There are numerous steps to complete when preparing your Cart.com site for live orders. This article provides a checklist that can be reviewed so you can reach your Go Live goal line!
This article will cover the following:
- Creating your Product Catalog
- Picking and setting your Site Theme
- Content Pages
- Payment Methods
- Shipping Methods
- Coupons, Discounts, and Sales
- Order Statuses
- Setting up custom Emails
- Customizing your Site Domain
- SEO setup
- Site Security
- Creating a Test Order
Storefront Setup Wizard
The Storefront Setup Wizard is available on the Storefront Dashboard page and looks like this:
This setup wizard goes through:
- Products and Categories Setup
- Shipping and Warehouse Setup
- Payment and Tax Setup
- Site Customization
- Site Launch
Set up Secure File Transfer
Cart.com comes with a File Browser in the Admin Console however in a development environment such as Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression/Front Page it can be easier to use an SFTP client. Check out SFTP for Bulk Uploads & Downloads for more information.
Product Catalog Setup
- Enter or import all your products. Edit your product details and set up categories for your items.
- If you have an existing site, map your old product URLs: Export your old urls, give each a new custom URL and import these URL mappings into the redirect module for an easy way to map old to new product links. This avoids having to map old product IDs to their Cart.com equivalent ID saving time.
- Be sure to add as much descriptive text about your products as possible for good SEO
- Upload any product images in mass via FTP or individually via the file explorer, or auto-associate them based on their name.
Customize your Theme
- Cart.com offers numerous options to help customize your online store, including experts in HTML and CSS. Please click here for a quote.
- If you purchased an implementation, quickstart, theme rollover, or design package, Cart.com online store personnel will log into your site to set up the required portions and make desired theme edits.
- It's a good idea to have some products and categories on your site before the design process starts so the entire site can be tested and seen in its entirety.
- Test your site in multiple internet browsers and devices to verify your theme.
- PC browsers
- Phone browsers
- Tablet browsers
- More information is available through our Catalog & Products Help Articles.
Add Content Pages and Page Information
Cart.com online stores offer generic content pages to add to your store as a starting point for showcasing content.
Examples are shipping, company policies, pricing information, and articles about your store or products.
- Directed Search: What is it and why should I use it?
- How To Syndicate (push) Your Blog Posts to Facebook and Twitter.
- How To Change Top Navigation Links
- Setting Up A New Menu Or Link Group
- Adding Custom Store Text and Labels
- Creating and Modifying Content Page
- How can I include a link to an external custom HTML file?
Set up Payment Methods
- Credit card processing requires payment gateway information to be entered and working correctly.
- You can go live without automatically processing the credit cards and process them manually if you have a terminal.
- Some gateways require keys, tokens, and other authorization. All information is entered on the payment method setup page in Cart.com online stores.
- How to: Disable Payment Methods for Certain Products
- How-To: Process Payments in Cart.com online stores.
- Set Up A Payment Gateway To Only Authorize
- Payment Methods Overview
- How do I issue a refund or void a transaction?
- Setting Up PayFlow Pro
- What are CVV Authentication Codes and why are they not stored?
- Creating a Custom Payment Method
- How to Accept Credit Cards
- How do I setup Cart.com online stores to use a payment gateway such as Authorize.net?
- Supported Payment Gateways / Payment Methods and their specific setup information
- More Payment Articles
Set up Shipping Providers and Rates
Each provider such as UPS, USPS, FedEx, is required to be set up to pull rates from their shipping interfaces. Flat fee or rate table shipping rates can be set up through Custom Shipping Methods.
- UPS Freight Ground Integration
- Providing Tracking Numbers In Notifications
- Creating multiple shipments from a single order
- How to Create FPO/APO Shipping Method
- FedEx Account Setup Getting a new meter number
- How To Set Up Live Shipping Rates
- Shipping Overview
- How to remove all instances of shipping cost and cost calculators
- Shipping Region Setup
- How do I get UPS Negotiated Rates?
- How To Make A Free Shipping Option
- Please Select Shipping Method... But no options appear in the dropdown box... What do I do?
- Breakout Shipping
- How do I Ship a Product for Free?
- Defining Warehouses
- Product Specific Shipping Settings
- Custom Shipping Methods
Set up Taxes
Set your state tax rate(s) or hook up a tax provider like TaxCloud or Avalara for automated calculations.
- How do I set up Tax Cloud?
- What are the tax options that Cart.com online stores provide?
- What are Global Regions and How are They Set Up?
- How to set up tax rates and how do they work?
Set up Coupons, Discounts, Sales, or Special Offers
Create coupon codes, adcodes, gift certificates and more! Find out how to create discounts here.
- Visit the frontend of your site and add items to the cart, calculate totals and check out.
- Use our standard test credit card number to force the order into the system and past gateway checks, 4111-1111-1111-1111
- Test with your gateway to ensure proper authorization and captures of orders
Cart.com online stores have several email fields in the admin console where you specify your email address for order confirmations, warehouse notifications, and other notifications. We do not host domain email services but most domain registrars offer an option to add an email service to your domain.
