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Chance

How to Make a Horrible osCommerce Website

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Don't use spell check and assume that your grammar is ok. Since you saw a sign somewhere that said, "Its always good to check you're tire's," all those apostrophes must be in the right spots. Don't forget to tell folks that you except credit cards! :huh:

 

If you have issues with it's/its, you're/your, accept/except, or other common grammar screw-ups, check out the Common Errors in English page at http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/.

 

If you're not sure about how you spelled a word, just Google it. You might get the famous "Did you mean: ..."

or a whole bunch of entries that have the right word because you've used a common misspelling or typo.

 

If nothing else, remember this: an apostrophe does not a plural make! o:)

 

Annie

 

I type almost everything up in MS Word before I put it into my site. That way, I catch all spelling and grammar screw ups! Sure, I have to go through and add the breaks and a few other things, but I have to put those in anyway!

The original was a great article, and I agree with pretty much all of it. I am not changing the store layout right now, but will look at the order process before I go live. I just installed osC on my host last Friday, and I am pretty close to being done setting things up. I have changed colors, text, etc, and have had very little trouble figuring out osC.

 

I is edjukated! (sorry, couldn't help it!)

 

Lefty

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OMG, you forgot the two almighty rules that everyone needs to adhere to!

 

Addendum:

 

Always make sure to have a background colour or image that is so bright and dazzling that nothing on your site is readable. Why on earth do your customers actually want to look at the site, all they want is to buy everything you have in multiple quantities. Go ahead, add that fluorescent pink/yellow/green background and make your site really standout. Anything that hurts the customers eyes will be awesome in making sure they get straight to your shopping cart asap so they can buy your stuff. Definitely a major recommendation if you sell "sunglasses"

 

Dont forget to add lots and lots of animated gifs. Better still, add them on a dark background so that everyone can see the white outline around the gif. Choose ones that were created on a ZX Spectrum too so that they are blocky, all in one colour (white or black) and run about 900 frames per second. I promise that when your customers visit this site that is moving around like a bucket of worms, they will never ever forget their experience

 

Steve


My Toolbox: Crimson Editor, Adobe Photoshop CS2.0, Expression Web, Macromedia Suite 8.0, Cinema 4D, Nvu.

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11. Brag to the world how many visitors (or lack thereof) on your site

 

Keep that counter on the footer and never deleted. All your customers love to see how exactly popular and unpopular your site is. We all love to see that we are visitor #36 to a site and we don't mind helping that net site out by opening up our wallets to them. It gives me a good feeling when I do that. Its like I'm helping out the needy. Heck you need more visits, i'll tell my friends so they can be #37 and #38 respectively.

 

12. Stock Page Titles

 

You have so much love in promoting osCommerce as part of your world and business that you put it in the title on every single page of your website. Us customers don't mind that when we bookmark a page we get "osCommerce" instead of "widgets" for the bookmark title, we can live with that.

 

I wanted to get rid of the OS Commerce refrences... they are EVERYWHERE. But I am unsure exactly how. Can you help?

Annie

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I wanted to get rid of the OS Commerce refrences... they are EVERYWHERE. But I am unsure exactly how. Can you help?

Annie

 

languages/english there is a title field.

 

 

 

The sites that really get to me are ones where it is clear a HTML designer tacked osCommerce on with a "Shop Online" link and then overloads oscommerce.gif with the site logo at the starting and finishing touch. Now that is a class act.

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you got a friend that will send money when just giving my cc number?

great... can I pm you my cc number then, so you can pass it along? :D

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This is truly an awesome post! It should be pinned to the top of the forum so that everyone using oscommerce has the opportunity to benefit from it (or be insulted form it). This guy knows his stuff.

 

Amen brother!

 

1. Leave the layout stock

 

Because after all, if it wasn�t the best layout of all time then why did they distribute it as �stock� in the first place? Never mind that your site will look like every other lazy guy who decided that product presentation was overrated. Never mind that it has no flow, coherence, or style. And totally forget that it makes you look like some high school kid in your basement trying to take their money and run.

 

Lack of design talent? We understand. After all, if you could make nice websites, you wouldn�t be trying to sell whatever it is you make online- You would be selling nice websites. Never mind that you can get ready made, beautiful drop in designs on this very site. Nevermind that the fine folks of this community have made a number of easy to understand template systems that cut out nearly 100% of the PHP programming and let you design your site in a simple, free HTML editor. You picked a FREE cart, and darnit it�s going to be free if it kills you (or your chances for success). Those people that say you have to spend money to make money are all full of garbage.

