HTML Site Generator Module Criteria

In thinking a bit further on the HTML catalog (expanded to be HTML site), I really think it would be preferable to make it a module that can be turned on and off in the modules screen. The following is partly summary of other posts, partly refinement, partly new suggestions.

What would be great is, if activated:

  1. The generate html catalog (html site) function would be made available. Ideally this would generate all pages used on the site with the possible exception of the cart / checkout & search results pages. If these pages remained dynamic, navigation on these pages must lead to the html pages as I’ve pointed out in other threads.

    Also as pointed out in the referenced thread, the index.html file needs to be placed at the document root and all potential indexing of duplicate content in the php version of the site should be eliminated.

  2. The save button on the Categories, Products, Topics & Pages screens would update the appropriate html files if they were set as ‘active’. This would eliminate the need for regular full site generation or keeping track of the changes you’ve made and if you remembered to do a html generation.

  3. There is a need for independently defined file names for Categories, Products, Topics & Pages for SEO as I mentioned in this thread.

  4. In addition to the above, I really think we need the ability to schedule a catalog update tied to the discount scheduling functions. The discount scheduling is wonderful in that it allows you to plan promotions well ahead of time and not need to be present to activate them. Scheduling all promotions for a quarter or 6 months at a time will be a real time saver. I presume the scheduled discount takes effect at midnight, which is also nice as it happens when most sites visitor levels are at a fairly low level. However, if using the discount scheduler and html catalog currently, this means you could potentially have your database and cart not match what is displayed on the site, which I consider a problem as customers don’t get what they expect.

    These are all just suggestions, but ones I hope the CS-Cart team will consider implementing in the next release. I know I’m one of the very few vocal users on this issue, but the html catalog was at least considered enough of a priority to include the current html generation functions, it just needs some additional features to be usable. It sets CS-Cart apart from all the free Open Source carts available, and puts it inline with features offered with other major paid solutions. It was one of the major features that convinced me to buy CS-Cart and I’d really like to be able to use it … with some tweaking I’ll be comfortable doing so, and I believe so will others.