The Cart.com online stores application uses sendgrid.net to send emails to your customer from the store email address you specify at Settings > Store Information > Store Email. Be sure to add the following SPF record to your domain DNS that matches this email address so that emails originating from your store to your customers are treated as if they came from your email domain. Add a TXT record with the following value: v=spf1 include:sendgrid.net ~all. If you already have an SPF record just add the following in the existing TXT record: include:sendgrid.net.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important for your site visibility in order to draw more customers. For existing sites, please ensure your old URLs are redirected using a combination of our Global Redirect module and our Custom URLs module.
Secure your Site
SSL Certificates serve three primary functions:
- Secure private information between the web servers and the customers as they browse the site by using encryption.
- Secure the administration console so sensitive passwords, credit card numbers, and customer data cannot be intercepted.
- Provide a logo on the site that shows your customers that you protect their data. Some certificate logos go as far as to display that you are a legitimate company.
How do SSL Certificates work and what are my options?
Free Shared SSL
When your Cart.com online store is first delivered to you the store's secure domain is set to the Cart.com online store domain http://sitename.americommerce.com and uses the Cart.com online stores shared SSL certificate. This is a free service we offer to make sure your site is secure from the beginning. When a customer visits a secure link during checkout, they will be transferred seamlessly to "yourstorename.americommerce.com", and back again once they leave the secured area. There is no SSL logo with this method. There is nothing additional that you need to do to configure this option, we maintain the SSL.
The Cart.com Automated SSL is a new feature that we are proud to offer from our partnership with Cloudflare. Our Automated SSL feature offers all of our customers a Domain Validated SSL certificate from their custom domain name for a fraction of the price of a standard SSL certificate, while also preventing expiration and renewal problems. Instead of an annual expiration date like other certificates, you can opt-in for this to be added to your monthly plan and never worry about renewing or expiration dates.
Purchase a dedicated SSL certificate
If you have your own SSL certificate, customers stay on your domain name the entire time they visit the site, and you can display a SSL logo. Some SSL certificates come with a static logo, others display your company name, and others are interactive, when clicked display information directly from the certificate authority. Most certificates also come with fraud insurance. Choose a certificate and place your order.
Provide your own dedicated SSL certificate
Have your own SSL Certificate and want to have it applied to your Cart.com online store? Choose the 3rd party SSL Certificate service.
Customize your Site Domain
When your Cart.com online store is first delivered to you the store domain is set to the Cart.com online store domain http://sitename.americommerce.com. You can run your store on this domain or another domain or sub-domain (i.e. shop.domainname.com). We call the process of directing traffic from a domain or sub-domain to your site the 'go live' process, it is the last step after you have completed all other preparations.
If you don't already have a domain name reserved you can submit a request to Cart.com online stores to check name availability and pay to reserve an available domain name or use a domain registrar to reserve a domain name. Let us know in your Go Live support request if you already have a domain/sub-domain that you want to use as the store domain.
When you are ready to begin directing traffic to your site and drop ".americommerce.com" and become for example "www.sitename.com." You can take the site live within the admin dashboard.
Note: 301 redirects need to be removed prior to the Go Live task.
If you already have a live site, traffic will be redirected away from the current web host to Cart.com online stores unless you plan on setting the Cart.com online store as a sub-domain value on your existing domain, retaining your existing web hosting environment but adding the eCommerce component.
To reach the Go Live section in the admin console, navigate to Settings > Store Information > Domain Control.
You'll be taken to the domain control page and here you can select the storefront to Go Live with and start the process. SSL management options are also found on this page.
Note: To set a custom domain and choose SSL options you must be signed up with a Cart.com plan. You can sign up for a plan with one of our helpful associates here!
Going Live Process
- Set your Custom Domain
- Start by going to: Settings > Store Information > Domain Control
- Next, click Setup Custom Domain
- Enter your Custom Domain name
Note: If you are using a subdomain name, such as shop or store, DO NOT add the www, your custom name would be shop.mycustomdomain.com
- Verify your Custom Domain
- Choose your Site Security
- You will need to select the option to use our $5/Month AutoSSL
- For more information about installing your own SSL, you can check out: Purchasing & Installing an SSL
- Verify all information from the above steps are correct and that you have access to your domain’s DNS settings.
- Point your Domain to Cart.com
- You will be given the CNAME to add to your DNS
- Click Finish!
Required DNS Records
Naked Domain DNS:
You will need to point a CNAME for @ to stores.americommerce.com
CNAME Flattening allows a CNAME record to be created for the root domain without violating DNS specifications. This will need to be used if you wish to use a naked domain as your custom domain with Cart.com.
Most registrars do not allow CNAME flattening for root domain names, some services such as CloudFlare, Easy DNS and Amazon AWS allow some form of name flattening.
Cart.com partners with CloudFlare to use their CDN's speed and security. CloudFlare offers free accounts that can be used to manage your DNS, and make use of the CNAME flattening feature.
Subdomain Only DNS:
If you are using your domain name to host an existing website external from Cart.com, and your store will be a separate site, then you would only need the CNAME record listed below. However, it would be pointed to shop, or store, instead of www. This allows you to use a sub-domain name such as store.example.com or shop.example.com.
If you are using a domain name such as example.com for your store, and www.example.com, will also point to your store, then your use is normal, and you should proceed with the next section.
To configure your existing DNS records for your store, you need to use the Static IP configuration. This method requires adding, or editing, 3 DNS records at your domain name registrar.
v=spf1 include:sendgrid.net ~all
If you get stuck along the way or have any issues with the go live process, please give our support department a call at 1-800-936-9006 or submit a support ticket.