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  1. #1
    Regular Coder LearningCoder's Avatar
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    What kind of setup?

    Hello I have a site which I am working on for my personal local business.

    I want to do a 'products' page where users can order garden furniture off my website.

    What I want to know is do I need to have a user login system for this to work? I know it might sound like a silly question, as my initial thoughts are that I DO need it but I just want to be absolutely sure. I'm either going to display pre-made products and allow the user to choose what they see, or I was going to add a form, where they can specifically input their dimensions of their product,product name etc and give a description of exactly what they want. I might even do both if I am capable ...Although I can see a lot of potential errors coming and tons more work coming from the second idea.

    Please let me know your thoughts!

    Kind regards,

    LC.

  • #2
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
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    I suppose that would come down to why you would need user accounts. The obvious reason is to relate certain orders or activity on your site to an individual. I can see processing orders as being viable without the person having an account if perhaps they only need to run through a form or two to enter details (like choosing the product). However, if you want any accountability on the order, or to allow someone to come back and view the orders they have made, then having them enter some validation is surely the most secure way. You could do something that doesn't seem like an actual account, like giving each order a password (or letting them choose one), and using the order id as the "account name".

  • #3
    Regular Coder LearningCoder's Avatar
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    So lets say someone comes to my site (no login). They place an order through the form and submit the details to me. I can save the details of the desired product into a database. Upon inserting the data, or form submission, let's say I generate a random 5 character string (which is the 'order number'), do I then insert that with the order details?

    If so, how do I show them their previous order without a user login to determine who they are?

    Can I show them a form to enter their order number, then if an order number matches, show the details to the user?

    Thank you for your reply.

    Kind regards,

    LC.

  • #4
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
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    Yes, that would be right. You could think of submitting the order as signing-up for an "order account" as well as recording the order details, obviously and the "order number" would be related to the rest of the order directly in the database structure. Somebody may then enter an "order number" in a form for "checking the status of an order", and if the "order number" exists, and matches with an order in your database, you could then think of that as a (very insecure) login.

    It's entirely possible, whether or not it's a good idea depends a lot of what information and options you wish to keep and make available to the people using it. A headless chicken could probably brute-force a single 5 character string validation with success, especially if it's numeric.

  • #5
    Regular Coder LearningCoder's Avatar
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    Let's say I wanted to allow users to pay on a credit card and say a user puts an order in through the form, without a login system do you think it would put people off ordering (in your opinion)?

    Kind regards,

    LC.

  • #6
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
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    Possibly, but it would also depend on the presentation. I admire you for questioning common practice, but truthfully I think most people will not feel inconvenienced by having to sign up an account. When it comes to e-commerce most people would probably assume registration is involved to begin with. Personally, I would be more concerned with using a credit-card on a site not using https://.

  • #7
    Regular Coder LearningCoder's Avatar
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    Hmm interesting. I agree, I would be concerned also about putting my credit card details into a site which is not secured or doesn't looks well presented/professional. It would probably be best suited if I just allowed them to view the products and should they be interested in anything we provide, they can give us a call, email or fill the form in to contact us.

    When I thought about doing this site, I had no intentions to allow users to buy things directly off us online so maybe I should stick to my initial thoughts of just providing information about us and displaying the products & services we offer, as it looks like it will over complicate a site which was meant to just be very basic.

    Can I just ask, I didn't fully read the https article (was too technical, couldn't undestand ) but I naturally notice (from browsing the web) that only the really big websites have this like msn, facebook etc. Is https something which anyone can use/implement?

    Thank you for your time and your opinions, it has been more than helpful!

    Kind regards,

    LC.
    Last edited by LearningCoder; 11-06-2012 at 05:39 PM.

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    I understand your question but I am not sure about my solution so I can't comment.

  • #9
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LearningCoder View Post
    Can I just ask, I didn't fully read the https article (was too technical, couldn't undestand ) but I naturally notice (from browsing the web) that only the really big websites have this like msn, facebook etc. Is https something which anyone can use/implement?
    Anyone can use https, but it requires a digital certificate to be implemented on your server, such as a SSL certificate. Such certificates can be purchased from hosting companies and the like for hundreds of dollars per year. That's about where I stopped looking into that, so the rest of it is over my head as well. I assume smaller websites just can't justify the cost.

    Edit: I'd recommend having a peek at what Paypal offers before giving up on your idea.
    Last edited by Custard7A; 11-06-2012 at 07:43 PM.

  • #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custard7A View Post
    I'd recommend having a peek at what Paypal offers before giving up on your idea.
    You know, I thought about that. I've always shyed away from paypal completely as I am really not a fan of buying products online. As it will not be me potentially buying these products, I will definitely do that!

    Thank you for the tip.

    Kind regards,

    LC.

  • #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Custard7A View Post
    Anyone can use https, but it requires a digital certificate to be implemented on your server, such as a SSL certificate. Such certificates can be purchased from hosting companies and the like for hundreds of dollars per year. That's about where I stopped looking into that, so the rest of it is over my head as well. I assume smaller websites just can't justify the cost.

    Edit: I'd recommend having a peek at what Paypal offers before giving up on your idea.
    SSL certificates aren't that expensive, you can get them for a lot cheaper. You just need to have hosting that lets you install a certificate, that is the harder aspect in my opinion. Plenty of hosts do that but it isn't a feature of the entry level hosting plan usually. I get mine certificates from StartSSL.


    When it comes to ordering and user accounts I prefer the setup where you can create an account or checkout as a guest. That way people that want to make an account can while still not making it a hassle for people who would rather not.
    OracleGuy

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  • #12
    Regular Coder Custard7A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oracleguy View Post
    SSL certificates aren't that expensive, you can get them for a lot cheaper. You just need to have hosting that lets you install a certificate, that is the harder aspect in my opinion. Plenty of hosts do that but it isn't a feature of the entry level hosting plan usually. I get mine certificates from StartSSL.
    Wow, free SSL certificates? If I could be using HTTPS for free I'm going to look into this right away! I don't need it per se, but it would sure be cool for the learning experience, security, and the url.
    Now that you mention it, I don't believe my "cheapest hosting I could find" hosting has support for SSL certificates. Considering their shortcomings in other areas I wouldn't be sorry to look for a better host.

    @ LearningCoder: Good luck! I'd be interested if you come into success with that; My site could always use a donate money to me form.

  • #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oracleguy View Post
    When it comes to ordering and user accounts I prefer the setup where you can create an account or checkout as a guest. That way people that want to make an account can while still not making it a hassle for people who would rather not.
    I may have to have a look at some examples of this type of setup because I was not aware you could allow users to order things without an account. Only ever attempted 1 website which had user/login ability and got this to work fine. When it comes to purchasing a product, never attempted this so I'll really have to sit and study this type of setup.

    Do you know of any useful links relating to this? Or the actual technical terms I should use when searching google? Tried a couple as I type this and it doesn't relate specifically to that setup.

    Kind regards,

    Lc.

  • #14
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    Keep in mind that unless you get serious about a payment interface, you could easily (say with Paypal) implement a setup which has the products on your site (unsecured) and the payment through Paypal on Paypal's secured site. There is no need to secure your own site in this scenario, and unless you have some other need, you could easily implement it with no logon.

    After all, you go to McDonalds and pay with just a credit card. They don't make you set up and account to do it.

    Dave


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