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osCommerce

The e-commerce.

Total Novice


wideboythin

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I am just starting out, have taken out a domain name and installed oscommerce and am not sure what my next step should be. It is all very confusing and I just need a point in the right direction to get me moving along with this project.

 

Thanks in advance for any advice that you may have for me.

 

wideboythin. :blush:

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The next step depends entirely on what you want to do with your website. Personally, what I would do is wander osc forums for a while. See what contributions I'm going to need to install (Easypopulate would be a definite install, the others depend on your website.) Install the biggest and most tricky first, by copying over the relevant files. While you don't have many contributions installed, I found keeping a list of the affected files very useful. That way you can copy the files rather than manually install contributions for much longer. Work on the layout, work on whatever you think your website needs. I don't know how long you plan on spending on your website, nor what you're selling, nor what kind of market you're in, so I can't give more specific advice than that.

Always BACK UP your files and your database before making any changes. Before asking questions, check out the Knowledge Base. Check out the contributions to see if your problem's solved there. Search the forums.

 

Useful threads: Store Speed Optimization How to make a horrible shop Basics for design change How to search the forums

 

Useful contributions: Easypopulate Fast, Easy Checkout Header Tag Controller

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The next step depends entirely on what you want to do with your website. Personally, what I would do is wander osc forums for a while. See what contributions I'm going to need to install (Easypopulate would be a definite install, the others depend on your website.) Install the biggest and most tricky first, by copying over the relevant files. While you don't have many contributions installed, I found keeping a list of the affected files very useful. That way you can copy the files rather than manually install contributions for much longer. Work on the layout, work on whatever you think your website needs. I don't know how long you plan on spending on your website, nor what you're selling, nor what kind of market you're in, so I can't give more specific advice than that.

 

Thanks very much for the kind comments and help. Where do i get this easypopulate you mentioned and how do I intall it. I have been browsing through the forums as you suggested but there is so much information in there that i am having trouble finding any simple solutions for a beginner. Thanks Again. :)

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The next step depends entirely on what you want to do with your website. Personally, what I would do is wander osc forums for a while. See what contributions I'm going to need to install (Easypopulate would be a definite install, the others depend on your website.) Install the biggest and most tricky first... snip

 

 

i disagree with this. the first thing to do is to get your site up, and functional. this requires a little bit of coding (no getting around that), but truly very little.

 

if you've got osC installed, you should be able to point your browser to yoursite.com/where_you_installed_it/catalog and get the osC stock store (where_you_installed_it obviously doesn't mean that you type that literally, but type the name of the folder osC was installed into). i'm going to shorthand that at "/catalog"

 

there is a bunch of text at the top that tells you how to get started.

1. if you're lucky, you've got no errors

2. change the main text: you need to edit the file /catalog/includes/languages/english/index.php. when you open that file, you'll see near the top:

 

define('TEXT_MAIN', 'This is a default setup of the osCommerce project
... long bunch of stuff ... 
PROJECT_VERSION . '</b></font>.');
define('TABLE_HEADING_NEW_PRODUCTS', 'New Products For %s');

 

change that to (be sure to keep the single quotes):

 

define('TEXT_MAIN', 'what you want to say here.');
define('TABLE_HEADING_NEW_PRODUCTS', 'New Products For %s');

 

save that file on your server (in the same folder you opened it). then go back to you store and you should see your new text.

 

3. password protect the folder /catalog/admin (usually this is somthing that you do through your host and whatever admin tools they have).

 

4. now go to /catalog/admin and you'll get the admin panel. in that panel click on the contents link (under catalog). delete all the stock osC categories. now add your new categories, and add your products to them.

 

5. in the admin panel, go to configure, and begin configuring your store.

 

you are now up and running with an absolute minimum of coding.

 

of course you also have a plain vanilla store, which after you're up, you'll want to begin customizing, with contribs, and changing the look/layout. tips on doing that can be found all over the place. a good place to start is from this forum, the link at the top solutions>documentation

 

my advice is to stock your store, then customize, rather than the other way around, as the previous post suggested, because it is very easy to get caught up in the incredibly intricate layers of customizing, and forget that your goal is to be making money, which means the store has to be open. content first, then layout.

 

of course this is a bit of "do as i say, not as i'm doing..." :-" a reminder to myself to cut to the chase.

 

cheers,

rj

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