One of my favorite extensions for Easy Digital Downloads is the Frontend Submissions extension because it’s a fantastic way to create a marketplace of your own. FES lets you manage vendors and display vendor products, as well as accept product submissions and edits from vendors without the need to provide them credentials to your site. You can display them right alongside of your own products to provide an Etsy or Amazon-like eCommerce shop.

We wrote a lot about Frontend Submissions when we wrote about creating a digital marketplace with Easy Digital Downloads, and we’d also written about a specific theme that worked very well with FES (Marketify). However, since that post, there have been a few great marketplace themes released, and today we’re taking a look at another: the Checkout theme from Array.

Checkout Marketplace Theme: Overview

Checkout was released last week, and includes a tight integration with Easy Digital Downloads, as well as several popular extensions. It’s the first eCommerce theme released by Array, who’s always made top-notch WordPress themes, so I was excited to take a look at the theme and the marketplace support.

At $89 (keep reading though so we can give you a discount 😉 ), Checkout provides a great value and can easily create a beautiful multi-vendor store.

Checkout Theme: Easy Digital Downloads Support

Checkout includes support for Easy Digital Downloads, and can be used for any EDD store, even if you don’t sell in a marketplace setup. I loved that the theme has a couple of homepage templates that can be configured pretty quickly, and one of them can even focus completely on the downloads in your store:

Checkout Marketplace Theme | homepage

Product-based homepage

You can create this layout by using the “Homepage EDD Shop” template, then adjusting the options for your homepage using the theme customizer.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | homepage customizer

Customize Homepage

This homepage can include calls to action at the top of your page (one or two), a product section, a featured products section (which I really liked, as it lets you select a category of products to showcase), testimonials, and a call to action banner at the bottom of your page. Here’s a diagram that can show you what each component looks like.

Once I’d set up my homepage template, I also created a page using the “Downloads” template, which will display all of the download products in my shop in a grid layout.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | product archive

Downloads archive

If you’re using vendors, the vendor will be displayed with each product listing. If you have a single-vendor store instead, the product listing will simply say “View Details” to link to the product page.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | nonvendor product

Non-vendor product

The Checkout theme also adds a very cool “Download Details” section that will display a list of major product features in the purchasing section. When you add or edit a product, you’ll see a new meta box for “Download details”. This will let you add a list of features for your download (or specific options) to display to customers.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | download details

Add Download Details

These download details are displayed in the purchasing sidebar. The main download content features your product image and description, but the purchasing details and feature list are displayed off to the right side of the page. This purchasing section floats next to the content so that it sticks on the page and always remains visible while the customer scrolls, ensuring it’s as easy as possible to purchase.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | download page

Single Download Page

The EDD core integration into the theme is capped off by a handy menu cart that will be displayed with your primary navigation. This lets customer easily access the cart and checkout to complete the purchase.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | menu cart

Menu cart

Checkout Marketplace Theme: Additional Tools

While Checkout puts a lot of focus on the Easy Digital Downloads integration, there are ample tools for you to showcase your entire team or business. The theme uses the Array Toolkit plugin to add testimonials and portfolio items to your site (it also adds image galleries and social icon support to the menu widget as fringe benefits).

Checkout includes a portfolio template that will display portfolio items in the same grid layout that products use, which lets you show off custom work or non-purchasable projects. The testimonials added by the plugin can be used in your homepage setup, or you can use the Testimonials page template to display all testimonials for your store.

Checkout also includes a few widgets that you’ll probably find useful.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | widgets

Included widgets

The Gravatar Profile widget can be added to the “Team” template to display a grid of all team members for your store.

The pricing table widgets are really useful, and can be added to the “Pricing Page” template to automatically create a pricing table using your download and the “download details” you’ve added.

The Variable Pricing Table will allow you to select a variable download, and it automatically generates a pricing table to display each variation of the product. You can also opt to “feature” an option, which will make that table slightly larger than the others.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | pricing table

Option Comparison Pricing Table

A regular pricing table will allow you to add multiple non-variable products for comparison.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | simple pricing page

Product Comparison Pricing Table

These can be super helpful for a few major products that will require price comparisons, such as subscriptions or memberships.

