1st complex Ecommerce site

I have done a simple Ecommerce site in the past. It was for a book that could either be digitally downloaded or a hard copy purchased and I used PayPal for the hard copy and payloadz.com for the eBook copy. Nice and simple. Now I have a client that sells custom baseball bats. He has 4 different models that come in various sizes and colors. I have looked at a lot of Ecommerce shopping carts that all seem way to complicated to learn quickly. I would need it to be easy to add to the existing site http://foxdenwebsolutions.com/haagbatcompany/index.html. I think some sort of dropdown choices would be the best bet for choosing the model, size, and color. Then this information would feed over to PayPal (because that is what the client wants to use). That is not a problem as I can easily set that up. Can this be done with a simple form? Do I really need a database? I do not know PHP very well so I am not sure that this is the proper solution to my problem. I am really not sure where to begin and what would be the best way to handle this. Could someone give me some starting point so that I can start on the shopping cart? Thanks.

I did get a page built that works well. In fact it works too well. I had the site attached to my business site and then suddenly got notification that someone had purchased a bat through PayPal. :wink: I had to return the money and send an email to have the customer contact my client to purchase as the site was not live yet! I took the purchase page down for now but at least I know it works. I should have set it up using my PayPal Sandbox account.

What can a shopping cart do for SEO that can’t be embedded in the page by the web developer?

Here is good start point:

I think it is better to have good SEO friendly shopping cart instead of PayPal buttons.

There are number of free solutions, if you are interested in free shopping cart system.

I can see the point on site speed if the shopping cart software caches the pages, but since these are static pages, I’m not sure there’s that much room for improvement. Everything else that you mention is as easy to do manually when there are only four products. Actually, depending on the shopping cart software it could be easier to do manually when compared to the software configuration requirements and learning curve.

The only thing that I can think of that shopping cart software could be better at in this context is product feeds. However, they are probably less difficult to learn than the shopping cart software itself.

I’m not trying to be argumentative but trying to learn something that I could also use.

Site speed, meta information, SEF URLs, analytics, there are a lot of SEO things.

If you are using Paypal, use their tools. It’s flexible, easy to embed and as a bonus, it automatically integrates with UPS and USPS shipping platforms - a terrific time saver.

Yes, I agree with the above - using PayPal buttons with options is a great choice for your case. You may also consider Google Checkout, but I’m not quite sure if it is that flexible.

Then I’d say hard-code it if you feel comfortable doing that.
Seeing as I live in The Netherlands I have no idea about taxes in the US, but you could always ask in our Business and Legal Issues, or of course do a search in your favorite search engine, I’m sure you not the first one to ask that question :slight_smile:

From what the client stated, there is one price for the bat without any additional charge. The shipping cost is also a flat fee. The only thing that might have to be figured out is tax but I am not sure if that has to be done except for bats sold in the same state as the client lives.

Thanks but no thanks. I need a solution that my client doesn’t have to pay for every year. I did not realize how complicated shopping carts can get as this is only my second shopping cart that I have been asked to do. The first was very simple selling only 1 item either as a digital download or hard copy book. This is more complicated and I have undercharged the client for the total website package. I will not ask for more money at this stage as it is unfair to my client. I know many web designers charge as much as $600 or more for a shopping cart solution. Since this is my first big one, I will have to just learn my lesson. I have even been thinking about posting on craigslist.org for someone to teach me in person how to code a cart or use an existing cart, such as ZenCart. I did find something that “looks” easy but I am stuck on creating tables in the MySQL database as I only know how to work with Access databases. The tutorial is here - http://www.phpwebcommerce.com/. Maybe someone here can help me along with setting up the database and I can go from there.

Does the price only depend on the model, or also on other factors like colors?
If it just depends on the model then I guess you could as well hard-code all products as you suggested yourself (i.e., no “real” shopping cart).

I found a tutorial on youtube.com that explains adding tables and data. Now I am wondering if this is all necessary. My client gave me a PowerPoint on the whole site and I have 3 pages that are for the shopping cart. Maybe there is a simpler solution to this. A simple form with drop downs for the model #, size, and color choice that sends the customer to PayPal to purchase and then an email to the owner to fulfill the order. I really don’t think a database is required. I have attached the images he sent me.

Since I am so new to shopping carts, I would really appreciate some advice on how I should work this.

I guess that no one can help me figure this out. The site is selling 1 item but different versions of it. I do not need a full shopping cart as I have found out there. I believe that a simple PHP order form would work but I need to know if I am thinking correctly as I have never created this type of shopping cart before. Could someone please let me know if this would work for what my client needs?


You may avoid having to install, maintain and upgrade shopping cart and database software on your website and still add a feature rich shopping cart solution to the existing website by using an ecommerce plugin solution. One which supports multiple product options per product and works with any HTML web page or Content Management System.

An ecommerce plugin solution would give you a quick way to ecommerce enable the website by just copying and pasting the 3rd party shopping cart in to your client’s web pages.