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  1. #51
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    I think that most of the things I'd want to know have been covered. For me things were a bit more confusing since I downloaded the purple template and seem to then have an extra whole set of files to sort through when looking for something. I was lucky that Bruce helped me with a few things when I got stuck. I still don't know how to use half of the admin stuff but luckily my shop is pretty dang simple and I don't need to.

    I find the most confusing part is simply where to find exactly what php or css file you need to mess with. I do think every newbie needs to know to back up everything and keep their own set of files when and if anything in changed in a file. As long as you have backup files then you just tinker until it works!

    Sorry for not having more to contribute Bruce! I think you know exactly where I got stuck....

  2. #52
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Quote Originally Posted by Woodymon
    Get Kuroi's "Future Zen" template (From Downloads - Templates area) and download/install Web Developer Extension for Firefox.

    Woody

    You know funny you mention that. I just got that today!! From a post on the forum even. So I will get his template right now.


    Okay and having just retyped this reply twice, I have NO idea what that web dev tool thing is for in firefox. I just clicked on stuff and managed to have to do this typing three times. to me.

    I am seeing something that maybe will show me where something resides in CSS as pertaining to the document I have open...

    ~resumes playing with new browser toy~
    [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]

  3. #53
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Being REAL new this is what I would suggest:

    1.) most common/reccomended customizations: which files and their locations

    I struggled with this longer than anything. The other thing I have noticed, is some of the things on Wiki, and some answers are a little techy. Im not new to site building, just new to zen cart. However, MOST will give up at the template customization. I gave up reading the how tos, and just jumped in and did it based on previous work with storebuilders and html. I also use www.3schools.com for alot of good advice. I dont always get their stuff either , but there are lots of how tos already posted there.

    2.) I dont understand most of the attributes, so I just tweak them to see what they do or dont do.

    3.) most of what I would change in css is font colors, background colors, px/font size. I dont know that you could explain without giving a whole course on css how to do a style sheet from scratch. Id stick with the basics.

    Shipping modules, payment modules, most of that is pretty self explanatory. Right now im up to working on products and categories, but I will let you know if I run into anything else really difficult.

    Karen

  4. #54

    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    I am relatively new to Zen Cart - to online stores for that matter. If working with ZC effectively is a 10, I would rate myself a 3.


    It is rather EASY to let SermonZone know the area I am struglling with:

    It seems like ZC breaks down into two parts:

    1. How it looks
    2. How it works

    How it looks

    The 'skeleton' as some have put it is far and away the most difficult thing to get my hands around. So many files with redundant names. I think I make a change - and NO. After another try something changes, but I can't figure out what I just did. Things just don't seem consistent. A Primer on the 'skeleton' and the override system would be nice. The override system seems to me to be an excellent way of handling updates, but without a better understanding of it, it might as well not be there.

    I am the kind of guy who needs to know why something works. A better understanding of how ZC works would be good.

    I like the "How Do I...?" topics - but how many would that be?! You'd spend the rest of your days answeing questions. Giving me a fish is nice, but I think I'd rather know how to catch one.

    Glossary=Good

    Useful tools and software=Good

    How It Works

    To be fair, so far most of the admin part seems fairly straightforward. There is a bit of a problem with the interface (I mean, how hard is it to use "on" and "off" instead of "true" and "false"?) and vocabulary (who knew attributes were options?). I haven't run into any major problems with this side of ZC, by in large to the other side giving me such fits.

    Hope this helps you, SermonZone - I'm looking forward to your efforts!
    Darb

  5. #55
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Update on the 'Docs for New Zenners' project.

    I am still out of state and only have access to dial-up a few minutes per day. (How did we live before broadband?)

    Thanks to all that have contributed to this thread. We are making progress in providing a first draft of tutorials/articles for the information that is most likely to help a new Zen Cart user.

