Selling your products on Facebook and Instagram

Recently I have been building an online shop, which also has an Instagram page and a Facebook page. Some time ago, I added the shop feature to my Kertu Kelem Art account on Facebook and Instagram. So I wanted to test it out on this new shop. But oh the trouble with Meta. Everything, all the information is all over the place, steps are quite complicated and of course, I wanted to take a shortcut. But that didn’t work. I couldn’t create a shop on Facebook! So I used the Meta Help feature, and sent them an email, to get to the bottom of this issue. Setting everything up on Business Manager seemed very simple, but now, I got a message of “Facebook Error.. etc etc” A nice, but very fastly speaking lady called me soon. I explained the issue, and she told me that since I am in the UK, the newest Shop feature wasn’t available, and I simply cannot sell my products online. That was news to me! I had seen many fellow artists from the UK selling on Instagram! What exactly were they doing differently?

Maybe the problem was in me. My account! My thoughts went quickly back to a few days ago when I had commented on someones Wild Swimming page. He had been boasting about going out every day at 5 am, so he could swim at 5.45 (quite a long drive!), and how everyone could do it, would they have the discipline? My snarkiness was just waiting around the corner.. “You are lucky to have the freedom to do it! Not everyone does.. especially ones with children” was my answer to him. I was imagining myself, going out there to the lake, every morning, oh how I would love a swim! But I have obligations! A single mom of 4 cannot simply abandon their children! “I have a 3-year-old child, and 3 dogs!” was his answer. Nah, nah.. I could smell the misogyny in his attitude “So who stays with them, when you go swimming? Your wife? And how happy is she, when you are out every morning at that time, leaving her alone!” was my answer. I should have stopped of course. But I had to put another male person in place, having done the mothering alone and solely for the past 15 years! (there were times when I did have another human male living with me, but who came and went as he pleased, never asking, whether I too needed a little break. I was a woman after all. A super-powered creature, whose battery never runs out!) Long story short – I noticed he had blocked me after this little harmless exchange of thoughts about wild swimming. Had he reported me to Facebook, for mistreating men and their rights to swim in the morning? Had Facebook disabled my ability to hence create future shops?

Panic set in. I was ferociously searching for answers now. Maybe I just looked at it from the wrong angle. Aha, I found a way to check my account status – phew, no restrictions. Still, why did this lady say I cannot sell in UK? Finally, an answer, I can sell in UK! Just not directly through Facebook. In between her shooting words at me, like a fast-passing train, I had misunderstood her message.

The next hours were spent in my children’s basketball training. Ferrying the boys back and forth, one starting, one finishing, then shopping for mochis at the very end of our session. And still – at 10PM trying to find solutions and getting everyone in bed at the same time. The perfect time to sit down, and read, the perfect time for creative thought, and problem-solving, but – children simply won’t go to bed, unless I stand there, and instruct them what and how to get to bed.. In between my youngest coming downstairs and showing me his newest games – with no intent on going to bed, I finally found the articles and instructions on how to set up a Facebook Shop (which one has to do prior to connecting it to Instagram).

As I worked through the process, I came to the step of Business and Person verification – this is what was needed and why my shop was being created the last time! Ah! Not that I can’t sell from UK! Simply they needed to know that I am who I am. That is all now for tomorrow. And hopefully I will be able to post some real instructions of how to create a Facebook Shop through Business Manager. Consider this a prelude.

Morning Horror of “Fix The Critical Error in WordPress”

Morning Horror of “Fix The Critical Error in WordPress”

So this morning I’m opening a client’s website, to do some further work. You know, update images, new prices, that sort. Imagine my horror, when clicking on Divi Theme Builder, and the white screen of death comes up.. “There has been a critical error on this website. Please check your site admin email inbox for instructions.” What? What happened? Everything was fine a week ago! And now, the most annoying, frustrating WordPress Message ever.

Of course, I’m a hopeful person and go to check the admin email. I should have known better. No WordPress, you haven’t sent me any message about this error horror, as usual. Left to figure things out on my own again! 

A quick Google on the “critical error on WordPress website” refreshes my knowledge of this issue. Yes, of course. The culprits as usual – the multiple plugins I had installed to test out various options for the online shop. Amazon addon for WordPress? Why exactly did I install this one? Well, deactivate and delete. Yep. That was it! The culprit was found and the site is back and working! Bad, amazon, bad plugin! No more of you! Hopefully, the rest of the day is less web-error-eventful.

On a side note, here’s a great site I always use to refresh my memory of all sorts of errors and problems.

PS. I did configure my SMTP and it was working. So WordPress should have sent me an email!

How To Stop Words from Breaking in WordPress Divi Theme on Mobile Screens

If you are building your website in Divi and come to the stage of testing, what you have created on multiple screens and devices, a common problem of words breaking or splitting across the screen, can come up. If you are using Divi theme, which is what I use, then the solution is simple.

All you need is a line of code in your CSS:

h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6 {overflow-wrap: normal;}

Broken Images with Divi Themes

Broken Images with Divi Themes

There isn’t anything more frustrating than opening your browser in the morning, and discovering that your website is full of broken images. And you have no idea why. Nothing changed overnight. Multiple reasons ran through my mind: 

  • An update needed on the theme?
  • Out of date Plugin?
  • SSL certificate causing problems?

For the past 3 years, I have been using Divi Themes on all the Websites I build in Worpdress. And I love it. But it comes with a learning curve. A few times it seemed that Divi Theme update did the job. I saw full images again! Phew. Potential new clients won’t be worried when landing on my website. But like a bad smell, the broken images kept creeping back. Until today. 

A quick scan through Google and Forums finally gave me the answer – apparently, all I needed to do, was to turn off “responsive images” in Divi Theme options. So, my site is back to being unbroken! One happy designer!

Why isn’t my form sending emails in WordPress?

Why isn’t my form sending emails in WordPress?

So you have installed Divi and all it’s beautiful features. Now you have added the email form, and are testing it out. But nothing is coming to your email! It’s a very frustrating position to be in. The solution is simple though. To explain it a bit deeper, your server handles PHP email requests by your web host.

As you are using WordPress, the best solution is to use an SMTP plugin. I use WP Mail SMTP plugin on all my websites.

In order for it to work, you will also need to use a third party application, such as SendGrid.

When you have created an account on SendGrid, you will need to generate an API key, which you then need to paste into your SMTP plugin. And voila, the form is sending your emails!