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  • Offline Design Changes

    Hi there,

    We're considering making some substantial design changes to our 3dcart but there doesn't seem to be a way to do anything that doesn't affect the LIVE site.

    It seems that there are references embedded within 3dcart templates that won't allow editing of a file outside of 3dcart. Am I wrong about this?

    I need to be able to work on and modify my site without every change instantly going live whether I like it or not and without being able to test it.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
    Jen

  • #2
    Not long after posting this in the forum I decided to put in a ticket for it. The ticket asked the same question. I thought I should keep this post updated for anyone looking for answers. Here's Support's first answer and my response.
    ------------------------------------------
    On Thu, Oct 8, 2009 at 7:24 PM, 3dCart Support <[email protected]> wrote:

    Hello,

    You do have the ability to access your store templates via FTP, and this may just be a matter of setting your design application to not publish changes until you choose to. They can be found under assets/templates/ and if you'd like to pull down a copy of each template, modify it, then re upload it, you certainly can. Please let us know if you have any additional questions. Thanks!

    Kind regards,

    Jeff M.
    3dCart Support

    Thanks for writing.

    We know about FTP - we do it all the time and we know how to edit templates. But as far as we know there is no way to preview how it actually looks with our data etc without publishing it back up to the server where it is live.

    Yes, we can edit a template's html, etc, but there's no way to know that our changes haven't "broken" something or that our changes are all playing nice with the rest of our 3dcart site without putting all that stuff up there for everyone to see.

    We need an "offline" mode or a "development" mode or a "preview" mode where we can work on our site, see the results but not have it affect the live site until we publish it back to the live server.

    OR is there a way to download the ENTIRE site. Is there a piece of software or a technique that you know and we don't? Because if we download the template and open it, it's blank - none of the pictures, products, etc are there because it refers to other places in the site that don't download when grabbing the template via FTP. The code is full of relative references that do not function when the template is downloaded.

    You can go to www.yola.com to see how this is implemented very well. Yes, it's a very simplistic service but if you need an example of what I'm talking about, you can open a trial account there and create a site. You can publish the site to the web and then still change the template and everything about the site and it will work perfectly in preview mode until you REpublish it and the changes all get uploaded. THAT's what I'm talking about.

    Thanks

    Comment


    • #3
      And in case anyone's wondering what I meant by "the template is blank" when I download the full template from 3dcart via FTP and then open it, here is an example.
      Attached Files

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by JustPoppin View Post
        Not long after posting this in the forum I decided to put in a ticket for it. The ticket asked the same question. I thought I should keep this post updated for anyone looking for answers. Here's Support's first answer and my response.
        ------------------------------------------

        And here is Support's next and I suppose final answer.

        Anyone out there have any suggestions as to how to make this happen? What do you all do when you're trying to make big changes to your site?


        Hello,

        Unfortunately, there is not a way to preview your design in store at this time, you can only publish it live. If you are interested in seeing if our programming team may be able to set something up for you, I can send your request for a quote. Thanks.

        Kind regards,

        Jeff M.
        3dCart Support

        Comment


        • #5
          I would LOVE to have that ability as well.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yes, me too! This would be very helpful.

            Comment


            • #7
              While there isn't an official "test mode", if what you are changing is the "frame.html" template, (the overall layout), what you can do is create a new folder for it (ie. take an existing template folder, copy it and name it "new_template" or whatever), make changes tot he frame file there.

              Then go to the section where you can pick the designs, and instead of selecting that template, click the PREVIEW button (instead of apply), what this does is open up your store, with that layout, just for your session, so all customers still see the old design, but you get to see the new design. Give that a shot...

              The only other option at this time would be to setup a secondary account, we can get you a pretty high discount on a second account specially if its just for testing layouts. We will consider making a complete test mode on future releases.
              ----------------------------
              Gonzalo Gil
              3dCart Support
              800-828-6650 x111

              Comment


              • #8
                I tried that once, and was quite surprised to see that when I logged on to my site from a new browser the customer was viewing the test features that I was viewing in preview mode. Is that because it was a new browser on my same computer?

                I was simply using a different layout, clicked preview, and was able to navigate through the site with the changes. I was under the impression that since I hadn't checked "apply" that the new view was for me only. Is that how it is supposed to work?

                Thanks!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rrw View Post
                  I tried that once, and was quite surprised to see that when I logged on to my site from a new browser the customer was viewing the test features that I was viewing in preview mode. Is that because it was a new browser on my same computer?

                  I was simply using a different layout, clicked preview, and was able to navigate through the site with the changes. I was under the impression that since I hadn't checked "apply" that the new view was for me only. Is that how it is supposed to work?

                  Thanks!

                  Gonzalo, please correct me if I'm wrong. But I think I remember having the same issues and was told that it has something to do with the "session" on your actual computer and not so much the browser. When I looked at the site from a new computer, the template that was seen in preview mode (from the original computer) was not displayed.

                  I just don't remember being able to view changes made to other templates (i.e. listing templates) using the method that Gonzalo described. Maybe I need to retry to see if all templates can be viewed this way.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The preview button will put a cookie on your machine and so only your machine will see the preview.

                    Now, yes, its only going to be pulling the frame.html from the new layout, not the other files, so if you are thinking about changing say the Product page template, then the approach i would do is as follows:

                    1) Assuming that you are using the default layout (listing_0.html), work on listing_1.html instead, if you are using 0 and 1, then work on _2, etc.
                    2) Go to a product of your choice, and on the advanced tab you can force it to use a specific template. Pick the one you are working on. (Style1 = listing_0.html, Style 2 = listing_1.html, and so on)

                    This way only that 1 product of your choice has that layout and you can play with it. If you want to you can create a temporary product for this and don't put it on any category if you are afraid someone will be looking at the same item while you are working on it.
                    ----------------------------
                    Gonzalo Gil
                    3dCart Support
                    800-828-6650 x111

                    Comment

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