This is written as a matter of opinion and in no way is meant to offend any one. It's just a simple observation on my behalf.
I have read many posts about being able to customize uStorekeeper more, and while there ARE many great suggestions for future upgrades, I just wanted to say, there are so many ways you can customize this product, I don't think people realize the potential.
Since uStorekeeper allows you to design custom templates (layouts) AND you can link directly to a single product or category, I would think you can layout navigation of your site anyway you like.
You could actually design different templates, for different times of the year(Christmas, Valentines, etc.) With a couple of clicks, you can change the whole layout!
I am working on a site right now with over 1000 items so far. most of the images are not done, and it is still in test mode, but as an example: http://www.virtual-direct.com/shop
In this site, I setup regular pages for Featured Products, Most Popular Items, Specials, etc.
I will pick a few or more items to feature on these pages, and simply link to them in uStorekeeper. Another benefit of this is that you always have different products that you are promoting. People are more willing to revisit when they know there are deals to be had. Another added benefit, is that you have some static pages that you can submit to the search engines.! Also, You just led the customer into the cart where YOU wanted, and there will be a link leading them to see additional items from this category.
These are simple things to add, but it does take a bit of time to set them up. Eventually there will be better and better features from this company in regards to this product, and I look forward to them! But way wait, they will never be able to accommodate every feature for everyone. you have a great starting point, even if you only know a little about cgi and html, you can do allot of customization on your own.
I believe you are only limited to you imagination with this product. I used only uShop for my sites for a long time, and while it IS great for total customization, and being able to distribute your shopping site on CD if you wanted, if you have a site with 100 items, and they need to be updated often, it can be very time consuming.
This my first real production run with uStorekeeper, but I think this will be my cart of choice from now on. Especially since the customer can update as often a they like.
Thanks, for Making a truly great product!
Checkout http://www.virtual-direct.com/shop, but remember it is not completed, and in test mode.
Interested in some of the modifications, I've made, here are a few;
# 21. Font Display Color for Product Name?
$name_display_color = "#000088";
# 22. Font Display Color for Price?
$price_display_color = "BLUE";
# 23. Font Display Color for Notes?
$notes_display_color = "RED";
# 24. HTML Header File?
$htmlheader = "$data_directory/header.html";
# 23. Font Display Color for Notes?
$htmlfooter = "$data_directory/footer.html";
# 24. Use Image for Order Button
$order_button_image = "yes";
# 25. Image for Order Button
$order_button = "sc-but-03.gif";
# 26. Order Form Table Width
$order_form_width = "541";
# 27. Order Form Column 1 Width
$order_form_c1_width = "275";
# 28. Order Form Column 2 Width
$order_form_c2_width = "236";
# 28. Text area Width
$textarea_width = "30";
# 28. Order Form Text area Width
$of_textarea_width = "25";
Oh! One other thing, I made a database in MS Access to follow the format of the uStorekeeper and have found a couple of interesting things.
1). If I try to put HTML coding, say, to change the color of the font in the notes section, through the online control panel, it removes the < & > and thus does not work, however, when I import my database with the HTML coding in it, it displays just like I wanted it to.
2). The other thing is in regards to having two different prices, I have this setup using the notes, section. Just put the regular price in the notes section, and put the sale price in the price field. This way if you wanted you could also put a line through the price if you wanted (strike through).
The best thing is if you have a product that is "Out of Stock" just put "Temporarily Out of Stock" or something of that nature in the notes section and in the short description section, put quotes around the price i.e. - "$45.00", and if someone ads it to the cart, it will say "Temporarily Out of Stock" with a price of $0.00.
This way, the customer knows that you DO carry this particular item, and may come back later rather that looking for it somewhere else. Or you could just let them know that it's out of stock, but still let them buy it now, and then you would just ship it when it is back In Stock.
Or whatever else you can think of.
- Brad Edwards