Need help with business website.

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Devious, Oct 22, 2003.

  1. Devious

    Devious OT Supporter

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    I'm starting a website for a friends business, and he would like me to add a shopping cart to it for his products. What is the best script to use for this, prefereably a free script?

    Also where is the best place to sign up so he is able to verify and accept credit cards?

    And finally how can i register this site to all the best search engines? does this cost money?

    thank you
    mike
     
  2. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Wow these are basic. Its good you're asking though.

    Drop the script idea for a moment. I'll come back to it.

    Credit cards:

    First find out if they're already processing credit cards. If so, find out who they go through (which bank) and then contact the bank. Find out if the bank will hook them up with an Internet merchant account. If no, you'll have to find a bank that will. If yes, then follow their directions. DO NOT expect them to have any clue about coding. The best you will get from them is a cyptic document telling you how to transfer the data (and you will want to make sure its being transferred securely).

    Do *NOT* store credit card numbers. PERIOD. Not in a file. Not in a database.

    Do *NOT* send credit card numbers in an email. PERIOD.

    Credit card numbers must be encrypted at some level at all times. Period.

    You will need coding experience to plug credit cards in to a web site. You may find a free script(s), but if you have no clue what you're looking at, then how are you going to test it? How are you going to tweak it? How are you going to update it later on?

    When it comes to credit cards, don't mess around. Spend the bucks and hire a contractor/consultant to help you out. If you're desire is to get into web dev, then learn EVERYTHING you can from the folks you hire. You do not want to be in a situation where you just learned credit card processing and 1 month later you find out that people have been entering card numbers but because of a coding problem, the cards where never billed (I've had it happen! - it sucks royally).

    If you still want to give credit card processing a whirl, go and get a collection of books on the subject. Read up on several of them (this gives you several different perspectives and allows you to determine what is the best way and who is full of hot air).

    There's some tricks you can do with PayPal that might make you're life a lot easier. Don't know if thats an option or not.

    You also didn't meantion the web scripting languages available so its difficult to make script recommendations. osCommerce is a pretty nice (and free) shopping cart which just might save you from having to do any coding.

    As for search engines, there's a lot of pay sites that say they will do this for you. Its a tough call. Me, I'd just research all the important engines out there and do what it they want you to do to get the site up in their search. Usually this means tweaking your site until they're happy (this is the case for google.com). Search engines can be pretty flakey. I'd suggest reading up on specific engines you want the site to be on and go from there...
     
  3. SLED

    SLED build an idiot proof device and someone else will

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    echo what Astro said. Make sure you learn the ins and outs of credit card processing BEFORE you jump into this project.

    I've used Verisign in the past, and have been successful with using them. They offer two popular solutions to accepting online payments. Payflow Pro, and Payflow Link. Pro is basically an ActiveX control that you can build into your website to do all the processing yourself. If you need to do any custom reporting on payments or require a bit more flexability. Link is basically some html you can stuff in your website which uses references Verisign's servers to process the payment online. Both are fine, but it depends on what your needs are.
     

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