Volusion Shopping Cart Software Tips & Tricks

  • By Frank DePalma
  • 02 Jun, 2016

Totera provides total ecommerce services from design, to custom database programming to social media marketing and everything in between - we are with you every step of the way. Totera can provide ongoing maintenance and support to keep your online store optimized, or simply get things started and let you run with it.

As a Volusion Design Firm, Totera has the staff and expertise to get your store done on time and on budget. Here are some common support tips and tricks that we have found helpful when setting up a Volusion ecommerce website.

1) How can I force all of the pages on my site to use https?

The first step is to purchase an SSL certificate. While a certificate from any provider will work on your Volusion site, Volusion makes it easier and cheaper to install a certificate purchased from within your Volusion control panel. Once your certificate is in place, it only secures the pages that have sensitive information. However, Google prefers that all web pages use a secure connection whenever possible ( more on that here ), so here we recommend making your entire site secure using the following steps. 

There are two Config Variables you can update if you want your SSL to be active site-wide. These variables are "Full Store URL" and "Home Page URL," which by default are set to " http://www.YourWebAddress.com/"

In order to render all of your store's URLs 'secure,' you can update your "Full Store URL" config variable to " https://www.YourWebAddress.com/" ; I have outlined instructions on how to do so below: 

1. Settings>Config Variables>Search 
2. Type "URL" in the name field, click search 
3. Change Full Store URL and Home Page URL from 'http' to 'https' 
4. Save 

The final step is to add an http redirect to your site's index file. 

You can accomplish this by adding the meta refresh to your store's /default.htm file. You can find this in your store's admin area by navigating to Design > File Editor > and clicking on "/default.htm." The meta tag you add here should be as follows: 

<META http-equiv="refresh" content="0;URL= https://www.YourWebAddress.com/Default.asp">

This will redirect all visitors to the secured version of your site, unless they specifically navigate to your site by typing in " https://www.YourWebAddress.com/Default.asp "; which is highly unlikely.
 
NOTE:   Volusion does not typically recommend changing these values as it is not necessary, and doing so can render your site inaccessible should your SSL ever expire.  


2) How do I  enter my existing shopping cart shipping configuration settings for my USPS, Fedex and UPS account info?

Other shopping carts ask for an XML Access Key, User Id, and Password. However, Volusion works differently. When transferring from another website shopping cart software, it can difficult to know where to input this information. 

Before you start enabling live rates, you’ll need to register with your chosen carrier(s). The only carriers that may not require registration at this time are Royal Mail and Australia Post. 

To get started navigate to the shipping section and click Add Carrier next to Live Rates and select a carrier. You’ll see additional steps you need to follow in order to get accurate live rates. 

Note that the procedure you need to follow is different for each carrier. For example, the steps below are used for ups. 

Register with UPS 
Open a UPS account 
Register for UPS Online Tools® <---- If you already have a UPS account go directly to this step. 

Once you finish this process your store will be configured for ups and you will need to add your UPS shipping methods. 
 

3)  I have PayPal express, but where in PayPal do I go to get the required API credentials?

You'll need to create an API username for PayPal that's different from your shopping cart's username. You can access PayPal via API only if you have a PayPal Premier / Business / Website Payments Pro account. 

Follow these steps: 

1.) Log in to your PayPal Business account. 
2.) Click the My Account tab. 
3.) Click the Profile tab. If you haven't already done so, you need to verify your account before requesting API credentials. 
4.) Click Request API credentials under Account information. 
5.) Click Set up PayPal API credentials and permissions under Option 1. 
6.) Click Request API Credentials. 
7.) Click Request API signature. 
8.) Click Agree and Submit. 
9.) Copy and paste the API username, password, and signature into your shopping cart's configuration or administration screen. 
10.) Complete the process by following your shopping cart's final steps. 

That's it! Your ecommerce website can now accept PayPal.

Contact us  for a free ecommerce website consultation.

Tera-Bytes

By Frank DePalma 02 Jun, 2016

Totera provides total ecommerce services from design, to custom database programming to social media marketing and everything in between - we are with you every step of the way. Totera can provide ongoing maintenance and support to keep your online store optimized, or simply get things started and let you run with it.

As a Volusion Design Firm, Totera has the staff and expertise to get your store done on time and on budget. Here are some common support tips and tricks that we have found helpful when setting up a Volusion ecommerce website.

By Frank DePalma 25 Mar, 2016

Your website is one of the most important investments that your company or organization will ever make. Establishing an ongoing relationship with an experienced web developer will help ensure that you get the most out of your investment.

But what should you look for when hiring a web services firm?

1) Appropriate company size

When searching for an IT team that is the best fit for your needs, ask yourself, “What size should my IT team be?” Does your website you have mission-critical systems that require a team at the ready 24/7/365, or will a one-person shop be a better fit?

