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Wordpress Site with Multiple Non-Ecommerce Products

Posted on 2014-12-17
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Last Modified: 2014-12-18
We are working with programmers overseas, they have programmed a new wordpress site for us and now we are ready to add approximately 170 products.

Originally, the plan was to add woo commerce for the products to help with filter of products and sizes, using a theme similar to this - http://8theme.com/demo/royal/?product=fashion-demo-dress-2 . This idea was shelved because of a performance concern since we would be disabling the commerce area on woo-commerce.

HERE IS CURRENT PROGRAMMERS "RECOMMENDATIONS" AFTER WE REQUESTED USING THE THEME ABOVE -

"For filtering, wishlist, login/registration features: The reference plugins and theme you have provided are depends upon woo-commerce plugin (which is an e-commerce plugin). When we use these plugins and theme for filtering, wishlist and other features, we need to add woo-commerce plugin.

When we use woocommerce plugin where we do not need eCommerce features, we need to remove cart, order, payment and other eCommerce functionality which would take time. Also, adding more plugins which is related to woocommerce would impact on performance of website and need to remove un-usable functionality.

Except purchasing different plugins and theme we would rather suggest you to allow us to do these particular features in custom manner, which would be simple and less time taking. Here we could easily develop all functionality with out any conflict in less budget."

HERE'S THE PROBLEM -

Now that we're ready to program a decision has been made to program a single product then input all 170 products manually.  These products have multiple details, images, etc. so each product will probably take at least 10 minutes (see product page example attached).

It seems to me that the woo-commerce with disabling some of the functionality would be much faster than custom programming and manually entering each product.

If we go with woo-commerce, is there a performance issue with disabling some features?

Please advise if custom programming (estimated at 200 man hours with manual product entry), woo-commerce or another platform is best for this situation.

Also, advise the reasoning for your choice.

Lastly, any recommendation has to work with the already programmed Wordpress site.

Thank you.
Capital-Standard-Product-Template-Instru
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Question by:bobenance
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40505254
I am massively unclear on what you are asking for here.  You wanted to use WooCommerce for "non-ecommerce products" for filtering only and completely disable the rest of it?  If so, then yes...that's a huge amount of work for anyone to do.  You are essentially breaking a complete product to get one little piece of functionality.

There are better ways.

Where is the data to be filtered stored?  Custom fields? Categories? Tags? Something else?
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Author Comment

by:bobenance
ID: 40505409
Hello,

The data will be filtered by -
Type of Product: Indoor or Outdoor
Product categories: ranges, cooktops, bbqs, accessories
Product brand name (series): Precision, Culinarian
Size: 30" 36", 48", 60"
Range Fuel: Natural gas, liquid propane
Oven Fuel: Natural gas, liquid propane, Electric
Cleaning: Manual Clean, Self Clean
Some product have custom filters, e.g. Ovens: Single, Double
All of this is being prepared in an Excel spreadsheet (see example attached with filter columns highlighted).

Thanks!
Capital-Elite-Collection-Database-12-17-
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40505418
Not what I asked.  I appreciate you have in Excel now...how do you plan to store it on the web site?  Custom fields on the product posts?  New taxonomies on a custom post type?
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Author Comment

by:bobenance
ID: 40505445
Sorry Jason, I am a project manager without programming experience so I don't understand the question.

I assume this product section would be put into a pre-programmed platform like woocommerce and imported into a database, or added into a newly programmed Wordpress template and manually added to a database.

Apologize if this does not answer your question. I am looking a for a programming solution that saves time, does the filtering and is easy to update.
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40505551
So the best advice I can give you is to not use an e-commerce platform or plugin unless you are actually going to carry e-commerce through to the end (add to cart, checkout, confirm). If you can give me a better explanation/description of how you are going to organize your data, I can give better answers.

If you are looking to add a filtering search to a WordPress site, I would instead recommend you purchase two premium plugins:

http://searchwp.com/
http://facetwp.com/

FacetWP adds the checkbox-to-limit filtering you seem to want.  SearchWP changes the default WordPress search to allow you to add different weights to taxonomies and also extends FacetWP (which is why I suggest you get both).  If you don't need/can't afford both, go with FacetWP based on my perception of what you are asking.
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by:Gary
ID: 40506156
I think this says it all
we would rather suggest you to allow us to do these particular features in custom manner, which would be simple and less time taking...
...estimated at 200 man hours
They are bamboozling you!
If it takes more time to customize currently available plugins than writing them from scratch they must be pretty bad developers.

Jason has more experience with WP/Woo than I do but you can add products and put them out of stock if you don't want people to actually buy them.
So there is no "need to remove cart, order, payment and other eCommerce functionality"

But he has a point if you are not selling stuff there may be better options
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Author Comment

by:bobenance
ID: 40506403
Sorry that I have not provided enough info to answer my question. Here is a page that will show filtered product results based on the filters in the attached spreadsheet. I have also supplied a product page layout.

As you can see, the product structure is very similar to a typical ecommerce site. I have 170 products, with thumbnails, etc. and am looking for a better option that programming as wordpress (I'm sure the programmers will be using a plugin) where all of the products would be manually input. I'm looking for a solution where the product can be uploaded through a database.
Capital-Standard-Product-Template-Instru
Outdoor-1170.pdf
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by:Jason C. Levine
ID: 40506425
Everything in WordPress is stored in a database.  What you typically do for catalog-style sites is create a Custom Post Type for your items and within that post type, you define as many taxonomies as you need or make sense. There are plugins that will allow you to import content from a CSV, or if you have enough familiarity with WordPress, you can insert rows directly into the database to import your content.  Once your content is in the database, you can use the search and filtering plugins I linked to above to create search systems or your developers can do that.

What I have no idea of at this time is what kind of answer you are expecting from EE.  You already have developers and I assume they are decent because you've stuck with them this far.  We've told you that stripping down an e-commerce plugin is a bad approach and provided a reasonable alternative.  What else do you need from us?
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Assisted Solution

by:William Nettmann
William Nettmann earned 100 total points
ID: 40506594
Sounds like you need a catalog website - there are several plugins that can do that quite easily. Have a look at http://codecanyon.net/item/woocommerce-catalog-mode/6806913 as an example - I haven't tried that one, but it may be a solution.

You can then use WP All Import with the Woo Commerce add on to easily import all your products from Excel.

I agree with Gary, your developers seem to be trying to pull the wool over your eyes.
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Author Comment

by:bobenance
ID: 40507348
Thanks William, Jason and Gary,

It seems you guys have come up with 3 new ways around this issue and you agree that my current developer is off base planning to custom program and manually enter 170 products.

Per Jason's question, I am trying to determine the best course of action when I hire a new developer to take on this project.

Right now, you have given me three options:

Jason's - create a Custom Post Type for your items and within that post type, you define as many taxonomies as you need or make sense. There are plugins that will allow you to import content from a CSV, or if you have enough familiarity with WordPress, you can insert rows directly into the database to import your content.

William's - Put in Woo Commerce and use a Catalog Plugin.

Gary's - Put in WooCommerce and delete the "buy" buttons and pricing.

If you were in my situation, which would you choose as the easiest/quickest option?

With this answer, that should be my last question on this post!

Thanks!
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Expert Comment

by:Gary
ID: 40507367
What Jason said here http:#a40505551

My comment was just a suggestion to counter what your developers were saying.
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Accepted Solution

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Jason C. Levine earned 400 total points
ID: 40507485
Combine elements of William's answer and mine.  I will reiterate that unless you want real e-commerce, do NOT use WooCommerce for anything.  There are themes that will add a catalog custom post type or you can just roll your own CPT or use something like Easy Custom Post Types from Pippin's Plugins as the compromise.
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