New Users Guide

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You’ve signed up for IndieCommerce, so while you're waiting for your new site….

It can be helpful to brainstorm ideas so that  you’ll be able to begin working as soon as you receive your site.  

  • Get an idea of the pages you'll want to put together, create a 'family tree' with different pages, and how you want to link them.
  • Take a look at other IndieCommerce stores; while some have custom themes, many are using the templates built into the site.  Make a list of traits you like, and how you can put your own store's spin on it.
  • If you'd like to write some of the content in advance--a store history, for example-- be sure to type it in a plain text editor such as Notepad, to ensure a clean text transfer.

Once you receive your site…start building!

Once your site has been created, you will receive an email with a link to your new website, and instructions on how to create an account on the site. You’ll need to create the account, and then respond to the email message, indicating which email address you used to create the account.  An IndieCommerce team member will locate your new account via the email address you’ve provided, and assign you administrator access for your site. Once granted access, you may begin working on your site.

Suggested steps to getting started:

  • Check your store information. 

Go to Site Configuration> Site Information.  Verify that the information is correct, and if you wish,  add your slogan and/or mission statement.

There are many kinds of themes; some are more flexible than others.  Think about what is important for your store, what flexibility you have when deciding on colors, what type of layout you’d prefer for the dropdown menus, etc.  These are all items to consider when choosing the theme.

  • Create a "Welcome Block"

It’s very important to make it easy for customers to find your contact information. Be sure to include your address, phone number, email, and store hours, and be sure to place the block in a highly visible location on the site

Tip: The top left corner is the first place people generally look when they visit a sit., This location is a great place to display the most important information on your site.

  • Get rid of “Welcome to Drupal...”

A ‘node’ is any type of content that has an associated web address.  A ‘page’, ‘event’ or ‘product’ has a URL that you can visit, and are nodes.  A ‘block’ on the other hand, is displayed on different ‘nodes’.  In order to remove the ‘Welcome to Drupal...’ message, a node needs to be promoted to the front page.  Put together a page that you would like your customer to see when they first arrive on your site, then select ‘promote to front page’ in the publishing options.

  • Add more nodes

Refer back to your ‘Family Tree’, and start adding more content.  As you add new pages, make sure they are added to the ‘Primary Links’ menu (or a new one you have created).  The pages don’t have to be totally finished, and can be left up as placeholders so you can visually see how your site is coming together.

Tip: Always be sure to change the ‘Input Format’ to ‘Rich Text Editing’ to ensure that images and formatting display correctly.

  • Add what’s happening at your store

Post different types of events by going to Content Management> Create Content> Event.  If you’re hosting an author signing, be sure to add some of their titles using the Booklist tool.

Tip: Do you take photos at special events?  If so upload them after the event is over, share them on Facebook or Twitter, or other social media, to drive traffic back to your site.

There are lots of helpful blocks that are available in the  the ‘disabled’ section of Blocks, including: the ‘Next List’, Catalog, View Mobile Version, and Calendar of Events blocks.  

Tip: Blocks don’t have to display on every page, use the ‘path’ of a page to set the display settings on individual blocks to create a dynamic website.

You can create classes for different types of products to help organize them.

When you are ready to launch…

Email, and we’ll help you get started with some changes to your domain name.  We’ll also set up a training session that will cover store pricing, shipping methods, and order processing.  

Keep in mind, you don’t need EVERYTHING on the site before you launch, just enough to make it look presentable to your customer.  You can always add new items later; the key to offering a useful site is keeping it fresh and updating information regularly.

About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.




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