I had a customer contact me to troubleshoot why when orders are sent to ShipStation a certain product never reaches it and never shows up on the packing invoice.
So I looked at two products and compared them side by side.
As you can see under the product data when you go to edit the product the shipping option does not show up there. I looked at the shipping settings, adding products to shipping zones, etc., and could not find a reason. So I turned to Google and could not find an answer as to why the shipping setting disappeared and could not find one there either.
Hence, creating this post since the answer was not out there.
If you take a look at the comparison above once again you will see that one product was marked as virtual so the customer must have accidentally clicked on this. Once I unchecked it everything started working fine again.
Hopefully, this post will pop up and help someone down the road.
In order to have your WooCommerce shopping cart display affiliate links, you will have to change the product type to ‘External/Affiliate product’.
After you change the product type just enter in the link to the external site (in this case) or the affiliate link (be sure to include the data after the question mark in the URL so that you get credit for the affiliate link).
An example of an affiliate link is https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fitm%2F2005-Ford-Mustang-GT%2F303158466387%3Fhash%3Ditem4695a71753%3Ag%3AFvcAAOSwV9RcpqMC&campid=5338534859&toolid=20008
Enter in affiliate link here
Some of you may have noticed a problem. Even though the ‘Buy Product’ is listed there, a couple of PayPal buttons may also be there which can screw up people trying to purchase this product.
Disable PayPal Checkout
As of May 21st, 2019 WooCommerce has not rectified this so if you have any products that are external/affiliate you will have to go to WooCommerce > Settings > Payment Methods and disable ‘PayPal Checkout’ then click ‘Save Changes’ to fix this. This will get rid of the PayPal buttons but don’t worry you can still have people purchase your products using PayPal.
If you have a lot of products to import from a previous shopping cart that you used to use this can be a big time saver!
I was a little disappointed that WooCommerce did not have a sample .csv file that you could download and use as a template, but here is a workaround for that. Just create one product manually then go to Products > All Products then click on the ‘Export’ button along the top of the page.
How to Export Products in WooCommerce
After you do this you will come to a screen where you are given the options on how to export your products.
Export Options in WooCommerce
Just leave all of the options to ‘Export all categories’ and you do not have to check the box ‘Export custom meta?’. It is not needed for inputting your products. After you have done this a .csv file is generated that you can download. After you downloaded the .csv file you can open it in your spreadsheet editor, whether it be Google Sheets, Excel, Open Office, etc.
NOTE: When you manually create a product to export to create a template try to fill in as much information as possible!
These are the column headings that show up when you do this and are displayed below along with a brief description of each in parenthesis. If the export column is blank it is safe to leave them blank for the next import.
ID (Tracking ID number created by WooCommerce. You can leave this blank.)
Type (Type of product.)
SKU (The SKU number you use for inventory. Okay to leave blank if you do not have one.)
Name (Name of the product.)
Published (Published to your website. 1 means yes, 0 means no.)
Is featured? (Main product to display on your website. 1 means yes, 0 means no.)
Visibility in catalog (Viewable to the public.)
Short description (Short description of the product shown on multiple products page.)
Description (Detailed description of the product shown on the single product page.)
Date sale price starts (Beginning sale date.)
Date sale price ends (Ending sale date.)
Tax status (Whether the product is taxable or not.)
Tax class (Type of tax class.)
In stock? (1 means yes. 0 means no.)
Stock (How many you have in stock.)
Low stock amount (How many you have in stock before you get the ‘low stock’ warning.)
Backorders allowed? (1 means yes, 0 means no.)
Sold individually? (1 means yes, 0 means no.)
Weight (oz) (Weight of Product with the shipping container.)
Length (in) (Length of the shipping container with the product.)
Width (in) (Width of the shipping container with the product.)
Height (in) (Height of the shipping container with the product.)
Allow customer reviews? (1 means yes, 0 means no.)
Purchase note (Whether to allow people to leave a purchase note on the product.)
Sale price (Price of the product when it is on sale.)
Regular price (Normal price of the product.)
Categories (Category that the product fits into.)
Tags (Tags used to help find the product on your website separated by commas.)
Shipping class (Type of shipping class.)
Images (URL address of where the image is stored. NOTE: If you enter in the URL address where it is on your old shopping cart and the image URL is still is active then when you import the products into your new shopping cart WooCommerce will add the images to your new shopping cart and update the URL address of the product images to match! This is a great time saver!)
