providing your site with the correct tools to make sales
Joined: May 22, 2012
Been searching the site, for the correct place to post this question.
didn't found one more suitable, so placed it here, please feel free to relocate it.
Been making sites, for a while, simple things, using Java and other technologies.
Anyway the other day a client told me he wanted to make a site where he could sell an online edition of his magazine( its a small local magazine).
And I thought to myself ...hmm yeah, that is interesting, but I never really done it.
And so this is the question, what do you have to make to sell something on a website?
Payment would be made through credit card, so you somehow would need to have a few licences with some bank identity or something like that...
Would any special software be necessary?
Would a versign certificate, or something like that be necessary?
You could use google wallet or paypal or the like for accepting sales. This avoids having to deal with the credit cards directly. Another alternative is to be a third party seller on another website like Amazon.
Jeanne's right - you should look at using a service like PayPal or Google Wallet to handle the transactions (or use Amazon instead).
For example, PayPal charge a small fee per transaction, but their tools are easy to set up and use (check out the PayPal Developer site) and - most importantly - they are responsible for managing the actual payment transaction. This means you do not have to be responsible for maintaining customer's bank or credit card details, because you never see them: PayPal does all that for you. This is good because you really do not want to be exposed to all the risks involved in building your own credit card payment system.
If you are using a content management system (CMS) like WordPress or Drupal, then you will probably find there are plenty of free plug-ins available to help your site communicate with PayPal. Make sure you pick one that is reliable, and that you implement all the necessary security measures on your site - you may find additional security plugins can help with this. Common CMS packages have well-known weaknesses, so it's worth making your site a bit more secure than the next guy's.
If you are simply enabling paid access to an online magazine for your site's subscribers, then PayPal (or similar) should be enough for you to track who's paid and who hasn't, so you can enable/disable access to the magazine accordingly. But if you are sending out products to customers, then you will probably be wanting to collect customer address information as well.
Remember that any personal information from customers - email addresses, contact details, etc - may be covered by your local data protection laws, so you should check your legal responsibilities and make sure you collect this information via HTTPS (you'll need an SSL certificate which your internet hosting service can arrange) and store the data securely on your system.
Depending where you are based, there are also pre-packaged "online shop" solutions available from certain internet service providers, which may be easier for your client to maintain, although these are usually proprietary so you can find yourself tied to a particualr service provider.