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View Full Version : [Template System] We need to develop at least 5 decent templates



tcshadow
09-19-2011, 08:30 AM
I think the only thing that is holding back mass osCmax adoption is the lack of any proper inbuilt templates.

I've recently redone my site and from a total development cost of around $2000, over $600 was just the basic templating.

Granted it was redone to be <div> but really tables are somewhat 2003

Comparing that to anyone on the net being able to purchase vanilla oscommerce templates for free or up to around $150, osCmax doesn't seem to be doing itself any favours by using BTS

What would be required to
a) change the template system to be a bit more 2011 and become tableless (prestashop for example looks much more modern even with a default install)
b) get around 5 different base templates together for people to be able to use "out of the box"

Fallback is functional and all but doesn't really cut the mustard if you want to look anything but an amateur that cobbled a basic oscommerce shop together.

ridexbuilder
09-19-2011, 08:54 AM
So you haven't followed the evolution of the Compromise template, the adoption of Fallback-html, plus the albeit simple free templates that I have made available.
These are the developments that can be seen publicly - other activities have been happening in the background, as well as a few that other members have posted in the forums.

Note: it is 3rd party designers/coders that have produced all those free/cheap/expensive templates (a lot of which modify core code), not the core developers of osCommerce etc. I agree that having a lot more templates would raise the appeal of 'Max.

tcshadow
09-19-2011, 09:07 AM
I obviously haven't. Can you point me to a link with some documentation? I'd love to be in on some discussion re:templates. I'm not a coder but I have been running an online store and co-ordinated my own and a few other peoples site developmens over the past few years...

I love how wordpress and joomla templates can go from psd to template in around a day for around $50. If we could make this happen with the oscmax system that would be a massive win.

I note we have a link on the main site for a template store, yet there are no templates to purchase.

pgmarshall
09-19-2011, 09:09 AM
I agree that we need a few more nice templates out of the box (or at a small charge) but you need to be also aware that the vast majority of templates out there (as EJ states) tinker with the code in the store and cause all sorts of issues down the line.

I have even been toying with the idea of creating a template store ... but everytime I develop a new bit of code I end up committing it to the core rather than selling (like prestashop, opencart, etc.) For example, the slideshow functionality is $60 at opencart. Unfortunately, we developers are simple folk who tend not to be best at the whole graphic design aspects ... I did redo the fallback template to be a bit better than the default osCommerce layout ... but I agree we could and should go further ...

Regards,

niallb
09-19-2011, 09:11 AM
If you want to see 2 of the new templates take a look at 2 of my sites.
EddiesTeddies.co.uk, Steiff teddy bears and soft animals : (http://EddiesTeddies.co.uk)
or Steiff teddy bears, Merrythought & Rainbow teddy bears, Paddington, London Olympic souvenirs, meerkats,animals : (http://BestBears.co.uk)
You can set up Template switching in your admin/my_store and look at how your site appears in the different templates without having to mess around with the site (your customers only see the template you have set as default)
Niall

tcshadow
09-19-2011, 09:15 AM
Yes that's exactly what I mean... It would seem that the people I'd say are the 3 main developers of oscmax - You, Michael and ridex, are great coders because as far as shopping carts go this one blows away all competition, but not so great on the templating front.

Again, not at all a criticism, I couldn't design or code my way out of a wet paper bag with a hole in it.

I'm just suggesting that as a priority, we try to figure out a way to standardize the template system to make it more modern and really easy to modify. I'd be happy to lend my programmer's hired time out for a day here and there if there was something specific that needed to be done.

tcshadow
09-19-2011, 09:19 AM
Also out of all the people that use oscmax, there HAS to be a graphic designer that can throw together a few generic designs so they can be adapted as the default templates right??

niallb
09-19-2011, 09:20 AM
Would you mind giving a link to your site so we can see what you mean
Niall

tcshadow
09-19-2011, 09:22 AM
sent by pm

michael_s
09-19-2011, 10:26 AM
I just wanted to add that the current osCmax template system is by far the easiest to learn/use/customize compared to the other carts out there. For instance, osCommerce templates are not templates at all, they are fully customized applications. If you want to use them, you have to replace a big portion of your site's core files. Adapting an osCommerce template to osCmax is fairly trivial and can be done by anyone with moderate skills in an hour or two.

Creating an osCmax template from scratch is even easier, especially if you use the new tag system in v2.5. You can take any css design (even one of the thousands of free ones on the internet) and have a fully integrated osCmax template in less than an hour. All you need to know is where to put your CSS and what tags you want in your design. CSS goes in the standard place - stylesheet.css and you can find a comprehensive list of tags in main_page.code.php of fallback-html template.

