More osCommerce 2.3.1 Templates

Here’s three more osCommerce 2.3.1 Templates that might interest you;

Flower Shop Theme

Photo Shop Theme

Toy Shop Theme

Interested in any of these?

Each is priced individually at the vendors site. Extra cost for 1 hour of my time for installation/minor changes (if you need it) – email me on oscshops AT gmail DOT com

osCommerce 2.3.1 and Coupon Discounts

A Discount Coupon system fully compatible with osCommerce 2.3.1 – yes please!

Admin

Link is in the Customers InfoBox;

You can see the number of uses and the date/time of the last use;

You can easily turn a coupon on and off;

Coupon can be set up in a very easy to follow form;

As you can see, coupons can have lots of different options, including “percent discount” or “cash discount”, “use once per customer”, use multiple per customer”, “use once, one time”. Coupons can also be set to expire at midnight on any day in the future and they can have a minimum spend amount. Coupon can also give “free shipping”.

Coupon Usage can be seen on the order invoice;

Shop Side

Coupon Input box shows in the shopping_cart page (in other words, BEFORE the checkout is initiated);

After a coupon is applied, the discount amount and the new order total are immediately shown;

And the shopping_cart infobox also shows the discounted order total;

The shopper checks out, and progresses through your checkout system, at the end of which, the confirmation page again shows the discount;

Coupon Usage can be seen in the Order History;

How to get this script

This script is a commercial script available fully installed by me at a cost of $100, though the first 3 get it for $50. It is the ONLY coupon script that has been re-written for 2.3.1 and is the ONLY coupon script that (as far as I am aware) allows the coupon to be applied at the Shopping Cart Stage. If you would like this professionally installed with minimum of fuss, email me on oscshops AT gmail DOT com

First ever osCommerce 2.3 template is available

Pleased to say that the very first commercially available 2.3 and 2.3.1 osCommerce template/theme is exclusively available here at Club osCommerce.

‘True Blue’ osCommerce Template

Cool welcome message and shopping cart summary;

Fade In and Out Banner Rotator, drop in images to link to products;

Currency, Language, Bestsellers in the Footer;

Social Bookmarks takes the place of Bestsellers when on a product page;

Cool Twitter feature – easy to link your Twitter account;

Nice looking Search Box in the header;

Great dropdown menu categories;

And here is an overall idea of the template;

Cost

For this template/theme I am charging $199. The price includes 1 hour of my time for colour changes and installation on top of your existing 2.3 or 2.3.1 osCommerce shop.

Interested?

Email me on oscshops@gmail.com to ask any questions.

Hide Products in osCommerce

The other day, one of my very good clients came up with the idea of having hidden products. That is products that do not show anywhere in his site other than on it’s own product_info.php page. It suits the way the client does business.

I knew that there was a contribution that can handle this already, but as my client has a highly modified site it would be easier to simply code this up from scratch, as I have a good handle on the clients website, and where-ever possible I avoid other peoples contributions.

So…first up was to set up an extra entry in the products table of the database, which is basically a flag to say “show or hide” product.

Admin changes

categories.php
– addition of red/green button to set product to “show” or “hide” (in the usual table view)
– addition of radio buttons to set this during adding/editing

/includes/languages/english/categories.php
– some wording to make it understandable

/includes/functions/general.php
– new function to enable the red/green buttons to work

Shop changes

/includes/modules/featured_products.php
/includes/modules/new_products.php
/includes/boxes/best_sellers.php
/includes/boxes/reviews.php
/includes/boxes/specials.php
/includes/boxes/whats_new.php
specials.php
products_new.php
index.php
advanced_search_result.php
product_reviews.php
product_reviews_info.php
product_reviews_write.php
reviews.php
– all of these files needed changing to add an extra piece to the SQL that shows lists of products, in order to NOT show any hidden products, those with a status of “hide”.

/includes/functions/general.php
– in here I had to add similar to stop the category counts from showing products that have a “hide” status.

As you can see, what should be a simple change is made quite complex by osCommerce not being very modular. And that is the exact reason why you should never attempt anything in osCommerce if you are not confident in your abilities!

osCommerce and 960 grid system

So the new osCommerce 2.3 and 2.3.1 have Nathan Smiths 960 grid system as part of the core code.

I’ve looked about the web and come to the conclusion that some users will really like it – it allows a person to layout the page in rows and columns very easily. You want 3 boxes side by side? Just use the correct .css call and there you have it. Done.

Basically, my thought is that the grid system acts very like a tables based layout, though I am obviously aware that it is not tables 😉 And having .css act like this is not how .css should be.

