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osCommerce

The e-commerce.

Trying to Decide


DanAKAL

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I am very new to anything about ecommerce as well as web hosting. This is my first venue into this arena. I own a very small Party Supplies business and I want to get it on the web. After what seems like a million mile search I think that I have decided on a host and using osCommerce. I’ve been reading here for awhile and it seems that should I encounter any problems most of you guys have worked through them at some time. I have a few questions that would help me along before I start trying to build a web site.

 

- My eyes glaze over when I start reading about how you guys are changing html lines. I would say that I have average to above average computer skills but I know nothing of html. Is writing this language a daily occurance or do you get it set up and it stays for awhile?

 

- I expect that offerings from my web site will change frequently. Update this product, add/delete this product, put this one on sale, etc. Are these type edits easily accomplished through the control panel or will I be back to editing html to get it accomplished?

 

- I move around a lot and use different computers frequently. Will I be able to access my control panel and make changes to my web site from several different locations or am I relegated to pretty much one computer for editing?

 

- On several of the linked live web sites there are some really good graphics. Will I need something like Adobe Photoshop to create such things for up load? This would probably be dependent upon how elaborate I want my site to be.

 

If you can’t tell I’m trying to determine if this is right for me. Any information regarding this would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

Dan

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Greetings DanAKAL,

 

I just started using osCommerce and I must say that I am truly impressed with the software. I will admit that there could be some improvements but since I'm not a programmer and the software is free I will keep my comments to myself. Most of what you asked about is available..

 

You can edit your website from any where on the internet. I would suggest that you setup some kind of security as there isn't any and thats bad.

 

If you aren't in a rush and are willing to spend some time learning the software and posting any questions here I believe that osCommerce is right for you or anyone for that matter. Like anything the more time and effort you put into it the more you will get out of it ie: Your site will look great!

 

As a side note, the installation can be a pain but the cool thing is if you don't like osCommerce you can aways get rid of it! You are out nothing but your time!

 

Nuff Said.

 

WilleBanks

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Like anything the more time and effort you put into it the more you will get out of it ie: Your site will look great!
Thanks Willie! This is really all that I needed to hear. It will be what I make of it. Good to hear that you have found this to be user friendly. Also very good to hear that I can make edits from anywhere. This is quite important to me as I spend a lot of time away from my retail store that my wife runs. Beyond taking and filling orders from the web site she won't be able to do much and I'll be maintaining it. I'm sure there are always places for improvement and I'm sure there will be things that I won't like. Overall this seems to be a very good software to get started with and I suppose that I am testing now to see if a presence on the web is beneficial to me. If my sales get to be more than I dreamed then I might consider something else but for now I am testing and just getting started. What do you mean by installing some security? For the shopping and check out or like virus protection for the web site? Thanks Again for the info!

 

Dan

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hi dan,

 

Most of the alterations require copy & paste (of HTML & php) straight out of the instructions from the contributions, so you should be able to handle it easily. (there is a little of SQL copy & paste too, using an app such as PHPMyAdmin)

you just have to take your time and it's all good.

 

i found it very easy to set up, and the contributions that i used were straight forward.

 

the only major problem i had was ensuring the configuration file was correct, and you'll see many posts on the forum about that one.

 

access to the control panel for the oscommerce package is gained easily from any PC. like Will said, make sure it's secured.

 

you can add products very quickly using the contribution 'easy populate'. it takes the pain out of adding 100s of products one by one.

 

The design for your site might take you a while though, in finding the right colours, header, images/buttons and so on. photoshop & illustrator are great for creating & altering the graphics, though there are heaps of free buttons & images in the contributions section too.

so, you can have your site looking OK without putting a massive effort into the design, to begin with.

you can have a functional & nicely presented site up & running in no time.

 

good luck.

j.

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What do you mean by installing some security? For the shopping and check out or like virus protection for the web site? Thanks Again for the info!

 

Dan

 

re: security - password protect your admin area, and change the name to something other than 'admin'.

i think that's all you need to do.

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What do you mean by installing some security? For the shopping and check out or like virus protection for the web site? Thanks Again for the info!

 

Dan

 

The administration directory has no log on security...this is ok if your not "live" on a server yet. But at some point you have to secure the directory so only you can see the contents and make changes to your store!

 

It's pretty easy just read the docs...and maybe google ".htaccess and .htpass" to see how to implement browser/directory security.

 

If you can program PHP, you can make things even more secure. Sadly I have neither the time or the intelligence to figure out how to program anything other than my alarm clock!

 

 

Will Banks

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Thanks for the info! Especially about the "htaccess". I'll check with my host to make sure this is something I can use. Since not every host supports this is probably why it isn't included with the osc software to begin with. Very good to know that I can have a professional type web site up and running without a lot of graphic modifications and editing. I'm sure if this starts working for me I'll be designing my graphics but for now I'm just trying to find out if a web site will enhance my business. Thanks Again!

 

Dan

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