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Obewanz

The GraphicZoo

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The company is an embroidery/garment printer with some really cool theme elements going on.

 

We are still loading and updating the catalog, but the overall site design and enhancements are basically finished. (97 mods at last count) We also anticipate only a few minor enhancements to the site from this point forward so it should remain fairly constant in both appearance as well as function.

 

You can view the site here: http://www.thegraphiczoo.com

 

Partial Mod list:

Multiple Product Images

Coupons and Vouchers

Templating System

Checkout Success Module System

Ship Wire Order Fulfillment Integration

Credit Card Encryption

Page Manager

Language File Editor

Attribute Option Type Features

Tiny MCE WYSIWYG Editor throughout Admin

Algo Fraud Zone

FAQ Manager (Replaces FAQDesk)

Article Manager (Replaces NewsDesk)

New Report: Sales Report 2

New Report: Customer State/Zip Code Mismatch

New Report: Customer Statistics

New Report: Daily Products Report

New Report: Articles Viewed

Customer Wishlist

Affiliate Program

Payment Module Updates : UK support

New Shipping Module: AusPOST

New Shipping Module: Canada Post

New Shipping Module: Royal Mail

Enhanced Customer Invoices

Product Extra Fields

Credit Card Encryption Manager

Credit Card Blacklist

Customer Blacklist

Specials by Category

Separate Price Groups

Per Product Qty Discount

Total B2B Suite

Enable/Disable Categories

Image Lightbox

phpBB Scrollbox (though no forum is actually being considered now)

Show Subcategories with Products

Configurable Admin Session Length

Customer Update Cart Reminder

IP Banning

Purchase Order Payment

 

We intend to add Master Products, PDF Datasheet, Printable Catalog (not pdf), Product Bundles, and either the Customer Loyalty and/or the Rewards Points modules.

 

Thanks in advance for your feedback!


The GraphicZoo

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It might be my weird eyes, but why do all the product shots lean over to the right?

 

Also you spoil things a bit by using stock graphics in some places.


SolarFrenzy

Solar powered gadgets at down to earth prices.

 

CheekyNaughty

Promoting British Design

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It might be my weird eyes, but why do all the product shots lean over to the right?

 

Also you spoil things a bit by using stock graphics in some places.

Lee,

Actually the images don't lean, it's the frame that is stlightly tilted - doing a black background site with hundreds of products and colors is a real nightmare, especially when all of the images have different background colors. Even shooting them with my green screen doesn't completely cure the problem - still requires up to an hour or two for each product to get the color references and product images all setup. The frame gives a decorative aspect that allows the background color of the image to be something other than black or transparent, couldn't come up with a better idea to solve this delimma - suggestions?

 

The idea behind the stock graphics was so that the categories would be easily distingished from the products on the page. Not sure how I would do this better - any suggestions?


The GraphicZoo

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Hi ..

 

something strange though.. when I press the "Enter site in Full Screen mode" .. it takes to me a small popup window.. was it intended that way .. also the window is not resizable..

 

I am using FF

 

Regards

Hari

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just waling around teh store. found something..

when i go t the product listing page ( Lettering ) page the product looks a bit down .. ie. a lot of space between the categories image and the product itself.

REgards

Hari

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I forgot to mention a couple of mods that really should have been mentioned as they provide something I perceive as critical to the site;

 

Age Restrictions - though I didn't actually use just one of these, I compiled all of the age restriction mods together to create a new mod that adequately served our purpose. We carry a few "mature" products that are either labeled that by the manufacturer because of the language or the imagery being sexier than some would like - ie. the Crack of Dawn product series which basically shows the butt of a woman in a thong in every design along with quite a few "dual purpose" sayings. If you don't log in and create an account, you won't see these products. The only thing I really have left to do for this mod is to allow the spiders/crawlers to index these products. My thought is to add a redirect to the prodinfo page to login which would redirect you back to the mature page if you found the link via a search engine. Only those presenting browser id's contained in spiders.txt would be allowed to bypass the redirect.

