As I wrote in a previous tutorial, adding an Amazon store to your WordPress website is best accomplished (in my opinion) by using Associate-O-Matic.
Just to be clear, this is not a plugin. It is a standalone script that you install on your server. However, there is a WordPress plugin that integrates with this script and it will help you to display your store items inside your posts with links directly to your store products.
This is a powerful combination and will enable you to offer your visitors an easy way to access products on Amazon that are specific to your content. You can even enable them to checkout with their Amazon account without ever leaving your site. Enough talk, let’s get to it shall we?
Go here to download Associate-O-Matic. There are two versions, the Lite Version which is completely free and the Full Version which comes with a 30-day trial.
Which Version to Choose?
I like to try before I buy and you probably do too. In these tutorials I’ll be using the Full version with the 30-day trial. This way I will be able to show you all the included features. You may be wondering what happens if you use the Full trial version and decide not to purchase it after the trial period. The folks at AOM have made it very easy to move to the Free version and still keep all your configuration settings so you have nothing to worry about.
If your curious about the differences between the two versions, here’s a comparison chart.
If you do decide to download the Full Trial Version, you will also need to download the trial license.
Before You Install
Make sure your server meets the requirements listed here. These are common settings that most hosts should have enabled, but with such a variety of hosts out there, you might want to give a quick check.
There is an easy way to check your server settings. Simply install the free ServerBuddy plugin from the folks at iThemes and it will give you a nice looking page listing details of your host server environment.
How to Install Associate-O-Matic
Note: These steps can also be found on the Associate-O-Matic website. I have added screenshots for better clarity.
Unzip the files contained in the Associate-O-Matic ZIP or EXE file to your local hard drive. Make sure they retain the original directory structures. Make sure you see an /aom directory after you unzip the files.
Open your FTP client software (or use the control panel provided by your web host) and upload the Associate-O-Matic files to your server (web host).
TIP: Some FTP client software examples are FileZilla, CuteFTP and SmartFTP. I use Transmit for Mac.
First, upload (FTP) the encrypted PHP files in BINARY mode which are:
Then, upload all of the remaining files and let your FTP software decide the mode to use whether it be ASCII or BINARY.
- /aom/[all the files]
- /aom/images/[all the image files]
Ideally, you would FTP the files to your main public site directory. Just make sure you don’t overwrite any of your existing non-AOM files if they happen to be named the same.
Example Store URLs:
- http://www.yoursite.com/shop.php (best choice, shortest URL)
- http://www.yoursite.com/dir1/dir2/shop.php (also works, longer URL)
The shop.php and related files can be placed anywhere off your public directories so long as the hierarchy of Associate-O-Matic files remains the same in relation to themselves.
Set the permissions for provided files/directories.
Normally this can be done by right-clicking on the file or directory from your FTP client.
NOTE: Windows users should contact their web hosting provider to determine the best method for changing file/directory permissions. Most likely they will provide a mechanism to do this within their control panel.
The permissions for Linux/Unix users are as follows and can vary from web host to web host:
NOTE: You may need to modify your permissions beyond the below recommended settings. You’ll know because Associate-O-Matic will give you cues that you still need to write and/or read enable a particular folder such as /aom. For example if 775 doesn’t work you may need to make it 777.
- shop.php [CHMOD 644]
- admin.php [CHMOD 644]
- /aom directory [CHMOD 755]
- /aom/cache directory [CHMOD 755]
- /aom/images directory [CHMOD 755]
- /aom/js directory [CHMOD 755]
- /ioncube directory
- all other permissions should be fine by default
Associate-O-Matic uses the ionCube PHP Encoder to protect their source code. Associated files are found in the /ioncube directory.
For step-by-step instructions on what you need, open the /ioncube/loader-wizard.php in a browser.
Please Note: I ran the ionCube wizard even though I knew it was already installed on my host. If you’re not sure whether your host has ioncube installed, just run the wizard as I did and you’ll see a message similar to this:
If you have any problems related to ionCube, please more in-depth ionCube installation instructions.
You can rename your shop.php and admin.php files or leave them as is.
If you rename the files, be sure to keep the .php extension on the end.
For example, instead of:
You could name it:
**** If you are using the trial of the Full version, you must also upload the aomtrial.license file to your server. This goes in the same place as the shop.php file.****
Now that all of the files are on your server, it’s time to open the Associate-O-Matic Control Panel.
This would be the admin.php file or the new name if you renamed it.
For example, in a web browser open the address replacing “yourdomain” with your domain name:
NOTE: The first time you open the Control Panel, you’ll be asked to enter your login username and password. Once set, you’ll be asked for this login on all subsequent visits. If you ever decide to change your login, simply delete the file in the /aom directory called cfg.login.php. You’ll then have a chance to reset the password. You can also reset the login from within the control panel.
Once you enter the Control Panel, you’ll start in the Getting Started section.
At this point you’ll want to make sure you enter your correct Amazon Associate ID, Amazon Access Key ID and Amazon Secret Access Key. Please see the Amazon section of their documentation for more information. Also, enter the main information for your store. Please see the Site section of our documentation for more information.
Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of customizations you have at your disposal. You can actually save your settings at this point just to make sure everything works. Or go ahead and enter some more of your site details and then save. In the Control Panel Settings section of their online documentation, they describe in much more detail each of the various settings. You can login to your Control Panel at any time and update your settings.
If you would like your domain name to point to your store page (shop.php), please read this post in the Tips & Tricks section of their forum:
Congratulations! You’re done. Now you can view your store from within a web browser.For example:
If you see a blank screen or errors, please see their troubleshooting section.
ANOTHER IMPORTANT NOTE:
Make sure you are using an Amazon Associate ID that matches the locale of your store otherwise you won’t receive credit for sales from Amazon.
Register at the appropriate locale:
How to Configure the Associate-O-Matic Settings
Please stay tuned to my site for the next post in this series that will show you the available Associate-O-Matic settings and how to configure them.
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