Word is on the streets the HTML Catalog may be gone, Vote here for keeping the Catalog, post your opinions and why you like/dislike and why you would or would’nt prefer mod_rewrite over the HTML Catalog, I want both, not because I need them both but I have the option of choosing either one anytime. It’s already here, why get rid of it, just make it better, make it generate Manufacturers and Pages !!!
I’ve written extensively on my reasons for wanting support of HTML Generation and many ideas for expansion of HTML Catalog functions and in numerous other threads. I also STRONGLY agree w/ sno that pages should load many many times faster, and that’s super important to me. It would be a real shame to see it go away, it is a real selling point that sets CS-Cart apart. PLEASE VOTE, and voice your opinion.
Mod_rewrite is a nice function and will benefit some, but it IS NOT THE SAME THING AS A STATIC SITE … it only pretends to be.
Mod_rewrite won’t work for me, as i’m on a Windows server with IIS.
[quote name=‘arlen’]Mod_rewrite is a nice function and will benefit some, but it IS NOT THE SAME THING AS A STATIC SITE … it only pretends to be.[/QUOTE]True, but the links still go to dynamic pages. If PHP were down, a customer could still see the static pages but wouldn’t be able to order an item, except by phone or email. From my experience, the webserver will go down before PHP. Even if the catalog function were removed, we could just write a mod to put it back. What I would like to see is a PDF catalog. Since everything is in the database, a tool like PHP-Pdf should be able to auto-generate a catalog. I’ve used this tool for reports and it works very well and should fill the bill.
[quote name=‘sculptingstudio’]True, but the links still go to dynamic pages.[/quote]Yes, this is true with mod_rewrite. As I understand it, and correct me if I am wrong, but only the display of the address is changed, not the navigation links or the actual file name. This presents a potential problem with double indexing and duplicate content, as the url links w/in the site navigation will be to one page name, and links from outside sites will be to another. For this reason, I wouldn’t personally trust mod_rewrite. If the html catalog is implemented, the navigation links are to true html files not ‘faked’ html files. This ensures the on-site links, off-site links and the actual file name all match, which will eliminate the potential for dual indexing.
[quote]If PHP were down, a customer could still see the static pages but wouldn’t be able to order an item, except by phone or email. [/quote]This is true too, but I would much rather have new customers on first visit know my site is there and just having troubles with the cart and have the option of placing an order by phone or e-mail me than receive an error page and assume the link they followed is bogus. And it’s not just a matter if php is down, installations and upgrades don’t always go smoothly.
[quote]Even if the catalog function were removed, we could just write a mod to put it back.[/quote]Yes, but that’s a maintenance issue which has to be tested with each new release. It would be more useful as an integral module. There are other issues like ensuring each saved change updates the catalog, and syncing the catalog generation with scheduled promotions that will be much better served by an integral module. New features as they are introduced out will require mods to the mod, etc.
[quote]What I would like to see is a PDF catalog. Since everything is in the database, a tool like PHP-Pdf should be able to auto-generate a catalog. I’ve used this tool for reports and it works very well and should fill the bill[/QUOTE] I think these are two different issues. The idea behind the html catalog is not to supplement the dynamic site but to replace it with a static site generated by a fully featured CMS. The addition of a PDF catalog would be really great idea as a printable catalog which many customers would love, but it doesn’t serve the same function. PDF files are notoriously slow to load, so you wouldn’t want to rely on that as a substitute for php or html.
there are a lot of reasons to use an html catalog - i think i would go back to miva if it is eliminated…
first , server load - no matter how prepared you think your server is to handle the load there may be a time in which it will be necessary to serve static pages… - they are also much faster and i believe improve usability – hense conversions…
second - spiders and seo - i know that rewrites helped alot… but spiders are fetching pages much quicker than humans and they have to index the whole web - if they spend 38 seconds per day or week on your site you are lucky-- really this is about how long they stay around - and if they can only get 2 pages due to request time and server load that is it- but with static potentially you could serve 50 - 100 in the same time… this is reality…
third , when i need to perform database or other maintenance if there is problems in the store its going to affect all people surfing - commnig to the site via links from other sites - from paid adsense… and even organic results - which will get absolutly nothing unless u use some temporary redirect… but careful… when u do this -you risk causing problems with spiders comming to your site as well - you never know when they come…
In summary - i would use all static generated pages… unless there is some really great reason you need a dynamic feature - because really for plain old ecommerce you dont…
Please dont get rid of this … i have been burning statics from my ecommerce app since '02 - its the main reason i am in business today… and jumped the competition in SEO - sure now most can get a lot more indexing - but i remember how well my main competitors seo was though his site was painfully slow-- i am sure we got a lot of business because it would drive his customers crazy… - he finally spent money to move to dedicated… but - i avoided all the issues along the way on tired old 98 server while he struggled to grow…
wholeheartedly agree with all your great points. I’m in the same boat and have made the same choices as far as static pages.
I don’t have much choice, every time I switch on SEO my site goes to pot!!!
(Just checked and it’s still working)