FMTC Datafeed Box Documentation

The FMTC Datafeed Box is a comprehensive solution for adding deals and merchants to your WordPress website. In this case, “comprehensive” means the integration covers both functionality and design:

  1. Adds automatically-updated Deal and Merchant data to your site
  2. Includes customizable design integration

Installation

Requirement: The FMTC Datafeed Box can only be installed on sites running the Focus WordPress Theme.

Once Focus is installed and running on the target site, the first step is to install and activate the FMTC Datafeed Box.

After activating this Box, you’ll be ready to proceed with the setup described below.

Initial Setup

After activating the FMTC Datafeed Box, you’ll need to visit the settings page to begin the setup process. There are 3 ways to access the FMTC Datafeed settings page:

1. From the Manage Boxes page:

Click the blue Settings button under the FMTC Datafeed Box.

FMTC Datafeed settings via the Manage Boxes page

2. From the Boxes menu:

If you’re inside the Thesis Admin, you can click on the Boxes menu to reveal sub-items, and then click on FMTC Datafeed.

FMTC Datafeed settings via Boxes menu

3. From the WordPress Admin navigation menu:

The WordPress Admin includes a navigation menu on the left side, and you can access the FMTC Datafeed settings page by visiting MerchantsSettings.

FMTC Datafeed settings via the WordPress Dashboard menu

Pro tip: This is the most efficient way to access the settings page during normal usage (aka after you’ve completed the setup process).

Once you’re on the FMTC Datafeed settings page, you can begin the stepwise setup process described below.

Step 1: Enter your FMTC API Key

You’ll need to enter an FMTC API Key before the FMTC Datafeed Box will fetch fresh data and stock your site with Deals and Merchants.

FMTC API key

Simply paste your FMTC API Key in the provided field, and then click the green Save FMTC Datafeed button in the upper right corner of the FMTC Datafeed settings page.

You oughta know: After you enter an API key, the FMTC Datafeed Box will immediately begin fetching the Merchants and associated Deals you’ve selected in your FMTC API account. This process takes a while, so be patient!

FMTC Datafeed Merchants menuIf the data fetch was successful, you’ll be able to browse the Merchants you’ve selected in your FMTC account by clicking Merchants in the Merchants menu on the left side of your WordPress Dashboard.

Go ahead and do that now just to verify that the Merchant data was received as expected. If everything is working properly, you’ll see a list of Merchants on this page:

FMTC Datafeed Merchants Page

If you do not see any Merchants, then one of the following issues is in play:

  • Incorrect FMTC API Key
  • The number of Deals associated with your selected Merchants is so high that the data request timed out, resulting in an incomplete data set

Check the API Key again, and then you may also want to visit the FMTC Datafeed settings page and click the blue Get All Deals button that appears near the bottom.

This will attempt to fetch the FMTC API data again; if you consistently end up with incomplete data, you should contact your host and have them increase PHP and WordPress memory limits.

WordPress Permalinks MenuA quirk in the WordPress permalink system requires you to take this step before proceeding with the FMTC Datafeed Box.

Click on the Permalinks item in the WordPress Settings menu to visit the Permalink Settings page, where you’ll need to scroll to the bottom and click the Save Changes button.

You can test whether or not this worked by visiting the Merchant Categories page, which has the following URL:

yoursite.com/merchants/categories/

If your permalinks are working properly, this page will be populated with product categories from your selected Merchants.

If not, this page will return a 404 error, and the content area will be empty.

Step 3: Test Your Deals

Before you can move onto customizations, you’ll need to verify that the Deals have indeed come through as expected. Head on over to the new Merchants page, which has the URL:

yoursite.com/merchants/

And then click on one of the available Merchant links. If the deals have come through properly, you should see something like this:

FMTC Datafeed Deals Output

Looking good? Great! Now it’s time to play with the FMTC Datafeed options and get your Deals displaying precisely how you want.

FMTC Datafeed Box Options

The FMTC Datafeed settings page includes a few sets of options you can use to exercise pinpoint control over Deal output as well as the way Merchant and Category pages work.

We’ll run through each set of options in the sections below.

Deal Customization Options

FMTC Datafeed Box Deal Display OptionsIn the previous section, you saw how your Deals will output by default, but you can use the options on the FMTC Datafeed settings page to tweak the way Deals display.

These options are non-destructive, so you can play around with different settings without fear of “breaking” anything or screwing up your layout.

Be sure to follow these two steps each time you make a change to the Deal display options:

  • Click the green Save FMTC Datafeed button in the upper right corner
  • Hold shift and click refresh when viewing your site to dump the browser cache

Merchants and Categories Page Options

During initial setup for the FMTC Datafeed Box, you visited both the Merchants and Categories pages, but here’s a reminder of where both pages are located.

Your Merchants page is located at:

yoursite.com/merchants/

And your Categories page is located at:

yoursite.com/merchants/categories/

FMTC Datafeed Per Page OptionsBy default, these pages will display up to 100 Merchants and Categories. If you would like to constrain the output to a smaller number or make the output larger to accommodate more Merchants or Categories, you can do so with the options shown here.

Enter any positive integer value in either field, and then be sure to click the green Save FMTC Datafeed button in the upper right corner to lock in your changes.

Data Management Options

You may encounter situations during normal use or testing where you need to refresh Merchant, Deal, and Category data.

To address this, the FMTC Datafeed Box includes two helpful buttons you can use to force the outcomes you want.

FMTC Datafeed Reset ButtonsThe first button, Get All Deals, will update all FMTC API data on your site. This type of API call typically takes a while, so please be patient when using this option!

