Frequently Asked Questions (WP Plugin)
How can I have the WCC WP Plugin automatically display most popular eBay items based on the post/keyword tags of my posts?
To do this you'll need to do 3 things:
- On your WCCWPPI Admin/Settings screen, leave the box Keywords Keep Priority Over Post Tags unchecked.
- Within your posts, include this anchor tag roughly where you want the plugin to appear: [eBay]
- While publishing your post, be sure to specify post tags, whether 1 or several, that will easily help the WCCWPPI generate most-popular-on-eBay search results. If your post tags are too specific, your plugin may display "No Results Found" instead of eBay items. In that case, either use broader post tags, or more post tags. (See this FAQ entry for more help with this.)
If you do the above, the keywords used to generate search results within the WCCWPPI display will come from your blog post tags. This will affect the plugin display both within the actual post, via your [eBay]
anchor tag, as well as in the sidebar (if you have the WCCWPPI enabled as a sidebar widget and is displayed in a single-post page view).
How do I limit search results to specific eBay categories?
On the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page is the Categories
field where you can enter 1 or more eBay sub/category numbers for which the plugin's Most Popular Items search should be based on. This search results filter will be combined with terms you may enter into the nearby Keywords
field. See this FAQ entry
for instructions on how to look up eBay category numbers.
How do I look up eBay category numbers?
To see category number lists (hosted on eBay), go to our advanced search page
, select your eBay country-site, then find and click the 'eBay category numbers' link.
How do I make a customized message appear within the WCC WP Plugin?
You can display short message text in lieu of displaying a visitor search box. Within your WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page, set the Inline Search option to 'Hidden'. After saving your settings this will then display a standard informational message to your visitors about the eBay item(s) being displayed. You can customize this message by updating the Info Message field in the Advanced Customization pane toward the bottom of the Admin/Settings page.
Can I show more than 3 or 4 items?
Yes, you can. While our skins are designed to display only 1-4 eBay items, within the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page is an option to use 'no skin'. Choose that option, then select a higher value for the Max Results field in the Advanced Customization pane.
Do I enter anchor tags in Visual mode or HTML mode?
You can enter your anchor tags while typing your posts in either 'HTML' view or 'Visual' view of the WordPress post editor. We recommend using 'HTML' view since there you'll see an 'eBay' quicktag button you can click on to insert a WCCWPPI anchor tag for you (and there are other cool HTML formatting features available too).
How can I verify that the WCC WP Plugin search results are using my specified keywords/categories?
There are a couple ways you can reassure yourself that the results you're seeing within your plugin display are properly being directed by your choice of keywords and/or categories.
One way is to run a search on either our home page
or advanced search page
using the same parameters and comparing results – they should be the same.
If you're a bit more technically inclined: For a page on your blog displaying the WCC WP Plugin, view the source code in your browser and find where the plugin display appears (search for "WatchCount.com WordPress Plugin"). Looking through the code you should see a 'Diagnostics' section that shows the parameters, including keywords and categories, used in generating that particular plugin display appearance/impression.
How many different ways can I specify the keywords used to display eBay items?
There are 3 places where you can specify the keywords that the WCCWPPI will use for searching for, and displaying, most popular eBay items (or a seller's items):
- global keyword (and category) settings chosen on the Admin/Settings page
- post tags that WordPress solicits when you publish your post
- in-post anchor tags you embed within the flow of typing your post
Also, you may have chosen to configure the WCCWPPI to accept search terms from your visitors via the Inline Search box – another source of keywords that fuels the Most Popular Items search within the plugin display.
For more details, see our Documentation page
for info on how the WCCWPPI follows this hierarchy of priorities in using keywords for searching eBay.
How do I upgrade my WCC WP Plugin to the latest version?
Easily done! Find the 'Plugins' screen within your blog's Dashboard/Admin pages. Look for the Upgrade Available
link near the top, or find your way to the 'There is a new version of WatchCount.com WordPress Plugin available' message down below our plugin. The Upgrade Automatically
link is a simple 1-click upgrade!
You may also find us listed in the Dashboard 'Updates' screen alongside other plugins you already have installed that need updating as well. (If you wish, you should be able to do a bulk update of all such plugins at once.)
If you can't find any of those indicators, you can also just follow the 'Right From Within Your Blog' download steps listed in our Quick Start Instructions
. Instead of an Install Now
link/button, you'll see something like Update Now
– that too is a 1-click upgrade.
Either way, you won't need to uninstall, deactivate, or re-activate your current WCCWPPI installation – and your configuration settings will remain intact through the upgrade process. Pretty cool, huh?
As an eBay seller myself, how do I use the WCC WP Plugin to display my own items?
