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E-commerce for the rest of us. 

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Step by Step
         Editing Your Store... (pg. 7)
By Sabra Lutz, Technology Matrix Group - Copyright 2001
Step 12

As with the other images in your store, you can keep the Merchant default buttons, upload your own images, or specify your own text that will appear on the standard form buttons.

Standard form buttons look like this: edit_store19.gif (355 bytes)

All of the buttons on this page (except two) will default to standard form buttons.  The two that don't are the "Add One To Basket (Line Item)" and "Buy One Now (Line Item)" buttons.  However, they are quite unattractive and look like this: edit_store20.gif (1287 bytes) 

You will notice that they are much smaller than the form buttons and with good reason, they appear on each line of any page that is set to the "Line Item" layout (we will be discussing this on the next page of this tutorial).  If you do not want to create your own images, but would like to replace these two images with form buttons you can select the appropriate "Text" radio button and type in "Add One to Basket" and "Buy One Now" or any other text you like. 

While we do recommend that you make the effort of creating your own images for all of the buttons in your store, some are more critical than others.   For instance, the "Next" and "Continue" buttons are frequently overlooked by customers and it may be a good idea to use a GENTLY animated GIF to draw some attention to them.  But be careful, if you go overboard your store will look like a free site on GeoCities!

Please note: you can use the same image more than once   (e.g. for both the "Buy One Now (Line Item)" and the "Buy One Now (Expanded)" buttons).

Step 13

The "Page Sections" tab allows you to 'turn off' the navigation bar and category tree.  In our opinion, this is a very bad idea for most people.

Some people feel that the category tree and top navigation bar are too limiting and removing them is the only way to get their store to look the way they want it to.  While this may be partially true, there are design work-arounds such as making them transparent or using category tree images

It is a common misperception that all of the buttons can simply be replaced with hardcoded links but the navigation buttons in particular are not merely links and images.  Many of them have dynamically generated session IDs as well.  If you replace the navigation bar with images and hard-coded links the session IDs will not be created properly.  If your session IDs are not created properly the cart may not "sense" customers who have already logged in and will ask them to login again.  Needless to say, this will be very frustrating to your customers and is just one of the "fun" headaches that can occur.  Although these problems can be easily solved with custom coding, you will need to hire a professional which will cost you money. 

If you are set on a design will not work inverted L shape of Miva Merchant you may consider switching to the OUI interface and buying one of the cheap and available modules that can be used with it.   Despite the headaches, we believe that in most cases this is much better than messing around with hard-coding. 

Our recommendation: keep the navigation bar and the category tree!


Quick Tips

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