Archive for Shopp howto

Better SEO for Shopp

shopp SEOWant to get better SEO on your Shopp site?

1. A SEO plugin is a good start.

For some time I’ve recommended AIO SEO for Shopp sites as you get the ability to change the page title and meta description for Shopp products.
However the WordPress SEO by Yoast is very popular and is getting more and more nice features. And now there is a new plugin allowing WP SEO and Shopp to play nice together.

With the Shopp SEO plugin in place you not only get the ability to modify page titles and meta descriptions for shopp products. But you can also modify the same data for Shopp categories and Shopp special pages including catalog, account, cart, checkout, new collection, featured collection, on sale collection, promotions collection, best sellers collection, random collection and realated collection. For the Shopp special pages you can also disallow robots to index specific pages.

2. Improve SEO for your Shopp images. For all images in Shopp a default alt attribute of “original” is set. This is of course not optimal and you should change that to something more suitable. You can do that by double clicking each Shopp image and enter a better description. See Google’s image publishing guidelines for more information.

3. Test your site for mobile-friendliness. Starting April 21, Google will use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal.

Fix Shopp for the poodle now

Make sure you’re not affected by checking for the poodle. Here is a more comprehensive test for SSL. Paypal is to disable SSL v3 tomorrow.

Shopp plugin is not directly affected by this. It only uses https and does not care if it’s going over SSL v3 or TLS. It’s on the server level you need to disable SSL v3 for any sites where you use https.

If you have you’re own server you can check how to disable the poodle issue, it has good information for disabling SSL v3 for several servers.

poodle sslv3 shopp

Upgrade Shopp – 8 easy to follow steps

Running a webshop – uptime is very important. Don’t run the risk of having your site hacked because you didn’t upgrade to the latest software versions. As a bonus when upgrading you get bugfixes and new features.

Upgrading shopp is not always as easy as clicking the “Update now” link in the WordPress plugins page though.

I have upgraded many Shopp installs and seen various issues that can arise after an upgrade. Below I line out the steps I take when upgrading Shopp as well as mention some of the more common issues you might run into and how to resolve them. You might want to reference the official 1.2 upgrade instructions.

If you prefer a risk free upgrade of your Shopp plugin you can buy the service from me and I will make the upgrade in a timely and professional manner.

I will mainly talk about upgrading from Shopp 1.x to 2.x here but most will apply to any Shopp upgrade. If upgrading from a version prior to 1.1.9.1 it’s best to upgrade to that version first.

OK, here we go..

1. Backup

Backup your complete install before proceeding. I use the plugin BackupBuddy which makes it easy to backup, restore and migrate complete WordPress installs. But you can also use for instance phpmyadmin to backup your database and ftp to download a copy of all files.

2. Take note of settings

Record your shopp support key, payment settings, tax settings, shipping settings, category order. Copy+paste the data to a text editor and make screen shots of shipping settings and the category order.

3. Use a staging site to test the upgrade

You could upgrade directly on your live install but I would not recommend it can take some time before you get everything right and you probably don’t want your customers to see your shop half way through an upgrade as it might not look very pretty.

  1. Create a subdirectory in your webroot (usually public_html), you can call it anything, for instance “staging”.
  2. Create a database and a database user for the staging install.
  3. If using backupbuddy: upload the importbuddy.php file and point your web browser at it to migrate the install to your staging site.
  4. If NOT using backupbuddy: Use ftp to upload all files and phpmyadmin to restore the database backup to the new database. Update wp-config.php to point to the new database, and also update the “siteurl” line in the wp_options table to point to the new directory.

4. Upgrade staging site

Now it’s time to upgrade the software, the Shopp plugin and all Shopp add-ons.

  1. Disable Shopp from the WordPress plugins page.
  2. Copy the shopp directory to your local computer.
  3. Get a fresh copy of Shopp and any add-ons you’re using from your Shopp account and upload it to your wp-content/plugins directory.
  4. Upload any translation files from your old shopp install if there isn’t a new version, see the official shopp translation files.
  5. Enable the new Shopp plugin.

5. Fix any issues

Here the fun beings. Go through all Shopp settings and fix any issues you’re seeing. Some of them might be:

  • Payment gateway settings. If “Offline payments” is now called “Array”, just delete it and re-add it to fix it.
  • Shipping settings. Re-configure if the settings are lost.
  • Check that your supportkey is not active as it should only be active on the live site.
  • Install the plugin Shopp Arrange if you need to arrange categories as support for that was dropped in Shopp 1.2. Then arrange the categories in the order you like. You will see an Arrage button at the bottom of the Shopp categories list.

That’s all for the settings. Now for other issues.

  • Shopp 1.2 uses virtual pages and all old pages are now in the Page trash. So you need to fix any links to deprecated pages including menus and then you should delete the deprecated pages from trash.
  • Now for the real fun! If you customized your shopp templates you might need to edit your templates for them to work with the new version of Shopp. Please see Shopp 1.2 template changes for more information. What I usually do is to take an unchanged version of the old Shopp teamplates and diff them to your changed files to see what you actually changed. Then I merge the changes into the new Shopp template files. This way you will not loose any new features in the new version of the templates.
  • If you’re seeing any issues on the frontend you might be using deprecated shopp API calls in your theme files which you then need to fix. Also some changes has been made to the css class names.
  • If you’re running WordPress 3.7.x and upgrade to Shopp 1.2.9 you will probably need to implement this workaround, else your storefront might not show any products.

6. Test on staging site

Now test through the frontend, browsing products, check that the category order is correct, use promotions, make a complete sale etc. Also test the backend, edit a product, edit categories etc.

Take your time making a good number of tests to make sure everything works.

7. Implement on live site

Now you can either choose to use a maintenance mode plugin and do the whole process again on the live site, still having the staging site available to look at and copy+paste data from.

Or you can make a backup of the staging site and restore to the live location.

I usually feel more comfortable with the first option. And now when you’ve done it once it takes less time to do it again. Another reason is that there might have been new sales since you made the backup of the live site which you will loose the records of if you just restore from the staging site.

8. Test on live site

Now you should be all set. But do make some testing on the live site before moving to your next project. Make a complete sale as a minimum. Then disable the maintenance mode plugin and let your customers in. You can delete the test order and go to Setup → Preferences and Save to avoid a gap in the order number series.

Don’t forget to remove the staging site as it can get really messy if search engines pick it up and start generating links to it.

Done!

If everything is working as expected you can now happily take new orders with a brand new version of Shopp. Congratulations. Don’t forget to celebrate!

OMG Things are broken!!!

If you instead end up here, I’m just an email away to help you out with your issues.

I hope this howto on upgrading Shopp has been useful. Do have a look at my Shopp service offerings – Shopp review, Customize Shopp, Upgrade Shopp, Move Shopp to new hosting etc.