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Foster’s Art + Architecture - 80-90% complete
 
cff
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  27
Joined:  2008-08-29
 

Hi guys,

I’ve been working on http://fostersart.com.au, and it is now about 85% complete. If you have any thoughts, opinions I would really be interested in them.

A category page: http://fostersart.com.au/categories/notebooks
A product page: http://fostersart.com.au/derwent-watercolour-pencils.html

This was a complete blank slate, I took all the CSS out, used Blueprint CSS to structure the pages and then added CSS from the default template, and my own to structure some of the harder to style pages such as the one page checkout. I was aiming for a nice clean layout, to emphasise the products over the site’s design, and to really move the site “out of the way” of the customer.

I’ve found Magento hard to template, there seems to be a lack of documentation of functions to use to display products/categories/prices etc in a simple fashion. For example I can’t find anywhere a way to show a list of products and categories on a single page (I would eventually like an alphabetical index).

So, overall I think Magento is an extremely good system but customizing the front-end seems to be overly complex a lot harder than it should be. I would love to see the developers take a leaf from Wordpress’ template tags idea where functions to retrieve posts, pages etc are structured so that thePost() outputs a post, and getThePost() retrieves the post for use by php in your script.

I also guess that developing any kind of default template for magento is a stretch to satisfy everyone, and stripping out what you need from what you don’t is where the hard work comes in.

Cheers,

Chris.

 
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btbc
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  95
Joined:  2008-06-11
 

I like what you did… very artsy and fits the products you are selling.

The very top right hand menu is a bit long winded and takes a few seconds to read…

I tried finding faults with the site, but the more I use it, the more I like it.

The advanced search doesn’t appear to be very user friendly.

The purchases box on the sidebar is okay, but you might want to add spacing above the text “Recently added:”

And if I could ask you is the brands page “http://fostersart.com.au/brands” a CMS static page?

And if so, how you displayed the products like a catalog like “http://fostersart.com.au/brands/moleskine”

Hope the feedback helps and hope you can share some of the info.

Btw, the speed of the site is really fast.

 
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cff
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  27
Joined:  2008-08-29
 

Thanks for the feedback.

Do you mean the top right hand drop down for the categories? Or the My Account etc...I think that whole corner could do with some attention, yes.

Advanced search is still to do, that could be tricky as I would like to group search options by attribute set on seperate tabs....we’ll see how that goes.

The brands pages are just a seperate category structure, so products are added to the “category” category and the brand category as well, so there is really no difference between the listings. This seemed the easiest route to take to get brand specific categories.

Glad the site is fast - I spend *alot* of time trying to configure apache / apc cache to make it as quick as possible, it is running on a 1024 slice at slicehost.net, I would throughly recommend them.

I agree that the purchases and recently added boxes need proper formatting as they are a bit haphazard at the moment…

Cheers and thanks for taking the time to look,

Chris.

 
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btbc
Sr. Member
 
Total Posts:  95
Joined:  2008-06-11
 

I am glad to help… took a look at the site w/fresh eyes.

The backordered message is “* This product is not available in the requested quantity. 1 of the items will be backordered” which seems a bit non descriptive. You might want to let people know the turn around, like ships within 5 to 10 business days, or have a blurb on that in your policy somewhere.

When visiting the link “http://fostersart.com.au/moleskine-ruled-black-cahier-large.html” the breadcrumb is “Home / Brands / Moleskine Ruled Black Cahier Large” but should ideally be “Home / Moleskine / Moleskine Ruled Black Cahier Large” so they can click on Moleskine and go back to see all the rest of the Moleskine.

Yes, there isn’t much else to pick on.

PS: So, the “Home / Brands” is a static CMS page correct? No way to make it dynamic eh?

 
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cff
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  27
Joined:  2008-08-29
 

Thanks btbc;

Backorder message is on the todo list, still researching how most companies deal with it.

The breadcrumb behaviour is weird from the homepage - I don’t know how it prioritises category and sometimes it puts it in the subcategories and sometimes just like you said, without the subcategory. More research needed....

No the Home / Brands is a category listing just like the Home / Categories page - each brand is a category and the static block outputs the list of subcategories with their image. I.e. on the category management page I have selected “Static Block Only” and then chosen my static block that selects subcats and their images.

 
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sdb
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Joined:  2007-11-13
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Looking good!

If I could make a small suggestion, I think you might want to replace the temporary Magento image thumbnails with your own branded ones. I believe the image is in the skin/frontend/x/y/images directory

I really like the clean, simple focus on the product and how well layed out things are.

 
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btbc
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Total Posts:  95
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One more tidbit…

If you had the price and the add to cart all aligned horizontally, that would make it neater.

 
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cff
Jr. Member
 
Total Posts:  27
Joined:  2008-08-29
 

Thanks for the feedback!

I’d say about 95% done now, a few more tweaks, a bit of polish and should be on schedule.

 
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