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cpshop: the best way to put CafePress stores on your site
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CPFAQ: The CafePress Storeowners FAQ
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CafePress Storeowner FAQ >

Customizing Your Store


How can I make my store look like the rest of my existing website?

If you are familiar with HTML, Cafepress offers a help page on their website to give you tips on customizing your website with cafepress products.

Or... You can get Marty's CPShop script that is designed to make it easy to customize your cafepress store to have your current website's look-and-feel. With a laundry list of useful features, this perl script helps you keep your visitors on your site longer and make each shopping page unique to your site. Read More...


Can I add a background tile to my page at CafePress?

You can use this to change the background color, tile, or both.

<style type="text/css">
<!--
body { background: #FFCC33 url(http://www.yoursite.com/image.gif); }
-->
</style>

This code sets the background color to a gold (#FFCC33), and sets the background tile to image.gif.

To set either the background color OR image, just omit the other attribute.

Color only:
body { background: #FFCC33; }

Tile only:
body { background: url(http://www.yoursite.com/image.gif); }


How can I get rid of the CafePress content on my store?

You can't, without hosting the store on your own site. (If you host the store on your own site, you can customize everything.)

You can do this either through hand-coding, or with a cgi-program like cpshop.


Can I host my store(s) on my own website?

Certainly, though the amount of time and effort you're willing to put into it plays a big part in how you do it.

If you're an HTML wizard, have a decent amount of experience with forms, and have a lot of time on your hands, you can hand-code your own store.

  • Pros:
    • it's free
    • you'll have your store on your own server, so your visitors won't leave your site
    • you can customize everything the way you like it
  • Cons:
    • it's pretty time-consuming
    • you have to be at least moderately adept at HTML, especially forms (and a little javascript, too)
    • every time you update your store, you have to make changes to your own site to match
You can also use a third-party script like cpshop that automates the process of putting the store on your site.
  • Pros:
    • easy to install, even if you're not experienced in HTML or Perl
    • you can have your store up-and-running, fully customized, in around 20 minutes
    • automatically updates when you update your CafePress store
    • you'll have your store on your own server, so your visitors won't leave your site
    • you can customize everything the way you like it
    • cpshop comes with pretty powerful options
    • someone else takes care of the maintenance (script updates)
  • Cons:
    • cpshop costs money ($19.77)
    • your server needs to be able to support perl scripts
Whatever you decide, putting your store on your own server can be very rewarding, and also looks quite professional. (But don't expect to be able to do it without spending either time or money. :)


How can I get CafePress to really customize my store, like those special corporate sites?

Larger sites (meaning sites that might be expected to sell a lot of products, like comics.com) can start a corporate account with CafePress. Corporate partners get special treatment from CafePress, including fully customized stores. You can find out more information at CafePress' Corporate Services page.

If you are a smaller site, but still sell a decent amount of products (say, a few hundred a month), you may be able to pester CafePress into helping you customize your store. (It can't hurt to try! :) Try sending them emails, or calling them up on the phone. If you get their attention, and happen to sell a lot of products, you may get the help you're looking for.


Why can't I use the form tag in the store customization box at CafePress?

The store customization page at Cafepress.com displays the customized store "header" inside of a form tag. The HTML specification does not support nested form tags (forms inside forms), so the result of this is that the customization page ends up being garbled. A similar thing will happen with certain types of HTML errors; you can wreck the customization page if you forget to put a closing quote on an href in a link tag, for example.

Although it could hardly be recommended, you could be very careful that your custom HTML was exactly right and include the form tag. You'd never be able to customize your store again, but the form tags would end up on your storefront. (Matthew from The ARMAC Store)


D'oh! I used a form tag (or some other broken HTML) and now my store customization page doesn't work. What can I do?

The easiest thing is to call or e-mail Cafepress.com and politely ask them to fix it for you. They'll blank out your custom text, so you'll have to recreate it from scratch.


If you're feeling a little more adventurous and know HTML pretty well, there is a way to fix it yourself: go to the broken customize page and save the HTML for the entire page to your local hard drive. Edit that HTML to change the relative references (to graphics, scripts, etc) to be absolute references back to Cafepress, and edit out your form tag - be sure to get yours, not the one for the customization! When you've done this properly, you can view the local HTML file in your browser, and it will look and act like the one on the Cafepress server. You can use it to fix your customization text, then when you click "Submit" it will send your changes to Cafepress. After that, you can access your customization page normally. (Matthew from The ARMAC Store)


How can I change the colors in my CafePress store, like text color, link color, background color, etc.?

You can use style sheets to make basic changes to your store. Read this answer for an example.


I sell other things on my website besides CafePress products. How can I combine the two so my customers don't have to make two orders?

There are two ways to accomplish this, and they're totally different.

One way is to order the products yourself, and ship them to your customer. You can either ship the products directly to the customer, or ship them to yourself first. This way requires you to bill the customer yourself, but you don't need to have any special technical skills to accomplish it. You also have to handle any returns or problems yourself.

The other method is to set up a shopping cart of your own, incorporate the CafePress products in with the other products, and after you've taken the credit card and billing information, to "POST" that information directly to the CafePress server (if you don't understand the concept of "POST," you probably don't want to undertake this method without help). CafePress frowns on this practice (actually, I think they expressly forbid it), but it is possible.