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Using PHP to Create Relevant Title Tags in osCommerce Websites

If you use osCommerce for your site's e-commerce, and you're not happy with the quality or quantity of visitors your site receives, keep reading. Though osCommerce provides some excellent features, its weaknesses could be getting in the way of giving you the number of visitors and conversions you expect. Fortunately, there's a solution, hidden in something as simple as a title tag.

  1. Using PHP to Create Relevant Title Tags in osCommerce Websites
  2. osCommerce Web Template Files and Page Title Naming
  3. Proper Page Title Naming for the Home Page and Categories
  4. Proper Page Title Naming for the Product Pages
By: Codex-M
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 8
May 21, 2009

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osCommerce is the most popular online e-commerce solution. The primary reason for this popularity is its nature as open source software; it can be used for almost no cost compared to other online e-commerce software.

osCommerce runs on PHP and MySQL, again an open source solution. Despite its popularity, it possesses a significant weakness. The default page title generated by the osCommerce is highly unfriendly to both site visitors and the search engines, particularly the most popular one: Google.

A high percentage of site conversion and website marketing success is primarily due to the correct use of title tag element<title> ....</title>  

This tutorial proposes a solution that allows an osCommerce web developer to generate unique and relevant title tags using only PHP. This eliminates the need to hire or consult an SEO on-site -- work which can be tremendously costly.  

Specification of Page Title for Search Engine Marketing Success

Very popular search engines like Google advise  webmasters under their technical guidelines to include accurate and descriptive titles for their web pages. It is essential that the page title should be:  

  • Preferably 65 characters. Exceeding this limit is permissible, but you should make sure your important keywords are prominent within the first 65 characters.

  • Perfectly relevant to the page topic. Users of osCommerce often make the mistake of creating misleading and inappropriate page titles.

    For example: if the product name on a page is "Widgets XYZ," the page title should be the same as the product name. Or in other cases, if the category is "Large Widgets," the page title should be the same as the category name.

  • Avoid having the same title tags in almost all product names and categories. Duplicate title tags are strongly discouraged for search engine optimization because they can affect the rankings of the product pages and cause dilution of the relevant pages.

You can do a rough check of your existing website to see if there are problems with duplicate titles. The best tool to use ishttp://www.google.com/

Type this in the search box (without including the www or http):


After pressing "search" in Google, you will see whether your indexed pages are having serious problems with duplicate titles. For example, below is a sample screen shot of a website having some issues with duplicate titles:

<Insert duplicate title.jpg here>

As you can see, most of the indexed pages have the same title, "osCommerce," which is completely unrelated to the page topic. This affects the site's search engine marketing effort and will confuse potential visitors.

>>> More PHP Articles          >>> More By Codex-M

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