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indigoinstruments

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  1. Upgrading to the latest version

    Rainer, Your wholesale plug-in might be of interest down the road. We could do a subdomain but the problem with that I think is that Google might be able to index it. If we create a new virtual environment, then we can restrict access to just developers & ourselves based on IP address. Phil, Good to know that 5.6 can support both versions. The URL rewriting is a major issue for us since current file/path structure has to be maintained during & post domain migration, ideally for another 18 months. We've managed to maintain our domain authority so don't want to tamper with that while we try to get our SERPS up with responsive mobile. Templates for responsive may also be useful. Depending on what progress we make in the next few weeks, I may go to the commercial posting area to see what talent is available, especially regarding URL rewriting/SEP. Good point on the documentation. This has been a major weak spot for us for years. Will have to see if I am up to wearing another hat. I'll keep you all posted. Your prompt, information responses have been a great help. Regards, Stephan
  2. Upgrading to the latest version

    Rainer, Thanks. I wanted to outline the issues before going to the commercial forum. One problem I can see though is we are only at php5.6. Regards, Stephan
  3. Upgrading to the latest version

    Malcolm/John/Rainer, Thanks very much for your patience & indulgence. A bit of background info so you don't think I'm a complete twit. I only have one computer course under my belt, Fortran, taken in 1972. I am actually a biologist by training but sold lasers, nuclear instrumentation, etc. after getting my M.Sc. in 1978. Fast forward 15 years & I have my own company. We went on the web in 1994 with a site done by a grad student at the University of Waterloo & were first hosted at ds.internic.net/indigo. We bought the domain indigo.com in 1994 but didn't have a stand alone site until 1997. Fast forward some more & we had custom work done to build a shopping cart & integrate our office server's accounting/inventory database with our website. In 2012 we needed to improve the site & osCommerce seemed a viable option. 6 years later, we have to go responsive. Clearly if we were starting out today, we would do it differently. A last wrinkle is we sold our domain indigo.com in January & are now using indigoinstruments.com. We will lose complete control of indigo.com mid July. A very brief listing of some customizations. 1) Our image handler allows us to rename an image at will & it in turn does an URL rewrite for the product page. i.e.. "some-image-product.jpg" creates a corresponding "some-image-product.html". This was an idea I had for SEO since Google was starting to return more images in search. It actually worked very well initially but has since become a burden. We can abandon this one in favour of a more robust CMS. Of course, if the code doesn't break, then we can live with it as is. 2) Our business is both B2C & B2B. Visitors to the site will see products with price discounts for say 10+, 100+, 1000+ or more units. However, we also offer a discount scheme for bulk buyers. These are priced in the lots as they come to us from our suppliers. So there may be a "packof50", "boxof120", or "caseof250, etc. There are perhaps 40-50 of these custom lots. Our first osC developers adapted the product attributes table to accommodate this. Only we can see this as Indigo users so we have to manually select these special prices for our wholesale/large volume customers. My hope is this is simply a matter of copying/adapting that table. 3) Order status. This is harder to explain but osC feeds orders to our office accounting program through an api indicates order status change from New to Accepted, Packed, Completed, Backorder, etc. Some of these status changes are sent to the webserver through an XML feed. 4) Currency. If a customer's IP indicates he is in Canada, he sees $CAD. The rest of the world sees $US. However, if on checkout the ship to address is a different country, the currency & price could change since we have to collect various sales taxes for Canadians. 5) Shipping APIs. We use Canada Post, US Post, FedEx Ground, FedEx Express. There are some additional rules but I can leave that for now. 6) There are some others but technically not complicated. The company we have found to do the work is not as familiar with osC as we would like but we are hoping they can come up to speed. They have indicated they can handle the CSS needed for responsive designs. I do like the suggestion that we perhaps engage a member of the osC community to handle the database conversion & code debugging. We can set up a virtual environment for "new.indigostruments.com" to this end. Once that is done, designing the various pages needed for responsive should go a lot more smoothly. I certainly do like the idea of having access to all the addons & this would allow others developers to help us rather than have us tied to one group of people. Your collective feedback on this is of course welcome. Regards, Stephan
  4. Upgrading to the latest version