Anyway, in order to get a better handle on the 960/osCommerce I decided to make a real life client project using 2.3.1 as downloaded. The first thing I did was sketch out the design on a piece of paper;

As you can plainly see, it suits the gridded layout. Next up was to install 2.3.1 and start playing with the code and css. I ended up with a completed site that looks like this;

Please note that I blurred a few bits out. Once the client has signed off, I’ll divulge the site URL…

Which, as you can see is very close to my original sketch.

The only significant change is the extra box that contains the “welcome guest” message and the summary of the cart contents. In order to achieve this I stuck as much as I could to the ethos of the 960 system for the layout, but added extra code to make the site look prettier.

Here’s that area of the site in full size;

and here’s some of the code to show you the layout of that area – pay particular attention to the outside div’s (960) and the inside div’s (my own);

My conclusion

960, as i have said all along, is not for me – I don’t like the feeling of being forced to do something “because I have to” just to get something to line up. Alpha, Omega, Push, Pull, Grid, Container – these things mean NOTHING to a designer and not much at all to a Developer.

However, I can see it being very useful for those people who are coming from a “tables based” background (as most people using osCommerce are) – 960 can be considered a halfway house between tables and pure css layout – which isn’t a bad thing, but doesn’t cut the mustard for me personally.

Who the heck made the decision to add 960 to osCommerce, and why? Perhaps one of the osCommerce Team Members reading this could explain the rationale behind it. I am wondering if HPDL saw this being used in the ‘osc2css’ contribution and thought “that’s near enough”…

osCommerce 2.3.1 available for download

An ultra quick release of a maintenance version of 2.3, bringing it to 2.3.1 – this release fixes some last minute changes that did not make it to the release of 2.3 for whatever reason.

Changes

  • Confirm new Product Reviews to the customer
  • Fix a PHP notice in Phpass
  • Fix Reviews Box language definition
  • Fix pre-defined Australian Dollar currency code
  • Label the HTML Content field for large product images
  • XHTML fixes for pop-up pages

Files Updated

  • catalog/admin/categories.php
  • catalog/admin/currencies.php
  • catalog/admin/includes/classes/passwordhash.php
  • catalog/admin/includes/languages/english/categories.php
  • catalog/includes/classes/passwordhash.php
  • catalog/includes/languages/english/product_reviews_write.php
  • catalog/includes/modules/boxes/bm_reviews.php
  • catalog/includes/version.php
  • catalog/info_shopping_cart.php
  • catalog/popup_image.php
  • catalog/popup_search_help.php
  • catalog/product_reviews.php
  • catalog/product_reviews_write.php

Upgrade Guide

If you have installed 2.3 and simply want to patch the files manually, follow this guide. Or, start fresh with 2.3.1 direct download link.

Garys Comment

Hopefully this marks the start of official releases that are kept bang up to date, rather than go years between releases!

osCommerce 2.3 is officially available

A flurry of activity from Harald and Mark saw osCommerce 2.3 released yesterday. The download link can be found on the official osCommerce site at http://www.oscommerce.com/solutions/downloads

A quick overview of new features available in the new osCommerce is as follows;

  • Modular Action Recorders to log and limit certain functions, including:
    • Administration Tool login attempts
    • Tell A Friend e-mails
    • Contact Us e-mails
  • Security Directory Permissions for the Administration Tool shows which directories are writable
  • Version Checker for the Administration Tool to check for new versions
  • Modular Social Bookmarks to share products on social sites, including:
    • Facebook and Facebook Like
    • Twitter and Twitter Button
    • Google Buzz
    • Digg
  • PayPal Express Checkout pre-configured for new store owners
  • Guest orders through PayPal Express Checkout
  • Modular Header Tags for optimizations, including:
    • Google Analytics and E-Commerce Tracking
    • MailChimp E-Commerce 360
    • OpenSearch
  • New separated XHTML/CSS based template
  • jQuery UI design
  • 960 Grid System CSS Framework
  • Password hashing algorithm changed to Portable PHP hashing for customer and administrator passwords
  • Security Check modules for add-ons to check on server requirements
  • Administration Tool Dashboard widgets, including new charts
  • Modular Boxes to inject content anywhere in the HTML layout
  • Multiple Product Images with large images and HTML content for Flash videos
  • New Payment Modules, including:
    • PayPal Website Payments Pro and PayPal Express Checkout
    • Moneybookers
    • Sage Pay

Go ahead and try it. I’m sure you will be pleased with the majority of it. I’ll go into more depth on some of my ideas for it in some upcoming blog posts.

Well done Harald and Mark. Well done to that handful of the osCommerce Community who helped to find bugs and solve them.

