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oceanlee

NEED ADVICE ON MY OS COMMERCE WEBSITE

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TMD have been hosting my website, now into the 2nd year after my original hoster in South Africa let me down after 10 years when they upgraded their server and  my site was no longer compatible with the new server?. Have had no problems with them they have solved all my issues which have been very basic as I was dropped in the deep end and at the moment am just muddling along. My biggest problem is that I know very little about OS Commerce I am not sure if I can even get into the Cpanel

The site is over 20 years old and at one stage we could gaurentee any posts or adverts would appear on the first page of google search with it often being on the first 3 positions. Since we have got it up and running again this is not happening most of the posts seem to be on the 2 or 3 page. I know that the site has had no optimization of pages because the original hoster knew nothing about this. I need to start learning how to do this although it looks like version 4 is going to be a lot easier.

1 ) How do I get into the Cpanel

2) I need to take baby steps to start optimizing the pages ie meta tags, keywords etc Can anyone give me some guidelines on doing this. Also where can I read up on this pertaining to OS Commerce

3) Is it possible to put videos into an OS Commerce Page. If so how do you do this

The site is

www.xpressmedia.co.za

At least I am trying to make a start and come to grips with OSCOMMERCE.

I am hoping that there are people on this forum who can point me in the right direction

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3 hours ago, oceanlee said:

Since we have got it up and running again this is not happening most of the posts seem to be on the 2 or 3 page.

That is not too bad given the age of the site. Your site isn't mobile-ready and google ranks non-mobile-ready sites lower than mobile-ready ones. Though it is still possible to rank well with them.

1 - This is really a question your host should answer. If they can't, or won't, you should consider another host. But the url for it is www.xpressmedia.co.za /cpanel

2 - You need to have meta tag and google sitemap addons installed. See my Header Tags SEO. and  google sitemap addons. You will need to use older versions of them but they will help.

3 - Yes, you can put videos on the site. It is best to put them on youtube and then load them on your site since that puts storing them on them and allows you to use standard code. Search these forums for that code.

I suggest you take a look at this post about hosting. You will most likely have future problems due to the age of your site so you may want to fix that now.


Support Links:

For Hire: Contact me for anything you need help with for your shop: upgrading, hosting, repairs, code written, etc.

Need Help? See this thread and provide the information requested.

How to Upgrade to the latest version

Recommended SEO Addons

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Thanks Jack for your help.I have only recently renewed my hosting but will definately look at your options when it comes to renewing next year. What are your charges for a years hosting. Regards Allan.

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It depends on what resources your site need but most older shops like yours are around $88. But please contact me  when you are considering a move and I can be more specific. 


Support Links:

For Hire: Contact me for anything you need help with for your shop: upgrading, hosting, repairs, code written, etc.

Need Help? See this thread and provide the information requested.

How to Upgrade to the latest version

Recommended SEO Addons

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There are capable hosting companies in SA, do some research. It may also be better for SEO if your server is located in your geographic region. Shared hosting you can get from about R100pm on a monthly basis.

SEO does not depend on the underlying script. The principles of optimisation are the same whether you're using osCommerce, Wordpress, or anything else. My advice is to read the Google SEO starter guide, it's evolved into quite a document now. And beware of SEO myths, including on this forum.

V4 will be responsive, and have the SEO tools to configure meta tags and do the basic things. The downside of V4, IMO, will be the steep learning curve.

 

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Thanks Ashley for your advice when the site was setup the hoster who is a friend of mine knew nothing about seo so the site does not even have any SEO done to it and over time it just suddenly started giving us first page results on google search. We could almost gaurentee it, we could post an advert and sometimes it would appear  overnight on first page and often in the first 3 positions. Then when they upgraded the server the site was apparenly no longer compatible and it was down for about 12 months. I looked for someone to host it in South Africa with no success and it was only later that someone suggested overseas and that is when we found TMD. I also wondered if the drop off in rankings had anything to do with the location of the hoster no longer being in SA. Also TMD set up a parallel site when they migrated it which is still up. I get conflicting opinions some people tell me to leave it up as both sites give different first page rankings and others tell me that it could penalise our google rankings the site is located at

www.xpressmedia.co.za

My major problem is that I know very little about oscommerce other than uploading adverts so have a major learning curve. I am thinking it might be safest for me to wait for version 4. Can you give me the names of local hosters that you could recommend. Also you will see that the site is fairly plain but loads quickly. I have always assumed that that is how oscommerce is but am also beginning to wonder if the appearance of the site can be upgraded, maybe you can suggest some oscommerce sites i can view

Whilst I am talking to you a quick question can banners only go at the bottom of the page or can you configure them in other positions

Many thanks for your help and advice so far.       

