Thursday, January 25, 2007

Ecommerce site templates

Building a website from scratch can be a really tough experience. It takes time and a lot of hard work. I have always said web site designing is both a science and a art. Besides coding skills, you need to have a sense of colour and design. From my experience I can tell you that images play a very important part in making websites come alive. So if you are going to design a website, you better know how to take nice pictures and edit them too.

That is the reason why web designers charge so much to design personalised websites, especially e-commerce sites. Most people take the easy way out - they use a template designed by the experts and modify it suit their needs. You might have the most amazing back end coding ever (which most people never see) but if your website is ugly and not friendly, it might turn a lot of people off.

One of the best developments in the net was the development and spread of the open source practice (some consider it a philosophy). Software (and other stuff) are distributed for free into the net and people can freely modify them. osCommerce, as the name suggest is an open source ecommerce solution whereby anybody can download and set up an online store. It contains both a catalog frontend and a backend administration tool. The problem is that the design is a bit blend.

Take a look at osCommerce templates. This Irish company allows paid customers to to download as high quality templates and as much as they like (they currently have 70). Customers can sign up for a three month ($89), six month ($158) or one year ($299) membership. This is really a good deal considering that there are others who charge around $150 per design!

The business was set-up by Myles O'Reilly in March 2006. Myles is also the author of the popular book - "The Programmers' Guide to osCommerce".

I guess this site is actually targeted at web designers. Now they don't have to spend a fortune to access different high quality design templates.

Even if you don't have any experience in modifying osCommerce, you need not worry as the site has a tutorial page, which provides information and guidance in editing and customizing their products.

They even have a button generator, which is really fast. The best part is that you don't have to sign up to use it. It's totally free.

Go and check out the site.

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