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AmazaCart QuickStart

This QuickStart is more of a reference for some common things you should be sure to know before you start reading the Main UserGuide. But you really do need to read that UserGuide to configure your shop.

  1. Shop Setup
  2. Basic Look & Feel of Your Site
  3. Download UserGuides
  4. Help In Building Your Shop
  5. Image File Names
  6. Custom Look & Feel of Your Site (3 options)
  7. Order Status Emails - How to Customize
  8. Trouble Logging in?
  9. How to Link to Your Shop
  10. Backup Frequently
  11. Get Ranked High on Search Engines
  12. Should I order the 'Advanced Security' Module
  1. Shop Setup

    • The first time you go to your shop admin, it will automatically take you to your 'modify user' page. Fill in all required fields to complete your admin account. Thereafter, you will be take to the main admin home page when you login.
    • On the admin home page, you will see all the admin functions in the left column. For detailed instructions on how to use each feature, read the Main UserGuide.
    • In Admin go to 'Modules' to choose which modules you want to activate. Click on any module with an arrow next to it to modify settings for that module.
  2. Basic Look & Feel of Your Site

    • There are multiple ways to customize the look and feel of your site, as well as customize the content on specific pages.
    • Change Current Skin
      • ONLY do this if you haven't already made changes in other ways. Otherwise you will lose all the customizations you've already made.
    • Edit colors, backgrounds & fonts with 'CSS Editor'
      • You should make all style changes to your shop (font size/color/style, backgrounds, etc.) using the 'CSS Editor' in the 'Look & Feel' section of admin.
      • Don't edit individual pages, as this is much more time-consuming, and harder to do. Don't try to edit the style.css file, as the changes won't take effect on their own.
    • Add your logo/banner & default icons with 'Image Editor'
      • Use 'Image Editor' in the 'Look & Feel' section of admin to edit your logo/banner, logo background, and default shop images & icons.
      • IF you do not upload a logo/banner image that is already the exact size recommended (275 x 60) you will need to edit the code on the main.tpl to change the size of the logo image size you are uploading. Otherwise the logo will look distorted.
    • Create your home page
      • Go to 'Template Editor' in the 'Look & Feel' section of admin.
      • Replace the code in the welcome page with the code for your home page.
      • For more detailed instructions and other methods of customizing pages, see #6 below.
  3. Download UserGuides

  4. Help In Building Your Shop

    • Some merchants want us to train them for a few hours on the phone on how to use the software. This can be done for a charge.
    • Some merchants want us to build their whole cart, and then they will take over with adding products. Contact us for a quote on building the website for you.
    • You have 30 days of free tech support on use of the standard features, but if you have questions, take the following steps before contacting us
      • Be sure you have read this page and the other AmazaCart Support Pages
      • Be sure you have looked for your answer in the UserGuides. There are separate UserGuides for most of the modules, so be sure to check those too.
      • If you have completed the previous 2 steps, then you can contact us for assistance on specific questions.
  5. Image File Names

    1. Image file names can not include spaces, commas, or other non-standard characters. It's best to stick to letters and numbers only.
    2. If you duplicate images for different products, be SURE to give them each a different name. If you don't, and you later remove a product with that image, it will remove all images on the site with the same image name.
  6. Custom Look & Feel of Your Site - 3 options

    • NOTE: the less custom code changes you make to tpl pages, the better. There is a good change that when a module is updated it will overwrite your custom code. So if you do decide to customize your code, be SURE to make a backup of your custom code so you can insert it after a module update.

      You can safely modify such pages that are meant for you to change, like the home page (welcome.tpl), privacy statement page, and other tpl pages that show up on the main screen when you click 'Template Editor'.
    • If you decide to make changes, Option #1 or #2 is probably your best option. Option #1 is a fast way to make changes if you know html and don't need to see what the page will look like, or you can copy and paste the html from #1 into your web editor and it will be really the same as Option #2. Option #3 can cause problems if you are not really careful, as you can overwrite what you have already done.
    • Option 1: Edit templates/pages with 'Template Editor'
      This is the best option for most people. You must use caution, though, if you choose this option. These are the actual tpl pages with code in them.
        - Make a BACKUP of your skins folder - easiest via ftp.
        - DO NOT delete any scripts/codes on the ftp files.
        - DO NOT change style attributes here. Do that in the 'CSS Editor'.
        - DO NOT rename any ftp files or your site will stop working.

