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I'm building a shopping service and plan to link to many different online merchants across typical categories such as apparel, activewear, jewelry, etc and so forth. I started collecting the links in list form,and rapidly saw I would need a spreadsheet. Now I realize that Im just going to have to put these HTMLlinks into a web page or SQL database. Is there some way for me to skip the spreadsheet and enter the links straight into the website? The site will have something of a CMS system, but does a CMS system allow a person to work with the links in a database-sort-of-way? I will need to manage and update the links and also tag them with various attributes, so I dont know if CMS's do this.
Does anybody have any suggestions what the easiest way is to pull this off? Im obviously not a very technical person :-)
By CMS I'm assuming you mean content-management system. The answer to your question all depends on how you have the system set up, that is, how elaborate your system is designed.
You could go through the backend and easily import your data to your tables depending on what kind of database you are using, for a better answer, I'll need some more information (e.g., what's your experience with databases, how does your CMS operate, is it a mySQL or SQL Server db, etc).
I should mention that Im talking about affiliate links for linking to e-retailers that come from affiliate networks. These networks have web services where you can use something like .Net to work with their API's to extract the links. Ulitmately, I hope to have a seamless, end to end system where I suck the links in through the web services, manage them (somehow) and spit them right into the website. Thats where my question is going - in terms of how others do this. Is there off the shelf software, for example?
Thanks guys !
Other large affiliate programs have similar APIs.
Of course, even that's not really necessary, as Amazon has a predictable scheme for constructing a URL. If you know the ASIN (essentially the ISBN number, at least for books) you can construct an Amazon URL.
It's useful, though, to have the merchant's database (or to be able to search it), or the parts of it that you are interested in for other purposes. You probably want to select products in certain categories, within certain price ranges, etc.