Post by Digmen1 » Fri May 18, 2012 9:40 am

Release some decent free documentation.
That ebook for sale is just fluff with a few nice icons.
The more beginers that start with Opencart and don't leave the better.

The back office system is great
But the front office need to be easier to customise for beginers.

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Post by Qphoria » Fri May 18, 2012 7:17 pm

Calcite wrote:
alex1 wrote: That's up to R990. However, there have been fixes up to R1057. 67 bug fixes since.
Huh

So where does one find the latest patch, since the latest on the 1.5.2.1 announcement page is R990!

No wonder people get confused ::)
You just need the r990 patch. .. if you aren't technically inclined to use svn then there is nothing to be confused about. I release patches to the public when they are ready for public consumption. If you want to be on the bleeding edge of r1057 then you have to be able to handle untested and unfinished bits of the code. As a normal user, r990 is more than perfect

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Post by Qphoria » Fri May 18, 2012 7:20 pm

mrbill wrote:1). Be nice. Customer is king. Even if they are dicks or wrong. Good customer service goes a long way. If you can't be nice, get someone else to do customer facing communications.

2). Get stable. You need a stable and a feature branch. Bug fixes only on the stable branch, bug fixes and new features in the feature branch. At regular intervals, feature release becomes stable, and branch out a new feature release. Rinse, repeat.

3). Get a roadmap. Seriously. People want to know where they are going.

4). Get onto default install apps like fantastico and softalicious. Make sure the app is functional at first install with not much mucking about. A wizard of some sort might be good. If it doesn't work first time, they are more likely to move onto one of the other fantastico ecommerce apps.

My 2p
1. Debatable ;)
2. Already done
3. Yea this needs to be revisited, but realistically we code what we feel is important at the moment more often than not.
4. Yea this is also true.. I think the main thing here is convincing daniel to rename the config.php file to "config.php.new" or something to prevent overwrite. The rest should be transparent.

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Post by mrbill » Fri May 18, 2012 8:10 pm

Qphoria wrote:
mrbill wrote:1). Be nice. Customer is king. Even if they are dicks or wrong. Good customer service goes a long way. If you can't be nice, get someone else to do customer facing communications.

2). Get stable. You need a stable and a feature branch. Bug fixes only on the stable branch, bug fixes and new features in the feature branch. At regular intervals, feature release becomes stable, and branch out a new feature release. Rinse, repeat.

3). Get a roadmap. Seriously. People want to know where they are going.

4). Get onto default install apps like fantastico and softalicious. Make sure the app is functional at first install with not much mucking about. A wizard of some sort might be good. If it doesn't work first time, they are more likely to move onto one of the other fantastico ecommerce apps.

My 2p
1. Debatable ;)
2. Already done
3. Yea this needs to be revisited, but realistically we code what we feel is important at the moment more often than not.
4. Yea this is also true.. I think the main thing here is convincing daniel to rename the config.php file to "config.php.new" or something to prevent overwrite. The rest should be transparent.
1) Not debatable - fact. I'm pretty thick sinned and don't care - but some of the comments i've seen here are downright rude and really put people off. If you're just a community project - fine do as you will. If you want to expand this project commercially - then you need good customer service.

2) Yeah? Where? If you mean the published version and the SVN then that is not what I mean. You need two published versions - A stable release with just bug fixes, and a feature release. For instance 1.5.x-STABLE and 1.6.x-RELEASE. For the STABLE, only release bug fixes. For RELEASE fix bugs and add features (which inherently add the risk of new bugs). Every so often when the feature release is stable, shift it over a notch, 1.6.x becomes -STABLE, and 1.7.x becomes RELEASE. The older - STABLE branches should continue to have bug fixes over time too - not just dumped when a new STABLE release is released.

3) Roadmaps don't have to be detailed - they can be vague - but a general direction is always welcome.

4) I currently use CubeCart (looking to move to OpenCart). I paid money for it because I installed it from Fantastico, and it worked first time, with little messing around. Almost an 'Apple' experience, I installed it and it worked. This goes a long log way to having your product accepted in the market. Just ask apple - the most profitable company in the world.