 

2. Don�t add a thumbnail contribution

 

Why would you want to speed up load times for slow connections, or make your pictures look better? Good looking images are the sign of professionalism and class, and you surely don�t want your site to have either of those. Sure, successful shop owners say better images sell more products, but you don�t have to listen to those people. After all, what does a successful shop owner know that you don�t?

 

Never mind that image contributions like the excellent On The Fly Auto Thumbnailer or the UltraPics contribution actually decrease your workload while producing better images. Keep posting your 800k images to your site, and laugh at those people who talk about �Site optimization� and �load times�. You think jagged images are nice, and that�s just fine with me.

 

3. Don�t optimize your images in Photoshop

 

Optimizing your images in Photoshop or another image editing program takes time- Your valuable time. Just leaving them huge and making the customer download 3MB of images for each page in your site takes time too- The pesky customer�s time. Everybody knows customers love to wait to buy your products. Play a game! See how big you can make your images, see how long your load time suffers, and then see how your conversion rates fare!

 

Challenge yourself to approach dialup speeds over your cable modem using your stellar layered uncompressed image design- I�m sure your customers will love it.

 

4. Don�t smooth out the checkout process

 

Who needs a quick checkout? People love clicking through 8 pages of forms they have to fill in before buying stuff. Better yet, add in a couple more pages and hoodwink the customer just when they think they are finally through! Sure, you need the customer�s age, gender, and the name of their first born son to sell them your hand painted dishrags. Make it as hard as you can for the customer to actually complete a sale and pay you money because that�s how you can tell if a customer is truly dedicated (or if they love pain).

 

5. Ignore the market you are going to sell in

 

Sure, there are 50,000 computer stores online, but yours is going to be better! Market research is for people who don�t know what they want to sell, right? You couldn�t research for a term paper in high school and you passed, so why should an online business be any different? Don�t invest time or money in unique products or services, and don�t even think of developing some sort of unique selling proposition. Just bang out a site with the exact same products as your competition, only make yours more expensive, lesser known, and harder to deal with!

 

6. Don�t add an SSL certificate

 

All that junk about customers �Caring about their privacy� and being �Worried about identity theft� is unfounded. Just ask my friend �John� from Indonesia. Hey, by the way, he has $30,000,000.00 he wants to send you- he just needs your credit card number along with your name and billing address.

 

Never mind that SSL certificates enable the 128bit encrypted tunnel between the customers computer and your payment processor- All that stuff can just be sent plain text across the internet. SSL certificates cost money, and you are on a budget. Sure, the customer can sue you after your website is responsible for their identity theft, but that�s not very likely to happen. After all, you treat your customers like they are dumb and their personally identifiable information is worthless, so they probably don�t have the smarts to hire a lawyer to sue you into the poor house. After all, $50 is a lot of money for security and peace of mind!

 

7. Don�t add Terms of Use, Privacy, or Conditions of Sale statements

 

Some might say that customers like to know who they are dealing with, but those people are full of it. Customers don�t care about your return policies, what to do if they receive a broken product, or what to do if the size they ordered is wrong.

 

Likewise, they don�t care what you are going to do with the personally identifiable information you collect. I know for a fact there are people who love SPAM mail- I got an email selling me Viagra today that told me all about it. Never mind that providing privacy and terms of sale information is a legal requirement- That just goes back to your customers getting a lawyer. Everybody knows that people don�t like to sue lazy, complacent companies for easy money, right?

 

8. Completely leave out product descriptions

 

All your customers need is a blurry, browser resized, stretched picture of your product. They don�t need to know its features, limitations, or comparisons to other products. Hey, if they knew all that they would probably go buy the other guys widget right?

 

Don�t describe your product at all. Be sure to use your own arbitrary part number scheme too, so customers can�t search by the manufacturer�s part number to find the products they already know they want to buy. Oh, and use some random other picture for your product with a note at the bottom that says �Picture is a demo, actual product may vary� so the customer never really knows what they are going to get.

 

9. Add Flash. Lots of it. Then throw in some Java too for good measure.

 

Flash intros rock. Add two of them, and make sure you don�t put one of those annoying �Skip intro� links at the bottom. Heck, if you did that nobody would see Uncle Joe�s mediocre flash skills. Then, when you finally let the three customers who are willing to sit through your crappy intro into your store, make sure you have a flash product menu, a flash header, and random flash buttons all over the page. Page animations and moving text = Quality and usability, and don�t you ever forget it.