    In this thread and around the forum there is a fairly common request to "make it simple" and/or "provide a step-by-step procedure." While we are attempting to do this there are several things new users should be reminded of:

    1. There is a learning curve for Zen Cart. It takes hard work and patience. No tutorial will eliminate the need to learn how to operate a new piece of very powerful software.

    2. Some topics are just hard and will never be simple. For example, review the discussions of CSS by Kuroi and Woody here and elsewhere. Some of the requests for help with CSS are either not possible or not helpful. I can only suggest you read, study, try, re-read.

    3. The Devs and others have posted most, if not all, of this information previously. When you think you have searched completely and not found anything, search again on different terms. Search the FAQ and Wiki. You are unlikely to be the first person to ever ask your question.

    The goal of this particular project is to assist new users with the most commonly misunderstood tasks. Hoperfully, this will build the Zen community and relieve the Devs of some time-consuming support. These things will help all of us. When Devs have more time, they work on cart improvements. As the cart improves, our businesses benefit. As our business grows we can contribute more money and time to the community. Which allows the Devs to spend more time improving the cart. And so on, and so on, and so on.

    If your question is not addressed specifically, please do not despair (or flame). Others are working on important areas of Zen documentation and you still have the forums.

    "Where is a new user most likely to find this material?" - We are considering a combination of places and want to fit in with the Devs leadership on this point. Feel free to add you input on the best location for the tutorials.

  6. #56
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    I would put it in a sticky/page/sep. forum called Zen Guide, or Start Here, or New User Guides


    Something completely blatantly out there. I'm not saying it to be insulting or a smarta** I just really think if it isn't completely and totally obvious... like ZenCart Instructions... then you will spend all your time answering "Where is it?".....


    I would put a link to it on the zencart download, a link to it in stickied threads at the top of the most viewed forums, and have Merlin put it in his signature
    [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]

  7. #57
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    This has become a rather long thread, and I haven't read all the posts so I don't know if it's been mentioned...either way, it doesn't matter, it should be mentioned again!

    There should be some sort of detailed tutorial as to having a store live or for testing. This should describe how the owner of the store can act like a customer, but no real customers can see anything, I'm fairly certain it's designed to be able to do this, right? Anywho, I don't know how to do that. Also it should be doable with specific categories. For example, I have a "gift certificates" category that's not currently active, I'm pretty sure there is a way for me to test it without letting other people see it, but I don't know how. There should be a detailed description on putting a store "down for construction" and stuff like that.

    Also, our store has a LOT of big items, greater than 50lbs. There should be a way to specify specific shipping conditions (at the simplest, make it say "this item requires and invoice for shipping) or something like that. I guess that's probably something to do with the attributes, but as has been mentioned many times already, the attribute controller needs a lot of explination.

  8. #58
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    Apr 2005
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    There "should" be great tutorials, detailed and comprehensize handbooks, hundreds of plug and play templates, etc. But this is free software. Either 1. you are a developer and are focused on helping people with questions in the forum and working on the next release, or 2. you are a small business owner, too busy or strapped for time to sit down and write a manual that would outdated by the time you've finished it because this cart evolves too fast.

    Its difficult, I know, we all know. But its the price you pay for freeware. You either pay in time and learn, or you pay in cash and have someone else do it for you.

  9. #59
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Hi all, I read through the thread and thought I'd just put a suggestion. haha. I'm a new user to Zen Cart and the one big question I had when I was trying to set up (I'm still in the process of tweaking and everything) was : What do I need to set to get the shop up and working? haha. I initially had problems just getting the checkout process to work smoothly but Vger and Ajeh were really helpful. CSS wise, I had minimal problems because I am quite familiar with CSS (and even if you messed up here...there's no big harm done...the site just looks a little weird...haha). Just a small input. ^^

  10. #60
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    A question I've answered several times in recent days is "How do I make x show (or not show) only on y page?" It's really pretty simple - see here.

    It's not something *every* new Zenner needs, but seems pretty common, and widespread knowledge will help more Zen Carts be custom-tailored.

 

 
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