Blog - WordPress for Technophobes

How to Install a WordPress Theme – or Change the One You Have

​How to Install a WordPress Theme - or Change the WordPress Theme You Have

Your WordPress site is all set up, you may have written a few posts, maybe "About Me" and "Contact Me" pages ... but there's still something missing.  This is when you start wondering how to install a WordPress theme that's more in line with your message.

There's the default theme, the black  on white background, the wall of text ... and all the other things that seemed so exciting and new ... but now just seem, well, boring.

You need a makeover.

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Is WordPress Good for ECommerce?

What is eCommerce?  And why is the capital letter in the middle?

​Ecommerce is all about buying and selling online.  Whatever you're buying or selling, money is exchanged for goods or services, generally by use of some kind of software bridge from your website to a payment gateway - like PayPal or Stripe.

is wordpress good for ecommerce

​How to Add eCommerce to Your WordPress Site

​Ecommerce functionality can be added to your WordPress site through various paid or free plugins - added software (programs) that extend what WordPress can do.  Examples include: 

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    WooCommerce - the most popular eCommerce plugin for WordPress.  And it's free.
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    Shopify - a very popular platform for creating your own shop.  Powerful and flexible. Not a plugin, but an independent platform.  You do not own the real estate with Shopify - they do.
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    Shopp - a free plugin for WordPress, this is the new kid on the block, one that's gaining  popularity.

​WooCommerce and WordPress

​For a small business, WordPress with the free version of WooCommerce is more than adequate, provided you have the right hosting environment. This means that WooCommerce works adequately with PHP5, but better with PHP7. In the simplest terms, you’ll need dedicated WordPress hosting from your provider - or the option to upgrade PHP from your cpanel (if you have one).

​Things to think about:
  • ​Do you want to use a page builder like Eliminator? In that case you’ll definitely need PHP7 - Eliminator works fine with PHP5 … until you add WooCommerce. Then it doesn’t load properly with PHP5.
  • Do you have enough memory on your platform for everything to work fast and easy? Both WordPress and WooCommerce take up a lot of memory when working, so you’ll need 60–128MB working memory from your host.
  • Do you want to integrate your ecommerce site with services like MailChimp, a membership site or aweber? Actually, WooCommerce plays well with most integrations.
  • Do you want to offer coupons, sales, buy together options etc? Yes, you can do this fairly easily.
  • Do you need to be tech savvy? Weeeelll, not really. What you will need is at least one person who is willing to experience the learning curve, which is steep. Or you can get someone to set it up for you, for a fee. Either way, you need to be very clear about what you want from your ecommerce site. You can find some options here: Everything you need for your WooCommerce ​store
  • And what about themes? Again, this can be tricky. WooCommerce says it works with pretty much any theme. It doesn’t work well with all of them - test it first.
  • How secure is WooCommerce? It has its own security built in, but you might want to think about an extra layer of security - iThemes is good.
  • What about SEO? Yes all products/services can be optimised for SEO (search engine optimization) - you’ll need something like Yoast or AllInOneSEOPack to help you do this. Or, if you have the budget, you can employ someone to do it for you.
  • Payment options? WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with PayPal, Stripe (which I prefer) and Bitcoin. Most world currencies are supported.
  • Would you be able to run a business like Amazon on WordPress? Nope - too much traffic. You’d need dedicated servers and a much bigger dedicated environment.

​Is WordPress Good for eCommerce?

All that being said, is WordPress good for eCommerce?  Sure - WordPress with WooCommerce is ​certainly good to run an ecommerce site for small businesses with limited budgets. But not a big traffic site like Amazon.

​Why the capital letter in the middle?  It's an affectation, left over from the early days of programming, when there couldn't be spaces in names.  What the programmers did was to run words together with a capital at the beginning of each word so that meaningful - and legible! - names could be given to their programs.

Elementor Problem Solving : Elementor Type Errors

elementor problem solving

Having an Elementor problem is apparently common - type "elementor problem" into any search engine and it returns uncounted numbers of results.

​What is Elementor?

​Elementor is a visual editor for WordPress.  What that means is that instead of being confronted with your usual WordPress editor ...

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​With Elementor you get a much more exciting ...

​Beautiful.  Relatively easy to use, once you get the hang of it and you can then express yourself fully outside the default WordPress box.  As with any visual page builder, you can create elegant pages and posts that truly project who you and your message are to the world.

​So What's the Problem with Elementor?

It's a great plugin for WordPress - and the basics are free.  However, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, the same problems come up time and time again:

  • ​Elementor won't load - all you get is a big E (the Elementor loading logo) on a blank screen.
  • ​Elementor type error messages - "TypeError: Cannot [whatever]"
  • ​Elementor reference error - "ReferenceError: elementorFrontend [whatever]"
  • ​View destroyed error (my particular favourite!) - "ViewDestroyedError: View (cid: "view[whatever]") has already been destroyed and cannot be used".
  • ​Elementor saves the page/post, but on edit swears that page/post it just created doesn't exist

There are more. Mostly caused by the same thing

Elementor Problem | Solutions

Elementor is a huge plugin and requires a lot of processing power to work properly.  If you've come across these Elementor problems and are desperate enough to seek out help from someone on Fiverr (yes, I have some Fiverr gigs), PLEASE try these things first:

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    ​Is your WordPress host running php7?  If it isn't, ask them to upgrade - or do it yourself from your cpanel if you have one and the option is available.
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    ​Increase your memory limit to 256MB or more - the more processing power Elementor has available, the better it works.
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    ​Increase your maximum post size to 20MB
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    ​Increase your maximum upload limit to 20MB

These simple tips will save you a whole lot of time, money and stress.  They're so easy and fast, they won't take more than 5 minutes to implement.

​Beyond the Jargon

Click the term to reveal its definition...




​Do you use Elementor? Is there anything that bugs you about it?  Let me know in the comments below.