Learn how to design, build, and profit from a sophisticated online business.
The book can be read from front to back, but each chapter is self contained so the reader can skip chapters to read those that they are interested in. Each chapter will move from basic to advanced where applicable and also relate what the administrator (reader) is doing to how this affects what the client sees on the site.
So, for example, the customization chapter will start off with a discussion on the concept of design and how to relate this to your business. Once the reader has a clear idea of what they need to do, we look at some really simple changes such as modifying the site's language, before moving to some advanced modifications which may involve some PHP programming. At the same time the discussion will demonstrate how the changes made affect the site.
Throughout the book, much consideration is given to the "right" way to doing things. Readers will have the great advantage that they begin, from the very start, doing things properly. This will save them a lot of time and effort in the years to come as they build on and modify their site. Utilizing best practices and sound methodologies is a great asset for beginners and experienced users alike.
At all times, the coverage given in this book pays homage to the fact that, ultimately, the reader has a business goal in mind. To this end, the material never gets bogged down in technical issues or long discourses, but rather focuses on what is practically important for the online business and then moves on. To complement this, there are plenty of suggestions and hints as to how and where to look for further information.
What This Book Covers
Chapter 1 discusses the not inconsiderable task of ensuring that you understand fully the resources both, in terms of time and money, that this project will require. A large part of this requires us to discuss the design and construction of your site and relate these to the needs of your business.
Chapter 2 provides an oversight of how to set up your development environment, which will provide you with a place to experiment and most importantly, learn your way around osCommerce without having to endanger your online business by working on it directly.
Chapter 3 presents a brief overview of how osCommerce works and makes use of its underlying technologies. As well as this, we take a quick tour of a standard website and then discuss how you can benefit from and be of benefit to the osCommerce community.
Chapter 4 deals with the most common configuration settings, which you will need to familiarize yourself with.
Chapter 5 gets right to the heart of the matter with an in-depth look at data in osCommerce. Here you will learn not only how to add and remove products and manufacturers as well as administer orders and customers, but also how to properly design your category/product hierarchy. Finally, this chapter also covers the addition of a community contribution, that handles automated uploads to your database, making your life a whole lot easier.
Chapter 6 is where the standard look and feel of osCommerce gets a face-lift. After reading this, you will have a sound knowledge of design and how to relate it to the dictates of your business. Additionally, we will discuss the all-important topics of stylesheet modification, images, and language and show how to deal with them effectively. Get ready to get your hands dirty as there is plenty of work in here.
Chapter 7 takes you one step closer to running an online business by comprehensively dealing with taxes, payments, and shipping. Strategies for implementing various policies pertaining to money matters are also scrutinized and by the end of this chapter, you will be well versed in your site's money matters.
Chapter 8 is arguably the most important of all. If you only read one chapter, make it this one. The integrity of your e-commerce site (and for many of you, your livelihood) rests on how well you can implement security and disaster recovery policies. Follow along here to learn how to gain a peaceful night's sleep, safe in the knowledge that your precious business is safe.
Chapter 9 looks at some advanced additions like cross-selling and up-selling features, discount and gift vouchers, as well as feed aggregation to enhance both the appeal and sophistication of your site. This chapter really narrows the gap between what you as a smaller business can produce and the large, expensive e-commerce sites with all their fancy features.
Chapter 10 introduces you to some important tools, which will no doubt make your life a lot easier in the time to come. As well as this, it takes a more lighthearted look at some neat tricks and how to make a few nice touch additions.
Chapter 11 covers moving what you have developed over the past ten chapters to the live site where it will be available to the public. Once again, there are a lot of issues involved in doing this right, so put on your thinking cap.
Chapter 12 takes you one step further by looking at how you can get ahead in the online business world. Marketing and advertising on the Web is covered in detail, as well as some handy and innovative schemes for boosting revenue and exposure. Naturally, search engine optimization is put in the spotlight here as well.
Appendix A provides you with a look at various methods that can be used to effectively deal with problems and errors. Having a programmer's perspective and embracing a sound methodology will save you countless hours and frustration and is applicable to a wide range of software, not just osCommerce.
Author: David Mercer
Building Online Stores with osCommerce - Professional Edition
- Product Code: OsCommerce
- Availability: In Stock
- Ex Tax: $15.00