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Unofficial CafePress Premium Shop Owner's Guide & FAQ
(last updated July 18, 2004 - Many parts, if not most, are now hopelessly out-of-date thanks to all of CafePress's system updates over the years, but you may still find a few helpful hints and tips here if you look hard enough - LOL.)


Contents:
Brief Introduction
Overview of Premium Shop Settings
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions (General & How To's)





Brief Introduction

Congratulations on Your CafePress Premium Shop!

Some Advantages of a Premium Shop include:
1. You can add as many of any product that you want and present them all in one 'Shop'. (Basic Shops are limited to one of each product, although you can open as many Basic Shops as you want, for free.)
2. You can customize the look of your store to give it your own unique flavor..
3. You can sell all Basic Shop products, plus additional "Premium Only" products like framed prints, etc.
4. You get a 10"x10" print area on apparel (only 8"x10" for Basic Shops)

General Premium Shop Info
You can open as many Premium Shops as you want, just like you can open as many Basic Shops as you want. However, each Basic Shop is free, where you must pay for each Premium Shop you open. (Also, you only get one 15-day trial, on your first Premium Shop. If you decide against going Premium after the trial, your store will be deleted, but you'll receive warning of this action.)

About This Guide
This guide has been put together with information shared by many Premium Shop owners on the Great Gear List and the CafePress Message Board (and is actually hosted inside a Premium Shop as well, thus the shop graphic up top and the shop sidebar links to the left). It may not be all inclusive, but we intend it to help the new Premium Shop owner start to get a handle on all the options available, as well as a few handy approaches or tips on optimizing your Premium Shop experience. (Disclaimer: This guide was created in early 2004, and may not be completely up-to-date anymore if CafePress makes major changes to their Premium Shop service. If you have additional questions not covered here, post your question to the CP Forum or call CP customer service.)

Most of the instructions in this guide, particularly the How-To's in the FAQ, assume that you've created a Premium Shop, are logged into your account at CafePress.com, and are at your main account page.




Overview of Premium Shop Settings

This part of the guide gives an overview of each feature of the Premium Shop Settings pages, offering general descriptions of what each setting means and what it potentially affects. You can follow along in your own Premium Shop account by logging in, and then from your main account page, click "Create & Manage Your Shops" - you'll see the following options next to your Premium Shop Listing: Shop Info, Customize, Sections & Products, Payment Plan, Buy, and Close.

Note: Cafepress has many helpful links next to each section - click them!

Shop Info

Shop Information
The Shop Information area includes the general information about your store: the Shop ID and name, the Return Page after Shopping.

Shop ID: 3-15 characters. You already chose this ID when you created your shop in the first place, but you can change it at any time. Since this Shop ID is also the link to your shop, changing this will cause links to your OLD shop name to go to an error page. (For instance, the link to a shop with an ID of "preciousart" would be "https://www.cafeshops.com/preciousart")

Shop Name: This is essentially the long name for your shop which will appear in your shop header. However, this information may quickly disappear from your Premium Shop as you customize it to your own taste.

Return Page After Shopping: If you want to create a special 'thank you' page after a customer has bought one of your products, this would be the place to put it - don't enter anything here until you've created the actual page. (See Using Hidden Sections As Link or General HTML Pages.) If you don't include a link here a customer will simply return to the front page of your Shop.


Shop Marketing
The information in this area is important for good search engine placement and results - this information is what the CafeShops search engine looks for as well as other search engines like Google, Lycos, etc.

Title: This will appear in the top bar of the customer's browser when they go to your store. Make it descriptive and memorable, but not too long. Don't put keywords here.

Keywords/Phrases: While these are inserted into your page for search engines, they are invisible to visitors to your Shop. Specify a list of words or phrases, separated by commas, that describe the products in your Premium Shop. For instance, what terms would YOU put in a search engine if you wanted to find the specific designs that are in your shop?

Meta-Tag Description: This is another area that is invisible to visitors, but important for search engines. They use this description to return accurate search as well as keywords


Preferences
This section lets your specify whether your Premium Shop should be publically accessible and whether or not it's okay for kids.

My Shop & Website are Kid Friendly (under the age of 13): Make sure you check this if your shop is kid friendly so it can show up in CafeShops general search results. Otherwise, it will only show up in adult sections specifically created for that kind of content. If your site is not kid friendly, and you check this anyway, you won't make any friends over at CafePress and may have your store closed down.

Private: Check this option ONLY if you don't want search engines (including CafeShops search) to know about your Shop. This can be handy if you only want your shop available to a limited audience, for instance, members of a forum on your web site. Keep in mind that you can make SECTIONS of your Premium Shop hidden/private if you don't want the ENTIRE shop to be essentially invisible.


