You maintain all catalog pages separate from ShopSite and use the "Order Anywhere" function of ShopSite to add buy buttons to existing webpages created outside of ShopSite. Advantages are you have complete control over all pages, and can make a change via Frontpage/DreamWeaver easily. The disadvantages are anytime you add a product, make a change to a price, etc... you would need to make this change in the webpage for that product and publish that change via Frontpage/DreamWeaver. ShopSite would not manage your pages and content on those pages.
You maintain all pages in ShopSite. Within this choice, you have two options to choose from:
You use ShopSite built-in templates: You would choose an existing template, and use that for your catalog pages. You can customize the header and footer under the "Preferences -> Header & Footer" section, and can use the text fields to put text and html code in certain places. Of course you lose some flexibility, but managing changes to products is quite easy. The following link is a great explanation of each of the default templates and what each "Text 1,2,3..." field is supposed to do:
You use custom templates. This is the most robust and customizable way to use ShopSite, but it takes a bit of learning and trying to get it right. In this method, you create a template outside of ShopSite, and then edit that template to insert the ShopSite tags to tell ShopSite where to put products, links, etc...
With custom templates, there are two parts: A Page Template and a Product Template. The Page template is used to define how the page will look and where products and links will show up. The Product template is used to define how a product will appear on a page, and to define the "More Information" page as well.
Here is how you create a page template:
Here is a sample page template:
Here is how you create a product template:
Here is a sample product template:
These are the basics to creating custom templates and utilizing them in your site. If this seems too overwhelming, you can either use the existing ShopSite templates and work within their framework, or go with the "Order Anywhere" option.
If you would like a list of ShopSite designers that could help you to develop a custom look and feel, let us know, and we can send you a few designers/developers that do great work with ShopSite custom templates.
More information on building ShopSite Templates can be found on ShopSite's website at: