My site is live – good? bad? indifferent?

After well over a year, and then ditching the work, restarting, using 2.2, then trying 3 and eventually settling on 2.3.1…I am pleased to announce that my own osCommerce site has been freshened up and is online!

Have a look at oscommerce-templates.co.uk – it’s far from finished, but the basics are there.

Interesting Features

Mega Drop Down Menu System

Including LOGIN form:

Which changes to ACCOUNT and LOGOFF (when logged in):

Cart Summary In Header

Which changes when the cart has contents:

And changes again to show tiny product images when the “bag” is mouseover’d:

Cufon Font Replacement

To make the heading texts look much nicer than usual:

Popup Info

Cool popup information for the “New Products”:

Product Presentation

Nice looking presentation when in the category structure (and eslewhere):

Checking Out

Non invasive account set-up:

Lots more to do, I’m very aware of that. I also hope to add at least 1 template per week, and all the scripts and bits/bobs that I’ve worked on over the past years.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

27 Replies to “My site is live – good? bad? indifferent?”

  1. Looks great, the templates too, I like the tooltip for new products and the “mega menu” too

    A sidenote: It looks like the menu has a higher z-index than the fancybox

  2. Very Nice Gary

    I have a 15″ screen (I know I’m going to get a new one) but it cuts off both the left & right sides. I can’t see the begining of the pop ups on the left or the right of the log in drop down. The header menu is showing larger than the rest of the bar. Just me but I don’t like the 🙁 in the basket. Do you need the default welcome message? Your buttons are still the standard ones which suprised me.
    Love the small things like the twitter & osc follows too, & the colour.

    Why do you sell in $ when you are UK based?

    Looking forward to seeing your 2.3.1 scripts.
    🙂

    Hope this doesn’t sound too bad, as it is does great!

  3. Hi Julie – I have much still to do including a new button set. Tell me what resolution you run your 15″ monitor at? 800* – 1024* (or something else). If you run on 800 then no 2.3.1 osc site would look right. If you are on 1024 then my code might be problematic…

    Thanks 🙂

  4. Gary, I’ve been having a spending spree at http://www.key.co.uk/ – take a look at their drop down menu bar – I like that – did think of you while there and clicking 😀

    Your store looks good with some nice bits to it – personally I’m not keen on green and green decor though 😀

  5. What I really like is the product listing layout. I saw the same style somewhere else and thought it would look good on our site.

  6. 1024 as I can see my site & it is v2.3.1
    Not many have this small a monitor though so I don’t think it is such a big problem.

  7. Juls – that’s a pretty nice menu they have on there. They basically have the ‘top level categories’ as the buttons, and onclick it shows their relevant subcategories. That’s do-able in osCommerce, but it’s not straightforward – then again, what is straightforward in osc?

    Paul – you may have seen it on one of the other templates I made, as my own site is just a mish mash of templates (with some extra bespoke coding); http://www.clubosc.com/clean-and-healthy-2-3-1-template.html

    Julie – the vast majority of my clients are US based, hence I show US prices. I guess I could add GBP and Euro, why not.

  8. I did create a new drop down navigation menu which is placed in the header. I did post my question in general support. But what is happening when I hover over link, it will open but it opens behind the left column and content area. I even added class clear div. So am wondering if you might have an tip.

    Thanks.

  9. It’s nice but not “that” impressive specially considering the fact that you do this for living…

  10. Eddy – give me some ideas on how to make it impressive. My problem is that I have no time to work on my own projects 🙁

  11. I’ve recently been playing with layouts on a vanilla 2.3.1 install – obviously using the good ol’ 960 grid – it’s not easy trying to produce an interesting artistic design that makes a store stand out above the rest within the confines of the 960 grid, it is frustrating at best and not possible at worse.

    The grid system is just a straight jacket for any innovative design and needs removal but to do this means that updating osC becomes problematic for budding store owners… or does it?

    Right or wrong, I always believe that the best designed osC stores are the ones that don’t look like an osC store

  12. It is quite difficult to be restrained form doing whatever you like. The grid system is more flexible than tables, but not much more so. The main difference will be seen with regards to accessibility…

    If osCommerce was easier to design and develop for, then I would have more free time in which to make my own site. LOL

  13. I think your site looks great! Very functional and has a very smooth layout. I’m not a designer and am self-taught with programming but in my opinion it’s very nice.

  14. Hey Gary.

    I like the new drop down menu system, especially the login form.

    I’ve been working on my own version of the drop down menu, but would really like to incorporate the login form like yours. Is that something you might be willing to share, or at least drop a couple of well-placed hints?

    –Rob

  15. Site looks fabulous Gary!

    Love your mega menus and tooltips, perfect for your site.

    I see you still have the old “C” type URLs, which is probably best as you have been around so long using the same. I had a look at the Ultimate Seo Urls 5 PRO, but am not particularly fond of URLs like:

    /index.php/hardware-graphics-cards-c-1_4
    /product_info.php/matrox-g200-mms-p-1

    Thought you would be interested in our own solution (still implementing) on a site we have in the early stages of development: http://www.musicamonette.ca/catalog.php

    With this we are getting much friendlier URLs like:

    /hardware/graphics_cards
    /matrox_g200_mms

    Particularly I like keeping the product first level deep, much better for rankings.

  16. Hey Matti, thanks 🙂

    I am not that attached to the present system of urls, as I only started using such urls when I updated to 2.3.1. Before, I was just using product_info.php?products_id= etc etc.

    If you need a tester for your URL system, email me and I’ll be happy to put them onto my shop.

  17. Hello Gary.

    Essentially what we are doing is using .htaccess to detect whether the request is for a valid file, if not then we rewrite to a special URL parse file.

    All our URLs are created and stored in a database table when creating categories, products etc. The database table contains all the parameters that the normal osC request would contain, eg. cPath or products_id.

    So, the parse file simply grabs $_SERVER[‘REQUEST_URI’], cleans it up if it has parameters (eg.osCsid or add to cart), then looks up the URL, includes the required file and feeds it the parameters stored in the database. Extra parameters are handled by application_top.php in the usual way.

    We use query caching, but even without there is no noticable performance hit.

  18. Sounds good. I often thought about creating some sort of interface to create URLs of the admin choice (a bit like how wordpress do their URLs when typing a new blog post). It sounds like you are/have created such a system. Gimme gimme gimme LOL !

  19. Ok Gary, once I get this site done, I will package up the deal. Perhaps you can offer it here for download since I am not welcome over at the other place.

    We are creating the URLs automatically from catgory names, product names etc. (for music we attach the artist name). I suppose it would not be a big deal to add URL field to create them manually.

  20. Hey Gary!

    Sorry been very busy this end.

    The Monette site is now close to completion (slow clients).

    Have added full Ajax to the site (except checkout, account etc.). It still has the URL structure for search engines. For the Ajax we have implemented HTML5 browser history features, which allows valid bookmarking of Ajax loaded pages, back/forward buttons on the browser. Still needs a few minor tweaks, but essentially functional.

    We have always Ajaxed music sites as it allows continual play of music without ugly pop up music players. We are using a HTML5 music player which is hidden (jPlayer).

    Check it out: http://www.musicamonette.ca/home

  21. Yes. The simple changes that have been made to the structure of osC2 have made it a breeze to work with (thanks Sparky!).

    I don’t particularly like the jQuery UI stuff, but can live with it.

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