First Data Connect For WooCommerce Review

Thinking of using First Data Connect for your WooCommerce store? Then this is for you.
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Installing the First Connect Data plugin

I’m always cautious when it comes to installing new plugins/themes on a site. What wonders will await, will it turn my dashboard into a glittering mess of adverts that I’ll never be able to dismiss?

You know, and I know who the main offenders are when it comes to this kind of behavior, let’s hope it’s not the case here.

Installing FDC
Installing FDC

See below for what happens:

AG First Data Setup Wizard (1)
AG First Data Install Wizard

Install wizard ahoy!

I’m always skeptical about installation wizards. Especially when they take over the whole site, as is the case with the FDC plugin (First Connect Data).

That said, I really don’t want to make a mistake during setup, especially with something as important as a payment solution.

With that mindset in place, I can see why no other options are available, other than the “I don’t need help setting up.” link at the base of the wizard.

I’m sure as hell not going to click on that link, in this instance, I’ll take the help, thank you very much.

This is a four step process, I’ll break it down for you.

Installation. Step one

Step one in installation process.
Step one in installation process

I’ll be honest I’m not a huge fan of cutting and pasting documentation from a plugin, it looks lazy, but, and there is a but, it needs to be done in this review. A screenshot is all well and good, but you need more info.

First part of the description:

The First Data team will supply you with two logins, one for test and the other for live.
It is always best practice when setting up a payment gateway to do this in test mode first and run several orders before switching to live mode.

Second part of the description:

If you don’t have access to the test account, you/your client will need to email the First Data team here: xyz@email.com and ask for logins again. Its also important to note that if the First Data account is new you won’t be able to switch to live mode until you have done several test orders and applied to go live.

I’ve purposefully hidden the email address for the teams at FDC, it’s the right thing to do, no doubt email spiders will try to inundate them with junk!

The descriptions explain all you need to know about using First Data Connect in the beginning.

You’ll need to do some testing beforehand, this will save you in the long run, you don’t want to use a payment processor that’s going to throw up errors and lose you a sale.

Where possible it would be best practice to set this up on a staging domain then push to live once you are ready, for your peace of mind, and more importantly, your customers.

It’s at this step, I’d like to say We are AG have the store owner’s best interests at heart. Not only for the full screen wizard, but guiding you through the process.

It’s been clear instructions so far.

Installation. Step two

AG AG First Data Setup Wizard (2)
Installation step two

Step two deals with your store ID and your secret key. As per the instructions, you’ll need to email First Direct to get these.

Once you have them, it’s a case of cut and paste here. Again a guided process, and let’s face it, we want this to work for us and our customers.

Installation. Step three

Now this is where it gets interesting, see below for what I mean:

Step 3 in installation process
Step 3 in installation process

What I like about this, is how clear it is. I get the feeling if you’ve never used FDC before, some might be a little overwhelmed with the process.

Some could be prone to making mistakes or some trial and error shenanigans. Not so with this plugin, care has been taken to ensure you don’t fall foul of errors.

The instructions here tell you exactly what you need to do, the appropriate URLs you need to add in the FDC Virtual Terminal to get up and running.

At the base of the example image are the EXACT URLs you need to enter and where to put them. Top marks so far. Nice and simple.

There’s even a notice to inform you it could take 30 minutes for everything to kick in their end. So sit back, make a coffee, do the washing up or something else constructive.

Installation. Step four

Step four
Step four

As the image mentions, we’re almost done (pats self on back). This step deals with enabling the debug log, should you encounter any errors, a log will record findings. Below this, the option to add a test product.

As this is a barebones installation with no products, I’m going to tick this check box and add one.

Finished

Installation finished!

So we’re done with the plugin settings, here you’ll see a congratulations screen, with options to share on Twitter/Facebook, along with resource links for documentation, help, and troubleshooting etc.

Thoughts so far

Well, wizards can make or break a plugin installation. Too much info can harm a user, especially if it’s a long-drawn-out affair, users could be liable to skip important info.

When it comes to payment processors, it makes sense to take over the admin and focus purely on setting up the payment side of things.

The process was on point and explained without overwhelming me with various settings.

Review navigation

👉Payment settings overview
👉Test product, and issuing refunds
👉Documentation, findings and verdict

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Ben@ LayerWP

Hey I’m Ben, I love writing about WordPress, reviewing themes, plugins and offering tutorials. Want to connect? Follow me on Twitter!

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