Sunday, 6 April 2008

Zen and the art of website maintenance..........

I'm feeling particularly virtuous today, as not only have I caught up with my casting shedule, I have also been getting to grips with my new online shop facility, which should have been live on two months ago.

Having successfully completed the basic template last December and input information on my little toys, how they're made etc, I have been putting off the hard bit, which is getting to grips with the intricacies of Zen Cart, which is the shopping cart thingy.

Back in January I dutifully printed out the basic manual, which runs to 20 pages so it's not that basic. I then carefully filed it in my project folder, fully intending to work my way through it systematically, step by step, in conjunction with the test area on the website. Needless to say, our eleventh hour admission to Miniatura rather put everything on the back burner, which is where it has stayed until this week.

A few days ago, in preparation for making an exploratory foray into the bowels of Zen Cart, I carefully bound the manual, using my new thermal binder (an impulse buy on Ebay, ahem) This precautionary measure was to ensure that it would remain in pristine condition and prevent it becoming dog-eared and possibly tear-stained.

So it is all lovely and crisp in its shiny new binder with a wipe-clean cover.

Lovely and crisp and ever so slightly intimidating.

I am sure that in the fullness of time I will become completely au fait with 'product attribute options', EZ pages and sub-category images. That the mysteries of multiple categories, discount coupons and 'read only' settings will become clear to me.

Today however, I am cock-a-hoop at having successfully entered my first 'product' into the dedicated shopping cart interface facility.

With a picture and everything.

Of course it's not live yet........I will need to have more than just one solitary item available to purchase and a bit like ebay, the whole listing process is not a speedy one.

Nevertheless, having carefully followed the instructions in the manual, I am now confident that I can at least create categories and enter product listings. So all in all, I'm counting that as a result.

I must not, however, become complacent, for I now need to move on to much more complicated matters, involving newsletters, workshop pages, site maintenance and the aforementioned mysterious and scary 'attributes', about which I am completely clueless.

Still, Rome wasn't built in a day, and I'm sure that if I stick with it and follow the manual carefully I'll have a new shop front live on the net in no time at all.

Yes indeedy.

So there's probably no immediate urgency to get this keyboard upgrade either..........

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