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  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    5
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    Idea or Suggestion Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    I think thats a really good idea. i know i had need of this when i was starting, and probably still do
    im not going to restate what everyone else has said, but im not going to restate it or quote it.


  2. #12
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    38
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    my template is based off the custom template, in a different folder with a different name of course. If there is a problem with that, it needs to be stated clearly and it also needs to be mentioned in the install. So I agree about that.

    Also I second the explination on attributes, I know zen cart is very powerful and can do a lot of things, but some of the options I just don't understand. Also, how come you make an option name like "color" and give it a whole bunch of options, but then when you go to add an option to a product, you have to select each option name and each option individually, so you can put an option like "extra large" in an option name of "color" or what not... I got it to work and everything, but it's either designed poorly or I don't understand it.

    Also an explination of what's modified in the overrides and what's modified in the admin, because sometimes I looked for stuff in overrides and it was in the admin, and the developers tool kit doesn't search the admin (database) as far as I can tell, so it can be very frustrating. (I had this problem when trying to figure out how to remove the prefix of "|_" for sub directories.

    In fact, there should be a write up on every single option available in the admin and what it can do. The structure of the write up should be the same as the admin, that is, on the admin home you have a list of options, and all options have sub options. In the write up the categories should breakdown exactly the same way so if I see an option somewhere and I'm like "what does that do?" I can quickly and easily find it. And it should be searchable, and every little option should have a description with common search string meta tag type things so that if I search for "subcategory prefix" the thing will pop up that controls that.

    Yes, that would be awesome.

    An explination on the following options while adding a product for sale:
    Product Qty Units:
    Product Qty Units Mix on/off:

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    309
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    0

    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Bruce,
    a fantastic idea indeed :) It seems like many people have already called out the areas I struggled with most.
    A list of free tools would be quite helpful - I was already a Firefox convert, and if I wasn't already, the web developer tools would have won me over.

    The Override system should definitely be included (or rather perhaps the link to the FAQ).

    Having everything summarized tidily somewhere woudld be absolutely wonderful.
    If you need a proof reader, let me know :)

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    40
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    Idea or Suggestion Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    I would point out that every new zenner would prefer to customize their template to suit their styles in the first place. So, a complete tutorial to guide novice in modifying the default templates is much appreciated.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,064
    Plugin Contributions
    2

    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    Great suggestions! Great project! Afterall, everyone starts out as a newbie.

    Lots of newbie questions about setting permissions on files. An explanation
    of how to CHMOD permission changes from the FTP program and also through
    cpanel would be very helpful.

    Two things that helped me a lot was the FAQ manual and an administrator's
    user manual (thru ver 1.1.2) in .pdf on the old forum. I downloaded both
    and printed out the admin manual and put it in a spiral notebook
    for quick reference. I still have the .zip file of both if it would be helpful.


  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    30
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    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    As a recently very new zenner these are just some tips I would give. As I think of more I will post again (if I can find the post lol).

    1. Once you have a clean LIVE working version of your site, download it to your local PC. Then when you want to change messages such as "Sales Message Goes Here" or copyright info etc, search for that text string using the search on your PC on the local copy. Then change locally and upload.

    2. The advice to use a decent text editor should not be ignored. Crimson Text editor is great!

    3. When downloading and installing user contributions from this site that require overwrites of existing files e.g orders.php (two contributions that need this file are at a glance and ukswitch payment modules) be very careful.

    I first installed ukswitch, then added ataglance, both use orders.php. I blindly overwrote the ukswitch version of orders.php with the ataglance version. Needless to say the ukswitch module stopped working properly!

    This might be obvious to most but wasn't to me!

    Ciao!
    Z

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    64
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    0

    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    I suggest you take a complete newbie and watch what happens when he/she tries to set up the shop. This person needs to have the motivation of an entrepreneur.

    Yes, the forums are big. I've had to wade through 80 to 100 pages of discussion to find a small crumb of information, for example "how do you tell the cart you have a template of your own?"
    It doesn't help that very much information was hidden when I needed help.
    I was looking for something else and landed on page 15 of a long discussion. Someone asked the question for the second time, and the answer was "I already answered you". Go back to page 1 and start looking. You find it on page 5 hidden into something else.
    The wiki tells you how great the override system is, and how you should have parallel custom files and folders, but it doesn't tell "how the cart will know about them". Or then I'm blind.

    Maybe it's blindness for self-evident things. They are not self-evident for a complete novice.

    The things that have caused the most work:
    The template system
    PayPal IPN (still unresolved; server port 443 is used by another client for SSL)
    How to change Page 2 to About us. I did all the changes in php myself, read through one 80-page discussion printed out, and wrote one line into the database. It works now.
    CHMOD settings too strictly set.

    Things I expect to cause work:
    Translations of the customer interface into two more languages, unless someone else comes up with them for 1.3.0.1.

    I'm still a happy zen follower, and realize I've saved a huge lot of money for my company to set this up alone. And I'm very grateful for all the time you guys have put on this forum and the wiki.
    I'm an engineer who has studied a dozen other programming languages but not php.
    Marianne in Finland

  8. #18

    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    I think just about everything has been covered. As a complete noob to ZenCart and PHP, I've managed to do quite well so far (I'm at the payment processing / shipping module stuff now). I could have done everything faster, but with the ZenCart website change, I was lost for a while. Below are my thoughts in order of importance;

    1. A clear skeletal diagram of the interworkings of ZenCart to help noobs understand file/folder interaction would eliminate lots of pointless posts.

    2. ZenCart CSS issues. I lot of users have had problems with the CSS, mostly due to lack of searching. Here's what I did (since it had been about 7 years since I had looked at a CSS document), printed out the stylesheet and wrote notes. Haven't had any CSS questions since.

    3. The Template over-ride. A clear explination of what's being modified in the overrides and what's modified in the admin.

    I've been happy with ZenCart. I used MivaMerchant about 6 years ago and I find ZenCart to be much cleaner. Keep up the good work!

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,403
    Plugin Contributions
    2

    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    May want to include some info I posted here...
    http://www.zen-cart.com/forum/showthread.php?t=35793

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    2,403
    Plugin Contributions
    2

    Default Re: Things every New Zenner needs to know

    JollyJim was building a Zen Cart tutorial site at:
    http://##############.helpfiles.co.uk/

    Looks like it might be on hold? Certainly showed some promise.

    Woody

 

 
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