SitePoint Sponsor

User Tag List

Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Standard noob, easy answer questions.

    Hi Guys,

    First post, my name MrSnrub (''yes, that will do'') and very much a noob when it comes to eCommerce Ė please take it easy on me

    I work in a very open industry (more so community), and Iím often asked if I can sell the works a create, and the Ďtoolsí I use to create them. Letís just say itís similar to iStock and sites of that nature Ė subscription based, and singular purchases.

    The products would be digital with file sizes ranging from 1mb Ė 100mb.

    Iíve tried researching, but with so much information everywhere itís a headache to piece it all together.

    The design of the website is for the most part complete, thanks to a talented graphic designer and Iím now in the process of searching for a developer / programmer. I would like to have somewhat of an idea of what Iím talking about as I am quite particular about what I want, and secondly, dont want to be given the run-around.

    I have many questions, but donít know quite how to articulate them.

    I guess Iím confused mostly with:

    - how the different types of ecommerce software work (i.e. Magenta, PayPro Global etc. ) Ė how they integrate with the site, and how customizable they are etc

    - what programming languages whomever programs the site will need to be proficient with

    - the difference in payment systems and how customizable they are i.e. do they integrate into my website, or does to customer get transferred to their website (PayPal style)

    If anyone can help, by either directly pointing me out to a particular post, explaining it to me or suggesting a decent website, I will certainly appreciate it.

  2. #2
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,299
    Mentioned
    460 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    Hi Mr.Snrub. Welcome to the forums.

    I'm no expert here, but let me try to give a starting answer to some of these questions.

    how the different types of ecommerce software work (i.e. Magenta, PayPro Global etc. ) – how they integrate with the site, and how customizable they are etc
    Well, there are various different approaches to ecommerce. Let's start with shopping carts.

    There are, for example, some software packages (ecommerce CMSes) that form the basis of your whole site. You style them to suit, and they have a whole range of functions in-built—predominantly geared around a website for selling things. So they are basically a ready-made website that you style to suit. Examples include osCommerce, Magento and ZenCart.

    This kind of software package you install on your own web hosting account and manage all yourself—including security. However, that's not the only option. Some companies, like Shopify, allow you to set up an account on their servers, and they handle all the security, which is a big bonus. You just pay a monthly fee, and all you have to worry about is uploading images etc. However, this means that you don't have total control of your site, and don't choose your own web host etc. These services look after your entire website.

    A third option is to build your own website in any way you like, and to use a third party just for the shopping cart. Examples include FoxyCart and eJunkie. Whereever you want to sell a product, you just put a PayNow button on your site, and it links to the third party site. The better ones let you style the landing pages to look exactly like your website, so that customers have no idea they've actually left your site during the purchase process. The simpler ones, like PayPal, make it quite clear to the customer that they have left your site for the purposes of the transaction.

    Now that is just software for setting up a website. The actual precessing of payments is something different.

    Most of the time, there are three factors in the online payment process, usually provided by different companies. First, there is the shopping cart. As described above, that may be software installed as part of your own website, or a whole service provider like Shopify, or a remote, third party service like FoxyCart.

    Either way, once the customers have added a product to the cart and are ready to pay, the transaction has to be passed on to a "Gateway". This is another service provider that is authorized to process credit cart details. Examples imclude Authorize.net and Eway. These gateway providers are a separate service with their own, separate fees.

    Lastly, the money collected by the gateway service has to be deposited somewhere, so normally you also need a merchant account at a bank. This is different from a normal bank account, and also has its own **** fees.

    So, in most cases, you have two or three services taking money from you—two if you install your own software on your website (but then you have security to worry about), or three if you choose an external service provider to which you pay a monthly fee.

