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  • bholland
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Posted 21 March 2007 - 05:10 PM #1

I've contacted CS to find out about a paying for an XHTML/CSS skin. I'm really interested in just using this for my own development purposes as a guide so I asked for what skin they were closest to completing (assuming it was default blue).

So here is a quick FAQ:

Q: Are you going to be putting out the skin soon/Is this worth paying for?
A: They said it won't happen in the nearest month and that there is another design in the works they're going to be concentrating on.

Q: What skin are you the farthest along on?
A: They said the default_blue skin, so this would be the one they would finish and deliver.

Q: How much would this cost?
A: Cost is $275.00

Q: What's the timeline for this?
A: 4 weeks (could be sooner depending on work load - they can't start work for two weeks)

Q: How good is the CSS?
A: They said it will be fully valid XHTML tableless (where possible)

So, I'm probably going to pay for this either way, but if anyone would like to pool resources, please let me know. From the other "mod trading" thread it seems that you can only "share" mods if people went in on them originally. I don't think that many people would be interested, but if you want to chip in $50 for it, then great! I realize I haven't been around that long, so if one of the mods wants to escrow this (if they're willing) I'd be more than happy to do it that way.

Thanks, and to CS admins: If this isn't acceptable use, please feel free to remove or edit.

Thanks!

B

 
  • Brandito
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Posted 21 March 2007 - 05:48 PM #2

Hi,

What exactly are you paying for here? CS will be including a free CSS/XHTML skin in their next release. Are you just wanting to pay for an early release? Or am I missing something?

~ Brandon
[SIZE="1"]Current Version:
CS Cart 1.3.4 SP2

Current Mods installed:
Thickbox (with e-menu) : Tabbed product details : Previous & Next Navigation (with SEO mod by SWS) : Manufacturer META tags[/SIZE]

 
  • snorocket
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Posted 21 March 2007 - 07:27 PM #3

well I'd be willing to chip in but as Brandito said the xhtml/css skin will be free in the next up coming release which is only a few months away...I'd rather pool our resources together to pay for something that we won't get in the next release ect...
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  • bholland
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Posted 21 March 2007 - 07:41 PM #4

Yes, basically you're paying for an "advance" copy. Although this is somewhat true with any paid mod as it will most likely be included in future development. My motivation here is that I figure I have about a month of front end modding ahead of me once I get the new skin. So, if it's going to be 2-3 months before the skin is released, plush a month of my own dev time, I'm looking at 3-4 months to get my site up. Of course CS, can't/won't make promises about when the template will be released, so I want to get my hands on it ASAP.

 
  • SWS
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Posted 21 March 2007 - 10:34 PM #5

The problem I see here, is your paying for default blue...

If you want an xhtml skin, shouldnt you be thinking about a custom made skin, to suite your company, your style, your design especially for that sort of money.. After all, I can see lots of fun and games trying to customise an xhtml tableless cs-cart with a whole new design :rolleyes:

Sno, excuse me being straight forward and to the point, but I cant beleive you are willing to chip in for a few bits of code changes to the templates just to give you default blue, yet not for a optimised checkout, this seems somewhat contradictive ??? Especially since they are also releasing this with 1.3.5 as with the checkout

An Xhtml design wont make more sales... Default blue will just make you look like every other cs-cart website !! (yeah i know mine is, but the change is coming very soon)

Each to their own I suppose, I agree xhtml / css is a definate must.. but personalised at least...
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]

 
  • bholland
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:14 AM #6

Hi SWS,

I agree completely with what you mention...As someone who has modded the template design, I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this.

I first bought CS cart about a year ago because it seemed to do what I wanted. I then began to tear apart the tpls only to find lots of jumbled code and tables...yuck. This drove me to cubecart which was a breeze to cusomtize and write your own XHTML for, but lacked features without endless mods (which of course turned into a nightmare when you wanted to upgrade). So, this brought me back to CS cart.

