Setting up the WooCommerce Widgets
When you log into your WordPress admin and go to the Widgets page, you’ll see that there are a bunch of WooCommerce specific widgets available for use. The WooCommerce widgets provide “out of the box” advanced eCommerce functionality. We’re talking about functionality such as, “WooCommerce Price Filter” and “WooCommerce Layered Nav”, that would have been reserved for only high priced custom platforms just a few years ago. There is also the ability to create as many custom sidebar widget sections as you’d like which will be covered in another Upload WP tutorial. For now, we’ll focus on some of the WooCommerce widgets that I really like.
The two widgets that I highly recommend using from the start using are; 1. WooCommerce Product Categories 2. Woo – Subscribe / Connect. The Product Categories widget will add an additional layer of navigation to the right side-bar of the site. The “Woo - Subscribe / Connect” widget will help you build an opt-in email list and it will link up to your social media accounts.
How to Configure the “Woo – Subscribe / Connect” Widget
Configuring the E-Mail Opt-In Box using MailChimp
The Woo – Subscribe / Connect widget integrates with MailChimp (for email list building) and your social media accounts (Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, YouTube). However, before you drag and drop the widget into the Primary Widgets section you first need to configure it.
To configure the Woo – Subscribe / Connect widget go to:
WooStore > Theme Options > click on the “Subscribe & Connect” tab > click on “Subscribe”
Here you have the choice of using Feedburner or MailChimp to build your opt-in email list. I highly recommend using MailChimp for your list building provider. MailChimp has all the functionality of iContact, aWebber, Constant Contact and all the other big boys. One of the many great things about MailChimp is that it is FREE until your list reaches 500 subscribers. So unlike the other list building providers, MailChimp does not charge you a monthly fee right from the start.
If you do decide to go with MailChimp, take a few minutes to setup a free account. Once your account is setup, enter your MailChimp List Subscribe URL in the “Subscribe by E-Mail to MailChimp” text box. There is a link on the page that will take you to instructions on finding your “List Subscribe URL”.
Configuring your Social Media Icons
Now that you’ve setup the opt-in box, it’s time to link up to your social media accounts. To do that click on “Connect”. On the Connect page of the “Subscribe & Connect” section you’ll see text boxes for Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Delicious and Google+. Go ahead and enter the URL for each of those accounts.
For example, if you created a Facebook Fan Page you’ll simply enter the URL to that FB page. If you have a Twitter account you’ll enter the URL to your Twitter profile. Do this for each of your social media accounts. I highly recommend creating accounts with Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Google Plus because it will help drive traffic to your site over time.
When you finish configuring “Subscribe & Connect” in the WooStore Theme Options section go back to the Widgets section and drag / drop the “Woo – Subscribe / Connect” widget into the Primary widget section. You can change the widget title to something other than “Subscribe” if you’d like. Also, you have the options to do the following; 1. Disable Subscription Form 2. Disable Social Icons 3. Disable in Posts 4. Disable in Pages. I recommend leaving each of the options unchecked so that your opt-in box and social media icons show up on each page and every blog post.
Additional Questions on WooCommerce Widgets
If you have any questions about WooCommerce widgets that are not covered in this post or in the video below, please Contact Us and we’ll do our best to help. Your questions and feedback are always welcomed here at Upload WP. We hope that this series on how to build a professional eCommerce site with WordPress, WooCommerce and the WooStore theme helps you build a profitable web store.