Customize
The "Customize" selection is where most of the more intricate Shop customization happens.

Custom Templates: If you want a quick custom-look to your shop, a template is a great way to achieve this. (This is an especially convenient option if you don't know much html yet.) At the moment, CafePress has eight templates, four general-use and four that are focused on pet/animal-related shops. Cafepress has links to sample shops using each template.

Colors & Fonts: Cafepress gives Premium Shop owners a lot of color customizations here - beginners can choose basic colors with color names, advanced users can play with color hex codes (See How Can I Find HTML Color Codes?), but if you're still learning the ropes, don't go nuts at first. Change a few things like the color for linked text, or background color, but test your store as you go.

Custom HTML: Cafepress STRONGLY suggests that only people who are comfortable with html should dabble with this section, understandably so - mistype a single character here and you can screw up your entire shop. (Scared yet? *grin*) We'll explain some of the basics behind these options, which are excellent unto themselves, but you can do some pretty amazing things once you get the hang of more complex html coding! Note - not ALL of below options REQUIRE html - some of them will give quite acceptable results from just typing in straight text - these will be noted.)

Store Display

Store Description: This is the text that will 'greet' your customer when they first arrive at your Shop. It will appear at the top of your Premium Shop main page. (HTML is optional. A plain text description will work fine too.)

Show Front Page Listing: This option lets you use your top-level sections and products as part of your front page offering. In other words, if you check this option, visitors to your Shop's front page will see your Store Description, and then your thumbnail images and captions (with links, of course) for every top-level section or product you've created in your Sections & Products area. Do not check this if you want to use only your OWN html on the front page. (Your own customized html for your store front page would go in the 'Store Description' field above.)

Show Newsletter Subscription Form: Check this IF you are going to use the CafePress newsletter system AND if you want the newsletter subscription form to appear in your Shop's sidebar. Leave this unchecked otherwise.

Show Zoom Image Overlay: Check this if you want the word 'sample' to appear over the larger ZOOM images in your Shop, so that people can't easily steal the graphics. Note - Zoom images are still very low resolution compared to the original images you upload.

Items Across: This option sets the number of columns in which your sections and products are displayed. Most people set this at 2 or 3, otherwise visitors who have small monitors may have to scroll sideways to see everything, which isn't preferred.


Store Logo
The Store Logo is a graphic that will appear at the top of your Shop's Main Page.

Logo: Here you upload an image for the front page of your Premium Shop. This is handy if you don't have anyplace to 'remotely host' an image. Note that if you include a logo here, AND you are using the sidebar, this logo will appear to the RIGHT of the sidebar - in other words - it will not appear ABOVE the sidebar and the rest of the page.

Position: You can center the logo on the page (Again, if you have the sidebar included, this means centering it in the section to the right of the sidebar, not on the entire page), have text wrap around a logo, or chose not to show a logo at all.

Link - If you've uploaded a logo, you can specify a link for it. That is, when customer's click on the logo, it will take them to whatever page you insert here - to your website, to the store's main page, etc.


HTML Tags
We won't go into TOO much detail here, except to give you a general idea what's possible. If you know html enough to be fussing with this, you'll already have an idea of what you want to do, at least in general. These HTML settings will apply to every page in your store, not just the main page. Also, if you use any graphics in these areas, they must be remotely hosted (on another server) and called with full URLs, including domain name.

Head: "Head" is an html code for the top part of the html page. It does not refer to the heading of your Shop, as could be assumed (see Header, below) but rather to html coded elements. For instance, this area is useful for meta tags, which are places to put hidden information about your shop that is read by search engines. And, while keywords and descriptions for your pages DO go in the 'head' area of an html page, in this case, you can simply enter that information into the fields in the Shop Marketing area instead and let cafepress generate the correct 'head' info on your shop pages from there.

Body: "Body" is also an html code that sets certain parameters for the rest of the html document such as setting your own margins or specifying a background image for your Shop. If you specify things like background color here, whatever settings you have set in Colors & Fonts above, will override these settings anyway.

Header: "Header" here DOES refer to the top part of your shop - this section is where you can customize the images and information that displays on every page of your shop, including your main page. One use for this area is to specify a long header graphic that will show up on each of your store pages like a Shop Title (this must be remotely hosted and referred to with the full URL). This will appear just below the obligatory white CafePress bar, but above the rest of the page, including the sidebar. (Unlike the logo, which will appear to the RIGHT of the sidebar. Keep in mind that if you have elected to display a logo AND a header graphic - they will both show on your shop's front page.) See Custom HTML for codes to display images.