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I have sent you a PM regarding hosting. The banner code you should be able to move from the footer.php to say header.php and they will display there.

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Thanks received it will look at it when it comes time for renewal but will start making enquiries now. How do you change from  footer to header and would it be possible to have 2 banners on a page?

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Look for this code in footer.php and then move it to the location where you want it to display.

<?php
  if ($banner = tep_banner_exists('dynamic', 'footer')) {

  echo tep_display_banner('static', $banner);

  }
?>

 

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2 hours ago, oceanlee said:

site does not even have any SEO done to it

Not correct. Take a look at the web broswer title on one of the product pages. You will see it has the name of the product. that is not stock. Someone altered the code to have the title display that way.

 

2 hours ago, oceanlee said:

We could almost gaurentee it, we could post an advert and sometimes it would appear  overnight on first page and often in the first 3 positions.

That might have been possible 10 years ago when the SEO rules were quite different. It does not happen that way any longer. It is possible to rank well but you have to make an effort at it. The addons I mentioned do most of the work for you. Without them you will spend a lot of time trying to duplicate what they do, and probably with less success.

 

2 hours ago, oceanlee said:

I also wondered if the drop off in rankings had anything to do with the location of the hoster no longer being in SA.

Unlikely. The location of a server in todays world doesn't have as much affect as it once did. The search engines do look at the servers IP for location but that is usually overridden by the TLD. Plus, they consider the ranking. I have taken a number of sites to high ranking where the server is not located in the same company as the shop owner. You are better advised to pick a host that offers a fast server, which many don't, and truly know oscommerce, which most don't.

Switching to V4 would be the best choice for your shop but even if it is released today it would be a while before you were ready to go live. If time doesn't matter then I suggest you wait for it. If it does, the suggestions I made will make a difference.


Support Links:

For Hire: Contact me for anything you need help with for your shop: upgrading, hosting, repairs, code written, etc.

Need Help? See this thread and provide the information requested.

How to Upgrade to the latest version

Recommended SEO Addons

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Have a look at this contribution of mine:

I have done all the work for someone in your position with an old osCommerce. You could migrate your shop to this relatively easy and still be familiar with the product. You would have a responsive framework and up to date code. You can use this as a stepping stone if you later wish to go onto V4.

 

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Thanks for your reply Jack, you have obviously looked at the site. On comment one that was me all I did was put what I wanted to rank for in the product box ie and we ranked.That is the only thing we did and i still don't know why we were ranking like that.We were ranking on first page up till 2 years ago when the site went down due to an incompatability with our hosts new server see attachments Cant find the screenshots but will look for them and you will be able to see what i mean

I think the logical move is to wait and see V4 and then make a decision based on that. Unfortunately I only renewed a couple of months ago so will have to wait until it comes up for renewal early next year. The one thing I am curious about is that as you can see the site is very plain but at least loads fast, I have never seen any other OS Commerce sites so have no idea what is possible from a design point of view. Could you possibly send me links to some sites.

Regards Allan

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7 hours ago, oceanlee said:

I have never seen any other OS Commerce sites so have no idea what is possible from a design point of view. Could you possibly send me links to some sites.

Any design is possible with your shop though it requires a number of code edits.  There used to be a large number of template sites around for your version but they are probably gone now. You may be able to find some (search for oscommerce templates) and, if found, they will probably not cost much.  There is a live shops section on this site but I think they have all been switched to V4 (TRU Loaded) sites. But you can use the wayback machine and view that page before that change was made. Go back to 2014 or before to be sure you are looking at just your version of oscommerce.


Support Links:

For Hire: Contact me for anything you need help with for your shop: upgrading, hosting, repairs, code written, etc.

Need Help? See this thread and provide the information requested.

How to Upgrade to the latest version

Recommended SEO Addons

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