View Full Version : Rich or someone?
01-20-2001, 12:49 AM
Rich, if you're out there, you will probably be the one to help me. I'm a newby to e-commerce and being asked to design two sites for a client. One will be around 600 products; the other very tiny at about 10-20 products. I'm looking for a software package to help with this, shopping cart, editor, and all...and I would like to host the sites on FQ. And, if hosted on FQ, they would both have to be Platinum packages?
Can you please share some words of wisdom regarding which solution would be best for each site while being hosted on FQ? I'd appreciate it so very much!
Hello Ritime, glad to help.
Obviously, the site with over 600 products will require a shopping cart. For a site with 10-20 products you could use a cart or use simple forms depending on the product requirements.
Pros of using forms for small inventories:
(perhaps others can add to this list)
-- You use the procesor's payment form on their site.
-- No SSL required.
-- No cart investment needed.
Cons of using forms for small inventories:
-- HTML forms must be designed
Also, even if you only have one or two products, you will want to seriously consider a cart if optional product attributes effect the price. For example, if additional charges are paid for attributes like color, size, shipping method, or even quantity. These factors will then require a script to produce the total. (Although this is fairly easy to do using PHP, it does require a higher level of skill for page maintenance.)
The which cart question:
Like browser's, everyone seems to have their favorite. And there are lots to choose from. You may want to search this forum for previous disscussions as several recommendations have been made along with pros and cons. Webmaster resource sites (like www.onlineorders.net (http://www.onlineorders.net) ) are also good sources of information.
My favorite cart is Miva Merchant, although its $900 price is perceived as too high for some start-ups. But for the small- to medium- business that is established, it has a lot of useful features found only in carts costing much more:
-- Allows both B2C and B2B application
-- Includes source code so it can be customized (although you'll have to learn htmlscript which is kind of like learning coldfusion--just different :) )
-- Includes integration with UPS' site for automatic/dynamic shipping calculations
FQ package size needed:
Which package you needs depends on (1) how much disk space you will need and (2) whether you require the mySQL database. The Miva cart does not require this, but other cart choices might as well other site design requirements.
Also, don't forget to consider whether you need to use SSL or not. If so, you'll then get to wrestle with the decision of whether to use a shared cert or buy your own. :) (See www.aota.net (http://www.aota.net) for information on the differences.)
Hope this helps.
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[This message has been edited by Rich (edited 01-20-01@1:08 pm)]
01-20-2001, 04:07 PM
Ok, where do I start...
First of all, thank you so much for your reply. I have a bunch more questions, so I hope I can pick your brain a little more.
1. I had read in a post last night about someone needing Empresa along with Merchant. What is Empresa's purpose? I've been on Miva's site, but I think in trying to process too much information too fast, I've become confused.
Because Merchant has a built-in database, is Empresa necessary?
2. The built-in database feature of Merchant is is also the reason I don't need a hosting package with MySQL? (For some reason, I had written down that e-commerce had to be done on the Platinum pkg. w/FQ...I think I had read a post by Terra a long time ago, but I'm not sure. Please forgive me if I'm mistaken, Terra. I'll be glad if I am wrong, since that will probably save my client some money for the smaller site.)
3. Does Merchant come with nice templates that could be used if someone didn't want to customize? (I like to tweak things, so I'll probably end up learning the code, but...)
4. Is Merchant designer-friendly? I tried to go to the Admin. demo on Miva's site, but only received the terms agreement. (Not sure if it's just me or if they have a bad link...) Is it pretty much like using an editor such as FrontPage or one of those...primarily point and click?
5. I obtained a cheapo software called WebBusiness Builder quite awhile back and was wondering if this works on FQ. I believe it's only supported on a Window's platform and not Unix, but I'm not sure. Do you happen to know? I was thinking of possibly using it for the smaller site.
I think that's all for now, but I'm sure I'll think of more as I go along. Getting answers on e-commerce has proven difficult as everyone seems to have a different solution. I appreciate your assistance and being able to direct my questions at an actual person. :)
I can answer parts of this[nbsp][nbsp]:)
Doing some quick research, if you are talking about IMSA's WebBusiness Builder, I found this: http://www.msbcd.com/inventory/22323.asp
The specs indicate Unix support, so it should work at FutureQuest.
Also, you can conduct e-commerce on any package at FutureQuest, it's just that many of today's solutions require MySQL which is only available with the Gold and Platinum packages.
I will leave the more e-commerce questions to those more familiar with those products.
Hope this helps :)
Have a Good One,
- E-commerce or Ecommerce[nbsp][nbsp]Hmmm[nbsp][nbsp]didn't we go down this path once before :P -
A good, straightforward and not-expensive shop front is ShopFactory - www.shopfactory.com (http://www.shopfactory.com) .
What is Empresa's purpose? Miva scripts are written in htmlscript. Htmlscript is just another scripting language similar to coldfusion that requrires its own "engine" for processing the script. Empressa is the engine that processes Miva's htmlscript scripts.
The built-in database feature of Merchant is is also the reason I don't need a hosting package with MySQL? Merchant uses the Xbase3 database (a derivitive of dBase) which is available on nearly all server platforms.
Does Merchant come with nice templates that could be used if someone didn't want to customize? Yes, it comes with fully customizable templates that are accessed via your browser for point-and-click modifications.
Is Merchant designer-friendly? I tried to go to the Admin. demo on Miva's site, but only received the terms agreement. The terms agreement is the front page of the admin screens. Use the menu links in the left-hand frame to navigate.
Software to avoid:
-- Any cart using the Access database. Access' Jet engine is just not robust to handle the connection requirements for a public site.
-- Carts using Frontpage and Frontpage extensions. Almost all of these utilize the Access database (see above).
01-22-2001, 01:04 AM
Thanks so much to everyone for their help. I'll be digging into this more now and (here's your warning) you just might be hearing from me again. :)
Thanks again and take care.--Melissa
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