Ecommerce Templates > PHP Version Help > Help files

Ecommerce Templates PHP version help files

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View Orders

When orders start coming into your online store, you can view the details here. Using the date selections up top you can view a list or all orders for different date ranges. Orders that have an authorization code are shown in black, but those that have not are shown in red. This could be because your customer gave up before making payment at the payment processor. It could also be however that they did make payment, but did not make it back to your store to complete the order for some reason. Check with your payment processor to make sure.

To see the complete details for an individual order click on the order ID. Here you will see the shipping details, tax and order totals...more information on the orders admin page

Change username / password

The default username and password for the online web administration is mystore / changeme. For security reasons you are encouraged to change this as soon as possible.

Edit admin settings

This should probably be the first page to visit in setting up your store. On this page you can set the general attributes of your online store such as your email address for sale notification and the URL of your online store - the URL will generally be the same as your domain unless you have placed the store in a folder on your site. You can also choose your shipping options as well as the number of items to display per page and whether or not you want to use the stock management feature...more information on the main admin settings.

Affiliate program

The built in affiliate program allows you to offer partners a commission on orders made through a link to your store. The amount you pay out is completely up to you. Affiliate sales can be monitored through the affiliate admin page and payments made depending on the deal you would like to offer...more on the affiliate program.

View ratings

Product reviews are a great way of providing on-topic content, useful to both customers and search engines alike. As they are provided by visitors and reviewed by the store owner before publishing you can be guaranteed fresh and relevant copy for your store. To turn on this feature you will need to add the following to vsadmin/includes.php $enablecustomerratings=TRUE; ...more on the product review feature

Gift certificate management

The Gift Certificate feature allows your customers to purchase a gift certificate on your store for the amount of their choice and send it on to their chosen recipient. The difference between the value of the certificate and the product(s) added to cart is calculated and the difference recorded accordingly. The recipient is notified via an email which includes a personalized message and the code they will need to enter on checkout to redeem the gift certificate... more on gift certificates

Edit categories

Your products are organized into categories by default, such as socks could be in the clothing category. If you only have a few products and do not want to take advantage of this feature then instead of making your main "Products" link to categories.php, just make it to products.php. Then, define just one category to put all your products into...more on the categories set up.

Edit products

This is where you can setup the details about the products you wish to sell online. The first screen will show a list of the products you have in your database. Normally products will be shown in bold black type, but if a product is configured to not have a "Buy" button, then it will be shown in red. If it is configured to not be shown on the store at all, then it will be shown in "strikethrough".

If you chose the "New Product" or "Modify Product" options you will be given a screen to edit the product options. Certain options such as the product reference number, price, section and name are obligatory and are therefore marked with a red asterisk. Please note that the references to the product images are just references. You must upload them to your site via ftp. If you add a large image or long description then in the products page a link will be automatically shown to a "product details" page which will show this extra product information. There may be more or less information shown on this page depending on the shipping options you have chosen, such as the product weight. So, it is probably best to set your shipping options before setting up your products...more information on the products admin page

Edit product options

Product options are such things as the choice of different sizes for one of your products, or the product color for instance. To be able to select a product option in the Edit products admin page, you must first have set them up here. The fields are the Option Name, which is the one shown to your customers on the store. Then you have the Working Name. This can be useful if you have several different products which use the same Option Name, like "size", but have different settings, like (small,medium,large) for your T-Shirt sizes and (8,9,10,11) for your shoe sizes. Having a working name like "size (shoes)" and "size (tshirts)" means that you can distinguish them in the store admin section. The options themselves should be listed in the Options boxes in the order you wish them to appear. There is also the possibility of having a "price difference" to the product base price. So for instance if choosing the X-Large option adds an extra one dollar to the product price, then just enter a 1 in the box corresponding to that option. If you do not wish to use this feature, just leave this box blank or zero. On your store the price change will show in real time.

The "New Text Input Option" allows you to provide a field for the purchaser to add their own information, so for example if you were selling domain names, the client could type in the name they were wanting to order.

