Michael Burke

Announce! – A Customer Notification Widget for Zen Cart

Announcement Admin 2This is a cool little project I did for Clementine NW. The problem was the site owner was always wanting to put bits of temporary text on the front page, announcing sales or drawing attention to special items. In the past, I would hand edit the template code with the changes she wanted. We both agreed, however that this wasn’t a good solution for either of us. So, I needed to put together a little mechanism that would allow her to post those things on the front page; at her whim and without having to edit any code.

So this module was born. It uses the Zen Cart configuration table to integrate into the admin interface, which plugs it right into the configuration menu. Clicking “Announcement” brings up the main configuration screen.

Announcement Admin 1There are three configuration options for the module. The first is “Show Announcement.” This turns the announcement teaser on and off. A value of “1″ is on and “0″ is off. The second is “Teaser Text.” This is the bit of text shown on the intended page. Last is “Announce Text.” This is a more elaborate version of the small bit of text, which the teaser can link to. This can contain HTML and will show up on it’s own web page.

Announcement TeaserThe effect is simply this. A small image shown on the front page, linking to a more descriptive bit of text deeper within the web store. It’s not very complicated, but it saves me the trouble of updating templates and gives the Clementine NW owner complete control over how events are announced for her store. It certainly not limited to existence on the front page, either. The module can be included in any template page.

The latest version of Announce is 1.0. It can be downloaded here:

Announce! 1.0

The module is currently known to work only with Zen Cart versions 1.3.7.1 and 1.3.8. However, it is constantly in development and better compatibility is a major project goal. Additionally, I’m happy to provide customization and installation services at reasonable rates, for any version of Zen Cart. Please email me directly to discuss your project needs.

I can be reached at beau@filterswept.com

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Michael Burke
beau@filterswept.com