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I don't really like getting involved in bickering, but what the heck!

 

Matt asked for good or bad feedback, so he got it.

 

He along with others weren't to pleased with some of the responses.

 

It also looks like Matt disappeared from following his own thread, possibly do to the bickering?

 

Ok, sure the site looks like a stock osC install, sure it has less than perfect graphics. Many points were brought to his attention of what people suggest should be fixed. Hopefully he'll find the time to work on some of them and read through some of the threads here at the forum regarding do's & dont's for improving ones osC shop. Personally I think he jumped the gun asking for opinions as some things that need attention are obvious. But maybe not to him, hence the asking for help.

 

But to take over his thread bickering over who said what and/or why is... well... childish.

 

Matt must make the decission himself as to who's or what advice to take.

It doesn't matter if it's from someone who's been designing websites back in the 1980's & 1990's, from someone new to osC or someone who is new to both osC and web design and thinks they're an expert, the choice is his.

 

To say someone won't give their credit card info at a site that has an animated gif is just plain ridiculous, I don't care who's list it's on. I use animated gif's from time to time (have some even at my osC shop) and it doesn't effect sells. I'm not to sure having a poorly designed header/logo would really stop someone from entering information, it might deter people from browsing the site.

 

As an example of poor web design, check out Great Models Webstore. After a few years they redesigned the site to the much better version you see now. :blink: Does it chase people away? Hell no, they are one of the biggest sellers on the internet. Can they afford a better design? Hell yes, they are also a major wholesale/distributor.

 

The point I'm trying to make is, when someone asks for help or opinions, just leave it. Keep it plain and simple in a tone that you would like someone talking to you in. Let's not forget our etiquette/netiquette. Not everyone has the same skill levels, no bashing necessary.

 

I said my peace and that's the last you'll here from me on this subject.

 

I just hope Matt can find some good and constructive pointers amongst all this criticism.

 

Good luck Matt! ;)


- :: Jim :: -

- My Toolbox ~ Adobe Web Bundle, XAMPP & WinMerge | Install ~ osC v2.3.3.4 -

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Those people defending the "stock" oscommerce look/theme are usually the people who are running such a site - probably with a few colours changed and center shop installed.

 

There's nothing wrong with the stock theme, but why bother asking for feedback on something that you have not designed. That's the point of this ongoing thread.

 

I wonder if it's time to start making people see just how crap 99% of osCommerce stores really are?


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"I use animated gif's from time to time (have some even at my osC shop) and it doesn't effect sells."

 

Show me efficacy data that supports this point of view?

 

Personally, I would not shop at a store that looked like something from 1999.


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Hi,

 

I've had a look & a play with your site. Firstly, it works! I wish mine did properly LOL.

There were a few errors that came up - 1 was that an item came up with no price but after I clicked again, a price appeared - obviously a slight tech glitch there but doubtful if it's from your end. I did get an under construction page which was charmingly worded but I clicked on back & it went back to your site.

 

I do think the above poster was right about the different text sizes, I did have to take a quick nudge back from my monitor. The buttons are the original buttons for OSCommerce & they don't match but it is so easy to change them it's almost addictive doing it! There is a brilliant site for button creation (all free, no sign ups or pop ups) www.cooltext.com and when you're happy with the button you make, you download & save it. You need to replace your current buttons which you can find in includes/languages/english/images/buttons. Take a back up of everything in there & all you do is rename the buttons you make to EXACTLY what the current button is saved as & just overwrite the file. So your buy now button you'll need to call button_buy_now.gif (when you download from cooltext you actually need to name the file with the .gif otherwise it doesn't save it as one).

 

Your banner is a tad blurry but I'm sure you can tweak that. Not sure the background colour goes so well with the blue - maybe make it white? Aside from that, well done so far :-)

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There are better button makes that the one suggested above. Do a google search for oscommerce button generator, and you will be presented with several that create standard buttons, and using buttons foe zencart and oscmax will give you loads more.


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"I use animated gif's from time to time (have some even at my osC shop) and it doesn't effect sells."

 

Show me efficacy data that supports this point of view?

 

Personally, I would not shop at a store that looked like something from 1999.

 

Well Burt, I can't show you efficancy data, but I do know my sales were not effected for the worse when I added an animated gif in my header or the check out button. Actually my sales have increased, I'm sure do to Google search results.

 

I have not spent time in designing my site, just a guicky here and there, and for the most part it looks osC stock. I spent most of my time adding contributions, making edits here and there, and mostly getting the backend to function more efficiently for my needs. Since my site actually sells products, I'm going to spend time concentrating on adding products (creating images and descriptions). Once I get a bunch more products listed, I'll find the time to redesign the site.

 

If you don't want to shop at my site because it looks like something from 1999, that's your prerogative.

Actually it's fine with me since I don't ship outside the US.