On the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page you'll find the eBay Seller ID field where you'll enter your seller username. You'll also need to specify at least a keyword and/or category number in the fields above it to narrow the search a bit – or your post tags or anchor tags can be used automagically instead.
What is the difference between a 'post tag' and an 'anchor tag'?
Post tags are keywords that most WordPress blogs ask you to enter as you publish your post. These keywords help categorize your posts and assist others in finding them.
A WCC WP Plugin 'anchor tag' is something different than that (and also unrelated to HTML anchor tags/links). It's a parameter, such as a keyword, that you'd specify directly within a blog post to have the WCCWPPI display itself within your post. It may looks something like this: [eBay keywords="Reborn baby" cc="US"]
You can have the WCC WP Plugin key its Most Popular Items (or seller's items) search results off of either post tags you (already) specify, or anchor tags you embed. (Learn anchor tag syntax on our Documentation page
Can I use the WCC WP Plugin to showcase a specific eBay item?
Yes, you can display a specific eBay item by entering its eBay listing number in the Keywords box, or by including it in-post via an anchor tag. Here's an example of the latter case: [eBay item="1234567890"] .
Can I exclude keywords from my eBay item searches?
Yes, you can. You'd specify negative keywords following this example: organic food -baby
will remove any baby food from search results. (See more keyword specification tips
How do I use an anchor tag to specify a keyword search like "antique earring*" that includes both the quote marks and asterisk wildcard?
You'll need to use both full anchor tag syntax and single quotes to specify your keywords. Following this example, you'd use this as an anchor tag: [eBay keywords='"antique earring*"']
. Notice that single quotes flank the double-quoted keyword phrase. Note: eBay officially removed wildcard/asterisk searching, also affecting WatchCount.com and our WP Plugin, beginning 05-Nov-2012. Asterisks are no longer supported.
What advanced search syntax, and other strategies, are available for use in specifying keywords?
When choosing keywords for the display of either most popular eBay items or a seller's items, you'll typically enter a series of search terms separated by commas, such as: (wheat penny, wheat pennies, wheat cent, wheat cents)
. Using some of the advanced search syntax (and other) tips below, you could shorten your keyword search string to: wheat (penny,pennies,cent,cents)
- You can specify item search by keyword only, category only, or a combination of keywords and category numbers. If you want to bring up popular books about (or by) Abraham Lincoln, after you enter Abraham Lincoln in the Keywords box, be sure to select a subcategory number in the Books (top-level) category. If you leave the Categories box empty, you may not get the specific results you seek (you may get other Abraham Lincoln products).
- Don't be shy in using the asterisk character * as a wildcard in your keywords. Can't remember whether to spell it 'Rihanna' or 'Rihhanna' or 'Rihana'? Just search by Rih*na . (By the way, her name is spelled 'Rihanna'.) Know that you'll need to put at least 2 characters before the asterisk. Note: eBay officially removed wildcard/asterisk searching, also affecting WatchCount.com and our WP Plugin, beginning 05-Nov-2012. Asterisks are no longer supported.
- You can use quotation marks " " to bind keywords together in their proper order so that when you're looking to display an "xbox 360" you don't show items named "360 Ways to Hack an XBox" (although maybe you'd find the latter interesting as well).
- Consider whether or not to use plurals in your keywords. Singular vs. plural may return different results. You may wish to use the wildcard/asterisk to specify both singular and plural items.
- Use negative keywords by specifying a hyphen "-" to weed out undesirable terms. For example, organic food -baby will remove any baby food from search results.
- To specify a logical or in your search, follow this example of using parentheses: As a coin collector, you may want to show items that include "wheat penny" or "wheat cent" in the title. You can perform these two queries in one search: wheat (penny,cent) .
- Combine search syntax for focused results. Following the example above, a coin collector might be interested in eBay listings for "wheat pennies" (or penny) that don't have cent(s) in the title. wheat (penny,pennies) -(cent,cents) would do the trick.
- Know that some eBay items are commonly misspelled. You may want to consider this as you build your keyword search string. For example, instead of using diamond ring , perhaps use (diamond,dimond,daimond) ring instead, to capture sellers who themselves intentionally misspell 'diamond' to attract their target audience. (Sidenote: WatchCount.com offers a free eBay misspellings search engine to help you find misspelled items that may have low bids.)
- Be sure you select the correct eBay site/country, either in the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page, or within your anchor tags.
How do I report a bug with the WCC WP Plugin?
Please use the 'Contact Us' link in the footer of this page to email us. (Thanks for letting us know!)
Why does my WCC WP Plugin say "No Results Found"?
