Step 1: Feed manager settings

Hello and welcome back to our Datafeed marketing academy. This is Auke again and in this lesson, I want to show you our Feed Manager settings page and teach you how to go through the settings of the WooCommerce plugin so you have a head start when generating your first product feed.

When you have installed the Woocommerce product feed manager you will find a new Feed Manager menu item in your WordPress menu. Hovering over this menu item shows you two or three menu items. “Feed Manager”, “Channel Manager” and “Settings”.

Settings page

I want to start going through the settings page first with you. When you click the menu item the settings page will open and show you some options that are valuable to know before you start building product feeds.

Auto feed fix: This checkbox is by default unselected. When a product feed fails the plugin will not automatically try and regenerate the feed. You will have to regenerate the feed manually in that case. Selecting this checkbox will let the plugin automatically try and regenerate the product feed as soon as it failed. This can be helpful but can also put an extra strain on the server, so keep this disabled if in doubt.

Disable background processing: By default our plugin will generate product feeds in batches in the background. This is why 0ur plugin can handle large webshops with many products and product variations. If somehow this is not working correctly on your webshop you can disable this background processing so the plugin generates the feed directly.

If you want to disable the background processing make sure that the update schedule of each product feed is not causing conflicts, this is because the direct feed generation will only handle one feed at a time.

Feed process logger: This checkbox should only be selected if our support is asking you to do so when you run into issues with the feed generation. It will generate a processing log so support can have a look at the process to help determine the issue at hand.

Show product identifiers: Brand, GTIN, and MPN are unique product identifiers that are used by Channels to identify products so products are easily matched to user search queries. That is why those fields are important product data. WooCommerce does not add those fields by default to products so that is why we have added this option so you can add Brand, GTIN, and MPN fields to your products and use the data in the product feeds.

Under inventory with regular products or variations for variable products you will find the Unique identifier fields after you have selected this option. Enter the correct data in those fields and you will find the Unique identifiers in the source dropdown in the feed builder. You find them under the name “wppfm_product_gtin”, “wppfm_product_mpn” and “wppfm_product_brand”

Activate Google Product Review Feeds: With this check field, you can activate the Google Product Review Feed builder. As soon as you have activated the Google product review feed you will see an additional tab in the Feed Manager where you can start building your product review feed for Google.

Third-party attributes: This field is filled with a comma-separated list of wildcards to support third-party plugin data.

Extensions store data within the WordPress database, allowing us to fetch the majority of this data. Due to the sheer volume of available WordPress Plugins, it’s impossible to accommodate every potential addition. Hence, the introduction of the “third-party attributes” choice. This field contains meta_keys from plugin-associated meta boxes and custom fields. As an example, the %yoast% wildcard, employed by the Yoast SEO plugin, is visible within the list.

Email Notifications: For your convenience, we have implemented a notification system that will alert you via email should there be any failure in the feed generation. Please ensure that you’ve entered the correct email address in the designated field and have set up an SMTP mail plugin. This will enable you to send through SMTP and receive these vital alerts.

Clear Feed Process: Should you encounter a situation where the feed-building process becomes stagnant or stuck, you have the ability to clear all feed-building processes by using this button. This allows you to restart the process, and please note, it won’t remove or delete any existing product feeds or alter the settings.

Re-initialize: This is a vital function that you may find particularly useful if the generation of feeds continuously fails, especially if you have previously been using the plugin successfully. By clicking this button, you’ll update the database tables, re-initiate the cron events, and reset the stored license. Rest assured, this will reset everything without deleting feeds or changing previous settings. After re-initializing, you will need to re-enter your license key.

Backups: At the bottom of the settings page you will find our back-up function. With this function, you can create backups of the product feeds you’ve generated. These backups are securely stored in the designated folder on your server, specifically at “wp-content/uploads/wppfm-backups.” Rest assured, these backups will remain intact until you choose to delete them, and they can be a lifesaver in restoring your product feeds should you encounter any issues.

Backing up your feeds is as simple as it is essential. Let me walk you through it. First, find and click the ‘Add new backup’ button situated just below the backup table. A field will then appear, allowing you to name your backup file appropriately.

Once you’ve named it, go ahead and click the ‘Backup current feeds’ button. This action will create a backup of all the product feeds you’ve generated up to that point.

And just like that, your backup will appear in the backup table. From there, you have the option to delete, restore, or duplicate the backup by simply clicking the corresponding action link. It’s a straightforward process designed with your convenience in mind!

It’s important to note that even if you remove and delete our Feed Manager plugin, these backups will not be removed from the server. This feature can be incredibly useful, especially when you need to reinstall the plugin or update it to another version, such as transitioning from our Google version to the E-commerce version. Furthermore, you have the flexibility to use these backups on another server, should you require the same feeds on a different server.

You may have noticed something unique about the settings page: there’s no save button. That’s because all the changes you make are saved on the fly, without the need to click any save button. It’s just another way we’ve streamlined the process for you.

With our tour of the Woocommerce product feed manager’s Settings page complete, we are now poised to begin the exciting process of creating product feeds. I invite you to join me in the next lesson, where we will embark on crafting our very first product feed, exploring all the basic settings along the way. See you there!