 

B2B Stuff - I also added a customer group zebra striped "banner" that displays in the upper left corner of the site if you are a club member, a retailer, or a dealer. The banner uses the group_id to determine which banner to display, thus giving the customer instant recognition that they are identified as belonging to the correct group and therefore seeing the correct pricing for any given item. Some groups like the dealer/retailer get different discounts in different categories of products as we cannot afford to give the higher discounts on certain items because of cost - ie. we can discount t-shirts more than polo/sport shirts. I also intend to restrict the Pay by Purchase Order option to only the non-consumer customer groups, that is the next change that I will be working on.

 

The Banner Manager has been modified to also include a few goodies, including having separate ALT TEXT available for the banner.

 

I still have some issues with the Special by Category feature, but that is almost finished.

 

And one last MAJOR improvement; the Products Attributes has been substantially reworked so that all attributes are assigned from the products page. Since we use this feature extensively for colors and sizes (mostly), it had to be easy to use. I'm still not 100% happy with it, but it is by far superior to what comes out of the box. Though I am looking at the master/sub products contribution as an alternative in the future.


The GraphicZoo

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Hi ..

 

something strange though.. when I press the "Enter site in Full Screen mode" .. it takes to me a small popup window.. was it intended that way .. also the window is not resizable..

 

I am using FF

 

Regards

Hari

Thanks Hari,

It was originally designed for Internet Exploder 6.x but I see it isn't working correctly in 7.x either. It was a feature that I wasn't really happy with, but wanted to try it anyway - sooo, I'll probably take that part off since it isn't working since the newer browsers have hit the scene.

 

Thanks again for bringing that to my attention as I don't wan't anything that complicates the user experience if it can be avoided.


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just waling around teh store. found something..

when i go t the product listing page ( Lettering ) page the product looks a bit down .. ie. a lot of space between the categories image and the product itself.

REgards

Hari

Found it, had an extra tep_draw_separator('pixel_trans.gif', '100%', '10') line that was not part of the test for subcategories with products - fixed now.

 

THANKS!


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It looks great - the overall layout of the site has not been changed significantly (header, footer, 3 columns) which is a pity, but the style is much nicer than most oscommerce shops. Well done.

 

I'm not a fan of stores with dark backgrounds - I wonder why it is that almost all T-shirt stores have dark backgrounds? Might it be an interesting experiment to split-test a white store?

 

Ok, onto some thoughts;

 

1. On some of your product pages, you have an image of 6 shirts at the bottom of the page - the colours available obviously. This would look absolutely 10 times better if you used this to select the colour rather than have a dropdown.

 

2. There is a very large gap between the pageHeading and the start of the content on some pages (eg /affiliate_info.php)

 

3. There is a grphic in the footer, which looks like a bunch of trees. This would look better if it was joind at the bottom of the screen and the two sides - in other words full width and right to the bottom.

 

4. What's with the "feel good" banners? This is a commercial enterprise, isn't it ;)

 

5. Slanted images - look awful. Why not have the thumbnail straight?

 

I haven't looked at the codebase hardly at all - but from the quick glance I had, I can see LOADS of redundant code - but that's a job for the future I guess.

 

Degrades well (lightbox) if JS is turned off. What other jQuery bits have you added? Zebra Stripes I think you mentioned?


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It looks great - the overall layout of the site has not been changed significantly (header, footer, 3 columns) which is a pity, but the style is much nicer than most oscommerce shops. Well done.

 

I'm not a fan of stores with dark backgrounds - I wonder why it is that almost all T-shirt stores have dark backgrounds? Might it be an interesting experiment to split-test a white store?

 

Ok, onto some thoughts;

 

1. On some of your product pages, you have an image of 6 shirts at the bottom of the page - the colours available obviously. This would look absolutely 10 times better if you used this to select the colour rather than have a dropdown.

 

2. There is a very large gap between the pageHeading and the start of the content on some pages (eg /affiliate_info.php)

 

3. There is a grphic in the footer, which looks like a bunch of trees. This would look better if it was joind at the bottom of the screen and the two sides - in other words full width and right to the bottom.

 

4. What's with the "feel good" banners? This is a commercial enterprise, isn't it ;)

 

5. Slanted images - look awful. Why not have the thumbnail straight?

 

I haven't looked at the codebase hardly at all - but from the quick glance I had, I can see LOADS of redundant code - but that's a job for the future I guess.

