[Pro] Full blown ecommerce site?

One of our clients is currently compiling a list of requirements for an ecommerce site. During a meeting yesterday, we looked at various sites with him making notes of features he likes with a view to incorporating them into his own site.

So, before I actually receive his ‘wish list’, how feasible is it to produce a site like a mini-Amazon (1000’ish products) using Freeway and the likes of Mal’s?

Having only produced non-commerce sites before, the whole e-commerce part is a little daunting. Are there are any users who’ve set up sites like this before and know how to do it again. If so, I’d be interested in talking and possibly paying for your advice/services to create the site.

Thanks

Neil


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I know a web-site in my home town that outsells Walmart world wide in fly fishing paraphernalia. They are not using Freeway but I am sure they could. I believe they have two servers one for pretty www content and one to sell you pieces and parts. Check out theflyshop.com

I am 99% sure they are using OSCommerce (freeware) for the sales half.

The geek (not web developer) behind making it run is Gari and his email is email@hidden

I would start by checking theflyshop.com out and if it is anything like you want then email Gari although remember today is unofficial start to Labor Day weekend so he may be out camping or or or? Anyway Gari can put you in contact with the rest of the team if you wanted more info.

A personal recommendation to anybody thinking about very large scale e-commerce websites would be own your own server and pay to have it hosted at a reputable ISP with plenty of bandwidth. When you own your own server you can do with it what you want there are no other customers on your CPU so security is much easier as you are locking down the whole CPU not just your Virtual Host.

Dale Josephson
Dale Josephson Consulting
Apple Developer & Support

On Sep 2, 2011, at Friday4:07 AM, neil.west1 wrote:

One of our clients is currently compiling a list of requirements for an ecommerce site. During a meeting yesterday, we looked at various sites with him making notes of features he likes with a view to incorporating them into his own site.

So, before I actually receive his ‘wish list’, how feasible is it to produce a site like a mini-Amazon (1000’ish products) using Freeway and the likes of Mal’s?

Having only produced non-commerce sites before, the whole e-commerce part is a little daunting. Are there are any users who’ve set up sites like this before and know how to do it again. If so, I’d be interested in talking and possibly paying for your advice/services to create the site.

Thanks

Neil


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I haven’t tried it myself, but there is a Mal’s-compatible script
called Ecwid that gets very high marks for its ease within the Freeway
workflow as well as shunting the entire product management chore off
to the client. Your client adds all the products in a Web application,
and then all you do is inject one line of JavaScript into your layout.
The entire database of products is exposed automagically. I’m not sure
what the SEO knock is on that, though, since Google doesn’t execute
JavaScript so those products aren’t strictly “in” the page.

You might also look at Tim Plumb’s Mals Pro Actions, as they can be
integrated with custom code and you could mash something up with a PHP/
MySQL database and template pages built with the Actions for a very
custom solution (rather than having to follow Ecwid’s format).

There is also FoxyCart, which has some seriously sexy UI and UX
features, and is “by designers, for designers” so it has its propeller
beanie on the right way.

Walter

On Sep 2, 2011, at 7:07 AM, neil.west1 wrote:

One of our clients is currently compiling a list of requirements for
an ecommerce site. During a meeting yesterday, we looked at various
sites with him making notes of features he likes with a view to
incorporating them into his own site.

So, before I actually receive his ‘wish list’, how feasible is it to
produce a site like a mini-Amazon (1000’ish products) using Freeway
and the likes of Mal’s?

Having only produced non-commerce sites before, the whole e-commerce
part is a little daunting. Are there are any users who’ve set up
sites like this before and know how to do it again. If so, I’d be
interested in talking and possibly paying for your advice/services
to create the site.

Thanks

Neil


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Neil, I have recently completed this site http://www.sheaberry.com with OpenCart http://www.opencart.com/

I have tried OS Commerce, ZenCart and CubeCart in the past and they are all more complicated than OpenCart

Oh here’s another one I did in the pervious version of OpenCart http://espressosmith.com/shop/

You are welcome to contact me off list if you have any questions. (marcelatfreshbranddotcom

Cheers, Marcel


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Nice shopping site Marcel. Opencart looks very promising, I like it that OpenCart is not using tables so styling is much easier.

