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Month: September 2017

Import Products into WooCommerce Without Pulling Out Your Hair

Today I had a seemingly easy job of importing products into WordPress using a CSV.

The site I was working on had WooCommerce and a couple of premium plugins already installed, so I assumed the best.

Little did I know, I would run into trouble cross referencing import data with actual product data.

Here’s the story:

I was sent 2 CVS wth product data filled out. Product name, price, description, and image reference links were all included in the data. Everything looked good to go, so I merged data from both these sheets into one single import sheet using Excel.

I prepped the column headers using the documentation from WooCommerce, but noticed some of the headers in the import sheet weren’t listed in the WooDocumentation (Slug, MSRP, and Brand Name). So I just added custom attribute headers and saved the workbook as a CSV.

To import the data, I preferred to use the WooCoomerce add-on “Product Im/Ex” (I recently used the plugin on a large SEO overhaul). I used Im/Ex to MERGE already created product data.

Since I was now adding new products, the process was a little different, but the UI/UX looked the same.

I selected the sheet I wanted to import. I mapped the header columns for import and set any unmapped headers as custom attribute mappings.

I ran the import.

This import sheet only contained 26 products, but for some reason, the importer only found 4 and each has errors.

To sum it up, it did not work.

At this point I began scratching my head and started to move around columns in my CSV.

Maybe the title had to be first.

Maybe any unmapped headers had to be removed.

Maybe the plugin doesn’t work with new products.

I made various changes and tried 7 variations of the sheet before it all worked as planned.

THE ISSUE: Microsoft Excel Formatting.

Apparently the sheet I was sent had formatting issues. This could have happened directly from the person sending me the sheet, or via my Mac’s Excel app. Who knows?

I copy and pasted the data into a Google Spreadsheet and pulled the sheet back down as a CSV.

Once I imported this CSV, all of the column headers were picked up as usual and all 26 products were imported successfully as drafts.

HOWEVER,

Each of these products appeared as FREE products and had long ugly URL slugs. They also didn’t have the MSRP price that was on the Spreadsheet and I once again was left scratching my head.

Basically I had to remove all “$” symbols from the price signs and reimport the sheet in order for the process to appear correctly. But instead of importing as new products, I had to merge these products using the SKU (You can only merge products with a product/post ID or SKU number with the WP All Import plugin).

After merging this sheet again, all of the products looked great. Each was categorized correctly, had updated prices, product pictures, and descriptions. Now I just need to find a way to import the MSRP price and update the product slugs.

After 20 minutes of trial and error imports using the product Im/Ex plugin, I noticed it wasn’t getting the job done.

In order to merge custom fields data, I was going to need to use my favorite import plugin: WP All Import.

I fired this bad boy up, mapped the custom data, made sure to choose UPDATE ONLY THE SELECTED DATA options and reached the final step before discovering another problem.

In order to merge that data, I would need the product/post IDs.

*Note- I am using the free version of the plugin. There is a paid WooCommerce add-on that probably makes this process easier.

In order to find the product IDs, I needed to filter out the products I just imported from all 4000+ on the site.

So I opened up Store Export plugin (I have the premium version which allows me to export Brands, MSRP, and other Custom Field options, like SEO data)

Using the filtering options on Store Export, I was able to filter out:

1. all products from the specific brands I just imported

2. All products with a published status of DRAFT

This exported maybe 31 products, that included the product ID and all of the attributes that were linked to that product.

I was able to remove the extra products (I didn’t need) and save this export sheet for the next step in my product import chain.

Using the data from this product export, I created a new row on my original import sheet called “ID.”

I used a simple VLookup formula that searched for the product’s name, and generated the corresponding Product ID number.

Once everything was good to go, I saved this workbook as a CSV and went back to WP All Import.

In the import settings, I updated my selected sheet and kept the previous slug and (MSRP) custom field mappings I previously set up. Made sure that UPDATE THIS DATA ONLY option was selected and ran the import. All 26 products were successfully updated.

I took a look at the new drafts,

And BAM!

All the data from the original import sheet was now migrated over as products and my work was done.

This process took me about 1.5 hours to complete and was my first time running into the error.

