A step-by-step instruction-packed tutorial that teaches you to build a Joomla VirtueMart e-commerce web site through a practical example. Are you a Joomla! user who wants to build an e-commerce store? Do you have a Joomla! site and want to add e-commerce to it to sell products? Then this book is for you! The pre-requisites are simple. You should already know how to build a site with Joomla!, have a smattering of CSS/HTML and perhaps some PHP.
What you will learn from this book
- Install/Uninstall Joomla! components, plug-ins, and modules; install the VirtueMart component and its modules, to start building your store.
- Configure the shop, create and use the appropriate zones and currencies, configure payment methods, shipping methods, and taxes, which form part of the most essential shop functionalities.
- Manage manufacturers and vendors, products and product categories, and watch your VirtueMart shop take real shape with the products you want to sell.
- Configure user registration settings for VirtueMart, manage users and user groups, create and use order status types, view order statistics and order details, update orders, and manage inventory, which will ease your apprehensions about customer service.
- Install and configure new themes, customize the Joomla! template, customize VirtueMart themes and layouts, and use search engine friendly (SEF) URLs to attract more customers to your shop.
- Use VirtueMart’s promotional tools such as banner ads, specials, featured products, newsletters, product notifications, and more, which are important factors in determining the success of your business.
- Add further value to your shop by using different regions and region-specific taxes, multiple currencies, installing new languages, and translating the language of the site.
- Learn to add third-party extensions to further broaden VirtueMart functions for bulk import/export of products to your shop catalogue, update multiple product information at the same time using AJAX, and display slideshows with product images to spice up your shop further.
- Finally, learn to move the shop to your server, to back up and restore files and databases, and also about security, maintenance, and troubleshooting as a final step to complete your brand-new VirtueMart shop!
Chapter 1, Introduction to Joomla! and E-Commerce, introduces Joomla! and VirtueMart along with some other components similar to VirtueMart. This chapter describes Joomla!, its main features, and the e-commerce options in Joomla!. It also elaborates on VirtueMart and its features and lists alternatives to VirtueMart and the other shopping carts that can be used with Joomla!
Chapter 2, Installation and Basic Configuration of Joomla! and VirtueMart, explains installation of Joomla! and Virtuemart. It also teaches basic configuration of the VirtueMart component. This chapter describes the prerequisites for Joomla! and VirtueMart installation, installing and uninstalling Joomla! components, plug-ins, and modules. It also explains setting up basic configurations for a Joomla! site, installing the VirtueMart component and modules, and configuring basic options for a VirtueMart shop. At the end of this chapter, we will get a Joomla! site with the VirtueMart shopping cart installed.
Chapter 3, Configuring the VirtueMart Store, explains how to configure a VirtueMart shop. This chapter explains configuring the shop, creating and using appropriate zones, currencies, and locales, installing/uninstalling appropriate modules and configuring those followed by configuring payment methods, shipping methods, and taxes for the shop.
Chapter 4, Managing Product Catalogue, explains details about building a product catalogue and managing the catalogue for a VirtueMart store. This chapter teaches managing manufacturers and vendors, managing the product categories and products, creating and using product attributes, and creating and using product types. In this chapter, we are going to add and edit a lot of information about manufacturers, vendors, product categories, and products. In this chapter, the VirtueMart shop will take on a real shape with the products we want to sell.
Chapter 5, Managing Customers and Orders, discusses managing customers and orders. Specifically, it teaches configuring the user registration settings for VirtueMart, managing users for the VirtueMart shop, creating and managing fields for the customer registration form, creating and managing user groups, and creating and using order status types followed by viewing order statistics, viewing details of an order, updating an order, and managing inventory.
Chapter 6, Customizing Look and Feel, discusses customizing the look and feel of the shop. This chapter teaches installing and configuring new themes for the site, and also explains VirtueMart theming and layouts. It also deals with customizing VirtueMart themes and layouts, and using search engine friendly (SEF) URLs for your shop.
Chapter 7, Promotion and Public Relations, describes the promotion and public relations tools available for VirtueMart. This chapter teaches you to use VirtueMart’s promotional tools like banner ads, specials, and featured products, and also to use coupons to attract more customers. This chapter also explains how to use newsletters and product notifications to keep continuous communication with your customers and to use VirtueMart’s product review feature to express customer experiences.
Chapter 8, Localization of VirtueMart, deals with the localization of VirtueMart. This chapter enables you to understand the need for and importance of localization, to use different regions and region-specific taxes, to use multiple currencies for the shop, and to install new languages for the Joomla! site and the VirtueMart shop. This chapter also teaches you how to translate the language of the site as you require.
Chapter 9, Extending VirtueMart’s Functionalities, deals with third-party extensions to extend VirtueMart’s functionalities and tweaking some extensions to suit your need. This chapter teaches you to use the appropriate extension for bulk import/export of products to your VirtueMart shop catalogue and to use product tag clouds. This is followed by using testimonials and commenting to improve product review and using wholesaling. You also learn to use social networks and bookmarking sites to spread the news about your site. You learn to update multiple product information at the same time using AJAX. You can also spice up your shop by using the new visual cart module, display slideshows with product images, and include modules in the content items, after reading this chapter.
Chapter 10, Maintenance and Troubleshooting, teaches you the necessary maintenance tasks and common problems that can occur. You learn to move the shop to your server after building it on your local computer, back up and restore files and databases, and handle the security of your site. This is followed by identifying common problems, troubleshooting them, and finding solutions from the online forum.
Appendix A, Configuration Options and Resources, lists configuration options for shipping and payment modules for VirtueMart.