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  1. #61
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    Default Re: Using Old Templates On New Versions

    Quote Originally Posted by SPH View Post
    Diva,

    Thanks. You confirm a suspicion I've had for awhile. That there is some difficulty making zencart templates like those, while remaining within zencart standards. Doable, but not necessarily easy.
    Not hard if one learns CSS and some PHP.. So totally doable..
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  2. #62
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    Default Re: Using Old Templates On New Versions

    fairestcape,

    I once came across an online ad about a million dollar a year ecommerce site. It turned out to be a zencart using the Classic template (no color tweaks at all). Turned out to be a wholesaler, so perhaps there looks were not important at all. (Was it yours?) So the type of business may factor in to what one needs looks-wise.

    I've seen this F-pattern theory before, recently by you or Schoolboy. Can you explain how any of the TM templates I linked to above lack this F-pattern?

    Like this Auto Parts template:

    http://www.templatemonster.com/demo/37295.html

    Or the Wedding template:

    http://livedemo00.template-help.com/zencart_37595/

    Both rather standard two column layouts. Category navigation on the left: product listings and products on right.

    So where are these templates lacking re F-pattern usability compared to the free templates?

    In any event, why cannot we have BOTH a slick looking template AND good F-pattern usability? Too many jump against slick looking templates and sites as if there were something inherently wrong with slick looking.

    sph
    www.prommart.com

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Using Old Templates On New Versions

    Diva,

    Doable but nobody is doing it. And if it were easy, why do most zenners have sites looking like they do, instead of a slicker one? Perhaps one day a new generation of talented designers will come along and combine truly slick-looking with standard zencart function.

    sph
    www.prommart.com
    Last edited by SPH; 27 Apr 2012 at 06:32 PM.

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Using Old Templates On New Versions

    The first thing you need to make a really good slick-looking template is strong graphic design skills and experience. That lets out the great majority right there.

    It used to be that you needed considerable tweaking to the HTML structure (and thus to the PHP files) to get rounded corners everywhere, which accounts for some but nowhere near all of the nested divs (used to be nested tables) in TM designs. If you don't require identical appearance in old browsers as in modern ones, you can now do most of the technical work of rounded corners in the stylesheet alone. So aside from functional or layout changes like how the header navigation/search/etc. elements are arranged and work, templates can be simpler than ever before while still being "s e x y". Thus we ought to be able to expect some new minimally invasive templates with slick design. Of course, a large part of what sets TM templates apart is the world-class graphics which, unless they exactly fit an individual's marketing strategy, will have to be discarded or modified.

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Using Old Templates On New Versions

    Quote Originally Posted by SPH View Post
    In any event, why cannot we have BOTH a slick looking template AND good F-pattern usability? Too many jump against slick looking templates and sites as if there were something inherently wrong with slick looking.
    You CAN have it, and let's be clear here no one is anti "slick looking" at all.. I think the issue is POORLY CODE TEMPLATES.. The issue most have with Template Monstrosity has NOTHING to do with the looks of their templates.. It REALLY has EVERYTHING to do with their "style over substance" approach to creating their "slick looking" templates. There is NOT ONE REASON in the world for them to create those templates that REQUIRES them to remove core code.. It's LAZY CODING pure and simple.. It's simpler for them to do it the fast and dirty way rather than do it the RIGHT way. It's REALLY that simple..

    Quote Originally Posted by SPH View Post
    Doable but nobody is doing it. And if it were easy, why do most zenners have sites looking like they do, instead of a slicker one? Perhaps one day a new generation of talented designers will come along and combine truly slick-looking with standard zencart function.
    No one is doing it because with the exception of Picaflor-Azul and 12 Leaves, most template contributors DO NOT have strong graphic design skills needed to create "slick" templates. PERIOD.. (sorry and no offense to anyone..)

    So yes slick design with Zen Cart WITHOUT stripping out core code is TOTALLY DOABLE.. what I am suggesting is not some impossible dream.. and saying NO ONE is doing it is not completely true -- Picaflor-Azul and 12 Leaves are DOING it.. Bottomline if you know CSS, a little PHP to get around the template files and have strong graphic design skills there is NO REASON to not be able to achieve these "slick" looks with Zen Cart.. It's not about HARD, it's simply about having the right skillset.. (knowledge of CSS, PHP, strong graphic design skills)

    Quote Originally Posted by gjh42 View Post
    The first thing you need to make a really good slick-looking template is strong graphic design skills and experience. That lets out the great majority right there.

    It used to be that you needed considerable tweaking to the HTML structure (and thus to the PHP files) to get rounded corners everywhere, which accounts for some but nowhere near all of the nested divs (used to be nested tables) in TM designs. If you don't require identical appearance in old browsers as in modern ones, you can now do most of the technical work of rounded corners in the stylesheet alone. So aside from functional or layout changes like how the header navigation/search/etc. elements are arranged and work, templates can be simpler than ever before while still being "s e x y". Thus we ought to be able to expect some new minimally invasive templates with slick design. Of course, a large part of what sets TM templates apart is the world-class graphics which, unless they exactly fit an individual's marketing strategy, will have to be discarded or modified.
    Exactly!!!! but I think this also highlights that CSS skills are still crucial..
    Last edited by DivaVocals; 27 Apr 2012 at 07:37 PM.
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  6. #66
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    Default Re: Using Old Templates On New Versions

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and even among TM templates some do not stand out as well. Here is the Wedding sort grouping (closest to my business):

    http://www.templatemonster.com/categ...art-templates/

    I like the 1.5 version the best, although being mostly all white it is in some way the plainest, depending upon graphics.

    This one is second best, looks doable and looks like it retains most zencart function:
    http://livedemo00.template-help.com/zencart_36353/

    Then there is this one, which is similar to something we could pick-up in the free templates:
    http://www.templatemonster.com/demo/29309.html

    Some are perhaps earlier attempts.

    I now really see what others have been saying: that one can take a likely-looking free template and tweak it in to something similar and better, although one will need some artistic talent and good graphics.

    I am very encouraged.

    Finis

    sph
    www.prommart.com
    Last edited by DrByte; 30 Apr 2012 at 03:45 AM. Reason: remove zenid=xxxxx ... NEVER POST zenids in links!!!!

  7. #67
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    Default Re: Using Old Templates On New Versions

    Quote Originally Posted by SPH View Post
    looks like it retains most zencart function
    As you know, "looks like" and "does" are two different things.. I have yet to see a Template Monstrosity template that did NOT remove ANY core Zen Cart functionality to churn out one of their templates..
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  8. #68
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    Default Re: Using Old Templates On New Versions

    Quote Originally Posted by SPH View Post
    I like the 1.5 version the best, although being mostly all white it is in some way the plainest, depending upon graphics.
    1.5 version eh?? A v1.5 ready template with what is CLEARLY leftover 1.3.9 code still in place.. (checkout the product pages) Gotta love these guys..
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