What Not To Do When You Contact Me

I get a lot of inquiries through my site. Most of them are potential clients, recruiters and other people looking to work with me. Below is the most hilarious exchange I’ve had yet. I’ve changed the name and domain for this guy.

Our site is located at linkremoved.com
We are interested in customizing this site to work and look like linkedremovedagain.com which I just coded recently.
I am looking for a site assessment in terms of a project to customize our shopping cart.
Thank you , have a wonderful day

Hey Bo, thanks for contacting me. I got your contact form submission on my website johnfairfull.com.

I took a look at both of your websites. Is the corporate website in a CMS of any kind or is it just php templates? Is the shopping cart in any kind of cart platform or CMS? What payment gateway are you using? Are you wanting to use any particular CMS or shopping cart system for your shop? I noticed that the corporate website is not responsive, but the shop is. Do you want to keep the shop responsive? Are there any features that you’d want to change about the shop or do you want to basically keep it the same functionality and just skin it differently?

Ok, I just realized that you’re using Zen Cart, is that right?

John F.

The corporate side is hand coded and semi responsive for most platforms. No one here has a Mac to test on so I haven’t done the css for an ipad.
The shopping cart runs on zen-cart.
We want to remove that ugly chaos and replace it with the corporate site look and feel.

Would you be open to a different ecommerce platform? I’ll be honest, it’s been about seven years since I worked with Zen Cart. At this point, I’d recommend WordPress with woocommerce. Zen cart is relatively expensive and difficult to customize compared with WordPress.


Wow, I always thought REAL webmasters don’t use word press. Sorry LOL. It’s these (you?) kids out of school who think dragging and dropping from someone else’s hard work on a template driven crap system is being a webmaster.

I don’t use a mouse when I make a website. I type in notepad++. That’s what real programmers do.

Also, at this time, I doubt we would be interested in using another ecommerce platform. We would just like to stick in “innards” of zen-cart into an include statement that’s in a pre-made PHP/ HTML template chassis.

Let’s unpack Bo’s assertions.

My Site is Semi Responsive

It’s not responsive at all, not even a little bit; but I used the viewport meta tag.

Real Webmasters Don’t Use WordPress

I really can’t argue with this one. He’s right. Real webmasters use geocities.

Real Programmers Don’t Use a Template Driven Crap System

Yeah, I mean only sites like jQuery.com and CSS-Tricks use WordPress, not real programmers. Only 70 million sites run WordPress compared to 150,000 on Zen Cart. There aren’t any real programmers in that 70 million. No real programmers programmed those 70 million. Here’s the thing. I’ve been coding with Zen Cart since it was OS Commerce. I used to even recommend it. It’s ok, but it’s really not fun to customize. A simple “Yes, we’d like to keep Zen Cart,” would have resulted in a “Ok, I’m not interested.”

I don’t use a mouse when I make a website. I type in notepad++.

I feel like I’m listening to rap lyrics. Seriously though, this guy is apparently a genius because he figured out how to use Notepad++ without…a mouse. I guess he writes batch scripts on the command line that interface with Notepad++ to write his code for him? I love it when people talk about how much programming cred they have because of some text editor they use. Who cares? You think your clients care about that? Also, if you’re going to “brag,” like this, at least use vim or something so your comments make sense.

Notepad++ is a nice free text editor, BTW. My friend Drew told me about it a long time ago. The bummer is that it’s only on Windows. Just as a fun aside, I wrote my first program ever in QBasic for Dos 5.5. Computers didn’t even have a mouse back then, bruh. Word.

We would just like to stick in “innards” of zen-cart into an include statement that’s in a pre-made PHP/ HTML template chassis.

Cool story, bro. I guess my reaction to this is: if you think it’s that easy why don’t you just…do…THAT?

Long story short, I think this guy got butthurt because I pointed out that his new site wasn’t responsive while the old one is. It’s also funny that he thought I was a kid right out of school even though I was able to figure out exactly what he was running just by looking at the HTML of his sites and also mentioning that I was coding Zen Cart over 7 years ago. Pro tip: they don’t teach Zen Cart in Webmastering 101, Bo.

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