Theme Templates

Shopp theme templates are used by developers to create a seamless integration of your site’s style and layout with the e-commerce features and functionality of Shopp. Considering that WordPress was and is developed primarily for blog websites, often existing themes lack some of the nuances necessary to successfully theme an e-commerce site.

Some themes were not created with Shopp in mind, and may contain styling, layout, and programming that can adversely affect the look and functionality of Shopp.

Shopp integrates with most themes, even those not specifically designed for Shopp, primarily through Theme Template files and Content Template files. Some themes can naturally incorporate Shopp content into the existing look and feel, and maintain Shopp e-commerce functionality, without much need for customization. Other themes will require a developer to tailor your theme for use with Shopp. Shopp theme templates are an important tool that your web programmer can use to fully realize this goal.

Content Templates

The first and most common template files used by Shopp are Content Template files. Content template files are used to give structure and form for Shopp storefront specific content, providing standard layouts and styles for collections of products, the cart, the checkout form, order receipts, etc., as well as helping to facilitate Shopp’s functional features. Your theme already provides the “frame” for WordPress posts and page content. In the Shopp storefront experience, Content Template files provide the missing “picture” to go into that frame.

Content Template Starter Set

Shopp comes ready with a starter-set of content templates to add the minimal required set of e-commerce content and functionality to your existing theme. The starter-set provides a good “out of the box” e-commerce experience to your theme, and is used by default if your theme lacks a set of Shopp content templates, or if your theme’s template files are not enabled. The content template starter-set will automatically use the existing styles of your theme when presenting Shopp storefront content on your site.

The content template starter-set is intended to be forward compatible with new versions of Shopp. However, your developer should stay informed on new features in the starter-set.

The default content templates can be also be installed as-is into your theme, so that
they can be tweaked by a web programmer to work out any problems that might exist with the styling and functional integration of your theme. Also, because the features of Shopp, including the content template starter-set, are evolving with each version of Shopp, installing content templates into your theme will preserve them from changes when you upgrade Shopp in the future.

All Shopp theme Content Template files are located in the shopp/ subdirectory of your theme.

To install the starter set of theme content templates:

If your theme already contains Shopp template files, the shopp content template subdirectory will already exist.

  • On your site’s hosting server, create a new shopp/ subdirectory in your theme’s directory. For example, if your WordPress installation is located at /home/mysite/ on your server, and you are using a theme called My Theme, your shopp content template directory might be located at /home/mysite/wp-content/themes/my-theme/shopp/. If you are unsure of the location of your theme directory on your site, you may need help from your web programmer or site administrator.
  • After creating the shopp/ subdirectory in your theme, make sure that your web server has permission to write to this directory. As directory permissions can be technical and troublesome, consult your web programmer or site administrator for help.
  • In your web browser, log in to your site’s WordPress admin page, and navigate to ShoppSetupPresentation. Theme Templates setting
  • Check the box labeled Enable theme templates, and click the Save Changes button.

For Shopp installations with a complete language translation installed, the content template starter-set will be automatically translated upon installation into your theme.

Upon saving your presentation settings with theme templates enabled, any content template files from the starter-set that are missing from your theme will automatically be installed by Shopp to your theme’s shopp/ subdirectory. If the missing content template files cannot be installed, usually due to directory permission on your server, consult your web programmer or site administrator for help.

Theme Templates

If Content Templates provide the “picture” of your Shopp storefront content, Shopp Theme Template files provide the ornate “frame”. Theme template files are used as the basic building-block for creating new WordPress themes for Shopp.

You can use Shopp theme API tags in any WordPress theme template file.

Unlike Content Template files, there is no starter-set of Theme Template files, because they are not strictly necessary for most themes. Ordinarily, Shopp will automatically use the existing structure provided by your theme’s existing page.php template file. Most themes, if not all, will already have this template file, and more often than not, it will already be well suited to use for Shopp storefront pages as well.

Shopp supports several custom WordPress theme template files, that are not part of most WordPress themes, allowing tailored layouts for Shopp storefront pages. For specific details about the custom WordPress theme template files and Shopp content templates supported, see the Theme Templates reference.

If you are interested in learning about the nuts and bolts involved in building or customizing your WordPress theme for Shopp, see the Theme API reference.

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