 

Don�t worry- if that doesn�t slow your site down to a crawl you can always add Java. Sure, most professional developers and customers alike refer to Java as �That F&%@*$# Java!�, but your customers are different. Put random Java image switchers on every page. Put that neat-o Java water ripple effect thingy on your homepage, because that wasn�t old and tired in 1993. And make sure you require Java along with Flash and Windows Media Player and QuickTime and Comet Cursor to use your site properly. Maybe throw in an ActiveX dialer installer just for good measure- Customers love compulsory ad ware laden downloads and plugins while trying to spend their money on your products!

 

10. Never post your address or phone number

 

Customers never want to get a hold of you- That�s why they buy online! Plus, if they have a complaint they have no way of getting in touch with you other than email, and we all know how easy to forget that form of communication is. Just think, without them knowing who you are, where you are, or how to contact you they can never make returns, never make complaints, and never cause waves. It�s brilliant! You can claim customer satisfaction is 100%, because nobody could ever call you and tell you otherwise.

 

Sure, this might put off about 90% of your potential customers, but don�t let that stop you. That still leaves you 10% of the internet, and trust me, that darn sure is big. Make sure you ship your items from the shipping store or the post office so there is never a return address on the box too. When the credit card company calls you about a chargeback, make sure you tell them the customer never called and complained.


Best Regards,

 

 

Victor Wise

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Great post...you should really make a "what not to do guide" for all us noobs. With obviously a little bit more details. I tried to play with oscommerce features but I still have a lot to learn.

 

I'm using a free template I found on the net and I'm trying to adapt it to my needs. Once I'm done with my virtual shop, I'll send you a link so you can tell me what you think about it.

 

In the meanwhile, can you please point me to websites powered by oscommerce that are example I should follow or stay away from.

 

Thanks for sharing your knowledge.

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Can someone check my site out at http://www.c57.us and give me your honest opinion. I believe everything is ok but possibly the banner in the middle. I placed it for the color. Without it my site looked very plain. Everyone seems to like the colors with the banner. But of course if it contributes to my page loading slow for folks I will take it down. I am a newbie. Also how do I take the counter off at the bottom. Also must I leave the bottom part about os commerce. i see a lot of shops with out it.

 

Also I let paypal process all the info for me. The customer goes through paypals web site to input all their info. Forgive me, but do I still need an ssl. I put over 22 contributes and I am afraid I may need to reinstall or do some complicated stuff to enable ssl.

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Can someone check my site out at http://www.c57.us and give me your honest opinion. I believe everything is ok but possibly the banner in the middle. I placed it for the color. Without it my site looked very plain. Everyone seems to like the colors with the banner. But of course if it contributes to my page loading slow for folks I will take it down. I am a newbie. Also how do I take the counter off at the bottom. Also must I leave the bottom part about os commerce. i see a lot of shops with out it.

 

Also I let paypal process all the info for me. The customer goes through paypals web site to input all their info. Forgive me, but do I still need an ssl. I put over 22 contributes and I am afraid I may need to reinstall or do some complicated stuff to enable ssl.

 

Seems to me like you didn't procede to many changes.

 

SSL is an imperative to any transactional website. For your own insurance, and if you're serious about your online commerce, you should buy it from an independant third party like Geotrust Godaddy (I know dynadot dot com offers a 128/256 certificate for $25/year for a $10,000 coverage)... cause they offer you a limited coverage. Using your own built SSL will only encrypt your transactions but if a hacker ever cracks your protection an uses your cc and other financial information, you will not have any financial compensation.

 

One thing wrong I've noticed from your server is that you're hosted on a 1.3.33 version of Apache. Unless your not hosting this by yourself, I stongly suggest writing your host to update their version of apache. This one is pretty old an has a lot of security flaws.

 

Try looking up for templates over the web. They'll greatly improve the design and browse abilities of your e-commerce.

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I think I found the best way to destroy a new startup site. Just have your tech install the SSL certificate incorrectly. You will greet all of your customers with one of the following joyous messages:

 

Warning number one:

 

"THE SECURITY CERTIFICATE PRESENTED BY THIS WEBSITE WAS NOT ISSUED BY A TRUSTED AUTHORITY" "WE SUGGEST YOU CLOSE THIS WEBPAGE AND DO NOT PROCEED TO THIS WEBSITE"

 

Ohh, thats great.

 

Warning number two:

 

"Title:website certified by an unknown authority.

In text box:unable to verify identity of www.schumacher-rc.com as a trusted site.

possible reasons for this error:

-your browser does not recognize the certificate authority that issued the sites certification.

-the site certificate is incomplete due to a server misconfiguration

-you are connected to a site pretending to be www.schumacher-rc.com, possibly to attain your confidential information.

-please notify sites webmaster about this problem

 

Before accepting this certificate, you should examine this site certificate carefully.

