Post by Franz-Peter » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:19 pm

Hi imaginetech,

I did post that link to give an example and I am not a web designer. I do not care about how difficult or not difficult it is to make such templates for Opencart. That is not my problem. It is the problem of the web designer, who gets paid for. I expect those skills if I pay for something and not simply hacking css files. I do not expect special skills for free templates or from Daniel, who did add the standard template.

But if someone wants money for something I indeed expect some creativity and knowledge beyond changing colors or background in the css file.

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Post by imaginetech » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:28 pm

Right I get it, you don't care about making templates that support multiple languages nor that don't require changes to the mvc framework.

Good luck. Sounds like you want custom work at cheap prices.

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Post by Qphoria » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:34 pm

Franz-Peter wrote: And what knowledge do those template makers invest by editing the css. Every idiot can do that, me included.
If I pay for a template I expect something more than css editing. Don't want to say that all commercial templates for OpenCart are simple css hacks but about 80 % of them are just those simple hacks.
Franz-Peter wrote:Qphoria,

take a look at that. it is free and it is for Prestashop. And if it would not be freeware I would indeed buy it. That is what I mean with creative design. It is by far more than editing the css.
http://ipno.tik.free.fr/blackwhite/
Whoa whoa.. easy.. I have no part of this conversation as far as themes.. I was just explaining that I didn't copy the theme from wordpress, thats all.

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Post by Franz-Peter » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:05 pm

imaginetech,
You want to misunderstand me, right?

To tell it again:
Prestashop uses MVC too but with smarty. It is completely multilingual. But lets continue about templates for OpenCart.

As a customer I do not care about how a template designer does it with the language compatibility. If you change the template files in Opencart, it does not mean that you have to change model or controller.

And no, i do not want custom work at cheap prices. Go to Algozone or maybe template monster. They offer nice templates for shopping carts (sorry, not for Opencart) and if those shared templates costs about 200 or 400$ I pay that if I like it. But I do not pay even one penny for simple css hacks.

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Post by internet54 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:09 pm

Creating a theme is easy. The difficult part is implementing it. However, you can make a css driven site look like anything.

I've been modifying OpenCart and it's a pleasure to work with compared to OSC and ZEN.
O0

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Post by imaginetech » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:22 pm

I don't really want to get into a full blown argument about this. I create opencart templates and I take offense at some of the posts in this forum. I develop sites for all kinds of businesses and opencart templating is another area I dabble in.

I think some of the comments here are uninformed by users that don't quite understand the opencart framework and it's limitations.

Good luck with finding your "professional" templates.

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Post by Qphoria » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:34 pm

IMHO, its about what looks nice.. i can look at a theme and say "that would look great on mysite"... but 2hours later my site is scrambled to hell and I can't even get back to the way it used to look. Other times its like i'm looking for a theme with some style, but not quite sure what Im looking for.

Many of the themes that imaginetech & readyman offer really look sharp and they took the time so its worth a few bucks as nothing more than a donation for their time. It's different if someone is charging $150+ ... then you best have something amazing and very original build from the ground up.. but $5-15 for a custom design of the main base that at least gives something more unique looking and more what you want, then that's pocket change and worth a few bucks

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Post by thanaa » Wed Nov 04, 2009 11:48 pm

Franz-Peter wrote:There is the possibility to take a Wordpress ecommerce theme and adapt that, it is even possible to take a Prestashop theme and adapt that.. I hope that professional theme designers will soon develop something for opencart. Most of the themes, which are offered actually as payable solutions, give the impression that the only creative activity was to change a few colors in the css or take another background (via css). As a client I expect a little bit more from a professional designer. Everyone with a text editor can make a few changes in the css, that has absolutely nothing to do with creativity.
Just to comment a bit on this.

The impression you are receiving regarding themes is the same one i got when i first started using opencart. The "templates" were merely a different stylesheet. As a developer who works for a design studio I personally agree with your statement above, However I can say after as little as a week playing with OpenCart it became very clear to me that one could ....semi-easily adapt opencart to look like just about anything. Daniel has done a good job in the template department and while there are a few things that would improve upon that functionality (hooks into the controllers so you don't have to edit them directly for example) You can make opencart do just about anything and look like just about anything.

