Monday, November 28, 2005

Adventures In PHP

I should start off by saying: I know no PHP whatsoever. I have some inkling how PHP works, but that's about it. I know no commands and no syntax. I can't do anything in PHP except maybe change the text that it prints on the screen.

My dear Favorite Husband, sweetheart that he is, installed an open-source shopping cart (ZenCart) on our server. I've been wanting this for a long time; this is the second consecutive year I've put it on my Christmas wish list. Now I am busting my butt trying to get it configured and working so that it can replace my current website, which has gotten some compliments for looks, but is really not very functional. I only have FrontPage with which to edit it, and FrontPage for some unfathomable reason thinks the HTML code that I use for my shopping cart buttons ought to have p-tags in it, which renders the code absolutely useless for actual shopping. Every time I edit the damn website, some other button goes belly-up. And the only way to see which one it is, is to go into the code and look at every Godforsaken line, or else have a customer drop me an e-mail saying "I really want this, but I can't add it to the cart."

This new stuff is all PHP-based, which makes it a bit hard for someone who knows no PHP to customize. Still, in the last 24 hours, I've managed to get rid of most of the stock messages it comes with ("Sales Message Goes Here") and make it at least basically functional. I've got five products entered in so far, just to test how it works. So far, it works very nicely and I just know that once I get past the learning curve on this, I'll like it much better than what I have now. I still can't get the PayPal logo to appear, and I can't get any shipping option but flat-rate shipping to work either, but the latter wouldn't be a disaster if I had to run with it.