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Greetings,

 

After many years running a version 2.2 web-store I decided to upgrade it. It has been redone from scratch.  

I am using 2.3.4 bootstrap edge. A few add-ons have been included, notably:

 

1. modular add-ons such as front page categories by @@kymation

2. ultimate seo-urls for responsive design as updated by @@piernas

 

I have manually added my own product fields and modified the product_info.php page.

 

I am not a computer programmer or web designer and have chosen to work on the store myself rather than outsource it as I enjoy the learning experience. I buy, sell, trade ancient coins as a hobby (I am the COO of a large retail company full-time) and have found working on the store a rewarding hobby in itself, so much so, that now I am thinking about working on sites for friends and family to keep me occupied. I have particularly enjoyed learning about the bootstrap framework which is really powerful, and simple to use once you get the hang of it.

 

I had many options in selecting how I would go about building my website. There are many alternatives  to osCommerce (paid and free), some of which  allow you to put together a professional looking website very quickly. osCommerce appealed to me because:  1) I had used it before; 2) it forces you to learn about web-design unless you are prepared to stick with the stock design; 3) making things work without being a programmer is like working on a challenging jigsaw puzzle - I enjoy the challenge of something not working then finding a solution to it myself; 3) above all however, the community support behind it - plenty of talented people willing to give up their time and contribute. There are some individuals who I know by name not only from the add-ons they have contributed, but from the time they spend on the forum helping others. They are pillars of this community.

 

Feedback is the breakfast of champions as they say.

So I am open to all feedback.

 

There is still a lot of content that I want to add to my site such as articles / blog.

I also want to improve the formatting on the information pages and add graphics - any tips in particular on layout for these pages (e.g. about_us.php) would be welcome.

 

Link to site: http://www.ancientcointraders.com

Regards,

 

Peter

Edited by peterpil19

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@@peterpil19

 

Peter you've done a great job for someone who is just learning as you go.  Good on you. :thumbsup:

 

One thing that I would do is to square up your images so you don't have pages like this one...

 

http://www.ancientcointraders.com/artifacts-c-25.html

 

To me it just doesn't look professional nor does it say "I pay attention to detail".

 

Dan

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@@Dan Cole

 

Hi Dan,

 

Thank you for your encouraging words and constructive feedback.

 

I agree 100%, the photos on that page appear like that because I have set product images to a fixed width, and then auto height, and these images have a larger height compared to all other photos.  Easily solved by formatting the photos to include white space on either side so that they are geometrically comparable to all other products. I will repost a link once I have done that.

 

Thanks,

 

Peter

Edited by peterpil19

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Posted (edited)

UPDATE

 

I have added an articles / blog page using the excellent Add-on by @@burt: http://www.ancientcointraders.com/news.php

I have made a few changes to the default formatting of this add-on so that: 1) there is a header section; 2) the title of each article features in its own panel; 3) the table listing all articles is at the bottom of each article so you do not have to go back to the main page (required only slight change to the code to remove filtering by author so all articles are listed when on an articles page).

 

I have also added an FAQ page using the FAQdesk Add-on: http://www.ancientcointraders.com/faq.php

I have modified the default formatting from a simple list to one with the questions and answers in different coloured panels and accross 2 collapsible columns.

 

Note: the issue above raised by Dan is still outstanding until I get some free time to fix up the photos.

 

Peter

Edited by peterpil19

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Thanks Frank,

 

Much appreciated!

 

Peter

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Update: my webstore is currently down. The hosting provider (webcity Australia) has a network outage which affects all of its websites. No ETA has been provided - 48 hours and still counting. Very surprising given they claim to have 150,000 customers.

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Forgot to update - website is up and running. Just over 2 days offline in total. In the war which took place on the hosting providers' twitter page is an important lesson about public relations and keeping your customers updated.

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Hello Peter @@peterpil19,

 

I agree 100%, the photos on that page appear like that because I have set product images to a fixed width, and then auto height, and these images have a larger height compared to all other photos.  Easily solved by formatting the photos to include white space on either side so that they are geometrically comparable to all other products. I will repost a link once I have done that.

 

They are also too big and you get slow first time page loads because of this.

I would recommend to use the kissIt image thumbnailer:

http://addons.oscommerce.com/info/9206

which will do all of this automatic. Rezising and adding whitespace to equal the proportions.

 

 

Otherwise nice job.

 

rgds

Rainer

peterpil19 likes this

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Hi,

I just updated my website for:

1. New Products Carousel Add On. 

2. KISS image thumbnailer. Long overdue. Thank you @raiwa for an exceptionally useful add on! 

Peter

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@peterpil19 Looks nice. I would perhaps recommend to make the navbar so it stays on top of page when you scroll instead of going with content, especially since you do not use side columns so peeps can have your info handy. I have seen it called sticky navbar and I found a thread here that might help you if you are interested: sticky navbar oscommerce

HTH

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Thanks for the feedback.

I'm using the modular navigation bar. The default responsive navigation bar gave me the option (in Admin) to switch between fixed and floating but the modular nav bar does not appear to have that same option. I remember when using the default one I trialled both before settling for what I have.

I'll give it some thought. 

Thanks again,

Peter

Edited by peterpil19

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