I probably could’ve saved time by purchasing the WP Import WooCommerce Add-On Plugin, but the good ol’ fashion way never hurts.

Taking a Break from Work to Discuss Superstition

Do you believe in superstitions?

I don’t.

But as I take a break from making website mockups in Photoshop, I took a second look at a text that made me reconsider.

While watching the Sunday Morning Football game, I saw old man running back Darren Sproles on the field getting playing time. He just ran for an 11 yard gain.

I went on a rant explaining how I couldn’t believe he was still in the league. He’s been around FOR YEARS and is very undersized for his position.

Minutes after this rant, he got injured on a run play. I’ve never seen him injured before.

Today I just found out he has a fully torn ACL and a broken arm.

At his age, that basically is a career ending injury.

That’s horrible.

Is it a coincidence that he got hurt minutes after this rant?

I don’t believe in superstitions, but this is the closest I’ll ever be to a believer.

Now back to these art boards.

Freelancers Need to Ask For Tips

Why do freelancers need to ask for tips?

Because they’re already underpaid.

I compiled data on the freelancing website Fiverr, by using a template response every time I delivered an order.

Before this experiment,

I delivered an order

Said thank you to the buyer, left a review, and maybe followed up with them for more work.

Never asked for tips, but sometimes received them. Maybe 1 out of every 30 orders.

Not bad.

Then working on my own projects I ordered from a freelancer that used a very GREAT response when delivering their order.

They basically asked me to leave a tip by “buying them a coffee.”

I laughed when I saw this.

Probably because I’m a tech guy and find great ideas comical.

But yes I laughed at this…at first.

Then I tipped the freelancer.

The tipped the freelancer an extra $10 on a $50 order.

Why?

Because she asked for it.

And

Delivered great work.

I thought this passive way of asking for a tip was genius, so I decided to try it out on every order I delivered.

I modified the delivery “template” to suit my orders and started to use that phrase on every delivery.

Now, I have a 65% chance of being tipped after every order. And these tips have already doubled the amount of revenue I receive on Fiverr.

Not bad for a couple of words.

Don’t Stop Searching for Answers

There are two ways to quench your thirst:

1) With a cold bottle of water

2) With Knowledge

I constantly find myself forgetting about my own (food and water) needs in order to learn more information.

When you are curious about something, you will search Google from top to bottom to find an answer.

You will spend hours upon hours scrolling through forum boards,

searching for key terms on blog posts,

and watching YouTube explanation videos until you finally find your solution.

If you can’t find an answer to your question, this curiosity will probably stay on your mind for the rest of the day.

Most people will forget and move on, but a select few will continue to pursue an answer and even be the first to write about the solution.

I want to be that guy.

The one that finds answers to difficult questions and provides easy to understand solutions.

Creating Quality Social Posts is Time Consuming

Literally spent 2.5 hours creating social media posts for my audio products brand.

How many posts you ask?

About 14.

2 weeks worth of content.

Tailored for Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

I always ask myself why creating these posts take so long. I mean, nothing is overly difficult to do.

I create a list of products (based on category) and fill out the specs in a spreadsheet. Simple specs such as the title, price, main image, and brand logo.

I then port these specs into a Photoshop template that creates all of the image variations. Then I review each file and make minor adjustments before exporting out all of the high quality images.

This process takes about 1 hour. Depending on how long it takes to gather and source images.

I then write short 150 character posts for twitter and use Hootsuite’s bulk editor to schedule these posts out on Twitter and Instagram.

I add hashtags, attach the edited images, and adjust language for each post. I also make sure to tag the product brand for additional exposure. This process takes maybe 1-1.5 hour at most.

After these posts are scheduled, I add each of these products to my Facebook page’s store.

I navigate to my brand’s page and add each product to a specific collection, set the titles, descriptions, images, and price. Then send it over for Facebook’s approval.

20 minutes at most.

Now that I think about it, that does add up to about 2 hours of work.

I’m always on a quest for speed so I wonder if there is a faster way to streamline this entire process.

Networking for Feedback Drains Me Mentally

Have you ever been in a room full of strangers?

Have you ever needed to listen to their stories and respond positively to what they are saying?

