Category: Car Demon Tricks

More than just cars!

Did you know Car Demon can be used for selling a wide variety of vehicle types?

Don’t let the ‘Car’ in Car Demon fool you!

If you sell Boats, RVs, Semi Trucks, Planes or even Rocket Ships then you can use Car Demon.

Car Demon was designed to be a “vehicle sales” PlugIn and isn’t limited to just cars.

Sure, right out of the box everything is setup for your typical Car Dealership but with a few changes to your settings it can be a WordPress PlugIn for Motorcycle Dealerships or ATV Dealerships.

If you’re building a site for any kind of vehicle sales then chances are Car Demon can handle it.

Car Demon Not Cars

We even have an add-on PlugIn designed to help make it even easier; Car Demon Not Cars

You don’t have to have the “Not Cars” PlugIn to sell other vehicle types, but it does include a few extra functions that switch around the verbiage in the admin area so it makes more sense to anyone updating your site.

If you’re building a site for a client then we highly recommend grabbing a copy of Car Demon Not Cars, your client will thank you for it.

How do I use Car Demon for selling other types of vehicles?

We’re glad you asked! The first thing you want to do is change the URL slug under Car Demon settings.

Car Demon Custom URL Option

Let’s say you’re selling boats. Change the slug to something like boats-for-sale. Then re-save your permalinks to update the URL. Now your vehicle listings will appear under http://yoursite.com/boats-for-sale

What about vehicle options?

Obviously the vehicle options for cars are different from the options for a boat. So we’ve made it as easy as possible for you to change these options to match your vehicle type.

Go to your Car Demon Settings and look for the button that say “Edit Vehicle Option Tabs”.

Tab options button

On the next page you have the ability to change the labels for the default Specs, or even hide them. You also have the ability to add or remove option groups and even the options themselves.

Car Demon Vehicle Options

Now that you have your options updated to match your vehicle type you should be good to go.

But the Admin area still says Cars For Sale!

Yes it does and this can be annoying or even confusing for anyone updating the vehicles. It just doesn’t feel right and if you’re building a site for a client they might give you a hassle over it.

This is one of the great things the “Car Demon Not Cars” PlugIn can help you with!

After you install it you’ll have an admin area that lets you change the labels in the admin area. Now you have the ability to make the admin menu item say “Boats For Sale” and give your client some peace of mind.

Car Demon Not Cars

What have we learned?

Car Demon is more than just a WordPress PlugIn for car sales.

  1. It’s a WordPress PlugIn for Boats
  2. It’s a WordPress PlugIn for RVs
  3. It’s a WordPress PlugIn for Planes
  4. It’s a WordPress PlugIn for Motorcycles
  5. It”s a WordPress PlugIn for Semi Trucks
  6. It’s a WordPress PlugIn for ATVs
  7. It”s a WordPress PlugIn for Rocket Ships!

If you’re building a website for any kind of vehicle sales then Car Demon should be the first tool in your arsenal.

Car Demon – Wicked Powers for MORE than just Car Dealers!

Changing Vehicle Options and Labels

Let’s say you want to change some of the default vehicle options. Instead of Stock # you want it called just stock and instead of mileage you want it to say miles and since you only sell Buick’s you want to hide the made.

Car Demon has several robust features that let you customize vehicle options and labels.

First go to your Car Demon’s settings page and find the Tab Options. Now click on the “Edit Vehicle Option Tabs” button.

Tab options button

You’ll see a section for each of the tabs. Expand the Specs Tab and you’ll find options for renaming standard fields or even hiding them.

You’ll also see a section where you can add or remove non-standard options.

Edit Car Demon Tabs

You can add or remove additional groups for each tab. If you open the Safety Tab you’ll see it has several groups of options.

You can add or remove groups as needed. If you remove a group or option from a group it doesn’t remove that information for the vehicle if it’s been set. If you recreate a group with the same name and add the same list of options then Car Demon will show the data on the vehicle again.

Car Demon Tabs

After you update your information your options should appear on the vehicle edit screen and be reflected on the vehicles.

We hope this post gives you a little more information on how you can customize Car Demon to fit your needs.

Car Demon Shortcodes

The Car Demon PlugIn comes with several shortcodes that you can use to add Car Demon content to your pages.

The code for them can be found in plugins/car-demon/includes/car-demon-shortcodes.php

The first set of shortcodes are for the forms that come with Car Demon.

If you look on the bottom of the Car Demon settings page you’ll see a list of them along with some buttons you can use to create a page with the basic shortcode dropped in.

car_demon_shortcodes

The shortcodes for the forms have several arguments you can use with them to control how they’re displayed.

send_to – set this to the location name in Car Demon Settings
popup_id – if you set this to a number or a single word name it will hide the form and replace it with a button that pops opens the form into a lightbox. If you want to include multiple forms in a page then just make sure you give each of them a unique popup_id.
popup_button – this will change the text of the popup button if you have set a popup_id for the form.

So if you used [contact_us popup_id=”1″ popup_button=”Email Us Now”] it will add a button to your page that says “Email Us Now” and will pop open the contact form when clicked.

If you had a location named “Bill’s Cars” and a location named “Sam’s Cars” and you wanted to create a popup service form for each of them on the same page you’d add the following shortcodes

[service_quote send_to=”Bill’s Cars” popup_id=”1″ popup_button=”Get a Service Quote from Bill”]
[service_quote send_to=”Sam’s Cars” popup_id=”2″ popup_button=”Get a Service Quote from Sam”]

Other Shortcodes

People often ask if there is a shortcode to insert inventory into any page. You can do this with our Advanced Search PlugIn – it lets you put a dynamic json driven inventory into any page.

There are a few other shortcodes that come with the Free Car Demon PlugIn that you might find handy.

search_cars

 

 

[search_form] – comes with one argument, “size”. If you set it to “0” it will return the small narrow search form, set it to “1” it will give you the small wide search form and if you set it to “2” it will give you the full search form.

So to add a full sized search form to a page you’d add [search_form size=”2″].

[search_box] – adds a keyword vehicle search box to your page. Setting the argument “button” you can control what the buttons says. Setting the argument “message” will change the text that appears in front of the search form.

This [search_box button=”Search Cars” message=”Search by Keyword”] would create a search box that says “Search by Keyword” right before it and a button that says “Search Cars”.

car_demon_search_by_keyword

The [highlight_staff staff_id=”1″] shortcode must be used with the staff_id argument. You must create a user for each staff person, make them subscribers. After you create them visit their edit user page and fill in all of the Car Demon settings, including their staff position and contact information. You can also use the argument ‘contact_button’ to change what the contact form button says.

The last shortcode is [staff_page] this will display the entire staff in their corporate order. ie. General Manager first, Sales Staff below. It follows the order of the staff positions given on the user profile pages.

We hope this helps you understand the shortcodes native to the Car Demon PlugIn and will give you a few ideas on how you can structure your pages and content.

You can check out our commercial PlugIns for Car Demon to learn about other shortcodes and features they can give you.

New Demos Added

 We’ve set up a few demo sites so you can see Car Demon in action.

Each demo site has a small pre-loaded inventory with one photo on each vehicle. Only a minimal amount of information has been added to the inventory, just enough to let you see some of the possibilities.

We’ve seen some sites created by our users that just blow us away. All it takes is a little creativity and you can build a lead generating machine that will leave the competition in the dust.

Car Demon in Your Language

Thanks to some wonderful people from around the world Car demon has been translated into several languages.

French, Spanish, British English, Italian, Dutch, Romanian & Brazilian Portuguese. We’ve seen Car Demon running in lots of other languages like German, Thai and several Middle Eastern languages.

If you’ve created a translation please let us know, we’d love to share it with the world.

The community is very grateful to the efforts of our translators and want them to know how important their work is and how much it is appreciated.

around_the_world

All About Car Demon

The CarDemon PlugIn was a labor of love created by a workaholic IT Administrator and a community of hundreds of volunteers.

It would be impossible to list the number of people who write code, beta test features, provide support, write themes, write plugins, sell services and more. This community of people knows who they are and for each one we give thanks and hope they take pride in what they helped to create.

Car Demon Settings Explored

We want to take a quick minute and just look at the Car Demon Settings Page and give a quick explanation of each section.

If you have questions about a feature, need clarification or a more in-depth understanding then leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

As Car Demon changes and grows we’ll update this page and as we post more information on specific features we’ll come back here and link to the information. This will create a centralized area to explore the settings page.

1. Currency Options

The first set of options is fairly straight forward. If you’re in the US you’ll leave these at their defaults, but if you’re located elsewhere then you’ll want to make the changes needed to fit your circumstance.

currency_options

2. VinQuery Options

To use the included VinQuery decode function you’ll need to sign up for a VinQuery Account. We’re not associated with VinQuery and only provide this functionality because we believe “Content is King” and their service does a pretty good job of delivering the information.

vin_query_options

3. Style Options

The basic Car Demon install was designed as neutral as possible. This is to make it as easy as possible to adjust the look and feel of the vehicles and forms.

You may be best served by playing with these settings to get exactly what you’re looking for.

style_options

4. Tab Options

You can completely customize the vehicle tabs, including hiding them altogether.

tab_options

When you click on the “Edit vehicle Option Tabs” button you’ll be taken to a page where you can edit all the items that show on the tabs.

edit_tabs

 6. List Options

You vehicle list pages can be modified in this section. The “Display before listings” option will only function if you selected Yes on the “Use included Template” files option.

list_options

Auto load inventory

Car Demon has the ability to keep loading inventory as the page scrolls down. In order for this to work properly with your theme it is necessary for you to enter some settings from your theme. You may need to add the Car Demon vehicle results Widget to your page, this will give you a navigation container you can use.

auto_load_options

6b. Other List Options

There are several other options for your vehicle lists. Each of the options is fairly explanatory and can be adjusted as desired to meet your needs.

other_list_options

7. Form Options

In order for your forms to function properly you need to make sure you set up your Contact Information. If you don’t do that first then none of these options will really do anything.

Car Demon was designed to handle simple and complex form routing to give you a powerful tool to make sure leads are passed off to the correct person.

form_options8. Mobile Options

In almost all cases you’re going to leave this set to No. This feature flags a Car Demon option that can be used by Mobile Themes and PlugIns to provide a custom experience.

mobile_options9. Short Codes

Car Demon comes with several Short Codes to handle displaying forms and information. You can learn more about the options/arguments they have in the FAQ.

For example: Did you know you can insert a form into a page as just a button that pops open the form in a light box? It’s in the FAQ, check it out.

short_codes   certified_support

Build a Car Dealer website with WordPress – Part Two

This tutorial assumes you’ve already read “Build a Car Dealer website with WordPress – Part One“.

If you haven’t then you should pop over there and give it a read or just look at this quick summary and determine if you need to look at it.

In Part One;

We installed a theme, installed Car Demon, changed a few settings, put in our first car, added some menu items and some widgets.

We created a very basic website without a lot of content.

In part two we’re going to focus on refining the site and making Big City Mike, the pretend Dealership that we’re setting up our tutorial with, as happy as we can. Let’s pretend Big city Mike has a parts department, a service department, a finance department and a full sales staff. They need a lot of things done on their new website and we’re going to do our best to make them happy.

Car Demon comes with several short codes we can use to add content to our pages.

[contact_us]
[service_form]
[service_quote]
[part_request]
[trade]
[finance_form]
[qualify]
[staff_page]
[search_form]
[search_box]

Forms Short Codes

* How do I add a form as a button that pops open the form in a light box?

By setting the popup_id argument to a unique value you tell Car Demon to simply add a button to the page that opens your form in a popup lightbox.

The popup_button argument allows you to customize what the button says.

For Example [part_request popup_id=”1″ popup_button=”Request Parts”] this would create a button that says “Request Parts” which opens the parts request form in a popup lightbox.

These may be used with the following shortcodes; contact_us, part_request, service_form & service_quote

You can visit “Dashboard->Cars for Sale->Car Demon Settings” and scroll to the bottom for some buttons that will create your form pages and add the basic short code for the form.

forms

I clicked on each of the buttons and added pages for each one. Then I added links to them on my menu.

You’ll want to make sure you visit “Dashboard->Cars for Sale->Contact Settings” and fill in all the contact information for each form you use.

contact_info

Car Demon is capable of advanced form routing and can be set to send forms to different locations to different people. For example you can create two different parts departments or two used car departments. This can be handy for large automotive groups with multiple locations that have a single site they focus their branding on.

Car Demon also allows you to add users to your site that can switch out contact information and adjust where forms are directed all based on an affiliate style url key. This allows a each member of a sales team to share links to the website that contain their Name, phone number and directs certain forms straight to them. This can encourage your sales team to share links from your site and gives them the satisfaction of earning new leads from your website in exchange for actively advertising it on their social media accounts and on other digital properties.

If you have a CRM system that accepts ADFxml emil attachments then you can point your emails to them and turn on the ADFxml form feature.

Go to “Dashboard->Cars For Sale->Car Demon Settings” go to “Forms”

form_options

Turn on ADFxml and adjust other settings as needed.

The finance forms are built to disable themselves if they’re loaded without SSL. If they aren’t loaded with encryption then the forms should disable and show and alert. If you would like to load these pages and test them without SSL you can change the SSL setting here to “No”. We strongly encourage you to leave this to “Yes” and let you know various laws may prohibit the collection of some information without encryption protection.

 

Build a Car Dealer website with WordPress – Part One

Install WordPress

Run all updates – get the latest copy to start with.

Go to themes and search for cyberchimps. You can use just about any theme you want, but Cyber Chimps has some of the most stunning themes for Automotive so we’re going to use their Starter theme for this tutorial.

select-cyberchimps-starter-1024x343

CyberChimps make numerous free themes that work nicely with Car Demon and their professional versions are well worth the money. If you want to make an eye catching Car Dealership Website then CyberChimps is highly suggested.

pick cyberchimps

PRO TIP

Install the Wp-PageNavi PlugIn. We highly suggest you install this if you have multiple pages of inventory or intend to use the dynamic inventory load then you’ll need to have this installed. You should be fine using the default settings for it, but it does have a ton of options you might want to explore.

 

Now go to PlugIns and hit Add New. Search for Car Demon and install it.

search for and install car demon

Make sure you download Car Demon version 1.3.08 or higher. Always keep your site up to date.

 Car Demon Settings

Now that you have a theme installed and you have the latest version of Car Demon it’s time to tackle the settings.

The first thing we want to do is go to “Dashboard->Appearance->Car Display Options”.  We want to make sure “Content-replacement” is selected, this will make our display a little more compatible with a wider range of themes.

Now you’re ready for the main settings page.

Go to “Dashboard->Cars For Sale->Car Demon Settings”

Currency Options

Depending on where your site is you may need to adjust the currency settings so your prices show correctly.

VinQuery Options

If you’re entering your vehicles by hand you may want to consider purchasing a VinQuery account to decode your Vin numbers. They provide a wealth of information for each vehicle. Give your visitors the information they want on your vehicles and let them sell themselves.

Style Options, Tab Options, Editing the Vehicle Tabs, List Options, Form Options & Mobile Options

For the purpose of this tutorial we’re going to leave all of these items at their default settings. Take a moment to glance over the options and familiarize yourself with the options. Car Demon has a wide variety of setting to meet a lot of different needs. Due to the complexity we’ll have to go over each of these in their own posts.

Setting up Locations and Contact Information

Go to “Dashboard->Cars For Sale->Contact Settings” – If you have more than once location you’ll need to go to “Dashboard->Cars For Sale->Locations” and add each of your locations.

The Contact Settings page will contain settings for a default location and an area for each location you’ve setup.

Fill in as much information as possible. This information is used to populate contact forms, prices and other location specific information. It’s important to complete this area as much as possible, especially if you’re using any of the forms.

contact settings

Adding our Inventory

Go to “Dashboard->Cars For Sales->Add New”

Give your vehicle a title like “1984 S-10 Pickup Truck”

In the description area add your sales copy for the vehicle.

exp. “This 1984 S-10 Pickup is in top condition. The body has minor dents and dings but still looks good. New engine installed last year, only 18,000 miles. New tires and refreshed interior. This classic truck won’t last long.”

