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MrPhil last won the day on August 19

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  1. (more on export/import): 1) if you're only changing a few tables, snip them out of the .sql backup and import them one at a time 2) before importing a revised table, be sure to first empty (truncate) the existing table so that you don't get doubled entries. Of course, you should have a DB backup and know how to restore it, first. Working on a live store is trickier than one that's offline -- depending on the data being changed and how long it will take to truncate/import the table, and whether the table might get updated by a customer during this, you might want to take your store offline temporarily, to prevent such conflicts.
  2. Also consider doing a backup (export) to an .sql text file, and then using a good text editor such as ViM or Notepad++ to modify the text (e.g., globally replace http:// with https://, with, etc.). Finally, restore (import) into the database.
  3. So rather than a standard form, it's more of a chatbot with an agenda? It just asks you a series of questions until you've answered everything? I could see a problem with this, in that it's not clear what data will be requested, and you might add a piece of data in the wrong place because you need to give it, but don't know if it will be asked for. At least, if I can see the entire form, I can see what will be asked and where the most appropriate place to put some specific information will be. I can also judge how long this is going to take, and even whether they're going to want information that I don't care to give. Verdict: useless. Maybe it could be slightly useful for some situation where what questions are to be asked depends on earlier answers, but that can already be done with dynamic update of a form, or splitting it up into several pages.
  4. If Edge is using them interchangeably, it's wrong. It should pick one or the other, with consistent use of "Add to cart" being preferred. I think that's the clearest and least ambiguous phrasing, that won't leave a visitor fearful that they're committing to paying for the item like "Buy Now" might. A true "Buy Now" function would indeed require some changes (empty the cart, put this one item in it, and proceed to checkout -- more than that if you want to keep the existing cart contents and keep shopping, even more if you want to check for duplication between Buy Now and cart). I didn't say anything about "purchase later"; Flora said that. That would be a Wish List function. It's not a bad idea to have some sort of "Purchase" button everywhere that the item is displayed. If someone wants to throw a diamond ring in the cart without checking the details, that's their concern. Just make it clear that there is a way to get product details, if you're not already on that page (as an aside, being able to pull up product details on anything already in the cart would be useful, for comparison shopping). Having both Add to Cart and Buy Now could be confusing as to which is which, but would offer the convenience of impulse buying. Having icons on the buttons (arrow pointing down into shopping cart, and arrow pointing right to cash register) could help clarify which does what. I discussed before the problems of having both buttons, and conflicts between them. It's also possible to have multiple carts, if you wish to ship to different places or pay for some purchases with one method, and others with another credit card, all in one shopping trip. Malcolm, I just noticed in the email notification, that it's Artco Inc (incorporated). That sans-serif font that the forum uses I always saw as "Art Colonic" (an el rather than an EYE) :) (and always thought that was a rather strange ID to pick) That's why I dislike sans-serif fonts!
  5. Your biggest problem, if selling new merchandise under their brand name, is the likelihood that the manufacturer will come after you for "trademark violation". While legally (everywhere that I know of) they can't prevent you from reselling merchandise, they do have complete control over use of their trademark(s) and can make legal trouble for you over your unauthorized use of their trademark. They prefer that only authorized channels offer their goods, where they have some control over the quality, etc. of the buyer's experience. Consider yourself warned.
  6. Hi, Hank! :) Couldn't resist... Obviously this was designed by an artiste. I kept trying to enter my name somewhere in or near the prompt, before I happened to see the off-white-on-white "Enter name here"! I agree that this bozo doesn't know the first thing about designing a usable page. What does an up-pointing arrow mean? Oh, hit Enter! Problems can show up anywhere. This morning I was looking at the National Hurricane Center map of watches and warnings for Hurricane Maria. For hurricane watches, they chose a certain shade of pink that I, with red-green color deficiency, can't tell apart from the gray used for land. I can't see any watches unless I notice that it extends outside of the land boundary! I think I'll write to the NHC and give them some feedback on this.
  7. Exactly which version of osCommerce (2.3.4 BS Edge is the most current)? What PHP version? Did you check that the logo file (image file) was actually correctly uploaded, and is displayable in your browser (by going to the address of the file)? What does your Admin say the store logo currently is? Perhaps you need to set it to use your image, separately from uploading it.
  8. Don't forget that running PHP code in cron (system command line) is different from running it in the web server (via HTTP). You are not in the same environment, and may have different path settings, environmental settings, and even a different version of PHP. In general, if using cron, you want to make sure everything (paths, settings, etc.) are explicitly spelled out.
  9. Walmart's "Add to cart" button is not the same as a "Buy Now" button. I agree that it would be a bit unusual for someone to put such a major item in their cart without looking at the details page, but hey... maybe they just use the same template for $1.49 hair pins as they do for a $677.00 gas generator. Yeah, Walmart would count as "fair to middlin'" in size. Now, just what are we discussing here? Buy Now and Add to cart are two very different things (in my eyes, anyway) -- the former is a commitment to purchase immediately (go directly to shipping and payment), while the latter is merely putting the item in the cart or basket, to (probably) be purchased at the end in checkout. It doesn't really make sense to me to buy some items now and others (slightly) later, in the same shopping trip. It can make sense to offer both, for impulse purchases and normal purchasing, but as I discussed earlier, be wary of mixing the two. On the other hand, a discussion about where it makes sense to put purchase buttons (how many opportunities do you get to make that sale) is a good one, but is separate from the Buy Now/Add to Cart discussion.
