Why so few templates for cscart.

Just looking on themeforest, which ahve some excellent themes for magento and opencart, but cscart doesn't even get a mention.

Looking around, i haven't found ANY responsive modern looking themes.

I'm considering cscart at the moment, as a move away from interspire, but things are bare on the template front.

Not sure why, as the cart is solid and well priced.

Since v3 was released, 3rd party skins for CS-Cart have been greatly reduced.

IMO, this is because of the new Block Manager in v3.

You can do so many things with blocks in the grid that 3rd party skins have sort of become obsolete - the store's layout is NOT in any fixed format anymore. If a 3rd party skin is going to be offered for sale, you almost have to include the block layout xml file so that a webmaster can import the required blocks first, and then apply the skin. Few of the shops that make templates/skins are doing this, and a few who have attempted skins for v3 have fudged the job because the blocks required were not included with the skins!

It's also best to do this only when you are setting up from scratch. Your existing blocks might not translate well to a new skin.

For anyone upgrading from 1.x or 2.x this is very bad. I started 3 years ago with a 2.x cart and was able to do everything to get the cart up and running without any outside help. However, in order to convert my store to version 3.x I will need to hire a developer. I've been quoted $600 just to upgrade my site and keep the current look. I've tried doing a fresh install of v 3.x and then importing my 2.x data using the store import tool but this creates a train wreck of such proportions I don't even know where to start making it look like a web store.



Version 2.x was reasonably easy for end users to create a decent looking store. Version 3 takes it out of the realm of the end user and makes it pretty much a developer-only solution, unless you are happy to have a site that looks almost exactly like the CS-Cart demo. The skins in version 2 enabled pretty much anyone to get a look that was close to what they wanted with very little work. Not so with 3. I think it's a backward step and I think it will kill CS-Cart.

[quote name='kingsleypress' timestamp='1359741505' post='154229']

For anyone upgrading from 1.x or 2.x this is very bad. I started 3 years ago with a 2.x cart and was able to do everything to get the cart up and running without any outside help. However, in order to convert my store to version 3.x I will need to hire a developer. I've been quoted $600 just to upgrade my site and keep the current look. I've tried doing a fresh install of v 3.x and then importing my 2.x data using the store import tool but this creates a train wreck of such proportions I don't even know where to start making it look like a web store.



Version 2.x was reasonably easy for end users to create a decent looking store. Version 3 takes it out of the realm of the end user and makes it pretty much a developer-only solution, unless you are happy to have a site that looks almost exactly like the CS-Cart demo. The skins in version 2 enabled pretty much anyone to get a look that was close to what they wanted with very little work. Not so with 3. I think it's a backward step and I think it will kill CS-Cart.

[/quote]



Wow I couldn't agree less. The block features of V3 make changing things easier than they have ever been. You can take the demo skin and through the use of blocks make a look and feel that is completely different from the demo in a matter of minutes.

[quote name='whiplash13' timestamp='1359745458' post='154234']

Wow I couldn't agree less. The block features of V3 make changing things easier than they have ever been. You can take the demo skin and through the use of blocks make a look and feel that is completely different from the demo in a matter of minutes.

[/quote]



I'm happy for you but it just doesn't work that way for me. Designing a site in v2 was a piece of cake compared to this mess. Maybe I'm just missing something really obvious.

Without knowledge, starting a site in 2.x was easier, because there were ready to use templates that came with cs-cart.



Designing a site from scratch (based on the basic skin) or changing stuff, is 10 x easier in 3.x

Taking any HTML/CSS template and integrating it into CS-Cart is far easier with V2 than it is with V3, there are so many dynamic class changes going on in V3 that require much more work done to the CSS than in V2, where you could take any old HTML/CSS template and integrate without really touching the CSS. Hey look, the majority, if not all, of V2 skins are from TemplateWorld or other HTML/CSS template providers. Try doing it with V3 and it becomes much more complex.



