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
  • Design & Development

    Tech Support: Passwords And Avatars

    February 4, 2008 •

    Can ecommerce merchants help their customers manage multiple user names and passwords? Many websites require users to create an account to participate. This applies to social networking sites, ecommerce sites, news sites and others. For the site owner, the strategy of requiring a user ...

  • Design & Development

    Programming Notes: Linking To Payment Gateways

    January 28, 2008 •

    Payment gateways can be intimidating for many web developers. I have always found a certain amount of anxiety associated with them, particularly because of security requirements and presumed liability issues that could arise from insecure transactions. However, the actual integration wi...

  • Schools & Resources

    Booklist: Brulant CEO Len Pagon

    January 28, 2008 •

    In Booklist, we ask ecommerce professionals to name some of their favorite books. For this list, we asked Len Pagon, CEO and president of Brulant, a company that combines technology, interactive marketing and creative design. The Fifth Discipline By Peter M. Senge A great source fo...

  • Design & Development

    Get Organized With Advanced Searchbar

    January 23, 2008 •

    If you are like me, you enjoy organization. Everything needs to be in order so you can work efficiently and get to things you need quickly. Most likely you spend time on the Internet doing research to enhance your business, reading interesting blogs, or watching videos that spark creati...

  • Design & Development

    Determine Analytics Questions In Advance

    January 23, 2008 •

    
Once a web analytics solution is installed, the most common initial use is to validate some past event.  User testing shows that 80 percent of marketers focus on charts that go up and to the right, thus validating the success of the website or an advertising campaign.  I call this “web...

  • Schools & Resources

    Booklist: Juice Media CEO Rick Enrico

    January 21, 2008 •

    In Booklist, we ask ecommerce professionals to name a few of their favorite books. For this list, we asked Rick Enrico, President and CEO of Juice Media Worldwide, a media and marketing technology company. 
 Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die By Chip and Dan Heath
...

  • Design & Development

    Testing Site Accessibility

    January 18, 2008 •

    Here's how to perform a standard test to see if your website and store are accessible to the vision impaired. Let It Be Seen By All First, for PC users, open the Narrator program. For Mac users, use the APPLE+F5 keystroke to turn on VoiceOver. Do this before you open your browser. O...

  • Schools & Resources

    Booklist: Mercado CEO Corey Leibow

    January 14, 2008 •

    In Booklist, we ask ecommerce professionals to name books they are currently reading. For this list, we asked Corey Leibow, CEO and President of Mercado, an ecommerce search and merchandising provider for small-to-mid sized business. Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping By Paco Under...

  • Design & Development

    What Makes A Site Effective?

    January 14, 2008 •

    A client recently asked me to do a quick-and-dirty analysis of a half dozen competitor websites. I decided to look at each competitor site and then give it a good/fair/poor rating for certain criteria. I thought that these criteria, and some explanation of what I was looking for, coul...

  • Design & Development

    Programming Notes: Importance of Hand Coding

    December 19, 2007 •

    Let's be honest. Most people do not go into website design because they enjoy writing code, or because they want to root through hundreds of lines of seemingly nonsensical expressions. That comes later. Most people start with a visual idea and work from there, usually taking advantage o...

  • Design & Development

    What Is PCI Compliance And Should Merchants Be Concerned About It?

    December 12, 2007 •

    The major credit card issuers created PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliance standards to protect personal information and ensure security when transactions are processed using a payment card. All members of the payment card industry (financial institutions, credit card companies and me...

  • Design & Development

    Personalized Search: Coming For Search Engines?

    October 24, 2007 •

    Personalized search could be the next big thing in search engine marketing. In fact, we are beginning to see the shift from homogeneous search results to personalized results already, and all major search engines have tools in place that are collecting such data. A good example is Googl...

  • Code

    Software Frameworks

    October 24, 2007 •

    In broad terms, a software framework is a code library that is designed to facilitate software development. The idea is that all of the tedious, low-level details of creating a web application are already addressed in a reusable package. For a web developer, this means you can spend y...

  • Design & Dev Tools

    Site Monitoring Tools Help Prevent Downtime

    October 22, 2007 •

    In order for an ecommerce site to sell products and services, it must be continuously available to online customers. Any downtime could potentially cause a retailer to lose thousands of dollars. Consequently, an important element in any online endeavor is having a structure in place to ...

  • Design & Development

    What Are “Tags” And What Is “Tagging?”

    October 22, 2007 •

    Since around 2004, content tagging has become more and more common due to social networking, photography sharing and bookmarking sites. Tagging is known by a few different names, such as content tagging, collaborative tagging, social tagging and even the scientific-sounding "folks...