 

Degrades well (lightbox) if JS is turned off. What other jQuery bits have you added? Zebra Stripes I think you mentioned?

1. I haven't found a contribution for that and haven't had time to work the code out for that so it will probably remain the way it is as I really need to focus more on images and products in the catalog at this point - besides actually doing the production. Though I do like the idea, just wish I had a quick and painless way to implement it though.

 

2. Hmmm, seems like it is not too bad, what browser are you using? I've laid it out mostly for IE as that is what most people have, but it should work fine in FF.

 

3. Tried your suggestion with the footer graphic and it looked absolutely aweful - it actually looked like it belonged to a different site. I originally had a colored version of that graphic in there also, which looked like crap - it detracted from the rest of the site and was actually overpowering the header.

 

4. The "feel good" banners are public service ads. More importantly, my wife and I support the Childrens Home Society with not only monetary contributions, but also as committee members on their KLAA and Summer Art Camp programs. We've seen what they do with the children who need their services and believe in supporting such worthy causes. We are also very much into doing what we can for conservation - not a tree hugger, just want to be good stewards - and my wife is very much into animals.

 

5. Slanted images - Hmmm, I've thought about this one and 90' vertical just seemed too boring. The images themselves are 90', just the frame is slanted - since this is a dark background site, it was difficult to get the images to blend correctly with the darker background, hence the design experience says to make a transition - in this case it was a picture border with a tilt. It really doesn't gain the same effect being squared up, but maybe I'll look into some other variation of this aspect of the theme.

 

I have been cleaning up the code quite a bit, but not sure how you are seeing redundant code - unless your doing source views, but then I'm still not sure what you're defining as redundant - please elaborate as I would like to streamline things in the code a bit more. (Unless you're talking about my template - but then the changes are substantial from any of the replaced file - just left those files in their normal place in the event something happens to the template.)

 

I also wanted to incorporate safari like graphics of animals within the site, maybe in the content headers or something - haven't figured out how to do this yet without cluttering up the site, but it is an idea that I would like to implement in the template side of things. And yes, the 3 column layout seems to work with osc and provides the most efficient method of displaying the most information to the consumer without overwhelming them. I've looked at other options and while a few of them have pulled it off, I don't think it is as easy as it looks if you want to include the wider array of information.

 

Actually the Zebra Stripe Banners are not JS, they are simple php that looks at the customer's group and displays the appropriate diagonal banner in the upper left corner if they belong to a group other than retail. When viewing on my 17" monitor, the banner dips slightly below the top menu bar on the left edge of the screen and extends to the upper left corner of the header outline leaving about 2mm clearance so these elements do not touch each other. Though on a smaller screen there is some overlap, but then that is why the banner is parallel with the back of the leopard in the logo. I did have another JS inclusion in the template side, but don't remember what that was for as it was done very early on in the design. (I'll be happy to look for it if/when I get time if you would like to know what it is - but I try to stay away from JS if at all possible because I also am not particularly fond of hitting lots of JS code on a site, especially when the code doesn't like my browser!)

 

Thanks for all of your feedback, I will look into the problem areas you pointed out to see if there is anything that needs to be done. I do have plans to do a Christmas version of the site, but it will most likely still retain the dark zebra pattern background and same basic layout, just have Christmas trimmings added maybe with a variety of animal images added to the boxes and the like.


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1. I don't know of a contrib for that either. Would rock if you got one up and running though ;)

 

2. FF - the gap is about 3/4 inch. Which doesn't look quite right. It's only cosmetic.

 

3. OK

 

4. What if your CUSTOMERS are not into the same things that you are? Think!

 

5. Fair enough.

 

Here's some redundant code:

 

<table border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" class="infoBoxFooter" id="infoBoxFooter">

<tr>

<td class="infoBoxFooter"><img src="images/pixel_trans.gif" border="0" alt="" width="1" height="1"></td>

<td style="width:100%;" ><img src="images/pixel_trans.gif" border="0" alt="" width="100%" height="1"></td>

<td class="infoBoxFooter" nowrap><img src="images/pixel_trans.gif" border="0" alt="" width="1" height="1"></td>

</tr>

 

</table>

 

At least, I can't see it doing much of anything - this is releasted time and again in your code. Maybe it's making a border, but you shouldn;t need a table to do that...