If you are looking for a professionally designed template and aren't happy with the options here, you should be able to contact just about anyone who is an adept web-designer to make one for you. But in regards to ready-made install and use templates i've not seen what you are looking for yet (im speaking specifically in regards to the contribution section only). On the flip side i've not seen a template over $20 thats merely css changes. For just a css change i think $20 is reasonable. That being said I'm bored and if you were to post a few links from some sites that you found , that you felt looked like professional carts I'd be willing to attempt to convert it to a template if for no other reason then it would benefit the OpenCart Community. While not a designer per-se i can easily create a very close mirror to something that exists..i just lack that creative ability to go from a blank slate to something presentable.

Also to whomever said something about multi-lingual templates....There should be -nothing- in a template that restricts it to a specific language....i cant even think off the top of my head what could exist in a template specifically that would cause language issues, barring maybe word size differences and LTR/RTL issues. But all the displayed text itself is handled by the controller loading the language files...so i don't buy that argument without further persuasion.

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Post by CodeBits » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:36 am

Some folks don't understand the term "hack" in the design developer world.

First, none of the themes or templates free or otherwise offered by designer/ developers from this community are hacks. Most of the designers offer free themes that offer and easy way for the average Jo to make aesthetic changes to their cart.

There is not many CUSTOM designs as yet. Why? partly because it's been evolving rapidly over the last few months and it would be foolish to design and then redesign custom layouts to work with each new version. As OpenCart becomes popular enough you'll start seeing the big template websites with product for it, as well as smaller design/ developers.

Some people are finding use for the free offering and while very very few offer donations for the efforts of the community designers there being downloaded right and left. Out of just four of my free color themes they have been downloaded over 3,635 times and that's the count just from the contributions area on OpenCart and not from my website. And guess what, out of all the people downloading product, one person has shown appreciation by donation... pretty sad.

As far as Template Monster and the like, anyone with any savvy at all could take any template they offer and port it over to OpenCart with very little trouble. So go buy one you like then port it over to OpenCart or PAY someone to do it for you.

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Post by Xsecrets » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:50 am

I'll preface my comments by saying that I have not delved deeply into templating open cart (I'll be doing that in the next few weeks) but my guess is that the kind of "templates" that the OP is wanting require some code changes as well as seen in the referenced theme I doubt moving all your boxes around like that can be done completely from the theme directory. And the reason you don't see any "templates" like that yet is that open cart is still very much a moving target since it's improving at such a rapid rate. Once it matures a bit and development slows down you will see people offering "templates" which are like templatemonster does a complete cart install with things modded so that boxes/information are not always in the standard places.

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Post by Qphoria » Thu Nov 05, 2009 12:53 am

Xsecrets wrote:I doubt moving all your boxes around like that can be done completely from the theme directory.
I'm no expert, but I think you should be able to do it all with templates.. at least display-wise, as that is the point of MVC. You would of course need to add more code if wanting to display something that didn't already exist, but as far as design it should be all theme directory based

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Post by Franz-Peter » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:03 am

Well, it was imaginetech who told about the language problems. And I do not see those limits with the MVC engine, where the theme has just something to do with the 'V' and nothing with the 'M' or 'C'.
Prestashop uses Smarty, what I personally do not like, because it slows down bigger shops. But in the case of OpenCart I do not see any limit to do something like: home.tpl with two or one column, product page with three columns, putting the search box somewhere else or changing the boxes in the columns. It is even possible to put the products in new products into a frame, make transparent backgrounds a.s.o.. I am very convinced that something like the already mentioned link:
http://ipno.tik.free.fr/blackwhite/

is possible with Opencart too.

To CodeBits:
I did not download something from your page and of course if I put something into the contribution section I do not expect any donation. Did for example a complete translation into german language and did upload it without asking for any donation. Why shouldn' t share what I already did, so others do not need to do the translation again. It was a little bit more work than hacking a little bit around in the css.

