Build feature-rich online stores with Joomla! 1.0/1.5 and VirtueMart 1.1.x
* Build your own e-commerce web site from scratch by adding features step-by-step to an example e-commerce web site
* Configure the shop, build product catalogues, configure user registration settings for VirtueMart to take orders from around the world
* Manage customers, orders, and a variety of currencies to provide the best customer service
* Handle shipping in all situations and deal with sales tax rules
*Covers customization of site look and feel and localization of VirtueMart
Paperback 456 pages [191mm x 235mm]
Release date March 2009
ISBN 13 978-1-847196-74-3
Author(s) Suhreed Sarkar
VirtueMart is a widely used component for adding e-commerce to a Joomla! site. VirtueMart covers all the aspects of e-commerce in an easy-to-use fashion and allows administrators to configure the various factors such as those of the shop, selling workflow, payment, products, and more. It also has many other features, which include managing customers and orders, so that every aspect of the shop is handled on-line for your comfort.
This book demonstrates the setting up of an on-line Joomla! e-commerce site from scratch using VirtueMart. It focuses specifically on e-commerce and VirtueMart. It teaches all the aspects of quickly setting up a feature-packed, easy-to-build e-commerce site—from basic installation and configuration of Joomla and VirtueMart through adding features step-by-step to an example web site to deployment.
The book begins with an introduction to VirtueMart with an explanation of its capabilities and how you can use it to earn money from your Joomla! site. This is followed by the necessary installation and configuration of Joomla! and VirtueMart to enable you to lay the foundation of your web site. Then it explains configuration of the VirtueMart store, which includes payment and shipping methods, configuring zones, and currencies.
The book then looks at managing products, customers, and orders, and customizing the web site appearance, all through demonstration so that you can build your own store with minimum effort, investment, and time. It also illustrates the promotion and public-relations factors such as banner ads, featured products, coupons, and more, so that you can build a wide customer base. It follows this up with examples of more advanced features such as localization and using extensions for bulk import/export of products to your VirtueMart shop, to suit your individual store needs. Maintenance, troubleshooting, and security, which are essential for running your site, are also explained. There is also an Appendix provided for configuring shipping and payment modules.
What you will learn from this book
- Install/Uninstall Joomla! components, plug-ins, and modules; install the VirtueMart component and its modules, to start building your store.
- Configure the shop, create and use the appropriate zones and currencies, configure payment methods, shipping methods, and taxes, which form part of the most essential shop functionalities.
- Manage manufacturers and vendors, products and product categories, and watch your VirtueMart shop take real shape with the products you want to sell.
- Configure user registration settings for VirtueMart, manage users and user groups, create and use order status types, view order statistics and order details, update orders, and manage inventory, which will ease your apprehensions about customer service.
- Install and configure new themes, customize the Joomla! template, customize VirtueMart themes and layouts, and use search engine friendly (SEF) URLs to attract more customers to your shop.
- Use VirtueMart’s promotional tools such as banner ads, specials, featured products, newsletters, product notifications, and more, which are important factors in determining the success of your business.
- Add further value to your shop by using different regions and region-specific taxes, multiple currencies, installing new languages, and translating the language of the site.
- Learn to add third-party extensions to further broaden VirtueMart functions for bulk import/export of products to your shop catalogue, update multiple product information at the same time using AJAX, and display slideshows with product images to spice up your shop further.
- Finally, learn to move the shop to your server, to back up and restore files and databases, and also about security, maintenance, and troubleshooting as a final step to complete your brand-new VirtueMart shop!
Chapter 1, Introduction to Joomla! and E-Commerce, introduces Joomla! and VirtueMart along with some other components similar to VirtueMart. This chapter describes Joomla!, its main features, and the e-commerce options in Joomla!. It also elaborates on VirtueMart and its features and lists alternatives to VirtueMart and the other shopping carts that can be used with Joomla!
