Creating Your Own Checkout Forms
Q13: The standard checkout forms offered in
the account configuration form do not match up
with my needs. Can I use my own somehow?
A13: Yes. We support up to ten totally custom
forms. New users should become familiar with
Americart and try to get by with the standard
checkout form choices before tackling custom
There is more information about creating and
uploading custom checkout forms at http://www.cartserver.com/sc/cusform.shtml.
Take a brief look at the upload form, then follow
the link to read the documentation at the top
of the page.
Q14: Do the form files need to remain on my
server all the time?
A14: The files only need to be on your server
when you submit the custom checkout form upload
form. When you submit the upload, the file URLs
are "fetched" by
Americart and installed into your account. You
should always keep copies of them on your local
system, at least, so you can update them as desired.
Q15: I don't understand the custom form documentation.
Please explain further.
A15: Try looking at it like this. There are
three files needed for a checkout form; the html
form itself that the shopper fills out, the template
you receive in email with the data filled in,
and the slightly shorter template that the shopper
receives via email as their detailed order acknowledgement.
The trick to having a custom form is to get
Americart to use your files instead of (or in
addition to) its own standard ones. On the documentation
page for custom forms, we have a table which
shows the three parts of each "standard" form.
You can download a trio of these, make some
changes to them, and install them as a custom
form with the title of your choice. That's really
all there is to the concept. The rest is detail,
in how data is passed between the three parts.
Q16: I uploaded four custom checkout forms
to use in place of the standard forms, but yours
still show up as selections. Why?
A16: Uploading a new form does not preclude
using the system forms. You must reconfigure
your cart and "de-select" the system
forms you no longer need.
Q17: If I have five custom forms, and want
to change only one, must I put in the info for
all of my custom forms?
A17: Yes! At present, Americart updates ALL
custom form files each time you submit the form
upload page. Always make sure that they are all
available on your website before uploading custom
Q18: Americart refuses to copy my custom files
off my website. The size always shows as zero
or the wrong size. What's wrong?
A18: Try looking at those file URLs through
your browser. If you can't see them, neither
can Americart. Also, double-check your URLs.
Keep in mind that unlike testing pages on your
local disk drive, the three files must be web
Q19: What does this =-blah_blah-= stuff mean
in the email template files?
A19: The =- and -= are signals to Americart
that inside the two is a variable name for which
it should substitute data from either the html
order form or the cart tracking data.
An example is:
Customer Email: =-email-=
Americart will replace =-email-= with the VALUE
of the variable named "email" which
the customer supplied in the html form. Variable
names must match exactly between the file trio.
Q20: In my email file, can I put more than one variable
on a line?
A20: Not presently, for coding efficiency reasons.
Q21: What is *CuR* in the email file examples?
A21: It is a trick to add the merchant currency
symbol into the form. This is an international
service, and we have people using money that
is not in $. You could presumably just replace
it with a $ or whatever since you already know
what your currency is.
Q22: Some variables are in the email file that
are not in the html file. What are these?
A22: These are reserved variables which contain
information being tracked by Americart. You can
move these around, or delete some of them if
you don't care about their contents, but don't
try to use those same variable names yourself,
or your results will be unpredictable.
Q23: What are the variables for including the
Order # and customer's IP address in the text
of the e-mail received from my custom order form?
I noticed you used those in your standard order
A23: If you keep the "Received by Americart" text
in the custom html form, the variables will be
put in there automatically. The cart program
sticks them in when it sees that text, but you
can use them like any other variable if you want
In the emailed file only:
Customer IP#: =-customer_ip-=
Order Number: =-ordernum-=
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