Checkout Marketplace Theme: Marketplace Support

Checkout is already a complete business theme, but it also includes marketplace support when used with the Frontend Submissions extension to make it an extremely versatile marketplace theme. In fact, it includes frontend support for all extensions in the marketplace bundle to ensure that no part of your marketplace looks out of sorts.

For example, if the Product Reviews add-on is active, then a section for reviews will be added to the download’s purchase section to show the average rating. Reviews will also be displayed after the product description.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | product reviews

Product Reviews included

Frontend Submissions support includes expansive vendor support. Vendors will be displayed in the downloads archive when the plugin is active, and the vendor archive will look similar to display all products from a vendor.

Checkout Marketplace Theme | vendor page

Vendor archive

I love the attention that was devoted to the vendor dashboard, as it makes managing vendor products on the frontend simple and easy to use. The tabbed default vendor dashboard is really shown some love, placing all vendor tabs along the side of the page for easy navigation.

Checkout Marketplace Theme |  vendor dashboard

Vendor Dashboard

I loved using this dashboard while impersonating a vendor, and it made my vendor products easy to see and update.

Checkout Marketplace Theme: Other Notes

One of the reason I was excited to see Array step into the eCommerce theme space was that they’ve always made very high-quality themes. Checkout is no different, and it provides a top-notch integration with Easy Digital Downloads and several plugins, including some extensive work with Frontend Submissions, which looks fabulous. Code quality is what you’d expect from a respected theme shop, as it’s well-structured and includes some key hooks that will let developers tweak it as desired.

After poking around and the theme pretty extensively, I was only able to come up with one thing I disliked — the included footer credit:

Checkout Marketplace Theme |  footer credit

This is a nofollow link so that it’s not used for any SEO bump, etc, so it doesn’t hurt to leave it there, but I typically remove footer credits for premium themes by habit. Fortunately, this one is really easy to change because it’s filterable (a very pleasant surprise, as too many themes include so few hooks to make adjustments).

You can add this snippet to your child theme or custom plugin to remove it:

function sww_new_footer_text( $footer ) {
    $footer = '&copy; ' . date("Y") . '<span class="sep"> | </span>' . get_bloginfo( "description" );
    return $footer;
}
add_filter( 'checkout_footer_text', 'sww_new_footer_text' );

And you’ll get an updated footer with no theme credit.

Checkout Marketplace Theme |

Updated footer

I liked everything else about the theme, and it also has a detailed Getting Started guide to help with setup if needed.

Checkout Marketplace Theme: Summary

I’m very excited to see theme companies that I’ve always liked stepping into the eCommerce space, and the Checkout theme from Array doesn’t disappoint. It packs a lot of compatibility into the theme, but still manages to be fairly lean. It’s beautiful whether you use it for a standard store or as a marketplace theme.

I also liked that it helps you create a great eCommerce marketplace without losing sight of the other parts of your site, such as a blog, portfolio, or team page. I’m looking forward to seeing more eCommerce themes, as Mike McAlister at Array has mentioned that more Easy Digital Downloads themes are a strong future possibility.

If you’d like to try Checkout out yourself, you can purchase it $89 or check out the theme demo.

We’ve also got a promotion for our readers thanks to the team at Array! You can use this code when purchasing the Checkout marketplace theme to get 20% off a new license: SellWithCheckout


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Posted by Beka Rice

Beka Rice manages the direction of Sell with WP content and writes or edits most of our articles to share her interests in eCommerce. Or she just writes as an excuse to spend more time jamming out to anything from The Clash to Lady Gaga. Who knows.

2 Comments

  1. Hey Beka,

    Thanks for the great, honest review of Checkout. Glad to hear you’re happy with it!

    The one thing you disliked – the footer credits – is something we meant to add a customizer option for, but simply forgot to do in the final days before launch. I’m adding this to our list of things to get added in an upcoming release. Thanks for offering up the code snippet for others to get it done in the interim.

    Thanks again!

    1. Hey John, you’re welcome, and thanks for dropping by! Glad to hear you’re adding the footer option — I appreciated that it was a nofollow link to begin with, but it’s a personal preference to remove other branding and nice to hear that you’ll give users the option 🙂 . You guys did a tremendous job with this theme!

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