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  1. #1
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    Need to build an E-commerce site. Where do I start?

    I want to build an e-commerce site. I am new to PHP. I only have a month to build it. The client wants a Multi-page secure order form with shopping cart, where visitors can pick products while continuing to shop, change their order, preview order and submit online. Then the order would be sent via email. The client has a merchant account through a local bank.

    How do I get started? Do I set up the front end of the site through HTML and then code it in PHP? Or can I purchase a shopping cart and change it to look like the rest of the site? What is my best bet within the time frame that I have?

    Can someone give me a link to tutorial? I know that I can learn the PHP technique if I need to. I just don't know where to begin. I am sure that the answer is here in these forums, but I don't have the time to read through all the great threads here.

    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Enthusiast jameso's Avatar
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    Hi s_spice113,

    Here's my advice. Others will most probably give you different advice, but this is what's worked for me in the past.

    I'd recommend that you use osCommerce.

    It's a FREE shopping cart script with HEAPS of community support. It's got all the features you'll probably need already built into it. If you require a certain feature that's not included with it, there are literally hundreds of contributions that you can install.

    I recommend that you download the osCommerce 2.2 MS2 version. It's the latest stable release.

    If you need any help, I'd suggest visiting the osCommerce Forums.

    Hope this helps,

    James

  3. #3
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    James made a great suggestion since you want to do it in PHP.

    You need to have the merchant check with the bank to see if they are allowed to process internet charges via their merchant account. Most of the time brick & mortar accounts are set up to only handle swiped (qualified) transactions. They might be set up to handle a few non-qualified transactions a month but if they start to exceed that amount, the bank could up their discount rate. If they think they are going to process more than $1,000 a month, they should get a merchant account for internet / telephone transactions.

  4. #4
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    Thank you for such quick responses. I will definitely look further into the osCommerce. It sounds like just what I need. Thanks also for the heads up about the merchant. I told them to check on it, but I wasn't aware that there would be a limit on the dollar amount of purchases for the year. That is one to put in my folder for things to let my client know.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Enthusiast jameso's Avatar
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    s_spice,

    I've had a look around and I'd recommend installing the MS2 MAX 1.5 version which you can get from oscdox.com. It's the MS2 version that I mentioned earlier, but with about 20 contributions pre installed.

    James

  6. #6
    Texan at Heart Corey Bryant's Avatar
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    s_spice113 - there is not really a dollar limit. Let me try to give you an example that happened to a friend of mine before I fixed him up.

    He had a brick & mortar account & most of his transactions were keyed (non-qualified). His processor called him up & said due to this, they were raising his discount rates (from 1.75% to 2.95%). I moved him to another account to handle internet transactions.

    These keyed transactions cannot really be verified - that is why the discount rate is usually higher than a swiped account.

  7. #7
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    <QUOTE>I've had a look around and I'd recommend installing the MS2 MAX 1.5 version which you can get from oscdox.com. It's the MS2 version that I mentioned earlier, but with about 20 contributions pre installed.
    </QUOTE>
    Okay, I will look into this one instead.

    <QUOTE>
    He had a brick & mortar account & most of his transactions were keyed (non-qualified). His processor called him up & said due to this, they were raising his discount rates (from 1.75% to 2.95%). I moved him to another account to handle internet transactions.

    These keyed transactions cannot really be verified - that is why the discount rate is usually higher than a swiped account.
    </QUOTE>

    Oh, this puts it more into perspective. Thanks.

    Other questions about the shopping cart:
    I can link it to other HTML pages correct? I can alter the design of the shopping cart pages using the interface....correct? ie Logo.


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