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But the business also needs a CMS (if that's the right buzzword) so that the business owner can add, edit and delete products for sale, and their prices, without my intervention.
It's this CMS part that I need some suggestions and help with. I have access to hosting that provides me with "mambo" CMS, though I can't tell if it's suited to this sort of project. Any good? Any others?
All advice most gratefully received!
Wouldn't it be better to find shopping cart software that generates the site pages? That would be a better course if there were many products with frequent price changes. Special CMS software may not be required with some newer commerce packages.
I'd appreciate any comments on this subject too. How about Yahoo Stores in that regard? Do any cart packages come with a pretty idiot-proof owner interface?
The thing most of the clients I have set up with those templates, or indeed any other cart, find hardest is learning to make images smaller than about 600Kb. Once you get them over that hump they have no problems.
If they are not happy ftping images you will need to provide them with an upload interface also.
So the recommendation is to find a server-side shopping cart that will enable just such updating by generating new pages with updated stock/prices (if I've got that right).
abbeyvet - thanks for the recommendation of ecommercetemplates -they look promising. Does anyone have any other recommendations?
The thing most of clients... find hardest is learning to make images smaller than about 600Kb.
Good point and not just in regard to non-techie site owners. The vast majority of smaller commerce sites have awful images: Fuzzy, bloated, uncropped. Because product images come from many sources and are rarely web-ready, streamlining that important function is difficult.
Ever look at images on Ebay? Yikes!
Who is drupal? Not the .com..?
I guess what I really want is a shopping cart with the maximum of html editability to keep the brand design, with the minimum of effort to update stock/prices! Oh yes and to integrate with WorldPay.
I am struggling to configure OsCommerce, though I'm not sure yet whether it meets these criteria.
They don't have to update the info in two places, because Mal's is just the cart and ordering part. It's implementation is very close to PayPal - you just drop the HTML 'add to cart' buttons in.
It works quite well, and shouldn't be hard for you to build one, since you don't have to have all that shopping cart and logging in functionality, just a simple catalog.
Am I right in thinking that OsCommerce and ecommercetemplates aren't very adaptable to the site's existing design
In the case of ecommercetemplates you are absolutely wrong. Just look for the generic template which is essentialy blank. It takes about 20 mins tops to slot into your own design.
nevdev, you'll need to demo several different scripts to get a feel for how easy they are to customize, both in terms of the design and extending the code for custom features.
You might look for a script that is especially made for print shops. Scripts like oscommerce are made for "normal" products, which have a one to one correspondence between photo, price, and item. The page you posted has a lot of different options all of which modify the price. I think it would take a lot to try to make oscommerce work with that product model - it's not the normal product pattern. I would recommend either finding a script that is made especially for print shops, or have someone build you a custom system.