 

<_<


- :: Jim :: -

- My Toolbox ~ Adobe Web Bundle, XAMPP & WinMerge | Install ~ osC v2.3.3.4 -

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How do you know that your shop would not sell more (or less, indeed) if it was redesigned. That's the point I am making - and probably failing to convey.


This is a signature that appears on all my posts.  
IF YOU MAKE A POST REQUESTING HELP...please state the exact version
of osCommerce that you are using. THANKS

 
Get the latest Responsive osCommerce CE (community edition) here

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Good point Burt and sorry I didn't grasp it right away.

 

Who knows, maybe I would have increased sales if I redisigned my site. But I think for my product line it's more about pricing.

 

I did notice more sales when my profit margin was smaller.

 

I still think as long as a site isn't too bad to look at that you'll at least get people comparing prices.

 

If I was selling different products, let's say fine expensive jewelry, then yes, my site design is totally unappropriate and would have been my first priority.

 

The point I was trying to convey, was that just because there's an animated GIF on a site doesn't necessarily mean you'll lose "all" sales and traffic to your site.


- :: Jim :: -

- My Toolbox ~ Adobe Web Bundle, XAMPP & WinMerge | Install ~ osC v2.3.3.4 -

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I dont think anyone said that an animated gif will loose you ALL sales.. but a it will effect a LOT about the perception of your business as a professional retail store


A great place for newbies to start

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DO NOT PM ME FOR HELP. My time is valuable, unless i ask you to PM me, please dont. You will get better help if you post publicly. I am not as good at this as you think anyways!

 

HOWEVER, you can visit my blog (go to my profile to see it) and post a question there, i will find time to get back and answer you

 

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Hi Matt,

 

I can see what your trying to do, 1 year ago I had a site that was 100 times worse than yours, it was not Oscommerce, it was something else, however it really really sucked, but I was so very proud of it as It was the first site that I had ever done and the fact it was even up was great.

 

Be proud of what you have done, as although it is reasonably standard, you have still managed to install it, conffigure it and get it on the web using some of your own bits and that is cool.

 

If you do get the time, then please look at this Posting as it is helpful and useful:

 

http://forums.oscommerce.com/index.php?sho...=admin+pictures

 

I downloaded xampp and codelobster and bought a big fat book on php and html which I am reading...it helps.. xampp has the php code and databases plus good ol Apache....

 

Your site does not have to be flashy, but easy to navigate and appealing to the eye, simple yet atrractive does it, people do not want to be overwhelmed but a nice shop front in the high street or mall whatever sure beats the peeling paint and dirty windows.

 

This is my site at the moment

 

I have a site out there just redoing it on a differnt host.

 

http://domain2310808.sites.fasthosts.com/

 

I did have help with the initial coding, although the layout, colours etc was mine, I do a bit of my own code and ask for help when I need it, so it is only about 65 - 70% me..and before you ask someone else done the flash with e Dalmation etc...lol ;)

 

There is not such thing as criticism, only feedback and not taking that feedback personal but using it is the key thing to do here.

 

There is nothing wrong with your site, it is simply a foundation that you can build on, just keep tweaking it as time goes on. It's a good start and really, better than my initial effort :-)

 

Enjaybe :-)..

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I think that design in many cases is primary to keeping your customers interested, buying is an emotional experience and if the user is turned off by the way the site looks there is no way they are going to stay, Price is a big aspect overlooked… this obviously keeps the customers interested, however I strongly believe that a great looking site gives the buyer the confidence of knowing the store owner has invested in their business and in all likelihood has taken care of his / her customers security too.

People always go for good looking things weather it’s a car, partner, or web site, taste is personal to the beholder but we can all see a nice site when we see it.

You need to invest time and money to get the site you want, if you do it for yourself or not, good graphics software is a must if doing it yourself I see so many sites around and think oh my god!

I understand a person being pleased with it though, its their first site and they are proud of their baby, shame the rest of us are not

Now tie in some functionality to compliment this, things that impress the customers and get them into your site, once they like your site they will be back.

Functionality alone will never keep your customers in site, but Good graphics AND functionality is a winner.

Content is also important, you don’t want to bore your customers with endless dribble and blah blah this will not get you any sales either.

 

Also you cannot make a site for yourself, some one said that they dont like flashy sites, well my friend most of us do and as customers we are the kings of your on line destiny so do as we want or we will not visit you.

 

How many times have your heard someone say I love that site it has a fab wishlist?

More likely to hear I love that site it LOOKS great!

 

Don’t get me wrong I have made some complete piles of poo as sites, but I have also IMHO made some works of art that I love to look at and I KNOW they look the part.

You will probably make your site many time over till you find the one you want to stick with, if doing it for yourself.

 

You DO need to have functionality to, this is the icing on the cake, but its the Graphics, layout, and style that will deicide if your customers bounce or not.

 

 

That’s what I think!


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great post FIMBLE..

 

THIS is the point that everyone needs to understand:

How many times have your heard someone say I love that site it has a fab wishlist?

More likely to hear I love that site it LOOKS great!

