LightSpeed Web Store: What Product Attributes Get Displayed in the Slider?

Now that all the core files (any file that is not included in the template package is a core file) of LightSpeed Web Store are Open Source I can loosen the iron grip that many core files place on what the Web Store templates can do, within reason.

Case in point: the Slider aka the Accessible News Slider – by Brian Reindel http://blog.reindel.com. The Slider shows up in Product Details pages when you have used the Related Products option in a Product Card to relate other products with the current product being displayed by product_details.tpl.php. In your template the Slider uses slider.tpl.php file and also has a Class file located by this path: includes/xlsws/qform/XLSSlider.class.php.

Be careful editing any core files. It’s a good idea to keep a clean copy of core files around – in case your edits generate a blank white page of death you just overwrite the messed up file and your store will go back to normal.

Open XLSSlider.class.php and locate lines 58 – 63:

foreach($products as $prod) {
			$this->links[$prod->Rowid] = array();
			$this->links[$prod->Rowid]['image'] = $prod->SmallImage;
			$this->links[$prod->Rowid]['link'] = $prod->Link;
			$this->links[$prod->Rowid]['title'] = $prod->Name;
			$this->links[$prod->Rowid]['title2'] = $prod->Code;

The last line, line 63 displays the Product Code – why the Product Code has to be displayed in the Slider, I’ve never understood. If you’ve ever seen a Product Code you’d understand – Codes are typically something like FRG-298Blah. Not very pretty nor useful to a customer. And if it isn’t useful or pretty why show it?

To change the Code to something else we can choose a different Column from the xlsws_product table in the database.

Webkeywords = In all product cards you get 3 key words you can associate with a product.They’re assigned a number in the database even though no number is actually shown in a product card. WebKeywords are totally useless when used as mere meta tags since search engines don’t pay attention to them. They are actually supposed to help Web Store’s Search engine. They can also be used to assign a product to a Custom Page. I’ve found them to be very useful when used like a WordPress Tag. Since you can then use them to add a class name to a div and etc…WebKeywords are extremely useful bits of data because the client can input anything they want and they do not have to be unique to the product so they can group a bunch of products together in even more specific ways that a Web category can.

WebKeywords are numbered from left to right:
WebKeyword1 = left keyword
Webkeyword2 = center web keyword
Webkeyword3 = right web keyword

ProductColor = the color of the product – as set by the Size/Color Matrix
DescriptionShort = sometimes used instead of the Product Name
Description = sometimes used instead of the Product Name
Family = the Brand/Designer/Vendor associated with the product
Sell = Price – the price of the product
SellWeb = Price – the web price of the product – usually the same as Sell

Tip #1: You can’t type in the Column name as it is stored in the database. Web Store uses CamelCase ( a naming convention) so sell_web = SellWeb. description_short = DescriptionShort and so on.

Tip #2: The Slider is also used in Custom Pages – custom_page.tpl.php. Changes made to the template – slider.tpl.php – will show up on Custom Pages.

If you Buy LightSpeed POS and Web Store Seperately

Common Enough Situation:

You buy LightSpeed POS and then down the road decide you want to add the eCommerce connector (for an online store, using either Web Store or Magento).

The Potential Problem:

After you make the purchase,LightSpeed issues you a revised/new license that includes the eCommerce Connector but until you perform the steps listed below, you’re still using the old license that does not include the eCommerce connector and the privilege of using the Connector doesn’t kick in until you do.

INSTALLATION

(*instructions were written by Babak/A Mac POS).
(Required for LightSpeed Web Store & LightSpeed Magento Connector)

To retrieve your updated LightSpeed Server license, please follow these steps:

1. Go to the LightSpeed Server preference in System Preferences

2. Click the lock in the bottom left corner of the LightSpeed Server
preference pane, and enter your OS X password to authenticate

3. Select your licensed LightSpeed Server from the left-side of the pane

4. Once selected, please click ‘Stop’

5. Click on the ‘Refresh’ button under the Licensing section

6. Restart the computer running LightSpeed Server (your changes will not take effect until you have done so).

**I’m not sure if clients don’t get the exact same instructions from LightSpeed after they buy the eCommerce thing.

Installing LightSpeed Web Store for the 1st time

If you just bought your license and now have to figure out how to connect with the web store database the first thing you’re asked to do is to create a database using your hosting plan cpanel – oh you didn’t know that your LightSpeed connected with a database? And you don’t know what a database is or for that matter what a cpanel is?

OK, hold up. I’m not about to go into all the technical details here. Chances are if you’ve purchased a license for the LightSpeed eCommerce Connector (connects and uploads your product inventory to an online store powered by LightSpeed’s native app: web store or to Magento) you’ve hired a designer/developer to customize the online shop. And chances are also that this designer/developer knows how to install either one.

So you usually won’t have to know what a database is or even have to ever create one, even though it is a snap to do through any modern version of a control panel (cpanel for short). Your designer/developer will probably upload the web store files for you and can even install the web store for you,too.

But someone on your end is going to have to input 2 very important bits of information in LightSpeed following this path: LightSpeed > Tools > eCommerce > Set Up (in older versions of LightSpeed the connector can only connect to Web Store so the path is Tools > Web Store > Set Up). In Set Up you see 2 text boxes: Web Host and Password.

In the Web Host text box input the URL/address of your web site: http://www.mydomain.com Plus the name of the sub-directory where Web Store files are located. So if you or someone else uploaded the Web Store files to a folder called shop you’d also put that in the Web Host text box: http://www.mydomain.com/shop. If the web store is in the main directory of your site (in technical terms the server root) you’d just put in http://www.mydomain.com. That takes care of Web Host.

The Password is the password you chose when you or your designer/developer installed the Web Store. Many of my clients do not install Web store themselves so I end up getting on the phone with someone and walking them through it.The Password is not the FTP/cpanel/database password. The Password is never used by anything else besides the LightSpeed eCommerce Connector. Once the Connector is connected to the server and therefore the database, you may change the Password in the Set Up panel whenever you want. But because the only thing that uses this password is the LightSpeed Connector, this is usually not something you need to do,ever.

Oh, I almost forgot! Make sure to click the Save button!

If everything is correct you should be able to access the Admin Panel by clicking the Admin Panel button.The Admin Panel is where you go about setting up things like your Store Name, your Store Phone what size you want your product images to be and whether or not people can checkout as guests, if they can use the Gift Registry and if you want to show your families ( brands) in the Web Store menu and lots, lots more.

So there you go. Those are the 2 things you need to do to get LightSpeed connected to your web site. There’s a lot more you’re going to have to do and there is a great amount of information about all of that here.

Embed Audio files for music product in LightSpeed web store

Out of the box, LightSpeed web store is not as robust as some other eCommerce solutions. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to make it more robust. One such example: creating a solution to hear music samples in a Single Product detail page on the web store. We didn’t want to just click over to an external site (like the vendor’s wholesale page which had provided the samples). In my solution the customer does not leave the page to hear them.

I created a custom post type in WordPress for each CD/album title being sold on the web store. Each post has its own music player loaded with a playlist (of song previews). The .mp3 samples were uploaded with the Media Uploader and a music player WordPress plugin called Haiku was activated to play the samples. Then the links to the single custom posts were embedded in the appropriate LightSpeed Product Cards and then web store was updated.

When the link in the product description is clicked, the custom post loads and plays the samples in a lightbox window (using Fancybox which ships with web store), so the customer never has to leave the product details page to listen before they buy. All you have to do is embed the link to the custom post type in the product description and voilĂ .