Are you a Google Analytics enthusiast?
More SEO Content
Distinction Between Cms & Cart Systems
Posted 15 April 2005 - 09:05 AM
My basic goal is to put together the right elements and develop a system for myself that is flexible enough that I can use it to generate / manage / operate multiple sites. In other words, I want to get both online and local "backroom" tools in place for my current site that will streamline my site development & order processing and be able to replicate the "system" w/o reinventing everything when I launch a second site.
Am I on the right track? Where do CMS packages like mambo & cart packages like zencart part company? Where to they do the same thing? Do they work hand in hand or is it one or the other?
Whichever route, whatever package I choose, it has to be completely customizable (I will eventually get the coding down) ... I am assuming choosing php & mysql should make that possible, right?
Posted 15 April 2005 - 10:27 AM
I need something that has the potential to ultimately become a fully integrated website maintenance tool, transaction system, customer tracking & communications system, inventory control & tracking system, etc. Everything integrated and as automated as possible w/o falling into a cookie-cutter presentation. I want to collect the right opensource tools, modify them as necessary & integrate them. I have good programming resources to help in this effort.
What will make the best backbone w/ the greatest flexibility to modify & add onto?
Posted 15 April 2005 - 07:10 PM
Anytime you get into one of these more sophisticated systems there are so many different parts that depend upon each other than you may end up spending more time running down niggling little details than you would spend by starting from scratch, using some of the functions, etc that you want.
Plus, by starting with a clean slate you get to use the best of both without introducing anything that isn't needed.
Posted 15 April 2005 - 08:24 PM
So you're saying it isn't necessarily an either/or proposition ... we can build the database & CMS from scratch & borrow the bits & pieces we want from other opensource systems?
<edit>Perhaps I should have said borrow the concepts rather than the code. However it still makes sense to me to at least use stand-alone scripts etc. that others have developed and freely give away ... why reinvent the wheel?</edit>
<edit2>I should also add that I'll be doing the majority of the work ... makes a difference.</edit>
Edited by arlen, 15 April 2005 - 09:13 PM.
Posted 16 April 2005 - 12:09 AM
If it were something that was pretty similar to the base of the other systems then it would be easier to use those apps and add in the bits and pieces you need.
On the other hand, any time I've tried to do that when too many additions/modifications were being made it turned into a nightmare. There's a certain line that simply should be left well enough alone.
One suggestion, in case it hadn't occurred to you...
You may want to take a look at the Smarty classes. Smarty templates are php's rough equivilent how CSS works with HTML. It helps you to separate Presentation elements from Application Logic.
If you can wrap your head around Smarty's basic concepts you can do all kinds of neat things. You'll probably need to regardless since most of the carts and CMS systems out there today use at least a little bit of Smarty.
There's also a pretty good manual covering all of the basics of Smarty at PHP Hub
Posted 16 April 2005 - 07:09 AM
So, lets assume I back down and let my brother win the argument. From what I've read so far, I'm pretty sure the basics are well w/in my reach, they're just going to take some time to learn. We are pretty much in agreement on the basic functions and goals, and have already mapped out the table requirements and relationships to a large degree and have done some experimentation w/ basic php functionality. I don't think the basic cms part will be too problematic, and the shopping cart may be easier than I've feared.
When it comes to adding bells and whistles, doesn't it still make sense to look to other's code rather than reinventing my own. In other words, if I want to add a gallery function, isn't it smart to find a simple working gallery script and incorporate it? If so, what are the best sources / repositories online for these basic elements. Is the shopping cart itself a basic function that could be borrowed and modified (from a stand-alone script rather than one of the big full function packages)? How can I take advantage of other's work to simplify my tasks?
Thanks for the info on Smarty ... I wasn't aware of it and CSS has certainly made a world of difference w/ my html once I finally understood it.
Nice new avatar too ... you've changed ... I barely recognized you, lol.
Posted 16 April 2005 - 09:23 AM
As to borrowing/using/whatever other people's code, I heartily agree that you should. Remembering copyright restrictions, proper attribution and all of that of course. I don't think that's even an issue in your case because I know you would make sure people get the proper credit.
There is a lot of open source GNU licensed php code out there these days. So that's by far the best way to learn it. If you can figure out what to search for you can always find an example somewhere.
