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  1. #1
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    Default Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates?

    ...at a reasonable fee, or someone who actually makes them? I have been looking at Template Monster, and yes I have read all the "negatives" from members on this site about TM, but in the real world, I simply do not have the time to custom build my own template, and all the other templates, free or what not, really look like hammered doggy doo - not clean or professional in my opinion.

    So with that in mind, does anyone know of a supplier of templates that are "professional" and look like these:

    http://www.templatemonster.com/demo/27542.html

    http://www.templatemonster.com/demo/24559.html


    They are clean, and professional looking for a site, not the standard. in my opinion, crappy, sidebox layout. Any constructive help appreciated. Does anyone know if another ecommerce software package out there that is stable and secure offers more templates like the ones I inquired about? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    You are falling into a common trap for webshop novices.

    You are putting COSMETICS ahead of FUNCTIONALITY, SECURITY and RELIABILITY.

    (Bear in mind... ANY template you choose will need changes to the graphics - even TM template.)

    A TM template might provide a slightly "funkier" look, but will introduce a RAFT of functional and operational problems that will have you tearfully pleading for help on this forum for many long hours in the future.

    If you want to waste (what could be HUNDREDS) of hours looking for help (and probably not getting any), then go ahead... treat yourself to the poisoned apple that is TM...

    And all conflicts you inadvertently introduce when you try to add more PLUGINS may put your site out of action... Downtime means lost revenue and also the cost of fixing it.

    HOWEVER... if your webshop is in competition with any of our clients' sites, then we strongly urge you to install TM templates.... at least it will mean one less competitor for us to deal with...
    18 years a Zencart User

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    I disagree. Aesthetics are EVERYTHING. I am looking at Magento. I need something with a better interface. Plugins? I believe that this is the fallacy in on aspect of ZC, especially with simple things such as checkout, and shipping.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    Aesthetics are PART of the overall experience.

    ...and good graphics are indicative of a level of overall professionalism.

    But it is interesting to see that the really BIG webshops keep their branding graphics to an absolute MINIMUM, focusing their attention on getting the PRODUCT GRAPHICS as exciting and enticing as possible.

    Amazon's corporate logo on their website is only 35px high... and the rest of the site is a very discreet "plain white", with some judicious shades of grey here and there.

    The mighty Walmart's corporate branding and colour scheme is restricted to a logo measuring 57 pixels by 214 pixels, and some rather bland blue vignettes in the header...

    Again, Walmart understands the importance of boasting about PRODUCTS, rather than try to impress other website designers with stupid, unnecessary graphic distractions.

    But who's to say these multi-billion dollar web-businesess are right... I mean... they may make billions of dollars in sales, but heck... they look so BORING!

    I would MUCH RATHER have a site that looks like a pinball machine on steroids and get NO SALES, than have a site that looks PLAIN and does huge business...
    18 years a Zencart User

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    Here we have a battle of two attitudes -- one says what most people use is shite, the other says glossy decoration is shite. Both are full of said substance.

    The simple fact is that high style won't sell your products if they're not what people are looking for or they're not at the right price point. And low style won't sell your products if they're not what people are looking for or they're not at the right price point.

    So what's my 'tude? Keep it simple so the product can do the talking. But simple may mean using a paid template -- as long as you're aware of the limitations going in. Or it could mean developing your own template for free -- as long as you're aware of the limitations going in.

    Do you see what I'm saying? You guys are at opposite ends of the elephant, but you're both facing the same animal.

    Rob

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    Quote Originally Posted by rstevenson View Post
    You guys are at opposite ends of the elephant...

    I'm definitely at the front end, though...
    18 years a Zencart User

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    I lived in the Zambezi Valley as a child (at the time one of central Africa's largest natural wildlife regions) and I can promise you, you don't want to be too close to the back end of an elephant.
    18 years a Zencart User

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    Quote Originally Posted by schoolboy View Post
    Aesthetics are PART of the overall experience.

    ...and good graphics are indicative of a level of overall professionalism.

    But it is interesting to see that the really BIG webshops keep their branding graphics to an absolute MINIMUM, focusing their attention on getting the PRODUCT GRAPHICS as exciting and enticing as possible.

    Amazon's corporate logo on their website is only 35px high... and the rest of the site is a very discreet "plain white", with some judicious shades of grey here and there.

