Looking to set up simple ecommerce function on a website

Greetings to all,

This is my first post on this forum and only after seeing how great the responses are to other people’s posts did I feel confident that I was both at the right place and that I would not get ridiculed for asking questions that many of you have known the answer to for a long time.

Situation - I am a small, independent Website designer who has relied mostly on word-of-mouth leads for the business I have done to date. Now I have a customer who wants me to take over their site and add the ability for people to register and pay for a conference in 2012 through that site. I do have a server company who I use to host all my sites and it has various tools to add a shopping cart to the site. I also have researched and discovered that I should purchase a SSL Certificate to ensure the process is secure?

As I only need the function of registration (and all the pertinent info inputting by the user that goes with that) and the ability for the user to pre-pay for the conference with credit card (perhaps through a paypal (?) account, am I seeing this correctly where I should get by with the hosting company shop cart software?

Any input will be greatly appreciated. :slight_smile:


Hi harpoon22. Welcome to SitePoint. :slight_smile:

Installing software and getting SSL certificates does carry a lot of responsibility, and for one product, I definitely wouldn’t bother going down that route. I’d say a better option for you is to use a 3rd party service—of which there are many, such as FoxyCart or Fastspring (two that I’ve used). Basically, once a user clicks PayNow (or whatever) they are taken to the 3rd party site to pay, which handles all the security, transactions etc. The better ones allow you to style the pages just like your own site, so that the users don’t even know they’ve left your site. The 3rd party provider takes a small cut of the sale—and maybe a monthly fee, depending on the provider—but if you remember that this service is saving you all the worries about security, and the cost of software etc., I think it’s well worth it. Especially for just a few products. :slight_smile:

Wow! Thanks ralph.m for that quick response!

Makes sense for sure. I like the idea of designing the registration form and having the payment portion handled by a “3rd party site” that is in the business of doing exactly that - handling the processing of payments.

Thinking ahead now - I’d have to design the registration page such that the personal info (name, member/nonmember status, events attending, etc.) info gets passed to me / conference coordinators and I’m guessing a confirmation would come from the 3rd party payment people that the payment had been successful.

I’ve moved slow over the last four years, taking as many CSS / HTML / XHTML / Dreamweaver / Photoshop courses as I could afford to ensure that I am able to design sites that meet the W3C standards for both functionality and accessability. Many of the subsequent work after courses is trial and error, with the great feeling that comes when something works.

Guess it’s time now to dip the big toe into a bigger lake and see what happens when I try this!

Then it’s into javascript, php and the like to understand what’s going on behind the scenes!

Yes, there’s a lot to learn alright, but it is fun. Using this kind of shoping solution will save you having to learn a lot of things that may not be useful in the long term.

Certainly, though, using 3rd party carts you can set up a form on your site that collects the necessary registration data and sends the confirmation email to you after payment.

Also have a look at Eventbrite which is pre-integrated with Google & PayPal and very easy to use. Eventbrite can also handle the credit card processing and transfer funds to your bank account. Going with a hosted service like this is not a bad idea as you avoid a lot of the intracacies of processing payments, managing a waitlist, issuing discount codes, etc. Eventbrite is free to get started and you only pay a small percentage of the ticket price after that.

you can go for lot of pre build shopping cart solutions which are open source and you can use them as your needs. Its like you have the steering in your hand and you just need to use intelligence of CMS as per your needs. There are lot of payment gateway over internet to give facility to make your site to use credit cards for shopping.

The inquiry sound to have a complete e-commerce site. you can use the e-commerce application to start up the website.

For the online payment wise, some e-commerce application already bundled some. You just click and enable it to your website. If you need other online payment gateway that do not state, you can extra install to y our application.

SSL is a MUST for online transaction. You can purchase the SSL to protect only the URL.

We use e-junkie to sell our 360 product viewer component. Simple to integrate with paypal, google checkout, authorize.net, etc and affordable - no comissions.


pertinent info inputting by the user that goes with

You could look to use a hosted shopping cart add-in which will allow you to capture per-course registration product user input. You could pre-fill the customer input area with your own text to create a template that will allow you to guide the customer in to providing a more structured response to capture the details you need for your event, e.g.

Date of Birth:

We use e-junkie to sell

There are alternative hosted shopping cart solutions to e-junkie for selling digital downloads which will save you money compared to the e-junkie subscription charges.