Are you willing to accept this certificate for the purpose of indentifying the website www.schumacher-rc.com?

 

Options:

1. Examine certificate

2. Accept this certificate permanently

3. Accept this certificate temporarily for this session(default selection)

4. Do not accept this certificate and do not connect to this website."

 

My site is only 2 months old, and the "techs" still cant get it right. It goes without saying that my stomach has been turning this whole time. I watch customers create an order, create an account(now that the ssl warning doesnt show there) and when they choose a payment option, they are greeted by the above messages. Not only do I lose those sales, but they will also NEVER return. Brilliant......

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I was so irritated when writing my previous post that I forgot to thank CHANCE for his wonderful posts. Chance, when reading your list it was as if you were reading my mind. Love your sense of humor............

 

I have never known a dumb smartass!

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Top Notch Post!

 

Im only a newbie to all this and im glad that i came across this as i never thought of (and really should have) SSL Encryption,

 

The site is nowhere near finished But im hoping as a first try at it it will be ok :)

 

www.indulgencesoaps.co.uk/shop

 

Sophie

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This is a great post.

 

I just lost a client because I wasn't into putting a big flash animation with bells and whistles and things flying around. I tried to tell him how most people don't care and how irritating those really are. He wanted to be able to tell his friends how cool his site was. I let him go without trying to win him back because I don't need clients who don't "get" it...

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13. Add lots of logos and stuff. People love useless logos.

 

Tons of logos smattered all over your pages tell customers "Look! I know how to add useless logos to my website!" and they think its a sign of professionalism and class. Never mind that all the big shopping sites out there would rather have the customers look at products they can buy instead of some third party logo- your customers are made up of the internet elite who love multiple 300x300 site seals, huge banners advertising the fact that your site is certified hacker safe by four different companies, and those big honkin' Paypal gold seals. Sure, the only logo that matters is a SSL seal from a reputable company but go ahead and add 20 others. It doesn't look armature at all, and since you have an ecommerce site your load times are already going to be slow so who cares if they have to wait another 30 seconds per page to load your 20 extra graphics?

Shoot!!! I thought my PayPal logo and infobox were the bomb :(, lolsssss, guess not!!! I'll have to leave it there for now, since it's my only payment option for now, but definitely will consider removing it, if later I enjoy the fruits of success...

 

Great Post :thumbsup:


I Hate PHP, LoLssss

Visit My Site, Any constructive comments and suggestions Welcome :)

WARNING: IT'S STILL UNDER CONSTRUCTION, LOLS

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1. Leave the layout stock

 

Because after all, if it wasn�t the best layout of all time then why did they distribute it as �stock� in the first place? Never mind that your site will look like every other lazy guy who decided that product presentation was overrated. Never mind that it has no flow, coherence, or style. And totally forget that it makes you look like some high school kid in your basement trying to take their money and run.

 

Lack of design talent? We understand. After all, if you could make nice websites, you wouldn�t be trying to sell whatever it is you make online- You would be selling nice websites. Never mind that you can get ready made, beautiful drop in designs on this very site. Nevermind that the fine folks of this community have made a number of easy to understand template systems that cut out nearly 100% of the PHP programming and let you design your site in a simple, free HTML editor. You picked a FREE cart, and darnit it�s going to be free if it kills you (or your chances for success). Those people that say you have to spend money to make money are all full of garbage.

 

2. Don�t add a thumbnail contribution

 

Why would you want to speed up load times for slow connections, or make your pictures look better? Good looking images are the sign of professionalism and class, and you surely don�t want your site to have either of those. Sure, successful shop owners say better images sell more products, but you don�t have to listen to those people. After all, what does a successful shop owner know that you don�t?

 

Never mind that image contributions like the excellent On The Fly Auto Thumbnailer or the UltraPics contribution actually decrease your workload while producing better images. Keep posting your 800k images to your site, and laugh at those people who talk about �Site optimization� and �load times�. You think jagged images are nice, and that�s just fine with me.

 

3. Don�t optimize your images in Photoshop

 

Optimizing your images in Photoshop or another image editing program takes time- Your valuable time. Just leaving them huge and making the customer download 3MB of images for each page in your site takes time too- The pesky customer�s time. Everybody knows customers love to wait to buy your products. Play a game! See how big you can make your images, see how long your load time suffers, and then see how your conversion rates fare!

 

Challenge yourself to approach dialup speeds over your cable modem using your stellar layered uncompressed image design- I�m sure your customers will love it.