Footer: Same as Header, but for the bottom of every page. This is a good place for extra and/or offsite links, for example. Many people also use the footer to include things like banners for banner exchanges, or specialized copyright messages at the bottom of each page. Note: CafePress includes a standard copyright message at the bottom of each page.


Sidebar
The sidebar is the left column you see in many Premium Shops. It's a good way of keeping shop links handy on every page, for easy navigation. There are many options for the sidebar.

Show sidebar: You have the option of displaying the sidebar or not. If you do not choose to have a sidebar, many things result: 1. customers will have to navigate through the 'breadcrumb' links at the top of the page, 2. You will not be able to link to your 'Bio' page (more below), 3. you will not be able to show your newsletter signup box, 4. you will not be able to add any content to the sidebar, because it won't be there. There are clever ways around having to use the CafePress sidebar, but still using one, but that requires some more html creativity, which you'll have to discover on your own.

Show Nested Subsections: If you have sections within sections within sections, and you click 'show nested subsections', ALL of your sections will show, which could make this a really LONG sidebar. But, this can also be used wisely, so take that into consideration. If you do NOT click this, then only your topmost sections will appear at the top of the sidebar.

Extra Sidebar Content: You can add lots of interesting information to the sidebar, such as referrer links, small banners, links to your site, etc. The sidebar is typically 125 pixels wide.



Sections & Products
One of the best features of a Premium Shop is that you don't have to have all products on one page, which is good thing when you can add a veritable infinite number of products! This area is where you can begin creating sections for your shop, and adding actual products to these sections. The structure of sections and products within sections within sections can get a little confusing, but just think of 'sections' like you would a 'file folder' or 'directory' on your computer. You can have folders AND word processing files within other folders, just as you can have sections and products within sections.

At this point, you might want to give a little thought to how you want to organize your store, keeping in mind that you will probably be expanding in the future. Don't worry though, you can move sections and products around pretty easily, if you change your mind later. Many people used to organize their Shops in product groupings, until CafePress created a Browse by Product function, which can now do that automatically. (The Browse by Product function is now included in many Custom Templates.) Another popular way to structure your Shop is to create sections for each design, or for each kind of design with subsections under that for individual designs, etc.

Note: 1. If you want your top-level section and product thumbnails and links to appear on your Shop's main page (as opposed to using your own custom html) you must have Show Front Page Listing checked. 2. If you have chosen to display the sidebar, then how you set up your sections here is the order in which their links will appear in the sidebar. 3. If you've checked the Show Nested Subsections option, then all of your top-level AND subsection links will appear in the sidebar. 4. No product links are automatically included in the sidebar

When you click "Create & Manage Shops" and click the "Sections & Products" selection to the right of your Premium Shop listing, you then have many options available to you, described below.

Add a Section
When you add a section, you can define the following Section Display options (Thumbnail & Caption):

Thumbnail: You can upload a small image that shows what that section is about. 150x150 pixels is, generally speaking, a reasonable size for a section thumbnail. If they are too big they will take too long to load, especially if there are many of them loading on the same page.

Caption: This is essentially the section title or name. In your Shop, this information appears under the section thumbnail and also at the top of the section in the 'breadcrumb' trail of links.

Teaser Text: - This information does not appear in the section itself but only underneath the caption and section thumbnail.

Section Info: This area let's you add any text (or html, links, etc.) that you want to appear at the top of the section, above any products or other sections you've defined.

Section Contents: This area is where you add products and other sections (subsections), reorganize, move, and import items - these are the green buttons in the gold bar near the top of the page. If you add another (sub)section here, you'll follow the same process as adding a section. (For more information on adding a section, see How do I add a section?) If you want to add a product, keep reading.

Add a Product: Within any section you can add MORE sections, or add products themselves. When you click the green "Add a Product" button, you will go to the product page where you can either click on one product that you want to add, or check off any number of products and then click the "Add products" button. Once you've selected at least one product, you will go directly into the Product Designer pages. (If you've selected a number of products, you will start with the one that was topmost on the product page.) There are many different options to define when you're adding a product, such as title, description, price, images, etc. (For more information on adding a product, see How do I add a product?)

Reorder Items: This option lets you reorganize all the products and subsections in the current section in any order you want, no matter what order they were originally added.

Move Checked Items: You can move products and sections to other sections, just like you can with the files and directories on your home computer. Check the products and sections that you want to move and then you'll get a list of all other existing sections - choose one of these sections as your new destination for the checked items.

