Coming Soon, Links Manager for 2.3.1

By | January 31, 2011

There are a couple of add-ons for managing links, I have tried them and I have not been impressed with any of them. Some are bloated, some have redundant code, some are just plain dangerous when it comes to using them for SEO. All are ugly.

My idea is to code up a new system to allow the Shop Owner to add links. And then have page, using tabs, to show the link category and links, a bit like this mockup;

Should be interesting to see what I can come up with.

In my opinion, the point of a links module is to allow the Shop Owner to help customers get to other sites. Reciprocal links (or in other words, you link to me, I’ll link to you) are outdated and should not be used for SEO purposes. What’s your thoughts on links to/from other sites?

15 thoughts on “Coming Soon, Links Manager for 2.3.1

  1. Xpajun

    I’d much rather have links coming to my site 😀

    For SEO purposes links going to to other sites is surely not a good idea

    Links going to a similar store is definitely not a good idea

    Rather than help the customer get to another site find a way to bring that information to your store so your customer can sit in the cosy confines of the product(s) you want them to buy!

    Make it so they never want to leave 😀

  2. pdcelec

    Count me in as a beta tester. This is what is lacking from my site, a good link manager. Maybe something along the lines of Pronus TMS? or jquery tabs as a base. I like the concept, much cleaner and tidier

  3. Michael

    I’d wrather see an article manager for osc 2.3.1 thinking its more relevant for seo purposes in a cart.

  4. pdcelec

    Links to other sites maybe not be ideal for some shops, but I think in my trade, external links can be useful ie trade bodies, health and safety, allied trades etc.

  5. Gary Post author

    It’s certainly not for all sites, that is for sure. One of my upcoming clients next week already has a links module on a old 2.2 shop (which I updated to 2.3.1). So, we need to make a new links module specifically for 2.3.1 as the existing ones don’t really do a proper job.

    A nicely coded article manager would be a good addition, maybe a future project when a client needs it.

  6. Gary Post author

    My thought is to simply have an admin module to allow addition of “categories” of links, then go into that category and add links. I’m still working on the theory, but it’s all pretty much in place…

    Once that part is complete, it is then relatively simple to output the categories and links on one page, and style it using the inbuilt jquery tabs – only a few lines of code for that, example here. Just a case of grabbing the output from the DB and making sure it’s laid out HTML correctly.

    Here’s my initial offering;

  7. Steve

    A link manager is something I have been looking for for my new “in progress” 2.3.1 shop. I am not really sure where I’d want to go with that quite yet, but am willing to have that site test this out if that would help the cause.

  8. Gary Post author

    It’s basically done and coded – though untested.

    The code will belong to a client for whom I am doing some more work next week, so it is up to her if it is to be released.

  9. Gary Post author

    @mike “I’d wrather see an article manager for osc 2.3.1 thinking its more relevant for seo purposes in a cart.”

    Tell me more about this idea? How would it work? Would it be anything like this links module? Eg; categories of articles, then articles inside. Or just a bunch of articles in a list, or how?

  10. Michael

    in my idea the purpose of the articles manager should be to allow for much better in-site seo content.
    So preferably it should be easy to use (wysig or other editor), and should be able to create categories etc, like your standard blog basically.
    Again, i think what would be great was if it then could be tied/link into different ares of the oscommerce website, such as product listings, categories and/or products -to basically achieve much more quality content.

    It could defenitely be done using tabs etc, depending on the rest of the website design.
    And using categories should also help to make it usable for users.
    Perhaps it could even be extended to behave also as a FAQ system somehow?

  11. Steve

    I thought I’d add that not withstanding the matter of the effective of link exchanging for SEO, I have found that if I want to get my site on some directories, the door opens more quickly if I can offer a link exchange back to them. Through Google Analytics I have noticed that I made some sales when someone came to my site from a directory. So in that scenario, the link exchange paid off.
    So if a link manager comes up for 2.3.1 I will probably want to install it.

  12. Michael

    @Steve -link swapping will not help you with better SEO – it might very well generate more sales, as you noticed in analytics, but SEO effect in google, will be = 0.

  13. Paul

    +1 for Michaels idea.

    FAQs and ask a product question would be good. It could display answers on the product page for others too see too.

  14. Steve

    Michael, thanks for the follow up on that link for link issue. I haven’t actively pursued swapping for some time actually, after reading some articles about how google page ranking is done. But in the meanwhile I will take those links to my sites from directories that may generate some sales.

  15. Gary Post author

    Just added a video showing the mod in action. I have also now written the shop side of this (or, in other words allowing the site visitor to add links), links added like this go into the database and the admin then has to validate them. There’s a bug in it somewhere though 🙁

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