The reason I'm paying for a defualt skin is that I assumed it would be cheaper. I can photoshop up a custome design, but I don't think anyone (including CS) is going to create all the tpls for my design for $275. I figured if they are nearly done, I'd spend a few dollars and sponsor the finishing of it and then go in and make it do what I want. I'm certainly not buying the default skin to actually use the default skin, I just don't want to spend endless painful hours customizing a table based design, to just throw it away in a few months.

I know that you (SWS) already began your conversion to CSS so perhaps you can weigh in again about what I wrote. Also, if you're willing to share your code then by all means! I'll kick you a few dollars for it :)

Overall I like what CS cart can do and the growing community behind it, but I don't want a default layout (yes, I see the irony of buying one), so I know I'm going to have to write lots of CSS on my own. There aren't any template people out there doing CS, as far as I know.

B

 
  • SWS
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 01:04 AM #7

Hi SWS,

I agree completely with what you mention...As someone who has modded the template design, I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this.

I first bought CS cart about a year ago because it seemed to do what I wanted. I then began to tear apart the tpls only to find lots of jumbled code and tables...yuck. This drove me to cubecart which was a breeze to cusomtize and write your own XHTML for, but lacked features without endless mods (which of course turned into a nightmare when you wanted to upgrade). So, this brought me back to CS cart.

The reason I'm paying for a defualt skin is that I assumed it would be cheaper. I can photoshop up a custome design, but I don't think anyone (including CS) is going to create all the tpls for my design for $275. I figured if they are nearly done, I'd spend a few dollars and sponsor the finishing of it and then go in and make it do what I want. I'm certainly not buying the default skin to actually use the default skin, I just don't want to spend endless painful hours customizing a table based design, to just throw it away in a few months.

I know that you (SWS) already began your conversion to CSS so perhaps you can weigh in again about what I wrote. Also, if you're willing to share your code then by all means! I'll kick you a few dollars for it :)

Overall I like what CS cart can do and the growing community behind it, but I don't want a default layout (yes, I see the irony of buying one), so I know I'm going to have to write lots of CSS on my own. There aren't any template people out there doing CS, as far as I know.

B


To be honest, the conversion isnt actually that difficult, I did have trouble with multicolumns, as ive posted about on here however that is now sorted.
So far forgetting multicolumns, ive spent overall about 8 hours converting it and theres still a bit to do, but not too much...

The problem with my tpl's is I have designed them for me, so for instance, the width for each product is set at say 200px in css to span 3 columns, my site is a fixed width and not fluid, so altough easy to change, it kind of defeats the object of the "products per row" in the admin.

I also wont be converting features which I dont use such as the comments, so making my template at the moment limited, however I cant stress enough, it wasnt hard to do atall !

I can say, I have had the pleasure of previewing CS-Carts xhtml template and they have kept their word by removing almost all tables, It still has some issues, but its not released yet so I guess thats to be expected.

From experience of doing this, and looking at the code in their new skin, you would have the same workload converting their xhtml template into your own design as you would converting the current into your own xhtml design and custom template.

If you have already re-skinned your cart, then their new default blue is not for you... whereas its great for new users. If you havent touched it yet then perhaps its a good starting point...its obviously up to you, as you probably read, I also know they are doing a checkout, but I am willing to pay for an early release of it.. but this is an integral part of the core system, whereas a skin isnt....

Hope that made sense and sorry if i went on a bit !!
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]

 
  • SWS
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 01:07 AM #8

Sorry, last post... $275 is a lot for something they have already 90% done !!!
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]

 
  • bholland
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 04:26 AM #9

No, no...I welcome the discussion. I agree that $275 is a lot for what I was guessing was nearly complete. I was expecting it too be cheaper and therefore wouldn't mind as much throwing a few dollars their way. I'd still like to look over your code SWS if you're willing to share it. I understand if you want to hold onto it :) Hmmm, you are probably right that if I really want it to be custom I'm going to have to rewrite most of it regardless. <sighs>

 
  • snorocket
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 12:36 PM #10

straight forward and to the point

Hey SWS, what I said above was that I'd be willing to pitch in but that the xhtml/css is going to be released in the next version so it's kinda like duuuu why would you pay for something that is coming was what I was thinking, not that I was actually going to be goofy enough to pay for something that will be coming soon and be free, also...