Import: You can import products from any number of your Basic Shops, as well as from other sections in your Premium Shop. When you import products, you are essentially making a copy of them - the original products in the Basic Shop or Premium Shop section remain as they are and new products with new product number (but with the old information) are copied into your current section. Changing information on the newly copied versions of the products does NOT change the originals.


Payment Plan
This option lets you select the payment method you wish to use for your Premium Shop, and how often you want to pay for it ($6.95 per month, $18.45 for 3 months, $34.95 for 6 months, $59.95 for 12 months). If you have CafeCash* in your account, the selected cost of a Premium Shop is FIRST deducted, automatically, from CafeCash. Otherwise, CafePress accepts credit cards (debit cards too). Usually, you need to have a credit/debit card on file with CafePress when you open a Premium Shop. If you do not, one will be requested.

* CafeCash is whatever profit (after the 30 days for the return policy) you have in your account that CafePress has not yet mailed out to you in check form - this is also available for your use when buying products in any CafePress Shops as well. You can check your CafeCash by clicking "View Sales" and looking at the "CafeCash" column in your current sales summary.


Buy
If you want to buy products from your own store at the base price (CP's price before you add your mark-up), then you should click this link. Basically, it makes sure you are logged in as yourself before you start adding things to your cart, and takes you directly to your store as well. Discounts will appear in your shopping cart automatically.


Close
You're not actually allowed to use this option - kidding! Seriously though, if you ever want to close your Premium Shop, this is how you do it. If you close your shop, all of your products and sections and settings will be GONE. Your images and other files will, however, still be in your media basket. (Note - if you have a bunch of images, or other media, that you are no longer using on products, CP reserves the right to delete them at any time.)





FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions List
How do I customize my Premium Shop?
How can I get site statistics or tell how customers are finding my Shop?
How should I forward my domain name to my Shop: direct forwarding or masking?
Why do I keep seeing an error page when I'm trying to work on my shop?
Why do I have to keep logging in?
Where can I find links to official CafePress Help Pages?
How do I add my shop to the CafeShops Directory?

How can I upgrade my Basic Shop to a Premium Shop?
Why are there black t-shirts and other products in some CafePress Shops that aren't available to Premium Shops?

Section & Product Questions List
How do I add a Section to my Premium Store?
How do I add a Product to my Premium Shop?
Can I have a hidden or private section? How would this affect my Shop?
How do I link to hidden sections or products?
How can I use Hidden Sections as Link Pages or as General HTML Pages?
How can I Make Changes to an Existing Product?
How can I change all of my products at once instead of having to edit each one individually?
How can I remove a Product or Section? How can I remove a lot of Products at once?
How can I use a Product thumbnail as a Section thumbnail?

Customization Questions List
If I have customized html in my Premium Shop, but switch to a CafePress template, can I easily switch back?
I changed some colors in the Colors & Fonts area and now I can't see certain parts of my store/shopping cart!
How can I find the html codes for colors beyond the basic 'named' ones?
How can I learn html so I can do more things to my Premium Shop?
How can I get rid of the white CafeShops strip across the top of my Premium Shop?
How do I make the sidebar wider?
How can I change the color and placement of my newsletter signup box?
How can I add a background image to my Shop?
How can I add that neat Browse By Product option I see in other Shops?

Images Questions List
How Do I create images for the products in my Premium Shop?
How do I upload an image to use on my products?
When am I getting an error message when trying to upload an image?
How many images can I keep in my Image Basket?




General Questions

How do I customize my Premium Shop? The shortest answer is that you click on "Create & Manage Your Shops", then, next to your Premium Shop listing, click "Customize". The Customize section above includes an overview of the templates, colors, fonts, and custom html you can add. You can find more specific questions & answers by browsing through the Customization Questions List, above.

How can I get site statistics or tell how customers are finding my Shop? CP does not offer Shop Owners site statistics right now. however, you can sign up for a third-party stats program such as SiteMeter or eXTReMe Tracker, and then put their tracking html either in the Custom HTML: Extra Sidebar Content field, or in the Footer field (so that it appears on every page.) Then, you can check your stats, including referrers, at any time by going to the third-party site and logging in.

How should I forward my domain name to my Shop: direct forwarding or masking? Choose direct forwarding. While domain masking keeps the domain name in the browser's location bar instead of showing the www.cafeshops.com/yourstorename URL, it also creates a 'frame' which prevents CafePress's shopping cart from functioning.

