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Selling Frames Online - WordPress websites

Discussion in 'Software, Computers, CMC's Techie Stuff' started by tap, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. tap

    tap True Grumbler


    I'm wondering if any of you who have WordPress websites for your business are currently selling frames online or are planning/wanting to? I am going to be launching an e-commerce website where I will be selling joins and chops to consumers as well as to the trade. I am building the site using WordPress and there doesn't seem to be much in the way of plugins available that will allow me to do this "out of the (proverbial) box".

    Have any of you found a plugin or other app/platform that has been working well for you? I have found one WordPress plugin that looks like it has great potential, but could use some framing industry specific tweaks to really make it sing. Anyone looking to do something similar and interested in chipping in a few hundred bucks with me to pay a developer to make it happen? I have been doing research and have a few highly qualified programmers lined up.
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  2. KPF

    KPF CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

  3. tap

    tap True Grumbler

    Hi KPF, yes I'm not sure how I forgot to mention they I am specifically looking at doing this using WooCommerce. I believe it is pretty much the de facto choice for e-commerce WordPress sites nowadays, with WordPress the company having recently purchased WooCommerce's developers WooThemes, basically guaranteeing that it will be supported for many years to come. I have heard good things as well!
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2015
  4. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Just make sure that you consider all the current compliance steps required by all payment processors that must be taken. I say current because most online compliance docs provided by the various ecommerce plugins are outdated, sometimes based upon loose interpretations of the v2PCI documents. v3 is current and is replaced by v3.1 in a few weeks.

    Make sure the "qualified programmers" are also versed in PCIv3.1 compliance requirements. You might want to consider the development fee contigent upon the code passing a PCI scan.
  5. tap

    tap True Grumbler

    Hi Rick, thanks for your input. I'm just reading up on PCI compliance issues now.
  6. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I've been going through the drill on the first of every month for the past 6 years. Something new arises every couple of months that causes a failure which requires either server side remediation or ecommerce code patches.

    When I saw the changes between v2 and v3, I submitted the docs to grandfather us to v2 until Dec 2015. The v3 rules are really difficult for any small business to comply without bending the truth.
  7. tap

    tap True Grumbler

    Which e-commerce platform are you using Rick?
  8. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    It is the only open-source ecommerce application that has been PA-DSS certified.

    It is complex but not necessarily complicated. Quite user-friendly once you know the basics but the learning curve can be steep.

    To save you some time.... ecommerce can be database intensive. Hosts like GoDaddy and any host that is part of the Endurance Internet Group (there are many) is almost certain to cause headaches either due to parse time, query time or PCI compliance point of view. There are hosts who specialize in WordPress security and PCI security and priced comparable to GoDaddy and other bargain brands.

    Perform the initial install manually.... ie: DO NOT use a one-click installer provided by your host.
  9. tap

    tap True Grumbler

    Hey Rick, thanks for those heads up. Unfortunately I already did both of those things, oops LOL! I did notice they put some proprietary plugin store in the install that I removed. I'll erase WordPress and do a fresh install. Less excited about changing hosts though. Do you have specific ones that you would recommend?
  10. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer


    Jim Walker, the owner, manytimes answers the phone himself. The do quite a bit of hack repair to WP sites that haven't been kept up to date.

    One click installs are not as bad as the one click updates. Many times they are used without first making a backup. I have learned backup is my friend.

    Most hosts will move things for you. Keep one for a development site & the other for live.
  11. Framehouse Boutique

    Framehouse Boutique CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I know you are looking for wordpress shopping carts, but have you considered making the jump to a full ecommerce site. It's more expensive with a monthly fee, but they have really robust features and are built from the ground up to sell products, help with shipping, taxes etc.

    John Ranes II CPF GCF likes this.
  12. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have asked the questions. Both of your examples claim to be PCI compliant. Neither will supply any documentation proving compliance. Both have huge marketing departments to gloss over that important aspect. Actually one of them did show compliance/certification for the VISA Asian markets but not North American markets nor on the PCIsecurity.org list of PA-DSS applications for all flavors of payment choices.