Download limit (A limit to downloading a non-physical product such as e-books, software, etc.)
Download expiry days (How long the website visitor is allowed to download a non-physical product.)
Parent (If your product is under a parent product it is displayed here.)
Grouped products (If your product is part of grouped products then it is displayed here.)
Upsells (Upsells that are added for your product.)
Cross-sells (Cross-sells related to your product.)
External URL (External URLs that talk about your product. It is normally not recommended to have one of these because we do not want people to leave your site. Instead, add any external information on your own web site!)
Button text (Custom text that you want on the product button.)
Position (Position your product is displayed. This can be blank.)
You can now compare the data from the spreadsheet where your old shopping cart is and copy and paste the info into the corresponding column of the exported test template that you created.
If after you do this you find a mistake that you made after you imported hundreds of products there is a great free plug-in that you can use that will delete all of the products at once that comes in handy! Warning though it WILL delete all of your products! WooCommerce Remove All Products
After you fill out the spreadsheet you can browse for your file and import it into WooCommerce where you will be asked to double check that the categories of what you are importing match the categories of WooCommerce.
Importing products into WooCommerce
If you want to do a bulk edit of your products in your spreadsheet then upload them without editing or replacing all of your products you can check the checkbox, ‘Existing products that match by ID or SKU will be updated. Products that do not exist will be skipped.’. Just make sure that you export your latest products before doing a bulk edit on your spreadsheet so that the ID and SKU numbers match so no mistakes are made.
Importing Products into WooCommerce
When you see this you will realize that you could have just uploaded your old shopping cart .csv file and pick and choose which WooCommerce category it would match too without having to create a template I just described above. But I have found that by creating a template and importing it that way leaves the chance of making a mistake much smaller.
Plus, it is a good idea to have a more accurate spreadsheet on your products for referring back to on later. After you verify that all of the categories match click ‘Run the Importer’ button at the bottom to import your products.
And there you have it. That is how you upload many products at once using the 2019 WooCommerce Importer.
After you log into your WordPress site select Products > Add new and when the new screen shows up add the Product Name along the top.
Products > Add New
After you enter the Product Name you can add a detailed description of the product in the big box below. Note: I installed the classic editor of WordPress instead of using the block editor. I find it much easier. To install the classic editor you can use the link https://wordpress.org/plugins/classic-editor/ to download it or go to Plugins > Add New and do a search for ‘classic editor’.
You can add images, lists, text, and whatever you want for your product description.
Enter product description in the big content box
Next, choose your product type.
Choose a type for this product. Simple is suitable for most physical goods and services (we recommend setting up a simple product for now).
Variable is for more complex products such as t-shirts with multiple sizes. Also called, product attributes which can be different sizes, colors, etc.
Grouped products are for grouping several simple products into one.
Finally, external products are for linking off-site. If you have an affiliate program where you make money selling other people’s products you would use this option and enter the affiliate link website address (URL).
Two checkboxes are to the right.
Virtual: Means the products are intangible and are not shipped.
Downloadable: Means that your website visitors can be given access to download the product to their computer right after purchasing it.
Next, you can enter the price of your product. You can also put in a sale price and schedule a time to when the sale will be going on. Also, if you want can set the product to be taxable or not and what tax class you want.
Pricing WooCommerce Products
Next, you enter the short description of the product. This information is displayed if you have multiple products on one page of the website so remember to make it enticing enough for them to click through and take a closer look at your product!
Product Short Description
To add a picture of your product click on the link ‘Set product image’. This will be the main image of your product to display on your site. You can create a ‘Product Gallery’ for any other images of the product. For example, if you want to show different views or colors of your product. Another example is displaying an image showing it in use.
For a little detail and SEO work, you can enter the following when adding a product image. You will notice this on the right when you upload a product image. If you already have the product image in your Media Gallery you can go to Media > Library then select the image you want to edit, click edit, and fill in these details below.
Alt Text (This is text that you put that describes the image for screen readers for vision-impaired visitors to your website. This is an opportunity for SEO but keep it’s true purpose in mind to describe what the image is for the vision-impaired.
Title (Although this does not show up in the website it will enter it in the code of the website. This is an SEO opportunity as well where you can help the search engines find this particular product. One thing that I enter here is the part number of the product. Part numbers are easy to rank for in search engines.
Caption (The text you put here will display just below the product when it is shown on the website. A brief description, name, or part number can be displayed here and also can help with search engine optimization (SEO).
