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  1. #1
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    creating an ecommerce site

    I'm a novice freelance web designer and my first client has asked me to create and ecommerce site for her. I can create websites but I'm unsure about the process behind an ecommerce site. I've been reading on this forum that you need ecommerce software but is there any other way. What I mean is am I able to create the whole site myself if I'm able to teach myself php and mysql which I've started doing or will I need some kind of software for the site?

    Thanks, any help would be appreciated

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by markleedsfc View Post
    I'm a novice freelance web designer and my first client has asked me to create and ecommerce site for her. I can create websites but I'm unsure about the process behind an ecommerce site. I've been reading on this forum that you need ecommerce software but is there any other way. What I mean is am I able to create the whole site myself if I'm able to teach myself php and mysql which I've started doing or will I need some kind of software for the site?

    Thanks, any help would be appreciated
    Hi Mark,

    I'm sure there are others on this site with more technical info for you than I can offer, but ....

    I am also a novice with minimal html/php/sql/etc skills & recently set up my own e-commerce site using Prestashop. After setting up one shop I feel pretty confident I could now set one up for others fairly easily.

    Word of note: I was unaware when I began about the whole thing with PCI Compliance which was quite unexpected & I ultimately decided to stick with just Paypal for now, even though my brick&mortar partner has his own credit card processor for offline purchases.

    There are quite a few other "free" e-commerce platforms (Magento, ZenCart, etc) out there you may want to check out as well and many add-on/plugins/modules for them that are avail for purchase from independent developers if you need the shop to include something not packaged with the main platform.

    Do a lot of reading on here & elsewhere. Good luck to ya.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict Avactis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by markleedsfc View Post
    I'm a novice freelance web designer and my first client has asked me to create and ecommerce site for her. I can create websites but I'm unsure about the process behind an ecommerce site. I've been reading on this forum that you need ecommerce software but is there any other way. What I mean is am I able to create the whole site myself if I'm able to teach myself php and mysql which I've started doing or will I need some kind of software for the site?

    Thanks, any help would be appreciated
    Hello Mark,

    Yes you will need ecommerce software for your website.

    Here is the list of shopping carts you can try:
    http://www.shopping-cart-reviews.com/
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari..._cart_software

    Feel free to ask any questions you have, I'm glad to help!
    Avactis Shopping Cart & CMS - Easy integration into existing
    site design. Ecommerce Hosting with Free support.

  4. #4
    Internet Business Optimizer KCgame's Avatar
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    If you are not technical savvy and only want to focus on the marketing and business development side of your business. Then you may want to become reseller of any eCommerce hosting provider. I am a reseller of a online ecommerce hosting solution and only concentrate on getting clients and they will support them while leaving out the technical details (which is a headache to me)..

  5. #5
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    Of course you can do it from 0 but it is not worth the time. I don't think that is your job.
    Also you will have to make updates, plugins etc ... that is time.
    Take a free ecommerce site: magento, os commerce and integrated for the need of the client.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard webcosmo's Avatar
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    If she doesnt have that many products you can hard code those product pages and use paypal for payment.
    Which means you wont need all those high tech stuffs. But this also means she wont be able to update the products and prices.

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the replies. If I was to use a CMS for the site would I be able to integrate it with oscommerce or magento?

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    There is another option available to you that gives you a quick way to continue creating websites in exactly the same way as your are used to, you then have no need to learn and maintain PHP code or get to grips with MySQL databases, so allows you to stay focused on designing great websites instead of becoming a software developer. You could use a hosted shopping cart add-in to do this which means all the development and store software management is taken care for you by the hosted shopping cart add-in service.

    All you would need to do is copy and paste the hosted shopping cart add-in text/script in to your web pages to give you Add to Cart, Buy Now, Checkout buttons and other add-ins like Total Cost of Cart, Total Number of Items In Cart etc.

    It is then a simple step to connect your website to your chosen payment processor, like PayPal, who then handle the credit card payment at the final checkout stage.

    A good hosted shopping cart add-in allows you to create a professional looking online store embedded in to your website and will give the merchant lots of great features, like stock quantity control for instance, or automatic storage and delivery of digital downloads.

  9. #9
    SitePoint Addict WilliamW_321's Avatar
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    The "buy now" solution is likely the best route
    for you since you can focus on the "non-tech"
    side of things more effectively.

    Building an ecommerce application is now too
    big and hairy to start from the ground up. It's like
    Dreamweaver, you can build your own html editor
    but Dreamweaver is already so good ... why would
    you ever bother?
    PremiumWebCart
    Memberships, Up Sell, Affiliate, CRM, Project Mgr, See More

  10. #10
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    My advice would be to really ask yourself if it's worth spending all that time and effort to build your own? There are open source ones out there, there are some really impressive paid solutions as well.