Why do I keep seeing an error page when I'm trying to work on my shop? Like this one? "We're Sorry, You've Encountered an Error! You've received this message because of the following possibilities: 1. Slow Internet connectivity speed at this time, 2. Server timed out due to heavy load or traffic, 3. Data has been lost by your browser, 4. Not all of the fields in the form were properly completed, 5. Temporary server-side technical problem. Please try to submit previous page again. If the problem persists, please try to submit the page later or email Customer Service. We will work to correct the problem as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience." Sometimes, just as the page indicates, we see this error when CafePress is making changes to the their system while we're working on our Shops, or when a lot of people are trying to work on their Shops all at once, or even due to other factors, such as when an email virus is going around the internet and slowing EVERYTHING down. In any case, it's a good time to take a break, go out for a brisk walk, etc., and then try again in a little while.

Why Do I Have to Keep Logging In? When this happens, this is another indication that CafePress is making some kind of adjustments or improvements to the system at the moment. This usually passes after a while, similar to the classic error page above. If you continually get error messages or if you keep getting logged out for more than just a passing period of time, you may want to consult the CafePress Message Boards, either the General Help or Report Bugs topics in particular.

Where can I find links to official CafePress Help Pages? There is an excellent compilation of help links in the CafePress Message Boards - click here to check them out. Also, CafePress has small, content specific 'suggestion' or 'further explanation' links all over in the Account and Shop Management pages - keep an eye out for them!

How do I add my shop to the CafeShops Directory? Click on "Get Your Shop Listed at Cafepress.com". At the moment, you may choose one category for your Premium Shops as well as specify a thumbnail image and a short description. (As of the release of this guide, CafePress is currently reworking their Cafeshops Directory. Guidelines for most effective use of the Directory may follow once the new one is complete.)

How can I upgrade my Basic Shop to a Premium Shop? Cafepress has made this very simple. Click "Create & Manage Shops" and then, to the right of your Basic Shop listing, click the "Upgrade" button! If you want to keep your Basic Shop, but want a Premium Shop with that original Basic ShopID, just do a bit of name juggling. Change your Basic Shop ID to something different, then click the "Open a New Shop" button in the "Create & Manage Shops" area and specify the name of the original Basic Shop as your new Premium Shop ID. (By the way, there's very little chance of anyone else snatching up your old ShopID during this process.) Then, just import your products into your Premium Shop from your Basic Shop.

Why are there black t-shirts and other products in some CafePress Shops that aren't available to Premium Shops? These are Shops that are working with CafePress under the Corporate Solutions option. Products that aren't offered through CafePress are created by the shop owners and then shipped to CafePress for storage and fulfillment, such as black t-shirts.

Section & Product Questions

How do I add a Section to my Premium Store? First, give a little thought to how you want to organize your store. (More info on store organization in the Sections & Products overview.) Once you've got a general plan in mind, and have created a 'thumbnail' graphic for your section (optional):
1. Click "Create & Manage Shops" and then click on "Sections & Products" to the right of your Premium Shop listing.
2. Click the green "Add Section" button in the gold bar near the top of the page.
3. Under 'Section Display', click 'upload' next to Thumbnail and select the graphic you've created. (150x150 pixels is a good upper limit for thumbnail size, althought the max is 500x200 pixels.) Click "Upload".
4. After your thumbnail is uploaded (it MAY appear strangely in the thumbnail preview box due to display contraints, but it's probably fine.), type in the title of your new section in the "Caption" field, and then any additional description in the "Teaser" field. (The Teaser information appears in smaller text underneath the thumbnail and section Caption.) Click "Save".
5. After the red alert, "Your information has been updated!", click the "Section Info" tab and then enter a longer section description in the "Description Text" field. This is the text that will be displayed on the section page of your store, above any sections and products. Consider including a good description of the design, and even a little additional history, background, or story information. This will be read by search engines. You can use Custom HTML in this field if you wish.
6. Then, enter the number of items you want to appear in a single row across - we recommend three. When you are done, click the green "Save" button.
7. After the red alert, "Your information has been updated!", click the "Section Contents" tab. Now you have the option of making more SUBsections in this section or actually adding products. To create a subsection, follow these same instructions.

