28 Days Of Code, 2017 Version…

TL;DR – no 28DoC project in 2017

For the last couple of February’s I’ve completed a “28 Days Of Code” project where I bring out an all-new module each day and sell it at very low cost.

Those modules have ranged from small things such as “password strength meter” to much larger things such as a blog or products compare and loads of other useful modules.

For 2017 I decided not to run the project, as I found it too stressful to constantly come up with new ideas where they simply do not sell. Last time, there was a grand total of 16 buyers over the course of the 29 days of the project. That’s no doubt my fault as I bring my ideas to fruition without asking for input from shopowners as to what they exactly need. I learned a long time ago not to ask for shopowners input as each shopowner needs something different from the next and so getting an answer that all (or most!) agree on is nigh impossible.

Getting Reviews is easy…when you make it easy

TL;DR – make it easy for customer to give you reviews.

Just to give you an idea, these are REAL REVIEWS of this Key System, from REAL SHOPOWNERS;

Since started using it I have about 20 new reviews in just over a week which I think you will agree is a great outcome.

A year later I thought it would be good to share that the shop now has wait for it trumpets playing…. 1047 reviews. All because I have an easy way to ask for them click click send.

I sent out requests on about 50 and I got 8 positive reviews in a couple hours.

Reviews gives you credibility
Given the same product at the same price, would you buy from a shop that has 100 reviews of it, or from a shop that has no reviews of it?

Reviews can be used to revamp your store/products
Finding that a product is getting negative reviews? Fix that product up, or remove it, or place less emphasis on it at your shop. Replace it with a new, better, product… the possibilities here are endless.

Customer Reviews is Manna for SEO
Every customer review is new content for your shop. We all know that Google loves content.

Does your shop have Reviews?

Are you asking your buyers for reviews? If not, why not? If you are and it just isn’t happening, what barriers have you put in place stopping buyers from helping you? Let’s look at a couple;

Barrier #1: Guest Checkout
You have no way for the buyer to login and write a review.

Barrier #2: Having to login
Your buyer needs to remember his/her password that he last used 3 weeks ago. What a pain.

NOW SOLVED, with the all-new KEY System

– shopowner attaches a randomised Key to each order
– shopowner can send emails to 1 customer or multiple customers asking them to click a link to make reviews
– customer makes review without logging in

Admin Side gets a whole new page for setting up keys and sending emails:


As you can see, keys are easy to set up, emails go out with just one press of a button.

Shop side gets a whole new Modular Page for allowing customer to make review(s):


As you can see, multiple products exist in a tabbed layout, making it super simple for buyers to leave reviews. Once a review is left, it looks like this:


At this point, the usual system of reviews is used where shopowner sets status of a new review to live after having had a look at it…

This new (reviews) Key System is available now. The cost is £20, which covers my time of development and future development of the system. I have more ideas for this system which are being coded as you read this.

Want it?

GOOD FOR: Responsive (Community Edition) osCommerce Gold or Edge.

Make a donation of £20 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 “Key System” – 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.

HTML Email in osCommerce … professional

So, there are some older (and new!) addons that support the use of HTML in outgoing emails. All are outdated or just half thought out in terms of function.

Introducing the ultimate in HTML Emails capability…

With just one tiny change…here’s the type of emails your shop could be sending to your customers…how professional does this make your site look…

Click the images to see larger versions

Welcome Email

Order Email

As you can see, this gives a level of professionalism unseen in any osCommerce shop before now.

This system also allows you to track clicks and opens of your emails, as well as have unlimited templating capability so that you can easily change the look of your emails (it can even be made to work with multiple languages!).

Interested to learn more? Get in touch to see (and test) the system.

Silktide Cookie Consent Plugin for osCommerce

If you are using it, you need to make a code change as per this link.


<script type="text/javascript">window.cookieconsent_options = {"message":"{$message}", "dismiss":"{$dismiss}", "learnMore":"{$more}", "link":"{$link}", "theme":"{$theme}"};</script">
<script type="text/javascript"> src="//s3.amazonaws.com/cc.silktide.com/cookieconsent.latest.min.js"></script">

Change to:

<script>window.cookieconsent_options = {"message":"{$message}", "dismiss":"{$dismiss}", "learnMore":"{$more}", "link":"{$link}", "theme":"{$theme}"};</script>
<script src="//cdnjs.cloudflare.com/ajax/libs/cookieconsent2/1.0.9/cookieconsent.min.js"></script>

That’s all folks.

