Can it look like the rest of the site?
Does anyone know if there is a way of doing normal website stuff within Zen Cart? If you go to www.imaginart.com.au you will be redirected to our shop. This is all working fine. My wife now wants to have a full blown website and just have the shop as part of that site. If you go to www.imaginart.com.au/index.html you will see what we have started doing (not all setup yet). If you click on the shop link you are taken to the shop and you will notice that the look and feel is completely different to the main part of the site. Is there a way to make the shop look like the rest. For example, can I have cell spacing around the main site, can I get this in Zen cart somehow? Another example, can I get the horizontal menu bar incorporated into the shop so that users can then reach other parts of the site and still feel like they are in the one site?
Thanks in advance for your help.
Re: Can it look like the rest of the site?
Yes, to most of your questions.
If by cellspacing, you mean the white 'border' around the main site, that can be done in the Zencart stylesheet.
Certainly the current Zencart site can be re-styled to look more like the main site. You've done a great job in that direction already. What you'd need to do would depend on exactly how close you want it.
Adding the main site header menu is a little trickier, since Zencart sessions can be lost when people move from Zencart to non-Zencart pages and back.
Considering that the Shop, Newsletter and Reviews functions are already included with Zencart, and you can add non-store content using EZ pages, if I were in your place, I'd do the whole thing in Zencart.
Re: Can it look like the rest of the site?
Difficult as it is, you must try to "wean" yourself off flat HTML - for many reasons, but chiefly these:
1. A key (and vital) element of eCommerce, is the user SESSION. This is the background "identifier" that helps record a visitor's activity when they are in your webshop. It ensures (amongst other things) that Mrs Smith does not put products in Mrs Jones' cart. For security reasons, the sessions will expire under certain conditions - a period of inactivity, or when someone navigates away from the eCommerce site, or when the browser is closed.
If you have a set of html pages, these "break" the link with zencart, and the session risks expiry - so if a user has filled a cart, and is then distracted by your html pages, there is a risk that the session will expire while they are out of the ZC part of the site, and their cart will "evaporate". Few - if any will reload their carts - they will leave and shop elsewhere, believing that your site is faulty, and therefore risky.
2. HTML pages do not exist in CMS sites. They are created on the fly - assembled from hundreds of elements - and exist only for the time they are being viewed on a browser screen. When a button or link is clicked, they evaporate forever, and a new page is assembled and sent to the browser.
So you cannot "edit" pages in CMS sites like you can with WYSIWYG html editors - because the HTML pages simply do not exist.
The best thing you can do with dreamweaver right now is put the CD back in its box and store it in the garage. (Later, when you are a PHP guru, you can bring it back into play and use it to help you construct code segments, but unless you are a PHP guru, it's of no use to you.
Practically all the design elements in ZC are in the stylesheets. A few are in the PHP and a number of "settings" in the database will control the position and visibility of other elements. Aside from defined pages and ezpages, there is virtually no static html to speak of.
So get used to styling in CSS and php...
Last edited by schoolboy; 20 Feb 2010 at 10:10 PM.
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