I did'nt bother jumping on the bandwagon for a new 1 page checkout because I already knew it was coming in the next release, it's been tumbling around in the rumor mill for quite sometime. I don't know to what extent the changes will be for the checkout, however that being the case I'm willing to wait a few months for the next release and focus my time and efforts on something that will not be in the next release and I'm working directly with CS to add new modules and features, the next version is going to be packed to the gills with some of the most awesome additions ever...I also agree with you in that I see too many times people complaining that they can't move forward with their stores because they don't have this mod or that mod or this feature ect...if your not moving forward with your store the problem is somewhere else other then you not having certain features ect...
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  • Zyles
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 01:34 PM #11

The problem as I see it is that CS-Cart implements a feature, and the way they implement it sucks. Like the SEO mod was a complete failure. I don't want them to make the same mistake again.

I do not want to wait until SUMMER for a new release and find out that the checkout they made is terrible, and then wait for next release after that to fix it after several months. Why not make it good at first try? Or we will be constantly just waiting and waiting to see what happends in next release.

I don't care much for fluffy mods if they do not help me make more sales, this is the area I am most focused on.

We are customers of the cart but we aren't all idiots. Some are developers themselves and marketing people that have experience. CS-Cart should take that into consideration and get free feedback to improve their product BEFORE they release a new version.
Marketing tip:

Did you know a targeted e-mail marketing campaign can bring conversion rates up to 3.9%? By using reliable e-mail marketing software you can upsell to existing customers on a tight budget. If you are not using e-mail marketing you are missing out big time. I recommend and use Aweber.

 
  • TonyK
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:07 PM #12

Thats the one thing I wish CS would do is to engage a few of us more experieced ecommers and have direct contact with a product to be developed, (ie, checkout).

This is where Xcart went all wrong. They developed their system based on their php coders style and not what works from a business store owners standpoint. You can have all the bells and whistles you want, but if customers cant order easily, it doesnt matter how many cool mods you have on your store.

I think CS should set up a secure forum and ask a sample of us to work with them on designing, developing a checkout system. a give and take and then when a beta comes, those same users then test it.

Otherwise, this product is headed down the same road as X****.

Just my $.02
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  • snorocket
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:17 PM #13

the reality is if a customer really wants your product, they'll buy it whether you have a 4 or 1 page checkout...yes of course we want to make it as easy as possible and a 1 page checkout would be great...but then again a customer is going to do what it takes to get what they want, the same priniple exisits when standing in line at the grocery store or at lowes, if you want what you want your going to stand in line and go through the process...I agree with what ET has said completely !!!
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  • Zyles
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:37 PM #14

Like ET said and I have been saying that for a while now. They should not design what they THINK we want, but WHAT we want.


sno, sorry but you're really off base here. :)

If I were to stand in line and wait long enough I'll drop my groceries and goto another store where I don't have to wait to buy the stuff I want.

And when you goto the grocery store, do you never impulse buy anything? Like bubblegum, candy. Why do you think they place it near the counter?

"the reality is if a customer really wants your product, they'll buy it whether you have a 4 or 1 page checkout"

I wish you would say that to the internet marketers that make 7 figures each year. Because I can swear to you that their checkout is so easy a donkey could buy. And why is that? Because it brings more sales. It's not about how much a user wants your product, it's about how easy it is to buy it before you hesitate and regret your decision.

Why do you think so many ****ty products are sold daily for millions and millions? It's not because the buyer thinks the product is good and is really after buying that exact product...
Marketing tip:

Did you know a targeted e-mail marketing campaign can bring conversion rates up to 3.9%? By using reliable e-mail marketing software you can upsell to existing customers on a tight budget. If you are not using e-mail marketing you are missing out big time. I recommend and use Aweber.

