FreewayTalk

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tonzodehoo

26 Mar 2020, 4:21 pm

[Pro] Examples of shopping cart made in freeway

Hello, Its been a long long time since I have been here seeking advice. So much has been happening!

I have a legacy site which is needing updated but also is needing a shopping cart added. I was intending using Mals ecommerce setup but was just wondering if anyone had any functioning online versions constructed using Mal’s in Freeway in order that I can show the end client what is possible via this method of construction.

I Mals commerce still the best solution for Freeway users to build a shopping cart?

Any ideas would be most welcome.

Gorbals Glasgow

MacOs 10.8.5 Freeway Pro 7! At last!

tonzodehoo

1 Apr 2020, 11:27 am

Hello again,

Just curious if anyone out there had any recommendations regards the online shop set up. Am really keen to see some examples of whats possible with Mals commerce or maybe even the Zen open source solution.

I hope you don’t mind me asking again.

Gorbals Glasgow

MacOs 10.8.5 Freeway Pro 7! At last!

tonzodehoo

21 May 2020, 1:10 pm

Apologies in advance for pushing this once more.

I have already emailed Mal’s ecommerce site directly but so far haven’t heard anything from there. The demo store on the site is quite limited.

Is there really none who has any examples of how they have developed Mal’s ecommerce to a great extent?

Am I barking up the wrong tree with it? Is the non response indicative of the fact that its a no goer?

I have used it for small scale projects where its maybe three or four items for sale but to scale it up more is what I am thinking of trying to achieve. Any helpful insights or reflections on this or the subject of the best way to do ecommerce using Freeway would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Gorbals Glasgow

MacOs 10.8.5 Freeway Pro 7! At last!

waltd

21 May 2020, 2:53 pm

I have never used the cart, either the free version built into Freeway, or the more full-featured version available from Tim Plumb (which leverages all the bells and whistles that Mals is capable of). I know that there were a number of people here “back in the day” who pushed it quite hard, used a lot of features like variable sizes/colors, etc. and had lots of questions about using those. Maybe a search of the Web archive would turn something up. Tim is occasionally on this list, and may have more insights into it.

I personally never thought that a commerce system built in JavaScript was worth much effort to learn, since you have to implement the same features on both the browser side and the server side (since you absolutely cannot trust any calculation that comes from the browser). It always seemed like double work for no benefit. My commerce clients come to me for PCI compliance, secure transactions, robust validation of user entries (nobody fiddling the price of something in their browser’s dev tools and ordering 100 at $0.01 each) and so I have always coded these things myself, starting out in PHP, and for the last decade, in Ruby.

If I were looking to implement a complex store, and I wasn’t a programmer, I would be running toward Shopify. If my needs were more simple, I would look at SquareSpace. Both of those are implemented the way I would build it myself — with a proper server-side application to manage the cart and the commerce. Shopify is even built in Ruby on Rails, just like my own work.

Walter

On May 21, 2020, at 9:10 AM, tonzodehoo <[email protected]> wrote:

Apologies in advance for pushing this once more.

I have already emailed Mal’s ecommerce site directly but so far haven’t heard anything from there. The demo store on the site is quite limited.

Is there really none who has any examples of how they have developed Mal’s ecommerce to a great extent?

Am I barking up the wrong tree with it? Is the non response indicative of the fact that its a no goer?

I have used it for small scale projects where its maybe three or four items for sale but to scale it up more is what I am thinking of trying to achieve. Any helpful insights or reflections on this or the subject of the best way to do ecommerce using Freeway would be much appreciated.

Thanks for your time.

Freeway user since 1997

http://www.walterdavisstudio.com

tonzodehoo

21 May 2020, 6:03 pm

Hello Walter,

Really great to get your insight on this. Much appreciated.

At the moment the store in question will not be massive and will comprise mostly one off items rather than multiples of the same item. So it would be a case of once an item is gone its gone.

I have scoured through a few of the available options such as prestashop, zen and such like. Its been quite informative but so far none tick all the boxes for me. There are so many options out there and its been a real challenge to whittle down the options to one that seems most appropriate and also offers a bit of customisation. I think its the degree of customisation available that is a factor. Also trying to keep costs to the minimum especially during this challenging environment. Shopify was a consideration but for a fledgling project wasn’t cost effective. I shall of course continue to explore other options.

