VirtueMart Forum

VirtueMart 2 + 3 => General Questions => Topic started by: DiveO2 on April 08, 2012, 13:07:43 pm

Title: [Solved] Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: DiveO2 on April 08, 2012, 13:07:43 pm
Firstly, I'm just trying to be objective here....
I'm fairly 'green' to online shop setup.

I started 'trying' to set up an online shop about 6 or 7 weeks ago and have spent many, many, many, many hours trying to get it working.

So far, I've got Joomla 2.5 and VM2 installed (fully patched and up-to-date) with just a couple of test products in the shop and still unable to complete a checkout!
All I'm able to do at this point in time is: put items in my basket but when I go to checkout, I get a blank (white) screen.
Like I said, I've spent many hours trying to sort this. (probably about 150+ hours) so I think I've given it a fair go.....

I'm now at the stage where I don't care any more, I just want to get it working!

My 'potential' customer has been very patient waiting for me, but that won't last much longer.

So, I looked around for options, and came across AceShop. I know its a paid-for product, but like I mentioned, I'm losing the will to live so far....
My question(s) is: Should I spend money on a product to get some results?
Is it the right product to spend money on?
Will it do what I need it to do?
Am I going to get as much grief trying to set it up like with VM2?
I've already lost money..... due to the amount of time I've wasted with VM2

ANY help or advice WILL be welcomed!
Title: Re: Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: jenkinhill on April 08, 2012, 15:27:26 pm
There are already a good number of VirtueMart 2 stores up and on-line, so you can see that the software works. I was able to build a VM2 store with no problems, so why is it not working for you? It could be a lack of familiarity with how an eComm site works or a limited experience with Joomla.

Maybe the hosting evnvironment is not optimum - eg running an old version of PHP (such as anything below PHP5.3) or with low resource settings in php.ini

Template choice also has an effect on whether a store will work or not, but I did point you in the direction of some that do work OK with VM2. Or do for me, anyway.

Blank pages causes in Joomla are usually identified by looking at the server logs - see http://forum.virtuemart.net/index.php?topic=62675.0

Every type of cart software has a learning curve, and they often require different skills. For example it is possible to get a Zen cart up in less than 50 hours if you have just a little php skill and everything goes OK, especially getting templating right so that it does not look the same as every other Zen cart - but does require great attention to server & site security which is another skill that needs to be learned. Magento is a good and very powerful cart system, but the "free" community version needs far too much time spending on it to get a site working. So much so that the hosted  Magento Go version has proved very popular, but you do have to keep making the monthly payments (anything up to $125/month) to keep the site going.

The first VirtueMart site I built - it was then called PHPshop, running on Mambo - took about 3 months and by the time I had built it the VM1 version was out so I then updated it.  This was a test site for me to learn & see if I could do it. I then added eCommerce site building to my list of capabilities - until then I was mainly making simple brochure sites. I have tried most other cart systems but have stuck with VM.

Your choice at the end.

Title: Re: Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: DiveO2 on April 08, 2012, 15:51:52 pm
Hi Kelvyn

Thank you for your response.
Are you stalking me?
It seems that you, apart from being very knowledgeable, is the only 'guru' who seems to answer my posts!

You did give me some hints on templates, and thank you for that, I downloaded almost a dozen of them, however, none of them worked!
This is a cry for help...... tears don't come across of forums very well!
It would be cheaper for me to pay my customer to go else where to get his website done, however I don't do failure very well!

I believe my php is fine, my hosting is heart internet and they are very Joomla friendly.

My other websites are fine but this is my first (and probably LAST) shop!

Anything I can possibly update to do with my web on this, I've done....
Although I said I'd done about 150 hours on this, when I thing about it, it's probably double that!
...and I've got absolutely nowhere!

If I re-created what I've done so far, I could probably do it in about 12 minutes! (including installing Joomla!)

If anyone else can throw any inspiration my way, I have open arms ready!
Title: Re: Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: jenkinhill on April 08, 2012, 18:04:26 pm
You mention Heart Internet - on their website they do not mention version specifics except that their servers come with PHP4 (!) and PHP5 with SOAP (I think that could dates from 2006?) So are you now using PHP5.3 or better? In VM2.5 go to Site/System Information to check.
Title: Re: Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: DiveO2 on April 08, 2012, 19:45:01 pm
Hi Kelvyn

Its php 5.3 (thats what they install as standard (and give the option of downgrading to 5.2).

Also, I have completey trashed the site again and re-installed from scratch.
All I have installed is: Joomla 2.5.4
VM 2.2

............................Hang on a minute....... I messed up, I trusted them!!!!!!!!!!

Its PHP 5.2.17  !!!!!

I'll now go and bleed their ears! (Heart Internet)
Title: Re: Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: franzpeter on April 08, 2012, 19:46:12 pm
@DiveO2

Hello,

I use at the moment both VM 2 and AceShop, but just for evaluation. Aceshop is an adaption of OpenCart to run with Joomla. It has a lot of features, MultiShop capabilities,  an integrated RMA System,a lot of payment and shipping providers included and an excellent shopping cart engine. And, you can use all modules and plugins from OpenCart, they work with Aceshop too.