In saying that, in V3 you already have the base of a decent working template. Add a few class names to the blocks, create some CSS for those classes, and your default Basic skin transforms with little intervention. Unfortunately, the majority of commercial skins I've seen so far have exploited that, to the stage where every skin looks the same with a few colour changes. Shame, really, because the new system in V3 has as close to infinite possibilities in regard to design as you're going to get. All CS-Cart need to do now is work something out to allow Grids to be moveable objects. It's a complete PITA when you create a Grid, add some blocks, configure those blocks, add another grid, and find the new grid is placed in the opposite position that you require - either above or below the existing grid(s). I end up just moving all the blocks from the existing grid to the new grid, but that's not the point.

[quote name='StellarBytes' timestamp='1359747308' post='154240']

Taking any HTML/CSS template and integrating it into CS-Cart is far easier with V2 than it is with V3, there are so many dynamic class changes going on in V3 that require much more work done to the CSS than in V2, where you could take any old HTML/CSS template and integrate without really touching the CSS. Hey look, the majority, if not all, of V2 skins are from TemplateWorld or other HTML/CSS template providers. Try doing it with V3 and it becomes much more complex.



In saying that, in V3 you already have the base of a decent working template. Add a few class names to the blocks, create some CSS for those classes, and your default Basic skin transforms with little intervention. Unfortunately, the majority of commercial skins I've seen so far have exploited that, to the stage where every skin looks the same with a few colour changes. Shame, really, because the new system in V3 has as close to infinite possibilities in regard to design as you're going to get. All CS-Cart need to do now is work something out to allow Grids to be moveable objects. It's a complete PITA when you create a Grid, add some blocks, configure those blocks, add another grid, and find the new grid is placed in the opposite position that you require - either above or below the existing grid(s). I end up just moving all the blocks from the existing grid to the new grid, but that's not the point.

[/quote]



Close to infinite, but all with a fixed width of 960 pixels.



I guess if I'm going to move to 3 I will have to do some serious studying of the manual–something I don't remember doing too much with 2.

[quote name='kingsleypress' timestamp='1359749005' post='154242']

Close to infinite, but all with a fixed width of 960 pixels.



I guess if I'm going to move to 3 I will have to do some serious studying of the manual–something I don't remember doing too much with 2.

[/quote]

Templates in V2 were all XHTML and HTML4, technologies between 12-15 years old. The 960GS is a newer technology, much more relevent to here and now - where everybody uses the internet using devices from just a couple of inches of screen to several feet. Using this grid system does not mean you have to stick with 960 pixels. Setting fluid width, to allow greater than 960px width, is simple. Even CS-Cart have a KB article on full width layout using 960gs.



Once you understand the concepts of 960GS, designing in CS-Cart becomes much easier. No more creating a site design for one single store, you can create a design and use it on multiple stores, changing block content and positions to drastically alter the look of each store.

Interesting discussion.

I was looking at the responsive themes that are all the rage at the moment.

This one in particular looks good to me. Queldorei.com – Payday Loans Online | Quick Loans | Payday Advance



I've got a job on odesk, seeking help add a similar theme to cscart. Got lots of bid already all around my budget set of $700.

Thing is , if they don't know cscart's system, sounds like i could be getting myself into trouble.



Is there any tips i should look out for, or questions i should ask a prospective designer?

Cheers

Why responsive?



The 960gs will render in every browser type and you can integrate with Twigmo for a few $ per month (1000 products or less is free) https://www.cs-cart.com/twigmo.html

[quote name='jason3w' timestamp='1359784724' post='154258']

I've got a job on odesk, seeking help add a similar theme to cscart. Got lots of bid already all around my budget set of $700.

Thing is , if they don't know cscart's system, sounds like i could be getting myself into trouble.

