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Jan 26, 2012, 07:02 #1
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Solutions to Sell SERVICES w/ No Price, Integrate w/ MySQL for Bookkeeping/ Invoicing
I'm quite new with website design, and I'm creating a site for a friend. I thought this project would be much simpler than it has turned out to be, and I have spent many hours searching for solutions.
The site I am creating will be selling services, and not products. All the e-commerce systems and carts I have checked out so far
have required pricing info and appear to be pretty much designed for products. Why hasn't this worked for me? This is how the site will work:
- The customer places an order through a form that is customized to which service they are ordering.
There is no pricing at this point, as the price depends on how long the service ends up taking, and other factors
that come into play while the service is actually being provided. No payment information is taken.
- The customer uploads documents through the order form, which are used to provide the service.
(I'd been trying this with JotForm, but want to find free software to create new forms with (conditional logic)
and localize all the data to the site. Most customers will probably be uploading PDFs, probably no larger than
40MB, and usually closer to 2-12MB. Before signing up for web hosting with GreenGeeks, I ran my file
upload scenario by them, and I was told there was no real file size limit for uploads through the site.
Upon checking the PHP configuration, it appears that might not be true, and there may actually be
a 2MB cap. In that case, I'll be looking for a new web host, for which I am also open to suggestions.)
- The typical auto-responders will be sent, and notifications will pretty much instantly (instantaneous is essential)
notify my friend that an order has come in.
- All the customer data filled out in the form will be sent to a MySQL database which will also be interfaced with
accounting / bookkeeping / invoicing software that will have the costs / hours of service manually inputted
upon completion, and generate & e-mail PDF invoices to clients. To be able to attach extra documents to
the invoice e-mail would be great as well.
So far the site I've built is certainly not the epitome of web design excellence ; I'm learning this as I go along.
I'm thinking I may redesign the whole site from scratch with a CMS system, especially if I learn of one that is really
well-suited for what I am creating here. I am looking to use free, open-source software for all of this.
Thank you so much in advance for your help, input and suggestions!! Many hours of crawling, surfing, and slurping through the web to figure this out have had me feeling