This marks the beginning of a new era for osCommerce. Now that 2.3 is out, there will be a 2.3.1 to mop up any important changes. Then full concentration can go to bringing osC 3 to market.

FAQ: Product Downloads in osCommerce

I quite often receive emails asking how to set up product downloads in osCommerce. The latest was yesterday, so I decided to make a blog post FAQ.

It’s a bit complicated, but here goes – let’s assume we are creating a downloadable eBook;

1. Make a .zip file and call it something memorable. Eg; ebook_123.zip

2. Upload it using FTP (File Transfer) to the /downloads/ directory of your osCommerce shop.

3. Go to Admin > Configuration > Download and make sure that “Enable Download” is true. Check the other settings as well, all three should be self explanatory;

4. Set up your new product as normal. I won’t screenshot this as I am sure that everyone knows how to do this!!!

5. Admin > Catalog > Product Attributes. Make sure that you have a self explanatory title (eg: “Download”);

Now go to the “Option Value” and enter a new value of “eBook”, using the dropdown set to “Download”;

6. Scroll down the page and find the area for linking options to products;

In here, select your product from the dropdown list. Select “Download”. Select “eBook”. If you want to give it a price increase or decrease. In Filename put the name of your zip file – make sure that this is correctly named! Add your options for expiry days and download attempts. Press [+Insert]

7. Go to your product. Now you will see it has the option available to buyers to have it as a download;

Once they have bought, you need to amend their order status to “delivered”. They will then be able to log in and get the link from their account > account history > view order;

That’s it! Not straightforward, but certainly do-able.

Important Note; if you have multiple downloads, make sure to call all your zip files different names! Otherwise your customers might buy one item to find they are downloading something else.

osCommerce 2.3 – Information Boxes

2.3 has quite an interesting new feature which should make it much easier for store owners to change the look of their shop.

The Information Boxes (that is those in the left and right column of most osCommerce sites) can now be turned on and off and swapped positions from directly in the shop admin. Previously the shop owner (or developer/designer) had to amend /includes/column_left.php and or /includes/column_right.php to achieve the same.

So, how does it work?

Enter your admin area > modules > boxes – here you will see the admin functions to change the boxes;

In a new installation of osCommerce 2.3, all the infoBoxes in the left column have a sort order starting with 1 and the right column infoboxes have a sort order starting with 5. Easy to see what goes where? The LOWER the number the more towards the top of the column. In other words a box with a sort order of 1000 would be above a box with a sort order of 1050 – hope this makes sense?

How to turn an infoBox off?

Easy. Let’s turn off the Manufacturers box. Click the Manufacturers box and press the [-Remove Module] button;

How to move an infoBox more towards the top (or bottom) of the column?

As previously explained, you will need to change the sort order! Let’s move the “whats new” box from it’s present position to a new position above the “search” box, but below the “categories” box. First thing to work out is the present sort orders of the search and categories box. Search = 1030 and Categories = 1000. Thus to get our box in between those two, we can use any number from 1001 to 1029. I’d suggest exactly halfway at 1015. Select the “Whats New” box and press the [edit] button. This will give you the small editing box;

Look for sort order, and change the value to 1015, then press [save].

Go to your site and refresh your browser. The Whats New box is now between the Categories box and the Search Box;

How to move a box from one column to the other?

Easy! Again decide where you want your box by choosing a new sort order. Let’s say I want the “Search” box to be moved from left column to right column and to go at the top of the right column. Presently at the top of the right column is the shopping cart, so we know that the search box needs a LOWER number than the “shopping cart” box (5000). Let’s say 4900. Select the “Search” box, and press [edit] button. Again this brings up the editing box;

This time, change the sort order to 4900 and ALSO select “Right Column”. then [save]. Go to your site and refresh your page, and the Search box is now placed at the top of the right hand column;

Conclusion

It’s now easier for the Store Owner to change the look of his site.

osCommerce 2.3 – Reviews System

2.3 has a small change in the Reviews System. On older osCommerce versions, the review system was very prone to abuse as all reviews would be instantly available on site. Though HTML was stripped out (therefore stopping spammers from posting links), your shop could easily be the victim of a competitor or a disgruntled customer posting negative comments.

New Feature

What has been added is a new “status” feature where you can switch off any reviews easily;

Simply click the red button to turn off, and the green button to turn on.

All new reviews are entered into the database with an “off” status. So, you, the shop owner can read the review and make sure that it is something that you want to display on your site!

Other changes

The number of reviews (with status of “on”) shows as part of the button text on the individual product page;

Other features

Shop Owner is also able to edit and delete any review. Would suggest that editing a review is not great as you don’t want to be accused of putting words into your customers mouth. If you don’t like a review, just delete it, would be my advice;