    The mighty Walmart's corporate branding and colour scheme is restricted to a logo measuring 57 pixels by 214 pixels, and some rather bland blue vignettes in the header...

    Again, Walmart understands the importance of boasting about PRODUCTS, rather than try to impress other website designers with stupid, unnecessary graphic distractions.

    But who's to say these multi-billion dollar web-businesess are right... I mean... they may make billions of dollars in sales, but heck... they look so BORING!

    I would MUCH RATHER have a site that looks like a pinball machine on steroids and get NO SALES, than have a site that looks PLAIN and does huge business...

    I agree. However, I'm not saying putting lipstick on a pig. You can have the best product in the world, but if the medium is crap nobody will take a second look. What I was simply saying, was that the templates are too simplistic, not fashionable per se. I do believe that some effort needs to be put into the templates for eye appeal. Why is it no one really has nice templates for ZC but the other ecommerce packages have templates coming out the backside of the elephant? ;)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    Zencart is (supposedly) out-of-the-box functional, secure and reliable. And there are plenty of add-ons that can bring Zencart up to the level of about any cart, and probably ahead of some carts.

    So that leaves templates, also my greatest area of concern.

    Zencart has come a long way with templates and I now think that it has the best selection of free templates than any other supposedly open source cart. Have you checked the latest releases on the templates forum?

    Here are three free templates that, imo, and with a little color variation can look at least as good as your TM samples:

    1. For your first sample:

    http://www.prom-mart.com/demo-1/inde...tch_id=supremo - on my demo page. Notice drop-down.
    http://www.zen4me.com/demo/hope/ - notice drop-down and side fly-out


    2. Your second sample:

    http://www.fashion-mart.biz/ - Alien Stemware free template on my secondary site probably comes closest; would need color change to match. Actually, just the other day I saw on the forums a brown color variation that imo looks even better than the original black.
    Last edited by SPH; 9 Jul 2012 at 11:00 PM.
    Steve
    prommart.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Does anyone know where to get NICE, PROFESSIONAL skins/templates for ZenCart 1.5.

    Quote Originally Posted by pityocamptes View Post
    Why is it no one really has nice templates for ZC but the other ecommerce packages have templates coming out the backside of the elephant? ;)
    Well, these other carts don't have FREE templates coming out the backside.

    I've looked at other carts, and again recently. Actually have Prestashop, Opencart and CS-Cart loaded...or ready to be loaded...on some test sites. All have their pluses and minuses. And IMO, Zencart can compete with all of them.

    Templates: I think that none of these carts have the selection of FREE templates as does Zencart. But then Zencart is, insofar as I can tell, more pure open source oriented, primarily catering to open source templates and contributions and less hospitable, if that's the word, to commercial endeavors. Whereas the other "open source" carts seem to have more of a commercial industry revolving around them. And in the case of CS-Cart (like Magento) even has it's commercial upgraded cart. (Which I suppose the Zencart team could do, if had such a mind.)

    Opencart: IMO has the best *commercial* templates at reasonable cost. You can get a very nice template for $30 or so. I've been tempted with Opencart just because of this, since as I said, templates have also been my main concern. But there are other things that Zencart still does better that we need: like Easypopulate (the import function of other carts looks much more complicated.) And Zencart free templates are coming on strong, now. Otherwise, if you go TM route, the templates from one cart platform to another look pretty much the same: usually very nice and about the same price.

    Prestashop: The new beta 1.5 changed it's admin, now using drop down admin menus. But it is a pain just doing option Colors and Sizes. And seems to me a little buggy, even the "stable" version.

    CS-Cart: Probably the most impressive, to my eye, with a nice new default template. But the "free community" version has alot of functionality turned off pending upgrade to a commercial version. Main con people talk about is that the cart is supposedly slow and really needs a high-end server, kind of like Magento. Here's my CS-Cart I've been testing as time permits:

    http://prom-mart.com/demo-cs-cart/

    Very nice. But, looking at the product pages and such, isn't doing anything that Zencart cannot, especially if grab mods such as the Tabbed Products Pro for the product pages.

    I've noticed that Zencart's version (plugins) of things like Image Handler, Easypopulate, CEON SEO Rewriter seem more advanced than these other carts. So I'm convinced that Zencart can compete with these carts on functionality...and templates: free or commercial
    Last edited by SPH; 10 Jul 2012 at 12:41 AM.
    Steve
    prommart.com

 

 

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