    BTW: I don't think that you suggesting that zencart and similar applications are not full ecommerce sites? They all have similar capabilities but allow use of your own shipping accounts, merchant accounts, etc.

    ecommerce applications are like POS, CMC, etc. Every user will have their preference based upon their own experiences.
  13. tap

    tap True Grumbler

    My issue isn't the shopping cart itself but the means to price and sell picture frames based on the user's inputted custom size. What I like about WordPress and the ability to add plugins that add all sorts of flexibility to your online store. I have heard of Shopify and Big Commerce but I just assumed that there wouldn't be plugins/modules/whatever available that are already set up for selling custom frames on those platforms (a little more complicated then say t-shirts or prints or something). If I'm wrong then please let me know!
  14. cvm

    cvm PFG, Picture Framing God

    You're talking, what, low 5 figures to set up to be PCI C compliant?
  15. tap

    tap True Grumbler

    From what I have read I should be able to just use an i-framed gateway or off-site gateway such as Stripe, Paypal etc. and get an SSL certificate and then I don't need to worry about my site being PCI compliant as customers' credit card info won't ever go near the servers that my site is hosted on.
  16. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Read SAQ-A-ep which is the one that PCI v3.1 applies to PayPal and other i-frames. You control the i-frame which could possibly be hijacked and make the i-frame vulnerable. Make sure your cert is a TLS1.2 cert and not SSLv3, TLS1.0 or TLS1.1. That's why I said many/most are still referencing the v2 specification which is no longer in effect.

    PCI v3.1 changes most ecommerce sites that fell under SAQ-c to SAQ-D. Nearly impossible to legitimately answer.

    It's not really low 5 figures. If you start with the proper software installed on a proper host, the scans cost $250 per year. Stay updated with software and host takes care of the other stuff. You may have to creatively answer a few questions. I have yet to find any ecommerce application that satisfies the 2factorauthentication requirement for each and every admin access session. When I look at the code for yubikey, fido key or even google authenticator, my head spins. Hosting, security certificate plus monthly scanning can be had for under $1000/yr to start. Traffic increase will eventually demand an upgrade to a VPS server.

    Using customer input dimensions will require a bit more horsepower or customization. Dependent attributes get tricky. Nothing out of the box is going to do that. Many more database queries and math. Easier in the long run to use United Inches instead of L/W. Better yet, have a selection of fixed dimensions labeled "Up To" or between.
  17. tap

    tap True Grumbler

    Thanks for all the info! I do intend to customize the store so that customers can input dimensions, wish me luck!
  18. Steve Collins

    Steve Collins SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    We use Wordpress and WooCommerce on our site and manage to stay PCI compliant, though every other scan seems to offer new failures to resolve. Our ISP is InMotion Hosting, and they've been awesome. We need to go with a VPS (virtual private server) solution instead of normal shared hosting in order to get past some of the PCI problems. We have SSL but ran into issues with version 3 as Rick mentioned.

    We haven't done it yet, but I was looking at using SkyVerge's Measurement Price Calculator WooCommerce extension to handle the sizing for frame and print orders. I see no reason so far why it won't work; I just haven't had time to do it.
  19. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What issue do you have that would require VPS to comply? The only reason we moved to a VPS was that our traffic outgrew our welcome on the shared server. Granted, some things are easier to implement with VPS. I do not believe that our host has ever had a compliance issue with a shared server that could not be remedied.

    I have been surprised 2 months in a row without a new issue that had to be fixed.

    If you haven't heard, ask about LogJam or Diffie Hellman. It's going to cause failures in the next round of scans.
  20. Steve Collins

    Steve Collins SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I forget details. We had a few errors that would have required upgrading PHP and some settings I don't recall, that the ISP wasn't willing to do on a shared server. VPS is better performance anyway, so I didn't argue.

    Last scan was fine. Couldn't last forever. :(
  21. Rick Bergeron - CPF

    Rick Bergeron - CPF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Ah, the not everyone is compatable with php 5.5x issue logic
  22. tap

    tap True Grumbler

    Hi Steve,

    That is the same plugin that I am looking at using. SkyVerge's customer service has been excellent so far. I will need to have a programmer create another plugin to run alongside it and hook into it's functionality in order to make some customizations that I'd like to implement. For example it prices frames by the inch, but this doesn't account for the costs that go into joining the frame. Also it is unnecessary for it to display the size of the perimeter to the customer (who measures a frame by it's perimeter?). There are a couple other things I plan to change as well. I can let you know how it goes for me once I've got that all worked out. I might consider offering the custom plugin for sale once its made to recoup some of the development costs as I think it will be useful to other framer's looking to sell online as well.
  23. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    You will need to make sure you have IP rights on the code. In most cases unless you have a contract giving you all IP rights then you don't actually own the code. Just allowed to use it.
  24. artistica

    artistica Grumbler in Training

  25. artistica

    artistica Grumbler in Training

    Hello TAP
    Just wondering if you got your project up and running.
    We're in a development phase as well.
    May have some answers for you.

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