    John, Thanks for the reply. . If I understand you correctly, the 2.3.4.1 CE Frozen would lend itself to a responsive skin more readily & would have a better chance of retaining the functionality of much of the custom work. At the very least, the custom work might be more easily debugged. I take this also means that a database conversion as required for the Bootstrap version is not needed for this. We do want as much speed as possible & from what I have been told, osC is a lean platform well suited to this. I have poked around a bit & found a number of addons that are attractive. I "spoke" to 2 of the developers of these & it was clear that if modifications was needed, it would be much simpler on 2.3.4 than 2.2. I'll will encourage my new programmers to join the forum as I am certain they will find much sage advice during this transition. Regards, Stephan
  5. Upgrading to the latest version

    Hi Malcolm, Thanks. My attempt to be brief didn't aid clarity. A bit more background. 1) Company that did our site in 2013 went under but did upgrade us to php5.6 before they did. 2) New company we found has some experience with osC but dealing with undocumented customized code from previous programmers is an unknown for them. They believe they can convert the 2.2 site to accept a responsive design & avoid having the custom code break. The downside is they want to agree to new designs based on mockups beforehand. Their first designs were unwieldly & I can see us going back and forth & still not get where we need. So, we are beginning think this approach is ass backwards. The design should be done on a live working environment. Am I not right in understanding that tweaking mockups is much harder than tweaking CSS to arrive at a final design? In other words, I think they need to create the responsive compatible environment first & then show us new designs that they can tweak, not the other way around. The question is, is doing it in 2.2 workable given the shortcomings of 2.2. Or, is it wiser to take the plunge with 2.3.4 Edge/Bootstrap & then debug the custom code? We can create as many virtual environments as necessary but I am not a programmer so can't make a convincing case for either approach. Does that help? Stephan
  6. Upgrading to the latest version

    We are using v2.2 & really need to go responsive. However, we also have a lot of customization that our new developers think will be hard to debug/recode. So, what might seem to you programming types an obvious/slash dumb question: Would our current desktop site still render reasonably ok but mobile responsive would be a mess or would the whole thing be a mess?
  7. Search Tool Plug in

    Yes, did see the reviews but only one says explicitly for 2.2. Of course, if the others are backward compatible, that would be sweet. Am I dreaming or is it conceivable they could be? I'm not the programmer, just doing the legwork, BTW.
  8. Jack,

    We need to upgrade our site search but we're stuck with v2.2.  The search tool is extremely slow. Can you modify your SiteSearchPlus tool?

    We want to:
    Search Category
    Search Products including SKU

    We want to use the meta keywords field for alternate words/mispellings but if you think there is a better place for that, we're game.

    Thnx.

    Stephan

     

     

     

     

     

    1. Jack_mcs

      Jack_mcs

      The search code is mostly the same in all versions of oscommerce.  Usually when the search is slow, it is because the code is searching through product descriptions. If you don't need that to be done, then removing that option would greatly increase the speed. If you do need it, there's not much that can be done, assuming your search code is standard code. The search in description is usually only a problem when there is a large number of products involved or/and their descriptions are large.

      So the short answer is that I can modify the search code however you like but the speed may not improve if it is searching product descriptions.

      As for the meta keyword tag, any keyword you enter in it has to appear on the page or the search engines may think you are trying to trick them, which can lead to banning.

      If you have my Header Tags SEO addon installed, it has an additional words field just for this purpose. You enter the words in admin for the product and the code displays those on the product page as well as adds them to the meta keyword.

      Please let me know if you have any other questions or would like any of the changes made.

    2. indigoinstruments

      indigoinstruments

      The products_name is listed in an index. There are only about 1000 of them which should not strain an indexed search I thought.  However, what I discovered is that the previous techs wrote the code so that the Search box calls up Advanced Search & practically none of the fields in it are indexed. Hence the dreary results.

      The meta keywords field is simply a placeholder for some alternative words. For example some people refer to volume as 100cc not 100ml. I'd hope that Google would see the equivalence & not take it as a violation.

      If you think your tool will still be slow even with indexing, then I am not any further ahead. If you think it workable, let me know. I did want to add categories to the search though, so it might still be an issue.

       

  9. Search Tool Plug in

    We're using the basic search tool that came with v2.2. We need something better but with all the customization we've done, going to 2.3.4 in the short term is impossible. The current version is extremely slow. We want to search both category and products & use the meta keyword field to plant alternate words & misspellings. We would also like to include a part number (SKU) search. Has anyone installed any of these with good results? Ajax Search Suggest, SiteSearch Plus AJAX Quick Search
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