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Post by Qphoria » Fri May 18, 2012 9:00 pm

mrbill wrote: 1) Not debatable - fact. I'm pretty thick sinned and don't care - but some of the comments i've seen here are downright rude and really put people off. If you're just a community project - fine do as you will. If you want to expand this project commercially - then you need good customer service.
We'll keep that in mind if we ever go commercial :joker:
mrbill wrote: 2) Yeah? Where? If you mean the published version and the SVN then that is not what I mean. You need two published versions - A stable release with just bug fixes, and a feature release. For instance 1.5.x-STABLE and 1.6.x-RELEASE. For the STABLE, only release bug fixes. For RELEASE fix bugs and add features (which inherently add the risk of new bugs). Every so often when the feature release is stable, shift it over a notch, 1.6.x becomes -STABLE, and 1.7.x becomes RELEASE. The older - STABLE branches should continue to have bug fixes over time too - not just dumped when a new STABLE release is released.
1.4.9.6 is the "STABLE" release
1.5.x is the "Feature" release
The latest 1.5.2.2 r990 patch is very stable as far as 1.5.x goes.
I also keep a separate "stable" branch in SVN for 1.5.2
While the trunk stays as 1.5.3
Then when 1.5.3 is released I'll keep a stable branch for that
While 1.5.4 is worked on.
This was all discussed a few months ago and it working out for the most part.
Plus we are looking to add auto upgrade options from the admin area, similar to phpbb and smf.
And it is a bit rude for you to assume all this without knowing the facts. So the customer is wrong and rude. So please see number 1 above Image
mrbill wrote: 3) Roadmaps don't have to be detailed - they can be vague - but a general direction is always welcome.
We had/have a vague roadmap. But we are not bound by client requirements. We are bound by getting more features into the cart. Today we may think getting order edit is next... but then we see order edit needs other things first and is a bigger job, so we switch to different features. The heart wants what the heart wants.. somedays I wake up ready to code a big feature.. other days I barely feel the urge to type my own name. I guess thats the reason the first roadmap didn't work. But I'm not against them.
4) I currently use CubeCart (looking to move to OpenCart). I paid money for it because I installed it from Fantastico, and it worked first time, with little messing around. Almost an 'Apple' experience, I installed it and it worked. This goes a long log way to having your product accepted in the market. Just ask apple - the most profitable company in the world.
OpenCart works perfectly when installed from fantastico.. and its free.. so not sure what you're on about here. Only upgrades from fantastico need to be addressed and I explained how.

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Post by mrbill » Fri May 18, 2012 10:20 pm

Qphoria wrote:
mrbill wrote: 1) Not debatable - fact. I'm pretty thick sinned and don't care - but some of the comments i've seen here are downright rude and really put people off. If you're just a community project - fine do as you will. If you want to expand this project commercially - then you need good customer service.
We'll keep that in mind if we ever go commercial :joker:
Well isn't that the point of this thread - you want better marketing? I.e. going commercial?
mrbill wrote: 2) Yeah? Where? If you mean the published version and the SVN then that is not what I mean. You need two published versions - A stable release with just bug fixes, and a feature release. For instance 1.5.x-STABLE and 1.6.x-RELEASE. For the STABLE, only release bug fixes. For RELEASE fix bugs and add features (which inherently add the risk of new bugs). Every so often when the feature release is stable, shift it over a notch, 1.6.x becomes -STABLE, and 1.7.x becomes RELEASE. The older - STABLE branches should continue to have bug fixes over time too - not just dumped when a new STABLE release is released.
1.4.9.6 is the "STABLE" release
1.5.x is the "Feature" release
The latest 1.5.2.2 r990 patch is very stable as far as 1.5.x goes.
I also keep a separate "stable" branch in SVN for 1.5.2
While the trunk stays as 1.5.3
Then when 1.5.3 is released I'll keep a stable branch for that
While 1.5.4 is worked on.
This was all discussed a few months ago and it working out for the most part.
Plus we are looking to add auto upgrade options from the admin area, similar to phpbb and smf.
And it is a bit rude for you to assume all this without knowing the facts. So the customer is wrong and rude. So please see number 1 above Image
Exactly where is this documented? I don't see it mentioned on the download page. Which is where most people will look.

Is 1.4.9.6 still supported - and for how long will bug fixes be made?

This kind of stuff should be on the main part of the website.
mrbill wrote: 3) Roadmaps don't have to be detailed - they can be vague - but a general direction is always welcome.
We had/have a vague roadmap. But we are not bound by client requirements. We are bound by getting more features into the cart. Today we may think getting order edit is next... but then we see order edit needs other things first and is a bigger job, so we switch to different features. The heart wants what the heart wants.. somedays I wake up ready to code a big feature.. other days I barely feel the urge to type my own name. I guess thats the reason the first roadmap didn't work. But I'm not against them.
Roadmaps are not about specific features - they are about direction. The outdated roadmap section you have here is a feature wish list - not really a roadmap.
4) I currently use CubeCart (looking to move to OpenCart). I paid money for it because I installed it from Fantastico, and it worked first time, with little messing around. Almost an 'Apple' experience, I installed it and it worked. This goes a long log way to having your product accepted in the market. Just ask apple - the most profitable company in the world.
OpenCart works perfectly when installed from fantastico.. and its free.. so not sure what you're on about here. Only upgrades from fantastico need to be addressed and I explained how.

I'm not saying it doesn't work - i'm saying it has to work flawlessly from the start. First impressions mean alot.

The OP asked for for suggestions - and i've provided some. No need to get defensive.

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Post by Qphoria » Fri May 18, 2012 10:51 pm

mrbill wrote: Well isn't that the point of this thread - you want better marketing? I.e. going commercial?
No... In this case it means tell your friends about opencart. Advertise. Post it on facebook. etc

mrbill wrote: Exactly where is this documented? I don't see it mentioned on the download page. Which is where most people will look.
The goal is to have it added to the core in the admin for auto updates.. so its just inbetween features at the moment. Yes it could be wise to add the patch info to the download page too, but we just started the discussion on how we wanted to do it right before 1.5.2 was released so again we are in a transition period at the moment.
Is 1.4.9.6 still supported - and for how long will bug fixes be made?
1.4.9.6 is perfect. There are NO bugs and no support is needed. All the bugs were found in 1.4.0 through 1.4.9.5 over the span of a year and a half. So it is turnkey. It is up to the user if they feel 1.4.x will suffice their needs or if they should use 1.5.x with new features.
For 1.5.x, 1.5.2.2r990 is very stable. There have been changes since then, but many were new features for 1.5.3 like new company id and vat lookup, etc. 1.5.3 will have some new features but is also stable.

Stable means the cart works, but doesn't mean it is bug free. There are no unhandled errors, there is nothing stopping checkout or purchasing. Windows XP was stable, but obviously there were bugs so they made patches and service packs. Windows 7 was stable, but again there are hotfixes and service packs.

So 1.5.1 was stable
1.5.2 was stable, tho there was a larger bug that escaped, so we had to release a 1.5.2.1 that was stable.
So your definition of needing a stable build is inaccurate.


mrbill wrote: Roadmaps are not about specific features - they are about direction. The outdated roadmap section you have here is a feature wish list - not really a roadmap.
Ok then here it is:
Roadmap
- Q1 2012 - Add more features and bug fixes
- Q2 2012 - Add more features and bug fixes
- Q3 2012 - Add more features and bug fixes
- Q4 2012 - Add more features and bug fixes
I'm not saying it doesn't work - i'm saying it has to work flawlessly from the start. First impressions mean alot.
The OP asked for for suggestions - and i've provided some. No need to get defensive.
Ok I've never used it myself.. only seen people in here saying they used it but didn't hear about their issues. You haven't detailed any issues you found, only to imply it wasn't available in fantastico or scriptaculous, but it is.