 

No one cares if the site works.. they EXPECT it to work, but making them buy is all about design.. period.


A great place for newbies to start

Road Map to oscommerce File Structure

DO NOT PM ME FOR HELP. My time is valuable, unless i ask you to PM me, please dont. You will get better help if you post publicly. I am not as good at this as you think anyways!

 

HOWEVER, you can visit my blog (go to my profile to see it) and post a question there, i will find time to get back and answer you

 

Proud Memeber of the CODE BREAKERS CLUB!!

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Hey all.

 

 

Wow. You go away for a little bit and all of this comes out.

 

 

First of all, I did not dissappear due to the bickering. My wife and I own this business (and it is only us) and we are only 2 years young but we have gotten very busy recently and it is only getting busier.. :-) (along with some medical issus I had) Now, a little personal information about us. I am a full time shift supervisor for medium sized 911 dispatch center. I work a rotating shift, 2 days 2 nights and then 4 off. I work PT/FT in the shop on the nights of my day work and the 4 days that I am off. My wife works full time in the shop and PT at a farmers market a couple of hours during the week. On top of all of that, we have 2 kids, our oldest is a freshman in high school and our youngest just started 6th grade. Both are in all honors classes and both are very busy with extra-curricular activities, so aside from all of our jobs we are constantly running them around.

 

 

Now, as far as getting pissy about comments and suggestions, meh.. Opinions are like arses, everyone has them and everyone is entitled to them. Yes I did just take the stock template and slightly tweek it. As I stated before, I am doing this myself because yes we can not afford to pay someone to create the website to our "dream" site. One day, you bet your butt we will, but for now this is going to have to do. This site is the result of my wife searching around the web at other sites that offer what we do and taking several notebooks of notes, going over them over and over again, and taking what she likes from each one and in turn creating ours. I totally understand that we have a long way to go. I wish that I could devote alot more time to this site to get it online. It is killing me to be sitting here idle like it is but for now it will have to.

 

With that in mind, I am slightly confused.... Where is this animated .GIF that everyone is talking about on my front page??????? I have looked at my front page at many different computers and I have had other people look at it and I can not see this.GIF!! Am i going crazy at my young age???? Th reason why I ask this is because one night I was playing around with the fonts and put some god awful script on it just playing around. It was very early in the morning and I forgot to change it back (I thought I did because when I got home it looked just lke it did the day before but when I got back to work and looked at it, oops!!!). I currently have a 3 page "fix" list that is starting to shrink. I have written down everyone's, and I mean everyone's suggestions and carefully reviewed them. I sincerely appreciate everyones feedback, both good and bad. I am totally new to this. I do not pretend to be an expert or know everything. I learn something new about this thing just about everytime I log onto here. Our goal is to have the site "live" by the end of the year. Will that happen, I certianly hope so, but we will see. I have started to create my own buttons. I have creating a list of add-on's that I really need to install (esp the security related ones). Oh, and the fuzzy header is totally my fault. I admit it.. I was playing with X3 one night trying to re-create what my wife had on our previous site and it was in .jpeg format not vectorized so when I resized it, it distorted it. I have had to totally recreate the header in vector format so that I can resize it accordingly. This has been especially challenging, fun but challenging. To top it all off, my wife has changed her mind with the content of the site several time during this whole ordeal.

 

Well, I guess that I have spoken my peace. I am not mad, hurt, or running from what anyone has said. This is my site, an addition to our current business, and I am going to design and run it the way that WE want. Is it the "correct" way? Probably not, but since on our temporary page it has our email and our phone number on it, and everyone that has posted a reply on here has seen our site and no one has called to order anything, then I take everyone's criticism with a grain of salt.

 

 

Matt

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Hi Matt,

 

Nice to see you back.

 

The animated .gif mentioned by some was the american flag you have on your index, when we first looked at your site

it was animated, not static like it is now.

 

One thing I notice is that you say you're planning to have the site "live" by the end of the year so I assume you consider this shop "temporary" and that it's not finished, in this case I would prevent search engines from crawling you, for example through a robots.txt file or through a noindex tag, because right now you do have pages indexed in Google, click here, which could lead to a potential customer trying to make a purchase in your unfinished site.

Read this to see how to prevent search engines from indexing.

Then, when your site's done, remember to change the robots.txt file accordingly or to remove the noindex tags.

 

I can certainly relate to the fact of having other occupations as well as health issues whilst trying to build an oscommerce site, and I understand that not everybody can spend 12 hours a day at the computer to do this, so I wish you good luck with everything.

 

Isabella


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Hey Matt,

 

1)SSL - Put it on your MUST HAVE list. If you take peoples' info you have to protect it.

2) Mentioned previously, a thumbnail contribution. It will do 3 things:

a)faster page loads. One of your category pages was 2 meg just in images;

b)Your product images will not look distorted;

c)It will cut down on your bandwidth usage. Wouldn't it suck to get lot's of traffic and have your host suspend your account due to exceeding your bandwidth allotment.


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