Quickly Turn a WooCommerce Store into a Catalog

I’ve been rolling out a few WooCommerce based online stores recently, this time the client requested to take down his store for 2 weeks. His business is still in early startup stage and running the store solo, he was going on vacation and unfortunately could not find an assistant in time. While he is able to answer emails & queries, physically packing and delivering goods will not be possible.

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Infographic: Ecommerce Spending Spree

Infographics are awesome! A quick and easy way to digest and make sense of information, facts and figures.

This Spending Spree Infographic by Intuit was based on USA consumer statistics, still we can learn tons from it in South Africa. Ecommerce is still in early stages here with more and more brick ‘n mortar businesses and niche stores popping up all the time. It may not be easy for someone to compete with the likes of or, not unless you have very very deep pockets but there is a HUGE gap for niche stores, more so for small businesses with an established store and product line. Your customers might order through your website, or just use it as a reference and choose to visit your store.

Check out the infographic below for more:

click to enlarge


My recommended Magento Extensions

In this last part of my little Magento series, I’m going to list extensions that I currently use along with their costs

Minerva Shipping Extension
– FREE – This extension offers your customers the option to collect their order at your store (or other collection points)

Web Forms
– FREE – A nifty form creator complete with Captcha allowing you to build your own contact forms and embed it anywhere on your website.
In my case I had a little Product Enquiry form put into all product pages.

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Getting Started with Magento: Store Front Design

Firstly, default Magento skin should only be used as your first time test store, rest assured it’ll look bland downright embarassing using that as your official store front.

I would suggest browsing the Magento Connect repository for hundreds of free and premium themes that you can download or purchase, I decided to go with

They offer an awesome range of themes, all of which are professionally designed, polished, seo optimized and up to date with current design trends. Undecided on what theme to choose (they all looked so good!) I purchased a 1 year Theme Club license for $99. Essentially giving me access to ALL their past themes and at least 2 new themes a month for the next year. Bargain!

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Magento and Hosting

In my last post I explained why i chose Magento Community Edition (see here), in this post I’ll share how i got started.

First things first. Find a Webhost!

There are hundreds of bloggers ranting about how unstable Magento is and how resource heavy it is. Yes Magento is a resource hog, but if your hosting is setup correctly, there is little chance of your store crashing.

Ideally a dedicated server is great, but this comes a price and with a startup store, funds are limited. I’d recommend and am currently using a Shared Hosting platform, however I’ve ensured the webhost is familiar with Magento and the necessary requirements. In fact most, if not all Magento specialist stores off it as a “one click” application. Saving you the trouble of uploading and manually installing it.
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Adventures with Magento

Over the last few months my recent twitter timeline has been littered with Magento related tweets and after chatting and advising a few I decided to punch out a few Magento blog posts. Over the next few posts I’ll share my adventures with Magento and ecommerce in South Africa.

As it stands right now, 2 of my stores are running on Magento Community Edition (CE for short) – these are, – a niche store specializing in trophies and medals. – our furniture experimental store retailing outdoor furniture and lounge suites.

Before choosing Magento CE the first decision was “Why Choose Magento?” in other words, what makes Magento better then other open source shopping carts. Read More »


Cairo and Working Online

This post will breakdown the various tech that Im using to continue work while travelling and studying in Cairo.

Firstup is hardware. Im using a medium level Asus Notebook K50ij series with 2gigs of ram, 320g storage, Intel Dual Core T4300. This has surprised me with its speed and ability to multi-task with Photoshop, Corel draw, Gmail and a few other browsers. Lastly a 500g external usb powered drive for daily backups of all files, settings, software, etc. Watching movies and playing games is not a priority hence a 15 LED backlit screen suits me just fine.

For file management between JHB offices, webclients and myself. We are all using Dropbox. The 2gig free version is more then enough to keep things going smoothly. Website updates, advert submissions and text documents are all handled through this. A few successful referrals has bumped me to about 4gigs of online storage.

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Islam and Online Sales (ecommerce)

This is an interesting issue. Over the years I have asked various scholars and received fairly mediocre answers. Personally with the Autostyle online store, it was started with the correct intentions. Sure one of it was to improve turnover but also to provide a service to our customers with:
1) online catalogue,
2) easier & quicker way to order,
3) safe online enviroment to purchase,
4) door to door delivery,
5) servicing customers who cant drive to our store.
However, in Islam one cannot sell a commodity without owning it. For you to sell a tyre, you must own the tyre and then sell it to whoever. I suppose using this logic the world economy would be in a better place right now. Read More »

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