Newbie in the Forum and to CS Cart

My name is Ken and this is my first post. I am very new to CS-Cart but a 9 year veteran on the web. This is however only my second software package used for my website. I now have CS-Cart installed as of 11/01 but did put at least 10 to 15 hours into the demo before buying. I have read some of the forum posts which have thus far been helpful. Before I get too involved in modifying the site and adding product I want to get whatever addons are deemed essential to most of you out there. I am sure everyoe's needs are different but I bet there are some add-ons everyone or most everyone uses that improve CS-Cart. So I would like to get some thought on what add-ons might be considered essential and what add-ons I should avoid. Not really concerned so much about the cost of the addons. Most of the time if they make life easier they are worth the cost.



Hope this isn't too generic of a post for you pros out there.

Thanks for the assistance and I will try to contribute along the way as well.



Ken

I’m sure you’ll get lots of response to such a broad question… Of course, all the addons we sell at Addons are all “essential”! :-)



As you state, everyone’s needs are different. Some people are heavy into marketing and as such the marketing addons are essential to them. Others do custom products like tee shirt designs and so they have different needs.



So there’s probably not pat response to your request. But I’ll take the opportunity you provided for blatant self promotion!



Welcome to the forums… It will prove to be an interesting journey.

Thanks for the response. I expect a lot of generic responses but we all know a little help goes a long way sometimes. Self Promotoion is welcome and I will take a look. We all know that we want to know as much up front about how the website will look and function before we have a 1000 products loaded and have to deal with many changes after the fact. So I plan on taking a look at a lot of info before really digging in. I am not in a hurry as my old website is already functioning and the new website will be on a new domain name.



Thanks for the reply. I put you website in my favorites already!!

[quote name='AVO-Ken' timestamp='1320466737' post='125381']

Thanks for the response. I expect a lot of generic responses but we all know a little help goes a long way sometimes. Self Promotoion is welcome and I will take a look. We all know that we want to know as much up front about how the website will look and function before we have a 1000 products loaded and have to deal with many changes after the fact. So I plan on taking a look at a lot of info before really digging in. I am not in a hurry as my old website is already functioning and the new website will be on a new domain name.



Thanks for the reply. I put you website in my favorites already!!

[/quote]





if you want a nivo slider for free check out my free add on i posted on the forum just search for nivo slider.

i plan to add another free add-on for Professor Cloud's CloudZoom in a few months hopefully.

Hi Ken,



I`m new to CS Cart too so I also will be posting the odd questions and as I learn more on the configuration and development side I too will be sharing with the community.



I have found the help here very much a help to my projects.



I am loving CS Cart so far.



Regards

Lee

[quote name=‘AVO-Ken’ timestamp=‘1320462514’ post=‘125364’]

Not really concerned so much about the cost of the addons. Most of the time if they make life easier they are worth the cost.



[/quote]



You are gonna make some good friends here I think :D



Welcome! you have chose the right cart.

John

Welcome AVO-Ken.

Here's another great link that I have stumbled upon with lots of great links to add-ons. Best content in CS-Cart | Diigo - Groups



Hope it helps.



cmund

CS-cart is pretty goood about separation of business rules/logic and data (products, categories, etc.).



You shouldn't be too concerned about having the cart functionality set before adding a bunch of products. Odds are that very few addons will mess with your product/category/customer data other than some possibly extend it and those will probably setup defaults where needed when the addon is installed.

Welcome! First of all: don't buy too many add-ons in the beginning (like me). CS-cart can do a LOT out of the box. Also, a lot of add-ons have become useless because the functions were later integrated in cs-cart. I advice you to first configure your shop the way you want and get used to everything.



If I had to choose some add-ons I couldn't live without…


  • My brand add-on. Because brands are important for my webshop. (it's free)
  • Ez-ms Mailchimp add-on.
  • a good banner add-on. Seonids is the most flexible one I've seen. Codingstaffs JS banner is also good but not multilanguage and less flexible, while being just a little bit easier to use.
  • Seonids tax / vat add-on - mostly important for Europe
  • Some add-ons from cscartrocks. I use dynamic categories, Canonical URL, and facebook connect (although janrain implementation in the latest cs-cart kinda rendered that one useless).
  • Shippingkit has some great shipping add-ons. Print labels right from the shop! Hooray!



    Another tip: I ususally search for things in google, not in the forum. I tend to get more accurate results that way. So I'd just type: cs-cart how to fix xxxxx in google and it usually finds the anwer in the forum.

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone. I have seen many of your forum posts already which are helpful and I already fell like part of the crowd.



Some good points have been brought up and I do not plan on going crazy with addons and I have seen than many have been implemented in subsequent cs-cart releases.



I did notice that there is a way to bulk update products. (Found info in a forum post). So if there is product based addon added later I can take advanage of it globally rather than individually. Still rather get most of this stuff done up front though.



Thanks for the link. There were a few there I did not find yet.



CS-Cart does have lots of functioanlity so really as far as addons go it does not seem like too much is need for us. Code changes on the other hand seem like they will be extensive and I am doing my reading on hooks now.



Righ Now I am considering these addons:

Magic or something similar

Product analogues

Product Inquiry

Shippingkit



Mega-Menu possibly but I think the category dropdown feature is already built into CS-Cart. Not sure at this point if one is better than the other since I have not played around with that yet.



Terms and conditions possibly but I think I might just hack the code to get a pop-up window saying “must click term” instead of that red box that is nearly invisible and add a link to the terms page.



The plan right now is more reading and more reading. Then playing around, stripping down and recoding. I am still waiting for my adobe software package to arrive with all the goodies that should help and I have already loaded all the browsers possible for testing as well as Firebug.



Again thanks for the input on my generic post

Ken

[quote name='AVO-Ken' timestamp='1320525646' post='125425']

Righ Now I am considering these addons:

Magic or something similar

Product Inquiry



Terms and conditions possibly but I think I might just hack the code to get a pop-up window saying “must click term” instead of that red box that is nearly invisible and add a link to the terms page.

[/quote]

I am using Magic Zoom Plus - it has to be the most 'complex' add-on available for CS-Cart, there are so many configurations available, but I use one of the default styles with no modifications - it works and looks perfectly well without any changes to the default configuration IMO.



There is a free Product Inquiry add-on (I also noted there's a paid version, can't remember who from), I am using the free version which is on this forum, which works perfectly well and is also a very good addition.



There's also a guide to adding a link to the Terms & Conditions in the KB, as well as a guide how to add a pop-out box to display the terms, definitely one or the other is required though to avoid confusion and (presumably) lower your cart abandonments.



I also advise WebGraphiq's Deal of the Day with Alerts add-on. Don't be put off by the name of this add-on, you can set deals up for as long as you wish, not just a single day, as well as configure multiple deals for the same or different days. Customers can also subscribe to the 'Deal of the Day' feature which, with an e-mail template you can alter freely, sends an e-mail (at a specified time of your choice) to your customers with the deals of the day. As this works on a cron job, you can set the e-mail to be sent to your customers on a minute by minute (obviously highly unrecommended) to once per year. Great add-on and worth every penny!



There is also the the Review Attributes add-on, which gives your Ratings/Reviews page that extra edge, with 'attributes' which you can apply to every product or on a product-by-product basis. I also recommend using the script on this thread, for enabling ratings and comments on all products, as communication/ratings (in my case, presumably in every install, haven't investigated this further), are set to disabled.



These are the only add-ons I use so far - there are a few which I think may be handy, but at the rate the cart is being developed, I doubt it will be long until these features are integrated with the software.

Thanks for the extra input stellar. I will take a look at the terms info in the KB.



Ken