This tutorial will walk you through the setup of your store, ongoing management and advanced administration accessed via the VirtueShop administrative interface.
It assumes that you have already installed and configured your site (VirtueShop 1.1.x with Joomla! 1.5.x), if not see 'Installation' section.

VirtueShop Configuration has following sections:

The Configuration Panel is the most important part of VirtueShop. It can be accessed via Admin ⇒ Configuration.

Note the Configuration Panel by default can be accessed by users with "admin" permissions only.


Shop is offline?

Here you can switch the shop from Online to Offline mode. In offline mode, the offline message is displayed instead of the product pages. This means the whole shop section isnt usable for customers. Administrators won't see the shop too.

Offline Message

This message will be displayed to customers who try to access your store.

Use only as catalogue

Hides all "Add to Cart" buttons.

Show Prices

When enabled, product prices are displayed. (useful when using "catalog-only" functionality. Note that you can't hide prices from unregistered users to show prices only to registered users. Either ON or OFF!

Membergroup to show prices to

default:"Public Frontend"

Here you can decide which membergroups of your site are allowed to see product prices.

Show "(including XX% tax)" when applicable?

When checked, users will see the text "(including xx% tax)" when prices are shown incl. tax (which depends on shopper group settings!).

Show the price label for packaging?

Use "price per packaging" label?

Show Prices including tax?

Sets the flag whether the shoppers sees prices including tax or excluding tax. When enabled prices are displayed like "X.XX (including XX% Tax)"

Enable content mambots/plugins in descriptions?

If enabled, you can use your mambots and plugins for dynamic content in the product or category descriptions.

Enable Coupon Usage

If you enable the Coupon Usage, you allow customers to fill in Coupon Numbers to gain discounts on their purchase.

Customer Review/Rating System

If enabled, you allow customers to rate products and write reviews about them. So customers can write down their experiences with the product for other customers.

Auto-Publish Reviews?

If enabled, customer reviews are instantly shown after being submitted. Maybe not a good idea, because you want to check the product reviews before.

Comment Minimum Length

This is the amount of characters a customer must write at least before a review can be submitted.

Comment Maximum Length

This is the maximum amount of characters a customer can write before a review can be submitted.

Enable Affiliate Program?

This enables the affiliate tracking in the shop-frontend. Enable if you have added affiliates in the backend.

The Affiliate Program doesn't fully work. It must be completed in future versions.

Virtual Tax

This determines whether items with zero weight are taxed or not (only applies in Ship-To-Address based Tax Mode).

Tax mode

This determines which tax rate is taken for calculating taxes. It can be either the tax rate of the customer's shipping address location, the tax rate of the store/vendor location or - in EU Mode - the tax rate of the country, the store is located in, regardless where the goods are shipped to.

Enable multiple tax rates?

Check this, if you have products with different tax rates (e.g. 7% for books and food, 16% for other stuff).

Discount before tax/shipping?

Sets the flag whether to subtract the Discount for the selected payment BEFORE (checked) or AFTER tax and shipping.

User Registration Type
  • Normal Account Creation:

    This type of registration asks each customer for a username and password and all other published registration details.

  • Silent Account Creation:

    In this mode, users don't need to fill in a username and password for a new account. Instead the email address is used for the new account and a random password is generated. The registration details are mailed to the customer.

  • Optional Account Creation:

    The customer can select if a persistent account is created or not. If the customers chooses to create an account, he is asked for an username and password. If he chooses not to create an account, a hidden account is created - so the customer can be silently logged in and check out.

  • No Account Creation possible

    In this mode the customer can checkout without being able to create an account for returning later on. Each time a dummy user account is created to keep the data structure intact.

Show the "Remember me" checkbox on login?

The "Remember me" feature allows to set a cookie in the customer's browser, so the customer doesn't need to login each time he returns to the site. This is done by default. But such cookies can be a security risk - especially when people are sharing a PC in an Internet Cafe. So check this checkbox to allow customers *not* to store a user cookie.

Customers can select a state/region?

