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Thread: ZenCart -- new user needs some help

  1. #1

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    ZenCart -- new user needs some help

    Hi all,

    I have zencart installed by way of the powweb installer. I have been in using the zencart admin page to make some modifications.

    The question I have is how do I build a professionally looking page such as the references I am listing below? Can I use FP to do the design? If so, how does my design get integrated around zencart?

    Here are a couple of simple, yet professionally pages that I'd like to closely mirror as my own.

    http://gadgetblvd.com/index.php?main_page=index

    http://www.outdoorfiredesigns.com/

    Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Kris
    "This ain't no burger flippin job!"

  2. #2
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    Hi Kris. I don't recommend using the web host instant installations, because they are more difficult to update and customize. You can download the latest version of Zen Cart from the Zen Cart website and add custom templates to change the appearance.

    If you already added items to the database, you can export a backup copy of your database by logging into OPS, then phpmyadmin. I recommend downoading a copy as sql file. You can remove the instant installation (if you have a problem, contact support), then make a fresh installation that you install manually.

    You can make a copy of certain files you wish to customize and place them in a folder named "custom" which are on the same level as the classic or default folders inside includes/templates. The custom folder will have a folder named common that contains a copy of html_header.php, tpl_footer.php, tpl_header.php and tpl_main_page.php. The custom folder will also have a folder named css that contains css files. The custom folder will also have a folder named images that may contain the original images until you make changes. And the custom folder will have a file named template_info.php which is a copy of the original that is edited to your information.

    You may be able to make these modifications with your existing installation, but you may have problems with the PowWeb installation if you add mods such as Easy Populate. Keep a backup copy of your custom files and where they are located in case you ever need to reinstall Zen Cart. Don't store sessions in the database (default setting). While it may be safer, it ties up the database server and fills the database with temporary files rather quickly.
    Yvette Kuhns
    Power Pages Web Design
    Customized Internet Advertising Solutions

  3. #3

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    I like the idea of installing manually. I didn't think you could do that with Powweb. I'll give it a shot.
    "This ain't no burger flippin job!"

  4. #4
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    I NEVER use Install Central. Everything is installed manually. Zen Cart works here except digital downloads. Other carts use different methods that do work here.
    Yvette Kuhns
    Power Pages Web Design
    Customized Internet Advertising Solutions

  5. #5

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    Yvette,

    Thanks for the response so far. I spent the last several hours manually installing Zen-cart and can already see the benefits of doing it this way. I've also been scouring through all the zen-cart tutorials. The main thing I want to focus on is changing the look of the site. I guess this is done using a custom template?

    At a high level, what do I need to do to get to a design similar to the example sites I posted above? I read the folllowing tutorial: http://tutorials.zen-cart.com/index.php?article=36

    and: http://tutorials.zen-cart.com/index.php?article=142

    Is this what I should be following? Where can I download a new, more appealing template?
    "This ain't no burger flippin job!"

  6. #6
    YvetteKuhns's Avatar
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    If you read the tutorials (like the links you posted), you can learn how to edit the css files as well as edit where the "boxes" appear through the Zen Cart admin. You can look at Zen Cart templates to download or simply get ideas. You still want something unique and appropriate for your needs.

    Don't be intimidated. Just make a custom folder with a copy of the files you want to customize and make sure the custom folder is on the same level as the classic folder with the files of the same name. You can change one thing at a time to understand how it works.
    Yvette Kuhns
    Power Pages Web Design
    Customized Internet Advertising Solutions

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