This happens when the plugin can't come up with search results for the keywords/categories selected, perhaps because the keyword terms are too narrow/specific. Are your keywords coming from the global keywords settings, in-post anchor tags, or, more commonly, the post tags you specify while publishing a post? Whichever the answer, be sure you are selecting words that are general enough to regularly and reliably produce search results in the plugin display. You can help do this by using terms that are broader (Levis
instead of Levis 501 jeans
), or using more terms separated by commas (Levis, jeans, pants
). You can check/test various keyword combinations using the Live Preview feature in your WCCWPPI Admin/Settings screen, or on our site
If you have the plugin set to display a seller's items instead of Most Popular Items, you may also be using keywords that don't exist in item titles of that seller, or you've entered a misspelled/invalid seller ID.
Why do I only see 3 of the 4 eBay Daily Deals in my plugin?
Our skins are designed to display a maximum of 4 eBay items in them. If you have your WCCWPPI settings set to display the WatchCount.com tagline, a maximum of 3 items can appear. To display that 4th eBay Daily Deal item, you'll need to either disable the WCC tagline/backlink, or disable skins by selecting 'no skin'.
Why does the display of my WCC WP Plugin get cut off?
If your WCCWPPI display is getting its left or right edge sliced off, it's likely because your WordPress theme's sidebar isn't wide enough to display the plugin. (This should not affect proper plugin appearance within the body of your posts.) Switching to a new theme may help. If you like, we'd be happy to have a closer look at your situation to see if there's anything else at play (please email us via the 'Contact Us' link in the footer of this page).
Why does my WCC WP Plugin look broken in Internet Explorer 6?
Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 is considered by many to be an outdated browser, containing many documented bugs and security shortcomings, and lacking several modern browsing components such as RSS integration, tabbed browsing, phishing protection, and solid web standards compliance. More and more webmasters have abandoned supporting it, just as was once done with IE5 and earlier browsers. Supporting IE6 entails implementing cumbersome coding workarounds and "hacks" and at this point isn't worth the trouble, considering its continuing decline in popularity on the 'net. As such, we've jumped aboard that bandwagon and instead prefer to focus our resources on developing and supporting features that work properly in all modern browsers.
If you're getting a significant portion of traffic to your blog from IE6 users, you may wish to politely suggest that they upgrade to a more functional, accepted, and modern browser, whether or not the WCCWPPI is displaying oddly for IE6 visitors. You can do this automatically via the free widget offered by IE6NoMore.com
Why doesn't the WCC WP Plugin show how many watchers on eBay items?
displays how many watchers eBay's most popular items have garnished, we decided that including Watch Counts within the WCC WP Plugin could complicate the display for blog visitors. For one thing, there are space constraints to consider. Moreover, an eBay item's Watch Count is a very eBay-centric figure, and we figured that its display within the WCCWPPI would gestate more questions than answers in the minds of most blog viewers. If we were to decide to add another piece of item information to the plugin, it would likely be more helpful to people to show the Bid Count instead.
I don't like some of the colors used in the selected skin. Can I change them?
Not really, sorry – the general design of each skin is set. However, you can exercise some choice over the color of some of the elements within the plugin display. Using the Advanced Customization panes within the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page in your blog you can specify the colors you'd like for the plugin title, title background, and item divider lines. You can also choose 'no skin' and then select any background color for the entire plugin.
Can I supply my own skin to display within the WCC WP Plugin?
Not right away, sorry. However, we're happy to work with you to create a new skin based on your design, and add it to the collection of current skin offerings available to all users of the WCC WP Plugin. If you'd like to go this route, please use the 'Contact Us' link in the footer of this page to email us about this.
If you're dissatisfied with the current (but growing) collection of skin designs we offer, please note that within the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page in your blog you can opt to use 'no skin' and then select any background color for the entire plugin.
Does the WCC WP Plugin come in any other shapes, like horizontal banner?
At this time, no (sorry). While the WCCWPPI displays in varying lengths, depending on how many eBay items are appearing, the width is currently fixed to approximately 240 pixels.
What are eBay Daily Deals?
eBay Daily Deals
are a handful of deeply discounted products offered by trusted eBay sellers for a short time span and with limited quantity. They are specially arranged with eBay, promoted heavily for no longer than a day, always offer free shipping/postage, and have a loyal following in the marketplace.
Currently 4 eBay sites offer these Deals: eBay.com, eBay.co.uk, eBay.com.au, eBay.de. You can showcase the eBay Daily Deals in your WCC WP Plugin display by selecting so on your blog's WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page. Naturally, eBay rotates items as they sell out (or the day ends), and our plugin will always display the current/latest products.
Does the WCC WP Plugin issue cookies to visitors' browsers?
No, it doesn't issue cookies at all (not that cookies are a bad thing to serve).