[/quote]

Yes, you will. The vast majority can do PHP, HTML and CSS, but have never worked with CS-Cart. I've used PHP and Smarty in the past and there are quite a few differences between how CS-Cart parses things. I looked at odesk when I done my first CS-Cart store, got a dozen bids, selected one guy, requested the theme to be developed with a list of specific requirements for full functionality of CS-Cart, yet I got a template with every block using HTML type blocks, none of it used the CS-Cart data dynamically. Pathetic - and yet, still wanted me to pay the full agreed price despite explicity requiring to use all dynamic content.



I would say go with one of those recommended by CS-Cart here, but some of them have ceased working with CS-Cart or produce sub-standard results. Choose wisely.

I chose cs cart above the rest becuase of the grid system and the standard template as i think its a really good idea - the only thing i wish they had was a good user manual, the present one does not follow a logical manner. the knowledge base is excellent it just needs to be re-organised.

I've considered buying a 3.0 template just because I'm CSS stupid and I want to put a full screen image in the background or even tile a smaller version of it, but I've spent hours searching and trying what was in the posts and can't figure it out.

How hard would it have been for the developers to include a “ADD Background Image” button to upload an image and have the program call it. I've been working on my layout with blocks etc. and I have a pretty good grasp on it, but the background image is making me want to put whatever remaining hair I have out. I want something like I have on my wordpress site: http://dryheatembroidery.com to be on my online store at: http://store.dryheatembroidery.com but with the image opacity turned down a bit. I have the image opacity already set and saved as a .png file.



Does anyone have moron proof instructions on how to do this. I thank you all in advance for wasting your time reading my post.

It's not as simple as you would hope for…but to set the body background as the blog background image (note you should actually copy the image to /skins/basic/customer/images/ and reference it from there to minimise http requests).



Open:



/skins/basic/customer/styles.css



Locate:


body {
background-color: #FCFCFC;
}




Replace with:


body {
background: url("http://dryheatembroidery.com/wp-content/themes/DryHeatTheme/images/Middle_texture.jpg");
}


No different? Still can't see it? Now follow the instructions in this thread to finish it off. Not as simple as it should be, but that's life.



Note once you have finished editing template files, clear your site cache: yoursite.com/youradmin.php?cc

hes right… in 3 its really newbie friendly… where most of the cash is, nowadays, if your good enough to dev for cs-cart might as well go for mag… or custom cart dev… v3 doesnt like nice designs only block designs… so if you need a full scale graphic fluent and not broken in blocks then your on your own… only homepage is easy to fix… i had lots of mods on 2 i made, which are lost on 3, the item grid for one took me 17 hours to code…on v3… no idea…



i wish i had put $ into mag. before all this work but with 10,k products i don't want to move now.

I changed background images with CSS. The classes in styles.css were:

.header {

background: #fcfcfc url(images/top_bg.png) bottom repeat-x;

}

.main {

background: #fff url(images/central_bg.png) top repeat-x;

}

.footer {

background: #f2f2f2 url(images/footer_bg.png) repeat-x;

}



I override these classes with my own CSS in the my_changes folder (your path & image will vary):



.header {background: #000 url(…/…/images/theme/header_black.jpg) bottom repeat;}

.main {background: #000 url(…/…/images/theme/background_black.jpg) top repeat;}

.footer {background: #000 url(…/…/images/theme/footer_black.jpg) top repeat;}



I use FireBug for FireFox, I've found it invaluable for editing CSS in CS-Cart, but you have to make certain that css joining is turned off in the local config file, or all the CSS is compiled in the same temp file.

In the process of building V3 skins from scratch, I’ve actually found V3 much easier. Using controllers makes it much easier, so you can use the same grids/blocks in CS-Cart for different locations, but still generate completely different layouts for each location. I wouldn’t even think about integrating any template into V3 until you have at least learnt the basics of using hooks and the relevent controllers.



Hopefully in the next few weeks I’ll be launching a CS-Cart driven store that will show the flexibility of CS-Cart design without any horrible hardcoding. All dynamic content loaded from the CS-Cart database.



Just as well this is the CS-Cart forum or I’d be kicked for keyword-spamming ‘CS-Cart’ :mrgreen: