Today we are going to Muse about E-commerce, you know those on-line stores. If this is your first visit, welcome to Musings. If you have been here before, welcome back. Over time we are going to talk about many things: the past, the present, perhaps the future, travel, art, society and more. Wherever my musing takes me. I hope you will come along with me.
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Ten years ago I put my foot in the water and started working with the Internet. I hired a tech savvy fellow to develop a website for me: www.tribbyart.com. It has been a great means of validation. People would ask,“Do you have a website?” If I had said, “No”, I would have immediately lost credibility. So, it has served a purpose, but it has not generated much business. About the only way a person would find it would be to search specifically for my name.
Two years ago I was approached by someone who offered to develop a social media presence for me, at a price of course. He said,
“Not using social media today would be like a person not using a telephone in 1910. Eventually no one will communicate with you. That is how it is done today”
That discussion brought me to lynda.com, a subscription site offering tutorials on a wide array of tropics. I decided to learn how to do some of these things and not just pay someone to do it for me. It was on Lynda.com that I learned about Facebook, Twitter, Tweetdeck, Bitly and WordPress. WordPress is the host for this Musing. I have written Musings now for about two years. This is the 101st post. During this time my presence on the web has greatly increased.
Now I have launched Tribbyart’s Boutique, an e-commerce site to market reproductions of my artwork.
The project has been a month in the making, with me sitting five and six hours daily at the computer. It required working through three tutorials: one on e-commerce in general, another on self-hosting a WordPress account on my own domain and a third on using the WooCommerce plugin. This may sound complicated. It is. However, the process has been a learning experience and I now have a better understanding of what is possible.
Much of the development time was spent configuring the individual pages, shipping codes, inventory systems, etcetera and then entering the data on all the artworks. It was time-consuming and often frustrating. I am not the most computer literate person and I definitely do not know the language.
The most challenging part of the project came at the end after I had built the site and configured all the options. I tried to test the credit card payment function using a plugin called Stripe. Every time I tried to make a dummy payment, I received a message “card declined”. The Stripe support people were unable to tell me what was wrong. They kept telling me that I was using the wrong code, called an API key, for the transaction. They said that I was using the test key for a live transaction and a live key for a test transaction. Totally confusing to me. The API keys I was using were taken directly from their website and inserted into a template on my site.
After struggling with this over several days I finally solved the problem. The API keys I was inserting into the template were reversed on the host site so I was loading test keys into the template where the live keys were meant to be and vice versa. Furthermore the titles of the API keys were not the same on the host site and the template site. So the fact the codes were reversed was not obvious. Growl!
Eventually I figured this out and reversed the codes, thereby entering the correct code configuration into the template. Now it all works.
I wrote the support team the following:
Here is what I finally found out. On the Stripe site the API keys are reversed from the WooCommerce site. In other words the test keys are the top two in one site and the bottom two in the other. When loaded into the template they were in the wrong order. Furthermore, the titles or names of each key are not the same between Stripe and WooCommerce. For someone as non computer literate as I am this presented a huge problem. This is something you guys need to work on your end.
They wrote back:
I’m really sorry about that! I didn’t know that our display differed from WooCommerce’s in this way. I’ve shared your feedback with our team so we can make this less confusing in the future. We’re still very much building our service and so any reasons that Stripe can be improved for you are really valuable for me to hear. Thanks for sharing.
The Tribbyart’s Boutique is live and secure. I hope you check it out. Click on the Lion above.
More to come
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Books by Thomas L. Tribby Available Click on title below to preview
Original Paintings Available
For information about these or other original works of art, please feel free to contact us: