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

    Does Google Checkout Affect Your Business?

    September 1, 2006 •

    On June 30, 2006 Google launched a service called Google Checkout. This is a new application allowing businesses to process online orders through Google. It serves as an alternative to PayPal or regular credit-card processing. It’s interesting to look at the launch of this service from...

  • Design & Development

    Create Your Own Online TV Station

    August 28, 2006 •

    It will happen! TV and the Internet will eventually merge into one giant multi-media "melting pot" that includes everything from live footage and old reruns to garage videos posted by your next door neighbor's kid. Just like cable TV fractured network TV, the Internet will enable everyo...

  • Design & Development

    Nine Things to Consider Before You Blog

    August 20, 2006 •

    You’ve heard a lot about web logs or blogs. That’s because during the past six years blogs have evolved from a highly personal form of communication on the Internet to a powerful new medium for business. Not since Procter & Gamble invented branding back in 1931 has there been so muc...

  • Design & Development

    Stay Safe with Your Wireless Network

    August 4, 2006 •

    A wireless network can bring tremendous flexibility to your office, freeing employees to use laptops, tablet PCs and other devices at any desk-side meeting or conference-room presentation anywhere in the office suite. It can also eliminate the costs and restrictions involved with numero...

  • Design & Development

    Email: Confidentiality Required

    August 1, 2006 •

    I get thousands of emails each day. A good majority are spam, and I use Cloudmark (the best system I’ve found) for filtering them. Being in business, however, I still have to take the time to scan them all, making sure I’m not missing an initial request for work from someone who may hav...

  • Design & Development

    Use Scripting for Dynamic Websites

    August 1, 2006 •

    One of the first tasks when planning a website is to develop a strategy for delivering content and functionality to visitors. Since a website is a collection of HTML documents, the most basic approach is to simply code the information you want into these documents. Using this method re...

  • Design & Development

    Control Panels Simplify Tasks

    July 1, 2006 •

    Every website needs to be hosted somewhere, and every web developer will need access to the hosting server in order to perform tasks such as setting up email accounts, managing databases and creating FTP (file transfer protocol) accounts. Since most websites are hosted with a third-part...

  • Design & Development

    Tech Support – July 2006

    July 1, 2006 •

    Question: I’m contemplating either DSL, cable or a T-1 line for my business. How can I determine which Internet connection is best for my company? Brian Getting: While DSL, cable and T-1 lines all provide a high-speed, "always on" connection to the Internet, they differ in both the co...

  • Design & Development

    Tech Support: June 2006

    July 1, 2006 •

    Question: What’s the difference between a web server and an email server? Brian Getting: In this case, both the web server and the email server are software packages that provide services, rather than referring to a hardware server that is running these applications. Web server sof...

  • Design & Dev Tools

    Tools of the Trade

    June 1, 2006 •

    Welcome to our first installment of “Programming Notes,” a column designed to help novice web designers and developers with some of the challenges that they may face. Creating and maintaining a website requires someone to be familiar with graphic design, computer programming, server adm...

  • Design & Development

    RSS Can Help Your eCommerce Business

    June 1, 2006 •

    Last month we introduced the technology commonly called RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and explained how it is being used to distribute online content. This month we will look at how ecommerce business owners can use RSS to improve their online presence. Announcements RSS is a syndic...

  • Design & Development

    Robust International Market for Stolen Credit-Card Numbers

    May 30, 2006 •

    Think of it as sort-of a smorgasbord. For one dollar, a thief can purchase a stolen credit card number. He could buy it from another thief in one of hundreds of online, international chat-rooms set-up for that purpose. For three dollars, he could buy the credit card number with the thre...

  • Design & Development

    Hosting Companies: Many Options for eCommerce

    May 1, 2006 •

    It may seem like a daunting task to locate the right domain-hosting firm for your business, as there seems to be an endless sea of options. Wading through the many choices in the web hosting market can be frustrating and confusing. Rather than looking for a hosting company that offers ...

  • Design & Development

    Control Panels Help with Website Management

    May 1, 2006 •

    Long gone are the days a user must contact his Internet service provider or domain hosting company to make changes to an account, add an email address, renew a domain or inquire about bandwidth usage. The advent of the control panel has placed immediate control in the hands of the accou...

  • Design & Development

    Web Servers: Shared, Dedicated, and Virtual-Dedicated

    May 1, 2006 •

    When selecting a domain host for your business, one of the earliest questions you’ll need to resolve is whether you want a shared, dedicated or virtual-dedicated hosting plan. The main difference between dedicated and shared hosting is how the web server is utilized. In a shared enviro...

  • Design & Development

    eCommerce Dictionary: Hosting Terms

    May 1, 2006 •

    Affiliate Program An affiliate program is any type of revenue sharing program where a webmaster or website receives a portion of income for generating leads, traffic or sales through a graphic or text link to a merchant website. Alias A name that points to another name. Aliases are use...

  • Design & Development

    RSS Basics

    May 1, 2006 •

    Want more traffic to your ecommerce site? Need an easy way to distribute news and updates? An RSS feed may be your answer. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication and is a format for syndicating website content such as might be found on major news sites like CNN, as well as on blogs. ...

  • Design & Development

    Web Analytics: Data Collection Methods

    May 1, 2006 •

    Web analytics software helps ecommerce operators understand what their online visitors are up to. Which search engine did the visitors come from? How long did they remain on the site? Which web pages did they exit the site from? And so forth. Utilizing the data that web analytics packa...

  • Design & Development

    Tech Support: May 2006

    May 1, 2006 •

    What is “keyword density” and how does it affect me? Keyword density is a phrase that is used to describe how relevant a keyword “topic” is to text on a web page. Keyword density is measured in much the same way that normal density is measured- by comparing the number of times a keywor...

  • Design & Development

    Credit Card Processing: How It All Works

    April 1, 2006 •

    The credit card processing system is confusing. The players are numerous and the process is complex. To understand how it all works, it helps to grasp the types of companies that are involved, and how much money they typically charge for processing a transaction. David Schwartz is dire...

  • Design & Development

    Web Analytics: Translating the Wall of Data

    April 1, 2006 •

    Assume an ecommerce operator launches a paid-search advertising campaign. That is, assume the operator purchases several keywords on Yahoo! Search, Google, MSN and others, and then assembles text ads on those search engines to attract visitors to his site. Assume that the campaign start...

  • Design & Development

    Accepting ACH Payments and eChecks

    April 1, 2006 •

    A consumer must have a credit card to purchase products from an ecommerce site, right? Not necessarily. There are payment-processing options that allow ecommerce operators to deduct the purchase price directly from the bank account of a customer, without the customer having or providin...

  • Design & Development

    Is Live Chat Worth It?

    April 1, 2006 •

    It was a phase, until it started costing money and taking time away from already busy schedules. Too many business owners had the wrong expectations, so links to the tool are seen less these days. I’m talking about live chat between online stores and visitors. If used properly, though,...

  • Design & Development

    Tech Support – April 2006

    April 1, 2006 •

    What’s a page rank and how does it work? PageRank is Google’s system to rank the relative popularity of a website. Developed by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google’s founders, the PageRank system uses the Internet’s vast linking structure to measure an individual web page. A link from o...

  • Platforms

    Shopping Carts: Features to Consider

    April 1, 2006 •

    A shopping cart system should be able to accommodate a business’ needs, rather than requiring the business to adjust goals and strategies to match the capabilities of the shopping cart. We've put together a template of sorts that you can use to help decide on a shopping cart system base...

  • Design & Development

    Analytics Software Improves Paid Search Campaigns

    March 1, 2006 •

    John Marshall wants to know what happens after the click. Marshall is CEO and founder of Click Tracks, a company that provides software to analyze the online behavior of website visitors. “It’s not enough to purchase keywords on a search engine merely to attract visitors to a website,” ...

  • Design & Development

    Macromedia Exec Sees “Dreamy” Future

    February 1, 2006 •

    It is generally agreed among non-programmers that Macromedia Dreamweaver and Macromedia Flash, more than almost any other software products, brought the production of quality, functional websites within reach of non-programmers and changed the way the Internet looked, felt, and sounded....

  • Code

    Optimizing HTML Code for Maximum SEO

    February 1, 2006 •

    Overview Search engine optimization has come to the forefront in recent years as competition for search engine rankings increases. Online business owners often times rely heavily on search engines to generate traffic to their websites, which in turn increases the chances of those visit...

  • Code

    Combining CSS and JavaScript to Save Page Space

    February 1, 2006 •

    Overview Real estate on a website has become a valuable commodity. Website owners and designers are faced with the challenge of providing enough content to satisfy their visitors, while also maintaining the visual appeal and usability of the website. On one end of the spectrum is a web...

  • Design & Development

    Fulfillment Companies Offer Benefits

    February 1, 2006 •

    Imagine having a state-of-the-art fulfillment department. This fulfillment department would have the most up-to-date order management software, computer hardware and warehousing functions. The employees of the fulfillment department would be experienced and professionally trained. Shipm...

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