New Job, New Kid

Woke up this morning and saw a tweet @ me while heading out to work.

I accepted a position at FlowPress a couple weeks ago.  I start on November 7th and I’m crazy excited.  My dream the past couple of years has been to work for a WordPress agency remote.  My reasons:

  1. I love coding WordPress.  But in every job I’ve had I’ve been in charge or tasked in some way with digital marketing, banners and graphics, fixing co-worker computers and in the smaller companies helping move desks and furniture around.  I’m sick of this, I want to do what I’m good at and what I’m dedicated to.
  2. Why do all these jobs require me to come to an office? And why do I have to dress in a certain way? I sit in meetings that have nothing to do with me then I sit in my office and almost no one talks to me.  The times people do they could easily just call, email, text or smoke signal.  There is NO reason for me to drive some where every day.  Over the past three years I’ve been driving anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes each way to go sit in an office for no reason.

I work best when there’s no frivolous B.S. I have to deal with like a commute or dumb meetings about new rules surrounding the use of the office kitchen or what items should be in gift bags at a fund raising event… yes, these are actual meetings I’ve had at previous jobs as the WEBMASTER.

FlowPress

I’ll be a developer/engineer at FlowPress working strictly with WordPress systems.  This is my passion.  I cannot wait to start and look forward to being part of that team and growing with the company.

I’ve been chatting it up on Slack and made it to a couple of stand up meetings already.  I feel like I’m meshing well and will be a good fit.  We may actually be flying up to Toronto to hang with the team in person mid December!

August Knight

My start date was kind of floating.  My wife was due November 14th to bring our son into the world.  August Knight Flannagan decided to come three and a half weeks early and was born on October 21st at 8:51am.

While it was scary having a premature baby, he is completely healthy and so is momma.  I’m overjoyed to have him in our home and it’s cool he and I have birthdays only three days apart.

My wife had to go back into the hospital for 24 hours the day after we got home due to high blood pressure.  So I got to take care of him alone, overnight.  I was a nervous wreck but stayed strong and capable and we had an uneventful day/night together.

Perfect Timing

Honestly, his timing was perfect.  Now I’m able to start sooner with FlowPress.  We got our regiment down at home and I’ll be able to focus 100% when I start on Monday.

I was worried.  No one likes to start a new job with a bunch of unknowns being worked through at home.  If he came right as I was beginning my work with FlowPress I’d have been pulled away every day or two for a doctor appointment or to spend 24 hours alone with him while my wife was in the hospital or while figuring out sleeping patterns and so on.  The burden of dealing with that while starting this new venture is now gone!

So What’s Up

I’ll be dedicating myself to the new gig but keeping myself out there in the WordPress world as a contributor as well.  You will still find me blogging here and at The WP Crowd and I’m gonna try to up my Twitter game a bit.  I mean, I’ve been on there a year now, I should really start using it regularly.

WooCommerce Buy One Get One Half Off (50% Off) Hook/Plugin – IN PROGRESS

We have a deal coming up for all of November at my work.  Buy one, get one half off.  There’s no way to do this in vanilla WooCommerce.  I looked at Dynamic Pricing and it didn’t seem to offer this ability and if it did it was crazy complicated.  I looked at some other plugins out there and found one that may work but it was pro version only and I didn’t want to pay to find out.

I figured this is pretty straight forward need so why not write up a function real fast.  Here’s my train of thought followed by a code example.  This is only a proof of concept and I still need to add – price limits (items must be over a certain price for this to work), category limits and the ability to apply this more than once to an order.  But as of now it will take the second highest priced item and give it a 50% discount.  If you have two of the same item as the highest price it will discount the amount to make it the same as taking 50% off just one of the items.

First we need to hook into woocommerce_before_calculate_totals.  This way we can change the price on the cart and on the checkout.

add_action( 'woocommerce_before_calculate_totals', 'add_custom_price' );
function add_custom_price( $cart_object ) {

Then I set variables for highest price, quantity of that item, a counter so we know if the shopper has more than 1 item in our discount range (for future use with pricing bottoms) and next highest price item.

