WordPress and CiviCRM integration

If you are choosing a CMS system, WordPress is now a very popular choice.

If you want to use the open-source CRM system CiviCRM, WordPress has been an option as a front-end for a few years. But how integrated are they?

Once installed, CiviCRM keeps your WordPress Users synchronized with corresponding CiviCRM contact records. The ‘rule’ is that there will be a matched contact record for each WordPress user record. Conversely, only contacts who are authenticated users of your site will have corresponding WordPress user records.

When CiviCRM is installed on top of an existing WordPress site, a special CiviCRM Administrative feature allows you to automatically create CiviCRM contacts for all existing WordPress users.

WP plugins for CiviCRM
WP plugins for CiviCRM

The current list of plugins that give extra functionality when linking the two systems together can be found at https://wordpress.org/plugins/tags/civicrm

CiviCRM Admin Utilities

Fixes the menus so that they appear in the standardised WordPress way. It also allows you to choose which Post Types the CiviCRM shortcode button appears on

 

CiviCRM WordPress Profile Sync

Keeps a WordPress and/or BuddyPress user profile in sync with a CiviCRM contact. The synchronisation takes place regardless of whether the changes are made in WordPress, BuddyPress or CiviCRM.

CiviCRM WordPress Member Sync

Keep WordPress users in sync with CiviCRM memberships by granting either a role or capabilities to users with that membership. This enables you to have, among other things, members-only content on your website that is only accessible to current members as defined by the membership types and status rules that you set up in CiviCRM.

CiviCRM Contribution Page Widget

Displays contribution page widgets from CiviContribute as native WordPress widgets. This plugin makes it easy to include one or more contribution page “widgets” as actual WordPress widgets on your sidebar.

CiviEvent Widget

Display widgets for CiviCRM events: the next public event or a whole list. You can include the widgets in the sidebar like normal, or you can include them via shortcodes in the body of your posts.

Because of the huge number and ever-changing nature of community contributed WordPress plugins, CiviCRM cannot guarantee compatibility with contributed plugins. A list of know incompatibilities can be found at  WordPress plugins incompatible with CiviCRM.

Find out more about CiviCRM Hosting from 2020media at http://www.2020media.com/shared-hosting/civcrm-hosting – full support for WordPress-based CiviCRM sites.

Creating an WordPress affiliate site with WooCommerce

Guest post by 2020Media customer Andy Clark

My wife Rebecca asked me to setup a website for her that could showcase some silk flowers. As a way of judging interest for this market we decided to build it using affiliate links.

I had built affiliates sites before using hand crafted PHP and HTML, but as I would not be managing the site myself something easier would be needed. The site needed to be flexible to grow and change with the business and low maintenance.

We asked 2020Media to provide a managed WordPress site and register the domain. That service comes with managed upgrades, backups as well as some handy plugins for images, SEO and analytics. 2020Media also provided us with quality WordPress themes from CSSIgniter and the selected theme was installed by Rex. The themes had all the features you would expect from a modern theme such as responsive design and easy to use widgets.

After experimenting with custom post types and an affiliate plugin, I realised that the theme had built in support for WooCommerce and that in turn supports affiliate links. After installing the WooCommerce plugin the setup adds in all the pages needed for the shop.

Product-edit

The plugin allows you to categorise and enter the products. As there was only a handful of products these were entered manually, import tools are available if you have many to enter. When entering the products you need to select the external/affiliate option, enter the SKU and affiliate link and set a product image. Additional information can be added in the product short description which will allow people to find things via the search.

The theme is responsible for the display of the shop and products. It can be configured and customised without any need for coding. A simple bit of styling was added to hide the shopping cart and the site was configured to show the shop on the home page. A product search widget was added in the sidebar and the product categories were added to the menu.

product-detail
All in all a very easy way to get an affiliate site up and running and it provides a solid platform going forward. The whole thing was up and running in a few hours.

Thank you Andy, we hope the added benefits of our Managed WordPress service enable you to get this site to the top of the search engines! Check out the finished site at http://www.becasblooms.co.uk/

 

 

So Your Client Wants a WordPress Slider? Here’s What You Need to Know

Whether you love them or hate them, sliders are still a popular feature of many free and premium themes. It’s not too difficult to see why: they’re eye-catching and draw attention to key information on your site. Despite the pros, there are many cons to using sliders. Here’s our verdict on whether you should use sliders or not.

Source: So Your Client Wants a WordPress Slider? Before You Cringe, Here’s What You Need to Know

Old-skool slider - not responsive, not accessible...
Old-skool slider – not responsive, not accessible…

We love a slider so we don’t think they’re going to disappear so soon.

Migrating from Blogger to WordPress

This week we have a guest post from one of our clients, Andy Clark. Andy runs a popular blog called “WorkshopShed.com“, which is all about making things in the shed at the bottom of his garden.

Andy writes:

I’ve been running a blog on Blogger since 2008 with a custom domain sourced by 2020Media. I had been using a simple template with a few custom widgets.

The site was due a refresh but I also wanted to get more flexibility and control over the layout and content. There is a lot of power in the blogger templates but I specifically wanted to have different adverts and affiliate links displayed depending on country of visit. Blogger could not easily support that so I decided to swap to a self hosted WordPress.

screengrab of workshopshed.com
The new workshopshed.com WordPress website

I started my migration by learning about WordPress using a locally hosted virtual machine, it had been a few years since I’d looked at this particular CMS.

Next I put together a list of all the things I wanted to move across, posts, pages, comments, images, links and all of the functionality I wanted in the new site.

I checked that the latest WordPress platform was capable and looked at the tools needed for blog migration. Some of the things did not work well on my local VM so 2020 provided me a free hosted site for ease of testing. A simple theme was selected and customised to meet my requirements.

At this point I asked a professional WordPress expert to review the site and we came up with a long list of issues. Some of the issues were technical and some regarding the content and structure of the site.

The issues were fixed and the site were gradually improved. A plan was drawn up for what needed to happen during the switchover. To ensure success, several practice runs were made to ensure the process would work and the posts displayed correctly.

I let 2020 know a week in advance of the migration and cleaned down the test site in preparation for the migration. The transfer of data did not take long and the rollout was finished ahead of plan. The last step was to get the team at 2020 to switch over the DNS and wait for the changes to ripple around the world.

Many thanks Andy.

Andy’s shed is a previous finalist of the “Shed of the year” awards, so we’re honoured to be hosting such a prestigous site.

If you’d like to know more about 2020Media’s WordPress hosting services, you can read about our UK WordPress services here.

We aim to make website migrations as pain-free as possible. To enable a seamless transition we provide free temporary domain names so the site can be fully tested before switching the actual website domain name. In addition, we are keen to help with migration, as we know this can be daunting for the non-technical. So we provide a free migration service – provide us with the login to your existing site and we’ll move it to our hosting, completely free of charge.