  10. If I notified a store that I was changing my email address (through proper channels), I would certainly expect that any pending orders would change to the new email address. There should normally be only one email address stored for a customer (as part of the customer data), rather than an address stored for each order. Does osC store multiple copies? That would be called unnormalized data. I suppose that it's possible that additional email addresses might be stored for an order, such as a gift recipient's, but I don't think they should replace the primary email address. Don't forget that a notification of change should be sent to the old email address, just in case someone had done this change maliciously. Then you have a chance to manually change it back to the correct (old) address.
  11. Why not simply move the Search box over to the right, so that the typeahead also aligns with it? If I understand your posts, you're looking to keep the Search box where it is and move the typeahead to the left, to right-align with the Search box?
  12. Search engines (especially Google, the 800 pound gorilla) are interested in providing useful information to users of their search functions. There used to be a whole bunch of things that could be done to boost your search rankings (be presented before other sites), but these techniques don't really improve the user experience or provide useful information to the searcher, so they are now condemned as black hat. On the other hand, white hat SEO techniques are "natural" things that improve the user experience and/or provide useful information, so they are encouraged. Black Hat SEO will always be around, so long as there is money to be made in getting your website to the top of the list. Their techniques will change over time, as more and more problematic methods become detectable, and the search engines can penalize them. Some things which are now White Hat may in the future become Black Hat, but I would be surprised if the reverse happened.
  13. It depends on what you mean by "infographics". Do you mean it's more than just a picture, but includes data points? Can you give an example or two? If you're including, say, a line graph, I think it would be overdoing it to read off every data point in an alt= attribute. Perhaps a better method would be to produce a "read me the data" button that blind users could use to request that the data be read to them? I think CSS will even permit a section (of readable text) to be included only by a screen reader. The alt= attribute is intended to provide supplementary text for the benefit of those who cannot see a picture (graphics), such as the blind. A screen reader can read the text, and describe the graphics for them. It should not be used as a catch-all place to stash more keywords (for SEO), but it is OK if some important keywords can be naturally worked into the alt text. The title= attribute is intended to provide a pop-up label whenever you hover over some element. It should be used judiciously to provide additional information for a user, but again, should not be used a simply another place to stuff with keywords. It is OK if a brief label contains a keyword or two, but don't overdo it. Since a title is text, it might be read by a screen reader, but that cannot be guaranteed (since it's not in a fixed location). Microsoft screwed up things royally when they used alt text to automatically provide a title. You should set these things separately (they could be the same text, or one could be empty), as IE6 is still in use today.
  14. Remember, if you have your host roll back PHP to an earlier version, this is not a permanent fix! All you're doing is buying a little time so that your store keeps working while you are updating it. Don't roll back PHP and forget about it -- your old PHP version is unsupported, and you will be very vulnerable to hacks. You shouldn't try to "fix" your existing store, unless you have so many add-ons and custom codes installed that it would be a horrendous mess to update. It's best to install the latest version (2.3.4 BS "Edge", from GitHub) and migrate your data over to it. Of course, any changes you've made (add-ons and custom coding) will have to be replicated on the new store. But, at least you'll have the latest and greatest store installed, that will work for years to come. Install and data migrate in a test store first, and move it into production only after you're satisfied that it's working properly.
  15. Well, "Buy Now" or "Buy it Now" has always meant to me, "I want to purchase this RIGHT NOW, all by itself, not in a cart full of other things, and pay for it immediately." That's my expectation when I see that phrase, not "add to the shopping cart". I think I first saw it on eBay (as opposed to entering a bid on it), so that's the definition that's stuck with me. BN means (to me) "go directly to shipping and payment, and then (often) exit the store". You could have both on any or all pages that a product appears on, but I gave my concerns in my previous post about that could lead to an accidental double purchase or other problems, unless the two buttons are coordinated in some way. As for multiple shipping addresses or payment methods, it would certainly be easiest for the store to have the customer just to enter two different orders. However, this can be inconvenient for a customer, who has to go through the shopping experience twice. Perhaps a better solution would be to push around two (or more) carts, and put a product in one of them? They would have separate checkouts, with different shipping and payment. The best interface might be to drag and drop the product into the basket, rather than clicking "add to cart". Or, if you have multiple baskets/carts, drag and drop the "add to cart" button/icon to the basket. Something like that. I would put both buttons everywhere a product appears, to encourage impulse buying if that's the customer's thing, or to rack up more sales with a cart. I would think it better to be consistent and not have "add to cart" in some places, "buy now" in others, and both on some pages. Now, whether a given product gets just one button or both is something you would have to decide. From the coding standpoint, it would be easiest to always do the same on all products. However, you may not want to handle an impulse purchase of a single pack of chewing gum... either you'll lose money on shipping and handling, or the charges will be so high that the customer will quit in disgust.