just in, or append add-on items or orders to a customer’s account using stored payment. This is akin to performing a post purchase up-sell or cross-sell administratively.

  • Optimize Post-Purchase Experience for WooCommerce

    Monopoly board

    I highly recommend the article Tips to Optimize Post-Purchase Experience for WooCommerce from the Official WooCommerce Blog by Cody Landefeld on March 8, 2018.

  • You had me at Storefront–Benefits of using the official WooCommerce theme

    Screenshot of Bookshop - a child theme of Storefront

    Storefront* is the official open-source theme for WooCommerce powered stores. There are significant benefits to implementing the official theme and making your site’s design work with it. Storefront can improve both form and function with a little patience in working it to suit your design needs.

  • Architecting Million Dollar Projects

    Huge traffic, Transactions, CMS as a platform, Decoupled implementations

    I was inspired by a webinar I recently attended, Architecting Growth–How to Crush Million Dollar Projects by Pantheon – a geek friendly managed host for enterprise WordPress and Drupal clients. This webinar is presented by their co-founder and discusses much of what they’ve learned providing infrastructure for larger scale projects.

  • WooCommerce Plugin Development

    Elevator gears

    You may find yourself in search of a more unique or custom solution with WooCommerce. After all, customizability is a huge selling point of WooCommerce as an eCommerce platform.

  • Quick Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization for WooCommerce

    I highly recommend the article Quick Guide to Conversion Rate Optimization for WooCommerce* by Marina Pape on April 19, 2018.

  • Speeding-up WooCommerce Sites

    W3 Total Cache plugin logo

    Performance is a priority for all website administrators these days. As traffic scales, so too will your performance bottlenecks.

  • 10 Ways to Make Your Next WooCommerce Sale

    Sample sign up squeeze page

    I highly recommend the article 10 Ways to Make Your Next WooCommerce Sale by Andrea Zoellner on March 29, 2018.

  • Understanding Automation for eCommerce Stores

    Automation abstract image

    I highly recommend the article Understanding Automation for eCommerce Stores by Beka Rice on February 6, 2018.

  • WooCommerce as a Sales Funnel

    Funnel by MailMunch - interest, connect, decision, purchase, upset, loyalty

    View my presentation WooCommerce As a Sales Funnel for marketing tips and tricks to optimize your WooCommerce store. These techniques are useful for any site running advertisement or email marketing campaigns into WooCommerce. Its contents are also useful if running your own promotions for first time customers, flash sales, social media, and affiliate marketing.

  • The Official Hosting for WordPress and WooCommerce Sites

    WordPress VIP

    The WordPress.com Business Edition hosting service by Automattic could be the best option for hosting your WordPress sites.

  • The Rise of WooCommerce

    WooCommerce logo

    WooCommerce* is the most popular eCommerce platform on the planet, powering over 30% of online stores. If you choose Woo, you’ll be in good company! Related to that success, it’s also the most flexible, customizable and the most affordable option.

  • WordPress Design Hierarchy

    Hierarchy showing WordPress content breakdowns

    WordPress core – and by extension WooCommerce – cleanly optimizes design output in a very maintainable hierarchy.