Fixing the Shopify vanishing Variants dropdown

UPDATE: Shopify has fixed the the Variants bug. I am leaving this post up for future reference if the bug reappears.

On 11/21/12, the Shopify eCommerce system that I use to run the StevieSnacks Store started automatically hiding the dropdown that allows people to select product variants. It does this by inserting some style code into your template. I have no idea why or how this happens, but it is a bug.

WARNINGS

  1. This will force the variants dropdown to show up on every product page. You many not want this if you don’t use variants for every product.
  2. Depending on your theme, this might show the variants dropdown in a misaligned state if it’s supposed to be floating to the left or right.
  3. Don’t do this if you have never touched your theme editor or don’t understand code or how to modify your theme without breaking things.

This is a simple override that forces the browser to show the variants dropdown. Insert a small snippet of javascript code at the very bottom of your product.liquid template:

<script type="text/javascript">
document.getElementById('variant').style.display = "block";
</script>

Keep an eye on your store until the bug is fixed. When the problem is fixed, this code will no longer be necessary, but it should not cause any problems.

Once again, this “fix” will force the variants dropdown to show up on every single product page. Don’t use it if you don’t use variants on every product.

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Things You Should Do Before Your Google Account Gets Disabled

If you use Google Apps, or if you simply use Google’s Products for business, you need to read this.

This is not a rant about Google’s policy of disabling accounts without a human review process. These are steps that saved me during one of the angriest days I’ve ever had.

The Problem

Google prohibits people under the age of 13 from having an account with them. More specifically, Google’s account software disables your account if you enter a birthdate that falls within 13 years past of today’s date.

Summary: If you accidentally tell Google that you’re under 13 years of age, your account will be disabled until you verify your age, or it will be deleted after 29 days.

(In my case, I attempted to add YouTube to my Google Apps account and forgot to change the birth year. I had not activated Google Checkout, and could not login to activate it because my account was disabled).

What You Need To Do

Activate Google Checkout

Go activate Google Checkout for your account. If your account gets disabled because of a stupid mistake, and you don’t have Google Checkout enabled, the other options for unlocking your account take days, and you’ve only got 29 days to get this right.

Create A Backup Administrator Account

If you, like me, signed up for Google Apps as a one person company, you may be tempted to use your own account as the sole administrator account. Do not do this.

Go right now and create a backup administrator account that you only use for emergencies. This is the only thing that saved me. Because my account was locked, I could not log in to enable Google Checkout. Remembering that I had a backup administrator account allowed me to login, enable Google Checkout and proceed with age verification.

Become a Paying Member

Before this happened, I was using the free version of Google Apps. Unfortunately, free means ‘no telephone support’ because to use telephone support with Google Apps, you need a customer ID. And unless you’re paying, you don’t get a customer ID.

Once you’ve signed up for a paying account, find your Customer ID, and record it in Evernote, or somewhere outside of your Google Apps dashboard. In the event you need to call support, you don’t want to depend on being able to login to your account to get this information.

Most of you are smarter than I am, so you’ll never find yourself with a disabled account. But after a brief moment of mindlessness, it’s terrifying to think of being locked out of the account from which you communicate with customers.

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