Crafty Goat Relaunch

Monday, January 12, 2004

The completely rebuilt and redesigned Crafty Goat has finally launched. We are very happy with how it turned out.

A few details about the new site:

The underlying engine is osCommerce. osCommerce is open-source, and very rich in features. Plus, it has a very active community. We made use of many contributions, one of the most important of which was the Simple Templating System. This allows you to build an HTML template for your site, which provides better layout control.

Most of the layout is controled with CSS. Most, because the stuff generated by osCommerce is all tables. This is one of the things we will fix when we rewrite osCommerce. We didn’t do that first, because we wanted to get the new site up and running, and being in business is usually more important than web design philosophy issues.

I checked the site in Browser Cam, and it does very well in version 5+ browsers. It does very badly in Netscape 4.x and IE 4.x. The fix is obvious — both those users should upgrade. Since I know they won’t, I will most likely hide all the CSS from them.

Customers who have bookmarked pages on our previous site should find their bookmarks still work, at least for those products we still carry. This required a little Apache mod_rewrite magic. And, I do mean magic. It’s working, but I’m not entirely sure how it works. This is something I really need to learn more about.

A lot more went into this site — more than I’m up for writing about tonight. Angela & I have both been spending long hours and late nights getting everything done. We’re pretty proud of the end result.

Now go buy something. ;-)