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  1. #1
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone,

    I'm getting ready to upgrade the client's online store. It's a Tae Kwon Do school. You can see the original here. I think it was made in '93.

    This is my first online store project. I did a lot of research on my own time to set it up. The engine I'm using is Zencart v1.5. Highly customizable, open-source, decent plugins from the community, but a bit difficult to look at, from the admin-side. And it's free. There are many others out there too, but from the things I read, Zencart would be sufficient for my needs.

    Notes:
    -The color scheme reflects the logo. The random purple gradient is what my client chose for the new website (non-store), so I am using it for the store as well.
    - Shipping is a bit weird, as there are no explicit costs listed on pages. Rather, the cost is based on total order size (items are given an attribute 'size'). More information can be seen in the 'shipping costs' tab. In the end, it makes sense and it pretty much makes shipping costs accurate as can be.
    - Checkout is a bit ugly right now... Zen cart's developers have really poor design skills, so I've spent a good deal of time in the css file to un-ugly things. I have yet to un-ugly the checkout process.

    Anyway, just let me know how it looks, if it's easy to navigate, if prices seem decent... anything! I appreciate it.

    -R

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  3. #2
    Senior Member bleau canon's Avatar
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    You've made a huge improvement and you do have to listen to what your client wants as it seems you have done.

    Shopping Carts are another world of their own. Our girl that sets up client's shopping carts has to use most all of them. The one she likes best and tries to use it most is Coffeecup's Pro Shopping Cart.
    She can easily customize it to go with the flow on just about any web site.
    Bleau
    "Give the gift of life, Adopt a child, And an Animal"

  4. #3
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Wow... so... nobody wants to review it huh? You guys suck.

    Quote Originally Posted by bleau canon, post: 240106
    You've made a huge improvement and you do have to listen to what your client wants as it seems you have done.

    Shopping Carts are another world of their own. Our girl that sets up client's shopping carts has to use most all of them. The one she likes best and tries to use it most is Coffeecup's Pro Shopping Cart.
    She can easily customize it to go with the flow on just about any web site.
    Thanks. The old was insufficient. Aside from changing the appearance, having a concrete shipping policy now is a HUGE improvement for the online store.

    It definitely takes a lot planning and to do this. I would say it's 50% actual web skill and 50% business planning. It was such a pain looking up shipping policy examples, shopping carts, pricing plans, payment methods... but I feel like I could be an e-commerce consultant now. lol.

    -R

  5. #4
    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    It definitely looks a lot better than the original version. With that said I don't like the BG for several reasons, one being it cuts off half way down the page and looks incomplete. Secondly the gradient has poor transition as it gets darker and lastly there is a border on the sides when viewed on my 1920x1080 screen which, when you scroll down, gets cut off like I mentioned on the first issue.

    I have a question for you when you set up the Zen Cart, which I to have messed around with but couldn't figure out the money portal, did the client have to pay for the payment portal? That was the only thing I couldn't figure out and so I have never take on shopping carts because of this.

    I use Hostmonster as my host provider and they provide you with access to 11 different Shopping Carts, ZenCart, Prestashop, Magento, Cubecart, opencart, tomatocart plus several more. I just need to find time to play around and learn each one lol.

  6. #5
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproofgfx, post: 240177
    It definitely looks a lot better than the original version. With that said I don't like the BG for several reasons, one being it cuts off half way down the page and looks incomplete. Secondly the gradient has poor transition as it gets darker and lastly there is a border on the sides when viewed on my 1920x1080 screen which, when you scroll down, gets cut off like I mentioned on the first issue.

    I have a question for you when you set up the Zen Cart, which I to have messed around with but couldn't figure out the money portal, did the client have to pay for the payment portal? That was the only thing I couldn't figure out and so I have never take on shopping carts because of this.

    I use Hostmonster as my host provider and they provide you with access to 11 different Shopping Carts, ZenCart, Prestashop, Magento, Cubecart, opencart, tomatocart plus several more. I just need to find time to play around and learn each one lol.
    Nothing I can do 'bout that BG. I did not realize that there were screens that big though. I will have to maybe put in a media screen code for that.

    Payment portal = "payment gateway". I don't know exactly the science of what they are, but from my knowledge, they're the 3rd party guys that provide an API that can process online transactions for your merchant account with a credit card company. Yes, the client pays for the payment gateway and the fee is alongside any fees that they pay their credit card processor.

    There are a bunch of payment gateways, but pretty much everyone goes with Authorize.net. Trusted and good documentation (though difficult to read). Not sure if they have the most competitive rates though, hard to check. Alternatively, you can go with Paypal or Google Checkout/Wallet, which would do all the cc processing for you and there would be no need for a payment gateway. Much better if you only provide a couple of items or you have infrequent sales.

