Hmm... I need to find out myself. I don't know what is the right answer to your question. I'll do some poking around and get back to you if I discover an answer. You should email the people at iPage as they probably could help you..
Yes, of course you can use your own designs - takes some time to learn what's what (if you stick to basic Oscommerce files). But you can try the STS template or the BTS template contribution to make life a little easier in the short term..
If you search the contribtion area you can try both those systems...
I've been snooping around oscommerce for around three years but never put it to practical use until now. The subject of templates has been on the development team's agenda for almost as long, but if you look at the "Development" pages elsewhere on the site, you will see that the subject is still to be addressed officially. (I guess that means it's filed in the "Too Hard Basket". It's a pity because this is one item that would make make the program not just great, but outstanding!.
As I see it, the developers have painted themselves into a bit of a corner by sticking to the current format (which is as old as the program itself) and not building in design flexibility from the outset. The creators of BTS, STS and other interface templates or overrides must be congratulated for their efforts, but after using both I finally decided to hack the program manually to create a far more flexible and easier to modify program (for me that is). I'm removing all the graphic elements to give myself the flexibility of using either HTML borders, graphics or a mixture of both exactly where I want them..
Unfortunatley my hack is nothing I can share because I'm only using a tenth of the program and I'm only altering the bits I need. As a non programmer it's also a tedious task involving trial and error, but I'm getting there..
For anyone new to osCommerce or programming in general, the php code is frightening at least. I'd strongly sugest you trail some of the offerings in the community contributions such as BTS, STS and/or the graphical infobox modules. They all do what they say they do, but BTS is probably the easiest to use out of the box..
I'ts a pity that templates have been given little or no attention by the osCommerce team themselves because this has opened the floodgates for outsiders to profit heavily on all the hard, free work they've done so far. If you don't understand what I mean by this, just do a Google search and see what third parties are charging clients to alter the look and feel of this great free program...
Pretty much agree with everything in this post. But with the benefit of hindsight, you could have gone on to say that it should have been coded xhtml and .css and so on and so forth..
When Oscommerce was first coded PHP was still fairly new. It was standard practice to mix presentation with logic..
However this bit:.
Is not really fair. These "outsiders" as you term them have contributed greatly to both the core code and contributions. Without them Oscommerce would not be as good as it is now...
I agree that the basic design could be a little better, but I for one, will not criticize the founders of this program. Lots of people can change the design, but how many of us can change the function behind the design?..
Im not criticising the founders but I just wanted to know how to liven up the default settings. but thanx anywyas for your responses..
I would give BTS a go..
I initially used STS on a "play-site" but realised for my requirements it seemed (at least to me) to not offer the flexibility required (ie.couldn't put php in template files as they are html) so I went with BTS which after some playing around I found to be a more "complete system" (IMO) that helps separate presentation and logic. On the downside of BTS it is not as easy to implement and it takes some more time to understand the way things integrate and probably wouldn't be recommended to people with NO coding skills, also it doesn't offer you some of the niceties of STS..
Anyway just my 2c!..
Is it possible to use my own template or do I have to use the defaults that the program gives me...
I can design my templates in elements + dreamweaver is there any way of putting that together with the oscommerce coding??????..