 
  • snorocket
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 02:52 PM #15

i'm not off base, the problem is people like to complain complain complain and no one ever offers any suggestions except more complaints instead of offering up some ideas, solutions, putting together some screenshots...people want to sit back whine and complain while others do the work...a company that makes 7 figures isn't gong to use cs but a complete crm system like everest ecommerce or elasticpath...cs is for the mom and pop stores but has the ability to host much larger operations...
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  • Zyles
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:16 PM #16

So why would you neglect the mom and pop stores getting more sales with a better checkout process, just because they do not have $1000 a month to pay for a store? It's not about advanced techniques used to achieve this. It's just a matter of getting it right.

You are basicly saying that if you don't earn 7 figures you aren't worthy a good product like the big boys.

If you are refering to me as complaining and not offering suggestions on how to improve. I'll tell you that I am ready to write an essay RIGHT NOW on how the checkout flow should function if CS-Cart were to listen and implement the changes.

I wouldn't be amazed if I have been giving more feedback and bug reports to CS in the helpdesk than 90% of the forum users. I always offer solutions to make the product I have paid for better when I can give valuable input.

P.S. Did you know some of the top internet marketers use Yahoo! Store and 1Shoppingcart ? I can't call either of those a complete crm system.
Marketing tip:

Did you know a targeted e-mail marketing campaign can bring conversion rates up to 3.9%? By using reliable e-mail marketing software you can upsell to existing customers on a tight budget. If you are not using e-mail marketing you are missing out big time. I recommend and use Aweber.

 
  • TonyK
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 03:27 PM #17

CS and myself are working on some things now to get some of us more involved and provide direct feedback and communication back and forth.

It's something I have been working on for a while now, it will be coming within a few weeks. CS and myself will be "inviting" those users who we think have good ideas and are willing to contribute some time/effort to make this product better.

Stay tuned.....
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:30 PM #18

Does CS-Cart publish what fixes or new features for the next release? If so, where is it located? It sounds like that some people are getting the list directly from CS-Cart. Maybe there should be a master thread just for future releases.

I agree that it doesn't make sense to invest in something that is already in the works of being developed. But using the new mods donations can directly force CS-Cart to go in the direction of the majority.

I also agree that some of the more experienced programmers/store owners should be able to work closely with CS-Cart. Sorry, I am a newbie but still thrilled with the CS-Cart features! It can easily be worse!
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  • snorocket
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:47 PM #19

I am ready to write an essay RIGHT NOW on how the checkout flow should function if CS-Cart were to listen and implement the changes.

then stop ranting and venting off on other people and finally do something...I did'nt say any of the comments you accused me of saying...what you need to do is write your essay and then refer to ET's post above as we'll be discussing these issues along with many others soon...
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  • SWS
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Posted 22 March 2007 - 05:52 PM #20

I think we are now hijacking a thread about a completely different topic, which seems to be based on my comment to sno... so sorry about that !

In terms of checkouts, if somebody really wants your products yes they will buy them, if they can work out the flow of your checkout, instead I get more calls for people who want to pay over the, or about things such as I placed an order, but not sure if it went through (cs is unclear on this as a success and fail page are identical. and yeah im going to mod the page a little to help)

Other calls include, can I pay for my order, ive been through your checkout twice now and each time i enter a detail wrong or my card fails, I have to restart from scratch, bye im going to a shop that works ! ...

Comon... this is a bad designed checkout flow.. On failure it should go back and say failed, please change payment or retry...

Theres a million and 1 reasons why cs's checkout flow is bad the above are the main 3.. by default, every notification you send your customer is in the form of an identical invoice, what a waste So yeah Im moaning and moaning, but also coming up with ideas, heck ill go draw something in photoshop if you want, a screenshot isnt a good idea as that could be in breach of copyright !

Anyhow, I have decided im going to get my own custom coded checkout, and its probably not going to be relevant to mod share as I intend on custom features suitable to my store only such as the ability to add serial number algo's for software purchases etc..

So enough said by me and the checkout ! Over and out !

However overall CS outweighs the competition in its price range ten-fold...
[SIZE=3][/SIZE]