XLEcom's Publishing Features
The information presented on this page is also available via the Help buttons as shown in the Dialog Box images below.
The following are instructions on how to use XLEcom's web site publishing features and options.
Table of Contents
- Creation of the Product Ad Pages
- Product Menus and Category Review
- Product Ad Order Publishing
- Publish Web Site Dialog Box
- Web Site Publish Location
- Web Site Type
- Home Page Publishing Options
- General Publishing Options
Option 1: Publish the Entire Web Site
Option 2: Selective Publishing
Option 3: Publish a single Main Category >> Sub Category Ad Product Page (page_xxx.html)
- Additional Options
- Force use of HTML Form type Add-to-Cart buttons
- Automatic Add-to-Cart Button Type Detection
- Product Ad Display Override Options for Publishing
- Additional Publish Options - Data Export
- The Published Web Site Directory Structure
- The Web Site Publishing Routine - Order of Operation
Creation of the Product Ad Pages
The Product Ad pages are automatically generated by the program and are accessed via the left side navigation menus on the Published pages. If you press the "Category Review" button, you will see how the products will be arranged on these pages. You can view a good illustration of this product ad layout if you refer back to the demo data program. See the Product Menus and Category Review image below.
Both the product ad pages and the navigation menus are automatically created by the program based on the main and sub categories you choose for the Product Ads. All products ads that use the same main and sub categories will be placed on the same page. Take a look on how the demo data's main and sub categories are laid out in the database. If you do not assign main and sub categories, then all the product will be listed under a default Main category called "Products" and a sub category called "General Items".
Product Menus and Category Review
This dialog box is a review summary of all the products set to be Published in the Database and how they will be published to the web site. It summarizes the Products / Page, HTML Page Name, and the actual menu hierarchy based on the categories you selected.
Using the page_xxx.html file naming convention
Using the main_category_sub_category.html file naming convention
Product Ad Order Publishing
Keep in mind that the Product Ads will be Published in the order they reside within the Product Database. Therefore, if you want the individual Product Ads on each of the product pages to appear in a particular order, from the top to the bottom of the page, then sort the Product Database in the order you desire prior to Publishing the web site.
For example, if you sort the Product Database by List Price in ascending order (from lowest to highest), then the Product Ads will appear on the product pages in the same List Price ascending order. In this case, the lowest priced products appearing at the top of the page and the highest priced products appearing towards the bottom of the page. If you want the products to appear in alphabetical order, then sort the products by the Ad Title in ascending order prior to Publishing your web site.
Note: The Product Ad sort order does not affect the order of how the Main and Sub Category navigation menus appear within the web site. The Main and Sub Category navigation menus are always Published in alphabetical order. Therefore, you may want to consider how you name both your Main and Sub Category titles. Note: You can also prefix the Main category titles with a number in order to create a custom publishing order.
Publish Web Site Dialog Box
The Publish dialog box shown below is presented to you when you choose to publish your web site by clicking on the "Publish Web Site" button on either the Site Design, Home Page Design, or Support Pages sheets.
Web Site Publish Location
Select the location where you want the web site to be published. If you do not select an existing folder named "Publish", then a folder named "Publish" will be added to your selection and will be created at this location the first time you publish the web site.
Keep in mind if you already set this location using the Setup function on the "Product Design" sheet, you do not need to set the location again. This feature is provided here as a convenience in case you want to change the location prior to publishing.
Web Site Type
Choose either to create a Framed or Non Framed web site. For a Framed site, each page displayed within the web browser window is actually composed of four (4) individual framed web pages, the top.html, left.html, bottom.html, and body frame page. The index.html page is a mapping page that calls all 4 pages together to create the final page you view in your web browser. The body frame page is the page that changes when a user clicks on any of the page navigation links. The top, left, and bottom frames stay static and do not move as the user scrolls up and down within the web page. A Non Framed web site uses individual pages, in other words, all the content for each page is displayed on that single page. For more information on Framed sites, press the small red question mark icon in the top right corner of the spreadsheet.
Home Page Publishing Options
You have the option to publish either of two Home Pages. They are the Home Page with Product Ads (from the "Home Page Design" sheet) or the Home Page without Product Ads (from the "Support Pages" sheet). If you want for example to have specially advertised products on the Home page, then choose the Home Page with Product Ads publish option.
General Publishing Options
Option 1: Publish the Entire Web Site
Use this option to Publish the complete web site including all the html, pdf, images, etc... files.