    Lastly, a couple opinions on those carts (btw, it's difficult to find a reliable review site for carts):
    - Zencart: free, fully-customizable, free support, good plugins, but ugly out-of-box and horribly complicated admin interface. You will have to buy a template or do a lot of CSS override work to make it pretty.
    - Magento: Zencart on crack. Horribly difficult code base. Haven't tried it, but people say that Zencart is good for small businesses and Magento good for big businesses.
    - OS Commerce: It's the cousin of Zencart. Similar. Don't use it because it gets hacked a lot.
    - Opencart: I hear it looks good, but base features are very limited and you have to buy a lot of plugins if you want a store with depth.
    - Prestashop: I haven't tried it out, but I saw it had good reviews. I'd say start with this one.

    -R

  7. #6
    Senior Member Fireproofgfx's Avatar
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    There are a bunch of payment gateways, but pretty much everyone goes with Authorize.net. Trusted and good documentation (though difficult to read). Not sure if they have the most competitive rates though, hard to check. Alternatively, you can go with Paypal or Google Checkout/Wallet, which would do all the cc processing for you and there would be no need for a payment gateway. Much better if you only provide a couple of items or you have infrequent sales.
    When I was making a shopping cart it was for a person who had little to no money and so he never set up a payment gateway and I never completed the site. I have done a 2 item paypal site for a client which seems to do the trick.

  8. #7
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fireproofgfx, post: 240184
    When I was making a shopping cart it was for a person who had little to no money and so he never set up a payment gateway and I never completed the site. I have done a 2 item paypal site for a client which seems to do the trick.
    Yes, all individuals and small businesses should all just start with Paypal-ish methods. Easy to setup, no fixed costs (usually), and no need for a developer's help. They should explore the other methods only when they start to expand or sell so much, sales-wise or quantity wise, that Paypal's cut gets a bit big. In my case, it was impossible, as the client has close to 200 items and needs to do things like vary shipping rates, have sales, have category-organization, etc.

    -R

  9. #8
    Senior Member bleau canon's Avatar
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    quote:It definitely takes a lot planning and to do this. I would say it's 50% actual web skill and 50% business planning. It was such a pain looking up shipping policy examples, shopping carts, pricing plans, payment methods... but I feel like I could be an e-commerce consultant now.end quote

    And, that's some of the reasons why ecommerce sites can be expensive to build for clients. Ecommerce sites are some of our more labor intense and brain work we do. It takes a lot of experience to pull a large site together.

    That's the resaon we have a girl in here that specializes in ecommerce sites and building functional shopping carts that fit the site and what the site owner wants.
    Bleau
    "Give the gift of life, Adopt a child, And an Animal"

  10. #9
    Senior Member Andrew Yurlov's Avatar
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    Its a good improvement but I think your still of about 10 years off...

    1) The background color is NOT working out for you
    2) Header is way too big IMO(kind of empty on the right side)
    3) Make the hover effect in the Navigation a little brighter. I can't see much difference between the two colors.
    4) Take out the credit card information in the footer and place it somewhere else, It doesn't really belong there.
    5) On the sidebar navigation you should get rid of the rounded corners. They look out of place. Same with important links

    Well that't it for now. Keep working on it
    Artificial intelligence is nothing compared to natural stupidity -Someone

    Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks.
    But of course, if you dig deeper, itís really how it works.
    -Steve Jobs



  11. #10
    Senior Member RDesignista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Yurlov, post: 240676
    Its a good improvement but I think your still of about 10 years off...

    1) The background color is NOT working out for you
    2) Header is way too big IMO(kind of empty on the right side)
    3) Make the hover effect in the Navigation a little brighter. I can't see much difference between the two colors.
    4) Take out the credit card information in the footer and place it somewhere else, It doesn't really belong there.
    5) On the sidebar navigation you should get rid of the rounded corners. They look out of place. Same with important links

    Well that't it for now. Keep working on it
    Thanks for the input. We're pretty much getting ready to launch and I already have my files loaded onto another server. Been a bit hard to design since

    1. I've actually spent a lot more time on functionality (policies, payment gateway, security, helping with my client's main website) than actual design of this store (have I mentioned how bad default design templates are for Zencart?).

    and 2. I am basically modeling this store after my client's new website design template (the purple gradient). I tried to say that we could make them different, since they will basically be completely separate websites, but the client wanted a match. And of course, as you and I both know, the client is always right (but only sometimes... when it isn't anything regarding something crucial).

    Anyway, will some of those changes now, on the other server.

    -R


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