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creating a quick and painless ecommerce web site (for my wife)..

Newbie question...be kind.

10:09 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Apologies beforehand to all of you who have spent the necessary time and sweat to get where you are...

I am an IT manager who, despite the MS and Cisco certs, am starting from scratch with web design. My at-home wife is anxious to get an ecommerce site up, and after talking her out of an Ebay ecommerce website auction, I now have the distinct pleasure of building her an ecommerce site. I have not been in the company of web developers, so there are no "favors" to cash in...

Bottom line, I don't have time to start from scratch, but I need to put this thing together soon. I'm not above learning asp or php or basic html for that matter, I'm a quick learner, but I need the cliff notes on building a site graphically, integrating a recommended shopping cart package, selecting a gateway and merchant account, and going live.

I initially bought an ecommerce hosting package that included EasyStoreMaker pro and SiteWizard, and didn't find them very intuitive. The tutorials were not helpful.

What I'm looking (asking) for..

Recommended books for specific SW packages (for web page design and shopping cart config and integration) would be nice..(less $$ is better)

Drag n Drop or wysiwyg web design will suffice for now.. (tried sitespinner- in between crashes)

Turn key would be putting it mildly..

Advice on web hosting options..

I'm no dummy, but I hate spinning my wheels trying to nail down new technology. This is a situation where the need is driving the knowledge, so the knowledge will have to follow for now.

Is this doable, or do I have to start looking for a web design consultant?

Thanks ahead of time..

10:36 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Some hosts come with pre-prepared shopping cart scripts and paypal can be easily configured via their website so you can accept payment through it.

There are a few e-commerce packages available, but they are fairly expensive from what I have heard.


10:53 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Many hosting providers offer the Miva ecommerce platform - seems pretty easy to set up from what little I've seen. I considered it briefly but needed way too much customization.

Yahoo also has some sort of canned ecommerce website offering that might be worth checking into.

Certainly there are plenty of solutions out there that will negate the need for you to write web pages from scratch!

2:11 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Looking into a Yahoo store or eBay store might also be an option. This is not only good because it is ready-made, they will give support (well, lets say they have help pages) and you place yourself in the middle of the market.

Depends what you are really looking for and if your partner could live with that. eBay will come with PayPal (which includes credit card nowadays) automatically and everything is relatively painless.

10:49 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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So you know a thing or two about IT, good.

Get a copy of Namo webeditor, best editor for around 100 learn HTML, easier than you think, get a decent art package paint shop pro is the one I use. Again its cheap.

Get yourself a credit card processor like 2checkout or ccavenue.com both are cheap and easy to set up.

With 2checkout id recommend you use Malse.com for the cart, cant be beat.

Best books are the 'Complete reference' range by Mcgraw Hill recommend - complete reference to Html, and teh same for Webdesign. Sticky me for ISBN numbers. Both are heavy books in terms of content ad weight but I constantly refer to my copys.

Goto #*$!.com for teh keywords you want to target.

Html is dead easy I bought several books on the subject got half way through one and found Ididnt really need any more help.

oh yeah read these forums daily - best advic of all

9:43 pm on Feb 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

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What the heck is #*$!.com?! :)
1:46 am on Feb 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I like Mal's cart for the one ecomm site I have. I reccomended it to my brother and he chose it over paypal's free cart.

Mal's is pretty easy to set up (and free) and you get a few options (as mentioned) for the CC processing.

There are also a few free scripts but you need a merchant account for those and they can get a bit pricy. If this is a small time site, I would seriously consider going with one of the free carts until you start making some money.

5:48 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A quick thanks to all of you who replied. After reading and considering the points raised, I am leaning in the direction of using a canned web design/shopping cart system, perhaps Yahoo...

While I haven't by any means exhausted my search, I appreciate the help in getting steered in the initial direction. The sticky notes were appreciated... I can see that this forum has some quality folks...kudos.

Thanks again,


7:55 am on Mar 6, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I would not bother reinventing the wheel. There are lots of ecommerce sites ready to load up with products at reasonable prices.

We use Yahoo, but there are about 6-7 other fairly popular ones out there.

10:11 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I'm surprised nobody mentioned oscommerce. I had somebody on elance set me up with an ecommerce store including custom design for $375. Depending on design you could pay much less. There are already tons of modules readily available for just about any feature you could want too. Support is widespread also.
10:43 pm on Mar 10, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Microsoft also has an online ecommerce package that I tried for about a month.

Ended up not working for me because I needed fractional units of sale.

It will work with FrontPage too.

I ended up buying a book on PHP and MySQL (sams) and spent the last 3+ months...every spare minute. In my case it's my Mother that needs the site.

Good luck, hopefully you can sell by "each"