 

4. Don�t smooth out the checkout process

 

Who needs a quick checkout? People love clicking through 8 pages of forms they have to fill in before buying stuff. Better yet, add in a couple more pages and hoodwink the customer just when they think they are finally through! Sure, you need the customer�s age, gender, and the name of their first born son to sell them your hand painted dishrags. Make it as hard as you can for the customer to actually complete a sale and pay you money because that�s how you can tell if a customer is truly dedicated (or if they love pain).

 

5. Ignore the market you are going to sell in

 

Sure, there are 50,000 computer stores online, but yours is going to be better! Market research is for people who don�t know what they want to sell, right? You couldn�t research for a term paper in high school and you passed, so why should an online business be any different? Don�t invest time or money in unique products or services, and don�t even think of developing some sort of unique selling proposition. Just bang out a site with the exact same products as your competition, only make yours more expensive, lesser known, and harder to deal with!

 

6. Don�t add an SSL certificate

 

All that junk about customers �Caring about their privacy� and being �Worried about identity theft� is unfounded. Just ask my friend �John� from Indonesia. Hey, by the way, he has $30,000,000.00 he wants to send you- he just needs your credit card number along with your name and billing address.

 

Never mind that SSL certificates enable the 128bit encrypted tunnel between the customers computer and your payment processor- All that stuff can just be sent plain text across the internet. SSL certificates cost money, and you are on a budget. Sure, the customer can sue you after your website is responsible for their identity theft, but that�s not very likely to happen. After all, you treat your customers like they are dumb and their personally identifiable information is worthless, so they probably don�t have the smarts to hire a lawyer to sue you into the poor house. After all, $50 is a lot of money for security and peace of mind!

 

7. Don�t add Terms of Use, Privacy, or Conditions of Sale statements

 

Some might say that customers like to know who they are dealing with, but those people are full of it. Customers don�t care about your return policies, what to do if they receive a broken product, or what to do if the size they ordered is wrong.

 

Likewise, they don�t care what you are going to do with the personally identifiable information you collect. I know for a fact there are people who love SPAM mail- I got an email selling me Viagra today that told me all about it. Never mind that providing privacy and terms of sale information is a legal requirement- That just goes back to your customers getting a lawyer. Everybody knows that people don�t like to sue lazy, complacent companies for easy money, right?

 

8. Completely leave out product descriptions

 

All your customers need is a blurry, browser resized, stretched picture of your product. They don�t need to know its features, limitations, or comparisons to other products. Hey, if they knew all that they would probably go buy the other guys widget right?

 

Don�t describe your product at all. Be sure to use your own arbitrary part number scheme too, so customers can�t search by the manufacturer�s part number to find the products they already know they want to buy. Oh, and use some random other picture for your product with a note at the bottom that says �Picture is a demo, actual product may vary� so the customer never really knows what they are going to get.

 

9. Add Flash. Lots of it. Then throw in some Java too for good measure.

 

Flash intros rock. Add two of them, and make sure you don�t put one of those annoying �Skip intro� links at the bottom. Heck, if you did that nobody would see Uncle Joe�s mediocre flash skills. Then, when you finally let the three customers who are willing to sit through your crappy intro into your store, make sure you have a flash product menu, a flash header, and random flash buttons all over the page. Page animations and moving text = Quality and usability, and don�t you ever forget it.

 

Don�t worry- if that doesn�t slow your site down to a crawl you can always add Java. Sure, most professional developers and customers alike refer to Java as �That F&%@*$# Java!�, but your customers are different. Put random Java image switchers on every page. Put that neat-o Java water ripple effect thingy on your homepage, because that wasn�t old and tired in 1993. And make sure you require Java along with Flash and Windows Media Player and QuickTime and Comet Cursor to use your site properly. Maybe throw in an ActiveX dialer installer just for good measure- Customers love compulsory ad ware laden downloads and plugins while trying to spend their money on your products!

 

10. Never post your address or phone number

 

Customers never want to get a hold of you- That�s why they buy online! Plus, if they have a complaint they have no way of getting in touch with you other than email, and we all know how easy to forget that form of communication is. Just think, without them knowing who you are, where you are, or how to contact you they can never make returns, never make complaints, and never cause waves. It�s brilliant! You can claim customer satisfaction is 100%, because nobody could ever call you and tell you otherwise.

 

Sure, this might put off about 90% of your potential customers, but don�t let that stop you. That still leaves you 10% of the internet, and trust me, that darn sure is big. Make sure you ship your items from the shipping store or the post office so there is never a return address on the box too. When the credit card company calls you about a chargeback, make sure you tell them the customer never called and complained.

 

this, my friend, is hysterical.:lol:

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