      • To start, go to the template Editor in the 'Look & Feel' section of admin. A few basic pages are under 'Basic templates', but you can edit any of the templates by finding all of them in 'Advanced Templates'. Then choose whether you are editing a page in the Customer Zone (most likely) or Admin Zone (usually not necessary). Click on the tpl name and you will see the HTML (and PHP) code. If you want to see what the code looks like you can copy and paste this into an empty new page in a web design program like FrontPage or Dreamweaver. (Detailed help in the Reference UserGuide)
    • Option 2: Edit templates by downloading the tpl file itself (*.tpl)
      This is similar to option 1, except instead of just viewing the code of the tpl file in your AmazaCart admin 'Template Editor' (or copying and pasting the code to a web editor), you actually download the .tpl file to your PC and work on it with a web editor such as Dreamweaver or FrontPage.
        - Make a BACKUP of your skins folder - easiest via ftp.
        - DO NOT delete any scripts/codes on these ftp files.
        - DO NOT change style attributes here. Do that in the 'CSS Editor'.
        - DO NOT rename any ftp files or your site will stop working.

      • You will find the tpl files as follows:
        shop pages...... public_html/'shopdirectoryifany'/skins/default/en
        admin pages.... public_html/'shopdirectoryifany'/skins/admin/en
        emails.............. public_html/'shopdirectoryifany'/skins/mail/en
      • When you are done editing, ftp the tpl files directly back up to your website.
    • Option 3: Edit templates with 'Design Import/Export' & a web editor
      This can get confusing and you may overwrite files you didn't intend to, but it allows you to see the look of the final html page without the php scripting.
      This will not work if you use FrontPage or Expression Web.
      • Use 'Design Import/Export'' in the 'Look & Feel' section of admin to create a set of html pages of all templates that will reside in your domain.com/shop/var/html directory of your website. Use an editor like Dreamweaver to open pages remotely. First, you will 'Prepare set of HTML pages for editing' in your admin. Then, remotely open an html page through your web editor, work on it, and 'Save' it. Once you are done editing your pages, click 'Publish new design'. (Detailed help in the Reference UserGuide).
        - Make a BACKUP of your skins folder - easiest via ftp.
        - DO NOT change style attributes here. Do that in the 'CSS Editor'.
        - DO NOT rename any ftp files or your site will stop working.
        - If you make changes to the look by editing the tpl file directly, or through the 'CSS Editor' the 'Image Editor' or the 'Template Editor' you must then re-click 'Create HTML design templates' to make these changes transfer to the html files you edit with your web editor. Otherwise if you don't, when you 'Publish new design' it will overwrite and you will lose any changes you made through the admin 'Look & Feel' editors.

    Order Status Emails - How to Customize

    • In Admin, go to the 'Order life cycles' page. Here you can see the various statuses and emails that are sent to the Customer.
    • If the status is changed automatically when the Customer is ordering (like Order Queued, Failed, Incomplete), putting text in the Notes box will not show up in the emails sent out. You must customize these email by finding the tpl for that email in the skins folder of your website.
    • If the status is something you select from the drop-down list on the 'Order life cycles' page in Admin (like Processed, Complete), you can do a quick easy customization by typing anything you want in the Notes box next to the Status Name.

    Trouble Logging In?

    • You must open your AmazaCart shop in a different browser window than your admin. If you try to login to both admin and your shop from the same browser window, your cookies get confused and won't allow you to stay logged into your shop.

    How to Link to Your Shop

    • If you have a website or pages built outside of AmazaCart, just place links from your existing pages to your shop URL. You can even place links to products from outside pages.
    • If you are building your whole website in AmazaCart (and you've asked us to put your shop in a subdirectory), you should place a re-direct from your home page (yourdomain.com/index.html) to yourdoman.com/shop. You can do this through your hosting cPanel 'Redirects' section. If your shop is installed in the main account directory, this won't be a problem.

    Backup Frequently!

    • Be sure to backup your files frequently. We do make backups weekly, but if that backup was corrupt or you had made a lot of changes during the week, you would be out of luck.
    • Databases: You can backup your databases directly from your AmazaCart admin.
    • Shop Files: Download your 'Shop' directory thru ftp. Be sure to include all sub-folders and files.

    Get Ranked High on Search Engines

    • Be sure your product detailed description includes good key phrases
      AmazaCart will automatically add your product description as a meta 'description' in your html, so be sure you include the main key phrases that people would use to find your site.
    • Add Key Phrases when you add a product
      When you add or modify a product, be sure to add key phrases that accurately represent that product in the 'Meta tags' field. Put a comma between each phrase - for example: web hosting, web design, shopping cart, best prices.
    • Subscribe to our cost effective Top Rankings Search Submission & Ranking service
      Get your site ranked higher - Order Top Rankings service and we will submit your website to hundreds of the top search engines monthly. We also send you monthly reports of how your site ranks relative to your keyword phrases.

     Should I Order 'Advanced Security'

    • If you UserGuidely process credit card orders instead of using a payment gateway, you need to order this 'Advanced Security' module, so that all orders will be encrypted, including credit card information. If you use a payment gateway, like Plug'n Pay, this 'Advanced Security' is not necessary.
    • Options for configuring Advanced Security:
    • We can create the keys and install them for you for $35 if you want to avoid the hassle of configuring it yourself;
      - OR -
      You can do it yourself by following the instructions in the Advanced Security UserGuide


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