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 & Apps | Schools & Resources | Typography & Fonts | User Experience
  • Platforms & Apps

    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

    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

    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...

  • 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,” ...

  • 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...

  • 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

    HTML Email: Effectiveness Requires Planning

    January 1, 2006 •

    Email can be an essential tool for every online retailer. Professional-looking emails instill confidence, build brand awareness, and increase customer loyalty. Retailers can send email communications using HTML that are as visually engaging and effective. There are a couple of points, h...

  • osCommerce logo Platforms & Apps

    osCommerce Founder: Open Source Encourages Collaboration

    January 1, 2006 •

    Harald Ponce de Leon had an idea to create an online shopping cart system that would serve as a guide to other ecommerce developers. That was in 2000. In order to attract interest, he released his cart, then called the Exchange Project, under a free, open-source license. Nearly six year...

  • Code

    An Introduction to CSS – Part 3

    January 1, 2006 •

    Overview In our last two tutorials about Cascading Style Sheets, we covered how to apply styles to all instances of an HTML tag, and also how to create style classes and then selectively apply styles to only certain HTML tags. For the most part, our styles were limited to font treatmen...

  • Code

    Encoding Images Using HTML

    January 1, 2006 •

    Overview One of the most basic HTML elements is the image tag, which is used to tell a browser to display an image on a webpage. While it is a simple tag to learn, the image tag has quite a few attributes that are important to be aware of. For example, using these attributes we can tel...

  • Code

    An Introduction to CSS – Part 2

    December 1, 2005 •

    Overview In our last Cascading Style Sheets (“CSS”) tutorial we learned how to apply CSS styles to HTML tags using tag selectors. Using these tag selectors we were able to format information using an external style sheet rather than putting all the formatting code into our HTML documen...

  • Design & Development

    Optimizing Your Product Images

    December 1, 2005 •

    Overview Product presentation is more important for an online store than it is for a brick-and-mortar store. Rather than being able to touch an item, inspect it for quality, or try it on as the case may be, an online shopper has only two-dimensional images on which to base their decisi...

  • Design & Development

    Introduction to XML: Creating a Google Sitemap

    December 1, 2005 •

    Overview Last month, we featured a basic introduction of the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and how to begin writing your own XML documents. While we were able to create an XML document to describe data, it may not be clear why this is useful. In an effort to utilize what we learned ...

  • Design & Development

    An Introduction to XML

    November 1, 2005 •

    Overview Something about XML is inherently intimidating, and although we all probably hear it referred to a lot. or are aware that it exists, most people do not have any idea what it is. There is a good reason for this, since XML is a technology that is admittedly difficult to nail do...

  • Code

    An Introduction to CSS

    November 1, 2005 •

    Overview Building HTML pages that are both search engine friendly and appealing to your users is crucial to the success of an online business. In the past, there was a give-and-take relationship between the structure and the formatting of websites. The more appealing the site was to th...

  • Platforms & Apps

    Blog Platforms: Choose One that Fits Your Need

    October 1, 2005 •

    You have bitten the bullet and decided to add a blog to your ecommerce site and make it a part of your marketing mix. You made the strategic decision of why you want to blog, determined what your core message will be and the audience you wish to target. Now, you have to make some tactic...

  • Design & Development

    Understanding Common Web Error Messages

    October 1, 2005 •

    Over the years in the interactive marketing business, any consultant worth his or her salt has faced the dilemma of assisting a company whose primary issue is that its “Web site broke.” No more information than that. “It broke.” Many a parent can identify with this description as it p...

  • Design & Development

    Securing an SSL Certificate

    October 1, 2005 •

    Overview How do you know that I am who I say I am? Likewise, how do I know you are who you say you are? And, if we can’t catapult past this initial, basic level of trust – how will we ever be able to conduct business together? In the Web world, it’s done with an SSL certificate. SSL ...

  • Design & Dev Tools

    Hosting Companies: Top 10 Questions to Ask

    October 1, 2005 •

    I field many phone calls in any given day. And never does a day pass where I don’t get a call about someone having trouble with their host. Sometimes I have to bite my tongue, and many would be shocked at some of the stories I’ve heard. I think it’s time to just start referring people ...

  • Design & Development

    Web Graphics: Why Are We So Limited?

    September 1, 2005 •

    As a Web designer and developer, I have worked with graphics in a variety of formats. Anybody who uses Adobe Photoshop – the standard for design production in the interactive business – has learned his or her way around JPG, GIF, TIF, EPS, PSD, PCX and BMP files. Those types of files s...

  • Code

    HTML Primer for the Tech-Challenged

    September 1, 2005 •

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  • Platforms & Apps

    How To Choose A Shopping Cart

    September 1, 2005 •

    Good business is about good decisions. Good decisions are ones made after serious research and data gathering. One of the decisions that must be made by ecommerce people is choosing the right shopping cart for their business. The problem is there is a lot to choose from. Mark Baartse, ...

  • Design & Dev Tools

    Preventative Maintenance

    July 1, 2005 •

    I spend just as much time troubleshooting Miva Merchant issues as I do customizing storefronts. I've found that no matter how much you foolproof something, someone out there can, and will, find a way to break its functionality. Fortunately, users of Miva Merchant often need only follow ...

  • Platforms & Apps

    How Does Shopping Cart Software Work?

    January 15, 2004 •

    Just what is a shopping cart? It's a term that has come to mean either an online ordering system (separate from your regular website). Usually these supply HTML code for "order buttons" that you can paste into pages on your regular website.

  • Code

    HTML E-Mail: Text Font Readability Study

    March 1, 2001 •

    In February 2001 my Doctor Ebiz readers patiently answered survey after survey to help me determine what they considered the most readable fonts and sizes for HTML e-mail. While this may come as no surprise to you, it is causing me to change my standards.

  • Design & Development

    Setting Newsletter Ad Rates

    March 15, 2000 •

    "How much should I charge for ads in my e-mail newsletter, especially a narrowly-targeted newsletter where it's pretty obvious who the interested advertisers would be." -- Charlie Darling

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