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Question about custom Templates and Upgrades

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  • Question about custom Templates and Upgrades

    We are beginning the process of learning the 3dCart template system to create a customized template/theme/everything.

    Can the experienced 3dCart users, provide some lessons learned?

    What happens during 3dCart upgrades to current /common files?
    Are you able to create a unique /common folder that 3dCart does not touch?

    thank you


    The Wedding Printer

  • #2
    It's pretty simple.

    When a template file is needed, it will first be looked for in


    If it does not exist there, it will use the one in


    System upgrades only affect files in /common

    I have modified pretty much every template file, so I have a copy of every file in my theme folder. This means that if they add features I will have to compare my file to the newly-updated version in the common folder, and bring over the relevant code.

    Does that make sense?

    A couple of tips:
    <!-- CODEBLOCK: Start -->
    <!-- CODEBLOCK: END -->

    These delineators are critical and tell the 3DC system where to look for variables that are replaced and when to do looping.

    -- Variables can be maddeningly inconsistent. In one template file you might use [id] to display a product's SKU and it can go anywhere in the file. In another file it might be [prod_id] and must be inside a codeblock tag. Many variables can only be used in specific template files.

    The reference guide can give you some idea of what works where, but I would say it is only about 75% complete:
    3dCart Template Reference Guide


    • #3
      cbsteven, do you have an automated way of checking for differences in the files?
      Last edited by tclifesafety; 11-16-2012, 11:14 AM. Reason: hadn't seen Jimmy's post about custom template changes
      TC Life Safety
      TC Wireless


      • #4
        Nope. I just look at the modification dates and try to keep my ear to the ground on what is new.

        If I wanted to be a little more hard-core about it I would keep a backup copy of the common folder and then use a text editor to compare differences.


        • #5
          Thank you for the information.

          Does 3dCart post a differential document on what has changed with a release? i.e. describe the changes (adds or deletes) by page.

          The Wedding Printer


          • #6
            They do a pretty good job posting all the changes/enhancements in the Announcements portion of the forums.
            Joanne Barker
            VS Web Design
            [email protected]


            • #7
              I use Version/Subversion (SVN) synced with beanstalk when coding large projects to compare changes in code.

              If you need to compare what changes have been made I would recommend it.

              Here is what I would do.
              1) Download the common folder to a directory in my computer that wont be moved.
              2) Sync the folder with beanstalk
              3) When 3DC makes an update download the common folder again replacing the old files and resync to beanstalk
              4) go onto beanstalk and check for changes.
              5) apply the changes to my site

              If you use Dreamweaver or Coda they can be setup to sync with any SVN service.

              Take a look at this page for further reading
              Beanstalk is Private Git, Subversion & Mercurial hosting

              If your on a mac you can probably automate the entire process with the Automator.
              Mac 101: Automator
              - Peace