Catalog Only & Skins

Jun 4, 2009 at 6:12 AM

Hi there

Im very excited to use your free ecommerce now.

Most commercial ecommerce is very expensive to me.

Now, I got a project not to sell their product online but just a list of products for display purpose.

Is that possible for me to use your module as a Catalog Only?

No buy now oe even checkout. Just product list, picture, description (maybe price also) only.

User can't buy online.

I don't want to design custom page for list of products statically because I want to let my admin can add, edit a product by themself just like ecommerce module but no buy online.


One more thing, since Im new to DNN, I get confused with skin and module interaction. If I buy a comercial skin, like in is that possible the skin applied to this module? Is that automatically (imposible, never know about NB_Store) or I need to extend the skin?

Jun 4, 2009 at 6:46 AM

Hi there,

Because this module offer such extensive templating, one can simply create a template that doesn't contain the add-to-cart tokens.

However, let me also state that the ease of doing this is directly related to one's knowledge of DNN and the use of tokens and templates in general. Customising DNN is easy once you know how, but can be very difficult to understand if you don't.

There are lots of modules that can be used to cataloghue data, so you should ensure that your primary needs are best met with this particular module. For example, when I build a site for someone to use and the site requires image files to be uploaded, then it is very important that the module handles all resizing of images. If this is left to the client to do then it usually becomes too difficult for them. The NB Store module does handle image resizing, so that's a plus.

I would use the store if there were the possiblity that it might at some point actually become a cart with real sales, but if not, then consider the amount and type of data and there might be simpler alternatives. You can use other modules as a catalogue. It depends on how much written content there is compared withou how many images.

Something like Ventrian's Simple Gallery is designed as a photo gallery, but it has titles and descriptions per image and it will let you very easily manage hundreds of items, so long as the descriptions are only short. I've used this more than once as a catalogue.  I've also used Ventrian's News articles as a catalogue and am currently setting up their Property Agent module or something similar (If you're new to DNN then you'll soon find out that Ventrian's modules are one of the must-buys).


Regarding your query about the skin. One of the bigger problems with skins and modules is that module developers only sometimes make good use of DNN core styles and instead create a whole bunch of their own. This has good and bad sides. Good is that it means the module can be styled on its own. Bad is that it mean you have to style it on its own.

A good module should make full use of core styles and wrap up larger components in unique classes. This allows for easy re-styling whilst making a module look good in any skin by default. That however is seldom the case and you'll find that you will need to style each module to suit.

Skins come with Containers and these are used like a styled box for placing a module inside. If a module is generally clean, then this is often sufficient to make it look as if it belongs to the site, but if a module is messy, then the container will make no difference to the mess.

The NB Store module uses templates for all views and in the current release you really need to make a tempalte for your purposes. This means you can make it look however you want. I've found it very easy to style, so yes, I'd recommend it on that count. The store management screen runs outside of the site skin and has its own appearance.


Jun 4, 2009 at 8:02 AM

Thanks for your reply,

It makes me clear on what I thinking of.

Using NB Store may useful if later my client want to make online purchase available.

Why I don't thing so, using photo gallery also is a good idea.

Thanks about the skins, your post really help me save time to try and test.

So whatever skin we have, we need to do something to style the module to make a perfect work.


Jun 4, 2009 at 10:36 AM

Yes, that's generally correct.... some modules are better than others at looking good with any skin, but some are just terrible. The NB Store module normally has to be tempalted anyway so it's not really a problem, but Catalook, which is also a cart, is frigthening to restyle if you're a designer more than a developer. Also, it all depends on how fussy you are about design. I'm fussy down to the pixel, but some people don't really notice if there are design inconsistencies.

Good luck with it all