Making Templates

By | April 24, 2008

David asks;

I am very interested in designing oscommerce templates and installing contributions. I dont know how the system works and would really like to learn. I have every adobe product so all I need to know is what files must be edited to change looks.. thanks

David, the best advice that I can give is to dive right in. Install osCommerce and play with the stylesheet, and the header [ includes/header.php ] and footer [ includes/footer.php ] files. It’s fairly easy to give a site a whole new look just by amending those files…

However, if you are wanting to start up a business design templates, then you will need to know a lot more about how osCommerce works in order to give your customers the support they will need. My advice is to learn osCommerce inside out, and then go to the official osCommerce forums and answer questions! By answering questions, you’ll learn a lot about osCommerce in a very short time.

In depth templating…

The main template seller is Template Monster – but TM templates are coded horribly by people who have no real knowledge of osCommerce. None of their templates use STS (Simple Template System) – the STS is a way to layout your shop by amending 1 HTML file and using “placeholders” to place the osCommerce tools. It works pretty well, but I prefer to get budding osCommerce users to delve into the codebase – as you’ll learn a lot.

I have two recommendations for you;

1. Designing osCommerce – this eBook takes you from the standard grey install to a shop that is nicer looking – it shows you how to make a deisgn without using the STS shortcut.

2. osCommerce STS Tutorial – this one does the same – but using the STS system to make a design.

Both of these eBooks are worth reading – they will give you a massive headstart over most osCommerce users, and the skills that you learn will enable you to take any design and integrate to osCommerce!

Good luck with osCommerce!