Another 28 Days Of Code ?

During February 2015, some of you will remember I coded up some cool modules and released then day by day. 28 Days of Code was sort of a last minute idea which stemmed from an idea that dear old John made while in a chat with me…as it was last minute it was very stressful to get modules coded and ready each day during February.

Another 28 Days Of Code ?

To save the incredible stress of last year, I’m presently putting together some more modules and things for “Another 28 Days Of Code” ready for drip feed release in February 2016 – as of right now I am pretty much 9 days completed, and have ideas for another 2…

Sign up for “Another” Mailing List

Click here to go to the subscription form. If you were signed up for the 2015 version, perfect…you don’t need to sign up again. I guarantee no emails until February 1st 2016.

XML Files for Google Webmasters, Bing and others

XML sitemaps

If you have no clue what these are or how they can be good for your site, read https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/156184

I have take the time to create a better system for producing osCommerce specific sitemaps. By clicking one link in your admin area, you will produce 4 XML Sitemaps, ready for use:

1. Categories
2. Manufacturers
3. Products
4. Special Offers

You can use any or all of these to do wonderful things.

This new system has ZERO core code changes. It has been tested on a site with over 1500 categories and 23000 products – all 4 sitemaps were produced in less than a few seconds.

This new system will be made available in my next Newsletter which is due in the next week, if you have not yet signed up for the Newsletter, please do so at http://www.clubosc.com/oscommerce-news-and-updates.html

Featured XML Image courtesy of Hopstarter

osCommerce News and Updates

I’m going to be emailing once or twice month – and each mail will contain interesting news, maybe a special offer, maybe some free code that no-one else gets.

You can sign up by inserting your email address into the form below and click “subscribe”. Nice and easy.
It’s a Mailchimp list so if you subscribe, you can easily unsubscribe should you wish to.

So, if you want to learn about the possibilities that YOUR shop can bring you, sign up today and wait for the next Newsletter.

Stock Tracking via Options and Attributes

This is a follow up article to http://www.clubosc.com/attributes-options-oscommerce.html

Today we are talking about an extension to the attributes and options system which we call “attribute sets”. What we have set out to do is to better utilize the built-in attribute system of osCommerce.

Something that many shop owners deal with is that they need to not just keep an overall stock count for an item but they also need to keep a stock count for different options for the product.

Let’s say you have an item (T-shirt) and that item has a colour attribute and a size attribute. Normally you would end up with two drop down menus, one being for colour (red, blue) and one being for size (medium, large) which the customer would then use to choose the options they needed for the item.


However, what you have in stock is this:

2 x Red Large
2 x Blue Medium

Using the usual options/attributes dropdowns, a customer could easily select “Red and Medium” which you don’t have in stock. Ends up being a waste of time for you and a very annoyed customer who will probably want a refund, an apology and won’t shop with you again. That’s a bad thing…

With some radical (yet well coded) changes to the options system, Matt and I have enabled a system that allows the Shopowner to show options in a different way and keep track of stock. It looks like this:


As you can see, the options are shown in a different format, including the SKU and Stock. Now a buyer can only order exactly what you have in stock. Stock is reduced not only on the overall product (the Tshirt) but also on the available SKU (of the options). If I check out by purchasing a “Blue Medium” I will show what I mean (note that we presently have 2 Blue Medium in stock, and overall quantity of 4 Tshirts). After the purchase:


Stock has reduced to 1, and overall stock of the T-shirt has reduced to 3:


So, in this way stock can be maintained using the usual osCommerce attributes and options (with our extension). In addition to this, in the admin orders page and invoice page the “model” is made up of the model number of the overall product along with the SKU of the chosen option:


Forget about master and slave products.
Forget about QTPro.
Attribute sets are a non-invasive way to control inventory at the attribute level.

And a video to illustrate the system from start to finish…

Should you wish to enquire about this new system, please feel free to contact me on oscshops@gmail.com or Matt via http://www.tostejensen.com/contact.html