If you have problems adding the product options to products, try going to your admin main page and look for the "Admin Tweaks" section. Then make sure "Use simple product options display" is selected. This will only affect your admin section pages by the way, as some browser configurations, notably on a Macintosh have problems with the advanced javascript used. The publicly viewable pages will not be affected and are compatible with all browser configurations....more information on the product options admin page

Edit quantity pricing

In version 4.7.0 we introduced the option of quantity pricing. This means you can adjust the price depending on the number of items of a particular product purchased. Check the box on the quantity pricing page if you want to show a drop down menu of all product ids you have available when setting up the price breaks. Leaving the box unchecked means that you will have to enter the product id manually. You can make your customers aware of the price breaks offered by adding the details to the product description....more on quantity pricing

Discounts and coupons

Discounts and coupons are powerful marketing tools that allow you to give your clients special offers on products or categories, allow wholesalers to purchase at special rates, provide incentives through your offline advertising or help clear "difficult to sell" stock amongst many other to set them up in your admin section.

Client login / wholesale pricing

In Version 4.2.0 we introduced the customer login feature. This allows for wholesale pricing / tax / shipping exemption for login customers and page protection. This means it is possible to offer retail and wholesale pricing without the need for a second database as well as offering tax and shipping exemption to particular users. You can also restrict access to certain pages of your site...more on the customer login feature.

Email message admin

From version 5.6 headers and footers for the order emails and dropshippers can be formatted through the control panel rather than going through vsadmin/includes.php. It is also possible to change the order status email as well as the ones sent to the buyer and receiver of a gift certificate. These can be used in conjunction with the FCK HTML editor on our free downloads page...more on the email message admin.

Content management system

The content management system built in to Ecommerce Template shopping cart software allows you to dynamically add content to your site through the online control panel. You can choose to add the content to existing pages, this might be in the form of news sections or special offers for example or you can set up a whole page content in a dynamic way - this will prove useful if you want to add articles about your products and services or want to control your home page content through the admin for example. The content management system has an optional built-in HTML editor with preview which makes formatting the content a breeze....more on the content management system.

Edit States

The store software displays a list of the US states in the checkout phase, and on this page you are given the option of supporting that state, and if shipping to that state incurs any State Taxes. It is possible to replace the US states with the counties / provinces etc of several countries by downloading and installing the relevant regional plug-in available here.

Edit Countries

The store software displays a list of worldwide countries in the checkout phase, and their attributes can be edited here. Firstly you can chose if you wish to ship to the country at all. Be careful when deciding this as it is tempting to support every country to increase sales, but unfortunately some also attract more fraudulent orders than others. Country tax can be set on this page also. The figure is expressed as a percentage, so for instance if a country incurs 16% tax, then just enter 16 in the box provided.
The position can be used to set the order the countries are displayed in the checkout drop down. "On Top" will put that country on the top of the list. "On Top of Top" will put that country above that even. This means that you can have the "United States" above the "United Kingdom", and then the rest in the usual alphabetical order.
If you have chosen "Weight based shipping" you are also given the option to set the shipping zone that applies to that country. We have ordered the countries roughly into the United States, the Americas, Europe and the rest of the world, but do examine these carefully for the countries you decide to ship to.


This setting only applies to "Free Standard Shipping". It enables you to set free shipping only for orders within a particular country. Only those countries checked will be eligible for free standard shipping. Remember that a rule will have to be set up first in your discount admin page for this to apply...more on coupons and discounts.

Edit Postal Zones

This option is only shown if you have chosen Weight Based shipping. The first screen is a "named" list of the zones you wish to support. The names are for your own purposes only really, and can be anything like "Zone 1", "Europe", "Eastern Europe" or whatever has meaning for you. Once you have added some zone names and clicked submit, go back to this page and you will see that there is a link "Edit Zone Rules" next to the zone names. The first column is a list of weight limits. The second column is a list of costs. The actual scale of the weight limits is irrelevant really and can have any meaning you wish, such as grams, kilograms, pounds etc...weight based shipping tutorial.

Price based shipping

This option follows the same rules as weight based shipping as described above with the obvious difference that we are referring to maximum price rather than maximum weight. After editing your list of rules you'll need to apply the rules on the countries admin page.

Shipping methods

"Edit USPS Shipping Methods" and "Edit UPS Shipping Methods" only show up if you turn on USPS or UPS shipping. This is to limit the shipping methods available for USPS and UPS.

UPS Shipping

More information can be found on the UPS set up page.