Now I’m going to go to the condition field and enter “preowned”.

condition

Under Body Style I’m going to enter pickup.

Now we’re ready to tackle the tabs. By default Car Demon only has one information tab available. After you’ve saved the vehicle more tabs will show up. You can adjust the tabs and fields that show up, including disabling them, from the Car Demon Settings area.

tabs

After you’ve filled out the Specs tab you’re ready to add a Featured Image. This is the main photo for the vehicle so make it good.

s-10-img1

After you’ve added your featured image you’re now ready to add your other photos into the vehicle gallery. Just click the “Manage Photos” button.

add_gallery

Upload the rest of your vehicle photos.

gallery

After you click the attach button it may take a moment to populate your photos. Please be patient and give it a few seconds, especially if you’re attaching a large number of photos.

attach

Once your photos are attached they should appear in your vehicle gallery.

attached_gallery

 

After the photos are added it’s time to publish our vehicle.

Once we’ve saved the vehicle we have several new tabs that have shown up and can be filled out to further describe the vehicle. If you aren’t going to use the tabs then you select to hide them, this will prevent empty tabs from showing on the vehicle page.

new_tabs

Once you’re satisfied you’ve added all the vehicle information for your first vehicle then it’s time to preview the inventory pages.

Viewing your inventory

First we want to make sure the links to our inventory are laid out properly. To do this we want to go to “Dashboard->Permalinks” and enter a custom link stucture of;

/%postname%/%post_id%

permalinks

After you’ve updated your permalinks you should be able to visit http://www.yoursite.dev/cars-for-sale and see a list of the vehicles in your inventory.

If you just added a test vehicle you can refresh the vehicle edit page and then click on preview to see the individual vehicle page.

I’m going to go to “Dashboard->Appearance->Menus” and add a link to my Inventory page.

inventory_menu

It helps if you make sure all your links are correct. In this case I meant to use bigcitymike.dev not the misspelled bicitymike.com

I wanted too share this with you because it’s all too easy to make a simple mistake that slows you down. Check and double check what you’re doing and keep a sharp eye out for anything that might stumble you up.

Visually enhancing your Inventory Displays

So you’ve done all the settings, typed in the first car and then finally go to the inventory to see the fruits of our labor and it doesn’t look right. In our case the main photo was showing up twice.

In order to fix this we had to go to “Dashboard->Appearance->Theme Options”. Inside the theme settings we had to go to “Blog->Blog Options->Featured Images” and turn it off. This took care of our double image problem.

inventory2

It looks like we need to do a little CSS touch up to get the prices laid out right. We’ll tackle CSS issues after we’ve added some widgets and laid out some general content for our site.

Now I’m going to head off to “Dashboard->Appearance->Widgets” and take advantage of some Car Demon Widgets.

widgets

We’re going to populate the right sidebar with the Compare Vehicles Widget, the Inventory Navigation Widget and the Search Cars Widget.

right sidebar

This will make it easier to navigate our inventory. They can reach it from the main menu and from there visitors can search for specific vehicles.

If I had a large Inventory, more than a couple dozen vehicles, then I’d provide some links to jump right to specific segments of my inventory.

Let’s say I have a lot of pickups, then I need to make sure each of them has their body style field filled out because we can create link like this;

http://www.bigcitymike.com/body_style/pickup

Other fields work the same way like; condition, make, model, vehicle_year, location. Each of them will provide a list of vehicles that have values that match. like this;

http://www.bigcitymike.dev/condition/preowned

http://www.bigcitymike.dev/vehicle_year/1984

http://www.bigcitymike.dev/make/chevrolet

http://www.bigcitymike.dev/model/s-10

Now all I need to do is layout all my pages, add my content, update my menu, tweak my widgets, load up the entire inventory and then I can see what the website owner wants me to do next.

There are lots of way to improve your installation and tweak your css, your settings, installing other plugins and everything else you go through in setting up a site.

Which is why this tutorial is wrapping up to a close.

You can see the next steps we took in Part Two of “Build a Car Dealer website with WordPress”