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Building Online Stores with osCommerce: Professional Edition

Book Description

Key Features

  • Install, configure, and customize osCommerce
  • Enhance and modify osCommerce
  • Learn from a sample, fully functional site packed with useful features such as gift certificates and discounts, cross- and up-selling, RSS feed aggregation, enhanced product image handling and bug fixes.
  • Also available in a special Beginner's Edition

Book Description

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.

Who this book is for

This book is written for anyone who:

  • Already uses OSCommerce
  • Would like to use OSCommerce
  • Would like to make a website for their business
  • Is charged with administering, running and maintaining an OSCommerce site
  • Is interested in learning how an eCommerce application is created and maintained

Downloading the example code for this book. You can download the example code files for all Packt books you have purchased from your account at http://www.PacktPub.com. If you purchased this book elsewhere, you can visit http://www.PacktPub.com/support and register to have the code file.

Table of Contents

  1. Building Online Stores with osCommerce: Professional Edition
    1. Table of Contents
    2. Building Online Stores with osCommerce: Professional Edition
    3. Credits
    4. About the Author
    5. About the Reviewers
    6. Foreword
    7. Introduction
      1. What This Book Covers
      2. Conventions
      3. Reader Feedback
      4. Customer Support
        1. Downloading the Example Code for the Book
        2. Errata
        3. Questions
    8. 1. Introduction to E-Commerce with osCommerce
      1. The What and Why of osCommerce
      2. E-Commerce! What am I Doing?
      3. Do I Go For It or Not?
        1. Resources and Commitment
      4. Designing an E-Commerce Site
        1. Isolating the Site's Requirements
          1. Business-Related Needs
          2. Site Functionality
        2. Analyzing the Proposed Solution
          1. Feasibility
          2. Phone a Friend?
          3. Critical Versus Desirable Criteria
      5. Building an E-Commerce Site
        1. Development
        2. Testing and Debugging
        3. Deployment and Maintenance
      6. Summary
    9. 2. Setting Up the Development Environment
      1. Downloading Software
      2. MySQL
        1. Installing MySQL
        2. Testing MySQL
      3. PHP
        1. Installing PHP
        2. Configuring PHP
      4. Apache
        1. Installing Apache
        2. Configuring Apache to Work with PHP
      5. Testing Apache and PHP
        1. Why Won't the Darn Things Work?
      6. Testing Everything Together
        1. Why Won't the Darn Things Work Together?
      7. Downloading and Installing a PHP, Apache, and MySQL Package
        1. Testing PHP Triad
      8. Downloading and Installing osCommerce on Windows
        1. Installing osCommerce
        2. Configuring osCommerce
        3. Testing osCommerce
      9. Downloading and Installing osCommerce on Linux
      10. Troubleshooting
      11. Summary
    10. 3. How osCommerce Works
      1. osCommerce and Internet Technology
        1. osCommerce and PHP
        2. osCommerce and HTML
        3. osCommerce and MySQL
      2. The osCommerce Architecture
      3. The Online Store
      4. The osCommerce Online Community
        1. Contributions
        2. Forums
        3. Knowledge Base
        4. Documentation
        5. Bug and Progress Reports
      5. Summary
    11. 4. Basic Configuration
      1. The Administration Tool
        1. My Store
        2. Maximum and Minimum Values
        3. Images
        4. Customer Details
        5. Shipping and Packaging
        6. Product Listing
        7. Stock
        8. Logging
        9. Cache
        10. Email Options
        11. Download
        12. GZip Compression
        13. Sessions
      2. Summary
    12. 5. Working with Data
      1. How Do I Categorize My Data?
        1. Categorizing Contechst Books Products
      2. Preparing to Add Product Data
      3. Catalog
        1. Categories/Products
          1. Adding and Deleting Categories and Products
          2. Moving and Copying Categories and Products
        2. Product Attributes
        3. Manufacturers
        4. Reviews
        5. Specials
        6. Products Expected
      4. Customers
        1. Orders
      5. Viewing Reports
      6. Easy Populate
        1. Downloading and Installing Easy Populate
        2. Finding Your Way Around Easy Populate
        3. Using Easy Populate to Add Product Data
      7. Summary
    13. 6. Customization
      1. Form Follows Function
        1. Visual Design
        2. Functional Design
        3. Language
      2. Language Definitions
        1. english.php
        2. index.php
        3. Using HTML for Language Formatting
      3. Working with Boxes and Columns
        1. Removing a Box
        2. Moving Boxes
        3. Modifying Box Content
        4. Adding a Box
        5. Removing a Column
      4. Dealing with Images
        1. The images Folder
        2. Sizing and Naming Images
        3. Saving Product Images
        4. Graphics—Logos and Icons
          1. Creating and Inserting New Graphics
          2. Moving and Removing Graphics
        5. Background Images
        6. Button Images
      5. Customizations Using the Style Sheet
        1. Inserting Background Images
        2. Changing Colors and Fonts
      6. Miscellaneous Customizations
        1. Resizing Pages
        2. Adding Pages
        3. Emails
      7. Summary
    14. 7. Taxes, Payments, and Shipping
      1. Getting Paid
        1. Preparation
        2. Implementation
        3. Testing and Maintenance
      2. Locations and Taxes
        1. Tax Zones
        2. Tax Classes and Rates
      3. Getting Paid with PayPal
        1. Setting Up PayPal on osCommerce
        2. Connecting osCommerce and PayPal
        3. Working with PayPal
      4. Credit Card Payments
        1. The Credit Card Module
        2. The PsiGate Module
      5. Alternative Forms of Payments
        1. Checks and Money Orders
        2. Cash on Delivery
      6. Shipping
        1. Flat Rates
        2. Per Item
        3. Table Rate
        4. UPS and USPS
        5. Zone Rates
        6. Contechst Book's Shipping Solution
      7. Summary
    15. 8. Securing Your Store
      1. What's all This Security Business?
      2. The Main Players
        1. SSL
        2. Passwords
        3. Encryption
      3. Securing the Administration Tool
        1. Creating Password-Protected Folders
        2. Implementing SSL for the admin Folder
      4. Securing Payments
        1. The Front End of the Store
        2. The Back End of the Store
          1. PayPal Payments
          2. Credit Card Payments
      5. File-System Security
      6. Database Security
      7. Disaster Recovery
        1. Back Up Your Files
        2. Back Up Your Database
      8. Stay Up to Date
      9. Summary
    16. 9. Advanced Features
      1. Highlighting a Generic Process!
      2. The RSS Technology Feed
        1. What's All This RSS About?
        2. Using RSS Feeds
        3. Planning the Application
        4. Creating the Feed Table
        5. Creating the Aggregator
        6. Building the RSS Tech Feed Web Page
      3. Cross- and Up-Selling Features
        1. Installing the X-Sell Contribution
          1. catalog
          2. admin
        2. Using the X-Sell Contribution
      4. Adding Discount and Gift Voucher Facilities
        1. Installing the CCGV Contribution
          1. catalog
          2. admin
        2. Using the CCGV Contribution
          1. Gift Vouchers
          2. Discount Coupons
      5. Summary
    17. 10. Tools, Tips, and Tricks
      1. Tools
        1. Banner Manager
        2. phpMyAdmin
      2. Tips and Tricks
        1. Low Stock Reports
        2. Working with Downloadable Products
          1. Installing the Download Controller
          2. Working with the Download Controller
          3. Testing the Download Controller
        3. PayPal Trouble?
        4. Dynamic Box Headers
        5. Creating Matching Buttons
      3. Summary
    18. 11. Deployment and Maintenance
      1. Getting Ready to Deploy
        1. Make Sure the Host is Ready
        2. Get the Files Ready
        3. Get the Database Ready
      2. Transfer the Files
        1. FTP Drag and Drop
        2. FTP Utility
        3. FrontPage Extensions
      3. Setting Up the Site
        1. Set Up the Files
        2. Set Up the Database
        3. Configure the Site
        4. An Interesting Problem
      4. Testing
        1. Test the Online Store
        2. Re-Implement Security
        3. Test the Administration Tool
      5. Maintenance
      6. Summary
    19. 12. Building Your Business
      1. Marketing
        1. Research
        2. Advertising
          1. Using Google AdWords
          2. Generating Revenue from Your Site
        3. Affiliate Programs
        4. Become Active in the Community
      2. Search Engine Optimization
      3. Dropshipping
      4. Summary
    20. A. Troubleshooting
      1. Types of Errors
      2. An Effective Process for Dealing with Bugs
      3. Debugging Code Yourself
      4. Summary
    21. Index