Building an e-commerce site in RapidWeaver 6 using the Cartloom Stack


(Sue Lee) #1

Hello

I’m feeling especially moronic where this is concerned, so do please bear with me…

I originally used the Cartloom plugin, and subsequently the Cartloom Stack, in my RW-built e-commerce website (www.pennychoo.com). Having upgraded to RW6 with a view to making my site responsive, however, I’ve found that my site won’t export because all of my all of my shop pages (and there are lots of them) still use the now defunct plugin, even though it long since stopped being supported. Deleting the plugin simply stops the pages from diplaying, so there seems little point in deleting the plugin and exporting a non-functionsing site to RW6. So I’m assuming that I have to start from scratch and build them all again, just using the Stack. (…do I?)

As I said, I have the current Cartloom Stack, but unlike the plugin, which created a structured page with frames which you simply populated with images, descriptions and snippets etc. the Stack doesn’t, and I don’t really know where to start. Presumably, I need to find a responsive theme with a good shop page template in it? Can anyone recommend one?

If there’s anyone who has built their shop in RW6, using Cartloom and a responsive theme, would you be able to point me at some helpful resources? I’ve looked on YouTube but the most recent Cartloom video is from 5 years ago, and I can’t find any discussions on here that really address this specifically.

Thanks in advance,

Soo


(Fray) #2

This sounds like a pain, and I’m sorry you have to go through it. I had a similar migration with one of my sites a while back; transitioning from the Cartloom plugin to the Stack version. It was tricky at first, but once I got a bundle of stacks for one product configured in an aesthetically pleasing way, I could just copy and paste that multiple times and change the relevant snippets for different products. I used a combination of responsive column stacks, text stacks, image stacks, and the Cartloom stack all inside a 1-column stack that I could copy and paste. The whole thing was responsive, and in the end, I liked the look better than what the Cartloom plugin generated.

I don’t know if there are resources out there I could direct you to… Just have to dive in, I think.


(Fray) #3

Here’s what I was talking about. First, layout a single Cartloom product in Stacks. (Don’t forget to place and configure the “base script” version of the Cartloom stack):

Then, copy and paste the bundle you made (you can even make it into a template in stacks, or a “partial”) and adjust each duplicated Cartloom stack respectively for your various products. Then put them all in a responsive columns stack (If you’re using the @joeworkman’s Foundation theme, it would be great to have them in a Block Grid stack.)

And then you have a responsive web store! And this is hardly a fancy set-up; you could go nuts with light boxes on product images, or whatever strikes your fancy. Having all the stacks in your library available for product layout is kind of fun. Good luck!

(This screenshot is @elixir’s Hive theme, by the way.)


(Sue Lee) #4

Fray, that’s PERFECT! Thankyou so much for taking the time to help. I thought maybe I was just doing it all wrong, but no – it looks like you really do have to start with a blank canvas, so it’s sort of good news and bad news, and this helps enormously. Thanks again – you’ve saved me a LOT of aggro.

On a related topic, and for reasons I won’t bore you with, I also have PayLoom2 (PL3 is now available) which doesn’t require a monthly subscription and which looks to me like it provides you with the more structured shop template that Cartlom lacks. I have’t used it until now bcause it didn’t have the stock control feature that Cartloom provides (ie it won’t sell anything you don’t have in stock) but I think that with the arrival of PL3, this might now be a feature. Not sure if you (or anyone else) has used PayLoom, and if you have, would this work as well given that my shop requirements are pretty basic? (ie no variables, no digital downloads etc)

Thanks again
Soo


(Sue Lee) #5

Okay – update: PayLoom doesn’t support stock control, and really, I think I’ve finally had enough of Cartloom. Time to find someone who might appreciate my custom. I’m thinking of RapidCart – can anyone recommend it?


(Joe Workman) #6

Great post @Fray! Thanks for helping out.

If you don’t want to use the Cartloom stack, you can simply get the add to cart link from inside your product snippets in Cartloom. Then you can add that url to any Button stack that you like.

Hope that this helps a little as well.


(Fray) #7

I’ve used @yabdab’s PayLoom 3 (Pro) and @gibo’s RapidCart 3 (and RapidCart Pro), and they’re both very close in functionality. Some things are easier in one than the other, and sometimes one will get a certain feature before the other, but for the most part it boils down to personal taste and which one you find easier to set up and use. But, to my knowledge, neither of them tracks inventory (yet). As far as I know, only Cartloom does stock control. I’d love to be corrected if I’m wrong.


(Sue Lee) #8

Thanks @joeworkman and @Fray – all really handy stuff! My biggest gripe with Cartloom is the poor customer support and the fact that I have to come here and get answers to my questions from nice, helpful people like you! The problem is that I’ve input all my products into Cartloom, so while I’m being forced to rebuild all of my shop pages, I don’t really want to add to my workload by having to reinput all of my products aswell. I’m interested in what you’re saying, @joeworkman – I’m a bit of an eager Luddite where this stuff is concerned so I’ll go and research Button stacks. Not quite understanding who would manage the checkout part if not Cartloom, though…?

Thanks again both.
Soo


(Sue Lee) #9

@fray Sorry, me again. If I wanted to incorporate a magnified or multiple view into this (my shop pages), would this require any coding? If so, I wonder if I’d be better off with something a bit more ‘ourt of the box’…? (Although I see that @joeworkman does a magnification stack…!)

Thanks
Soo


(Fray) #10

No coding required – that’s why we’re all here! Stacks can do those things. Yeah, @joeworkman has a ton of image effect stacks, light boxes and sliders.

