Everyone knows that the CMS functionality of Magento is quite lacking. Magento allows you to create content pages but doesn't provide many of the required features to create content rich pages. That's where WordPress Integration comes in. This article explains how you can use WordPress Integration and some popular add-on extensions to create rich content from WordPress and display it around your Magento website.
If you haven't already, install WordPress and then integrate it into Magento with our free Magento WordPress Integration extension. When you've done that, you're ready for the first step.
First, Let's add Root
Root is an add-on extension for Magento WordPress Integration that allows you to remove the /blog/ from your blog URLs. This allows you create content in WordPress and have it positioned in the root of your Magento URL. As an example, let's say your integrated WordPress blog is available at http://www.example.com/blog/ and an About Us page you create in WordPress would then be available at http://www.example.com/blog/about-us/. With Root installed, this page would be available from http://www.example.com/about-us/.
Once installed, you can then configure the integration so that the standard blog posts still display with /blog/ in the URL, but all other content doesn't.
Super Charge your Blog with Visual Composer
Now that you can create pages in WordPress and have them available from the root of your Magento URL, let's look at making those pages great. The standard WordPress WYSIWYG editor is better than the Magento WYSIWYG but it's still not the best. That's where Visual Composer comes in. First you will need to install the Visual Composer plugin for WordPress and then install the Visual Composer add-on extension in Magento.
With Visual Composer installed, you can start using the drag and drop system it provides to create truly inspiring content pages. You can do all of this without having any technical or coding ability what so ever, making it the perfect system for copy writers or site owners.
Visual Composer allows you to include sliders, image galleries, charts and graphs, Google Maps, Google Fonts, columns, rows and so much more. Simply choose the element you want and drag it into the post content field. It really is that easy.
New Content Sections with Post Types & Taxonomies
Okay, so now we can create awesome Pages in WordPress, use some cool content and effects with Visual Composer and position them at the root of our Magento installation. Next, let's look at adding in some new content sections. As an example, let's say we wanted to add a News section at http://www.example.com/news/. This URL should list all of our news articles, which can be clicked to take us to a specific page for each article. To do this, we can setup a custom post type in WordPress called 'news'. With the Post Types & Taxonomies add-on extension, this will be automatically picked up in Magento. You can create as many different custom post types in WordPress as you need and use them to position content around your Magento website.
Customer Data is Key. We Need a Form!
One of the great things about having a blog is that it allows you to get long tail organic search hits. A customer who has never been to your site finds an article after a Google search and for the first time, visits your site. They read your article and like what they hear. Now how do you start a relationship with this customer? The easiest way is to add a form to the blog post. This form can be simply requesting their email for future updates or it can be asking for their telephone details for a callback to discuss your products or services. Anything works as long as it engages the customer to provide you with some contact data.
To do this you can either use Gravity Forms or Conatct Form 7. I would say Gravity Forms is easier to use, however the Contact Form 7 plugin for WordPress is free so it's up to you. Both can be used to create awesome forms that can be easily added to your blog content and used to capture customer data.
If you're using a Magento multi-store, this setup can be easily applied to all of your Magento stores by converting your WordPress installation into a WordPress Network. You can then setup a blog inside this installation for each of your Magento stores and use the Multisite add-on extension to associate each blog with the correct store.