How does the WCC WP Plugin decide what keywords to search eBay for?
The WCC WP Plugin uses keywords for displaying most popular eBay items following a hierarchy of priorities. Have a look at our Documentation page
for the details.
Why is the WCC WP Plugin available in multiple languages while WatchCount.com is only in English?
In a nutshell, we're slow! At the moment it's not a priority to add full language support to all of WatchCount.com pages – we think that many of our international visitors are happy enough just knowing that their search results on our site are properly localized.
However, we don't want this kind of failing to pollute the integrity of your own site-blog, so we made sure to include translated elements within the plugin display, such as any titles and captions – and to offer you the capability of further customizing such textual elements.
Can I place the WCC WP Plugin on my non-blog website?
The WCC WP Plugin is currently only designed to display within WordPress blogs, not on regular websites. If you're serious about wanting to display it within a "vanilla non-blog website", please let us know (via the 'Contact Us' link in the footer of this page) as we're considering developing a version of the WCCWPPI for folks like you. (In the meantime, you can always link to WatchCount.com. :)
Does my plugin have to show the WatchCount.com promotional tagline?
No, you can opt to suppress it via the Your RevShare Level selection box on the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page (in the ePN pane). If you entered your ePN Campaign ID there, your selection will also affect your revenue sharing level, as explained on that page. (Also, at the bottom of that page is a checkbox that can affect the promo tagline for empty search results displays.)
How often does the WCC WP Plugin update itself with new eBay listing information?
Constantly. Each appearance/impression of the WCC WP Plugin shows the latest product information available from eBay.
Can I showcase 'Adult Only' eBay items with the WCC WP Plugin?
Unfortunately we can't display eBay items within eBay.com's Adult Only category (or other Mature Content categories) as part of normal "Most Popular Items" or seller's items WCCWPPI displays. However, if you specify a particular item number within that category, you can display that 1 item. (With such items, any eBay affiliate links within the WCCWPPI will be disabled to comply with ePN ToS.)
How do I earn money with the WCC WP Plugin?
You can only generate eBay commissions with the WCC WP Plugin if you already have an ePN account. (If you have one, you'll know.) In that case, you'll want to generate a new Campaign ID within your ePN account and enter it on the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page. Your CampID and ours will "impression-share" as explained on the Settings page, and the WCCWPPI will behave much like eBay Promotional Content you'd obtain from ePN, attracting possible click-throughs and hopefully driving eBay sales and subsequent commissions. (You can learn tons/heaps more about how eBay commissions work at the ePN site.)
(In case you're wondering... Yes, we do have explicit permission from ePN to offer the WatchCount.com WordPress Plugin to bloggers and "impression-share" CampIDs in this fashion.)
How can I verify that my eBay affiliate links are present within the WCCWPPI?
First, make sure that you entered a 10-digit ePN Campaign ID on the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page.
Most modern browsers will allow you to hover your mouse over a web page link to determine the destination URL, often displayed in the browser status bar at the base of the window. You can do this with an eBay link appearing within the WCCWPPI on your blog and notice the "rover.ebay.com" affiliate link containing your ePN CampID. (While you can test the destination of this link by clicking it, we recommend you be frugal about such link testing, as excessive clicks can possibly affect your ePN earnings negatively. Also, be sure to clear your browser's cookies before you start any eBay shopping session so you're not harboring your own ePN affiliate tracking cookie when you bid/buy.)
If you are configured to revenue share (rotate) impressions with us, you may notice a WatchCount.net link there instead of your own "rover" link – just refresh your blog page a few times to eventually see your own rover links appear.
Does the WCC WP Plugin do anything to reduce occurrences of "eBay round-tripping"?
If you have your ePN Campaign ID entered in the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings screen, you need to be aware that it's against ePN Terms of Service to get traffic to your blog, when displaying the WCCWPPI, that comes from any eBay page, such as an eBay listing or 'About Me' page – if so, this is known as "eBay round-tripping". Since such traffic isn't entirely under one's control, we added a feature to the WCCWPPI that automatically checks where your visitor is coming from; if they are arriving at your blog page from an eBay page, ePN affiliate links within the WCCWPPI are automatically disabled for that impression/appearance. While such a preventive measure is very cursory, it can provide basic protection to help minimize this kind of accidental violation of ePN ToS.
Do my ePN affiliate links appear in RSS feeds generated from my blog posts?
Nope. eBay/ePN affiliate links are disabled from appearing within the WCCWPPI inside RSS feeds. We do this to comply with ePN Terms of Service that require that such links remain contained on your own domain(s).
If you like, you can opt (via a checkbox in the WCCWPPI Admin/Settings page) to also disable the entire plugin display within RSS feeds.