A shopping web site

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by inkgrrl, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. inkgrrl macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2008
    Hello all-

    I'm new at web design, so perhaps someone could point me in the right direction. A friend asked if I could build him a site and I didn't realize initially that he was selling a product, so the site would need to be set up so people could buy the product online. I'm pretty sure I may have to just tell him that I don't know how to do that yet, but I thought I would ask if some one could tell me the language or some where to look about starting to develop those skills before i learn them in school. Thanks so much!
  2. InLikeALion macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2007
    Greener places than I used to live
    You could link to a shopify site and set up a vendor site there that matched the aesthetics of the site you build.

    Or you could look into something like drupal + ubercart, or zen cart.
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus


    Aug 16, 2005
    It takes a bit of know-how to create a shopping site, though there are products you can buy/download that take care of most of it. You'd still want to learn some PHP and MySQL, which are often the languages used to implement these types of web apps. Using prepackaged products also make sure things like security are taken care of (the good ones anyways). With a shopping site if you mess up you could lose people's credit card information and be in loads of trouble. You would probably want to have some business insurance to handle those situations.
  4. rogersmj macrumors 68020


    Sep 10, 2006
    Indianapolis, IN
    It's not a specific language, it's the whole methodology of an ecommerce site that you need to understand. I will say this: they're typically much more complicated than your standard business site. There's various packages and plugins that can take some of the work out of it for you, but you should probably practice and build a dummy ecommerce site before telling your friend you can do one for him.

    What environment do you typically develop in? That will probably dictate what you go with. I used to do a lot of PHP work (and implemented one ecommerce site in the horrendously messy and complicated ZenCart system), but these days it's almost all Rails development. We've done a couple payment system integrations recently, and we like to use the ActiveMerchant library.

    An easier method is to just use PayPal. I've done one such site and it's relatively painless, because you basically hand things off to them and they take care of all the processing and transacting of money. The downside is that they take a small cut off the top, and the user experience won't be quite as integrated for the end user, but lots of people use it and it works fine. If you've never done this before, that would probably be your best option. But like I said, spend some time researching this and practicing (there's tons of step-by-steps in PayPal's develop docs) before giving your friend a definite Yes.

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