Welcome again to our regular Friday Lunchtime Live Q&A! Geoff joined Gary on the couch today to answer your WordPress questions. We’re live every Friday, so don’t forget to Like our Facebook Page so you can watch and ask questions yourself. Today we address integrating WooCommerce with Xero using Zapier, Geoff’s favourite theme to use with WooCommerce, and integrating Instagram with your WordPress website!
Gary Weis: [00:00:01] Hi folks – this is Gary. And today I’ve got Geoff Franklin, one of our superior, excellent… What other magnificent words can I throw at him? Senior WP Butlers here at WP Butler. So Andrew is having the afternoon off so we’ve got Geoff on the couch with me today. So welcome folks to our WP Butler Friday Facebook Live Q&A. We’re going to cover a few customer questions and some emails that we’ve received and hopefully have some have a bit of WordPress fun. All right. Geoffrey.
Geoff Franklin: [00:00:39] Yeah. What do we got?
Gary Weis: [00:00:39] Adam from Carseldine… That’s here in Queensland. “I sell products using WooCommerce and currently have to add the sales to my Xero accounting software manually. Is there a better way?” Is there a better way?
Geoff Franklin: [00:00:57] Well there’s third party solutions that we’ve used before. The one we really love is called Zapier. There’s a free service, and they have premium options as well. But what we find is really great about Zapier is just so it’s so user friendly. So, by all means go to checkout zapier.com and what you can do is, they’ve got a bunch of what they call “zaps” and zaps allow you to basically link like one piece of software to another piece of software. So in this instance Adam, for what you want, what this will allow you to do as you’ll actually be able to use Zapier as like this middle piece of software to link the orders from your WooCommerce store and you will be able to customise how that looks feeding into Xero. And it’s really intuitive, it’s quite a linear process setting up the zap. But yeah, basically it’s really intuitive. I think that’s just a great place to start with Zapier and this is a few other options but that’s the one we recommend.
Gary Weis: [00:01:58] Yeah check out Zapier. It does an amazing amount of little integrations between a whole pile of third party software. So just do a quick search for Zapier and then you do a search for the two pieces of software that you want to link together and there’s a pretty good chance that Zapier will have already made “zap” that will allow you to join the two together.
Geoff Franklin: [00:02:20] I was talking to Andrew earlier and one of the things he is Zapier for is he might be watching a YouTube video and he’s like “Oh yeah. Thumbs up!” that YouTube video and what he’s set up Zapier to do is it will actually add… Like on Spotify, he’s linked his YouTube to his Spotify account. So when he likes a video on YouTube, it actually searches Spotify in the process and then adds that song to a playlist on Spotify, which is really cool. So that’s just another example outside of WooCommerce, but just the power of Zapier and what it can do. And there’s just so many options that it has for WordPress as well so yeah, check it out.
Gary Weis: [00:02:59] Righto I got one question. What’s Spotify?
Geoff Franklin: [00:03:02] Spotify it’s… It’s a music, online music… I don’t know how to explain it!
Gary Weis: [00:03:08] Is that the new Walkman?
Geoff Franklin: [00:03:12] You can say that. I mean, it’s like iTunes, Spotify, SoundCloud – it’s like online music software. So check that out!
Gary Weis: [00:03:23] I’ll stick to my Walkman.
Geoff Franklin: [00:03:24] Okay.
Gary Weis: [00:03:24] Okay. Thanks Geoffrey. Okay, Lisa from Melbourne asks “I’m setting up a new online store with Woo.. another WooCommerce! Setting up an online store with WooCommerce. Do you have a favourite theme you can recommend? Do you have a favourite? What’s Geoffrey’s favourite WooCommerce theme?
Geoff Franklin: [00:03:41] So yeah, there’s a couple. Probably my favourite is called Flatsome. And you can buy it – it’s a premium theme, and you can grab that from envato.com. So the Envato Market. It’s really affordable but what it’s another really intuitive theme, and it’s got a front page builder, so you’re able to drag and drop bits and pieces to where you want. And it has a really good setup process to the theme. So when you activate, it has this lovely linear walkthrough process of like what default settings do you want to set. And you know you can line up a bunch of demo products so you can get a sense of like how the theme plugs in to your already existing content, as well as gives you a good starting point. So if you’re new to the theme, it’s just a really great set up process. So the other thing I really love about it is it’s quite lightweight as well. Now I know there’s a lot of themes I’ve used over the years that just have all these extra features that you don’t always need and I’ve found after going through so many that Flatsome just seems to take all the boxes for me personally and it’s one we like to use here at WP Butler as well so yeah that’s I’d say my favourite theme.
Gary Weis: [00:05:10] I think over the years I’d hate to think how many themes we’ve seen that have been hobbled, or WooCommerce has been hobbled into. So it’s a bit of a godsend to actually find a theme that plays really really nicely with WooCommerce and it’ll save you a hell of a lot of time. So yeah, what was it? Flatsome.
Geoff Franklin: [00:05:34] Flatsome.
Gary Weis: [00:05:35] Flatsome. There you go. Write it down. Flatsome. All right. What are we up to. Neil. G’day Neil. Neil from Maroochydore asks… Another Queenslander. “How do I add an Instagram feed to my website?”
Geoff Franklin: [00:05:48] Okay. So as you probably know there’s tons and tons of plugins out there, so rather than trying to use Instagram’s documentation and try to add it yourself, there’s there’s a bunch of free and premium plugins that you can use to quite easily embed your Instagram feed into your website. I can’t think of one off the top my head but basically what you’ll need is, you’ll need to… Either way there is a bit of technical… there is a technical piece to it. You need to create an API key and a lot of the free plugins and plugins that you can use to do this will actually have a link off of some kind of documentation to say “Hey, log into your Instagram account you’ll need to get this key and put it into the settings of the plugin and save it.” And then, from there you’ll be able to basically most of the plugins activate it. And there’ll be what’s called a shortcode. It’s like this little piece of text type code that you’ll able to embed in say the widget or run into a page or under the footer, any place you want to place that feed into your website. What the plugin will then do is just work its magic and just spit out the feed in a certain way, and you” be able to customise and I say to even just be a certain size and yeah, like, that’s that’s basically the easiest thing to do is use it as a plugin, and follow the plugins instructions to set up an API key. Yeah that’s how I’d do that.
Gary Weis: [00:07:27] The standard answer, there’s a plugin for that.
Geoff Franklin: [00:07:32] There’s a plugin for that.
Gary Weis: [00:07:33] OK. Just to that a word of warning though. Just be aware of the impact that adding those types of the party features can add on the speed of your WordPress installation. Unfortunately what has to happen for a feed to appear on the website is it’s pulling in a live feed. So every time that the feed, or the Instagram has to load, it has to pull that data in from Instagram. So there is a slowdown within side your page load speed. Just be aware there is always tradeoffs. That goes for Facebook, goes for Instagram, goes for Twitter. It goes pretty much any integration that you’re gonna be using from a third party. And if you want to check the impact that that has on your speed, just simply go and use… what’s that tool? Ahh Pingdom. Go to tools.pingdom.com and just run a speed test on your site and you will notice that there’s a waterfall which is just simply a list of all the files that need to load and a time as to how fast each one of those files loads in. Just go and have a look at the file to load your Instagram feed and you’ll start to see how long that file takes to load, all that data takes to load and see the impact that’s going to have on your page load speeds. Now it might not slow down the site by seconds but it may slow the site by some time. But if you combine that some time with a whole pile of third party integrations, you’re going to end up slowing the site down by seconds and that’s where you start running into trouble. Just be aware that even though it may be easy, there are tradeoffs and just make sure that you are aware of what you’re getting yourself into. Fair call?
Geoff Franklin: [00:09:16] Yes.
Gary Weis: [00:09:16] All right. So Geoff, bit of WordPress news. What’s been going on in the World or WordPress in the last week or so. Any big highlights out there for you?
Geoff Franklin: [00:09:28] I didn’t actually notice WooCommerce are working on a new way… It’s in beta at the moment, they’re working on a new admin interface to generate new reports and customer reports and a better reporting system. That’s one of the things I saw pop up. I didn’t read too far into it but I thought it was like really interesting that WooCommerce is at the forefront of online e-commerce and for them to just continually be adding so much value to what’s already there is just exciting to see. Yeah, I noticed that pop up. Yeah it’s it’s cool.
Gary Weis: [00:10:13] I think one thing we don’t, or shouldn’t lose sight of is that I think we mentioned here on a Q&A a couple weeks back that WordPress here in Australia represents 85% of all Australian websites. So WooCommerce is again by far… I’m not sure of the percentage, maybe we can go do some homework and find that one out for you and report back that with WordPress being such a dominant platform here in the Australian market, you can guarantee that WooCommerce – which is already the globe’s largest e-commerce provider of software – that it’s gonna be pretty dominant here in Australia. So if you’re not already on, if you’re considering an e-commerce site and you haven’t looked at WooCommerce yet, by all means go have a go and check it out. Because it has certainly taken… Or gone on and in leaps and bounds since the guys at Automattic took it on and bought it, they’re the WordPress guys, they own WordPress by the way. So check it out, well with your time in looking at that. Another thing I just wanted to highlight too that we’ve seen this week in particular, obviously with everyone now back to work, everyone now looking at if I haven’t already, they’ve probably looked at working on their website and they’ve come back, they’ve probably done an update to what 5.3?
Geoff Franklin: [00:11:31] 5.0.3.
Gary Weis: [00:11:31] 5.0.3 sorry. And noticed that their editor’s no longer working. They’ve gone into their theme and the editor’s no longer working. Geoffrey you want to let everyone know what’s going on there with that dreaded editor?
Geoff Franklin: [00:11:50] So the crux of what’s going on is, WordPress have changed their text editor that they normally have when you go to edit a page. You can see that the WYSIWYG – the “what you see is what you get” editor. They’ve stripped that out and they’ve replaced it with a new, I guess their page builder called Gutenberg. So that is causing some issues with themes. A lot of theme developers haven’t updated their themes to support that yet. So there is a fix. There is a fix, for now called… There’s a few plugins that you can use but, if you log into your WordPress Dashboard, you probably see a prompt somewhere coming up saying “Install the Classic editor” so you can go ahead and do that. And there’s also another plugin we tend to use which it’s called Disable Gutenberg. So those two are two good interim solutions until the theme you’re using has whatever update it needs to have done to then support your website moving forward.
Gary Weis: [00:12:54] Perfect. Absolutely Perfect. That’s about all we’ve got today on today’s Friday Facebook Live Lunchtime Q&A. Thank you so much Geoffrey for joining me on the couch today. And we might we might get some feedback and see if he can stay another week, what do you reckon?
Geoff Franklin: [00:13:13] Yeah. Come on.
Gary Weis: [00:13:13] Come on, fans. Thumbs up for Geoff. Save Geoffrey! We’ll have to put a campaign out there “Save Geoffrey”. So until next week guys, keep firing in your WordPress questions. Loving the interaction. Thank you very much. And if you need anything, contact us at wpbutler.com.au and we’ll see you real soon. Bye for now.