$highest_price_id = 0;
$highest_price_quantity = 0;
$cnt = 0;
$highest_price = 0;
$next_highest_price_id = 0;
$next_highest_price = 0;

I need to optimize this, there should be no need for looping the cart twice but in a hurry to prove the concept works this morning and get something ready for our promo I did it this way.  I loop through the cart and gather all my data: highest priced item, quantity and so on.  Then we loop the contents again and reduce price where needed.

foreach ( $cart_object->cart_contents as $key => $value ) {
   if( $value['data']->price > $highest_price ) {
      $highest_price = $value['data']->price;
      $highest_price_id = $value['product_id'];
      $highest_price_quantity = $value['quantity'];
      $cnt++;
   }

   if( $value['data']->price < $highest_price && $value['data']->price > $next_highest_price ) {
      $next_highest_price = $value['data']->price;
      $next_highest_price_id = $value['product_id'];
      $cnt++;
   }
}

The final loop we first check if:

  1. Highest priced item is more than 1 quantity and we are on it in the loop
  2. There’s no other item that’s considered the second highest price.  If there is, we want to discount that and not one of the highest priced items.
  3. If any of that fails then we check if this is the next highest priced item and run our discount here
foreach ( $cart_object->cart_contents as $key => $value ) {
   if ( $highest_price_quantity > 1 && $value['product_id'] === $highest_price_id && $next_highest_price === 0 ) {
      $value['data']->price = $value['data']->price - ( $value['data']->price / $value['quantity'] ) * .5;
   } elseif ( $value['product_id'] === $next_highest_price_id && $cnt > 1 ) {
      $value['data']->price = $value['data']->price - ( $value['data']->price / $value['quantity'] ) * .5;
   }
}

The discount is based on quantity.  If someone has two of the same $99 item we don’t want to make them both $48.  We want to discount just the first item but I’m not sure if that’s even doable.  We could generate a coupon or some other more complicated options but I went with the simple approach.  Let’s take the quantity, divide the price by that (so we have two $99 items, 99/2 is $48) then take 50% of that and subtract it from the price.  Each item will have 25% subtracted basically and add up to 50% total discount on 2 items.

I’ve been testing this and it seems to be working.  I JUST put this together though so needs a lot more testing to make sure it’s working correctly.

Tracking Conversions in WooCommerce with Simple Link Codes the Easy Way & More

woocommerce-tracking-code-plugin-simpleI wrote about this as I was building it out.  It’s evolved a bit and is now on the WordPress Plugin Repository.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/quick-tracking-conversions-for-woocommerce/

It’s simple.  You setup codes you want to track for conversions in WooCommerce.  If you have an email blast coming up then just create a code for it and attach that code to the end of all links in the email blast.  This works for affiliates, whatever.

The link looks like this: https://whoischris.com/?qtc_woo_tracking_code=testcode

Of course you can replace “testcode” with anything you want and have as many tracking codes as you’d like.  Then in the admin, you input the code you want to see the results of.  You get a total and # of conversions.  I have every intention of adding more in depth analytics but this is a proof of concept.

Passwords to Conversions Analytics

What I encountered the following week at work presented a new problem.  We are starting a site for retailers and professionals in our industry.  We sell a specialized tool only to licensed professionals and we want them to be able to carry our consumer product on their shelves, so they need to be able to buy at a discounted, bulk price.

Fortunately this site is on its own domain and I can make the functionality global.  So here’s what I needed to happen:

  • All shopping functionality should be hidden behind a password/access code that we hand out.
  • Different rep groups selling to professionals need to have their own code that can be tracked
  • We want to see total conversion for each code used

My thoughts lead to why not use the existing conversions plugin I built?  I’ll just hide all of WooCommerce behind a password wall.  Any password the admin creates can be used to access it, I just drop a cookie.

