Monday, 17 August 2009

Joomla vs Magento vs Oscommerce - for an online catalogue / store

Joomla vs Magento vs Oscommerce - for an online catalogue / store

On pricing up a current job I have the above dliemma. There are other solutions to providing an online store no doubt such as Zen Cart ( i've not used Zen Cart but it's likely to be an apporvement on Oscommerce as it was a break away group that
created it ), making one inhouse (not sure why you'd want to put yourself through the pain of this, I wouldn't reccomend such a large task on your own) and doing a search on a script database like gives you a whole list

However the 3 above are ones I've used before so am familiar with them.

The Website criteria.

Design is a big issue. the customer has a precise view of how they want the site to look.
An online Catalogue of products with easy navigation.

The solutions discussed.

Magento -> This is one of the most advanced php open sourced shopping cart solutions around. Using a Zend library and a sound MVC (Model View Control) principles. It certainly appeals to me, the only thing is getting my head around making templates->
This post indicates that design shouldn't be a problem .

Another thing that also makes me lean away from Magento is that it does at present seem to have issues when upgrading that can cause serious headaches. I'm sure this will be less of an issue in the near future though.

Oscommerce -> The old trustworthy one!
The Plus Points.
1. Because I've been using this one for quite a while then I am fully confident about manipulating the design to fit my needs.
2. Again with familiarity the coding is easy to understand making applications that need to be made easier.

The Minus Points.
1. As Oscommerce is an old Open Sourced project then the framework itself could now do with an overhall in my opinion. V3 beta has now been realeased so some issues may have been sorted.
2. A lot more applications now seem to be being made for the other solutions here, therefore this may cause more work in the long run.
3. I spent an eternity getting Google Merchant to work on Oscommerce without a fully succesful outcome in the end.

Joomla ->
Joomla's answer is a CMS ( Content Mangement Sysytem ) - After basic installation you can then add extensions, which are easy to install. Most of the time taken in setting up configurations to suit you're site. Some of these Extensions cost but most are free ( although a small donation should be made ).
The last job I did included a reskin for Joomla. Please visit for previous work updates. And I am now confident the template can be changed to fit any design needs. And if need components can be changed to fit the needs of the design.

So in conclusion...

Joomla wins this battel for me, however Magento experts would probably favour Magento as it is more focused on the shopping cart side of things. I believe that in using Joomla I will be able to provide future developments for the customer at a much better price.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Making Additional Landing Pages for Google

I'd used this tool a few months ago and then on returning to Google Webmasters Tools I couuldn't find it. Thus the reason for this blog.

it's google 'Website Optimiser' that we need to use.

You can find this through the Google webmaster page ->
Sign into webmaster tooks and search for 'Website Optimiser'

It's these keywords stay in glastonbury, glastonbury bnb that i am trying to get listed on

and to strengthen 'glastonbury b&b'

Monday, 10 August 2009

Transferring Large Databases

The following is a blog from 3 years ago.

I still refer to it on occasion, it's definitely still relevant if your using your own server.  However I do have a quicker method for when I'm doing this on Heart Internet - and thats to

> go to your control panel
> find and click on 'MySQL Databases' 
> find the text 'To restore a database which you've previously backed up, click'   -
> just locate the file and off it goes to install it for you.

Anyway here's the SSH way to do a large MySQL database


One thing that has been slowing me down recently when transferring a website is transferring large databases. On searching it looks like being able to do this by SSH ( shell access ) should speed the process up greatly.

This article lists how to do this by mysqldump.

However after several attempts I could not get my SQL to save in the file properly and due to the old 'time is money' syndrome I ended up saving the file in the good old phpMy Admin panel. Saving the document was never my problem anyway it was always importing where it would crash on me or I'd spend time splitting the tables up!!
However if anyones got any tips on the export side of the above article it'd be good to know.

Anyway so here's the method I am now using which works for me.

1. Use the 'Export' feature in mysql and tick 'save as file' - compression 'none'
2. Upload the file to the server of the website you want your database to go to.
3. Use this statement in SSH ->
mysql -u "your username" -p "your_database" < filename.sql

If it's a really large file you may want to zip it up and then unzip it using SSH as well. My blog on 'transferring a site using SSH' at the end of July may help.

Transferring mysql database
Transferring mysql using SSH
Importing mysql database
Importing large mysql database

Monday, 3 August 2009

Flash Movie keeps looping in Explorer.

the Problem: All other browsers are fine but in Explorer ( checked in 7 & 8) the flash movie does not stop eventhough there is stop action placed in the movie. The problem is with Macromedia flash MX not generating the correct embed code.

The solultion:

the Flash MX generated code looks like this

< PARAM NAME=movie VALUE="images/flash/movie.swf" > < PARAM NAME=quality VALUE=high > < PARAM NAME=bgcolor VALUE=#FFFFFF >
< EMBED src="images/flash/movie.swf" loop=false quality="high" bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="150" HEIGHT="200" NAME="Movie" ALIGN=""
TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="" >< /EMBED >

I found that if I added this code before the < EMBED

< PARAM NAME=loop VALUE=false >

then the loop would also stop in Explorer