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1. I don't know of a contrib for that either. Would rock if you got one up and running though ;)

 

2. FF - the gap is about 3/4 inch. Which doesn't look quite right. It's only cosmetic.

 

3. OK

 

4. What if your CUSTOMERS are not into the same things that you are? Think!

 

5. Fair enough.

 

Here's some redundant code:

 

<table border="0" width="100%" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" class="infoBoxFooter" id="infoBoxFooter">

<tr>

<td class="infoBoxFooter"><img src="images/pixel_trans.gif" border="0" alt="" width="1" height="1"></td>

<td style="width:100%;" ><img src="images/pixel_trans.gif" border="0" alt="" width="100%" height="1"></td>

<td class="infoBoxFooter" nowrap><img src="images/pixel_trans.gif" border="0" alt="" width="1" height="1"></td>

</tr>

 

</table>

 

At least, I can't see it doing much of anything - this is releasted time and again in your code. Maybe it's making a border, but you shouldn;t need a table to do that...

Ahhh, the redundant code is actually part of the template enhancements wherein each infobox can have it's own footer if I so desire. The code is actually placing a blank footer under the infoboxes on the sides, but if I decide to change that, it will update to incorporate a footer for only the infoboxes that I choose. I originally started with rounded corners on the bottom of the infoboxes and one of the category box selections I have still has the rounded bottom footer on it.

 

as far as no 4... well that is a valid point, and I eventually plan to include banners for our flagship products and such on the site as well as the possiblity of banners for others sites that I have done, manage, or would just like to advertsie on our site. (though I'm not sure about non-related ads, though it probably doesn't matter.) Seems to me that only the very large and general topic sites do much in the way of banner advertising for other entities, the rest tend to use it to promote products on their own site, which is probably where this will end up, but I do like the public service announcement type idea. I even thought about putting up a red cross banner for their blood drive even though I don't support it and quite frankly haven't support the red cross since their Katrina fiasco and their CEO bonus/pay issues. If we keep the PSA's they will most likely end up in the footer space where the TNC ads are now and the box ad area above the Affiliates Box will end up being outside advertisers - if we ever get any.

 

What are your thoughts on this issue?

 

Oh, and if I do ever get around to doing the color selector thingy, I'll let you know! :)


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Wow, what a cool site... I hope I can build a site like this one day. I really like the colour scheme and the product images.

 

I don't know if it a problem with my browser but it seems to start-up in a small window. When you click on the full screen mode it opens a new window.

 

But that said this is a very cool site.

 

Dan

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Mostly I really like it.

 

A few points that haven't been mentioned yet:

 

Why have a currency drop down box when you are only offering one currency?

 

To minimise clicks - I would have all the Gift Voucher FAQ on one page with links at the top to each question. That way a customer can read them all in one go if they wish rather than forcing the customer to click for each question.

 

Your emails on the contact page are not links. I know that's so they're not harvested by bots, but are customers really going to copy and type your individual emails? Why not just use the contact us form?

 

Having said all of that - I really like the design. I like the dark background and your use of different colour for each infobox.

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Thanks Dan and Tonya,

I have considered taking out the currency drop box, but have also considered allow GBP and Euro for overseas orders using paypal. Also, if I want to add that feature, all I have to do now is add the currency and it is there - otherwise I would have to go back and touch the template again to add the pulldown menu back in - it was a beast to get it formatted the way I wanted so I'm reluctant to mess with it anymore. Though you do have a valid point - if we decide we are just really not going to accept any other currency - we should pull it out of the site. (Maybe I can hook it up to the "Currency in Header" setting from the admin panel to turn it on/off - that might be a better solution.

 

The emails are there just in cast someone decides they want to email direct - and yes, they are done that way so they don't get harvested by spam bots. I have another site that I didn't do that with and I get about 200 spam messages each and every day. It only took the bots 3 days before I started getting spammed on that site. :(

 

I am considering the idea of adding safari type pictures that are animal centric on a number of the pages where the old table_background images used to go, but decided I really needed to work more on getting the catalog data and pictures finished (at least current to our print catalog) before I start working more with design elements that are not so functional to anything.

 

Oh, and the fullscreen mode has been removed as it was original written to support the chromeless effect available in IE5/6. However due to security issues, Microsoft discontinued the use of that feature in IE6 and IE7 so it is no longer possible to create the same effect. It really was cool, but I can see where it would be an issue for tricking people into thinking they were keying information into one site, when they were actually keying it into a hacker site. The closest thing available now is the fullscreen mode of IE, but it is not the same as it keeps the title bar on the screen with the browser borders. That should fix your problem with the smaller window issue Dan, please let me know if it doesn't.

 

Thanks for all of the great feedback, I look forward to hearing more about ways this site can be improved.


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Store looks pretty decent. A few things about it that get me right off the bat:

 

Gateway page!!! There is never a reason to have a gateway page on a site, get rid of that asap.

Stock headers (ex. "what's in my cart") Try to make these a little more relevant to your pages. Search engines are looking closely at your h1 tags for page content.

Look into adding some sort of URL re-writer to also help your search engine optimization. product_info.php?#@??? is not as readable by a search engine as something with your actual product name in it.

Look into getting Header Tags installed too so your titles on your pages match that of the product. My site would get literally no traffic if it weren't for the above two mentioned plugins.

 

Optimize your site for search and in the future you won't have to pay for listings like everyone else with non-optimized sites because your site will be showing up first in results!


Assault

If you want to find it you'll have to google "Assault T-Shirts" because posting my damn url in my signature is against the forum rules.

T-Shirts with an edge

Powered by OSCommerce + about 20 different custom addons and some Wordpress

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Store looks pretty decent. A few things about it that get me right off the bat:

 

Gateway page!!! There is never a reason to have a gateway page on a site, get rid of that asap.

Stock headers (ex. "what's in my cart") Try to make these a little more relevant to your pages. Search engines are looking closely at your h1 tags for page content.

Look into adding some sort of URL re-writer to also help your search engine optimization. product_info.php?#@??? is not as readable by a search engine as something with your actual product name in it.

Look into getting Header Tags installed too so your titles on your pages match that of the product. My site would get literally no traffic if it weren't for the above two mentioned plugins.

 

Optimize your site for search and in the future you won't have to pay for listings like everyone else with non-optimized sites because your site will be showing up first in results!

Thanks Tim,

 

The gateway page stays - it has been referred to as a splash page for quite a long time, "gateway" is a term that developed from the frenzy to optimize for search engines and yes, ALL of the major optimization companies use them. I've had numerous sites over the years that paid for such service and every one required gateway pages from the service - though only a couple have had splash pages. Just FYI, the purpose for a splash page is to get a quick load to keep your visitor and to minimize issues with a visitor at least getting "in the door" on your site. If the splash page is a static html with a few links in it, then unless your server is toast, almost ALL visitors will be able to see something on your site quickly. As opposed to a site where maybe your sql server has gone down or your php engine went offline, or you injected some code error or other mess into your template, php code, or other aspect of your site that doesn't show up on your browser. At least with the splash page, if it is designed well, your visitors have a place to bookmark if they think they might be interested AND the have a way to contact you, AND you can incorporate gateway tags to focus your search engine listings.

 

I do have header tags installed, however for bookmarking and other purposes, the title is not being altered except for our brand slogans. Keywords and descriptions are where the meat and potatoes of optimization really comes in next to the actual content. Granted H1 tags are examined, but if the engine deems they are non-relevant they are discarded and you will be penalized for "stuffing" the page. (Oh, I also don't want a bot indexing a shopping cart page anyway.)

 

As far as the rest, we do disagree there as I have learned from experience that you really want to create a comprehensive advertising campaign, both online and offline if you really want to be successful, so on that suggestion I'll just leave it that we have to agree to disagree and keep tabs with each other over time to see how it is working out. I plan on having no less than 1/2 million hits this year without SEO Url contrib, all of my previous sites have achieved that in their first year without the SEO Url stuff. I think it complicates things too much. 'Nough said, don't really want to get on a rant on that one, but I do appreciate your mentioning it as I know that comes from your heart as you have spent a great deal of time with it on your site with what appears to be some reasonable success.

