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  1. #1
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    Default Can I make zen cart look like this?

    Hi all,
    I know just enough to create a web site using PHP and XHTML. I know about enough PHP to be dangerous.
    I am confused by the structure of Zen cart. It seems pretty complicated to me.
    My question is, can zen cart be customized to take on any appearance desired without tons of recoding?
    I attached a screen shot of the home page of the site I have been working on. (Sorry, the site is not yet online so I cannot post a link.)
    I want the site too look like this. Is it possible?
    If so, how much work would be involved for a novice with no prior zen cart experience?
    Where can I find a good tutorial?
    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    That should be fairly straight forward. There will be a bit of code adjusting, and a fair amount of CSS changes, but that type of layout is definitely possible.

    There are many free templates available.

    Kuroi has set up a site where these are demo'd

    http://(sorry, site offline)/

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    Thank you fairestcape.

    OK, so I'm starting to get the hang of it. I have created a custom template and started modifying some of the CSS and HTML. I can now see how it is possible.
    So far I have reconstructed most of my header.

    Now I have a couple more questions.

    1. Are my changes I am making safe as long as I only edit files within the custom template directory I created?
    In other words, If i upgrade zen cart in the future, my custom changes to CCS, html, javascript, etc. will not be overridden, correct?

    2. My product menu is a javascript drop down menu. Can Zen cart's product menu be implemented into a javascript drop down menu? If so, how much work is involved and can this be done entirely from within the custom template directory (assuming this directory is protected from being overwritten during product upgrades)?

    Thanks, your replies are much appreciated!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    1) That's the whole point of the template/override structure. Any edited files you put there will be safe from upgrades.

    2) You can use any categories menu you like by putting the code in the right place. There are a few different header menu mods in Free Addons, which generally work by CSS (no js needed). I don't know what your menu looks like in action, but you could have the whole CSS menu drop down from the "Products" button. This would keep the menu automatic instead of having to manually code categories and subs into an outside js menu.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    Much Thanks gjh42.

    The menu looks like the attached image and is made from a combination of CSS and js. Short of working out a couple glitches, I basically got it working in zen-cart once I figured out where to modify the html, CSS and how to load the js.
    Thanks again for that valuable information!
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwitt98 View Post
    ... once I figured out where to modify the html ...
    There is NO html to modify.

    Pages are cobbled together by PHP calling in various resources - depending on what the viewer has selected. These pages are "on the fly" html and are not stored. The minute a user goes to another page, that html evaporates.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by fairestcape View Post
    There is NO html to modify.

    Pages are cobbled together by PHP calling in various resources - depending on what the viewer has selected. These pages are "on the fly" html and are not stored. The minute a user goes to another page, that html evaporates.
    Sorry, I should have been more clear.
    I basically just cut and pasted the PHP code that generates the html category list. I wanted to move it from the side bar to the header section.
    Well, I did have to add span tags to wrap around the links to give me an extra point to anchor the CSS to, but I did it in such a way that the span tags are dynamically generated along with the category links.
    Was this the wrong way to go about this? I assumed that I could make these kind of changes as long as I kept all the changes within the custom templates directory.

    Not to change the subject, but I also created an EZ page (about page). I wanted to link to it from the about tab in the header section. So where the heck is it stored and how do I link to it?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    Quote Originally Posted by jwitt98 View Post
    Not to change the subject, but I also created an EZ page (about page). I wanted to link to it from the about tab in the header section. So where the heck is it stored and how do I link to it?
    Never mind, I figured this out.
    I just needed to enable the link in the header from the admin section.
    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    The kinds of changes you describe are pretty much the way most mods are built. As long as you use the template folders for changed files, you're good.
    More advanced developers can often make functional changes without poking into original files much or at all, and this is good for future development/modification, but not necessary for a one-off shop owner mod.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can I make zen cart look like this?

    gjh42, thanks for clearing that up. The more I work with zen-cart, the more I start to understand how things are put together. At this point it looks like zen-cart is going to be able to do pretty much all the things I need it to do.
    Thanks again! Much appreciated!

 

 

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