View Full Version : Need Website Search that will return images

11-12-2007, 08:40 PM
Hi, We have built an ecommerce site and we want to add a search function. We want the search results to come back with thumbnails of our items for sale. For example, if you search "pottery" you'll get a little picture of each pottery item available. The ecommerce hosts seem to be able to provide this but we have built our own site and are our own host. We can't afford monthly fees when nothing is selling yet. I am frustrated because we have spent hours looking for a stand alone search that will do what we want. Our service provider says that whatever we use has to be PHP (no CGI or ASP). Not sure what that means. Can anyone point me to a search that will work? I can post the website name if you need it to get a better idea of what we want it to do. Thanks

Todd W
11-13-2007, 01:46 AM
If you built the site why can't you build the search function into it?

Or do you mean you used 3rd party software to build your ecommerce site?

If you did use 3rd party software what is it that could help us find you a search add-on or instruct you how to make your own in PHP.


11-13-2007, 09:51 AM
Todd, thanks for the reply. Let me preface this by saying we are not professional techies, just rank amateurs. We built our site using Nvu. We have a domain name on our local ISP and that is where the site is located. We are pretty pleased with how the site looks and operates but it is time to add a search feature and a shopping cart. We will probably use PayPal for the cart, but have not been able to find an independent search that will return photos. Something we can add ourselves without paying for it monthly. I don't know if it is appropriate to list our website name, so let me know if looking at the site would help you advise me. Thanks, Bonnie

11-15-2007, 02:30 PM
What you want more or less doesn't exist.

Searches such as that are powered through the backend, not with a frontend third party service. You either need to use a shopping cart script that includes such functionality, or code it up yourself (which you apparently do not know how to do).

The closest thing I can think of, other than that, is if you open a Google Base account, upload all your products, and then tell people to use Google to search your catalogue.

What I'd really recommend though is get a better ecommerce suite (try cubecart).

11-15-2007, 06:03 PM
Thanks Chris. Okay, I don't know a lot of technical jargon. I guess you could say I don't really know my back-end from my front-end! Can you tell me if something like Zoom Search would work for us? Our site is www.yosemiteantiques.com and my husband built it from scratch in html with Nvu. We'd like it to return pictures for the search results like this site:


or this one


I believe both of these are paying a web host each month who provides the search feature as well as the template for laying out the entire site, etc. Since our site is already built, we don't want or need to rebuild it in someone's template, we just want to add a search function. Frankly, for our type of items an all text search result is pretty useless. Hope this clarifies things a bit. I find it hard to believe this can't be done ourselves, but if you say no, then I'll believe you. Thanks again for the response, I do appreciate it.

Todd W
11-15-2007, 06:09 PM
Hi, I visited your site but I don't see an e-commerce site I see a simply site created with HTML.

An e-Commerce site is a site where visitors can browse and make a purchase. I see no ability to do that on your site.

If you had paypal payment buttons for each item then that would be considered an e-commerce site.

If your site is 100% html with no backend or frontend then your only choice is using google to 'site search' or upgrade to an ecommerce software package such as cubecart or oscomerce.


11-15-2007, 07:36 PM
Thanks Todd. Okay, I still don't know what a backend or frontend is. Right now, a customer would have to contact us via email to purchase an item. We do intend to add the Paypal buttons to each item but we are trying to work out how to add a Search function. Do you know anything about Zoom? After exhaustive research we thought that it might work for us. My husband might be able to do the necessary coding to search but we don't even know where to start. I see lots of offers for free script to code a search but none that return pictures as part of the result. Thanks for your input.

11-15-2007, 08:33 PM
A frontend is something the end user can see.

A backend is all the programming and code that makes the frontend possible. Usually involving scripts (short programming apps) and a database.

11-15-2007, 08:34 PM
For instance, this is my newest ecommerce site:


I use cubecart to power it.

Todd W
11-15-2007, 10:51 PM
If you go with a free solution like OSCommerce you will get the search you want + tons more. If you go with a paid solutions you get more features and support (most of the time).


11-16-2007, 09:18 AM
Okay, but if we were to use something like cubecart or Oscommerce, wouldn't we have to completely rebuild our site using one of their templates?

11-22-2007, 11:14 AM
I have a search engine I have built using php mysql that displays, linked picture, description, title and price. I could help you set it up for your site.

11-27-2007, 08:39 PM
Okay, but if we were to use something like cubecart or Oscommerce, wouldn't we have to completely rebuild our site using one of their templates?

pretty much, but better now than later.

Todd W
11-27-2007, 09:26 PM

Do it now before you have to not only re-add every item to a cart but also have to setup re-directs for EVERY item to their new page.

Hurry, go, run, do it!

I do the whole e-Commerce store setup on the side for companies / start-ups and if they have ****ty software my biggest push is to hurry and get it done before it's going to cost them way more in the end. Going from good software to good software isn't that big of a deal most of the time because most have SE friendly URLs and matching them from one package to another is normally easy, but going from nothing to something or bad to good can be a problem/time issue.