I want to create an online shop

  kevward1 09:52 23 Sep 2007

I want to expand my ironmongery business and create an online shop that will take credit card and/or paypal payments. I have no experience with web building software and would very much appreciate any advice as to the easiest and best software to use.

  Forum Editor 12:03 23 Sep 2007

with VISA you could apply for an online payment status. Otherwise you'll probably find PayPal the best route - they'll take credit card payments on your behalf, and you can integrate PayPal payment pages into your site. There's a special facility for PayPal business account holders whereby you can download special 'buy now' buttons that have code embedded which links to your PayPal account.

If your business volume warrants it you might consider one of the third-party card payment processors, like WorldPay, but be warned - they'll take a commission on each payment, and it's not something to consider unless you have a fairly high transaction volume.

  kevward1 13:04 23 Sep 2007

Thanks for that Forum Editor. What software would you recommend to create my shop. Please bare in mind I need something simple to use as I don't have programing experience. Thanks.

  DieSse 22:22 23 Sep 2007

Very, very easy to use - but can create good looking sites - and has commerce facilities built-in, is Web Easy Pro, newly at Version 7.

click here

Good host for free testing is Awardspace click here - you can test without even a domain name. if you wish.

  Forum Editor 18:41 24 Sep 2007

you can create your shop using the free Paypal tools, but you will need a Paypal business account before you can do that.

Otherwise, NetObjects Fusion, which is a popular and powerful WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) website design application has e-commerce tools built in.

Bear in mind that any e-commerce site can only function properly if it can handle credit-card transactions in real-time; otherwise you'll be asking people to send you cheques, or pay money to a PayPal account, and that means they'll have to have a Paypal account, too. All third-party credit card transaction handlers (PayPal included) will charge you a transaction fee - there's no way to escape that - but for a beginner without VISA online merchant status the PayPal card handling system is by far the easiest, and it's also the cheapest.

  kevward1 19:09 24 Sep 2007

Thank you DieSse and Forum Editor.

Are you saying Forum editor that I can build my website using Paypal ? I looked in Paypal but couldn't see that option but I did see an option to integrate Paypal as a payment method into a web site. I also noticed that the customer does not need to have Paypal to pay, they can use their credit card via Paypal.

Would you say that Netobjects fusion is better or easier to use than Easy Pro 7 as it is quite a bit more expensive.

Thanks again.

  Forum Editor 19:56 24 Sep 2007

You simply integrate the PayPal credit-card transaction service into your existing site. You can customise the PayPal pages so they complement your own site's design. The PayPal payment pages are hosted on PayPal's own secure servers, and your customers are taken there when they click a 'buy now' button on your site - it's a common system, and is used by many online retailers who don't process card payments themselves.

Your customers will not need to have a PayPal account if you use this system, they can pay by credit card in the normal way, and the money will go into your PayPal account.

NetObjects Fusion is a very powerful web design application, but it has a reasonably gentle learning curve. It's ideal for newcomers to web design because it has dozens of ready-to-go site styles, each of which can be applied to your site with a single mouse click - you can see what your site looks like in many different colour schemes and design styles without having to change anything yourself. It isn't cheap, but is very good value if you are serious about site design.

I can't advise you about Web Easy Pro - I haven't used it. Earlier versions didn't get very good reviews, but I imagine things will have improved in the latest version.

  kevward1 21:23 24 Sep 2007

Thanks again. I think I am going to go for NetObjects Fusion 10. Can you please confirm that it is Vista compatible as when I checked on their site the operating systems mentioned are Windows 2000 and XP.

  mco 22:19 24 Sep 2007

I've seen online that it does work on Vista.

  DieSse 22:55 24 Sep 2007

"I think I am going to go for NetObjects Fusion 10."

That's fine - but I will tell you I'm a long-term user of WebEasy - I recently tried NO Fusion as it so often recommended - I have to say that although I gave it a good go, it's much more difficult to get to grips with.

I think you can get a 30-day free trial with both - I urge you to do that before making a final decision.

  Forum Editor 23:07 24 Sep 2007

A wise choice - I doubt that you'll regret it, and yes, NOF 10 is Vista-compatible.

If you haven't used one of these WYSIWYG web-design applications before you may find it all a little strange to start with. I suggest that you begin by loading one of the ready-to-go site styles, and playing around with it. You can preview the results in your browser, so you'll see your work looking exactly as it would on the web, without having to publish it to a server.

When/if you encounter any difficulties feel free to post back here with your questions, and one of us will step you through the obstacle. NOF is an extremely popular program - deservedly - and there are hundreds of free tutorials on the web. You'll be in good company.

Good luck with your site - don't forget to let us all have a look at it when you're ready.

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