 

Thank You for the feedback...

 

Oh, a follow up, I can now add an item to my cart on your site without having to first log in. I'll send you a pm to explain what was going on so you can advise others if they should ever run into it as well. (unless of course you changed something else since we last tried it, then whatever I did probably didn't resolve the issue.)

 

Later...


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Look what I found: http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/5456

 

SEO firms wanting to have a gateway page - well, you surely know

the REAL reason why? And it ain't for bookmarking or to allow visitors

to see "something" if your server is playing up...

Burt,

You went and got my hopes up...

When I went to their demo page, the color selections were still in the pulldown, and it wanted to execute a quick-time player - which in my experience/opinion is just a waste besides the fact that it is one more piece that can (and in this case did) break making your site look bad. (Not sure if the QT player was part of this contrib or not since it didn't really say what it's purpose was.)

 

Anyway, what do you mean about the gateway page comment? I don't follow, and yes from the site administrator perspective it gives a stripped down method for visitors to view something (other than error pages) that is more likely to work when everything else is broken for people to let you know. How many times have you actually told someone they had a problem when all you got was the default SQL Server or SQL QUERY error(s)?? If the server is down, it is down and there is nothing you can do unless you are on a server farm...


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Sorry,

Had to take daughter to school...

 

Anyway, It looks like - after reading the contrib more - that the QT issue is something unrelated, Sooo, I will look into this contrib more sometime hopefully soon.

 

Thanks for the pointer Burt! :)


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It worked OK for me in FF. Looked quite good actually - you'd really need to make some great images though for the attributes.

 

If the server is down, it is down and there is nothing you can do unless you are on a server farm
Really? ;)

 

// make a connection to the database... now

tep_db_connect() or die('Unable to connect to database server!');

 

Why not change the "die" to something entirely different?

 

Gateway page = laziness, no more, no less (that is laziness on the part of the SEO). Most SEO firms have a standard way of doing things that are completely inflexible and one of the "tricks of the trade" is a (so called) gateway page.


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It worked OK for me in FF. Looked quite good actually - you'd really need to make some great images though for the attributes.

 

Really? ;)

 

// make a connection to the database... now

tep_db_connect() or die('Unable to connect to database server!');

 

Why not change the "die" to something entirely different?

 

Gateway page = laziness, no more, no less (that is laziness on the part of the SEO). Most SEO firms have a standard way of doing things that are completely inflexible and one of the "tricks of the trade" is a (so called) gateway page.

Most people, including myself now, don't have that kind of control over their server. It is up to the support folks at the hosting provider...

 

I actually like the "gateway" page, and have found it to be quite useful in my overal marketing campaign - of course it must serve more usefulness than just being a gateway, hence the term from years ago "splash" page. At least if my DB server is down, people see my logo and have a contact form. If my php is messed up for some reason, they can still see my logo and get a contact address if they really want to know something. Not a 301, cannot display webpage, or some other error where they get no information - it's kinda like driving into a shopping center and all of the signs have been taken down and everything is closed - oh, and you have no windows to see anything, just a door for each business. :-"

 

BTW: gateway pages are usually not seen by the visitor - hence the reason it is called a gateway page - it merely points to the ultimate destination. I know, I've used them - with much success I might add. Is there some reason that you can't see that a splash page is something very different?

 

Oh, you do have a point with the "die" statement above, but who wants to go through all of that trouble to make it something worthwhile? And another question, why do you suppose it is that osCommerce was developed with everything sitting under a catalog directory instead of at the site root in the first place. Osc has progressed quite slowly over the years if you ask me, but I must give Harald a lot of credit in the initial design of this project. It has its issues, but there are a lot of good things that were done and carried through the software.

 

Thanks for the feedback though, and the peek at the other image/attribute contribution, I will look closer into that when I get a chance as I agree with your earlier comment that it would make things look much nicer.


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Oh, you do have a point with the "die" statement above, but who wants to go through all of that trouble to make it something worthwhile?