A web services firm that is too large for you may not provide the level of personalized service that you need. Are they flexible enough to change as your needs change?

A firm that is too small might not be able to manage your project effectively. While forming a relationship with a single person can be beneficial, you have to keep in mind what that individual will be doing in 2 years? Will they still be available when their work needs to be updated?

2) Customer Service Protocol

At Totera our priority is for our clients to have a positive, even fun experience. Before signing on the dotted line, make sure your web services provider is able to meet your support needs. Do they respond to emails and phone calls in a timely manner? When someone calls the Totera support line, several members of our team automatically receive text messages and emails. We have protocols in place to ensure that the right person responds in a timely manner.

3) Project Management Systems

Does the web services provider have a good process for managing projects. Some projects last several months and have many revisions. Make sure your web services provider has proven methods for tracking progress, storing important files, passwords and data, for keeping the project moving in a positive direction. Someone has to manage the project.

4) Dependability

Make sure you hire someone you can trust because the more you are able to share with them, the better the results. Treat your web services provider like a business partner. Are you planning on selling the business? Are you going to be introducing a new product or service? Your web services provider can make sure your website supports your next move.

5) Curiosity

Your web services provider should have a thirst for knowledge so they can recommend ways to keep your website relevant in the ever-changing internet landscape.

At Totera we are constantly thinking of ways to apply new technology to help our clients.

For example: As  of May 2015, more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers, and smartphone usage is up 394%, and tablet usage is up 1,721% which combine to account for 60% of digital media time spent. (Comscore, April 2015). Do you know if a mobile site, responsive site or app be the best solution for a given project? These questions are at the forefront of our minds, so our customers can focus on running their business.

6) Skill Set:

It takes a unique set of skills to build and maintain effective websites. The value of each of these skills will depend on the nature of your business and purpose of your website.

Design: There is no substitute for a custom website that is designed from the ground up with your business goals in mind. A skilled web designer is essential for creating a visually captivating website that engages your target audience.

Development: While aesthetics are important, the functionality of your website is critical. A good web developer can ensure that the information is delivered in a clear and concise way. Depending on the nature of your business, your web developer can build powerful tools to automate  your business processes and provide valuable service to your customers right from your website 24/7/365.

Marketing: How will your website support your overall marketing plan?  Make sure your website captures visitor behavior. Even if you hate numbers, I guarantee you will find the information useful and interesting. Use visitor behavior to hone your marketing efforts, expand or contract different sections of the website, and create more engaging content.

Website Management and Maintenance:  You know your business and your industry, so being able to make updates yourself is important. In most cases, you are the best person on the team to keep your website content fresh, engaging and relevant. Equally as important is having your site periodically reviewed by a web professional who is well versed in the latest search engine algorithms, mobile optimization standards and emerging technologies.

A final thought
Define success of the project and share that with your web services team. Remember it takes work on your part to ensure that the project is successful. Be prepared, establish clear goals, and be honest about your own expertise and limitations.

By Donna Winter 15 Feb, 2016
In April 2015, Google implemented their  mobile friendly search engine requirements  and now they're working on making the web more secure by  favoring websites using HTTPS protocol

Mobile Friendly: If you still need to make your site mobile friendly, please, let us know. This is not a change you can ignore. With mobile web browsing now exceeding desktop browsing, Google feels it's important to only index and display websites in mobile search results that meet their mobile friendly requirements. Totera offers 2 options to meet Google's requirements and are happy to review your site at no charge and provide recommendations and estimates. 

Security: In December, in an attempt to keep web users secure, Google has decided to give indexing and search engine result preference to sites using HTTPS protocol. This means adding SSL/TLS technology to your web pages and changing your website URLs and dependencies to HTTPS. 

We are happy to give you free estimates for implementing HTTPS security on your site. To help with the cost, Totera has teamed up with www.NameGig.com to provide discounted SSL certificates for our customers, and we will install the certificate on your NameGig-hosted site for free. 

Contact us for your free estimate. 
By Donna Winter 15 Jan, 2016
In April 2015, Google implemented their mobile friendly search engine requirements .

If you still need to make your site mobile friendly, please, let us know. This is not a change you can ignore. With mobile web browsing now exceeding desktop browsing, Google feels it's important to only index and display websites in mobile search results that meet their mobile friendly requirements. 
By Frank DePalma 15 Dec, 2015

Have you thought about expanding your reach and servicing more of your clients’ needs?  Establishing a relationship with an experienced IT firm might be the smartest business move you make this year. Here are five things to look for when searching for your new IT team:

  1. Customer Support
  2. Communication Skills
  3. Appropriate Staffing
  4. References
  5. Transparency
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