Option 2: Selective Publishing
Check Box 1: Only the Ad Product pages (page_xxx.html)
Use this option to only Publish the product pages for all the products within the Product Database. All products within the Product Database using the same Main Category >> Sub Category combination will be published together on the same page. These product pages will appear within the body frame of the web site if you are using a framed site.
Check Box 2: All Top Navigation menu Support pages including the Home Page.
Use this option to only Publish the Top Navigation menu support pages.
Check Box 3: All Frame pages (index.html, top.html, left.html, bottom.html, and Home Page)
(Note: if using the non framed option, only the Home Page will be published)
Use this option to only Publish the five (5) pages that make up the structure of the web site. Theses 5 pages consist of (1) index.html page (the file you open in your web browser to view the web site), (3) outer frame pages [top.html, left.html, bottom.html], and (1) center body frame page, body.html (the initial body home page when the site is opened via the index.html file).
Option 3: Publish a single Product Ad Page
Use this option to Publish a single Main Category >> Sub Category Ad Product Page. All products within the Product Database using the same Main Category >> Sub Category combination will be compiled and published together on the same page.
Check Box 1: Have the Shopping Cart open in a Popup window
When a shopper clicks on either the Add to Cart, View Cart, or Check Out button within your web site, the Shopping Cart is displayed. Check this box to have the Shopping Cart open in a Popup window, otherwise if unchecked, it will open in the same browser window.
You can change the dimensions of the Shopping Cart Popup window by entering the width and height pixel dimensions in the edit boxes using the Setup function on the Product Design sheet.
Check Box 2: Delete the previously published web site before publishing
If you choose to delete the previously published web site, then the publishing routine will first delete the current Publish folder which contains all previously published files and images, then recreate a new Publish folder containing all the newly created files and images.
Note: If you choose not to delete the previously published web site, then some or all of the files within the current Publish folder will be overwritten with the newly generated files that have the same names.
Check Box 3: Copy all files from the Assets/html folder (*.*) to the Publish folder
If unchecked, then only the file assets used for the Product "Ad Comment Hyperlinks" will copied to the Publish folder. If you want to copy all the files assets located within the \Assets\html folder (html, pdf, etc...) to the Publish folder, then check this box. This file copying step is performed last, after all the HTML pages have been generated by this program.
Check Box 4: Open the newly published Web Site in your Web Browser
Automatically open the newly published web site in your web browser when publishing is completed.
Force use of HTML Form type Add-to-Cart buttons
By checking this box, you can override the Automatic Add-to-Cart Button Type Detection setting by "Forcing" the program to publish all of your Add-to-Cart buttons as HTML Form type buttons and not publish any as Hyperlink type buttons. This is useful if you want the Item Quantity edit boxes to be appear on each of your Product Ads. Read below for more background information.
Note: You also have the option to suppress (turn off) publishing of the Item Quantity edit boxes displayed on the Product Ads. This setting can be set using the "Ad Design" Utility.
Automatic Add-to-Cart Button Type Detection
This program supports both Paypal and Mal's e-commerce Add-to-Cart Hyperlink and HTML Form type Add-to-Cart buttons.
To utilize the Form option, switch to the Database sheet and check the Option boxes located in the User Field header. When checked, these User fields will automatically transform into Option fields in which the data in these fields will become selectable options in drop down scroll boxes next to the Add to Cart buttons in your final published Product Ad pages. If you leave the Database Option check boxes unchecked, then these User fields will act as static field values just as they were in the previous releases.
You can have up to five (5) selectable options. These options do not affect the price and only present added selectable features for the product ad such as a size: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, and XX-Large or colors option like Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, and Orange.
If you check the Option check boxes and leave all five (5) User cells empty, then the Add to Cart buttons will automatically revert back to Hyperlink buttons. If data is present in these field cells and the Option boxes are checked, then the program will automatically generate HTML Form buttons.
Product Ad Display Override Options for Publishing
If for some reason you want to either publish small condensed sized product Ads or just change the look and functionality of the published web site, you can override some of the settings / values within the Product's Database during publishing of the web site. These overrides only affect the published web site. They do not change any of the settings / values within the Product's Database. The following are three examples situations where you may want to override the Product's Database settings / values during publishing. Uncheck boxes to override settings.
Example 1: Display the Item Descriptions when Publishing
If you want to create small condensed sized product Ads and you feel that the Item Name is sufficient enough for a product description, then you have the option of suppressing the publishing of all the longer Item Descriptions by unchecking this box.
