Ecommerce Web Design and Site Development
Designing an ecommerce web site takes many steps and much planning.
There are many great pre-made shopping cart systems on the market today for a very low price. However, most need knowledge of the language it is written in, or you will be unable to make changes. With most shopping cart systems you cannot just open Front Page or Dreamweaver and start making changes. Most shopping carts have pages that are built dynamically on the fly, so you must find the proper include files and make the changes on them. Some shopping carts utilize 10 different files, plus a data base, to build one dynamic shopping cart page.
I usually find out from my clients what the wants and needs are of the ecommerce site that they want to have me develop. I then look for a pre-made shopping cart that contains many of those features and allows for updates, updating the web site to match the look and the feel of the design, and then developing the other ecommerce features that my client is looking for.
Not all modifications can be easily accomplished. I have worked on ecommerce shopping carts that are very difficult to update, so it is best to make sure the shopping cart can be updated to do what you need, before buying it.
SSL Secure Certificates
SSL 'Secure Sockets Layer' secure certificate can help protect your customer information from cyber theft. It shows your customers that you care about their private information. SSL secure certificates provide security for web sites that contain forms, or that use private data such as passwords, credit card numbers, contact information, and social security numbers.
Once an Internet user enters a secure area, a padlock appears on the screen. An "https://" prefix in the URL and a key or padlock icon in the browser's status bar indicates that a site is secure.
You are required to have an IP address on your server if you want to have your own SSL secure certificate for your ecommerce site. Many low-cost web hosting plans have your web site sharing an IP address with maybe even 500 web sites.
What is an IP address?
An IP address is a number similar to a phone number for your web site, such as 188.8.131.52 for example.
You can type in either the IP address or your domain name to get to your web site, when you have an IP address.
The server needs an IP address such as this to utilize your own SSL server certificate.
Many web hosting companies that use a shared IP address system will offer you a shared web hosting certificate. If you use a shared certificate, your web site will show a warning in your ecommerce customer's browser asking him if he wants to trust this certificate because the names do not match.
If a couple of sales a year will pay for the certificate, then I recommend buying your own secure certificate. It is not that the shared certificate isn't safe, but it is about the possibility of scaring away a customer.
Online Credit Card Merchant Accounts
Accept credit cards online with a credit card processing merchant account. Apply to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. Fencl Web Design is an authorized reseller of Authorize.net, and offering ecommerce accounts for nearly all business types, including: large retail chains, small stores, home based businesses, or even internet startups.
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