I also drop a cookie for the Quick Tracking Conversions plugin and voila, our shoppers have access and we can see what password/access code they are using to make their purchase.  The new extension can be found here:

https://github.com/ChrisFlannagan/qtc-passwords

 

Quick Campaign Conversion Tracking in WooCommerce

My company hired a marketing firm that is starting our Constant Contact campaigns amongst other things.  We want to track conversions and at this point we don’t need anything too fancy.  Between that, Facebook ads/posts, Google Analytics and our affiliates, there’s a lot of pixels, JavaScript and php functions that need to be added to our system.  It’s a bit overwhelming and each has its own installation instructions/methods.

Right now, we just want to see conversions.  We want to know what source provide how many purchases and at what value.

I searched for some quick methods and plugins that might help but again, too much complicated setup for simple conversion tracking.  So I built a thing.

Quick Tracking Conversions for WooCommerce

I envisioned a super simple system where you can take on a code to the end of a link and all visits to your site with that code would be tracked and recorded when converted.  I wanted to start with simply recorded full, purchase conversions.

I didn’t want to have to setup a campaign with a code and details in an admin before generating links.  I want to just tell our marketing person put something like ?tracking_code=MyEmailCampaign on the end of all links in a Constant Contact.

So I built a plugin.  It’s light weight, secure and solid.  It does it’s job and it does it right.  You add whatever campaign code you want to links for Facebook, Email blasts, affiliates or anything at all that you want to track conversions from a link.  Here’s an example link that could be in an email:

https://example.com/product/t-shirts?qtc_woo_tracking_code=Oct2016-email-blast

After the email goes out and orders come in I can simply go to the admin page of the plugin, type in Oct2016-email-blast and submit the form.  It will show me number of conversions and total money generated so far.

How It Works

The plugin checks for $_GET[‘qtc_woo_tracking_code’] and sets its value in a cookie.  If the user converts it adds a post_meta to the order for that tracking code.

This allows me to pull all details of every order made.  We can get products purchases, shipping methods, totals, taxes and everything.

Here’s the repo if you want to check it out.  It’s simple right now and has Google Analytics Enhanced Ecommerce option you can enable as well.  There’s room to add all sorts of conversions such as product viewing, add to cart and so on.  This plugin will grow.

https://github.com/ChrisFlannagan/woo-flanny-conversion-tracker

Beatrix Has A YouTube Channel Now

My daughter watches these crazy videos where it’s just someone opening up toys, or pulling them out of play dough, or little toy surprises out of plastic eggs.  It’s the weirdest thing.  Apparently kids can watch these for hours as they have millions and millions of views.  Anyway, she asked me if she could make some so why not!  Here’s her first too:

 

Getting Up To Speed With NativeScript 2.3, Xcode 8 and iOS 10

tns livesync ios --emulator --watch

Unsupported version Xcode 8

Oh no …

It’s That Time

The iPhone 7 is out along with iOS 10 and things have changed.  It hit me today when I was toying with my company’s app for the first time since upgrading Xcode.

So what do? Well, the first thing I needed to solve was getting my apps running in Simulator again.  I opened up Xcode and built my app in there instead of the command line tns.  I ran it on iPhone 7 Simulator and everything popped up and seemed to be working until it crashed right away on launch.

Upgrade NativeScript to “Next”

I uninstalled NS and the tns modules and reinstalled completely using the next version (2.4).

npm uninstall nativescript -g
npm uninstall tns-core-modules
npm install nativescript@next -g
npm install tns-core-modules@next

Then I removed the ios platform from my app and added it back.  Voila, things were loading up.  Thing is, I’m lying a little, I forgot to install the @next version of tns-core-modules and even though the app was opening certain things weren’t working like trying to set the src of an Image via javascript.

