EasyCart Child Themes and Layouts

What is a EasyCart Child Theme and Child Layout?

Beginning in version 3 of the WP EasyCart, we offer developers the option to keep the latest theme and child files up to date automatically as the plugin upgrades without having to manually upload the latest store theme and store layout! This is a great option to help developers keep their clients’ stores up to date and functional at a single click of the button. With this great new feature we know developers still need the ability to override certain files, images, css, etc… In order to make the store customized for their specific project (a great example of this is customizing the email receipt). This is where a child layout becomes an extremely important feature! Child themes and layouts allow you to specify a child theme or layout folder in which you can place individual files to override a specific functionality of the store, while simultaneously allowing your theme and layout to keep the latest features for the rest of store.

How Does the Store Find a Layout or Theme File?

Every file loaded from the design folder of your shopping cart system goes through the following check to find the correct file:

  1. Does the file exists in the plugins folder at wp-easycart-data/design/layout/{your selected child layout}/file.php?
  2. If not, use the latest file in the wp-easycart/design/layout/base-reponsive-v3/file.php

This applies exactly the same to the theme folder and can be useful for specifying a custom image not found file.

How to Set Up and Specify a Child Design

Setting up and specifying a child theme or child layout is quick and easy! First, add a new folder in the wp-easycart-data/design/layout/ folder (something like my-custom-layout) and repeat this for the wp-easycart-data/design/theme/ folder. Next, go to the WordPress Admin -> EasyCart Admin -> Store Setup -> Design File Management and select your newly added custom theme and/or layout folders in the drop down boxes. That is it! Your store will now look first in your custom child theme folder and next to the latest files in the main plugin. To override any files you should first copy the file you are editing to your custom theme folder and make your corrections there (custom changes should be in the wp-easycart-data folder).

Selling Digital Downloads with EasyCart Product and Membership Pages

There are a lot of ways to sell goods these days, but EasyCart makes it easy with one location for all your retail goods, digital download goods, subscriptions and membership services and more.  With digital downloads, you can easily sell products with little to no overhead  other than building your content and product.  Once it’s operational, your downloads can be sold with little to no interaction from you on your end.  No packaging, no shipping, and no handling make this arena of e-commerce an attractive candidate for many businesses.

Selecting your Shopping Cart

There are a hundred+ e-commerce packages that can allow you to sell online digital downloads.  After looking into many of these various software packages, some are expensive and can cost $1000+ to acquire licensing and setup.  Other software packages are so limited that the management of the digital downloads is lost, tracking is lost, and the overall experience is not selling the digital download, but rather luring you into buying their software.

WP EasyCart tries to offer a low cost solution to WordPress store owners who want a powerful plugin, but also a low overhead cost.  At only $80 dollars, the plugin is low cost for sure.  Starting a business with an $80 dollar startup cost is extremely inexpensive, so you can quickly regain your costs with a few sales… Yet EasyCart offers a wide variety of methods to sell digital downloads.

Selling Individual Downloads

The easiest way EasyCart can sell downloads is to offer a single downloadable product that users can add to their shopping cart and checkout with.  This process is very easy to setup in EasyCart, since you setup the product just like a normal retail good, with the exception of adding the download ZIP package or other digital file to the product.

single_download_product

sell digital downloads with EasyCart!

EasyCart takes care of the rest for you.  Customers add the product to their cart, they checkout and pay just like any other website.  Once they purchase and the process is approved, the customer can access their account at any time to download their digital download.  Be wary of plugins that send a download link, this is often a security issue and lets customers send out that link to friends and family to also jump on and download the exposed files.

Offer Downloads on Your Server or Amazon S3 Servers

WP EasyCart also allows you to use Amazon S3 servers for storing digital content.  If you sell large files or videos, simply use their servers and connect it to the product.  This way the security and download processes are loaded on the Amazon S3 server instead of your hosted account.

amazonS3_link

Select Amazon S3 to store and deliver digital content if needed.

Added Security for Downloads

For extra security, EasyCart even gives you the option to limit how many times the download can be attempted OR a time limit, giving customers a week or so before the link in their account expires.  This can also help curb customers sending out credentials to their accounts or passing links around to files… something many low cost plugins neglect to help eliminate.

max_download_limits

Add security to your download links!

 

 

Selling Membership Downloads

Another great feature EasyCart offers that many competitors do not offer is a subscription based system.  For those selling digital downloads, it’s often a nice idea to offer a membership area on your website for subscribers to log into.  This way you can offer more than just a link to a product, but actually offer multiple download links, descriptions of the products, forms for subscribers to use, video material, all from a single page.

subscription_signup_product

EasyCart includes ability to let customers subscribe and become members!

We even use this feature at WP EasyCart to sell our premium subscribers various WordPress themes, extra plugins that we build, and even access to our live chat systems.  Whatever your needs are, the membership/subscription system is a great way to pass material to customers who pay.

The WP EasyCart subscription system is easy to use, but can take some setup time.  It utilizes the stripe.com payment processing system to link payments and subscriptions to an active system.  Customers can then cancel memberships, upgrade/downgrade subscriptions, even update their credit information directly from EasyCart.  This makes it easy for customers to maintain their accounts without the need to contact your support facilities.

 

Creating Membership Page Content

Once you are setup with stripe.com, you setup a subscription product and customers can ‘Sign-Up’ on the frontend.  As for membership pages, that is even easier… just add our membership shortcode to a wordpress page and you can enter both ‘secured’ content and ‘unsecured’ content within the shortcodes.  We usually add our membership secured content in the ‘secured’ area and links to signup or login in the ‘unsecured’ section.

members_shortcode

access easycart shortcode from WordPress page text editor!

member_alternative_content

Create secured and non-secured membership content easily!

 

Conclusion

Selling digital download and media doesn’t need to be complex.  Once you understand the workflow of what it takes to sell and manage digital downloads for your customers, picking and choosing the software can be easy.  EasyCart offers the flexibility and features to get your videos, music, sermons, pictures, and other digital downloads out to the masses.