Why and How Do I connect Autoship Cloud to QPilot?
Table of Contents
- Connecting To QPilot
- How does Autoship Cloud work with QPilot
- How to ensure your store can connect to Autoship Cloud
- Connecting A Staging Site
- Example Staging Setup with WP Engine
- Reconnecting Your Site To QPilot
- Why Can't I Add Another Site to QPilot?
- How to confirm Connecting to QPilot was successful?
Connecting to QPilot
The Autoship Cloud plugin is powered by the QPilot.cloud web service.
QPilot is the Scheduled Commerce Engine™ that hosts and runs all of the automated processes used to create and manage scheduled orders for your Autoship business.
In other words, your WordPress site and hosting only need to manage what they're best at - the experience of Autoship. All of the "heavy lifting" of scheduling and automating Autoship orders is managed by our engine - QPilot.
- Follow these steps to connect your site to QPilot: Connecting The WooCommerce API
- To learn more about QPilot see here: What Is QPilot
- What if I am having trouble connecting? WooCommerce API Healthiness
How does Autoship Cloud work with QPilot?
The Autoship Cloud plugin installs pages and settings on your site to do the following:
- Provide settings to quickly connect your store's WooCommerce API to the QPilot web service
- Install pages in your WordPress Admin that help you setup and manage Autoship Cloud features entirely within WordPress
- Add templates to your WooCommerce store so you can quickly start converting shoppers and customers into Autoship Customers!
Connecting your WooCommerce store's API to QPilot does the following:
- Enables a 2-way synchronization of data between your store and QPilot
- Enables Autoship scheduled orders to be created and updated by WooCommerce Checkouts, managing orders within My Account, and by WordPress Admins within WP-Admin > Autoship Cloud > Scheduled Orders
- Enables the QPilot team to deliver Autoship Cloud software as a service to your business and continually improve our engine to make sure your Autoship orders and customers run smoothly
You can learn more here: Activating Your QPilot Merchant Account
How to ensure your store can connect to Autoship Cloud
The Autoship Cloud plugin facilitates the integration between your WooCommerce site and QPilot. In most cases, this connection is a simple process, but it does rely on your WooCommerce store functioning in a healthy, accessible way, so we've outlined the best practices to ensure that you'll be able to make this connection easily and successfully:
1. Wordpress Hosting and Site Settings
- You should be able to use your Wordpress host to create and restore backups of your Wordpress site
- You should be able to duplicate your production (aka "live") Wordpress site to a staging (or "test") environment
- You should be able add and remove plugins from within the Wordpress Admin as well as using FTP to access your Wordpress files
- Your Wordpress database should be accessible to an administrator (usually using phpMyAdmin)
- No access restriction should exist to visit your site. For example, you should not have to type a password to view your website
- Server Error Logs for your site should not report errors - especially during WooCommerce checkout
2. WooCommerce should be working properly before activating Autoship Cloud
- At least one WooCommerce product should be available for purchase from your site
- Cart and checkout should be working successfully using the payment integration plugins supported by Autoship Cloud
- Customers should be able to log in and view the My Account page
Connecting A Staging Site
In order for 3rd party services that integrate with the WooCommerce REST API (like Autoship Cloud powered by QPilot), to securely connect and function properly, each site must belong to a unique and secure URL address.
In the case of testing an API connection or integrated 3rd Party service with a staging site, the staging site must belong to a unique URL in order to function properly.
Many Wordpress Hosting providers will enable you to create a staging site that belongs to a secure subdomain URL like: https://mysite.staging.myhostingcompany.com
These types of subdomain URL's generally work well because the staging site has a unique and secure URL that identifies the staging site as a separate site from the production site.
Note: the staging site must not be blocking visitors or traffic to the site, otherwise the API connection will not be allowed. If your need to whitelist the QPilot API's IP Address because of a firewall securing your site, please see this help article.
What Types Of URLs Are Not Successful?
- Subdirectories of an existing site like https://mysite.com/shop can be problematic because the ../shop location is not a unique site from https://mysite.com/
- Connecting subdirectories will generally result in problems because the API connection will still resolve to the site root
- Insecure / non HTTPS site URL's
- Insecure URL's like http://mysite.com will have problems handling secure requests and should never be connected
Who Can Help Me Setup A Proper Staging Site?
Your Wordpress hosting providers can usually help set up a staging site.
A good staging site will belong to a unique and secure URL and will also be a duplicate (or very near duplicate) of your production site. This enables you to safely test changes and updates to your staging site before applying changes to your production site.
For best practices about testing changes and updates to a WooCommerce site, please refer to this WooCommerce help doc: How to Update WooCommerce and look specifically under the heading: Testing Updates.
How to Connect My Staging Site?
You can connect your staging site just like a production site, as outlined in this doc: Connecting The WooCommerce API
If you have connected your staging site to QPilot before, make sure to follow these additional steps: Reconnecting Your Site To QPilot
Example Staging Setup with WP Engine
Step 1: Convert site from single to multi-environment
You want to use the same site name and select the environment the site has > usually production
Step 2: Enter site's overview and add staging environment. You may select "copy from existing" from the tabs
In the form you will fill out:
- site name (for url)
- Environment to copy from
- Specific backup point to copy from (use most current working version)
You can now see both sites (with unique URLs) from your sites dashboard. Testing and updates can be done now on staging before implementing on production
Reconnecting Your Site To QPilot
Autoship Cloud connects your WooCommerce site to your QPilot account using 2 things:
- The URL of your site (https://mywoostore.com/)
- WooCommerce REST API Keys
When you first connected your site to QPilot, you used both your site URL and API Keys to connect your site: Connecting The WooCommerce API
In some cases, you may have disconnected your site from QPilot. For example, you may have changed hosting or deleted the user that initially connected your site to QPilot.
If this happens, you can reconnect your site to your QPilot account in 3 steps:
Step 1: Confirm that your site has the same URL as before
If your store was originally connected as (https://mywoostore.com/), then it should be reconnected at the same URL (https://mywoostore.com/).
If this is not the case, you'll need to contact online support so that we can advise you on how to reconnect your site.
Step 2: Reconnect your site to QPilot
If your site was simply disconnected, you'll see an option to "Connect Autoship" using your existing QPilot Client ID and Secret.
Clicking "Connect" will lead you to a screen to sign into your QPilot Merchant Account using the same email and password you used to register your QPilot account. Once you've completed this, you will be directed back to your site and can confirm that your site was successfully reconnected!
IMPORTANT: If your site was disconnected and you need to update the QPilot Client ID and Secret, you should clear out the existing QPilot Client ID and Secret and click "update" before connecting your site to QPilot again.
Step 3: Test Integration to confirm!
Once you've reconnected your site, you should confirm that your API Health Check status is Healthy. You can re-test this at any time by selecting "Test Integration".
Why Can't I Add Another Site to QPilot?
Environment Difference and Maximum Site Allowances
If you have a site with a production environment already, you will not be able to connect another production level site, unless you have the Marketer Plan which allows for 5 production environment sites. You will still be able to connect a site to QPilot, however but it will enforce a test environment on any new sites if you have 1 production environment (Starter / Growth Plan) or 5 production environments (Marketer Plan). Sites with staging/test environments do NOT count towards your maximum site limit.
How to Pick the Right Plan
How to confirm Connecting to QPilot was successful?
- In your Wordpress Admin, navigate to WP-Admin > Autoship Cloud and check the following tabs:
- Autoship Cloud Tab
- Click "Test Integration". You should see a successful status message appear
- If you see an error alert instead, please see Troubleshooting the WooCommerce API
- Products Tab
- All published WooCommerce Products should be synchronized and display in this report