Neil, things to watch for on these carts if you truly need 1,000 or more products is how to get the products into the shop. Fine for a 100, but a 1,000 or more is a huge task by hand. You may need some measure of automation. Check out the shopping cart scripts to see how suitable each is for your products. Also carefully check how you need to offer your products (in packs, or bulk discount etc.) . A cart with a large 3 party developer following will have all kinds of add-on script to cover these kinds of selling issues which will crop up later.

A bit of News:- http://www.ineedwebhosting.co.uk has recently added OpenCart (and other cart scripts) so all PRO users can now easily have a shop.

David

On 3 Sep 2011, at 00:00, Helveticus wrote:

Neil, I have recently completed this site http://www.sheaberry.com with OpenCart http://www.opencart.com/

I have tried OS Commerce, ZenCart and CubeCart in the past and they are all more complicated than OpenCart

Oh here’s another one I did in the pervious version of OpenCart http://espressosmith.com/shop/

You are welcome to contact me off list if you have any questions. (marcelatfreshbranddotcom

Cheers, Marcel


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David thanks, and yes no tables and the css is now in one file instead of a mix of inline and separate files like the previous versions. There are lots of plugins and mods available for things like bulk uploads, payment processors, shipping etc. The user forum is very active and full of useful posts.

Cheers, Marcel


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Thanks all, the info you’ve given looks promising and I need to start looking at it.

One thing that’s just occurred to me though, when it comes to consultancy/services, is that we’re not all in the same time zone, I’m UK based and often prefer to talk on the phone whereas I notice many users on this forum are US based, which restricts the mutually convenient business hours we can communicate. As this thread (or related others) continues, can you please let me know where in the world you are, so I can find out the time difference.

Thanks again

Neil


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Using this forum would means it does not matter where you or the person you are discussing with is.

You could look in the person view on the FreewayTalk site > People to see if there is location data is there and or view contact details.


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Hi all,

like to add some further basic thoughts to ecommerce cause it is a wild and various discussed topic here in FWT:

Whatever is recommend to use, all have a few common and basic problems:

  1. Safety and Legalities

I know not one (free, opensource) solution yet, that covers the strict selling rules especially in Center Europe. I’m talking especially of Germany, but I know that Dutch, Belgium and many others follow the (nearly) same stringent rules like cancellation policy, email notifications and many other things.

  1. The usage within Freeway

OpenCart is definitely not a recommend for to “integrate” into your FW project. The basics are of course to be done within the CSS, but if you have a more complicated basic webpage including footer you need to operate directly the “open heart” of OC, the so called .tpl. It is possible to do, but you’ll be taken to a place called “FarFar Away”. For all that OC is really fascinating from its structure and stuff. We’re actually on a way to include all requirements but probably my lifetime and the fact I’m not a lawyer could make this an OpenEnd project (a brief look in if it might be of interest: http://poseidon-duschen.de/eshop/index.php

  1. The other most popular recommends:

Mals http://www.mals-e.com/ :

Supported with actions (even WebYep able) and probably the nearest in the FW world. However not usable in Germany due some restricted email notifications and for me personally a bit shopworn.

ECWID http://www.ecwid.com/

My biggest favorite if it comes to integrate within your current project. The caveat? The development is international, basically for the US market so as mentioned above: Some things are restricted (Tax, Tax Shipping) that ECWID is not useable within Germany and so I wait and wait and wait (not sure if they willing to fix) (Example: http://www.kimmich-dm.de/ecom/ecwid-shop.html ) and a small cast on how to integrate: http://www.kimmich-dm.de/screencasts.php

Another important point to ask is, where are all my informations are going to. ECWID for example stores all the datas on some amazon secure servers, not to bad but out of control. Or you’d like to host it on your servers? Sure - but what can we do to make this as hack safe as possible using opensource stuff?