How do I add a Product to my Premium Shop? This process is very similar to Adding A Section, above. To start, we'll assume you've already uploaded a 10"x10" image you want to put on your product (see the Images topic for more information), created the section in which you want the product, and have clicked the "Section Contents" tab.
1. Click the green "Add A Product" button in the gold bar near the top of the page.
2. You can check various options here: Add all products, certain categories of products, or just the products that you specifically check. For this example, we're just going to add one product, which means you can just click on the product itself, a white t-shirt. Do that now. (Note: if your adding products to a NON-hidden section, those products won't show up in your actual shop, for people to purchase, until you add an image to them.)
3. Next, on the Product Designer page, "Front" tab, you'll see a picture of a blank white t-shirt. If you want an image on the front of the t-shirt, click the blue "Select Image" button. (You can have images on the front and the back of shirts, but for this example, it will only be on the front.) In your Image Basket, click on the image (or the folder and then the image, if you've arranged your images in different folders) that you want on the front of the white t-shirt.
4. After you've clicked on the image, you'll go back to the Product Designer page, where you'll see your image on the front of the white t-shirt! The "Select Image Height" drop down box will give you the option of making your image smaller by selecting a new height measurement, which we'll leave as is right now, and the "Select Image Placement" buttons let you center it on the chest or make it a smaller 'pocket' image off to the side. We'll select 'center' and then click the blue "Next" button at the bottom of the page.
5. We're not putting an image on the back of the shirt, so we can continue on from the "Back Design" tab to the "Product Information" tab by clicking the blue "Next" button again.
6. Enter text into the "Product Name/Caption" field - make it short, but descriptive, like "Neo-Flower White T-shirt".
7. Enter a longer, more detailed description in the "Description" field, such as, "Red & Blue Abstract Flower design printed on the front of a white t-shirt." You get the idea.
8. If you want to make a profit from your shop, then you'll need to raise the price ABOVE the base price listed. Set a price you're comfortable with, although you can change it at any time. When you are done click the blue "Save & Finish" button. (Note - if you click the 'Done' tab at the top of the Product Designer screen instead of "Save & Finish", the information you added will NOT be recorded. The "Done" tab is for returning you to the previous pages.)

Can I have a hidden or private section? How would this affect my shop? When you create a section, you have the option of making it private or 'hiding' it, by choosing the green 'Hide' button on the bottom right of the section square in the "Sections & Products" area of your shop. Hiding a section means that the section itself and any products or subsections within that section will not be linked anywhere in your shop, indexed by search engines, or included in the Browse by Product listings. This feature has many benefits, such as setting up sections just for specific people to access, with special designs or pricing, or creating a section just for yourself if you are creating specialized gifts for family and friends and don't want anyone else to order them.

Another way people use hidden sections is to hide a section that they've already filled with blank products, with their usual prices set. (Or if you always have a specific design on the back of your apparel, for instance, with that design already added.) Then they create a new section, Import the hidden section's 'blank' products, and they've already halfway created a whole new set of products - all they have to do is add the new design and alter the description text!

How do I link to hidden sections or products? Both sections and products have unique numbers associated with them. To access HIDDEN sections or products, find these unique numbers (in the "Sections & Products" area, in the colored bar right above each section or product) and use the following link templates, replacing the "######" symbols with the actual product or section number, and 'yourstorename' with your actual store ID:
Section Links: https://www.cafeshops.com/yourstorename/######
Product Links: https://www.cafeshops.com/yourstorename.######
(the only difference being the slash or dot before the different section or product number)


How can I use Hidden Sections for Link Pages or as General HTML Pages?
1. Click on "Create & Manage Shops".
2. Then to the right of your Premium Shop listing, click "Sections & Products".
3. Click the green "Add Section" button in the gold bar near the top of the page.
4. Under Section Display, type "Links" (for example) in your Caption area, for your own reference and then click the green "Save" button at the bottom of the screen. (Since this section will be 'hidden', there's no reason to add a thumbnail or teaser text.)
5. After the red alert, "Your information has been updated!" appears at the top of your screen, click on the "Section Info" tab near the top of the page.
6. In the "Description Text" field, this is where you'll put all of your html for your links. (See Custom HTML for a brief discussion of html link syntax and further references.) Click "Save" when you are finished.
7. After the red alert, "Your information has been updated!", click the "Done" tab near the top right. You will be taken back to your Premium Shop "Sections & Products" area.
8. Find the new section you just created called "Links", and then click on the green "Hide" button at the bottom right of the "Links" box. You will then see this alert, "Your section is now hidden. You can still link to the section and view it, but it will not show up in the store or in the sidebar." The top bar in your "Links" section will now be grey instead of gold - get the section number listed there. The URL for your "Links" page is https://www.cafeshops.com/yourstorename/###### - "######" being the section number.
9. Check this URL to make sure your html is correct. To make adjustments, click on the green "Edit" button in the bottom left of the "Links" section box, and then click "Section Info" again to get back to the Description Text field.
10. When your Links page looks like you want it to, you can then add the link to, for example, the Sidebar using the "Extra Sidebar Content" field, or to the footer. You must deliberately put the link somewhere - because this section is hidden, it won't be automatically linked to in any way.