Just don't expect that you'll ever know it all. Nobody does. But if developers comment their code properly 90% of it will make sense right from the get go.
Posted 16 April 2005 - 01:29 PM
I'm going to abandon the idea of modifying a pre-packaged system that doesn't do what I want the way I want anyway ... I need to just dig in and get my fingers dirty. I took a look around and found a decent tutorial for setting up a simple php/mysql e-commerce site w/ all the basic elements & no frills. I'm going to go through it one step at a time and get the basics down. I don't think I'll have time to do much development till late summer or fall, so this will be a good exercise and will let me make some informed decisions. Appreciate the input.
Posted 16 April 2005 - 06:02 PM
By all means post questions if anything is giving you fits along the way. There are several folks here who are quite skilled in PHP, so if you can explain what you're trying to accomplish somebody should be able to help out.
Posted 16 April 2005 - 07:13 PM
while it is just getting started with a name like o'reilly behind it I think it will eventually become a great code resource.
O'Reilly's Code Zoo
Posted 16 April 2005 - 08:33 PM
Are they going to stick to just Java or am I missing something? I would hate to have to set aside the time to re-learn Java again. I'm sure much has changed the last time I fiddled with it.
Posted 16 April 2005 - 10:16 PM
Our initial launch contains a directory of Java components, organized into categories so you can easily compare similar projects. If you’re interested in directories for other languages, or if we missed a component you think is great, let us know by using the "Feedback" form, linked to on every page.
Posted 17 April 2005 - 08:49 AM
It's in my bookmarks so that I don't forget it.
Posted 18 April 2005 - 08:57 AM
The company I now work for used osCommerce before I got here. We still use it on one of our e-commerce sites, but that'll be changing when I get to re-working it.
I don't know your individual situation regards products, unique-ness, etc.. In our case, we had to shoe-horn our product model into osCommerce's database structure, and the end result was... less than efficient.
When the time came to redevelop the main e-commerce site (which is why I was hired, ostensibly), I wrote a CMS/Cart system totally from the ground up, because the products we sell have all manner of complex sub-options and variants.
Mass-market e-commerce systems like osCommerce are fine if you're selling something like, say, watches.. Where all the products have the same options, what face, what strap color, what strap material, etc etc etc. The builders of systems like that try their best to accomodate MOST product structure variations, but they can't think of everything you need.
We sell digital maps of the US. As an example of something that broke osCommerce - We sell county reference maps. There's a little something over 3000 counties in the US.
In osCommerce, you're not allowed to have 3000 variants of the same product. So we had to make them all separate products.
Another example: We sell maps for a geographical radius as well. The radius you pick will affect on the price. The state you pick will affect the price. What geographical constraints (radius, ZIP code) you pick will affect what demographic themes you can have (median household income, etc etc).
A generalized system like osCommerce simply can't handle that sort of uniqeness in product structure. Even building this from the ground up has given me enough headaches to last me a lifetime.
So, think about the products you sell. If they can be all neatly fitted into categories and boxes and subcategories, then maybe a product like osCommerce would be right for you. I do know that it's perfectly possible to put your own product pages on the front of the osCommerce system and template them to look exactly the way you want them.
But if they don't fit into nice neat categories, you might find that trying to shoehorn your product structure into something like osCommerce will be more trouble than it's worth.
Posted 18 April 2005 - 05:14 PM
I truth, the products I currently sell would fit into any e-commerce system ... the one I have works, it's just too labor intensive. But ... my long-term goals (and my brother's goals) very well could push the limits of a package like oscommerce, or require significant modifications.
The more I think about it though, the real advantage to building ground up is I get what I want, and learn how to write & structure it, so I can modify it as my needs change. The logic I've learned just from mapping out tables and required relationships is something I'll use again and again, and I'd have missed that entirely if I'd just installed a pre-packaged program. Also, if I get over my head, I can always drop it and install osc ... I will have still learned a lot.
<edit>The other thing I wanted to add, is that since I have very specific and limited requirements, it should be possible to build something that much more efficient than a system that has to accomodate 1000s of people's different needs. </edit>
Appreciate the info, it's helpful.<edit>especially about the front-end/templates</edit>
Edited by arlen, 18 April 2005 - 05:22 PM.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users