When enabled, your customers are presented a drop-down list with states where they can select one.

Must agree to Terms of Service?

Check if you want a shopper to agree to your Terms of Service before registering to the shop.

Agree to T.o.S. on EVERY ORDER?

Check if you want a shopper to agree to your terms of service on EVERY ORDER (before placing the order).

Show information about "Return Policy" on the order confirmation page?

Store owners are required by law to inform their customers about return and order cancellation policies in most European countries. So this should be enabled in most cases.

Legal information text (short version)

This text instructs your customers in short about your return and order cancellation policy. It is shown on the last page of checkout, just above the "Confirm Order" button.

Long version of the return policy (link to a content item)

This is the long and detailled version of your returns policy. This text is linked in the short version and appended to each order confirmation email.

Check Stock?

Sets whether to check the stock level when a user adds an item to the shopping cart. If set, this will not allow user to add more items to the cart than are available in stock.

Show Products that are out of Stock?

Let's you decide wether Products that are out of Stock are displayed or hidden (only available when Check Stock is enabled).

Enable the Cookie Check?

If enabled, VirtueShop checks wether the browser of the customer accepts cookies or not. This is user-friendly, but it can have negative consequences on the Search-Engine-Friendlyness of your shop.

Currency Converter Module

This allows you to select a certain currency converter module. Such modules fetch exchange rates from a server and convert one currency into another.

Order-mail format:

This determines how your order confirmation emails are set up:

  • as a simple text email

  • or as a html email with images.


Turns on the debug output. This causes the DEBUGPAGE to be displayed at the bottom of each VirtueShop page. Very helpful during shop development since it shows the carts contents, form field values, etc.




The secure URL to your site. (https - with trailing slash at the end!)

Be careful what you fill in here - if the address doesn't exist, customers would be redirected to a non-existing location and receive a 404 error!

Shop Areas which must use https

Some of the areas of your shop can be forced to use the SECUREURL connection. Here you can choose the modules which must use this SECUREURL. By default this is: "account" (Account Maintenance) and "checkout" (the complete Checkout).

Generally prevent secure connections?

When checked, the shopper is redirected to the normal URL when not browsing in those shop areas, which are forced to use the SECUREURL.

Encryption Function

Recommended: AES_ENCRYPT

Choose the MySQL function, which is used to encode/encrypt important data in the database tables. AES Encrypt is far more secure, as it actually encrypts the data, not just encodes it. AES_ENCRYPT is available in MySQL >= 4.0.2.

Encryption Key

The secret key for encrypting payment account data like credit card numbers and storing them encrypted in the database.

Store Credit Card Information?

Allows to completely disable the storage of Credit Card data.

Allow Frontend-Administration...

...for non-Backend Users?

With this setting you can enable the Frontend Administration for users who are storeadmins, but can't access the Mambo Backend (e.g. Registered / Editor).

Table Prefix for VirtueShop Tables

This is an experimental feature to allow multiple shops in one Joomla! installation.


Example: shop.index

This is the page which will be loaded in the frontend by default.


Default: shop.error

This is the default page for displaying VirtueShop Error Messages.

Proxy Server URL

The URL of the Proxy Server you need to pass from the server for connections into the Internet.

Proxy Port

The Port of the Proxy Server

Proxy Auth Username

Only if needed: the username for authentication at the proxy server

Proxy Auth Password

Only if needed: the matching password for authentication at the proxy server

Site (Display & Layout)

VirtueShop makes use of the Joomla/Mambo Templates' CSS. It uses the Standard-CSS Classes defined for Joomla! like sectiontableheader, sectiontableentry1, sectiontableentry2 and so on.


PDF - Button

Show or Hide the PDF - Button in the Shop Frontend.

Show the "Recommend to a friend" button?

Show or Hide the link to the form for recommending a product to a friend in the Shop Frontend.

Show the "Print View" link?

Show or Hide the link for the print view page in the Shop Frontend.

Show Page Navigation at the Top of the Product Listing?

default: checked

Switches On or Off the Display of Page Navigation at the Top of the Product Listings in the Frontend.

Default Product Sort Order

Here you can select by which criteria products are ordered in the product lists.

Available "Sort-by" fields

Here you can select the criteria which is available for the customer to reorder the product list.

Show the Number of Products?

default: checked

Switches On or Off the Display of Products in a Category right behind the Category Name like "Power Tools (3)".

"no image" image

default: /components/com_virtueshop/themes/default/images/noimage.gif

This image will be shown when no product image is available.

Show footer "powered by..." ?

Displays a powered-by-VirtueShop footer image. Give credits back to the author!


Global Shop Theme

Here you can select which theme is used to style the shop. The configuration link takes you to the theme configuration screen.

Default number of products in a row

This defines the number of products in a row. Example: If you set it to 4, the default category template will display 4 products per row.

You can change the Category's Number of products per row for each category in its category form!

Category Template

default: managed

This defines the category template for displaying products in a category when no special template is set. You can create new templates by customizing existing template files (which reside in the directory /components/com_virtueshop/themes/default/templates/browse/ and start with "browse_").

You can override this Category Template Setting for each Category in its Category Form!


default: shop.flypage

This is the page used for displaying product details when no special flypage is set.

You can change the Flypage for each category in its category form!

Dynamic Thumbnail Resizing?

If checked, you enable dynamic Image Resizing. This means that all Thumbnail Images are resized to fit the Sizes you provide below, using PHP's GD2 functions.

You can check if you have GD2 support by browsing to "System" ⇒ "System Info" ⇒ "PHP Info" ⇒ gd.

The Thumbnail Image quality is much better than Images which were "resized" by the browser. The newly generated Images are put into the directory /shop_image/prduct/resized. If the Image has already been resized, this copy will be send to the browser, so no image is resized again and again.

Thumbnail Image Width

The target width of the resized Thumbnail Image.

Thumbnail Image Height

The target height of the resized Thumbnail Image.


In the Shipping section you can select one or more of the provided Shipping Modules.

You can configure Online Services (like UPS® or Intershipper®) in "Store" ⇒ "List Shipping Modules" ⇒ Service Name. Other Shipping methods like Standard Shipping or Zone Shipping must be configured through their own administrative interface: "Shipping" ⇒ Shipping Rates / Shippers or "Zone Shipping" ⇒ "Zone List". The Free Shipping module can be configured by amount only in the Store Form.

The selected Shipping Module will list all available Shipping Rates on Checkout.

If you want no Shipping Rate Selection, you must select "Disable Shipping method selection" AND a checkout process (next Tab) which doesn't include Shipping Method selection.


Enable the Checkout Bar

default: Enabled

Check this, if you want the 'checkout-bar' to be displayed to the customer during checkout process ( 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 with graphics).

Checkout Steps

The Checkout Process is divided into different Steps. Steps can be combined to so-called "Checkout Stages" by giving the same ordering number. Each one of the steps can be re-arranged by using the input boxes and writing a numeric value into it indicating the step number.


Enable Downloads

Check to enable the Download Feature. Only If you want sell downloadable goods.

"Enable download" Status

value: can be some Order Status (not cancelled ;-)).

Select the order status at which the customer is notified about the download via e-mail.

"Disable download" Order Status

Sets the order status at which the download is disabled for the customer.


The physical path to the files for the custumer download. (trailing slash at the end!)

Must be a physical path, no URL.

For Security Reasons you should specify a directory somewhere outside of the Document Root of your Web Server. If your Website resides in /var/www/sitename/htdocs/, you should - for example- choose /var/www/sitename/downloads/ as the Download Root.

Download Maximum

Sets the number of downloads which can be made with one Download-ID for one order.

Download Expire

Sets the time range in seconds in which the download is enabled for the customer. This range begins with the first download! When the time range has expired, the download-ID is disabled.


Keep Product Stock Level on Purchase?

When enabled, the stock level for a downloadable product is not lowered although it was purchased by customers.

Feed Configuration

Enable Feed Configuration