Description (This also does not show up on the website but describes the product. I have found with some of my marketing customers that if you put a strong detailed description of the product your images will start to rank in the search engines. It was a nice quick easy way to get rankings.
Product Image Details
The next step is to add product tags for your product. Tags are a nice feature to help your customers find your products easier but is not required. Although I would do it because anything that makes it easier for your customer to find your product will make it easier for them to purchase it. Plus product tags are another opportunity for helping you to rank.
If you have a lot of products it would be a good idea to add them to a category. Categories also make it easier for your website visitors to find your products and if they can find your products easier it will mean more sales. Although this is optional, like the product tags, I recommend using this for both ease of use for the website visitor and the opportunity for SEO. If you forget to assign it a category then all product will be set to ‘Uncategorized’. You can rename this category but not delete it by going to Products > Categories > Edit.
The next step is to publish your WooCommerce Product. You have a few options here.
Save Draft (You can save it as a draft so it will be saved but not displayed on your website.)
Preview (You can preview what your product will look like before you publish it.)
Publish (This will make it live right away.)
Publish immediately Edit (You can choose to have this product go live at a certain set future date.)
Public (You can have this product visible to the public)
Password Protected (Visitors would have to log into your website in order to see it.)
Private (Perhaps you only want admins to your website to view this product.)
And there you have it! This is how to manually publish a single product with SEO in mind.
WooCommerce has become one of the most popular choices to go with WordPress if you want to sell online. Since it is open-source it can be downloaded and added for free but there are additions you can purchase to add onto WooCommerce to make your life easier or give you an option that WooCommerce does not have. So if you want an inexpensive alternative to having a shopping cart on your website then use WordPress (which is great for marketing) and WooCommerce.
To install WooCommerce first log into your WordPress account and click on Plugins > Add New like below.
Plugins > Add New
Next, type in ‘WooCommerce’ into the keyword search in the upper right-hand corner (1). Then click the ‘Install’ button (2).
Search > Install
Then click on the ‘Activate’ button to activate it.
Once you activate WooCommerce you are taken to the store setup page where you can enter in the following. Don’t worry you can skip this step if you like and enter it in later if you don’t have all of the information on hand.
Where is your store based? (enter in the country where your store resides)
Address (Enter the address where your store is located so your shipping calculator is accurate)
What type of products do you plan to sell? (You are given three choices, [physical, digital, and both]. For physical they are products that you can handle with your hands. For digital they are products that you can download like music and software.)
The next step is to set up what you will use for accepting payments. As of 2019, the choices available to you are Stripe, PayPal, and offline payments. Click on the little slider icon to the right to enable or disable the option.
Step Three takes you to a screen where you set up what type of shipping to hookup. Out of the box for WooCommerce in 2019, there is only free shipping and flat rate shipping where you can choose how much to charge for shipping depending upon the zone (location) that you want to ship too. If you want to use FedEx or USPS there are extensions that you can get for free or pay for to enhance WooCommerce.
Below this is the option to print shipping labels at home if you want. If enabled it is recommended to install the plugin ‘Jetpack’ which is a very useful all-in-one plugin to help secure your website, crunch images to save space, automatically post to social media accounts, etc.
The next screen that shows up is the ‘Recommended’ portion of setting up WooCommerce.
Here you can choose to install these other programs to help with your WooCommerce store.
Storefront Theme (Highly recommended from me! Create a ‘Child Theme’ of this template so that when it updates to the latest version you do not lose any of your work. The layout of a shopping cart is already set up for you with this them.)
Automated Taxes (Let WooCommerce and Jetpack do the work for you.)
MailChimp (If you plan to have a newsletter or want to start an email campaign then MailChimp is the way to go. Although MailChimp can be confusing at first it is powerful to have on your side.
Facebook (Woocommerce sets up pixel tracking for marketing, messenger, catalog, syncs, etc.
Instagram (Instagram is not available as of May 17th, 2019 yet.)
When you click on ‘Continue’ at the bottom the checked selections will be automatically installed for you.
2019 WooCommerce Recommendations
If you chose to use JetPack as one of the options you will be asked to create an account by signing up or you can just use your Google Login to make things go easier and faster.
Sign up for Jetpack
After that your WooCommerce is ready. You will be taken to the screen below where you will have the following options available to you.
Sign up for a newsletter with WooCommerce (Receive emails for tips and the latest updates.)