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The e-commerce.

OSCommerce without the OSCommerce Look (Dreamweaver MX)


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I've designed corporate identity for a client, and done some web site trial baloons they love. Now I would like to begin building an OSCommerce store.


I am taking my first looks at the process and finding it isn't like the other PHP mySQL solutions I've worked with. I intended to design page templates (all Dreamweaver users will be familiar) and place the relevant snippets of code into my template. This worked to high style in a recent project I did with a Content Management Program called PMachine, which only required me to edit half a dozen files, assimilating their "tags" into my templates.


OSCommerce - at first glance - pulls from four includes and seems much more complex. I also want to use dynamic layer based drop down menus which require a signicant amount of javascript on every page... also seems difficult because it isn't immediately apparent to me where I would place those scripts.


If you can follow my dillema, does anyone have any advice? Even a few sites that have successfully used OSCommerce to bend to their design, rather than bending design to OSCommerce (if you know what I mean) would be helpful. When I see examples of envelopes being pushed, at least I know how much effort I should put into trying.


I'm not super experienced with PHP or mySQL, altho I have passing knowledge. My experience with OSCommerce is practically none (just installed it today). My design chops are fairly deadly though, and I'm used to workarounds. I'm also in a hurry tho, need to make a decision on whether or not this is the way to build this store or not within the next couple of days.


Can anyone direct me to Day One OSCommerce resources for someone who wants to design for looks AND for functionality so I can see what is possible and what resources I can draw on.


If anybody has any comforting words about how "easy" it is to customize look and feel, I'd love to be lied to.


Thanks all, and look forward to giving back if I can.



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hey jq....


check wiki.oscommerce.com for some of the basic documentation on modifications - there are also dhtml pull down menu contributions in the downloads/contributions area


the documentation continues to be a work in progress but if you ask the questions, someone is bound to answer :wink:

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Well, jchasick... what a pleasant surprise meeting you here! And offering help to me, despite my less than popular associations :)


I used the Wiki documentation in installing, so that would have been my next place to look. But again, have to say it doesn't look pleasant. The first entry on background colors suggests inserting code into every file in the catalog folder... I would much rather specify my color in one file, an externally linked stylesheet. I barely glnaced at that, and at all of it... so I'll dig a bit deeper.


Am I in over my head, hoping to design the look of the site in the so called traditional way? I don't even know what a contribution is. Guess I'll be up reading all night.


I've seen some of the showcase sites, almost all of which have that top/bottom and right/left column look I would like to kick out the door. Is there a gallery somewhere of some very creative solutiions?


The coolest OSCommerce site you've ever seen? (Besides you own of course :D


Hope you're well. Nice to receive a response from you.



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hey, who you pick as friends is up to you.... you and i have never had any problems over the years :)


the stylesheet.css in the catalog folder does contain all the master color codes for the major parts of the UI, and of course you can create, modify, add whatever you like to that


doing the madmacgames involved using a big contribution from another site - basically its merging phpnuke graphics into OSC.


you can view that info at




if you click on the downloads link at the top of this page ^^^ and click on the contributions link in the left menu you see a slew of modifications you can add to change OSC and add new features, etc.

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doing the madmacgames involved using a big contribution from another site - basically its merging phpnuke graphics into OSC.


Jeff, being the co-owner and developer of madmacgames, I am not quite sure what you are talking about here. So to avoid any confusion, I will briefly talk about what we did with madmacgames to maybe clear some things up.


1st, wanting to launch the site in an efficient manner timing and design wise, we bought a PSD template from templatemonter.


Then I "fit" the template inside osCommerce making it look as it now does.


Also, we did install many contributions from the osCommerce contribution section (but not one big one from another site). And then many of those contributions were further modded to work with the site as we wanted them to. Then anything else that we wished added into the site was custom mods done by myself. And also, but not least important (maybe most important), anything that was not needed was stripped out from the users view so that they were only presented with the necessary information and not bombarded with too much info.


All in all it took about a month of coding to get it into its current condition. And I'm not quite done yet. There are still a few things and features I would like to add (like integrating the forum signup & login with the store signup & login).

The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing

- Edmund Burke

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I apologize if there was any confusion, but http://www.dcpcwebdevelopment.co.uk/themet...est/default.php has a theme that looks identical to the layout you are using (called Devina_Dove) so I thought you had used that theme - my apologies for making the assumption


as I stated in the other thread, I think your site looks great and it is obvious that you have put a lot of time and attention into creating it

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You would be better off to fit your design into the Oscommerce set up, rather than try to fit Osc into your design.


Oscommerce comprises well over 1000 files, though only about 100 are really relevant when you need to fit a design into Osc....


It won't be an easy task, particularly if you have no Osc experience. There are not that many sites who have moved away from the standard Osc layout...



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you might find this useful. Just found it. I'm trying to do a similar thing to you.




I think it might be a bit ambitious to try and use DWMX much, after my experience with xoops modifications (though I'll try!).

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm thinking of using osc but want to have it work within a TemplateMonster template--much like madmacgames. Dreamscape, can you give me any pointers on how you did it that can help me out? Thanks so much.

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Putting a shopping cart into a webdesign like from monsters, is a very big task. I don't think a guy could just point out how to do it.


IS it worth re-coding and all the hours of Pain? SURE! then you have a site that looks like you spent $10,000 on it.


MadMacgames has been a very Hot topic in this forum, I'm glad when a good site comes out people spread the word!


Have FUN



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