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  1. #1
    Regular Coder BoldUlysses's Avatar
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    Question Adding functionality...

    Here's the situation: I've put together a website for my company. At the moment it's nothing more than an online brochure and catalog. Sometime in the next six months or so we're going to want to add e-commerce functionality so customer can purchase items online.

    Before my time, the company created an e-commerce website in conjunction with our IT company, using an e-commerce "template" of sorts and dropping in graphics. It's horribly designed, ugly and a coding nightmare but it does work. However, it hasn't been updated in ages and because of this, in addition to the aforementioned design deficiencies, my company wants to phase it out in favor of a newer design.

    Our IT company is going to try to talk us into another template, all but scrapping the site I've designed. My preference is to add functionality to the existing site by adding form fields, submit buttons, a shopping cart and the like.

    My question is: What would it take to add this functionality? Do we need a web programmer? This is beyond the scope of my expertise, knowing only XHTML and CSS and a rudimentary amount of PHP.

    Thanks for any and all advice!

    Apologies if this is posted in the wrong sub-forum; feel free to move it.

  • #2
    Senior Coder tomws's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msuffern View Post
    Before my time, the company created an e-commerce website in conjunction with our IT company, using an e-commerce "template" of sorts and dropping in graphics. It's horribly designed, ugly and a coding nightmare but it does work.
    Oh, I don't know. I'll bet those buttons took someone a lot of time in MS Paint.

    Quote Originally Posted by msuffern View Post
    My question is: What would it take to add this functionality? Do we need a web programmer? This is beyond the scope of my expertise, knowing only XHTML and CSS and a rudimentary amount of PHP.
    It would take quite a bit, and yes, hire someone to do it - someone not involved with the previous designers. A DIY option: use a CMS that has ecommerce add-ons available. You'd have to shoe-horn your new design into the CMS, but it would keep the work in-house.

  • #3
    Regular Coder BoldUlysses's Avatar
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    Thanks for the reply. Wow... I have to admit my ignorance--I didn't know there was such a thing as a CMS. Guess that's what happens when you've been living in client-side land for too long...

    Now I feel like I should have started with one--I think that would have made it easier to keep everything in house. Looks like I have a lot of research to do to find one (if any) that will agree with the site and have an e-commerce module available.

    Thanks again.

  • #4
    Supreme Master coder! _Aerospace_Eng_'s Avatar
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    Some of the major ones, Wordpress, Drupal, and Joomla all have e-commerce modules.
    ||||If you are getting paid to do a job, don't ask for help on it!||||

  • #5
    Regular Coder BoldUlysses's Avatar
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    I checked out Drupal, installed it on our server and immediately felt like I was in way over my head. I really need to back up and learn PHP and MySQL before proceeding.

    Our IT company used StoreFront for the first (ugly) website and they're interested in the most recent release for our new website. I'll have to see how much customization is available. Ideally, I'd like to have free rein with the source code (with regard to styling with HTML and CSS) provided I don't tamper with certain e-commerce-related form elements. StoreFront could even (and probably will) provide me with a site structure that I would work around.

  • #6
    Senior Coder gnomeontherun's Avatar
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    Drupal doesn't do ecommerce by default, so you could try a system designed specifically for e-commerce.

    oscommerce stand alone
    virtuemart works with Joomla...

    There are more, but I'm not an expert on e-commerce.

  • #7
    Supreme Master coder! _Aerospace_Eng_'s Avatar
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    There is also zencart, and cubecart. I have friends who use virtuemart with joomla. They have little php knowledge and seem to be doing okay with it.
    ||||If you are getting paid to do a job, don't ask for help on it!||||


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