    The exception is a service like PayPal, which is a bit basic and clunky, but which incorporates all these levels of the transaction—cart, gateway and (sort of) bank. You just have to transfer the PP funds to your regular bank account—though, you guessed it, at a fee.

    what programming languages whomever [sic] programs the site will need to be proficient with
    Doesn't really matter, but most commonly it's PHP. Most will just use a CMS, though, which is normally writ in PHP.

    the difference in payment systems and how customizable they are i.e. do they integrate into my website, or does to customer get transferred to their website (PayPal style)
    Hopefully my answer will have covered that to some extent. How customizable they are depends on the service. At the lower end, you have PayPal, which is barely custmizable at all. At the other end, you have the CMSes, which you can often style to your heart's content.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Addict bronze trophy vectorialpx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bucharest
    Posts
    247
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hello!

    I said it before and I will repeat it: if you care about your website and it's your own project, create it from a framework or from scratch.
    There are lots of CMSs in this world and you will never be able to choose the right one, because those that have something you like will miss other things.

    A simple question: how many big (successful) websites are created on a CMS and still running?!
    Maybe there are few but, I don't know any! Starting with Facebook and ending with iStock all are custom.

    You will need to extend things, especially in the eCommerce area.
    I work in this field and, believe me: you cannot imagine how "special" can some clients be and how many needs will have.
    I will stop here:
    1. A CMS is cheaper - it's free (or almost) and you will only pay a customization (a theme and some plugins).
    2. An experienced developer that will create a platform is expensive but will worth, if it's a serious guy!

    Now, other two questions:

    what programming languages whomever programs the site will need to be proficient with
    ralph gave you the answer

    the difference in payment systems and how customizable they are i.e. do they integrate into my website, or does to customer get transferred to their website (PayPal style)
    I don't recommend you to start with "your payment methods". Send the customer to PayPal or other trusted website until you get your audience because at the beginning your visitors will be skeptical to insert their credit cards into your forms. I am, I only post my credit card on Amazon, Apple, PayPal and one from my country - also Avangate, the company I work for The answer to your question is relative because you should be PCI compliant in order to have secure payments. This will certify to your clients that you don't keep their credit cards or, if you do, you do it in a secure way (well encripted and so on..).

    Good luck with the project!

  4. #4
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the thorough answers guys.

    I think it’s becoming clearer.

    Analogies help me to understand, so I will a physical store as an example.

    As I understand it:

    Shopify – They give you the cashier, shelves and store which I can’t fiddle around with too much. I supply the stock and perhaps pretty up the place superficially – paint, wall paper etc.. I pay them rent.

    Magento – They give me an empty store with ‘put it together’, ikea style furniture and shelves. I am more flexible with adjusting the space to suit my needs. I bring in my own cashier from company X.

    Custom – I’ve got a block of land and can build whatever I want on it, of course building the shop from scratch is costly. If I can’t buy a decent cashier with the money on hand, I borrow one from company X.

    I guess the question that now arises, is – as a guide – how much I should expect to pay for the ‘custom’ option and having it done from scratch. The content is digital, with a payment system similar to that of iStock i.e. subscription and singular purchases.

    I’ll explain the integration of the checkout..

    A customer may have a browse – without being registered – and chooses to download a product. Upon his/her attempt to download a ‘pop-up’ is enabled to register and pay (as opposed to adding to cart, reviewing cart, registering, checkout). I would indeed have secure and well known payment methods (PayPal) but also fill in their CC details on that same page to purchase in an effort to make the whole transaction as seamless as possible. Is this something that can be achieved from the CMS’ outlined?

    Thanks again.

    P.S. Ralph – where in Australia are you from?

  5. #5
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,299
    Mentioned
    460 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    In most cases, unless you are a big company with money to burn, anyone you hire to build this for you will use an off-the-shelf CMS of some kind—like Magento. And you will have to use a third party gateway ("cashier") in any case, as you have to deal with a credit card institution at some point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Snrub View Post
    how much I should expect to pay for the ‘custom’ option and having it done from scratch.
    My guess would be, somewhere between megabuckas and supermegabucks. [I don't know, really, but unless you find some young PHP guy who enjoys the challenge of using his skills to build you a system like this, and who is happy to receive a few bucks to keep him off the streets, then I'd expect it to be quite expensive indeed—in the tens of thousands easily.]