I can see potential in mal’s ecommerce setup which is why I’d love to be able to see a fully developed version of it. Especially as I can integrate it into a freeway site more easily.

I guess with your level of expertise and insight there can’t be much that can’t be achieved! I as ever bow to your knowledge! Honestly!

Hopefully someone who has worked with Mal’s might pick up on this.

All the very best for now.

Gorbals Glasgow

MacOs 10.8.5 Freeway Pro 7! At last!

waltd

21 May 2020, 6:29 pm

The problem with any of these off-the-shelf carts is that they are designed around an 80% solution. They want to do things that the majority of people will want or need, so they don’t support the idea of “inventory of one” things like you propose. This is where Etsy or other craft-oriented marketplaces shine, because they are built from the ground up to support the idea that you don’t hold multiple inventory, you just have this one thing you want to sell, and when it’s gone, it’s no longer for sale. I am reasonably sure that you could set up Shopify or SquareSpace to calculate inventory for you, and just set the quantity to 1. But then when you want to add another similar product, I don’t know whether you could resuscitate the “sold” item and use it again. When you get into the realm of inventory, you either have SKUs (Stock Keeping Units), which go toward multiples of the same thing, or you have individual items for sale. It’s rare to see the latter in a commercial cart.

Walter

On May 21, 2020, at 2:03 PM, tonzodehoo <[email protected]> wrote:

Hello Walter,

Really great to get your insight on this. Much appreciated.

At the moment the store in question will not be massive and will comprise mostly one off items rather than multiples of the same item. So it would be a case of once an item is gone its gone.

I have scoured through a few of the available options such as prestashop, zen and such like. Its been quite informative but so far none tick all the boxes for me. There are so many options out there and its been a real challenge to whittle down the options to one that seems most appropriate and also offers a bit of customisation. I think its the degree of customisation available that is a factor. Also trying to keep costs to the minimum especially during this challenging environment. Shopify was a consideration but for a fledgling project wasn’t cost effective. I shall of course continue to explore other options.

I can see potential in mal’s ecommerce setup which is why I’d love to be able to see a fully developed version of it. Especially as I can integrate it into a freeway site more easily.

I guess with your level of expertise and insight there can’t be much that can’t be achieved! I as ever bow to your knowledge! Honestly!

Hopefully someone who has worked with Mal’s might pick up on this.

All the very best for now.

Freeway user since 1997

http://www.walterdavisstudio.com

Tim Plumb

22 May 2020, 2:15 pm

Thanks Walter for alerting me to this thread. Unfortunately I don’t email notifications of posts to this forum any more so I only every get to see posts when I remember to swing by and take a look.

The Mals cart is quite good as a general shopping cart solution in as much as it really doesn’t care what products you add to it. Unlike a lot of other cart solutions where you have to build a stock list of items you want to sell along with product codes, prices, descriptions, sizes etc. you can create a buy now button or form from anything and pass that along to the Mals cart for checkout. This makes the cart quite flexible (as you can add your products on the go) but also means the set up can be a little complex as all of that product data has to be added into your HTML.

One of the biggest drawbacks in regards to working with Mals is that if you want to add a new product to your site then you’ll need to add it into the HTML (probably with Freeway). This isn’t too tricky if you know your way around Freeway but it would be out of the question for most clients who just want to update a spreadsheet or other database with their store changes.

If you are looking for a cart that you can sell one-off items (art, jewellery etc) then I’d suggest looking at some of the more art-dedicated shopping solutions. I’ve used Big Cartel (https://www.bigcartel.com/) in the past for fine artists and print makers and it works well for them although you will need to redirect the user into their shopping site rather than embed the products into your site.

Tim Plumb - Experienced Freeway designer for hire

FreewayActions.com - Freeware and commercial Actions for Freeway Express & Pro

tonzodehoo

22 May 2020, 8:12 pm

Hello Tim,

Many thanks for your timely addition to this. I had a look at big cartel and its quite a minimal setup and a seemingly good ethos behind it and a flexible approach to the costs.