Actually we run as the only “make me sleep” version one of our big three hosting services (1&1 or similar) that might be available in nearly all regions (I guess).

Written just to wrap a few of my thoughts in the hope that this make sense (partially?)

Cheers

Thomas


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Hi Neil,

Have a look at this site:

<www.cotswoldengineeringsupplies.co.uk>

It’s all done with Freeway, and without the Mal’s actions although I did use them to get started, then when the site grew I went to a fully php and MySQL databesed site.

It’s still all done in Freeway, all the products are held in a database on the server and served up on to the pages via php, and a few actions such as the php block action and some of the mysql actions. There are over 6000 products!

I’m also UK based but have never had any problems with getting answers to tricky questions!

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Steve.

On 19 Oct 2011, at 09:41, Thomas Kimmich wrote:

Hi all,

like to add some further basic thoughts to ecommerce cause it is a wild and various discussed topic here in FWT:

Whatever is recommend to use, all have a few common and basic problems:

  1. Safety and Legalities

I know not one (free, opensource) solution yet, that covers the strict selling rules especially in Center Europe. I’m talking especially of Germany, but I know that Dutch, Belgium and many others follow the (nearly) same stringent rules like cancellation policy, email notifications and many other things.

  1. The usage within Freeway

OpenCart is definitely not a recommend for to “integrate” into your FW project. The basics are of course to be done within the CSS, but if you have a more complicated basic webpage including footer you need to operate directly the “open heart” of OC, the so called .tpl. It is possible to do, but you’ll be taken to a place called “FarFar Away”. For all that OC is really fascinating from its structure and stuff. We’re actually on a way to include all requirements but probably my lifetime and the fact I’m not a lawyer could make this an OpenEnd project (a brief look in if it might be of interest: http://poseidon-duschen.de/eshop/index.php

  1. The other most popular recommends:

Mals http://www.mals-e.com/ :

Supported with actions (even WebYep able) and probably the nearest in the FW world. However not usable in Germany due some restricted email notifications and for me personally a bit shopworn.

ECWID http://www.ecwid.com/

My biggest favorite if it comes to integrate within your current project. The caveat? The development is international, basically for the US market so as mentioned above: Some things are restricted (Tax, Tax Shipping) that ECWID is not useable within Germany and so I wait and wait and wait (not sure if they willing to fix) (Example: http://www.kimmich-dm.de/ecom/ecwid-shop.html ) and a small cast on how to integrate: http://www.kimmich-dm.de/screencasts.php

Another important point to ask is, where are all my informations are going to. ECWID for example stores all the datas on some amazon secure servers, not to bad but out of control. Or you’d like to host it on your servers? Sure - but what can we do to make this as hack safe as possible using opensource stuff?

Actually we run as the only “make me sleep” version one of our big three hosting services (1&1 or similar) that might be available in nearly all regions (I guess).

Written just to wrap a few of my thoughts in the hope that this make sense (partially?)

Cheers

Thomas


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At 23:07 +0100 23/10/11, Steve Ballinger wrote:

Hi Neil,

Have a look at this site:
<www.cotswoldengineeringsupplies.co.uk>
It’s all done with Freeway, and without the Mal’s actions although I
did use them to get started, then when the site grew I went to a
fully php and MySQL databesed site.

It’s still all done in Freeway, all the products are held in a
database on the server and served up on to the pages via php, and a
few actions such as the php block action and some of the mysql
actions. There are over 6000 products!

I’m also UK based but have never had any problems with getting
answers to tricky questions!

Another one - http://www.kirkhouse.co.uk
Basic layouts in FW with the data pane PHP generated. Live updates as
choices are made are done with Ajax.
There is also a basket pane that uses a FW generated div that is
parsed and loaded by PHP, but doing full on-line sales is on hold for
the present. (So I’m available for backend work :slight_smile: )

David


David Ledger - Freelance Unix Sysadmin in the UK.
HP-UX specialist of hpUG technical user group (www.hpug.org.uk)
email@hidden
www.ivdcs.co.uk


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