The second button, Reset Data, will completely remove all Merchant and Category information from your WordPress installation. The ensuing page load will make a full FMTC API call to refresh Merchant, Deal, and Category data, so expect this process to take a little while.

Attention! Only use this option if you want to completely reset your FMTC Datafeed environment!

Shortcodes for Customized Deal Output

While the FMTC Datafeed Box sets up your Merchants and Categories by default, you’ll probably still want to provide site visitors with a more friendly way to browse Deals (like on your home page, for example).

You can do this quickly and easily with the various shortcodes included in the FMTC Datafeed Box.

Featured Merchants Shortcode

The Featured Merchants Shortcode displays the logos of selected major brands and indicates how many Deals are currently available from each.

You can add the Featured Merchants Shortcode to any post, page, or shortcode-enabled area of your WordPress website with the following code:

[fmtc_merchants merchants="Nordstrom, Sears, Walmart"]

To change the Merchants that display here, simply change the bolded part of the code above and make sure each Merchant is separated by a comma and a space.

Important usage note: Some Merchants include apostrophes in the name. If you want to highlight any Merchants whose names include apostrophes, you’ll need to use Merchant IDs rather than Merchant names in your shortcode.

For example, if you wanted to highlight Bloomingdale’s (2317) and Macy’s (1032), the resulting shortcode would look like this:

[fmtc_merchants merchants="2317, 1032"]

Warning! You cannot mix and match Merchant names with IDs. This is an either-or proposition—use all IDs or all names, but never both!

How do I find a Merchant ID?

FMTC Datafeed Merchant IDSimply visit the Merchants page on your site and mouse over any Merchant link. You should see the link destination in the lower-left corner of your browser; the number after m- is the Merchant ID—in this case, 2317.

The following additional parameters are available to modify the [fmtc_merchants] shortcode:

  • style — string value for adding HTML classes to the output wrapper
  • depth — integer value for precise HTML source indentation
[fmtc_merchants merchants="2317, 1032" style="extend"]

Featured Deals Shortcode

The Featured Deals shortcode is perfect for displaying the most desirable curated Deals to your audience.

To use it, include IDs of the Deals you’d like to display in an [fmtc_deals_featured] shortcode reference:

[fmtc_deals_featured deals="35419843, 35356345"]

Include a comma + space separated list of Deal IDs as shown in bold above. Also, we recommend including an even number of Deals, as this will keep your display balanced and aesthetically pleasing on all screen sizes.

How do I find a Deal ID?

FMTC Datafeed Deal IDMouse over any Deal, and look for the link destination in the lower-left corner of your browser. The Deal ID is the number between the slashes (/)—in this case, 36874707.

The following additional parameters are available to modify the [fmtc_deals_featured] shortcode:

  • depth — integer value for precise HTML source indentation
[fmtc_deals_featured deals="35419843, 35356345" depth=2]

Featured Product Categories Shortcode

You can use the Featured Product Categories shortcode to display a few Deals from selected product Categories.

Simply include a list of Category slugs along with the [fmtc_categories_featured] shortcode:

[fmtc_categories_featured cats="apparel, beauty-cosmetics, electronics, house-home, phones-wireless, vitamins-supplements"]

To find the precise Category slugs, visit the MerchantsCategories page inside your WordPress Admin. The slugs appear in the third column:

FMTC Datafeed Category Slugs

Notice how Category slugs are all lowercase and contain hyphens instead of spaces!

In the image above, the Category slugs are apparel, apparel-baby-kids, apparel-big-tall, and apparel-intimate.

You can also specify a few other parameters to adjust the final output to your liking:

  • tag — string value to specify the HTML tag that wraps Category names (default is h4)
  • bold — boolean value to force Category names to output in bold
  • max — integer value to set the total number of Deals to display per Category
  • max_per — integer value to set the maximum number of Deals to display per Merchant per Category
  • merchant — include any Merchant ID to output Deals from specified Categories from this Merchant only!
  • depth — integer value for precise HTML source indentation

Here’s an example showing how to get Category names to output in bold while also limiting each Merchant to 2 Deals per Category:

[fmtc_categories_featured cats="apparel, beauty-cosmetics, house-home" bold=1 max_per=2]

Latest (Newest) Deals Shortcode

You can use the Latest Deals shortcode to display new Deals from the past 7 days:

[fmtc_deals_latest]

Depending on the number of new Deals, the default output may be large and therefore not particularly useful. Fortunately, parameters are available to limit the output for better effectiveness:

  • max — integer value to set the total number of Deals to display
  • max_per — integer value to set the maximum number of Deals to display per Merchant
  • depth — integer value for precise HTML source indentation

A more sensible Latest Deals implementation—which only outputs 2 Deals per Merchant—will look like this:

[fmtc_deals_latest max_per=2]

Deals by Category Shortcode

You can use the Deals by Category shortcode to output deals from a specific product Category. The following example will output Deals from the House and Home Category:

[fmtc_deals_by_category cat="house-home"]

The required cat parameter accepts a Category slug, and just like the other shortcodes, you can supply additional parameters for finite control over the resulting output:

  • max — integer value to set the total number of Deals to display
  • max_per — integer value to set the maximum number of Deals to display per Merchant
  • merchant — include any Merchant ID to output Deals from this Merchant only!
  • depth — integer value for precise HTML source indentation

For this example, let’s assume we want to display 6 House and Home Deals from Macy’s (Merchant ID = 1032):

[fmtc_deals_by_category cat="house-home" merchant=1032 max=6]