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Obewanz

The GraphicZoo

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Actually, default.php was a core file of older oscommerce releases - but you wouldn't be aware of this as you are relatively new ;) If you search these forums you can see lots of people wanting to move from /oscommerce-ms2/catalog/ to "root" - so the install instructions are not all that they could be.

 

 

 

A 404 will NOT help you when your DB server is down - that's the point I am making - the oscommerce *standard* set up is such that a message "Unable to connect to database server!" is presented with nothing else - it's not a 404 - the page is presenting that message and nothing else. My suggestion is that this message would be better being some other lines of code that redirect to (perhaps) a 404 or a different site - surely that is common sense?

 

 

 

You said "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." - i read this as gateway page = something for people to see when the site is broken - maybe i read that incorrectly :)

 

 

Let's agree to disagree - it was you, after all, who wanted comments :P


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Your posts prompted me to make a few little adjustments on my own site, which I then tested - works well - at least on my test server! Rather than post here, as it's a tangent to your thread, I'll make a blog post.

 

Anyway, don't take offence at my posts - I like making things more complicated than they should be.


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Your posts prompted me to make a few little adjustments on my own site, which I then tested - works well - at least on my test server! Rather than post here, as it's a tangent to your thread, I'll make a blog post.

 

Anyway, don't take offence at my posts - I like making things more complicated than they should be.

No problem Burt,

No offense taken, I'm glad that our conversation provided something useful for you, I too am looking at suggestions.


The GraphicZoo

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Actually, default.php was a core file of older oscommerce releases - but you wouldn't be aware of this as you are relatively new ;) If you search these forums you can see lots of people wanting to move from /oscommerce-ms2/catalog/ to "root" - so the install instructions are not all that they could be.

A 404 will NOT help you when your DB server is down - that's the point I am making - the oscommerce *standard* set up is such that a message "Unable to connect to database server!" is presented with nothing else - it's not a 404 - the page is presenting that message and nothing else. My suggestion is that this message would be better being some other lines of code that redirect to (perhaps) a 404 or a different site - surely that is common sense?

You said "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." - i read this as gateway page = something for people to see when the site is broken - maybe i read that incorrectly :)

Let's agree to disagree - it was you, after all, who wanted comments :P

New? take a peek at my membership date and number :thumbsup:

 

off to the blog...


The GraphicZoo

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Ok, I don't know how much of this will be a typical woman's taste and how much is just my own personal taste, but here goes:

 

1. The entry page - I have read the rest of this topic so I know you are keeping it, but I have to say, I would not ever make it into your site. I NEVER click to enter when a site makes you do that; just one of those things that I find really annoying for some reason. I would say though, that for someone who doesn't shop online often, it might be a little confusing because it does not say "click to enter" anywhere.

 

Also, I think the point of that entry page is to allow the rest of the page stuff to load right? Well, I left the entry page up for over a minute, but then when I clicked to enter, I only saw half the site for about 15 seconds, then the rest all popped up.

 

2. Here's the first woman comment - When I get to your homepage, I want to see something that I should be buying. I don't know what to click on. And, if I click on "products", for example, I don't see any products. I know that is the stock way that osCommerce handles categories, but for me, that makes too much work to actually get to buy anything.

 

3. I like the gray gradient you use in your infoboxes, but it ends at a weird place in some of them. I think it should either be only in the infoBoxHeader or extend all the way through the infoBoxContents. (The place I really noticed it was on the log in page; in the returning customer box it goes to just below the text, but in the new customer box in ends halfway through the button.)

 

4. Also for the login, I think this is more because I am young than because I am female, but I don't like creating accounts when I shop. It has actually stopped me from buying some things I really like. In an age of identity theft I just don't like knowing that people hold my information. You may want to consider allowing people to check out without creating an account. (I don't know if you saw how I did it on my page, but I have it so it's not super obvious, but still an option.) On that same thought pattern, why do you need to know my sex and date of birth for me to buy from you? Those don't seem relevant. You could make them optional if you wanted to keep them there.