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Post by Tristar Web Design » Mon May 21, 2012 10:12 pm

jmartins wrote:Google SEO
More books about Opencart 1.5
More technical speech, meetup, events, souvenirs
People Evangelists
Blogs
A battle card opencart vs magento.
OK, I agree that getting your house in order is always wise otherwise you'd be wasting money and energy.

But, assuming that you will I would suggest that blogs, and evangelical write ups work. Something like OpenCart versus Magento is not a bad start.

Write about what differentiates it, the SEO addons and features. All these help.

On a final note, the fact that it is not commercial is irrelevant. Open Source doesn't mean no investment or support, it just means that we the users are more likely to help and give up our free time which significantly reduces your R&D and allows you to chanel sponsership money/ advertising/ etc., to growing it!

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Post by OC2PS » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:23 am

  1. A Facebook page would be good to start off with.
  2. A Twitter account won't be remiss.
  3. Any updates (including new versions, upcoming features, version-specific feature-request threads, etc) should be posted on both FB and Twitter. This give people the opportunity to effortlessly share this info.
  4. Prominently display FB and Twitter accounts on OC site.
  5. Improve documentation. Right now, it's terrible. You should focus on coding, but maybe if you create a Wiki, people like me can contribute to the documentation.

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Post by i2Paq » Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:19 am

OC2PS wrote:
  1. A Facebook page would be good to start off with.
  2. A Twitter account won't be remiss.
  3. Any updates (including new versions, upcoming features, version-specific feature-request threads, etc) should be posted on both FB and Twitter. This give people the opportunity to effortlessly share this info.
  4. Prominently display FB and Twitter accounts on OC site.
  5. Improve documentation. Right now, it's terrible. You should focus on coding, but maybe if you create a Wiki, people like me can contribute to the documentation.
Facebook and Twitter are overrated "marketing" tools. The only one who will make money out of them is the "guru" who will instruct you on how to use it.

No-one will ever go to Facebook or Twitter to look for something to buy.
Most people will not follow you every day and only "like" if it is a contest.

I'll bet that in 2 years both will be abandoned because most people will get tired of following everyone or posting everything they do.

First your price and then the quality of what you sell + satisfied customers mouth to mouth is the best marketing you can get.

In case of OpenCart it is a decent way of updating and BUG-fix releases instead of the releases we have seen until now.
Moving to Github was one, but now we need to follow up and get the branches in place.

Second is documentation, there is a lot to gain there as well.

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Post by OC2PS » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:09 am

i2Paq wrote:Facebook and Twitter are overrated "marketing" tools. The only one who will make money out of them is the "guru" who will instruct you on how to use it.
They might be overrated, but are not useless.

FB fans are generally the most valuable consumers of any brand. On average, fans will spend more than four times as much of their total category budget on their favored brand than non-fans. But the real value in your Facebook fan base is in their willingness to recommend - fans are on an average 120% more likely to recommend your products.

Also, in this specific case of OpenCart, the issue is getting the word out. As it turns out, lots of people are on Facebook and Twitter, and posts on these media get shared. For each sharer, 14 additional people learn about the campaign in their news feed. For every 10 advocates a brand gets to join their social campaign, 13 entirely new people engage with the brand’s campaign through clicks, entries and other interactions.

There is hardly any "physical" word-of-mouth publicity these days. FB and Twitter are actually the media preferred by many of your customers for word-of-mouth.

Maybe in 2 years Facebook and Twitter will be dead. So be it. Right now they are alive and thriving, and as a merchant, one would do well to take advantage of them.

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Post by Digmen1 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:30 am

Getting happy users, so that they will recommend Opencart when they are on forums and blogs.

The best thing Opencart could do to make me happier would be to provide some decent documentation on a website.

As others have mentioned, some sort of wiki that Opencart users could contribute to.

At present I don't feel in control of my cart as there are lots of areas I need help in.

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Post by photor245 » Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:25 pm

Hopefully everything will be fine for me as I am planning to use opencart marketing by early next year when I laucnh my business.