Properties Not Methods

So something big is happening.  Xcode is changing some big core items from using methods to initiate and instead using properties.  For example I use local-notifications plugin to send phone notifications.  I was erroring out with:

NSNotificationCenter.defaultCenter() is not a function

Apparently that is now a property so I had to adjust the module’s code in local-notifications.ios.js to

NSNotificationCenter.defaultCenter

And it works just fine now.  Or so I believe, no more errors but haven’t tested it thoroughly.

plist.info Permission Changes

Next the app crashes when I try to open the camera.  I’m getting errors saying there’s permission issues.  Turns out I need to have some new info in app/App_Resources/plist.info

<key>NSPhotoLibraryUsageDescription</key>
<string>Photo Library Access Warning</string>

More To Come

This is all so far but I’ll be sure to add more information as I encounter it.

 

WooCommerce Per Product Shipping Price Without Needing Extension or Plugin

Please note the commenter that pointed out a flaw in this if you have products with different shipping methods: 

The problem with this, is if you also have weight based shipping selected, and only want specific pricing for a handful of products, and someone selects one of those products AND a product which is included in weight based shipping, the customer is given two options for shipping, the flat rate (cheaper) and the weight based (more expensive). -Adam Winchester

I’m a big fan of WooCommerce, seriously.  I hate how much they nickel and dime for small features like this though.  It’s easier for me to move past it because I’m able to do a lot of tweaking in the code with hooks to get what I need done thereby saving a few dollars.  But sometimes, like this example, you can do it with no coding at all.

The shipping system in general can be pretty confusing so I’m going to walk you through how you can have custom, flat rate shipping prices for different products.

Shipping Zones & Methods

Under WooCommerce Settings click the Shipping tab.  Here you need to add a new zone.  For my example I call it US Flat Rate with a Flat Rate shipping method.

Now the confusing interface part.  In order to set details for flat rate you need to click on the words “Flat Rate” in your newly saved Shipping Zone row.  Let’s not do that yet though, click over to “Shipping Classes” option on this page.

Shipping Classes

This is where we will create our per item shipping prices.  Let’s say we have three products: T-Shirt, Mug and Hat.  We are going to create three shipping classes.

t-shirt-row

Now repeat for the other two items.

Back to Shipping Zones

Bounce back over to shipping zones, click on the “Flat Rate” link on your new shipping class row and let’s do some pricing.

Set the main cost to $0.00 then for each shipping class add the price for that item.  It’s that simple.  Go to your T-Shirt product and under shipping select the T-Shirt class.  Now it will  have that flat price added to the product for shipping on checkout.

Remove Item from PayPal Invoice with the REST API

I’m building a pretty crazy system right now around the PayPal Invoice REST API.  I want the owners of the site to be able to adjust all sorts of stuff on invoices whether the status is DRAFT or SENT.  If PAID, no go.  I’m going to give them the option to copy and cancel the original if that’s possible but I haven’t dove that far in yet.

But what I did need at this point was for them to allow users and admins to adjust an invoice by removing items.  So I google searched without much luck then finally looked through the API’s code to find what I needed.

PayPal Invoice Class

Inside the class for Invoice.php is a method removeItem().  Well, I tried this and kept getting a 400 error with no description of why it wouldn’t work.  I was using a foreach loop.

foreach ( $invoice->items as $item ) {
    if( blah blah ) {
        $invoice->removeItem( $item );
    }
}

This was just not working and there were no clues as to why.  I tried adding a count variable $cnt and using removeItem( $invoice->items[ $cnt ] ) but that was producing the same error.

Adjust The Quantity

So I finally settled on just changing the quantity to 0 and, low and behold, that worked just fine.  So end of day, the line item will still be there but you can set the quantity to 0 and it will charge nothing for it.  Final code was basically:

foreach ( $invoice->items as $item ) {
   if ( strpos( $item->name, 'Item ' . $id . ':' ) !== false ) {
      $item->setQuantity( 0 );
      $invoice->update( $api_context );
   }
}