 

5. On a legal note - I think FTC regulations make your backorder policy illegal. There is only a limited amount of time you have to ship something after the customer pays. I'm not sure of the exact laws, but you may want to look into it.

 

6. You don't have any images of completed products anywhere. I want to see what your printed shirts look like before I buy one.

 

7. Your footer says Semper Fi...what is that all about?

 

8. My default to shop would be to click on the following: Products, Apparel, Women's, T-shirts. There are no products available. I probable wouldn't have made it through that many click to start with, and then I would just leave.

 

All in all, the site looks nice and professional. I do have a pretty hard time with the light text on a black background, particularly on the info pages, but that may just be me.

 

The biggest issues for me are that the home page is too busy, I don't know what to click on. And then my default route to find your items leads me to nothing. It actually took me almost a minute to find an actual product to buy but I still can't see a picture of it and I don't know if it's a men's or women's t-shirt.

 

So basically, the site looks nice, but for me it wasn't very user friendly.

If there is anything else specific that you wanted me to look at, just let me know.

 

Gretchen

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Another quick note, when I tried to change the site to Spanish, it doesn't work. It shows the default style osCommerce blue buttons, but they were in English. Also, you don't have Spanish names or descriptions for any of your items, so 95% of the site is still in English. You may want to consider removing the Spanish option.

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Sorry, 2 more notes:

 

1 - When I hover over your store logo, the alt tag says "Your Store Name, change in (configuation(storename))".

 

2 - When I am looking at an enlarged image, the bottom corner says "press x to close", but there is no x and it doesn't close if I click on it. Maybe consider changing the phrasing.

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Gretchen,

"Semper Fi" is the US Marine motto (Latin for Always Faithful) - and since I am proud to have served, this is my way of displaying that fact without making a huge statement somewhere. We also hope to cater to some of the military folks once we get all of our custom equipment up and running by creating some very unique and desireable original designs. Being a Marine, I would buy from another Marine before I would purchase the same or similar product from someone else. (Firefighters and Law Enforcement are also in this group as I also worked for years as a deputy.)

 

As for the backorder situation, if it is not stated in your policy the default is what the FTC refers to as the "30-day rule". You have 30 days from the time of a properly completed order to ship the product and you must have a reasonable expectation that you can ship within that time. The exceptions are that you can extend this time with a delay notcie, but the customer can cancel when they receive the notice or if stipulated in the notice, the customer automatically accepts the delay if they do not cancel within a specified time. Additionally, if the customer provides a payment that is returned unpaid or is refused credit the clock stops. If the customer makes good on the payment, the clock starts unless either party cancels the order. (See FTC Rule Sec. 435)

 

We probably don't need to know the gender, though it is helpful in personalization with communication and such. However, we DO have "mature" products (mostly language) and as such need to know your age as the site has an age restriction contribution that I wrote to handle this. It's not real sophisticated but uses your DOB to determine what you can see and what remains hidden - though we don't do business with minors it is an effort to keep those products out of their reach. We don't advertise this so that it is not obvious when a person registers why we need the info, just that it is what it is.

 

I should probably have the splash page automatically redirect and have a text instruction to click. The main idea is to keep it simple so that every browser can see it and provide a place to bookmark rather than getting a blank page, or a messed up page, or worse yet an error page.

 

I think I have quite a few things to review and consider after such a thorough review.

 

Thank you so much for your feedback, this is the kind of stuff that I need to look at and I will be looking at it all more closely when I have time...

 

PS: Can anyone give me a reliable method to redirect after say 5 seconds from a static html page or is it still best to use a meta tag [<meta http-equiv="refresh" content="5;url=http://www.thegraphiczoo.com/catalog/">] ?? I'm trying to stay away from javascript or anything fancy on this page.


The GraphicZoo

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