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Old 04-21-2008, 05:30 PM   #1
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Default Calling all IT peoples!

So, I recently put up a "business card" website for my LHBS...check it out http://chicohomebrewshop.com/. It's nowhere near finished, but I'd like some input on the design. I'm by no means a graphic designer, so don't expect much!

I'm at a crossroads in my development of the site, and trying to decide what way to go with the product listings. The LHBS owner doesn't want to do online ordering and processing at this point, but does want the ability to display the products and prices. For my own sake, I'd like to build/add a system through which the owner can update/add/remove items without having to contact me. I have a two options I'm considering:

1. Add Joomla, or another open source system to manage products. This would take around 20 hours or so to customize, maybe more.

2. Build my own MySQL back end (easy, I do this thing all day long) to store products and their prices, pictures, etc. Add PHP scripting to the web page to pull this information (read only) for viewing. Enable a password protected page so the owner can update/add/remove items on their own.


As of right now, I've got the product pages set up like so that an iFrame renders a very simple PHP "sub-page". There are several hyperlinks on the page that will refresh this iFrame with the desired "sub-page" by calling a JavaScript function. I'm leaning towards making the entire system myself, because I'd have a blast doing it, and the database structure would be easy and quick to do. However, I've only done a couple PHP projects that were quite small, and I want to get the site up in the next few weeks.

Do you have any tips, suggestions, etc for me? If you have any experience with customizing Joomla or any other product like it, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!

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Old 04-21-2008, 05:41 PM   #2
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First I think the site looks great, thats a nice template and its very clean and easy on the eyes. Is that wordpress?

Second I have used joomla for years and I really like it. For content driven websites its very good but I think you can also get by using wordpress if you do not go with a shopping cart type solution.

I would have to ask you though, what are the chances they are going to want to sell online down the road? If you make them something custom (per option 2) and then they decide to go with a full shopping cart you will either have to modify what you have, or scrap it and start over with an off the self cart. I would lean toward using an off the shelf or open source cart to display the products then just disable the ability to check out. This way you have the ability to go online without having to re-invent the wheel.

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Old 04-21-2008, 05:47 PM   #3
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Check out osCommerce for your shopping cart and products.

Also, check out http://forums.site-reference.com and ask em for a review of your site. Tell em I sent ya.

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Old 04-21-2008, 05:53 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input! I actually got the template from a great site here: Free CSS Templates. I think my template is called "Numerology" but I've made many changes from the original. I honestly think that the owner would like to keep things simple and local, and doesn't want to be competing with AHS, Midwest, MoreBeer, etc for the online brew shop market. However, I like the idea of not re-inventing the wheel. I don't think they are opposed to selling over the phone, but I don't think eCommerce is on their radar at this point. I guess I should talk with them more about this and make sure .

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Old 04-21-2008, 05:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mutilated1
Check out osCommerce for your shopping cart and products.

Also, check out http://forums.site-reference.com and ask em for a review of your site. Tell em I sent ya.
Thanks, I'll check ocCommerce out! BTW, is your username on site reference the same as here?
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:03 PM   #6
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Thanks, I'll check ocCommerce out! BTW, is your username on site reference the same as here?
yes it is the same
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Old 04-21-2008, 06:04 PM   #7
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Also check out Zen Cart.

Also you might want to look at www.wineandbeermaking.com

they have a cart that is a component made for joomla. From an integration stand point it fits pretty well, color scheme and theme design aside of course.


You can also take note of how not to put your items online, no pictures, very little info, and no prices, etc.

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Old 04-23-2008, 04:30 AM   #8
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Well, I've looked at the ecommerce packages and content management systems, but they are just too complex for my needs. I may in fact go that route if the owner wants to sell items online in the future, but for now I just need an easy to update product list.

I've updated the website, and have built the database back end which is pulled onto the site via PHP scripting. All I need to do now is:

1. Add a nice looking front end to each of the main pages (Equipment, Ingredients, Recipes, etc.)

2. Configure all the sub pages to pull the products from the table, filtered by the category selected by the user. This will be done via javascript/php as well.

3. Build password protected page, a mirror of the existing site but the product list can be edited by the LHBS owner.

4. Make it more purty.

Thanks for your input...please let me know if you have any more ideas or cool things I can do to make the site better.

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Old 04-23-2008, 07:16 AM   #9
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Just make sure you cover all the exploits in SQL. Far too many people know the simple comands.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SQL_injection

Im sure you already know that. Seem to be versed in scripting.

Im getting my CISSP in a few months.

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Old 04-23-2008, 04:08 PM   #10
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I've had plenty of experience with SQL scripting, but I'm not sure how to guard against the common attacks. Most of my SQL statements in the end product will be set up as calls to stored procedures. So instead of:

SELECT equipmentid, name, cost from Equipment where categoryid = '5'

it will look more like:

exec getEquipmentList ('5')

I'm not sure if this will prevent an SQL injection attack, but it sure makes the php scripting easier to write and understand. Thanks for the heads up and the wiki link, I'll be looking into security for sure!

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