Then you have probably been to a networking event.

I love them, because it’s a great place to meet people who share similar interests.

I hate them, because meeting people can sometimes be fake.

Not intentionally,

But culturally.

You’re put in situations where it’s not friendly to disagree. The moment you challenge someone’s thoughts…

Intensity builds,

The other members of the conversation give you “the look”

You start to perspire,

You take the cultural chance that can make or break you depending on the other person’s response.

Stay with me here.

You’re put on the spot to follow up with your thoughts and make hasty decisions about your beliefs.

Most people lie.

I don’t,

But that’s not acceptable nowadays.

More on that later. (Correction: I Do Lie)

This back and forth tension is said to help you build relationships, but I find it mentally draining.

2 hours into the event and I’m already ready to leave.

I’ve handed my business card to a few people I’m interested in. The saga is done. This event has already paid off. Time to go (I tell myself every time).

But no. It’s not that easy.

The pressure is on for you to impress.

The pressure is on for you to upsell your thought or idea.

The pressure is on for you to please your other friends in attendance. The new modern age peer pressure.

Basically to sum up a networking event…

I go for the food. *Mic Drop*

Currently Checking Emails in a Movie Theater

Currently trying to focus my brain on the movie IT (hey there Georgie) but I keep looking at my phone. Client emails, tasks, and notifications are hard to overlook.

Wait…a kid just lost his arm. Holy hell.

But I find myself so caught up in work that I can’t take time to relax and enjoy a movie.

Excel will Save You HOURS Managing an ECommerce Site

If you are currently managing a large e commerce site and find it time-consuming to keep up with updates, this post is for you.

I currently use Excel to update thousands of products, images, titles, metadata, and prices very fast.

The secret power is within’ the CSV.

This format allows you to make bulk edits to products and posts on one single sheet without the need to keep searching and updating products via WordPress.

Yes you do need a couple of plugins to make this work smoothly. Some are paid plugins which I normally wouldn’t suggest on smaller sites, but a couple of dollars spent early on your site could save you THOUSANDS in hourly work later on. Take my advice on this one readers.

I would suggest Store Export, WP All Import, and Import/Export from WordPress.

Simple Solutions to Difficult Questions

My first blog post is dedicated to the overthinker.

The person always looking for answers.

The curious how-to thinker always looking for answers on Google and Bing.

 

If you can relate, keep reading. If you can’t…then leave this tab open. You may need it.

One of my favorite questions to ask the world is “WHY”

WHY does something work?

WHY do you need all these steps?

WHY am I spending all of this time working on a single project?

I hope to use this blog to answer these WHY questions and provide a little insight into my thought process.Yes, actually you could say this is my rebellion against Google. Or better yet a supplement for the average user who wants answers. Answers that are so hard to find.

Some of the topics I want to cover is:

  • Workflow
  • Task Automation
  • Design
  • Business
  • and life as a Tech Guy

WordPress is my bread and butter and I use the platform for everything from writing blogs, to building landing pages, to sharing on social media. I am a self-taught front-end developer and have worked on 60+ sites using WordPress as my go to engine. I’ve also built sites using BigCommerce and Squarespace.

I should keep a list of all of my sites.

But nowadays I’m just too busy.

Contact me and I’ll send you a link.

 

I have a solid background in SEO marketing and optimizing e-commerce sites. See what I’m currently working on:

Building a 10,000 Product Database

Task and design automation is another curiosity of mine.

I always want to do as little as possible to get maximum efficiency.

Bulk creating product images,

migrating data via RSS Feeds,

or simply pressing a single button to share content on all major social media platforms.

Yes, a single button.

Buy me a coffee and ask me how.

I strive in taking the difficulty out of doing the most.

Marketing for the young entrepreneur is more difficult than you think. When I started my business Quiksnip back in 2015, I was the greenest person you could ever meet. I had just acquired a decent laptop and basically self-taught myself the Adobe creative suite and WordPress using blog posts and Youtube videos.

Navigating the depths of marketing was hard because it’s tough to tell whats right from wrong, but after years of trial and error, you start to develop a process of good practices and that’s what I hope to share here.

Don’t make rookie mistakes.