Its added to the general information gathering I am doing at the moment prior to committing to one way or another.

I had been some way down the line regards setting things up with Mals but then starting thinking that maybe it might be too much of a challenge to engage the end client in updating things, even trying to use Mals in tandem with a CMS such as webyep which I have used before. Thats when I was thinking that its possibly a bit too much of a clutter of actions.

Do you know of any functioning examples of a setup of Mals which you may have done or other may have done. I think seeing a live version in operation would be the best help for me in terms of convincing me to go down that route.

Thank you for taking the time to respond.

Thanks also Walter for your support. I had a fresh look at Ruby on the Rails but its a bit of a learning curve for me and one which starts at a level I only vaguely comprehend! It would be back to school for me on that. Don’t ever say never of course.

All the very best.

Gorbals Glasgow

MacOs 10.8.5 Freeway Pro 7! At last!

Todd

23 May 2020, 1:55 am

@tonzodehoo Have you looked at https://www.ecwid.com ? I haven’t used it myself but it used to be mentioned fairly regularly by other Freeway users way back when.

Todd

Portfolio: Brilliant by Design | Community Project: QREATiv

SteveB

23 May 2020, 9:07 am

Hi all,

If you look at the site I look after and have done for over 10 years now.

< https://www.cotswoldengineeringsupplies.co.uk/>

It is built on php and MySQL database with the Shopping cart supplies by Mals. It has grown from a small base to the bigger site it is now. There was and is a learning curve but once you have the basics sorted if you want to add a new product just upload a revised csv file to the server.

It shows what can be done in Freeway and Mal’s.

As Tim says you can do a lot with Mal’s and In my own experience my client really likes their admin for downloading orders etc. It doesn’t have a inventory system so if you only want to sell one product that’s fine. I’ve looked at other solutions but none have the same flexibility as what I have now, and I can still add more bits to it!

Hope that helps.

Regards. Steve

Steve Ballinger - Sent from my iPhone Xs

On 22 May 2020, at 15:16, Tim Plumb <[email protected]> wrote: Thanks Walter for alerting me to this thread. Unfortunately I don’t email notifications of posts to this forum any more so I only every get to see posts when I remember to swing by and take a look.

The Mals cart is quite good as a general shopping cart solution in as much as it really doesn’t care what products you add to it. Unlike a lot of other cart solutions where you have to build a stock list of items you want to sell along with product codes, prices, descriptions, sizes etc. you can create a buy now button or form from anything and pass that along to the Mals cart for checkout. This makes the cart quite flexible (as you can add your products on the go) but also means the set up can be a little complex as all of that product data has to be added into your HTML.

One of the biggest drawbacks in regards to working with Mals is that if you want to add a new product to your site then you’ll need to add it into the HTML (probably with Freeway). This isn’t too tricky if you know your way around Freeway but it would be out of the question for most clients who just want to update a spreadsheet or other database with their store changes.

If you are looking for a cart that you can sell one-off items (art, jewellery etc) then I’d suggest looking at some of the more art-dedicated shopping solutions. I’ve used Big Cartel (https://www.bigcartel.com/) in the past for fine artists and print makers and it works well for them although you will need to redirect the user into their shopping site rather than embed the products into your site.

SBDesign

Design • Artwork • Illustration

tonzodehoo

26 May 2020, 12:37 pm

On 23 May 2020, 9:07 am, SteveB wrote:

Hi all,

If you look at the site I look after and have done for over 10 years now.

< https://www.cotswoldengineeringsupplies.co.uk/>

It is built on php and MySQL database with the Shopping cart supplies by Mals. It has grown from a small base to the bigger site it is now. There was and is a learning curve but once you have the basics sorted if you want to add a new product just upload a revised csv file to the server.

It shows what can be done in Freeway and Mal’s.

As Tim says you can do a lot with Mal’s and In my own experience my client really likes their admin for downloading orders etc. It doesn’t have a inventory system so if you only want to sell one product that’s fine. I’ve looked at other solutions but none have the same flexibility as what I have now, and I can still add more bits to it!

Hope that helps.

Regards. Steve

Hullo Steve,

Many thanks for your input. Very helpful. Thats quite a lot of work on your site.

May I ask how the Mals connects to the php and the database? Did you code it from scratch?

The one aspect of Mals which was an issue was that I couldn’t see how you could do categories or any filtering of items. If I could resolve that in some way then I reckon I’d be looking to take the plunge into setting things up that way. However I am interested in how you got from the basic Mals setup to the database setup. It is getting closer to where I would hope to be.

Any information would be great.

All the best for now.

Gorbals Glasgow

MacOs 10.8.5 Freeway Pro 7! At last!

SteveB

2 Jun 2020, 12:00 pm

Hi

Thanks for the kind words! Apologies for the delay in replying, but I’m not always at my computer these days. The wonders of semi-retirement and the world we now live in!

As you say there is a lot of work in the Cotswold site, and it has evolved over time so this is the result of refining the way it all works. I know this can be daunting, I started developing this site back in 2006 and it has been an evolving process over the years. I once was a novice using Freeway, but as the needs of my client and what he wanted to achieve changed along with the developments in browsers, responsive sites etc, I learnt as went along and the result, so far, is the website.

A bit more about how it all works together…The link from the product to Mal’s is via a form with the details of the login to Mal’s in hidden form fields and the product details tacked on to the end of the url.

The products themselves are selected from the database on the server by MySql/php with the query added to the link using the PHP Text Link with Query Action which adds the query to the end of your link to the product page.

Originally this was part of a Freeway Menu item but as the number of products grew the Freeway Menu Action couldn’t cope with all the items in the menu and as the same menu was on each product section page it took ages for Freeway to make up each page until eventually it timed out! The product menu is still basically the same but it is now part of a JQuery Menu, made up on a Master page and included on each page with php.

I think all this information might put you off trying, but as they say Necessity is the Mother of Invention, and as such I had to develop a database hierarchy that could be expanded as the number of products and sections were added. I’m not saying that I’m a master of coding but I have learnt how to get it all to work together as well as amending some of the Actions used to be more up to date.

Next on my list is redoing the site in the new Xway, the testing continues!

Kind regards,

Steve.

On 26 May 2020, at 13:37, tonzodehoo <[email protected]> wrote:

On 23 May 2020, 9:07 am, SteveB wrote:

Hi all,

If you look at the site I look after and have done for over 10 years now.

< https://www.cotswoldengineeringsupplies.co.uk/>

It is built on php and MySQL database with the Shopping cart supplies by Mals. It has grown from a small base to the bigger site it is now. There was and is a learning curve but once you have the basics sorted if you want to add a new product just upload a revised csv file to the server.

It shows what can be done in Freeway and Mal’s.

As Tim says you can do a lot with Mal’s and In my own experience my client really likes their admin for downloading orders etc. It doesn’t have a inventory system so if you only want to sell one product that’s fine. I’ve looked at other solutions but none have the same flexibility as what I have now, and I can still add more bits to it!

Hope that helps.

Regards. Steve

Hullo Steve,

Many thanks for your input. Very helpful. Thats quite a lot of work on your site.

May I ask how the Mals connects to the php and the database? Did you code it from scratch?

The one aspect of Mals which was an issue was that I couldn’t see how you could do categories or any filtering of items. If I could resolve that in some way then I reckon I’d be looking to take the plunge into setting things up that way. However I am interested in how you got from the basic Mals setup to the database setup. It is getting closer to where I would hope to be.

Any information would be great.

All the best for now.

Design • Artwork • Illustration • Websites Steve Ballinger SBDesign [email protected]

SBDesign

Design • Artwork • Illustration

tonzodehoo

2 Jun 2020, 3:25 pm

On 2 Jun 2020, 12:00 pm, SteveB wrote:

Hi

Thanks for the kind words! Apologies for the delay in replying, but I’m not always at my computer these days. The wonders of semi-retirement and the world we now live in!

As you say there is a lot of work in the Cotswold site, and it has evolved over time so this is the result of refining the way it all works. I know this can be daunting, I started developing this site back in 2006 and it has been an evolving process over the years. I once was a novice using Freeway, but as the needs of my client and what he wanted to achieve changed along with the developments in browsers, responsive sites etc, I learnt as went along and the result, so far, is the website.