Here’s the Stacks Edit screen using a Gyro 2 slideshow in place of a static product image:

And then when you publish there’s a cool slideshow with four images (or as many as you want):

His Expose stack would make an elegant lightbox effect, too. (You could include text saying “Click to enlarge” under the trigger image.)

Anyway, that’s what I meant when I said Stacks makes it fun to build product pages using the Cartloom stack. You might try using @Elixir’s “Bloom” stack for a cool effect on your product shots; it sort of combines a multi-image slider with a slick magnify effect.

Support can be tough with super busy developers, but that’s what these forums are for!

(As for what @joeworkman said regarding using a button stack, I believe he was talking about the code snippets that Cartloom.com will generate for each product. Those snippets can be pasted into to any button stack, as an alternative to using the default Cartloom stack to provide a button. You’d still be using Cartloom.com, but you wouldn’t be using their stack for your “add to cart” buttons.)


(Sue Lee) #11

@fray – again, thanks! I’m sorry, after I’d posted that, I went and looked at @joeworkman site and saw loads of stuff that would be perfect, and was going to come back and delete my post – (rule #1: research first, ask later…) I’ve already bought the Preview one and have my eyes on a few others so am now itching to go and get building – thanks again! I’m now off to have a look at the ones you recommend… Cheers.
Soo


(Fray) #12

No problem — glad it’s working out for you! Now this thread will be here for anyone else who searches for the same question! Good luck!


(Sue Lee) #13

Hello again @Fray – so I’ve been playing around and have set up some shop pages similar to your examples, and using a responsive theme, but my problem is that a 2 column page lloks pretty bad in iPone preview. I suppose I thought that being responsive, it would default to one column but it just stays as two (really narrow and ugly) columns. I’d ideally like a grid of products that looks good in full width view, but which still works well on the iPhone. Would the Joe Workman one you mentioned do this? I’m currently using the grid stack in RW6 and have everything set to flexible.
Thanks, again!
Soo


(Fray) #14

Yes, there are stacks, like @joeworkman’s responsive column stacks that allow you to specify the “break point” when two columns will rearrange into one. I thought the grid stack would rearrange itself, too, but maybe I’m thinking of a different grid stack.


(Marten Claridge ) #15

Hi Sue,

If you’re using Stacks 3 and the the built-in column stacks, then you need to use the Responsive controls in the Settings to set the breakpoints. See screenshot below.

If you’re researching stacks and want to see all the options available then simply go to StackCentral and enter Grid or Columns (or even Layout) in the Stack Category and you’ll see there’s a wide range of different options, one of which may better suit your particular needs.

Marten
RapidWeaver Central


(Sue Lee) #16

Marten – thanks! That little nugget of info has just saved me a load of time. Turns out I’m still using Stacks 2… This learning curve doesn’t ease off does it? I’m off to upgrade now and try that out.
Thanks again,
Soo


(Sue Lee) #17

One more question, Marten – I need to keep my current website going while I build my new responsive one and that uses Stacks 2. I’m reading that it’s a bad idea to have both versions of Stacks going at the same time. Will Stacks 3 be installed into RW6 and leave my existing RW5/Stacks2 site intact? Or will it updates the Stacks in there too? And would this affect the site at all? (sorry, that was lots of questions…!)

This person says no – just wondered if you agree?
http://cafe.yourhead.com/?qa=116/can-i-install-stacks-2-and-stacks-3-on-the-same-computer

Thanks
Sue


(Marten Claridge ) #18

That person just happens to be the genius behind Stacks, so I would pretty much agree with his advice. However, it can be tempered by the fact that in situations like these Isaiah is understandably going to err on the side of caution.

Me, I’m a fate-tempter and have both running — but I do have all kinds of backups running — and I know what I’m doing. If you don’t have regular backups to fall back on, or you feel any semblance of doubt about proceeding, then it would be better to be safe than sorry.

Yes, Stacks 3 will be installed into RW6 and leave your RW5/Stacks 2 project intact — as long as you have a separate project for each — ie, one project using RW6 and Stacks 3 and the other using RW5 and Stacks 2.

You can run them together if you have a big enough and powerful enough machine, or two machines even. Trying to do this on a laptop will really mess with your head, so don’t do it.

How often do you need to update your current site?

Marten


(Sue Lee) #19

Aha! So he p-r-o-b-a-b-l-y knows what he’s talking about… and in answer to your questions, I’m very much a designer first, and someone-who-only-built-their-own-website-because-I-need-to-update-it-all-the-time second, so if it all went wrong, I’d just be on here, crying, probably. I have an old Mac (G5) but it’s rammed to the max and has an SSD (but not a very fast processor) so I don’t know if I’d get away with it. And I only have one Mac, so I couldn’t have the projects on separate machines.

The projects would be separate, though, and I do backup remotely and regularly… so maybe I have to risk it? I suppose if I got my published site into a state where it was unlikely to need any edits (I can do stock control through Cartloom), then theoretically, I could get away with not opening it while I built the new one… but I can’t see it being a fast process.

Out of interest, when you install Stacks, does it just automatically install in the most recent version of RW? Or will only work with RW6 and so ignores all earlier versions?

Thanks again for your time and remember, if there’s anything you need to know about greetings card design…!?

Soo


(Sue Lee) #20

And finally, just to confirm: you can’t build a responsive site with Stacks 2, right? Regardless of the theme?
Thanks
S.