Note: You can also use this technique for creating other pages like customer testimonial pages, etc. At the moment, this very Guide is a prime example of this "hidden section" technique!

How can I make changes to an existing product? You use the same basic process as when you created a product. If you click on a product when in your "Sections & Products" area, you go to the Product Designer screen, where you can change any of the settings you defined previously.

How can I change all of my products at once instead of having to edit each one individually? The good news is that you can change prices across the board for all your products by clicking the "Change Product Prices" link that's on the right side of the page, at the top of every "Sections & Products" page. The bad news is that there is no current way of editing a lot of products at once (changing names, descriptions, images, etc.) YET.... CafePress understands that this is a priority request among Premium Shop owners and is working to implement a system for this - hold tight!

How can I remove a Product or Section? How can I remove a lot of Products at once? When you are in the "Sections & Products" area, each section or product has a green "Remove" button in it's 'square'. Just click that button, and confirm it by clicking the "Yes" (I'm sure I want to delete it) button, and it's gone! If you want to delete a lot of products, one clever way to do this is to create a Hidden Section called "Trash", move all of the items you want to delete into this Section (check the items and then click the green "move checked items" button in the gold bar near the top of the page and select the "Trash" section), and then simply delete/remove the "Trash" section.

How can I import or copy existing products/sections into a different section? You can import products from any Basic Store, or Premium Shop section into any other Premium Shop section. Importing leaves the original products where they are and makes new copies of them, with new product (or section) numbers, within the current Premium Shop section. You can use your 15-day Premium Shop trial, for instance, to create a new Premium Shop while still retaining the products in your Basic Shop(s), while you are deciding. And here's another clever way to use the Import feature.

How can I use a Product thumbnail as a Section thumbnail? For this process, you must have already created the desired product (and thus, thumbnail) (see Adding a Product for more information.)
1. In your browser, use your actual shop address to visit the section with the desired product; the link will be something like this: https://www.cafeshops.com/yourshopname/###### where ###### is the section number that you see in your "Sections & Products" section when editing your store.
2. Locate the product within the section, then right click on the product image (thumbnail) - click on "Save Image As" which will save the image to your computer's hard drive.
3. Then, login into your CafePress account, click "Create & Manage Shops", then "Sections & Products", then find the desired section and click the green "Edit" button in the section square.
4. Click "Thumbnail & Caption" and then click "upload". Using the browse feature, select the image you previously saved and then click "upload".
5. Click the green "Save" button at the bottom of the page. (Keep in mind that the product images have white backgrounds. If you don't want your section image to have a white background, you can alter it in a graphics program to have either the background color you want, or to make the white transparent and saving it in a transparent .gif format instead of as a .jpg. Then, just make sure you upload the changed version instead of the original.

Customization Questions

If I have customized html in my Premium Shop, but switch to a CafePress template, can I easily switch back? When you use a template, all of your customized html will be deleted. We suggest keeping local copies of your html so that you can switch back anytime you like.

I changed some colors in the Colors & Fonts area and now I can't see certain parts of my Shop or Shopping Cart! The most likely answer here is that you've set some of the text to be the same color as the background. If you can tell what particular text (i.e., product descriptions, links, etc.) or element isn't showing up, that will give you a place to start.

How can I find the html codes for colors beyond the basic 'named' ones? You can start with this color chart: http://html-color-codes.com/ or you can search google for "html color codes".

How can I learn html so I can do more things to my Premium Shop? Here are a few of the very basic html codes to get you started:

<br> - Adds a line break (like hitting 'Enter' in a word processing program)
<b>text goes here</b> - This BOLDS text between the 'on' and 'off' codes.
<i>text goes here</i> - This ITALICIZES text between the 'on' and 'off' codes.
<img src="http://www.domain.com/image.jpg"> - This inserts an image in the page.
<a href="mailto:email@domain.com">Email Me</a> - This makes "Email Me" a clickable link to send an email to the address between the 'on' and 'off' codes.

Note: If you decide to put your email address on a web page using this html code, it CAN be harvested by spam bots. You may want to consider using a tool to 'scramble' your email address in this type of code, such as this one.

<a href="http://www.domain.com/page.html">Click Here</a> - This makes "Click Here" a clickable link to the specified web page.

You can combine many of these codes together. For instance, to make an image a clickable link, you can combine those two types of 'tags': <a href="http://www.domain.com/page.html"><img src="http://www.domain.com/image.jpg"></a> with the 'img' (image) tag replacing the "Click Me" text in the earlier example.

