The Countdown to Launch – 5 Days to Go!

Howdy,

As the get closer to the launch, we’re going to share with you the progress as we get closer to the launch of the  first phase of training guides with a daily update to the progress behind the scenes.

This is so you can see first hand some of the things we’re up to and you’ll soon see that we’ve still got loads to do to have the training guides ready for you on January 1st.

The First Phase

The key phrase above is “first phase”.  We’ve made a few assumptions, you have an existing eBay business & have minor knowledge of Excel and have also assumed that you’ve never used Magento before.

This is as low as we can go right now as to go any lower would require another set of guides for how to sell on the marketplaces as that’s something we can do as a second or third stage in 2014.

With the base set, our goal of phase one is to ensure that you:

  • Have Installed & configured Magento for the UK
  • Are comfortable with Magento (how it works, attributes & best practice attributes etc…)
  • Have installed M2E Pro & gone through the wizard
  • Are able to list simple, variation & multi-variation products to eBay
  • Able to decide between the simple and advanced method
  • And finally able to process eBay orders at a basic level

We work with you to choose a domain name, a hosting provider, install Magento, get you used to Magento, then install our first extension together (which is not M2E Pro!) and then move on to understand how the inventory system works in Magento.

From the base setup guides, we then move onto installing & configuring M2E Pro. This covers 9 guides and comes in at a total of 83 minutes of recording time. If we consider this is just over an hour, that’s not too bad at all as we spoon-feed it out and go through the process of how to install, configure and get through their setup wizard. We even go “À-la-nerd” and setup the cron job together and there is a big-fat “congratulations” at the end of that section too.

Dave coined the term “A Degree in Nerd is Not Required“. I’ve been chuckling at that since I heard it and have started to use it everywhere. We’ve even started to include a “Nerd Alert” in the training guides too for when it gets too geeky.

Tomorrow we’ll share what we’ve done with the creating, managing & listing to eBay guides.

The To-do List

Here is the majority of the things that I can think of that need to be done between now & January 1st.

The stark reality that is is 5 days away (as I’m counting today as well) is now is a bit scary :/

  1. Edit & render the setup guides numbers 1-8, 10, 12-14, 15-19 & 21
  2. Prepare & record the “Listing Templates & M2E Pro” guides numbers 3-7
  3. Start the order management guides (because we’ve not even started those yet)
  4. Check over the latest Moogento extensions & check their compatibility
  5. Compete the accompanying pages for each of the guides (*coff* Dave!)
  6. Complete the holding pages for the root guide pages
  7. Create a “it’s on our todo list, vote it up in the forums” video for the guides that will not be present for January 1st (mainly the advanced ones)
  8. Make sure that the custom Magento admin theme works when it’s installed prior to M2E Pro (personally I’m really concerned about this one)
  9. Package up the custom Magento admin theme
  10. Install & configure Magento for our own store for downloadable products (going to be fun, never done that before)
  11. The Magmi installer needs more work, it has a problem with sessions
  12. Fix cpanel as it killed itself after a update
  13. Register exportmylistings.com / .co.uk
  14. Install WP & build simple website for exportmylistings (this is a tool to extract your data from eBay and create an import file ready for Magento, it’s pretty mental, but I’m biased)
  15. Buy SSL certificate & apply to exportmylistings
  16. Finish stage 2 of exportmylistings which is the user interface to make the stages obvious
  17. Have a look at stage 4 of exportmylistings which is to reverse engineer listing templates to extract product descriptions (probably not going to be ready for Jan 1st)
  18. The vimeo videos that I set to full HD, change to 720P instead for better rendering in browsers
  19. Finish the eBay listing template builder templates 1 & 2
  20. Make the related items widget work to go in the listing templates

I’m sure Dave can add to this list as well, but it’s early here & I doubt he’s up yet. Plus there are a few others that I can’t publish as they’re quite sensitive.

First Coffee Down & Rock-On! January 1st

It’s almost 08:00, I’ve been fed (thanks Maccy D’s) & the I’ve had the first coffee of the day, time for a second, I’m going to need it.

We might not hit the target of the complete guides for phase one on January 1st, but it won’t be from a lack of trying and if we don’t we’re going to be very, very close.

The one thing I’ve personally learnt over the past few months, is that having a clear goal and focusing on it exclusively does make a massive difference and those things that appear as important or urgent at the time, rarely are. We’ll get a Podcast up shortly and share the best way I’ve found of handling procrastination is to announce “It’s too late I’ve pressed send”, which is normally followed by Dave saying, “Oh dear what have you done now?”.

