Vancouver Web Design
I’ve been quite busy lately, with a few new web design projects from Vancouver, BC.
We recently developed an interesting modification of the WP e-commerce module for SEO reasons, removing the top level slug “product-page” from the URLs of a shop, so that we could simply create a category/subcategory hierarchy. Alongside several other modules, this has created a pretty impressive full featured e-commerce shop with WordPress.
The project was migration from a Magento based solution which was difficult to update and improve upon – some aspects of the upgrade via magento were virtually impossible for a number of reasons. Canonical URLs in Magento product pages can be a serious problem when trying to create a proper hierarchical structure – they follow one of two rules, the long path, or the short one.
Unfortunately, we were after a different structure, and could not find an adequate solution for this under Magento.
So, after a brief pause to consider the options, and realizing that since the shop needed to be integrated with WordPress anyway, I turned my efforts to finding a solution that would be entirely WP based, and therefore much simpler to update and control.
After a trial run with MarketPress, and finding that this one would not create a proper URL hierarchy – I opted for WP e-commerce. Here’s the thing – these two plugins are practically indistinguishable in many ways, and must have been based on the same source code at one point. MarketPress however, was extremely restrictive, only allowing certain payment and shipping options unless you purchase the full version.
WP e-commerce also has it’s *buy my stuff* moments, specifically the product grid layout. However, there is a plugin that works nicely to enable the grid layouts in this plugin without having to run out and buy it. With a few minor adjustments to the template files, CSS and WP e-commerce’s options, this looks great.
The next step: Optimized image locations. Both of the plugins listed above rely on WP’s custom post types to create product pages. The products get their images from the featured image of the post – So, using the WordPress media uploader is not the ideal method for this, as it will store your images in /wp-content/uploads
I had to make some serious modifications to the templates, and use some extra metadata to code a new multiple product image function for the system which uses the correct SEO paths, but at long last – it’s done!