A bit more about how it all works together…The link from the product to Mal’s is via a form with the details of the login to Mal’s in hidden form fields and the product details tacked on to the end of the url.

The products themselves are selected from the database on the server by MySql/php with the query added to the link using the PHP Text Link with Query Action which adds the query to the end of your link to the product page.

Originally this was part of a Freeway Menu item but as the number of products grew the Freeway Menu Action couldn’t cope with all the items in the menu and as the same menu was on each product section page it took ages for Freeway to make up each page until eventually it timed out! The product menu is still basically the same but it is now part of a JQuery Menu, made up on a Master page and included on each page with php.

I think all this information might put you off trying, but as they say Necessity is the Mother of Invention, and as such I had to develop a database hierarchy that could be expanded as the number of products and sections were added. I’m not saying that I’m a master of coding but I have learnt how to get it all to work together as well as amending some of the Actions used to be more up to date.

Next on my list is redoing the site in the new Xway, the testing continues!

Kind regards,

Steve.

Hello Steve,

Well that is a fulsome and helpful answer! No problem re any delay. Your input is really appreciated.

I can relate to how things evolve over such a period of time. That is where I am at with this sites evolution! Not quite dragging knuckles metaphorically speaking but certainly needing to progress from where its at. This is all part of my own evolution in designing websites. Never ending I guess.

May I ask how much of what is visible is constructed in freeway? The actual product pages? I’m afraid that the unseen functions of the php and queries are something I have only dabbled in and my capabilities with Mysql are very limited so its an area where theres a learning curve to be assailed! Crash course required. It hasn’t put me off but suffice to say it may lead me in a direction I hadn’t intended.

For this project in particular at the stage of development then I reckon I shall try to do as much as I can within Freeway and make use of Mals. I don’t think at this stage a database setup is required but if the shop took off then its something to be revisited.

I like the relative simplicity of this: https://ludc.bigcartel.com

And such a visual presentation would be good. It has a nice flow as a responsive site but not sure how much of that is achievable within Freeway. Trying to find a way to simulate the rollover to the information panel. The clicking on to open a page with more images and details and Buy It, Continue Shopping buttons etc. I think this may be doable without a database for say twenty or thirty items though I know it will maybe be an issue with possible load time. Not as streamlined or efficient as a database solution. I reckon that there is as much if not less work in this method than the learning curve and input needed to get any of the existing shopping cart sites to function as I’d want, whilst utilising the existing domain name.

Sounds like I have a plan eh! Talk is cheap. Actions required! Doubtless more questions will arise.

Thanks again for your time. You have given me much to consider.

Best of luck with the Xway upgrade!

Best wishes for now

Gorbals Glasgow

MacOs 10.8.5 Freeway Pro 7! At last!

Diane Low

3 Jun 2020, 12:41 am

There’s a rollover action that you could use for the change between viewing the image and the summary information, You need to create the summary information as another image with the same dimensions as the original product image for it to look good. https://www.softpress.com/kb/questions/326/Rollover+Action

Then just use an internal link to the detailed product page. The detailed product pages can be easily set up using a different Master page. You can even set the master page with an Exhibeo item and then just change the files that Exhibeo picks up on each live page.

All the buttons you need are already in Freeway. You just have to add them on your page and configure them.

If you have many repeated design elements with just the content changing, make one set perfectly, and use master pages, and then just copy and paste and change the content. It takes a while a to set up initially but once it’s done, you only have to maintain content and new products can be easily added by copying, pasting and changing content again. It can be done, all in Freeway with Mals. Also, to get some of the image functionality that the example site has, you can use Exhibeo - to display galleries/slideshows of images on the product detail pages.

On 3 Jun 2020, at 1:25 am, tonzodehoo <[email protected]> wrote:

On 2 Jun 2020, 12:00 pm, SteveB wrote:

Hi

Thanks for the kind words! Apologies for the delay in replying, but I’m not always at my computer these days. The wonders of semi-retirement and the world we now live in!

As you say there is a lot of work in the Cotswold site, and it has evolved over time so this is the result of refining the way it all works. I know this can be daunting, I started developing this site back in 2006 and it has been an evolving process over the years. I once was a novice using Freeway, but as the needs of my client and what he wanted to achieve changed along with the developments in browsers, responsive sites etc, I learnt as went along and the result, so far, is the website.

A bit more about how it all works together…The link from the product to Mal’s is via a form with the details of the login to Mal’s in hidden form fields and the product details tacked on to the end of the url.

The products themselves are selected from the database on the server by MySql/php with the query added to the link using the PHP Text Link with Query Action which adds the query to the end of your link to the product page.

Originally this was part of a Freeway Menu item but as the number of products grew the Freeway Menu Action couldn’t cope with all the items in the menu and as the same menu was on each product section page it took ages for Freeway to make up each page until eventually it timed out! The product menu is still basically the same but it is now part of a JQuery Menu, made up on a Master page and included on each page with php.

I think all this information might put you off trying, but as they say Necessity is the Mother of Invention, and as such I had to develop a database hierarchy that could be expanded as the number of products and sections were added. I’m not saying that I’m a master of coding but I have learnt how to get it all to work together as well as amending some of the Actions used to be more up to date.

Next on my list is redoing the site in the new Xway, the testing continues!

Kind regards,

Steve.

Hello Steve,

Well that is a fulsome and helpful answer! No problem re any delay. Your input is really appreciated.

I can relate to how things evolve over such a period of time. That is where I am at with this sites evolution! Not quite dragging knuckles metaphorically speaking but certainly needing to progress from where its at. This is all part of my own evolution in designing websites. Never ending I guess.

May I ask how much of what is visible is constructed in freeway? The actual product pages? I’m afraid that the unseen functions of the php and queries are something I have only dabbled in and my capabilities with Mysql are very limited so its an area where theres a learning curve to be assailed! Crash course required. It hasn’t put me off but suffice to say it may lead me in a direction I hadn’t intended.

For this project in particular at the stage of development then I reckon I shall try to do as much as I can within Freeway and make use of Mals. I don’t think at this stage a database setup is required but if the shop took off then its something to be revisited.

I like the relative simplicity of this: https://ludc.bigcartel.com

And such a visual presentation would be good. It has a nice flow as a responsive site but not sure how much of that is achievable within Freeway. Trying to find a way to simulate the rollover to the information panel. The clicking on to open a page with more images and details and Buy It, Continue Shopping buttons etc. I think this may be doable without a database for say twenty or thirty items though I know it will maybe be an issue with possible load time. Not as streamlined or efficient as a database solution. I reckon that there is as much if not less work in this method than the learning curve and input needed to get any of the existing shopping cart sites to function as I’d want, whilst utilising the existing domain name.

Sounds like I have a plan eh! Talk is cheap. Actions required! Doubtless more questions will arise.

Thanks again for your time. You have given me much to consider.

Best of luck with the Xway upgrade!

Best wishes for now

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tonzodehoo

4 Jun 2020, 9:23 am

On 3 Jun 2020, 12:41 am, Diane Low wrote:

There’s a rollover action that you could use for the change between viewing the image and the summary information, You need to create the summary information as another image with the same dimensions as the original product image for it to look good. https://www.softpress.com/kb/questions/326/Rollover+Action

Then just use an internal link to the detailed product page. The detailed product pages can be easily set up using a different Master page. You can even set the master page with an Exhibeo item and then just change the files that Exhibeo picks up on each live page.

All the buttons you need are already in Freeway. You just have to add them on your page and configure them.

If you have many repeated design elements with just the content changing, make one set perfectly, and use master pages, and then just copy and paste and change the content. It takes a while a to set up initially but once it’s done, you only have to maintain content and new products can be easily added by copying, pasting and changing content again. It can be done, all in Freeway with Mals. Also, to get some of the image functionality that the example site has, you can use Exhibeo - to display galleries/slideshows of images on the product detail pages.

Hello Diane,

Many thanks for your response. This is very helpful and supports some of the ideas as to what I was looking to do. I’ve been doing some trials on things so now just need to commit to this way of doing it and get it done.

All the best for now.

Gorbals Glasgow

MacOs 10.8.5 Freeway Pro 7! At last!