The first thing to do is go to the "Tools" category of your store control panel and use the "Backup" tools to make a backup of your database. Store it on the server and store one on your local computer, just in case. Always good to have extra backups, always. Then now worries about screwing anything up. If you do, just use phpmyadmin or any database importmethod to import the .sql file into your mysql database. It's good to make backups of your database any time you make some changes all the time. Next is your sales tax. This is probably the most confusing thing it seems. It is the "Locations/Taxes>Tax Rates" selection in the control panel. Default is set to have Utah as the only "Tax Zone" selected. For that it will charge 6.7% sales tax on anything which is defined as a "taxable good." Zones and taxable goods are things that you can add in if necessary, for example if Utah starts requiring merchants to start charging the sales tax rate for each county differently. For now you need only edit the name of the Zone, "Utah" to be the name of the zone you would like. Then edit your tax rate based on the city you charge sales tax in to whatever percentage necessary. Then go to your "Configuration" for your store settings and check to see that the zone your store is located in is the correct "Zone." Default is Utah.
Check your "Configuration>Shipping/Packaging" settings and edit them as necessary.
Edit your "Affiliates" information. Enter the email address you would like to use for all affiliate correspondence. Edit the example percentages or rate of commissions you will pay to affiliates.
Go to the "Modules>Shipping" and select the shipping modules you want to use. For USPS they require that you set up an account with them. UPS does not require this. Enable all modules that you want your customers to be able to select. from and the order you'd like them displayed in.
There are a lot more configuration variables to choose from, but these are the basic necessities. You should check over them all and change any you want. Image sizes, maximum values and minimum values for things. They are all changeable.
If you are selling downloadable goods then you will first upload the file to be downloaded into the "download" folder on your server using an ftp program. FileZilla is a good free one. Wsftp95 is also very good if you don't already have one. Another way to use ftp is to enter a link into your browser in this format:
Downloads Controller Orders Status Value
is 2. This means that all payment methods that set the orders_status value to >=2 will allow immediate downloads.
Anything less than 2 will result in the Download being unavailable and the display of the:
Downloads Controller Download on hold message to be displayed.
Notes about individual modules:
Actually PayPal fees are the best I know of ..but! Some people just don't like them. As far as how it works with your shopping cart, it accepts credit cards like anything else but for some people they still don't like them. 2Checkout is another good online payment module and then if you're looking for a merchant account, shop around. They use all of a few gateways and I would shop first then plug it in. Once you sign up with a merchant account, plugging it in is usually easier than the PayPal one you already entered your information.
Autoload is fully search engine compliant and optimized for search engine results. The way this has been achieved is through specifying exact title, description, and keyword settings for important pages like your index.php page, or your home page. Any page you specify using "Page Control" will override both the manually entered meta tag settings from your products as well as any dynamically generated tags. When using "Fill Tags" you can choose from several options. Adjust the Header tags which will override dynamically generated meta tags for specific pages. These are pages you want to specify specific meta tags for your site. Read the directions carefully and assume that the default settings are what you probably want, with the exception of the changing of your store specific titles, descriptions, and keywords. When you click on the "Header Tags" menu item in the control panel you have several options:
Page Control - This page allows you to stop using manually specified meta tags for specified pages. You can also add pages to the list.
Text Control EN, ES, DE - This is where you can modify the text which will be used by search engines for specific pages like index.php or all_products.php for each language; English, Espanol, and Deutsch.
The HTTA, HTDA and HTKA are switches used to determine if the default text in
the english/header_tags.php file will be displayed. If they are unchecked (set to 0)
then only the text you have set for that page will be displayed. If you set them
(all or any), then the default text will be added to the page you have set for that
page. For example, if the default text says "Home - Autoload" and you have "My Home"
set for the title of your index page, then with HTTA set on, the title will appear as
My Home Home - Autoload
while if HTTA is set off, the title will be
To use EasyPopulate You should first make a database backup using the "Tools>Backup" utility. Do this because the chances of your making a mistake while adding products is great. Next go to "Catalog>EasyPopulate" in your control panel. Select "Download Complete tab-delimited .txt file to edit." This will give you all of the fields that are used in your shopping cart and acts as a template for adding more products. It is a good idea to manually add one product so that it is clear how everything is arranged in the file. To view this tab delimited file, use a spreadsheet program like Google Spreadsheets (online and free) or Open Office Spreadsheets. When you open the file you will see all the necessary information and how it is arranged and use this to add your products, one per line. When you are finished, use "Upload EasyPopulate File" to import your catalog. To add the images requires a seperate process for uploading to the server. Use an ftp client such as FileZilla for uploading into the images directory. Just upload them to the directory and assuming you have correctly specified the correct filenames they will appear in your catalog. If you are not yet a Froogle user, now is a good time to get some free advertising. First you need an account available through froogle.com Download a Froogle compatible file and then use your ftp client to upload it to the ftp site designated by Froogle.
PayPal or Credit/Debit Card
The best way to let your customers pay using PayPal is via the PayPal IPN module, selectable in your control panel as the "PayPal or Credit/Debit Card" module. To use it you should disable the standard PayPal module and only enable the PayPal or Credit/Debit Card module. Payment modules are enabled and edited through the Modules>Payment selection in the control panel and you can select multiple payment options depending on your ability to accept payments. PayPal is probably the most common and also requires the most setup work. However, if you carefully follow these instructions your PayPal module will work as any other payment method would, even allowing your customers to pay you with PayPal but without creating a PayPal account and addresses the fact that a lot of buyers do not want to create a PayPal account.
PayPal Account Configuration: Set Your PayPal account to the defaults.
AutoReturn. You need not enable the auto-return feature in your PayPal account. This is the default in PayPal.
You do NOT need to enable the IPN in your PayPal account as all the required information is sent by the module. If you do wish to activate it, then the notify URL is the pathway to the /ext/modules/payment/paypal/ipn.php file. A typical setup of Payment Receiving Preferences at PayPal's site is shown below:
Note: If you uninstall and re-install Autoload after making real transactions then you will need to either increase your order ID or switch your preferences in PayPal's Seller Payment Receiving Preferences to temporarily not check the order ID by selecting " No, allow multiple payments per invoice ID" then after you have received enough orders to surpass the number of tests that you had in a previous install you can set it back to checking the order ID. Alternatively you can manually increase the order id to a higher number than previous install.
You can configure the number of featured products displayed per page or turn off the displaying of featured products in the Configuration>Featured section of the control panel. By default, products will be randomly displayed but within each category will be featured products from that category only. If there are no featured products within that category, then new products will be shown in lieu of featured products.
Auctionblox eBay Auction Manager
To start using Auctionblox to manage your eBay listings, click on the Auctionblox tab in the control panel and proceed to install on your system. Follow instructions and configure accordingly.
To start using the Quickbooks import features, click the link, Catalog>QBI Import in the control panel. You must go to the configuration page and click "update" before using it.