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  1. #1
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    Default Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    Ok. I am not exactly an idiot, but I have never seen such a mess. Got zc installed no problem with the demo stuff and I have my usual look around.

    First, I thought the demo items would make things easier to understand. Just the opposite. Why 125 items?? Why not just a few? How can a new user keep track of what is going on? The store is a mess out of the box. So I thought it would be easier to just get rid of the sample stuff and just start adding my own products and see how things flow

    So I browse around the forums and the FAQs, learn out to get that Congrats! message out of there, add a category and a product. Simple, yes? Well, not really. I create a category with a description, looks ok. I then create a product with a description and an image -- Basic online store stuff. What do I see? The category description is missing and in its place is the product description.

    OK, so I tell myself I am missing some basic knowledge of the store logic. I read some more. The more I read the more disgusted I feel about what I thought would be a great product.

    I shouldn't have to read volumes of posts, FAQS and articles to get basic info that should be somewhat deducible by the admin layout. I should be able to bang out some categories and products, even change basic store layout such as 2 col or 3 col without much reading and effort.

    Are there any add-ons that make it easier to build the darn store without having to know every feature of zc and how those features co-exist? Sheesh

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    Ah, I found a wiki for this thing, let's see......

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    Uhm, there are many carts out there, no one forces you to use ZC. And you did not have to pay the ones who code ZC, nor the ones who write all the FAQ/wiki, nor the ones who coded add-on module, not even a single cent.

    What gives you the right to be angry?
    I no longer provide installation support on forum for all my modules. However, if there are real bugs with the modules please feel free to contact me

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    If you actually look carefully through the demo products, you will see that most of them have descriptions of how some particular feature works. Some of them are there just to show how larger quantities of products are handled in certain situations.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    Quote Originally Posted by TechOnADesk View Post
    I shouldn't have to read volumes of posts, FAQS and articles to get basic info that should be somewhat deducible by the admin layout. I should be able to bang out some categories and products, even change basic store layout such as 2 col or 3 col without much reading and effort.
    Zen Cart provides a balance between ease of use and configurability. Some systems are easier to skin and datafill, but provide very limited opportunities for customization in other areas. Still other systems are highly customizable on both the front and back end, but are expensive and require extensive study before you can become productive using them.

    Many many many other e-commerce options exist. Explore them. But understand there's always a trade-off between cost, complexity, customizability and ease of use. To say that a novice "should" be able to do a,b and c, and an experienced person *should* be able to do x, y and z may be incompatible objectives. Quite often systems that are easy to get started with provide hours of frustration and grief six months down the road when you realize the customization you require will not be possible. Just last week I read a thread of angry ranting about why it takes Shopify forever to make changes to their software. With Zen Cart, you can DIY or hire it done.

    Start your search at shopping-cart-reviews DOT com

    Good luck,
    Scott
    That Software Guy. My Store: Zen Cart Support
    Available for hire - See my ad in Services
    Plugin Moderator, Documentation Curator, Chief Cook and Bottle-Washer.
    Do you benefit from Zen Cart? Then please support the project.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    You only have to know enough to do what you want to do with Zen Cart. There's no reason to
    know every feature of zc and how those features co-exist
    .

    If you looked at the demo products and the various notices on all the screens in the demo shop, you'd know how to do pretty much all of what you need to do because it TELLS you how.
    Mary Ellen
    I came; I saw; I Zenned
    Taking over the world... one website at a time
    Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear... or fingers to keyboard.

    Holzheimer
    Fan Odyssey

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    its funny really its always the long term zenners who seem to think its easy to sort problems out. Maybe they were born as great Zenners but to them i say have patience as we all werent. I was lead to beliebve by a number of zenners that zencart is great for newbies - well i think not. When you do search and sift through post after post you dont always find the answer and if you do its often written by well experienced zenners who think everyone understands the spaghetti of obscure words so before anyone suggests to a newbie - please search for the answer tell yourself that they probably have and thats why they have posted the call for help.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    Yes, ZC can be confusing to someone who has never used a system quite like it.

    There is a "manual" (e-Start Your Web Store With Zen Cart) that you can buy (links for it in the header of the ZC site here and all over) that is very helpful to many newbies. It walks you through the basics, learning the admin switches, etc. Then there are other tutorials out there for things like customizing the template, both free here on the site and for sale by others (disclaimer -- including myself *LOL*).

    I remember when I first started using ZC, it didn't make much sense to me. The biggest thing is try not to be on a rushed deadline. Take your time and explore it. The more you explore, the more you'll understand it and the easier it will be to learn.

    HTH,
    Lesli in SW Florida ~ writer, teacher, and dodging hurricanes!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    ZC is hard to understand, I TOTALLY agree with you (but it's the same for most other softwares tho). You gotta have patience. I have spent a great deal of time with it to really understand how it work.

    But there are some tricks and tools to find a way around the problems, I think I will find time and write a mini tutorial in the near future.
    I no longer provide installation support on forum for all my modules. However, if there are real bugs with the modules please feel free to contact me

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Things every new zenner shouldn't have to know

    Quote Originally Posted by oakwoodevents View Post
    its funny really its always the long term zenners who seem to think its easy to sort problems out. Maybe they were born as great Zenners but to them i say have patience as we all werent. I was lead to beliebve by a number of zenners that zencart is great for newbies - well i think not. When you do search and sift through post after post you dont always find the answer and if you do its often written by well experienced zenners who think everyone understands the spaghetti of obscure words so before anyone suggests to a newbie - please search for the answer tell yourself that they probably have and thats why they have posted the call for help.
    No, they probably HAVEN'T searched for it. Take a look at the forums and see how many times the same questions are asked and asked and asked by people who all swear they searched for it first and insist that no one ever asked it before.

    Someone swore up and down that he/she had searched the tutorials/FAQ and did not find an answer to the question. I searched, found it in a few seconds and posted the link to him/her. I highly doubt the person spent any time searching for the answer. It's much easier to post the question and sit back waiting for someone to hand you the answer.

    [/end rant]

    Yellow is absolutely correct. There is a learning curve with Zen Cart that exists with anything new that you set out to learn. If someone expects Zen Cart (or anything else) to do exactly what he/she wants just by installing it, he/she is in for a rude awakening and a rough time setting up a cart.

    I tried several other carts before settling on Zen Cart because I got better results faster and with less effort than with other similar carts. As Lesli pointed out, you really need to play around with it and not expect to get it done on a short deadline.
    Mary Ellen
    I came; I saw; I Zenned
    Taking over the world... one website at a time
    Make sure brain is engaged before putting mouth in gear... or fingers to keyboard.

    Holzheimer
    Fan Odyssey

 

 
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