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Post by toptenweb » Sat Oct 06, 2012 3:48 am

I think this website could do with refresh to better 'sell' Opencart, make it look a bit more professional. (Before you do any more marketing to actually push people here.) i.e. Improve conversion to usage, before you drive an increase in traffic. Feels a bit like 'cobblers shoes' at the moment. Seems to be built on Opencart despite not being an ecommerce site?

The main homepage hero slider is very 2002 not 2012. People don't wait and read what is coming next, and even if they did there's no clear call to actions in the content in it. (In fact there are no clear calls to action above the fold, the 'demo page' link sits just under the fold for me at 1280 x 720.) Plus it has an example of the default theme, should be the best selling theme that people are actually using, or the highest profile live site using opencart.

Plug the main selling points vs competitors very clearly and above the fold. No monthly charge. Quick to install and setup. Very little technical knowlege required. Great community support. Lots of great themes.

Work out your main conversion goals and track conversion. 'Try Demo','Easy Install on new server', 'Advanced Install on existing server','Get support'. Again make sure there is a clear call to action to push people down a conversion funnel above the fold.

Plus a redesign would help address some of the issues around better communicating stable vs feature releases etc covered on this thread. (I bet you a very high %age of people downloading aren't aware 1.4 is the stable release which is criminal.)

Split the site into a 'salesy' bit that's got a nice design with lots of images and is the default, and a very separate 'techy' section behind a single top nav item. An 'I'm techy, I can handle it' section.

Include details of the top hosting providers who include a simple opencart install on their cPanels. Include a tutorial for one of these on how easy it is to install and setup. ('How to setup a working Opencart store in 15 minutes with no technical knowledge' - A *much* less technical version of the 'Install OpenCart in less than 6 minutes' screencast that I have just found, which very ironically is 14 minutes long and covers host selection more prominently!! A one minute video covering a bullet point list of what you need to do, not a realtime video waiting for all the data to be typed in. )

Really need examples of the best quality sites created with opencart - currently 'Live Sites' has templates on it? Want the best, not a directory of all sites when trying to sell.

The breadth and quality templates should be covered, but simply and clearly. Just cover the best quality templates here, then link off to themeforest etc... for people to find the one for them. (Just spotted this is hidden in the hero slider, kill the slider and make this a section on the homepage showing a couple of themes, linking to a page showing the top 10, linking off to the top 5 external theme directories.)

Pick your primary social media outlet(s) and feature it on every page to build up a following on that single network, rather than the get social section.

Get a good IA and a good designer! (I'm sure it would be in the interest of some of the top theme developers to help out as could massively boost their theme sales if successful.)

On the technical product side for when people are trialing ...

- The default modules and banners included out of the box could do with improving a little. (No sort on banners/carousel, really?)
- Should be simpler to configure checkout (add/remove fields - fax, company, region) - and disable/enable features that not all shops will need (affiliates, coupons, dowloads etc..) so that removed in all areas where they appear - all as config not customisation.

You don't want to kill off the extensions market, but there are some extensions that should really be options in the out of the box version.

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Post by Digmen1 » Sat Oct 06, 2012 4:16 am

Yes I agree that Opencart should push more of the best designed and successful sites made with Opencart.
Prospective users (and me) don't have time to wade through hundreds of sites.

Also I think that more basic options should be included in the basic Opencart rather than requiring extensions.
Eg remove wishlist (completely)
Remove Compare (completely)
List or Grid

Get noticed more in Ina Steiners ecommerce blog - its free and popular.

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Post by shopfair » Sat Oct 06, 2012 2:28 pm

1st please don't overlook some points made by "MrTech" page1

I've been in online 10y+ run many sites and of course am a member on basically all well know webmaster forums (sitepoint, webmasterworld etc. etc..) however because of the attitude often seen on here I have never once replied or posted when people ask about shopping cart replated posts on these forums.....meaning you're missing out on
A. Recomendation by well known long term member on these forums
B. which in turn means branding
C. backlinks from these forums
etc.

point is..if i'm not doing it i'm sure there are others who also can't be bothered..

BTW i PM'ed daniel over a year regarding the lack of people skills often used on this forum.

guess people can't be good at 2 things

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