Business Schema

Did you ever search Google and find really interesting details about a Business, for example opening times and email addresses and so on. It looks a bit like this:

This is achieved by letting Google know more information about your business, which is most easily done by using “Schema“. In Responsive osCommerce I strived quite hard to add in “product” schema and that is working very well for a large number of shopowners, but that’s all about the Products and not about your Business…

AND SO…

Now I have an extension which adds in some more Schema markup. It is a Header Tag module and lists the following details: Type of Business, Name, Image, Opening Hours, Price Range, Payment Methods, Telephone, Email, URL, Address – more can be added as needed…

Installation

Very easy. Upload 2 files via FTP. Enter Admin and turn on the new Module. Insert Parameters and press save.

Benefit

Allows Google to better understand your business.

Want It

GOOD FOR:
All osCommerce versions from v.2.3.1 onwards.
Including Responsive (Community Edition) osCommerce Gold or Edge.

Make a donation of £3 at this link, the donation can be anonymous and goes via Paypal – please let me know (in the Paypal Comment Box) that the donation is for “Schema Business” – thanks.

By making a donation, you are helping to support the future of the Responsive osCommerce project. Within 24 hours of your donation, I’ll get the zip to you. THANK YOU.

Getting ready for 2.4

2.4 will be based on the excellent Community Responsive version, with a few extra changes to accomodate todays needs in terms of codebase. It is not going to be a full OOP codebase, that is coming in v3.

Put simply;

LOOK/THEME
You can expect v2.4 to LOOK just like the Community Responsive.

UNDERLYING CODE
There are changes that developers will have to comply with, not least the use of namespaces and PDO (to replace MYSQL(i)).

What this means (for example) is that a simple call to install a module that used to look like this http://pastebin.com/HfAiC2qY

Would instead look like this
http://pastebin.com/vEU6U1tb

In addition the module (in this case the GTIN product_info module) would also need to access the Registry namespace in order to link to the database.

Why are these changes being made?

PHP7 advises to use PDO to access a SQL database. MySQL commands are deprecated. MySQL(i) will still work, but PDO gives the option of more easily swapping from MySQL to another database system…

Namespaces are introduced to allow Developers to write code without the fear of breaking other parts of the code…

More on the new 2.4 to follow…

Free Taster eBook and Mailing List and News

Free Taster:

If you’ve been umming and aahing about spending a tenner on my design for 2.3 eBook – then have a download of the free taster ebook. If you like the style of writing, maybe you’ll go ahead and purchase the full ebook…

Free Taster eBook

Mailing List:

I’ve also started up a mailing list for buyers of my books and templates. I’m going to use it for making purchasers aware of updates to existing books/templates and any new releases I make. Subscribers will also be sent freebies at least once a month. It costs nothing to sign up – all you need to do is download the free taster (or any of my other free ebooks) and you’ll be able to sign up.

In other News:

I’m now on the osCommerce Team. After more than a decade using osCommerce, it’s the start of a new direction for osCommerce, based on ideas given by the user community, so if you would like to comment on how you would like to see osCommerce evolve over the coming months, here’s your chance.

How to Add a New INFORMATION page in osCommerce 2.4

How to add a new information page (like for example, the conditions page).

2.4 brings a new structure to osCommerce, and the base code is still being worked on – hence, this post might change when 2.4 is officially released. I’ll make sure I update it if I need to.

Step 1. Add the link to the new page in the information infobox

Open up /includes/modules/boxes/bm_information.php

Find this:

‘ <a href=”‘ . tep_href_link(‘info’, ‘contact’) . ‘”>’ . MODULE_BOXES_INFORMATION_BOX_CONTACT . ‘ </a>’ .

Change to:

‘ <a href=”‘ . tep_href_link(‘info’, ‘contact’) . ‘”>’ . MODULE_BOXES_INFORMATION_BOX_CONTACT . ‘ </a><br>’ .
‘ <a href=”‘ . tep_href_link(‘info’, ‘aboutus’) . ‘”>’ . MODULE_BOXES_INFORMATION_BOX_ABOUTUS . ‘ </a>’ .

Here we simply add a line break and a link to a new “aboutus” page.

Save the File.

Step 2. Create a new ACTION file.

Copy the code from pastebin and save into a new file called aboutus.php in the /includes/apps/info/actions/ folder.

Step 3. Create a new CONTENT file.

Copy the code from pastebin and save into a new file called aboutus.php in the /includes/apps/info/content/ folder.

Step 4. Add the necessary LANGUAGE bits

a. Open up includes/languages/english/info.php and add:

define(‘NAVBAR_TITLE_ABOUTUS’, ‘About Us’);
define(‘HEADING_TITLE_ABOUTUS’, ‘About Us’);
define(‘INFO_ABOUTUS’, ‘Put here your About Us information.’);

b. Open up includes/languages/english.php and add:

define(‘MODULE_BOXES_INFORMATION_BOX_ABOUTUS’, ‘About Us’);

Step 5. Visit your new “About Us” page

Click the “About us” link in the information infobox, and you will see your new page!

Easy as pie?

osCommerce 2.4 – intense work ongoing for 30 days

Here’s a sneak peek of 2.4 in action

As you can see, it looks very much like the 2.3 series, but under the hood it is a different beast. 960 grid has been removed in favour of Bootstrap and Stylesheets are LESS. Codewise, the system will be “App” controlled and pages will have Controllers & Content files, take for example the product_info page;

20130212

Here you can plainly see the “CONTROLLER” file and “CONTENT” files. By using Apps in this way it will be much easier to create new modules that can “hook” into existing modules. So, let’s imagine you want a coupon discount system…you upload the new “coupon” files via FTP and click a button to turn it on. Done.

The Impact of 2.4

osCommerce 2.4 is a halfway house between the “old school” coding of the 2.2/2.3 series that has been developed over the past decade, and the new style coding that osCom3 brings. 2.4 will bring with it some structured rules for developers which should make the whole system that much more professional.

Confused?

Don’t be. In general my advice is this;

Shop Owners:
if you are at 2.3, stay there
if you are an early adopter go 2.4

Developers:
if you are a developer who relies on clients to put bread on your table work with 2.3 as I believe most existing shops will stay with 2.3 and a good majority of new shops will go 2.3 (due to the lack of available addons).