VM 2 is better integrated into Joomla. It is a native Joomla component, developed for Joomla. For some European countries it is not possible to use OpenCart 'without code modifications' to make it work in a legal way. But, you are right, at the moment Aceshop runs just 'Out of the box', stable and fast. If you do not need customer defined fields at the moment, AceShop is excellent. What I do not like with AceShop: they did change the table names in the database. So you have to buy a long term subscription. You cannot use OpenCart updates and Upgrades. You need to wait until the AceShop developers adapt the OpenCart upgrades to the new version. It may be difficult too to install modules and plugins, which create something in the database tables. The standard installation may not work, because the table names are different.

The blank page problem: Do you use the default VM 2 template or is it another template? It may be a buggy template which produce the blank page issue. Try to use the default template to see if the issue occurs. I have no problems with different servers. I works with a Mac as server and it works with a debian linkux server.
Title: Re: Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: DiveO2 on April 08, 2012, 20:19:16 pm
Hi Franz

Thank you for your contribution.
It's good to know beforehand about the update issues with Aceshop etc...

I'd like VM2 to work for me though.

I've just put a complaint/info request to Heart internet about their php version because they say in the reseller administration pages that they install v5.3 as standard, and only offer a downgrade to 5.2 but when I checked the page on what's installed, it says its version 5.2.17

My site at the moment is a 'very clean' site with joomla and vm installed (latest versions) but not obviously php !!
anyway, I've also tried some templates which are supposed to work, but I guess I'll need to check them when heart have sorted themselves out!

I'll post again when I have more info.
Title: Re: Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: DiveO2 on April 08, 2012, 20:38:04 pm
I have an answer.......

From Heart internet..

Thanks for contacting us.

You have a .htaccess file within the site (from the looks of it, it was created by a version of Joomla) that is forcing your PHP version to be 5.2. Would you like me to change it so the site is set to use PHP 5.3?

From me..

What can I say.... apart from that's good service!
I'm about to test it..
Title: Re: Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: DiveO2 on April 08, 2012, 20:55:19 pm
Well..... it now works!

DAMN those htaccess files!

Thank you Kelvyn and Franz for both of your inputs.
Just another gotcha to be aware of.
I guess you shouldn't trust all you read.
In this case, it was worth double checking....

I'll just add something for the search facility.

Wrong PHP version
what version of php does VM2 need
How to find what version php is installed
................... From your joomla 2.5 administration panel, click site / system information.

latest version of php from heart internet as of April 2012 is 5.3.10

So, in answer to my own original question... Is VM2 the right product for me?

Answer, after all this aggravation, I damn well hope so!

Now changing the icons...
Title: Re: [Solved] Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: jenkinhill on April 08, 2012, 23:26:53 pm
Just to put your mind at rest - no version of Joomla installs .htaccess to force a low level of PHP. That would be proprietory code which only a host would be likely to use - or an experienced web developer who knows that the host has multiple versions of PHP selected via that method.
Title: Re: [Solved] Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: DiveO2 on April 09, 2012, 00:00:41 am
Thanks again Kelvyn


Lets hope this post helps someone in the future...

One last thing.. I changed my Joomla site back to my one which I backed up earlier and guess what.... yes, it failed.
So, I looked at the htaccess file and changed it but it didnt fix my problem but heart internet helped out again, and just for info, they gave me this info:

I asked them if I need to contact them every time I needed to change the PHP version!

Thanks for your reply.

You certainly don't need to contact us to change PHP Versions - You can just add the following lines to a .htaccess file depending on the PHP version you're after:

SetEnv DEFAULT_PHP_VERSION 4
SetEnv DEFAULT_PHP_VERSION 5
SetEnv DEFAULT_PHP_VERSION 53

That's PHP 4.4, PHP 5.2, PHP 5.3 respectively.

If a .htaccess file doesn't already exist, you can create it.

So, just to confirm to anyone reading this...... Depending on your hosting company, they 'MAY' have different versions of PHP for you to use, and Heart Internet use 'the above'
Title: Re: [Solved] Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: Milbo on April 09, 2012, 12:59:17 pm
Be aware that a good htaccess is a must (Prevents a lot possible sql injections and similar). You may use akeeba administration tools to let generate a htaccess for you.
Title: Re: [Solved] Is VM2 the right product for me?
Post by: Zuske on July 06, 2012, 17:51:03 pm
i did got a blank page after confirm order in the cart.
it happened after update 2.0.6>2.0.8
in 2.0.6 i didnt have a problem.

my error logs said: [Fri Jul 06 16:45:29 2012] [error] [client 86.91.196.65] PHP Fatal error:  Allowed memory size of 25165824 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 68 bytes) in /var/www/html/libraries/joomla/language/language.php on line 792, referer: http://www.mongolianlife.com/nl/zayashop/beta-versie-winkel/cart

so the server host had to adjust allowed memory size,  now its fine.

thank god for the error logs.