e-commerce website - use of database? benefit?

  Chris-190573 12:06 08 Mar 2005


I have designed a static e-commerce website in dreamweaver for an online version of my shop using paypal as the shopping cart.

We have stock items ready to load of several hundred items

Do we need to use a database with this website? and if so how would this work alongside paypal?

Also if i was to use a database what benefits would this bring to the site?

My webhost is webmania and i have been informed they do not work with access - if i do need a database can anyone recommend a good one.

Basically do i need a database for my website and is it worth the extra effort to set up?

Thanks for looking and fingers crossed you can help!

  Matt45 17:29 08 Mar 2005

I am a web designer and frequently design ecommerce sites using databases. There are a number of advantages but the main one is that "the client" - the person who I design the system for - can then add, edit and delete products themselves very easily through an online administration interface. It also means that you can make changes to how the products are displayed very easily as all you have to do is change one page rather than 100's of pages each with product info on. For customers, it usually means that an advanced search facility can be used which can search by keyword, price, categry, etc...

  Matt45 17:32 08 Mar 2005

As for the database, if you were to create one, it would have to be done using the PHP programming language & MySQL databasing system as that is what your current host supports.

  Chris-190573 21:10 08 Mar 2005

Many thanks.

Can you recommend any software to create the database in?

  Matt45 23:12 08 Mar 2005

You're going to need to create the database in phpMyAdmin, then create all the queries to retrieve data from the database when the pages of your site are called from the webserver and then output the data in an easy to understand way for customers. You'll then also need to create an administration system for yourself. What I'm trying to get at, is if you didn't know your host already had the program you needed to create the database, then do you know how to do all of the above or do you need to get a web designer to do it for you?

  Talented Monkey 00:59 09 Mar 2005

Chris ,

Despite Matts optimistic outlook, I am going to bring you down to earth a bit.

I can tell from your post that you haven’t a clue about PHP or MySQL, if you did you t be asking these questions. Therefore my initial thoughts at Matts suggestion about writing your own dynamic pages with administration panels in PHP and MYSQL queries, are that you will struggle. You may want to do this, but be prepared for steep learning curve with many hours of dedication to the project, with sweat blood and tears.

If you have bucket loads of money then have someone do this for you. A professional writing bespoke website like the one you want will cost thousands. I somehow don’t think you do if you are already doing a DIY version.

However there is an alternative, there are FREE yes FREE options for an off the shelf solution take a look at OSCommerce click here or Agora Cart click here a “simple” task of downloading the software then running it on your hosting company. Some hosting companies offer quick install options, ie they already have software residing on server, or have some other easy install option. If not you will have to upload everything yourself.

  Talented Monkey 01:19 09 Mar 2005

oops lost the latter part of my post here it is..

These two packages are brilliant, OSCommerce is my preference. Everything is doen for you, you simply run an installation webpage which sets up your database admin passwords etc, and off you go.

You could write your own, but its rather complex task, like anything its best to learn to walk before running, so take a look at PHP Freaks click here or w3schools click here to see what you will be letting yourself infor. If you can pick up new programming languages reasonably quickly, you can spend 6 or more hours a day working on this, then you might, please note might be able to write to your own version in a few weeks.

I don’t think I am exaggerating either, I think I am being rather generous. Somehow I don’t think you can take a month off from your normal job either. Also just think of all the lost sales as a result of trying to do this. Best to get something that works up and running in next 24 hours and spend the time entering data rather than bumbling around trying to work out why you get a “can not connect to database” error.

Of course theres nothign to stop you learning from doign this as a side project, but i ceratinly know which option i would go for in your position. points up to the previous links!!!

anywya whatever you decide, just keep on comming back here for help and you will get plenty.

good luck!

  tonyuk72 14:42 10 Mar 2005

I had attempted to play with osCommerce and it was a failed mission. I simply couldn't get it connected to the database.

I then found another php/mysql ecommerce solution which installed effortlessly.

click here

The admin features are as simple to use as a php based forum, if not easier!! Well worth a look unless others have negative feedback.

One word of caution though, if you are thinking about adding any of the many "mods" available do NOT do it on a live site. Alway's test first as they can be tempremental.

  tonyuk72 14:43 10 Mar 2005

This package is from CubeCart......

I hadnt done a link on this forum for ages & didn't realise it's name would be replaced with click here.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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