    I'm not a big fan of starting things from scratch. Improve on what's out there already is the way that I'd go if I was to do this.
    Want to build an Ecommerce store? Use BigCommerce.
    Cause it's great gosh darn it. Check out the BigCommerce Review

  11. #11
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    You can make use of CMS applications, they are good looking themes and designs. CMS applications like Magento, ZenCart, have built-in ecommerce functionality.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by twentytwo View Post
    My advice would be to really ask yourself if it's worth spending all that time and effort to build your own? There are open source ones out there, there are some really impressive paid solutions as well.

    I'm not a big fan of starting things from scratch. Improve on what's out there already is the way that I'd go if I was to do this.
    I also go with this idea because you don't have the time to make the same things that are available out there. Sure that would be nice for your self esteem to say: I did all this by myself.
    But if you pass this idea ... you come exactly to: I have this ( what is all ready done ) ... what can I do to make it ... and here comes your added value.
    It's easier this way and more profitable.

  13. #13
    SitePoint Member e654777's Avatar
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    Am using zen cart at the moment. It is simple. I am also a novice when it come to e commerce.

    Sent from my GT-P1000 using Tapatalk

  14. #14
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    By no means is it worth it. You will not be able to make a functioning eCommerce website that is fully secure in any reasonable amount of time. Look into some free eCommerce options and design the website around that. Develop a theme or skin for the eCommerce site.

  15. #15
    SitePoint Member Moshe_SWD's Avatar
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    There is a lot that goes into building an ecommerce site - I would not try and do it yourself. I would get a ready made solution. Personally, I like BigCommerce as it takes care of most of what you need for you (including the hosting). You can also become a partner and get a referral fee from them. Another option is Shopify.

    There are hosted carts to consider, but that will require some more technical skill from you. Magento is one of the most famous, but it is difficult to use. OpenCart is supposed to be very well-coded, but some people have complained about their customer support. I think CS-Cart is also suppose to be good.

  16. #16
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    Cool

    I found 1&1 eShops (http://order.1and1.com) You can upload onto their templates or if you want to customize they have an app that plugs into Dreamweaver. The hosting is very reasonable and the owner doesn't kill big mammals. I notice they are an advertiser on sitepoint. They are very easy to talk to. I'll be using them for my ecommerce clients.

    Free carts are fine for some but I want someone I can call for help rather than waiting 2-5 days for the forum to get back to me.

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    I agree that you should probably consider using an open source solution like Magento or Spree Commerce or a hosted provider like Magento Go, Goodsie, Shopify or Big Cartel. They are all reasonably priced, have a lot of features, are easy to use and can create very nice sites.
    Pricetack - sell your goods with automatic markdowns

  19. #19
    SitePoint Member Daniel O.'s Avatar
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    Choosing the right shopping cart will affect how you do business in the future and will determine your ability to grow. You don't want to spend a lot of time setting up (or building) a shopping cart and then realize 2 years from now that it is obsolete and you can't improve it, which would then lead to having to switch carts and that's a big investment of time and money once again.

    A good site to compare shopping carts: Shopping Carts for Websites
    You can find resources to hosted shopping carts, open source shopping carts, and licensed shopping carts.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    -Daniel O.
    eCommerce Developer

  20. #20
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    I suggest you use shopping carts of php+mysql because those are main stream ones and there are a lot of tutorials such as magento,zencart and oscommerce are all the best choices.

  21. #21
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    I would advice you to go with magento, it is the leading e-commerce software today that provides you feature-rich eCommerce platform which offer merchants complete flexibility and control over the presentation, content, and functionality of their online channel.

    Cheers!
    Allyson
    <snip/>
    Last edited by ScallioXTX; Jun 14, 2011 at 01:37. Reason: please wait 90 days to avail of a signature

  22. #22
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    If you choose an hosted solution, you don't need to learn php and mysql.

    Most of those providers have a template language(stripped programming languague).

    All you need to know is html and css.
    SolidShops - Elegant hosted e-commerce

  23. #23
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    E-commerce sites are easy when your host has a solution for you. Look at some PCI Compliant Hosting for a better view on the subject.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Member hostas's Avatar
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    I setup web shops with prestashop, I started with 0 knowledge about it, but after some time It's easy for me. Of course, to make your own web shop system is very big job, better use free solutions

  25. #25
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    Its also easier to buy a ready made website.<snip/>
    I ejoyed using this site as it made my job of creating a website much easier.
    Last edited by Mittineague; Sep 1, 2011 at 05:34. Reason: removing unnecessary link


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