Sunday, May 25, 2014

My shop is live!

Very soon I'll have pictures from a new stitcher.  I've seen her progress so far, and she's doing a wonderful job!

Today (after we saw X-Men: Days of Future Past) I spent a lot of time working on my website's shop.  I'm going to show you a screenshot of one of the pages, and I'm going to provide a link to it if you'd like to check it out, but in general I'm not going to talk about the shop.  If I make something that happens to be one of my designs, I'll put a link to the shop page, but that will be it.  I want the main focus of this blog to be sharing my processes and projects with you.  I know it seems like most of my posts lately have been about my business, but that's because I'm in heavy show mode.

When I posted about my new website, I mentioned that after a few false starts I went with WordPress.  I was able to find a WordPress online shopping cart that processes payments through PayPal and is pretty easy to implement.  I did have to create a page for each of my designs and place all the buttons (including item name and pricing information), and there were a few other hoops to jump through, but once I did one page, all the other pages were easy.

As of today, I am about 90% finished.  I still need to add kit information and "Add to Cart" buttons for some of the designs, but every page now has PDF and printed tutorial purchase options.  Well, the Tubed Key, or Not Tubed Key page still needs all of the holiday patterns and a few other things, but the rest of the pages with kit options are nearly finished.  The ones where there aren't any kits are finished.  Yay!

Here's what the shop looks like for my "Dainty Flower Earrings" design:

I know it's small, but at the top you can see the menu now has "Shop Creative Pursuits" as an option.  Under that is "Tutorials and Kits", where you can see all of my available designs.  Down the right side is a brief shopping cart and a list of all shop pages, including the Important Information page that has, well, all the important information for my shop.

The main part of the page has at least one picture of the design, a description, links to similar designs if appropriate, a Tutorials section, and a Kits section.

Apart from using PayPal, the thing I really wanted in a shopping cart was the capability to handle digital downloads for my PDF tutorials.  There's no sense for someone to wait for me to e-mail them the PDF if they can access it right after purchase.  How it works is that the customer will get an e-mail with a link to where they can download the PDF.

There is a hiccup for some domains like, though.  Our personal e-mails are with AT&T, and while testing from Steve's e-mail address we found that he didn't receive the e-mail from the shopping cart.  He received the PayPal e-mail but not the one generated from the cart that included the PDF link.  After a few phone calls and a number of tests, GoDaddy told me that AT&T sometimes just deletes "form" e-mails without delivering them.  They don't go into spam boxes - they just. get. deleted.  I'm going to keep an eye out for any digital download sales from and send the link to the PDF over myself just to be sure it gets there.  There's a note in the thank you page letting customers know that if they don't receive the PDF e-mail to let me know.

Except for that little problem, I'm very pleased with how the shop looks and works!  It's clean and simple, and that new stitcher I mentioned before said it's easy to use.  If you'd like to create a shop like this on your own site, e-mail me at, and I'll fill you in on what plugin I'm using and how the basics work.

If you'd like to take a look at my shop, click here.  I will still maintain my Etsy shop, but that won't have all my designs like this one does.

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