  • Design & Development

    Video Tutorial: Script.aculo.us Effects

    October 18, 2007 •

    Script.aculo.us is a JavaScript framework that is built upon the wildly successful Prototype JavaScript libraries. Script.aculo.us allows web designers to create engaging user interfaces quickly and easily, due in ...

  • Design & Development

    Video Tutorial: Tabbed Content – Part 2

    October 11, 2007 •

    Tabbed content appears more and more frequently in web pages, and is an interesting way to simultaneously save page space and effectively present information. In part two of this two-part tutorial on creating tabbed content, Practical eCommerce's online director Brian Getting illustrat...

  • Design & Development

    Video Tutorial: Tabbed Content

    October 4, 2007 •

    Tabbed content appears more and more frequently in web pages, and is an interesting way to simultaneously save page space and effectively present information. In part one of this ...

  • Code

    Video Tutorial: JavaScript Tooltips

    September 27, 2007 •

    You've probably seen those useful "tooltips" text boxes that are displayed on some websites when you roll over a specific link or graphic. These typically serve several purposes. Most likely, your customers or visitors could benefit from additional information that doesn't warrant an ...

  • Design & Dev Tools

    Nine Simple Ways To Speed Up Tedious Tasks

    September 24, 2007 •

    Because I’m all about automation of the tedious of tasks, this month I’m offering up some key, yet very simple ways, to speed up tasks you’ve probably never given much thought to. While it may take me time to figure it out, I always try to tackle the pesky mundane tasks first. Auto-l...

  • Design & Development

    TechSupport: "What's A Relational Database?"

    September 10, 2007 •

    Q: Our web developer tells us that our ecommerce site uses a relational database, but I don't understand what this means. Could you please explain? At the foundation of nearly all web applications, including dynamically-generated websites, lies a relational database that stores and man...

  • Design & Development

    Programming Notes: Transferring A Domain Name

    September 3, 2007 •

    The process of transferring a domain name from one registrar to another can be daunting, and the exact process can vary slightly depending on the registrars involved. The first thing to do is to log into the old registrar, where the domain is currently being managed, and make sure the...

  • Michael Valiant Platforms & Apps

    Debate: Hosted Shopping Carts ‘Perfect For Most Entrepreneurs’

    August 27, 2007 •

    1ShoppingCart is a hosted shopping cart with thousands of small business customers. Michael Valiant, 1ShoppingCart's product management and marketing specialist, offers his views on hosted cart solutions. PeC: Why should an ecommerce business consider a hosted shopping cart, versus pu...

  • Platforms & Apps

    Debate: Licensed Carts Offer Flexibility and Portability

    August 27, 2007 •

    ProductCart is a licensed shopping cart used by thousands of ecommerce merchants. We asked its CEO, Massimo Arrigoni, whether licensed shopping-cart software is better for smaller businesses than hosted cart solutions. PeC: Why should an ecommerce business consider a licensed shopping...

  • Design & Development

    Web Hosting Companies: Sources To Help You Choose

    August 22, 2007 •

    When it comes to selecting a web host, there’s a lot to choose from. It’s possible your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may have its own web hosting capabilities, and it’s not a bad place to start. However, more than likely you’ll need an independent host that can specifically address y...

  • Design & Development

    Catalogs Can Complement An eCommerce Site

    August 19, 2007 •

    As ecommerce businesses begin to grow, a dilemma some may face is the decision of whether a catalog is an appropriate multichannel tool. Latienda.com, which sells a variety of items not generally available outside of Spain, was faced with just such a predicament six years ago. And int...

  • Design & Development

    Tech Support July 2007: Accessibility

    July 16, 2007 •

    I keep hearing about accessibility. What is it and why is it important? Accessibility, in the context of a website, is the measure of how easily people with disabilities can perceive, navigate, access and interact with electronic content and information. People with disabilities face...

  • Design & Development

    Quick Query: Alternative Payment Option eBillme

    June 27, 2007 •

    Marwan Forzley is president and CEO of online payment alternative eBillme (Modasolutions.com), formerly known as SECURE-eBill. How does a consumer use eBillme? Forzley: When you are at the checkout, there are all kinds of payment options. You've got Visa, MasterCard and American Exp...

  • Design & Development

    Protect Data From Cross-Site Scripting (XSS) Attacks

    June 25, 2007 •

    Security is always going to be a concern for both developers and ecommerce business owners alike, since providing a secure environment for making transactions is not only a matter of gaining customer trust, it is also a legal requirement. As websites become more interactive they are uti...

  • Code

    Video Tutorial: CSS Design, Part Two

    June 20, 2007 •

    In the conclusion of our two-part video tutorial on CSS layout and design, we will take the layout we created in the beginning of this tutorial and begin to apply graphics and other visual stylings to it, in order to achieve the look we are going for. In Part Two, we will be looking a...

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