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  1. #1
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    My new employer tasked me with altering her online storefront, which is constructed using PHP (dynamic site). I don't have to do anything with the database, just a few of the pages on the site.

    I don't really have any PHP experience, but I'm pretty good with HTML. What would be the easiest way to get the page into Dreamweaver and make the edits?

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  3. #2
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    You probably can't use Dreamweaver in the sense that you think you can. Dreamweaver has a text editor, but you may as well use any text editor like Notepad++

    Can you show us the website and what needs to be changed?
    AudioEcstasy likes this.


  4. #3
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    Thanks for replying, sure here is the link:

    http://www.cynthiarowland.com/shop.php

    The only thing I have to alter is this shop page. My employer would like me to reduce the items on the page, as they are a bit redundant and featured elsewhere on the site. Basically, to make the page a 'featured items' page.

    I don't have to add anything, only take some items away and I don't have to mess with the database at all. My experience is solely with HTML and CSS.

    I've installed XAMPP and FileZilla and I'm in the process of downloading all the site files from the server for backup purposes before I begin. I would like to just load the page in DW, make the edits, and put them live.

    It seems simple enough, but any and all help is greatly appreciated!

  5. #4
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    This is the way I would approach this situation ...

    My method would involve messing with the database though. The reason you need to do it this way is because the pages of items shown are generated by the PHP script. That means there is one script for all or many pages, so there is no way to specifically customize the actual HTML/CSS.

    I would look at the MySQL database, which would be the actual catalog of items they sell. There may already be a column for some sort of "feature" code, but if not, I would create a new column called "feature" with a column type of INT(2) ... 2 digit integer. Put a number 1 in the columns that are considered feature items for your main page.

    I mention the 2 digit integer because they may want to show certain items on the main page and certain items on other pages. You could come up with a code system to define which pages they appear.

    That being said, there also needs to be a way to edit that "feature" column. Some scripting would need to be done on the admin portion also. A person who adds items can decide if it should be a feature item or not when they enter it, or go back and change it later on.

    All of that above is just to deal with the database ... now you have to work on the PHP script.

    When the PHP script generates your main page (or any other page for that matter), it will need to only pick the items that have the proper "feature code" in that column. That will require some custom scripting.

    Now you'll have to decide about hiring a freelance programmer? There might be people on this forum that would be willing to do the work for you (for a fee of course).

    In summary, what you're trying to do cannot be done with HTML or CSS changes. It's all in the database and PHP scripting.
    AudioEcstasy likes this.


  6. #5
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    I see, so the database does more than calculate the data, it actually contributes visually to the site? What would the mysql database file look like, as in extension, so I can determine if the page runs on one or many?

    Lastly, there is no easy way to get a PHP environment in DW and edit it that way?

  7. #6
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    You didn't mention what your shopping cart (ecommerce) system is being used. Whoever created the website either used an existing system like (OScommerce, OpenCart, Magento, X-Cart, etc) or they created their own system. Do you happen to know what shopping cart system is being used?

    Someone has entered all of the items, descriptions, cost, photos, etc somewhere on the website ... by logging into an admin section? All of that data is stored in a database that resides on your webhost's server. On the webhost server, they are reserving a file storage place for the website files, and another place for all of the MySQL databases that you may have.

    To see the database you need to log into the website control panel and access it there.

    The PHP script connects (with a password) to your MySQL database and requests (queries) any information it needs to create the web pages that you see when you view your website. All of those little codes you see in the website URL (in your browser address window), like: ?products_id=61 tell the PHP script which item to request from the database.

    So now, when it requests the items to show on the main page, you also need to tell it to only get the ones that you wish to show (where the "feature" value might equal 1). Any items that don't have that feature value will still be in the database, but they won't show up on the main page.
    AudioEcstasy likes this.


  8. #7
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    I believe that the shopping portion of the site runs on OSCommerce, but I'm going to contact the previous webmaster today.

    I've logged into the control panel for the host server and have located a section called MySQL databases where I would presume they are all stored? It seems like there are only 5. I've downloaded the files from the server to work offline to make the revisions and am preparing to load them into the DW environment now.

    Is the database a file (excel, i.e.) that can be opened and viewed?

    Lastly, there would basically be 2 things that need to be changed to correct the site. A visual aspect of removing the products, and then a slight alteration of the database so those products no longer show on the page?

    Thanks so much for your help, I've already learned a lot.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    Most of the freebie ecommerce shopping sites use an SQL QUERY to display the "latest items" added to the shopping system ... Some have the ability to "adjust how many and of which" items are displayed on the "main page"... Some have a "check box" on the actual item in the admin section...

    I suggest, before manipulating data... And or PHP code, to into your control panel, find the items you want removed, and see if its as simple as "un checking" a check box.

    And... You really don't want to go monkeying around with a DB ... Unless you really know and understand the "relationships each record may have with other records " ... Ie: "know what you're doing"...

  10. #9
    WDF Staff mlseim's Avatar
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    webzarus is correct ... there may be options already in place to selectively display items.

    I'm saying that if there are not existing options, scripting would be added to allow the admin person to decide which items appear on the front page. Don't delete any items, because you want them to be there, just not on the main page. So you are correct in thinking that 2 things are needed.
    1) A column added to the database that would allow some code to be entered to hide from main page.
    2) Some PHP scripting that actually looks at the code and determines whether to show it or not.


  11. #10
    Senior Member Webzarus's Avatar
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    In the past, I've "consulted" on numerous shopping systems, because a previous person setup an e-commerce site... Not knowing how much is actually involved, get part the way through ... And walk away.

    I've spent hours and hours... Providing instruction on basic management... And maintenance ( backups, purging, setting min-max, etc. ), simply because some eager beaver beginner thought "oh wow !!! ", I get to do an ecommerce site... Not realizing, there's a whole lot more .. Than running a couple of installer scripts.

    Depending on how many items are going to be in the system ... And how detailed you want the internal search results ... It can, and almost always is, a "daunting task", and that's for an experienced person.


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