Amazon Tools is a plugin that allows you to integrate your WordPress blog with Amazon Web Services. Using Amazon Tools you can quickly and easily retrieve product data from Amazon.com and display it on your blog. The plugin also supports integration with Amazon Associates Program, allowing you to earn money by advertising Amazon products. You can use this plugin to do something as simple as building an ad unit that will display products of your choice, or use your blog to review products.
Amazon Tools Forum
The Amazon Tools Forum contains tutorials and usage instructions for this plugin. If you are having trouble using the plugin or have any suggestions or feedback please sign up. Currently there is no email verification required so the sign up process should be painless and you can start asking questions, requesting new features, or show off how you are using Amazon Tools right away.
Additional Documentation and Resources
Before this plugin can function, you must have an AWS account. You will need to input your AWS access key and secret key in the plugin settings page. The plugin also allows you to specify an ‘associate tag’ which will allow you to earn money from referrals. Sign up for an Associates account to get your associate tag.
Cache and Update Methods
The plugin is designed to minimize the number of Amazon API requests needed to display content. As such, content is cached in the wordpress database. The problem with caching is that it may cause your content to be out of sync with the content on Amazon.com. Because of this, the cache must be updated periodically. You can specify the amount of time before a data element expires and must be updated in the plugin settings. Note that high values for the cache expiry time will increase the chances of the plugin displaying outdated content. Low values will increase the number of API requests.
The plugin currently provides three methods for updating cached data: ‘Initial Request’, ‘Ajax’, and ‘Cron’. The initial request option will cause expired data to be updated before sending it to the user. This ensures that expired content is never displayed, but will impact page load time when an update is triggered.
The cron method allows you to setup a crontab or scheduled task to periodically check for expired content. To use this method, select the ‘cron’ options in the settings page and setup a crontab to periodcally run the update.php script in the Amazon Tools plugin folder.
The Forum contains more information and tutorials for creating and using templates. You can also use the forum to request help creating templates.
The plugin includes a ‘global’ CSS file that will be included on every page in your blog. This file is editable through the plugin so long as the file is writable by PHP. You are encouraged to use this file instead of the ‘additional css’ field whenever possible; code entered into the additional css field will be output immediately before the template content and will not be cannot be cached by users.
The plugin will attempt to create the global css file in your uploads directory, specifically:
wp-content/uploads/amazon-tools/amazon.css In order for the plugin to create the file, the uploads directory must be writable by PHP. If needed, you can manually create the css file, but in order to edit the file using the plugin, it must be writable.
Please feel free to request additional features in the forum.
See the Version Notes section of the forum.
For support questions or suggestions please use the Amazon Tools Forum. Currently, email verification is disabled on the forum so sign up is quick and easy.