All but the <br> and <img src> code here require both the 'on' and 'off' codes - if you forget the 'off' codes, for instance, it could cause some, shall we say, undesired effects on your Premium Shop.

Note - Cafepress requests that we do NOT use the <form> tag in our Custom HTML because using it incorrectly could lock you out of the entire Customization area, and you'd have to reset it all and start from scratch again should that occur.

To learn more html, here are a few handy links:
HTML tutorial: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/tutors/basics.html
Web Design basics: http://www.htmlgoodies.com/nontechintro

How can I get rid of the white CafeShop strip across the top of my Premium Shop? There's a way, but if we told you, we'd have to kill you. Seriously though, the white CafePress strip at the top has really important and handy links in it, plus it connects the store with the name on the invoice, just a few of the reasons that CafePress has put it there in the first place. If you're good enough at web design, you can probably figure out how to do this yourself - we're laying low on this one. If you want COMPLETE control over your Shop, you may want to consider hosting the store on your own domain using some of the existing hosting scripts that are available from third parties, such as CPSHOP or others.

How do I make the sidebar wider? An easy way to make the sidebar wider is to add a graphic in the "Extra Sidebar Content" field that is wider than 125 pixels. Don't go too crazy with this though, you don't want that sidebar TOO wide.

How can I change the color and placement of my newsletter signup box? Under "Promote Your Shop", click "Build Email List". On this page there are options for altering the text color and background color of the signup box. You can also specify 'successful subscription' and 'failed subscription' links if you have special pages set up for those purposes. If you are going to place the html yourself, click "Generate HTML" and copy the code next that applies to the size box you want. (See Customize for more information on places to add html code into your Shop.) If you just want your new newsletter box to appear in your sidebar, then make sure the Show Newsletter Subscription Form option is checked.

How can I add a background image to my Shop? Add the following html tag to the Custom HTML: Body option:
<body background="http://www.domain.com/yourimage.jpg"> (replacing domain.com with your own website name since this graphic will have to be remotely hosted, and yourimage.jpg with the name of your graphic file.) If you already have some Body code specified, then just add: background="http://www.domain.com/images/yourimage.jpg"
with a space on each side, somewhere between the "<Body" and ">" tags.

How can I add that neat Browse By Product option I see in other Shops? Use the following URL, replacing 'yourstorename' with your actual store ID: https://www.cafeshops.com/yourstorename?type=0
If you were adding this to your sidebar, for instance, the correct html would be:
<a href="https://www.cafeshops.com/yourstorename?type=0">Browse By Product</a>
When customers click on this link they will go to a page with a drop-down menu of all available (non-hidden) products they can browse through.

Images Questions

How Do I create images for the products in my Premium Shop? Rather than reinvent the wheel, we're just going to point you to the Excellent Image FAQ in the CP Message Boards, which covers formats, resolutions, the works. The major difference between Basic Shop images and Premium Shop images is that Premium Shop owners get a larger print area for most apparel: 10"x10" instead of 8"x10".

How do I upload an image to use on my products? Click "Create & Manage Shops", and then click "Media Basket" This takes you to your Image page - click "Upload Image", then "Browse" to find the image on your computer. then, check the box that says you've read and understood the terms and conditions of images, and then click "upload". A small popup window will appear telling you the percentage that has been uploaded. When finished, a thumbnail of your graphic will appear in your Image Basket. (The Image Basket is also the Media Basket, now that CafePress can sell CDs and books, which require different file formats. For more information on these other kinds of media uploads, visit the CafePress Message Boards, especially the CafePress Help Pages Links.

When am I getting an error message when trying to upload an image? Sometimes this happens when CafePress is updating their systems, or when the internet itself is slow or really busy. Also, make sure that you have no web filters in place that could block the upload process (typical FireWall programs, like ZoneAlarm, shouldn't cause any problems.) If this problem persists, check out the Report Bugs Forum to see if anyone else is having trouble, and/or call CafePress's customer service line for help.

How many images can I keep in my Image Basket? To date, no one has yet found an upper limit to the number of graphics you can upload. However, CafePress does reserve the right to delete any images that aren't being used on products, at their discretion.

Back to Top

[If you would like to save a copy of this guide to your hard disk, click here for a clean version (without all the shop links, etc.) and then click File > Save As (or your browser equivalent) to save that page to your computer.]


This document was originally compiled by Kristen N. Fox of the Art of FoxVox Premium Shop and will be updated as time permits. If you have any questions or comments regarding this Guide, please post them in the CafePress Forum. Thank You.





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