More shipping help

Edit Payment Providers

The payment providers allowed by the system are shown on this page. You will need a valid account with the payment provider, and once you have that you need to enter the account details on these pages. The "Email" option means that no payment is taken for that particular order, and only details of the order are recorded in the database. It is useful for taking orders where payment will be taken later, and also for testing the system prior to going live.
Payment options that are operative are shown in Bold. Those that are in demo mode are shown in red. Please note that there is actually no demo mode available for PayPal. They recommend setting up a cheap (say 1 cent) product for testing...more information on the payment providers admin page

Edit Order Status

This is where you can set the status of your order and the default options are unauthorized, cancelled, deleted, authorized, packing, shipping, shipped, completed. It is possible to change these values in the Admin Order Status page to give a clearer message to the public if they choose to view the status of their order.
Using Internet Explorer on a PC there is a quick method for changing lots of order status at once. If you say change an orders status to "Shipped" and hold down the Ctrl key the all the orders on that page will have the status changed to shipped. This is not available on other browsers...more on the admin orders page

Edit Manufacturers

This is where you can add new manufacturers. Once you have them set up you can assign them to products in the products admin page, choosing from the drop down list. These can be added to help narrow down the search on your search page - to do this you will need to add


to vsadmin/includes.php and to show the manufacturer field on the products page, add


...more information on manufacturers

Drop shipping

Here you can group products per manufacturer etc., keep track of the sales per group and allows the ability of email notification when a particular order is ordered through your store. This may be the drop shipping company, a manufacturer, a contributor or anyone really you need to notify of a sale.
Once you have set up the accounts for each entity you can then choose who needs to be notified from the drop down box on the corresponding product admin page.
Sales can then be tracked through the drop shipper admin page...more on the drop shipping settings

Mailing List Management

This is the page where you can administer the sign-ups for your mailing list. You can confirm, modify, add and delete users as well as sending out text or html based emails. The newsletter feature is designed for small to medium sized lists so shouldn't be used if you have many thousands of members. To see how it all fits together, please take a look at our tutorial and help page.

Edit Product Attributes

This feature is used in conjunction with the Product Filter Bar and is used to group products together by the criteria of your choice. For example you might want to create groups for condition eg New, Semi-new, Used. Your customers can then choose from the drop down and filter the products by the groups you have set up here eg. they may only be interested in purchasing second hand products. One you have set up the groups here, it will be necessary to assign products to the groups through the product admin pages....more on the product filter bar

IP blocking

If you need to block someone using a particular or range of IP numbers then you can set them up here. Use this function sparingly so as not to block legitimate users. Visitors who are blocked will not be able to complete the checkout process.

CSV upload

From version 5.1.0 it is possible to update your database, and upload new products to your database from a windows CSV file. (This is the kind that would be generated from Excel.)

Browse to the location of your CSV file and click submit. You can choose "Add to database" to add new products to the database or "Update database" to update the products in the database.
The first row in the CSV file must be a list of database columns. You can view the columns available by opening up your downloaded csv file .

Most columns will have sensible defaults so you only need specify the fields you require, but you should normally set pDisplay and pSell to 1 and you must have a pID specified for the product id. You should be able to dump the "full inventory", edit this and reimport it.
Please also note this is for small to medium sized CSV files of up to around 3 thousand to 5 thousand products.

Product Images

In version 6.1.1 it is possible to have unlimited images per product so this now has its own csv file. In the product admin page, select "Product images" from the drop down on the right hand side of the page, this will download a csv file of the images in your database. When you open it up you'll see there are four columns

  • imageProduct - this will contain the product id
  • imagesrc - this will be the path to the image
  • imageType - values of 0, 1 and 2 available which correspond to the Small image, Large image and Giant image.
  • imageNumber - this is the order of how the images should appear on the pages and is particularly useful when you have multiple small, large and / or giant images.

The csv file for product images must include the four columns names at the top: imageProduct imageSrc imageType imageNumber and you can choose to add to database or update database.

Important note: Make sure when adding new images that they come somewhere after the existing product images in the file so images don't get deleted in later uploads. Also be careful with the value entered in the imageNumber field. If you don't want images to be deleted, make sure the value is higher than the existing one(s). If the image is to be replaced, enter the same or lower value.


If your product ID begins with zeros then to avoid them being truncated, try the following

Open Excel and create a new blank worksheet.
Go to Data -> Import External Data -> Import Data.
Browse to your CSV file and open it.
In the text import wizard step 1, choose "Delimited".
In step 2, in "Delimiters" check "Comma" and uncheck all others.
In step 3, with your pID column selected set the column data format to "Text" then click "Finish".
You will be asked where you want to put the data and just accept the default.

...more help on the admin csv file.

Stock notification

This feature was introduced in Version 6 and allows the customer to be notified by email when the stock is again available. It does require stock management to be turned on....more on stock management

Activity log

This feature added for the PA-DSS Compliance certification will show a log of activity within your control panel.


If you can't find the solution to your questions here, please take a look at the following pages: