Category

Design & Development

The nuts and bolts of an ecommerce site are design and development. We address design innovation and trends — including layouts, colors, photography, logos, video, and more. We explain the basics of code — HTML, CSS, JavaScript — as well as platforms, themes, plugins, open source, and related topics.

Code | Design & Dev Tools | Platforms | Schools & Resources | Typography & Fonts | User Experience
  • Design & Development

    What Can Digg.com Do For My Online Business?

    February 5, 2007 •

    Digg.com is probably best called a social networking news site. The idea behind Digg.com, and other sites like it, is that users submit web pages they have bookmarked or "dugg." After a certain number of people "digg" the same web page, it is moved to the top of the index, which is on D...

  • Design & Development

    Is The Mobile Web Right For Your Ecommerce Business?

    January 15, 2007 •

    Among the topics of conversation for those who make 2007 business technology predictions is the extent to which the "mobile web" — cell phones and other devices that access the Internet for information and ecommerce — will gain traction in the United States. In parts of Europe and Asia...

  • Design & Development

    Preparing Your Website For Mobile Devices

    January 15, 2007 •

    With the growing number of consumers using mobile devices, such as cell phones and PDAs, to access the Internet, it’s important to make sure your website can be accessed by ...

  • Design & Development

    Internet Explorer 7 is Coming

    December 1, 2006 •

    The upcoming release of the Windows Vista operating system also means the impending release of the full version of the web browser Internet Explorer 7. Like most website developers, I toughed out a brief bout of panic as memories of the release of Internet Explorer 6 came rushing back t...

  • Design & Development

    Tech Support – December 2006

    December 1, 2006 •

    Question: I'm confused by all the prices out there for domain-name registration. My hosting company occasionally offers free domain name registration, yet I see some other companies charging up to $29.99 annually to register a domain name. Are the more expensive versions somehow better...

  • Design & Development

    Google Takes On Microsoft Office

    November 20, 2006 •

    Google's never made a secret of the fact that its vision of your future computer desktop does not include any Microsoft products. For Google, all you'll need is a browser, an Internet connection, and a Google account - everything else is optional! Google will provide for all your comput...

  • Design & Development

    Get To Know Your .htaccess File

    November 1, 2006 •

    A valuable tool many web developers either don't understand or aren't aware of is the .htaccess file. The file is available only to websites hosted on servers running the Apache web server, which is the overwhelming majority of hosting servers. An .htaccess file is a small, plain-text f...

  • Design & Development

    Quick Query: Second Bite’s Chad Herman

    November 1, 2006 •

    PeC: What does Second Bite do for online businesses? Herman: Second Bite gives the merchant the opportunity to remarket to any individual who, for whatever reason, is not able to complete the purchase at the time of the site visit. We get back in front of that consumer with a target...

  • Design & Development

    Experiencing Server Overload

    November 1, 2006 •

    Each month I talk about things I’ve learned by watching how other store owners run their businesses. Not that I don’t make my own mistakes, but I often try to keep my own embarrassing moments to myself. Until now... I’ve talked before about what to look for in a hosting company. I’ve t...

  • Design & Development

    Tech Support: November 2006

    November 1, 2006 •

    What are Technorati tags and what do they do? Technorati is a website that provides an index of the web, allowing people to find up-to-the-minute information and web content. One of the ways Technorati achieves this is by using content tags, which are also used by other sites, that pro...

  • Code

    Flash or HTML: Which to Choose

    October 16, 2006 •

    The question of whether it is better to design a website using Flash rather than using just HTML has sparked many debates among web developers. For the most part, it seems that developers tend to defend what they know, although there are some important differences between a pure HTML we...

  • Design & Development

    Email: How It Works

    October 7, 2006 •

    Email has become one of the primary sources of communication among people in the world today, yet how it works remains a bit of a mystery to many people. In order to shed some light on the subject, let’s follow an email message from the sender to the recipient. Most people use some sor...

  • Design & Development

    How To Start a Video Blog

    October 7, 2006 •

    Web logs, commonly referred to as "blogs," came into the mainstream about two years ago. Not really a newsletter or traditional .html-page publishing, blogs resemble more of a web-based diary where the creator records their thoughts, posts links or responds to questions. Initially, bl...

  • Design & Development

    Should you consider a .ws domain?

    October 4, 2006 •

    "Exploding" is marketer's hype, perhaps to press full advantage out of GDI's multi-tier affiliate marketing structure (5 levels), "with the potential to earn commissions on unlimited levels as a GDI Master Affiliate."

  • Design & Development

    Tech Support: October 2006

    October 2, 2006 •

    Question: I keep hearing about a two-tiered Internet. What is that? Brian Getting: Two-tiered Internet refers to the attempt by major telecommunication companies, who provide the infrastructure for Internet communications, to send information across the Internet in two separate speed...

  • Code

    Tech Support: Isolate CSS and Javascript

    October 1, 2006 •

    Last month we discussed the separation of content, design and functionality when it comes to developing a website. We introduced the idea that HTML documents should contain primarily content, with as little markup code as possible. The reason for this is that any extra code dilutes the ...

  • Design & Development

    Is Your Data Vulnerable?

    October 1, 2006 •

    Having just returned from the MIVA Conference, I’m sure my editor is quite antsy. I’m late with this column— not due to procrastination. I’ve always got something to say, but after I instructed a session on security for online store administrators, I realized that a great percentage of ...

  • Design & Development

    AuctionCheckout.com’s John Waldron and Sloane Bouchever

    October 1, 2006 •

    PeC: What makes AuctionCheckout different from PayPal? In the PayPal environment today, if you're selling, the funds from your transactions are going into your PayPal account. PayPal is not a financial institution. They can freeze those funds. AuctionCheckout “Blue” is an auction-chec...

  • Design & Development

    Using RSS To Expand Your Online Exposure

    October 1, 2006 •

    Rarely in the last 10 years has there been a technology with so much potential to explode your business’s online exposure for such little cost. Real Simple Syndication (RSS) makes it easy for non-techies to automatically display targeted third-party content on their websites and blogs w...

  • Design & Development

    Product Images Matter

    October 1, 2006 •

    One distinct advantage to a brick-and-mortar store has over a business in the virtual world is that customers can touch the products on the racks and shelves at the local mall. Local retailers know that if they can get you to touch a product, you are more likely to leap from shopper to ...

  • Design & Development

    Podcasting Can Increase Brand Awareness

    October 1, 2006 •

    It seems like it was just yesterday that entrepreneurs were advised to start blogging for the purpose of marketing their businesses. Now, there’s a whole new technology out there that’s a growing, but viable, option for cultivating your brand online: podcasting. What is "podcasting?" ...

  • Design & Development

    Free Alternative to Microsoft Office

    September 25, 2006 •

    Anyone who ever priced the Microsoft Office Suite knows it represents a significant investment. A quick check of the Compusa.com website shows Microsoft Office Standard costs $399 and Microsoft Office Professional will set you back $449. Now, this doesn't discount the value of the softw...

  • Design & Development

    Have You Ever Wondered How a Website Works?

    September 18, 2006 •

    In the most basic terms, a website is a collection of files on the hard drive of a server that can be accessed by the public. Since this is not a very satisfying explanation of what a website is or how one works, perhaps it is easier to follow the pathway between someone that is surfing...

  • Platforms

    Shopping Cart Checklist

    September 1, 2006 •

    We’ve assembled a checklist to help you narrow your shopping cart requirements. The checklist is divided into six areas: function, shipping issues, payment processing, support, technical considerations and report generation. Function Is there a limit to the number of categories or pr...

  • Design & Development

    The Future of Ecommerce Solutions

    September 1, 2006 •

    PeC: Given the trends in the marketplace, what do you see on the horizon for ecommerce solutions? Chowdhary: "This is such a dynamic field. Every day is a new day in the world of ecommerce. We see a lot of things, and looking in the near future, there are many different things that I...

  • Platforms

    Hosted Shopping Cart Solutions

    September 1, 2006 •

    PeC: How would you describe the merits of a hosted solution compared to various software solutions that are in the marketplace? Krakovsky: I think it starts with the fundamental premise that people start businesses to sell products and services to customers, not necessarily deal wit...

  • Platforms

    Getting to the Heart of the Cart

    September 1, 2006 •

    If you came to this article hoping we’d tell you exactly which shopping cart you should choose for your business, you will be disappointed. We don’t know. However, thanks to the expertise of a pair of industry veterans, the process of choosing a shopping cart is about to get easier for...

  • Platforms

    Shopping Cart Software Solutions

    September 1, 2006 •

    PeC: What are some distinctive characteristics of shopping carts that you might share with a new ecommerce business? Randolph: I’d say everything has a place. Yahoo! Stores has over 150,000 merchants now so, without a doubt, the hosted solution has a place in the marketplace. There a...

  • Design & Development

    Separate Content from Functionality and Design

    September 1, 2006 •

    A website can be broken down into three main development parts: content, design and functionality. To optimize a website for search engines, it’s important for developers to separate content, which is of interest to search engines, from design and functionality, which are not. Content ...

  • Design & Development

    Who Runs Your Business?

    September 1, 2006 •

    I love to cook. It’s something my husband knows well, and new friends learn quickly. Those visiting my home think I’m going out of my way, but to cook a savory meal, regardless of the time it takes, is how I relax. I’ve been known to make specialty pies I don’t even eat only to call the...

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