 

You are kidding, right ? ;) So you want to have a site which, when the DB isn't working, just gives a "dead" message? And then the person has to amend their browser bar URL to get to the front page of your site. This of course assumes that most visitors will hit a PRODUCT page - if your "SEO firm" is worth any beans. With my suggestion, you can do what you want on whatever page they land on (eg a message, link, redirect to a non DB page, redirect to a different site etc etc. Yours is completely inflexible AND adds an extra page before potential customers get to see your products. Can you see what I am getting at?

 

And another question, why do you suppose it is that osCommerce was developed with everything sitting under a catalog directory instead of at the site root in the first place. Osc has progressed quite slowly over the years if you ask me, but I must give Harald a lot of credit in the initial design of this project. It has its issues, but there are a lot of good things that were done and carried through the software.
Because it wasn't thought about at the time - if you notice, it does in fact install far deeper than catalog (and it always has as far as I recall). site.com/oscommercems2/catalog/default.php and so on. So your argument here is BUSTED ;)

 

As an (ex, thank goodness) SEOer I know the different between a Splash Page and a Gateway Page - you should see some of the stuff we used to get up to. Where's my black hat ;) I don't think I've mentioned your Splash Page, though one of my comments might have sounded like that if you didn't read between the lines. It was you that linked "gateway" to a person being able to see something if the DB is down, wasn't it??


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You are kidding, right ? ;) So you want to have a site which, when the DB isn't working, just gives a "dead" message? And then the person has to amend their browser bar URL to get to the front page of your site. This of course assumes that most visitors will hit a PRODUCT page - if your "SEO firm" is worth any beans. With my suggestion, you can do what you want on whatever page they land on (eg a message, link, redirect to a non DB page, redirect to a different site etc etc. Yours is completely inflexible AND adds an extra page before potential customers get to see your products. Can you see what I am getting at?

Sorry if you got offended Burt, but what you are hitting at in your first comment can more easily be addressed (IMO) with a little 404 enhancement which then takes care of everything that doesn't respond when hitting a site if you do it right (except of course the server itself being down). In your suggestion, you have to install SEO Url first in order to take advantage of that capability. Granted I will give you that I haven't installed that contrib myself, but I can also see from the sites who attempt it as well as the support questions concerning it that it isn't as easy as the SEO Gods make it out to be, and doesn't appear to be reliable enough - granted most issues are configuration, but even you or I will make those mistakes from time to time.

 

Because it wasn't thought about at the time - if you notice, it does in fact install far deeper than catalog (and it always has as far as I recall). site.com/oscommercems2/catalog/default.php and so on. So your argument here is BUSTED ;)

Actually it doesn't... you cannot count "site.com" as that is your root and domain (which I know you already know - stated for those who are not aware). And if you are installing into oscommercems2, then you need to go back and read the installation docs again - everything installs under catalog, except for "extras" and a few doc files which I never put on the server anyway. Lastly, default.php is a file not a directory/folder, so not sure why you included that in your url above, except to dramatize your point by making it LOOK longer than it is. :-"

 

As an (ex, thank goodness) SEOer I know the different between a Splash Page and a Gateway Page - you should see some of the stuff we used to get up to. Where's my black hat ;) I don't think I've mentioned your Splash Page, though one of my comments might have sounded like that if you didn't read between the lines. It was you that linked "gateway" to a person being able to see something if the DB is down, wasn't it??

Glad you decided to leave the world of the vampires, but NO, I would not have linked the term "gateway" to that aspect of design. I can imagine what you guys would get, but then again, with most of the GOOD companies, THEY do the gateway pages for you and if you use a splash page, will give you the code to insert. Sometimes the gateway pages reside on your server, sometimes they reside on the optimization company's server.

 

Gateway pages are NOT a lazy way to address the issue. (Mainly because that's not their purpose - handling non responsive sites/pages.) Just because you have to do a lot of work to optimize using a contribution doesn't mean it is the best, or only way to do so. And it certainly doesn't mean someone is being lazy when they don't do lots of work to accomplish the task, it just means they are expending less energy to achieve the same results - I think most people would call that "Working Smarter not Harder".

 

Now that we obviously disagree on this issue, let's either start a thread in another topic area or drop this part of the discussion altogether. I would like to know more about what people find appealing and not appealing with the graphiczoo site.

 

PS: maybe you can tell us the real reason the optimization firms want gateway pages in the new topic :)


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