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Post by thanaa » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:15 am

Qphoria wrote:
Xsecrets wrote:I doubt moving all your boxes around like that can be done completely from the theme directory.
I'm no expert, but I think you should be able to do it all with templates.. at least display-wise, as that is the point of MVC. You would of course need to add more code if wanting to display something that didn't already exist, but as far as design it should be all theme directory based
agreed, Q is dead-on.

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Post by CodeBits » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:17 am

Franz-Peter wrote:
To CodeBits:
I did not download something from your page and of course if I put something into the contribution section I do not expect any donation. Did for example a complete translation into german language and did upload it without asking for any donation. Why shouldn' t share what I already did, so others do not need to do the translation again. It was a little bit more work than hacking a little bit around in the css.
There's that word hacking again...

Last time I checked, a free offering is sharing. A donation is something one would offer for their appreciation.
OpenCart is free, but asks for donation. I also know Daniel, has seen little in the way of donation. There is nothing wrong with asking for donations no matter the size of the effort.

I'll offer this link to support my position.
http://forum.opencart.com/viewtopic.php?f=23&t=7196

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Post by Qphoria » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:26 am

CodeBits wrote: There is nothing wrong with asking for donations no matter the size of the effort.
And if they won't donate willingly, then you require a donation :)

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Post by Franz-Peter » Thu Nov 05, 2009 1:32 am

I am actually using OS Commerce for live shop purposes. If I use OpenCart as shop system, I' ll make a donation to Daniel. But I make no donations for css hacking. As already told I can do it with css edit myself (for Mac users) or with wordpad (for windows users).

And if no designers offer sophisticated templates, that is their problem. You can wait until Opencart 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever. It is common that most shopping carts get updates or upgrades. You could offer template upgrades, if the old templates do not work anymore. Or should Daniel stop any developement to ensure that you have to do only one time work?

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Post by twiggy » Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:20 am

Why doe's everyone keep using the word hacking? The code is free to view and use by anyone so it isn't hacking?

For the people who keep saying all the templates out now for opencart are CSS 'hacking' (that's modification to any normal people) what do you think more advance themes are? Yes that's write they are CSS modifications, so your contradicting your own argument.

For that one person who keeps banging on about they wouldn't buy a colour change template, then don't and stop whining like a kid about it. Not everyone can do 'simple' colour changes so these templates are grate for them and at only $20 they are very cheap as well.

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Post by Xsecrets » Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:58 am

Franz-Peter wrote:I am actually using OS Commerce for live shop purposes. If I use OpenCart as shop system, I' ll make a donation to Daniel. But I make no donations for css hacking. As already told I can do it with css edit myself (for Mac users) or with wordpad (for windows users).

And if no designers offer sophisticated templates, that is their problem. You can wait until Opencart 2.0 or 3.0 or whatever. It is common that most shopping carts get updates or upgrades. You could offer template upgrades, if the old templates do not work anymore. Or should Daniel stop any developement to ensure that you have to do only one time work?

Then you should be very familiar with the "templates" that templatemonster offers for oscommers. They are not a simple theme they are a complete hack job on oscommerce. You should also know well that oscommerce doesn't release a new version every week or month. Heck at this point I'm not sure it's even every year.

Like I said I haven't looked hard into the code, but how would one take say the bestsellers box and put it in the center content without modifying some code outside of the theme folder? and then how would that affect all the other boxes and the admin control? not to mention the linked theme has featured products specials and new products all in the center content. Some of these are not even offered in stock opencart at this point, so I find it hard to believe that (keeping in the spirit of MVC) you could add all that from the theme folder for a stock install.

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Post by Qphoria » Thu Nov 05, 2009 3:07 am

Well in the layout.tpl file you could easily do it. It was structured as:

<header>
<left><right>
<center>
<footer>

To move a box from the right and put it in the middle would be simply to add a foreach and a conditional for the block you want. Some call that "hacky" but its all valid php.. php is an embeddable language and there are no rules to say you can't.

In the new template method, I'm not sure. Since the children of a controller are at the "column" level.. i'm not sure how to pull a grandchild out of a child and put it on the parent.

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Post by twiggy » Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:31 am

Why do people keeping saying hacking the code? Its all open source so no hacking is needed?
And if no designers offer sophisticated templates, that is their problem.
Can't see why its a problem for the designers?

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