For instance, say you want to add the osCmax dynamic meta tags to you template, simply drop the {headertags} tag into the head section of your main_page.html template. When the template is parsed, the meta tags are properly output right where they are supposed to be. The same thing goes for properly linking your styles dynamically, just add the {stylesheet} tag. Need the slideshow in a different spot in your template? Just drop in the {slideshow} tag wherever you need it to be. It really is that easy.

osCmax templates are really very easy to make.

ridexbuilder
09-20-2011, 02:26 AM
"The Boss" makes it sound oh so simple. :p

For us non-designers, that don't shell out for Adobe bloatware, for example, it's time consuming to hand code templates and check that all the different pages show up correctly. Unless coding a template for one of my clients, I mostly don't have the luxury of the time required.
(I'm about 80% complete in making a 2.5 'generic' template from a live one but other priorities prevail.)

michael_s
09-20-2011, 10:38 AM
"The Boss" makes it sound oh so simple. :p

For us non-designers, that don't shell out for Adobe bloatware, for example, it's time consuming to hand code templates and check that all the different pages show up correctly. Unless coding a template for one of my clients, I mostly don't have the luxury of the time required.
(I'm about 80% complete in making a 2.5 'generic' template from a live one but other priorities prevail.)

I just use a text editor, and it is as easy as I make it sound. HTML is super easy to learn and CSS just slightly more complex. How I make templates is quite simple. I start with a framework that I already know (2 column css, 3 column css, etc...) Then I just copy that to my main_page.html and stylesheet.css. Now I have completely restyled cart with just copying 2 files. Now I drop in the {tags} where I want them to display. So, in about 10 minutes I have a working rough-draft of my new template.

Now I tweak the css and images to my liking and test on the various content pages. I spend about 30 minutes tweaking the content pages (any custom pages get copied to my template's content directory). After about 45 minutes, I have a completed template.

If you find it difficult, it is only because you really don't know html/css very well. I agree, it would be great if we had some pre-made templates or a source to purchase them from, but there is not that option yet. I keep posting how easy it is in hopes that a real designer will get the bright idea that they will corner the market on osCmax templates...

michael_s
09-20-2011, 10:38 AM
"The Boss" makes it sound oh so simple. :p

For us non-designers, that don't shell out for Adobe bloatware, for example, it's time consuming to hand code templates and check that all the different pages show up correctly. Unless coding a template for one of my clients, I mostly don't have the luxury of the time required.
(I'm about 80% complete in making a 2.5 'generic' template from a live one but other priorities prevail.)

I just use a text editor, and it is as easy as I make it sound. HTML is super easy to learn and CSS just slightly more complex. How I make templates is quite simple. I start with a framework that I already know (2 column css, 3 column css, etc...) Then I just copy that to my main_page.html and stylesheet.css. Now I have completely restyled cart with just copying 2 files. Now I drop in the {tags} where I want them to display. So, in about 10 minutes I have a working rough-draft of my new template.

Now I tweak the css and images to my liking and test on the various content pages. I spend about 30 minutes tweaking the content pages (any custom pages get copied to my template's content directory). After about 45 minutes, I have a completed template.

If you find it difficult, it is only because you really don't know html/css very well. I agree, it would be great if we had some pre-made templates or a source to purchase them from, but there is not that option yet. I keep posting how easy it is in hopes that a real designer will get the bright idea that they will corner the market on osCmax templates...

2001kx
09-20-2011, 04:30 PM
I just use a text editor, and it is as easy as I make it sound. HTML is super easy to learn and CSS just slightly more complex. How I make templates is quite simple. I start with a framework that I already know (2 column css, 3 column css, etc...) Then I just copy that to my main_page.html and stylesheet.css. Now I have completely restyled cart with just copying 2 files. Now I drop in the {tags} where I want them to display. So, in about 10 minutes I have a working rough-draft of my new template.

Now I tweak the css and images to my liking and test on the various content pages. I spend about 30 minutes tweaking the content pages (any custom pages get copied to my template's content directory). After about 45 minutes, I have a completed template.

If you find it difficult, it is only because you really don't know html/css very well. I agree, it would be great if we had some pre-made templates or a source to purchase them from, but there is not that option yet. I keep posting how easy it is in hopes that a real designer will get the bright idea that they will corner the market on osCmax templates...

thats the issue i have..

michael_s
09-20-2011, 04:54 PM
thats the issue i have..

Fortunately for you, html and css are extremely easy to learn and there are a lot of free tutorials you can find using google. Since everything on the internet uses HTML, it would be a good idea to learn it. Alternately, there are a lot of affordable designers out there that can create something very good for very reasonable pricing.

tcshadow
09-21-2011, 01:11 PM
can this 1-2 hour process be done tableless?

pgmarshall
09-21-2011, 01:23 PM
It is worthy of note that we have maintained the table structure of the design to stay as close to osCommerce as possible to allow easy installation of osCommerce modules. The developers are discussing .css frameworks and tableless designs for v2.6.

Regards,

tcshadow
09-21-2011, 01:26 PM
ok that obviously makes sense. I wasn't aware of a requirement for tables if wanting to install osc modules..

Is it because we want the instructions to be easy to follow or an actual technical issue?

pgmarshall
09-21-2011, 11:07 PM
To make it easier for the less technically minded.

stutzy
09-21-2011, 11:41 PM
i must commend the team for all the good work i have only been fluffing with oscmax for a couple of weeks and have found it to be a lot easier than any of the other shopping cart software, joomala and zen cart to name a few. I agree with michael_s that with only a little html and css knowledge i have managed to get a nice site happening. bravo team.

tcshadow
09-22-2011, 12:04 AM
stutzy care to share your url? pm me if you don't want it public

stutzy
09-22-2011, 01:08 AM
will do as soon as i go live, still a few things to nut out yet.