Blogging is a great way to market your online store. Blogs not only help draw organic search traffic to your site, but they are a great way to create a strong community around your brand. The CoreCommerce blog provides many useful tips on how to create a blog for your business that generates new leads and fosters a strong community around your brand. One quick helpful hint: Don't post promotional material. Post content people want to read, like tutorials, how-tos, interviews, videos, top ten lists, etc.
CoreCommerce has a built-in blogging platform. However, we also recognize that Wordpress is one of the top blogging platforms on the market, so we integrate with Wordpress also. Below are instructions both for building out the CoreCommerce blog or for integrating your Wordpress blog into your online store.
First, here's how to set up the built-in blogging platform:

First, take a look at what your blog is going to look like. To see your blog from the customer's perspective, go to [store URL]/cart.php?m=blog_post_list. Just substitute the [store URL] with the actual URL of your web store, e.g. http://mystorename.corecommerce.com/cart.php?m=blog_post_list.

There are three main parts to the CoreCommerce blog feature: posts, blog categories, and comments.

Categories

Blog categories help you organize your posts into an intuitive and easy to navigate the
hierarchy. To set up and access your blog categories:

  • Log in to the admin panel of your online store.
  • ​Click on Site Content (left-hand menu) and click on Categories under the "Blog" section.
 
 
  • Click the Add New button to add a new category.
  • Enter the category name and metadata (including title, description, and keywords), if desired.
  • When done, click one of the Save & Finish.​

Here are some of the characteristics of blog categories:

  • You can create numerous blog categories but no subcategories.
  • Blog categories work with multiple languages.
  • Every post can be assigned to multiple categories.

Posts

To create or access your blog posts:

  • Log in to the admin panel of your online store.
  • ​Click on Site Content (left-hand menu) and click on Posts under the Blog section.
  • Click the Add New button to add a new post.
  • Under the General tab, you can input the title, select the status, add tags, and enter metadata.
  • To enter your post content, click the Description tab in the left-side navigation. You can also enter a teaser, which will display on the blog post list page.

Here are some highlights of blog posts.

  • Blog posts work with multiple languages.
  • Blog posts can be assigned to any number of blog categories.
  • The post teaser shows up below its title on the post listing page.
  • The post description shows up on the post detail page. The user can get there via a direct link or by clicking on the post's title on a post listing page.
  • All posts you add in the admin will automatically show up on the front end of your store.
  • You can quickly view all comments tied to a specific post (explained in the Comments section).
 Comments

Visitors to your site can look at post listings, check out individual posts, and leave feedback if they desire. When a user submits a post comment, it is saved in the system, but is not displayed on the front end of your store until it has been approved by an admin user. This helps you avoid having your blog flooded by spam or malicious content.
To get to your blog comments:

  • Log in to the admin panel of your online store.
  • Click on Site Content (left-hand menu) tab and click on Comments under the Blog section

Here are some highlights of blog post comments.

  • When a user submits a comment they'll be able to specify their name and feedback. Both fields are required.
  • When a comment is first saved, it's assigned a "Pending" status which will keep it from showing up on the front end.
  • When you edit a comment as an admin, you can only change its status. The two statuses are "Pending" and "Active."
  • You can view all comments for a single post by going to the Posts section in the admin, using the search to find the post you're interested in, mousing over that post's row (the row will turn blue), mousing over the gear icon that appears and clicking on View Comments in the drop down menu.

Tags

A tag is a label that you can add to your blog posts in addition to placing them into categories. Whereas categories tend to be more broad, grouping posts according to general themes, tags are more specific to each post (similar to keywords). For example, let's say you occasionally feature recipes on your blog, so you have a category called "Recipes" and that's where you place all of your recipe posts. If you were to post a recipe for, say, chicken parmesan, you would use tags that are specific to that recipe, like "chicken," "pasta," "Italian," etc. If it's a recipe for a breakfast casserole, you might use tags like "breakfast," "casserole," "eggs," "bacon," etc.

There are two ways to create tags:

  • When you create a post, you will be able to create new tags, or browse through a list of existing tags.​
  • You can click on Tags under the Site Content section to create new tags, and here you can also provide metadata for the tags.

You can also add a Blog Tags widget to your left or right sidebar (see next section for more information).

Widgets

There are a few widgets you can include in your design to help users consume your blog information. To include these in your store:

  • In your CoreCommerce admin, Click Design tab and click on Sidebar Widgets.​​​
  • In the drop-down in the middle, choose List Widgets and you'll see three widgets: "Blog Categories," "Blog Archives," and "Blog Tags."​
  • Drag these to the left or right sidebar and click Save when done

The "Blog Categories" widget will display a list of all blog categories you've added in the admin. When a user clicks on one of the categories, they'll be taken to a paginated list of all posts that are tied to that category. The posts will be presented in a descending order (newest first).

The "Blog Archives" widget will display a list of all months you have created a post in. The list will use a month year format and group dates by month (so if you created multiple posts in a single month, that date will only show up once in the widget). When a user clicks on one of the dates, they'll be taken to a paginated list of all posts that were created in that month and year. The posts will be presented in a descending order (newest first).

The "Blog Tags" widget will display all of your tags in alphabetical order, and tags that are tied to more posts will be in a larger font size than the other tags.

If you would like to incorporate a Wordpress blog into your online store:
  • Sign up for a blog at Wordpress.
  • Once you create an account, you will be given a domain name like mydomain.wordpress.com.
  • If you want to use a sub-domain to mask the Wordpress URL, you need to go to the domains link in Wordpress and enter in your sub-domain record (e.g. blog.mydomain.com).
The next step is to configure your domain to work with Wordpress:
  • Log in to the admin panel of your online store.
  • Click on  at the top right of the admin panel and click on Domains.
  • From there, click on "Manage" and then "Add Subdomain (CNAME/A)."
  • Enter the sub-domain (blog, myblog, etct) and then enter host name given to you by Wordpress like mydomain.wordpress.com.

Note: To properly set up your blog, you will first need to have your DNS settings pointed to our servers. Then follow the directions above and and set up your CNAME subdomain. We can also setup a custom designed Wordpress blog for you. If you are interested, please contact our sales department.