Setting up an e-business site

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by Pip, Mar 12, 2004.

  1. Pip

    Pip Guest

    I'm looking to set up a site selling stuff for my dad's business. The kind of thing where the customer adds products to a shopping cart and then is able to purchase them by entering a credit card. Does anyone know of any good books/sites that cover this kind of stuff?

    Also, I'd like to host the site on a machine at his office, not through a third-party hosting service. Any books/sites that explain how to do this?

    I have pretty extensive experience programming in C, C++, Java, JavaScript, ASP, VBScript, and SQL, and I want to learn Perl and PHP, so I'm not technically retarded.

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

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    Are you comfy with server admin? If not, who will help you or come in when: the box has been compromised, hardware failure, tape rotation, code gets stuck

    What kind of bandwidth comes into the business? A T1 may work for a while. How popular do you expect the site to be and how much bandwidth do you predict will be used? Is the 'net connection used for anything else? If so, can you afford for that connection to be swamped? If its swamped, are they prepared to get more bandwidth?

    I have mixed feelings about credit card processing. You have to start somewhere I guess. But you really need something to get all your mistakes out on. Can you afford to make mistakes with this site? If so, go for it!! If not, seriously consider getting outside human help (consulting maybe). Having "been there, done that" mistakes are easy to make and can really cost some pennies. But at the same time, credit card processing isn't difficult either. I'm not sure what books are out there for credit card processing. Typically, you code for the gateway and the gateway will provide you specs. If you can't code to meet their specs, then you're not ready to built a shopping cart. From what you're saying, this shouldn't be a problem. But its also not my site...

    You'll need to find a gateway, bank, merchant account with Internet credit card payments enabled, and an SSL cert. These are not in any particular order.

    You can build the site without having these first, BUT make your code somewhat modular so you can go back and add the gateway interface code without rebuilding the entire site. The rest is really just web dev experience - you have to know what works and what doesn't and build from there. Its hard to get a book to teach you it, and if it did, there would be a ton more web dev consulting shops out there...
     
  3. Pip

    Pip Guest

    The site would be pretty small-scale. He currently fabricates and sells custom equipment and does everything by word-of-mouth, but would like to also have a small standardized product line that he could sell online.

    Traffic would be minimal, I'm guessing no more than ~100 hits/day. They only had a dialup connection up until this year; they only use the Internet for secretarial-type stuff, like looking up phone numbers or getting directions for installers, so even if there were times that the connection was swamped it wouldn't be a huge deal.

    I haven't put a ton of thought into it yet, so I'm obviously not sure whether or not he should host the site on location. Considering the issues you've already brought up, and the issues you haven't touched on, it may be better to at least start out hosting the site through a third party. I believe there are hosts specifically geared towards small e-commerce sites that will handle a lot of this for you.

    I'm very well aware that you can't just tell someone how to write a large software system in a 150 page book; it takes years of experience to develop good design principles. I guess I'll keep researching and see what I come up with.

    Thanks for your response.
     

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