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I run a small hardware store in the North East and have of late also been selling online through ebay. I've setup a website and gave it a general look and would like to start adding my stock to the website, there is approciamately 1800 lines that need putting up. I've been told, and from looking around the web that a mysql database with phpmyadmin would be the best for serving up these pages and for management.
The problem is the that whilst I have upgraded my account with heart internet to include these I have absolutely no idea how to start. If I have to I'll get someone in but I'd like to attempt it myself first (unless you scare me off :-).
Any advice on where best to start?
I've been using Zencart for a while and works well. The stock system is very good.
However, I found myself having to work very hard on the site so that it didn't look like a pro-forma'd package.
I've been going through the setup process this afternoon and it all seems fairly straight forward. You mentioned the 'pro-forma'd' package, and this I feel is where I'm going to come unstuck, I already have a 'look' for my website and would like to stick with this. I presume this can be acheived through editing header footers and using css style sheets?
Also, just curious but what payment solution do you use (tell me to naff off if you like:-)? Any advice on that front?
you have a PayPal shopping cart operating on the site - at least for one item I selected. That will work pretty well, but like OTT_Buzzard I think you may prefer the Zencart system.
Do you have a credit card online merchant account?
I've been playing around with the zen cart which can be found by adding /zencart onto my web address, it's still in it's 'as supplied' state.
I'd like to include an online credit card merchant account but prices have put me off in so far as the little research I've done. If I'm honest, I wouldn't have a clue about how to go about getting a merchant account other than approacing my bank.
Looking at the Zencart system, i've had the chance to implement paypal as a payment choice, added my address and done a dry run through paypal, it all worked flawlessly. That's as far as it goes, I foresee a mountain of work before it's viable, but will plod on.
I'm finding the Zencart very restrictive in terms of reatining the 'look' of my original website, I'm probably missing something in terms of editing the code but all these 'zencart' sites seem too look the same?
Yeah, that's pretty much what I meant by it looking pro forma'd. It can be done by changing the CSS and with some tweaking to the code, but it's not a 5 minute job, or indeed a 5 day job if the changes you want to make are substantial.
Setting up a merchant account, as you've said, is a job for you and you local friendly bank manager.
Personally I use google checkout and paypal (paypal can effectively operate as a merchant bank as well, although they are very very very, really, *very* expensive). If you can live without a virtual terminal for taking credit card / debit card payments then I'd suggest sticking with normal paypal and include google checkout.
Even normal hgh street banks charge for credit card clearing though. You can end up paying a monthly charge in excess of £30, plus a set-up fee and then the card handling charges on top. Not cheap!!
What website is it? i may be able to give a couple of pointers. Feel free to message me with the details if you don't want it public.
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