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  1. #1
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    Default Things every New Zenner needs to know

    PRE-EMPTIVE EDIT:

    A lot of documentation has been added to the Knowledgebase:
    http://tutorials.zen-cart.com/index.php?category=16

    Further, you will find great value in the eStart Your Web Store with Zen Cart users manual, which walks you through setting up your Zen Cart site from start to finish, along with many day-to-day tasks.
    You can get your copy of the book here: http://www.lulu.com/content/466605


    ----------------------------------------------
    Original discussion:
    New Zen Cart users get easily frustrated. They often do not know how to find answers to their questions and if they stumble onto the right answer they don't realize it's the right answer. The recent 'reboot' for the forum so closely on the heels of the upgrade to 1.3 seems to have made things worse.

    I am considering writing a "Getting Started" style document that focuses on templates, overrides, colors, text, images and the like. Perhaps a reasonable title will be "Top 10 Questions asked by New Zenners" or "10 things every New Zenner should know but doesn't know where to find."

    I would like to hear from New Zenners about this project. What did you have the most trouble with? What documents did you feel were lacking? What were the top problems and questions you had? -- Things like that.

    Part of the rationale for this project is that as users can perform more tasks without having to post a thread like "I am such a newb and have no idea what I am doing" it will free the Devs for more time in core upgrades. Hopefully, users that are more successful at the beginning will press on and have a viable online business and donate back to Zen Cart.

    I will be away from the forum for a few days (niece's wedding) this weekend. Further, I don't plan to reply to every post. This is a place to collect feedback from new users.

    If more experienced users post, perhaps you could list the mistakes you most often see.

    The final location for the project is uncertain. In many ways, it will be a duplicate of material in the FAQ and Wiki. However, much of that material needs to be updated and New Zenners seem to not read it or not understand it. I will continue to try to coordinate this with the Devs so that it benefits the most in the community.

    Please presume a successful install of ZenCart 1.3+. I would like to focus on customizations issues that every new users is likely to experience.

    Feel free to PM with info you would rather not be in the forum.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Colorado Springs, CO USA
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Bruce,

    To get you started, here are two of of the most common questions I've seen.

    How do I change the "sales message goes here" text.

    How do I change/turn off "Welcome Guest" message.

    I also see lots of questions on modifing the tpl_product_info_display.php

    Let me know if you would like some help with the project.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    PS.

    Ryk had a really good primer on preparing images for Zen Cart

    Here's a link for his tutorial

    There are several other "sticky" HOW TOs in the archived forum that might be useful to pull together.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    If you need help with the paypal let me know,
    I need to update the current paypal tutorial anyway might as well put it all in one place

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    1) How to add a logo and remove "sales message goes here"
    2) How to centre a logo
    3) How do attributes work - in plain english
    4) How to understand what a CSS file is telling you, so you can edit it yourself!
    5) What are the main PHP files that zenners tend to edit for layout, and what does each one do? For example, to work on my sideboxes...which php?

    6) Why is it a bad idea to modify the custom template and install a blank one in a "custom" folder. I have this, and still don't understand why.


    Nat

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    I would like to see a solid and thorough explanation on ZenCart's CSS. What to change for a specific effect, etc. Especially since 1.3x is more CSS based, and that seems to be the direction for future releases as well.

    A well thought out, well commented tutorial with a fully commented (NO abbreviations) CSS file example would help newbies and struggling intermediates tremendously.

    I Think, Therefore I Zen. I Zen, Therefore, I AM!
    Gifts, Gadgets, and More!
    Ashby's Online
    using version 1.5.3

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Quote Originally Posted by wtashby
    I would like to see a solid and thorough explanation on ZenCart's CSS. What to change for a specific effect, etc. Especially since 1.3x is more CSS based, and that seems to be the direction for future releases as well.

    A well thought out, well commented tutorial with a fully commented (NO abbreviations) CSS file example would help newbies and struggling intermediates tremendously.

    Yep, I agree. I would even give away my very last piece of chocolate if I only knew how to navigate properly around the zen css.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Japan
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    The things that have helped me the most would be the programs that you can use to edit this stuff to make it easier, like dreamweaver and the fact that you can search for code of more than one file, so as to when you see something on the page that you want to change, and you have no clue how to do this, you download a backup copy of all your stuff and then search it all at one time with dreamweaver, that has been great! Also there is a css program called top something, i will post back what it is later when I get to my home computer, I don't have it on my work pc.

    The wiki docs and faq are good, but....it would be great if we could get some example pics on what to do.

    Also a basic definition list would be great! or coder slang, sometimes im so lost just by what people are saying, I know that the answer is there, but I just can't get it, b/c I don't know what people mean. I will post more on this when I get home, thanks for the good topic!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    1) Basic skeleton of ZenCart. All those files/directories/subdirectories and extra folders look like a big pile of spaghetti to new people. And we're looking for the short noodle...

    2)terms, terms terms and more terms. New people do not understand code terms, most web terms and most php terms. (im speaking in general here)

    3) This forum. It's huge, it's vast and it's hard to search when you don't know the NAME of thing/answer/whatever you need. The FAQ's and the Wiki only work if Numbers 1& 2 (see above)
    are NOT a problem for the person. For reg. newbies, both items are present, rendering the FAQ and Wiki stuff pretty much just as confusing.

    4) CODE. Point blank. Opening one of the css docs or php docs (unless you're a code/php knowing dude, thus NOT a newb) is like trying to read DNA when you're a sandwich maker.

    5) How to phrase problems/errors/questions. We need a KISS kinda statement like: Error mssg. Server type. Cart type. Attach file here. That's not a good example but you get the point.

    6) See numbers ONE AND FOUR ......

    7) The override system. Makes no sense when you read the basic everyday reply in a post. We need to know NUMBER ONE (like a blank diagram would be amazing) and then we need to know WHERE SPECIFICALLY the /whatever/ folder goes. Zen cart is quite a huge expandable tree and thus very easy to get LOST in. Trying to know where to put a /whatever/ folder when we don't know where anything else is doesn't work.

    8) SEE NUMBERS ONE AND FOUR.



    (please don't think I am complaining or trying to bad bag ZenCart. I love this thing, but that's honestly as real newb what my issues are when I got onboard and installed)
    [FONT="Palatino Linotype"]The ART of Zen ; man I wish I was an ARTIST!~![/FONT]



    [FONT="Palatino Linotype"]Donate $5 a month, you spend more for NOTHING at McDonalds![/FONT]

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    OH OH and ...


    A BLANK with comments basic CSS document. Meaning: NOT a blank sheet with CSS Document on top. BUT a REAL FULLY CODED sheet with the stuff taken out and instructions/description put in it's place. So someone can copy to their CSS editor, and use it as an actual template to create other, correct, pages. I so so tried to do this on my own and WOW what CLUSTER I turned it into.
    [FONT="Palatino Linotype"]The ART of Zen ; man I wish I was an ARTIST!~![/FONT]



    [FONT="Palatino Linotype"]Donate $5 a month, you spend more for NOTHING at McDonalds![/FONT]

 

 
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