Chapter 2, Installation and Basic Configuration of Joomla! and VirtueMart, explains installation of Joomla! and Virtuemart. It also teaches basic configuration of the VirtueMart component. This chapter describes the prerequisites for Joomla! and VirtueMart installation, installing and uninstalling Joomla! components, plug-ins, and modules. It also explains setting up basic configurations for a Joomla! site, installing the VirtueMart component and modules, and configuring basic options for a VirtueMart shop. At the end of this chapter, we will get a Joomla! site with the VirtueMart shopping cart installed.
Chapter 3, Configuring the VirtueMart Store, explains how to configure a VirtueMart shop. This chapter explains configuring the shop, creating and using appropriate zones, currencies, and locales, installing/uninstalling appropriate modules and configuring those followed by configuring payment methods, shipping methods, and taxes for the shop.
Chapter 4, Managing Product Catalogue, explains details about building a product catalogue and managing the catalogue for a VirtueMart store. This chapter teaches managing manufacturers and vendors, managing the product categories and products, creating and using product attributes, and creating and using product types. In this chapter, we are going to add and edit a lot of information about manufacturers, vendors, product categories, and products. In this chapter, the VirtueMart shop will take on a real shape with the products we want to sell.
Chapter 5, Managing Customers and Orders, discusses managing customers and orders. Specifically, it teaches configuring the user registration settings for VirtueMart, managing users for the VirtueMart shop, creating and managing fields for the customer registration form, creating and managing user groups, and creating and using order status types followed by viewing order statistics, viewing details of an order, updating an order, and managing inventory.
Chapter 6, Customizing Look and Feel, discusses customizing the look and feel of the shop. This chapter teaches installing and configuring new themes for the site, and also explains VirtueMart theming and layouts. It also deals with customizing VirtueMart themes and layouts, and using search engine friendly (SEF) URLs for your shop.
Chapter 7, Promotion and Public Relations, describes the promotion and public relations tools available for VirtueMart. This chapter teaches you to use VirtueMart’s promotional tools like banner ads, specials, and featured products, and also to use coupons to attract more customers. This chapter also explains how to use newsletters and product notifications to keep continuous communication with your customers and to use VirtueMart’s product review feature to express customer experiences.
Chapter 8, Localization of VirtueMart, deals with the localization of VirtueMart. This chapter enables you to understand the need for and importance of localization, to use different regions and region-specific taxes, to use multiple currencies for the shop, and to install new languages for the Joomla! site and the VirtueMart shop. This chapter also teaches you how to translate the language of the site as you require.
Chapter 9, Extending VirtueMart’s Functionalities, deals with third-party extensions to extend VirtueMart’s functionalities and tweaking some extensions to suit your need. This chapter teaches you to use the appropriate extension for bulk import/export of products to your VirtueMart shop catalogue and to use product tag clouds. This is followed by using testimonials and commenting to improve product review and using wholesaling. You also learn to use social networks and bookmarking sites to spread the news about your site. You learn to update multiple product information at the same time using AJAX. You can also spice up your shop by using the new visual cart module, display slideshows with product images, and include modules in the content items, after reading this chapter.
Chapter 10, Maintenance and Troubleshooting, teaches you the necessary maintenance tasks and common problems that can occur. You learn to move the shop to your server after building it on your local computer, back up and restore files and databases, and handle the security of your site. This is followed by identifying common problems, troubleshooting them, and finding solutions from the online forum.
Appendix A, Configuration Options and Resources, lists configuration options for shipping and payment modules for VirtueMart.
This is a step-by-step tutorial-style guide, which teaches you to build an e-commerce site through a complete practical example.
Who this book is written for
Are you a Joomla! user who wants to build an e-commerce store? Do you have a Joomla! site and want to add e-commerce to it to sell products? Then this book is for you! The pre-requisites are simple. You should already know how to build a site with Joomla!, have a smattering of CSS/HTML and perhaps some PHP.