Example 2: Display the Product Ad Images when Publishing
If for example your web site will be used for Services instead of selling Products, then you have the option of suppressing the publishing of all the Product Ad images by unchecking this box.
Example 3: Display the "Add to Cart" Button when Publishing
If you do not want to use an Ecommerce Shopping Cart on your web site, you can choose not to display the "Add to Cart" button on all Product Ads by unchecking this check box.
The Show Quantity variable setting only functions with the Mal's Ecommerce Shopping Cart. The results of this variable are displayed in the Shopping Cart as shown in the example below. This Show Quantity variable setting is accessable via the Product Design sheet.
You can choose either of the following three variable setting options:
- Editable = 0, Displays the quantity in an edit box in which the shopper can modify the value. To remove the item from the cart, the user would have to enter a zero (0) value into the edit box.
- Locked = 1, Displays the quantity as text (no edit box). The shopper cannot modify the quantity value or remove the item from the cart.
- Check Box = 2, Displays a check box in the quantity field so the user has the option to remove the item from the Shopping Cart. No quantity value is displayed.
Overriding the Show Quantity Values for the individual Product Ads
You can override the Show Quantity values during Publishing of your website for the individual Product Ads by using the Product Ad Display Override Options for Publishing. You can access the Product Ad Display Override Options feature from either the Site Setup or Publish function. The Product Ad Display Override Options for Publishing feature is shown in the dialog box image below.
Item Descriptions - Just turn them back ON
The XLEcom program is initially provided with a Demonstration web store called DemoStore Online. The program is set to Publish this web store using the "Two Ad Column Layout" and small condensed Product Ads by suppressing the publishing of the long Item Descriptions, as seen in the above image unchecked. To Publish the web store to display the long Item Descriptions, you must turn them back ON.
Additional Publish Options - Data Export
This utility will export all of your HTML Product Ads and or Add-to-Cart Buttons to a single HTML or Excel (.xls) file. These files can be useful for later importing into another application.
This Export option will only function if you choose either the "Publish the Entire Web Site" or "Only the Ad Product pages (page_xxx.html)" options in the Publish Dialog box.
Please be aware of the following conditions
- HTML Product Ads using the form format - Required only for the Ad Comment Hyperlinks.
- HTML Product Ads using the hyperlink format - Required for both the Add-to-Cart bottoms and Ad Comment Hyperlinks
- Add-to-Cart Buttons using the form format - Not Required
- Add-to-Cart Buttons using the hyperlink format - Required
File Save Locations
The HTML file will be saved to the Publish\html folder and the Excel xls file will be saved to the currently active local directory folder.
The Published Web Site Directory Structure
Your final published web site will have the following file structure format. All folders and files beneath the Publish folder, as indicated within the red box shown in the image below, should be uploaded to your web server's root directory. If you want to view the web site locally on your hard drive, then open the index.html file in your web browser. If you want to view your web site on the Internet after you have uploaded the files in the red box to your domain's root directory, then typing in the domain name in your browser's address bar will automatically open the index.html file by default. For example, if your domain name is demostoreonline.com, then typing demostoreonline.com in the browser's address bar will cause the browser to automatically fetch the index.hml page as the home page.
The Web Site Publishing Routine performs the following operations in the order listed below.
Step 1: The program will first generate all the necessary HTML pages for the web site and place them into the \Publish\html folder. The last HTML file generated named index.html will be placed in the \Publish root folder. This index.html file is the file you open in your web browser to view the web site. It is also the file that should be place in the root directory of your web server. Note: The publishing routine will overwrite all previously published HTML files which have the same name as the newly generated files.
Step 2: Next, the support files (html, pdf, etc...) used in the "Ad Comment Hyperlinks" for the Product Ads will be copied from the current html folder to the \Publish\html folder.
Step 3: Next, the images used in the product ads, support pages, "Ad Comment Hyperlinks", and web site theme will be copied from the current images folder to the \Publish\images folder.
Step 4: Finally, all the web site image files within the \Assets\images\website subfolder will be copied to the \Publish\images folder.
Step 5 (optional): If you selected to "Copy all files from the Assets/html folder (*.*) to the Publish folder", then all files under the current html folder (html, pdf, etc...) will be copied to the \Publish\html folder. This file copying step is performed last, after all the product and framed pages have been generated by this program.