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Can't use PHP - what code can this function be written in?
chrisandmeg




msg:4009822
 3:21 am on Oct 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

That was meant to be, "What code can this be written in?" in the description. See how desperate I am? ;)

We have been in biz for 10 years, and have decided to move to another cart. After an exhaustive search, we are in a free trial of 3D Cart and like it quite well. Well, they don't support PHP, and that's what the order form we had hoped to transfer is coded in. We sell highly personalized items that need very specific order forms currently using a lot of if statements.

This link is to show you an example of the feature, on the Land's End website.

<snip>

If you click on the black color swatch, it shows you a larger image on the left, and below, it changes the size range based on that color's availability.

We need the same type of function: IF you choose a black sweater THEN the size chart shows the available options for that black sweater. In our case, it would be choosing a cartoon character. If you choose a man, then facial hair choices need to appear in a DropImage or something similar.

I'd sure appreciate any help! I know HTML, and some - now useless - PHP, and can follow directions very well.

[edited by: bill at 8:34 am (utc) on Oct. 20, 2009]
[edit reason] No links to examples please. [/edit]

 

rocknbil




msg:4010201
 5:13 pm on Oct 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Welcome aboard chrisandmeg, if you've been in business 10 years and are moving to this solution, the best advice, IMO?

Run away from this service fast, like Bigfoot were behind you.

Get this on your own server, buy or install your own cart software, get it under your control. Right now I'm dealing with a client who has opted with one of these services - a broken CMS, no PHP, no FTP, no control, it's maddening and nothing but one workaround patched on top of another. Bite the bullet and move it to a virtual dedicated server or full dedi.

My client is new to the game, testing the waters, don't risk a 10 year investment on someone else's system.

chrisandmeg




msg:4010234
 6:13 pm on Oct 20, 2009 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the welcome, rocknbil!

I totally hear you, but let me say, that there truly is no winning solution if you can't write your own code.

You are absolutely right - control is the key, and why we are in a mess right now that requires us to find a new solution.

Over the ten years, we learned that having our own everything is useless if we don't have a great programmer to manage it all. We are still dependent on someone in that case. And, we are but one customer to them. At least with 3D, Volusion, Modular Merchant, and all of those, there are many clients who can complain and get things fixed.

We live in a small town and have a completely custom site and cart. We have had to resort to freelancers online, who have come and gone and made a mess of the site in the process.

It is like not having the key to your own brick and mortar store. We can't spend all our time learning/writing code, we have to manage and grow our business. It's a catch 22.

So, at least with 3D, we can build the site, we can manage the database, add new products, etc. Outages, bugs in new features, all that are the price to pay, but, we're really not seeing any super outcome either way.

We will need someone to help us with this code for the order pages, if it can be done this way without PHP. Any advice on that too? Your opinions are most welcome!

Thank you so much. I really appreciate your taking the time to provide this truly valuable insight. You are absolutely correct and it's advice we would take under any other circumstance.

rocknbil




msg:4010912
 4:35 pm on Oct 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Have you tried any open source solutions, ZenCart, etc?

At least these would be installable on your own server. To make the customizations you're talking about, there is documentation on respective cart software sites that instruct how to write plug ins and modify code so that software updates are "compartmentalized," that is, an outsourced project is confined to a specific area and they can't bork up your code.

If you click on the black color swatch, it shows you a larger image on the left, and below, it changes the size range based on that color's availability.

As said, I have a client under these same confines right now, a third party CMS/ecommerce system, and with each contact to support, another door closes, and rudely ("nope, can't do that . . . not going to happen . . .")

So to half - answer the question, you might be able to pull something like this off with Javascript, if you can "get at" the elements required to do it. But of course, this is the same problem - a programmer who can actually do what they say and can be trusted.

Everything but the right way (as right as possible, anyway) comes with compromise - even if you could do this, it now makes your cart Javascript-dependent, which IMO is a big strike against accessibility.

chrisandmeg




msg:4010944
 5:12 pm on Oct 21, 2009 (gmt 0)

Everything you've said makes sense and I couldn't agree more. We would love open source, and turned there first. Looked into OS commerce and ZenCart and just couldn't devote the time to creating the site ourselves. It was just overwhelming, and we are wearing too many hats as it is.

We can maintain a site, and want to be in control as far as adding/editing products, etc., but we can't devote the time to create one from scratch.

If we could find a reliable programmer to set the site up in os, and we could manage everything from that point on ourselves, it would be ideal, but, we're in a small town, and we can't find anyone. We've had to use elance and those types of freelancer sources, and it's pretty bad.

We are getting deeper and deeper into our busy holiday season, and our site is either functioning like a dinosaur, or just plain not working for some. (They can't add items to cart, or pop ups don't work, etc)

We need to take advantage of the increased traffic this time of year brings, and have customers signing up for accounts and subscribing to our newsletter, AND not having them abandon their cart because things are malfunctioning, but it's also that much harder to take on such a large project when time is so limited.

So, 3D is easy to put together, and other than the order pages for the personalized items, it can be done relatively quickly. Truly, we need a solution completed by the end of the month or we're going to have to wait until next year, which will mean a large loss of new customers.

If being javascript-dependent is bad, then we're even more screwed though, and this is a whole new wrench. I appreciate your bringing it up - we certainly don't want to have to redo the whole site next year, or have tech problems with the cart now. Defeats the whole purpose.

I'd like to keep our company confidential on the boards, but would love for you to look at what's going on. Are you available, or can you recommend someone reliable? I'm sure there is a better solution to our order forms and the rest of it all, but it's a puzzle I can't find the solution to.

Ugh. Help. Outlook bleak and getting bleaker.
Megan

rocknbil




msg:4011682
 6:01 pm on Oct 22, 2009 (gmt 0)

The TOS discourages requests for work/providers in all forums except the Commercial Exchange [webmasterworld.com] forum, you can post a feeler in there. Sent you a PM for other options, see link "sticky mail" at the top of the page.

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