Have you ever wanted to create an online catalog or store but ended up completely overwhelmed with all the different options, features, and information needed? Since so many artists today are turning to WordPress for their web site or blog, we decided to create a special commercial WordPress theme that would allow artists to focus on their content and not the complexities of setting up and maintaing a store.
Using WordPress, the Lucidity Catalog theme, and your Topspin Buy Button code, it is possible to create a catalog for all your music within minutes instead of hours. The text below will show you the steps to set it up as well as show examples of this in action so can see just how it looks on a live site.
Real World Examples
The generic install: http://themes.sandboxdev.com/lucidity-catalog/category/catalog/. You can see how simply creating a category called Catalog as well as some sub-categories for organization will dynamically display your catalog items for your fans as well as announce new items as soon as you put them online. You do not need to know any HTML, mess with any template code, or do much more than you would when creating a normal WordPress blog post.
Jay Reatard The idea for a custom theme like this one started when working with one of the Topspin artists named Jay Reatard. His needs were simple:
1. WordPress integration. His site uses WordPress and he did not want to use another piece of software for his online catalog 2. Custom functionality that would allow him to add items into his catalog without having to rely on anyone technical 3. The ability to categorize his music 4. The ability to upload thumbnail images of his albums 5. The ability to copy and paste code to create the buy button
When putting this together - we made sure to use the built in WordPress functionality that everyone was comfortable with (WordPress categories, WordPress image uploads, etc) to make it as easy as well as upgrade-proof as possible.
1. He categorized his albums by band name 2. Each album contains the following:
Album thumbnail (uploaded using the WordPress built in upload function which then links to album post)
Album name (post name)
Buy Now button (code supplied from Topspin)
Album description (custom field in the post screen)
3. Customized version of the generic layout
Putting Together Your Online Store or Catalog Has Never Been Easier
Once you have WordPress installed and the Lucidity Catalog theme purchased ($75.00) and in place, it is time to set up the catalog.
You can offer a store or catalog on your web site in a matter of minutes by following these simple five steps:
1. Create Your Store or Catalog Category. Create a category within WordPress that you want to use for your store or catalog. You can just use one master category or you can create sub categories as well to offer several “types” of products.
2. Select your Store or Catalog Category. Go to the Lucidity Catalog Settings and choose your category.
3. Create a Post Announcing or Highlighting Your Product. Create a post that highlights your product and add in the extra information that will be used for the store or catalog view. Under the main post textarea in WordPress - you will find a custom meta box called “Catalog Information”. These additional fields are used in creating the catalog view.
The first field (Item Thumbnail) is used for thumbnail image. All you need to do is upload the image you want to use - in WordPress like you would for any other image you wanted to put in your page or blog post, then copy the URL which WordPress supplies after the image has been uploaded - and paste it into this field.
The third field (Item Description) is used for the description text under the Buy button.
4. Categorize Your Post/Product. Add your product to either the store or catalog category or one of the sub categories.
5. Sit Back and Enjoy. Simply view your store or catalog category and you will see everything dynamically put into place as soon as you add a new post within that category.
There is More…Lucidity Catalog Has Options!
We made it easy to personalize your site within minutes to use your favorite font, colors, add in your social networking sites’ buttons, use feedburner, and add in your tracking code of choice.
Choose your fonts, background color, header color, link colors and more without touching any code.
Threaded comments and sidebar widgets by default
User Feedburner for your RSS feeds without installing any plugins or editing the .htaccess file
Share your world online by showing your social networking links in your site’s header - all by simply copying and pasting in your social networking sites’ URLs.
Add your tracking code into the footer with a simply copy and paste.
To wrap it up—if you are looking for an easy to use and maintain online catalog for your music—check out the solution mentioned in this article. Not only is it easy to set up, it also uses the familiar WordPress functions that most bloggers are comfortable with: creating a post, adding images, and categorizing posts. With a few other details (adding album description, copying and pasting the image URL, and copying and pasting the Buy button code)—you have a dynamic catalog solution!