Create Your E-Commerce Store on WordPress

When I decided I was going to open an e-commerce site, my first step was to choose the platform I would create it on. I had experience with WordPress from a blogging standpoint, but both searches and chatting with internet savvy friends led me to believe WordPress was not ideal for my endeaver. The thing I heard most was:

“WordPress was not built for e-commerce. People become familiar with it and try to hack it to force it to do something it shouldn’t rather than learn how to do it correctly, in a platform meant for it. Those do a much better job.”

The general gist was that people were trying to fit a square peg into a round whole simply to stay with what was familiar. That seemed to make some sense to me so I began researching other alternatives.

I watched tutorials on using Jamal and Drupal with Magento, PrestaShop and Zen Cart. Many of them are open source or allow for free trials. So, I tried them all. I found them unresponsive, not user-friendly and generally difficult. That said, I could see the benefit if I was more into coding and launching a giant retail site for which I wanted full and absolute control of every detail.

I was discouraged. These were the “best” options and they had all frustrated me. Hours of work yielded little and unsatisfactory results.

I decided to buck the well-intentioned advice and see what I could do with WordPress.

I was delighted! Using a free and general theme and a simple plug-in, I had a working store in an under an hour. I couldn’t believe I had wasted so much time and energy elsewhere.

Now, this was just a trial run to see if it was a viable option. It did take me longer to find a theme I really liked and customize the site as a whole, as well as adding the products and other information. However, I was able to fairly quickly discern that it would absolutely meet my needs in a much more straight forward way.

My Trials and Decisions
The rest of this article will detail the theme and plug-ins I ended up using, and how I reached those decisions.

Finding a Theme
Firstly, I did not want to pay for a theme at this point. I needed to first make 100% sure I was indeed going to use WordPress and exactly what features I required before I was willing to fork out money for a theme.

Finding a free e-commerce theme to play with that I liked actually took me a good amount of time, trial and error. I finally found Mio by Splashing Pixels. It includes a featured product slider and most of the customization I was looking for. I do plan on upgrading to a paid theme with more functionality and customization at some point, but it gave me everything I needed to get a site I was happy with up and running. Also, the support at Splashing Pixels for the free theme combined with the clean code persuaded me that, when I was ready, I would purchase a theme from them.

Finding a free theme took me way longer than it maybe should have, but I learned some things along the way:
Know what you’re looking for before you start. This can only really be accomplished by grabbing a couple free themes and attempting to set up your site with them. It’s only through doing that you realize what you really want and what is not as important. When doing this, make sure you have one of the e-commerce plug-ins enabled with some products loaded – otherwise you’re not going to get a good feel for the theme and how it integrates with e-commerce.

The thing that became most apparent to me during this process was how well integrated the theme functions were with the e-commerce plug-ins I liked. I didn’t want to have to do a bunch of back end coding to make my site look whole and professional. Stay away from themes that, while maybe attractive, end up looking like a really nice blog site that you just threw a shopping cart onto.

Also very important is if it’s easy to set-up the payment options you require. Some things are optional, this one really isn’t. Payment options are typically covered in the actual e-commerce plug-in (I’ll speak about them shortly), however, I found it super important that my customer’s checkout experience be seamless. Again, wanting to avoid the unprofessional look of an obviously separate add-on. Right before a sell is the last place you want your customer to doubt the security and professionalism of your site.

A few other things that may or may not be important to you include:

Is the header customizable?
Can I change the text?
How many menus does the theme support and how customizable are they?
Is it compatible with the newest version of WordPress?
Is there a support forum and, if so, are they active and responsive?
Can I customize the layout of pages and, if not, do I like the pre-formatted option?

E-Commerce Plug-Ins
In the interest of full disclosure, I only tried two: WP E-Commerce and WooCommerce. They are the two I found to have the most supportive tertiary add-ons and be most supported and integrated with WordPress.

I can honestly say, they both work very well.

I started with WP E-Commerce and was incredibly pleased with how easy it was to enter my product categories and products (complete with variations that was overly complicated in the other open source programs I’d tried.) It took a little work to get the checkout exactly how I wanted it, but it wasn’t very difficult.

I did run into a problem with thumbnail images not being shown correctly, regardless of any settings I used. I struggled with this for some time before I found documentation that this was a known issue at the time for the current version. I’m confident this issue has been or will be resolved, but I found it too important to launch with and didn’t want to wait.

This led me to WooCommerce, which was also fully supported by the theme I chose. It is very similar to WP E-Commerce and shared the ease of use I mentioned, without any image display issues.

Both allowed me the payment, product, category and widget integration I was looking for. In the end, there were some minor things I preferred with one over the other but nothing that was a deal breaker.

If you’re not an advanced programmer looking to launch a giant retail site like Amazon or Best Buy, WordPress can get you up and running, fully functional, in half the time and a quarter of the frustration as the other options I found.

Here is my site made in WordPress with the free Mio theme and WooCommerce plug in if you’d like to see it in action.

Pursuing a Career in Game Art and Design Through Higher Education

Enrolling in an accredited school, college, or degree program can help you pursue the career you dream of. Game art and design careers can be entered by obtaining an accredited higher education and completing all required coursework and training. Studies are available at different levels and specialized areas of study in order to allow you to receive the right education for your goals. By researching programs you can learn more about the options available to you and begin pursuing a career in game art and design through higher education.Game Software and DesignCertificate and degree programs exist in this area of the field in order to help prepare you for various careers working with the production and design of video games, computer games, and other forms of digital entertainment. Completion of a program can take several years depending on the level of education that is being obtained. You can choose from various careers and work as a software tester, game documentation writer, game support specialist, and many other related professions. Training will allow you to work with console development, databases, operating systems, and more. Accredited schools and colleges give you the opportunity to prepare for the employment you wish to enter into. Start the path by finding a program and enrolling today.Video Game DesignWhen looking to enter into a video game design career, you have various training options to choose from. Accredited schools and colleges can offer the skills and knowledge that you will need to enter into a successful career in this specialized area of the field. Degrees and certificates can be earned by completing studies that vary in length. You can fins employment as a professional game programmer, robotics technician, special effects artist, and much more. Once the decision has been made to obtain an accredited higher education you can look forward to studying visual design, Java, computer animation, and a variety of other topics. Employment opportunities are available to you in a variety of areas once you have completed the training process and entered into the workforce. You can start by learning more about training possibilities.Enrolling in a school or college that is able to provide the game art and design career preparation that you desire will help you to succeed. All levels of training in both areas of the field offer a variety of coursework. You can gain education in graphic design, information security, multimedia interfaces, databases, and much more. Coursework will also allow you to study computer animation, special effects, operating systems, and other related topics. You can begin the path t the career of your dreams by finding a program and enrolling today.Accredited game art and design degree programs are capable of providing a quality education. Numerous agencies like the National Association of Schools of Art and Design ( ) can fully accredit quality educational training programs that offer the best educational training available. You can start the training process by finding a program that is right for you and enrolling today.DISCLAIMER: Above is a GENERIC OUTLINE and may or may not depict precise methods, courses and/or focuses related to ANY ONE specific school(s) that may or may not be advertised at 2010 – All rights reserved by

Home Security Locks

Locks have played a vital role in home security implementation. They have been a conventional option for security for ages. Also, their relative inexpensive nature and their effectiveness in protecting homes have made them hugely popular.Home security locks have become an indispensable part of every American household.What is a Lock?A lock is a mechanical device which restricts access to a specific location. Anyone who wishes to enter it needs to have the keys or a combination of keys to get in.Our ancestors took several options to secure valuables, such as guarding or hiding. With time, locks became the preferred option, thanks to its high effectiveness in blocking access to intruders.As technology improved, home security locks reached various levels of sophistication, scaling new heights.Varieties of LocksThanks to its long history, conventional locks have now revolutionized themselves, with each lock catering to different tastes of homeowners. Below are some of them:-Pin Styled LockThey are similar to deadbolt home security locks. They insert pins into the track or frame to secure windows. Though useful, the main inconvenience of these locks is that they don’t secure windows as safely as they previously did.Dead-bolt LockThe main advantage here is that you can activate it using a key or a knob. On turning, the security door handle locks the door after inserting the bolt into the door jamb. They are considered as high security locks.Standard LockThis is the most conventional lock. It basically includes a key to secure the lock in doors or windows, with a single or many turns. Other than manufacturing and the materials used, this system is simple to use.Being inexpensive, they are found in almost every retail outlets. However, you may go in for new design locks for enhanced security. It is very important that absolutely no compromises should be made regarding the security of your house. Gone are the days when there were normal locks used in the houses, however now with the changing times, new things have come up including the security locks for your homes.Either you can go to some shop and buy these security locks or you also have the option of logging on to net and finding out the details regarding the home security locks. After doing a thorough research you should decide to go in for the most durable and the best home security locks for your home.