My question to you is, did you find this insight helpful?

Let me & Dave know in the comments box below.

Matt

10 replies
  1. Steve2
    Steve2 says:

    5 Days and counting! Wow guys, you have made great strides so far. It’s good to see what we will all be studying over the coming weeks, and having the outline now lets us ‘get our head around’ what is to come. Thanks for this update.
    It’s exciting and scarey all at the same time!

    Reply
    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogborne says:

      Hi Steve,

      Yea we’re starting to “brick it” now.

      One of the key things for us & you is that if you have any feedback at all on any of the guides, do let us know.

      Neither of us are big-headed and are humble enough to know full well that we’re going to have to revise a lot of the guides to make them better. We’re using Vimeo to host the guides because unlike YouTube, we can upload revised guides on the same URL. So when (not if) we update the guides, we can do this as seamlessly as possible.

      Plus it helps I’ve bought a new computer that renders 30 mins of full 1080P HD video in just 12 mins, so making the revisions is actually easy to do (did chose this over new central heating, but that’s one for the Podcast tomorrow).

      Matt

      Reply
    • Dave Furness
      Dave Furness says:

      Hey Steve

      Many thanks for your reply, like Matt said we are starting to ‘Brick it’ … the culmination of an idea and 4-5 months of work are all coming together and going public in the 5 days time.

      We have created SOOO much but there is still an awful lot to do.

      Exciting and scarey certainly sums it up nut one thing for sure is 2014 is going to be REALLY interesting!

      Thanks for joining us for the ride! We really appreciate it

      Dave

      Reply
  2. Dale Holden
    Dale Holden says:

    Just to help you out if your not sure Magento as you know is 1.8.1.0 if you have Ultimo Theme you need to update and apply a 1.8.1.0 patch fix or the Checkout does not work properly.

    Reply
  3. Dale Holden
    Dale Holden says:

    HI Guys

    Maybe leave the Podcast till after you have released your initial material. The savings you get Podcast time might let check a few more items of your todo list :)

    I hope you cover in clarity how you can have your Magento Store running as a webstore independent from Ebay but using the same stock. Also exactly you list from start to beginning in M2ePro as i find it a little confusing with all the hidden settings and the impact some of these setting has on your Magent Inventory if your not careful.

    Reply
    • Matthew Ogborne
      Matthew Ogborne says:

      Howdy Dale,

      I see where you’re coming from and it’s an excellent point :)

      There are a few reasons for adding in an extra Podcast as we go along. The first is to share with you the progress, what we’re doing with this generation is “wearing it on our sleeves”, so that together (that’s you and us) can make what we’re doing better (Part of my new years resolution, more on that in the next few days).

      Another is that we’re going to need a break for editing, coding & adding content to the articles themselves. A Podcast will be a nice light hearted way to do this while creating a valuable insight to what we’ve been up to. And crucially an alternative to me playing world of tanks, hehehehhee.

      As for the guides, we assume that you have an eBay business and have had no prior knowledge of Magento. Some of the earlier guides for you Dale will be very basic.

      I’m looking at the training guides list and you’ll probably want to pick up at Setup Guide 007 as this is where we start with the Magento settings for the UK (other sites will be added post Jan 1st) and start digging into Magento and you’ll definitely need the “Best Practice” attributes we discuss in Setup Guide 016 and implement in 017 and then guides 022 & 023 too as those are for the grids extension.

      When it comes to M2E Pro, then I’d probably suggest you start near the beginning for these guides. As we cover the installation part (which you already have), but the theory that we cover I believe you’ll find useful.

      Matt

      Reply
    • Dave Furness
      Dave Furness says:

      Hey Dale

      Matt has covered in great detail in his replies regarding the guides and what we will be covering that you should find useful.

      The podcasts believe it or not when just the two of us are usually really easy to record and get edited. We have a huge list of podcast topics we were planning to cover, as well as a bank of ones recorded with some fantastic guests.

      For us like Matt said we aren’t hiding anything and by us releasing a Podcast so close to D Day we think humanises UnderstandingE and you can hopefully not find out more about what we have been through but also where we are aiming to take this.

      Thanks for the comment, and for all of your Forum posts over the past weeks, they have been great andvery much appreciated.

      Dave

      Reply

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