    The payment method you describe is pretty standard, and is how even simple options like FoxyCart work, so that's not a problem. And I'd say most decent CMSes would easily handle this kind of digital sales setup—whether you use a CMS geared to ecommerce or not.

    Off Topic:

    Ralph – where in Australia are you from?
    I'm in Batmania ... more recently known as Melbourne. (It used to say that under my avatar until I switched to the silly USA thing.)

  6. #6
    SitePoint Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    3
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Well the obvious question is then - where do I find a young homeless guy who knows PHP and wants a challenge?

    What I want to do isn't revolutionary and Im sure my main compeditors didn't have megabucks, let alone supermegabucks for theirs so I'm sure there's an existing CMS for my needs.

    Know any local guys for this type of work? I'm not far from Melb, will find any excuse to have a couple of lagers and lose some money at the crown

    I was thinking about sourcing some guys on Elance but that's pretty hit and miss...

  7. #7
    It's all Geek to me silver trophybronze trophy
    ralph.m's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Melbourne, AU
    Posts
    24,299
    Mentioned
    460 Post(s)
    Tagged
    8 Thread(s)
    Unless you are starting a big company here, I would think that any decent web design company would be happy to set up a custom site built on a CMS to suit your needs. The first step would be to make it clear what functionality is required and then get some quotes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Snrub View Post
    Know any local guys for this type of work?
    Not really, but this development kind of thing is not my area.

    I was thinking about sourcing some guys on Elance but that's pretty hit and miss...
    Yeah, peronally I'd steer well clear of that, especially if this is a serious enterprise. (I've met too many people who have come to regret placing their trust in some "Indian gent who lived near Delhi in a tent", to quote Roald Dahl ... sort of. [No offense intended to our Indian friends reading this, BTW. It's just better to deal with someone local, whom you know and can meet face to face, IMHO.])

    Off Topic:

    will find any excuse to have a couple of lagers and lose some money at the crown
    Beware, o beware of that den of iniquity, my son!

  8. #8
    SitePoint Addict bronze trophy vectorialpx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Bucharest
    Posts
    247
    Mentioned
    8 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I guess the question that now arises, is – as a guide – how much I should expect to pay for the ‘custom’ option and having it done from scratch. The content is digital, with a payment system similar to that of iStock i.e. subscription and singular purchases.
    The price may be told only after all specifications are "on the table" because it's about "your needs" vs "deadline" vs "price".

    I was thinking about sourcing some guys on Elance
    Don't do that! If you need something big you will also need a contract and you should make a business with someone who is near you.

  9. #9
    Community Advisor silver trophy

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,554
    Mentioned
    40 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by vectorialpx View Post
    A simple question: how many big (successful) websites are created on a CMS and still running?!
    Maybe there are few but, I don't know any! Starting with Facebook and ending with iStock all are custom.
    I generally agree with you that it's better to have a custom app tailored, but as an observation: about 25% of the top 10,000 sites in the world use an identifiable CMS
    http://trends.builtwith.com/cms

  10. #10
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Seriously, this is a very simple website to do. I use BigCommerce for all of my ecommerce websites because it is set up to be very friendly to all devices - even mobile phones and tablets - and it is one of the best SEO shopping carts there is. You can create your products as real ones that you ship or as digital ones that are downloaded after payment is made. Unless you have a ton of digital products, it will cost you $24.95 per month, which includes the hosting! Only hosted solutions like BigCommerce are PCI compliant. If you host it yourself, you will forever be patching security holes or paying a programmer to do it.
    Last edited by TechnoBear; Jan 31, 2013 at 06:42. Reason: Unnecessary URL removed

  11. #11
    SitePoint Enthusiast
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    24
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm sure the retail giants of the world are using custom built solutions. I doubt our friend here is competing with multi-billion dollar corporations, nor does he have the needs of a complex custom solution. He needs a simple shopping cart where people can download a handful of digital products.

    I may have only made $80,000 profit from my websites last year but that had nothing to do with the software. It's all about marketing!


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •