The Journey into Ecommerce Continues

After a few weeks of limbo due to our bank taking so long with delivering our visa cards, we have finally been able to move forward with our online shop (which I will post the details of in a week or so when it is completely ready).

Yesterday was a very long day with me spending about 14 hours at the pc but I can’t really complain because I haven’t really done much work in the last few weeks. The first thing I did was integrate Google Checkout into our shop. This was faitly straight forward.

Integrating Google Checkout

I was able to test it out in Googles test area which is called ‘Sandbox’. After that I made Google Checkout live on the site. The only problem we have at the moment is the passing of the delivery information. From what I have read in the CS-Cart forums I’m not entirely certain if the problem lies with Google Checkout or with CS-Cart.

Here’s the problem : I have shipping disabled in my cart so there is free shipping on all items. When you click on google checkout in the shop it takes you to an invoice from google checkout and under the heading ‘Shipping and Handling’ it gives the customer 3 shipping options
* Royal Mail £0.00
* Special Delivery £0.00
* Free Shipping – £0.00

Obviously there is no need for 3 settings with zero so I need to be able to remove two of the options. Of course, this won’t stop us from selling anything and it isn’t a major problem but it’s something I should try and fix.

The other small problem I have is with CS Cart handling GCO as the only payout solution. Since GCO is an external payment solution the script tells the customer

There are no available payment methods, so you cannot proceed to checkout.

I’ve read that a few other people have this problem so I’m sure there’s a solution (I probably just need to do some hunting and remove this part from a php file). We will probably be adding Paypal as a payment option soon too so that might fix it too.

My first experience with SSL certificates

Although I have been working on the web for years, this is the first time I have had any reason to purchase a Secure Sockets Layer Certificate. I did a bit of research yesterday and found that prices range from very low at Godaddy at $20 to the very high price of $1200+ at Verisign. There seems to be a lot of disagreement about which SSL certificate companies are best. Some say that the larger companies are simply charging more because of their brand name and their service is no better than some cheaper alternatives and others have added that the average shopper just sees the little padlock symbol in their browser and don’t check who the certificate is from. I am more inclined to believe that 99% of the time this is true.

I spoke with my always helpful hosting company WiredTree and they recommended a company called Comodo which has an SSL website called Instant SSL. Our shop now is now secure and we have proudly displayed the 2 logos below on our site.

The only problem we have with the SSL certificate is that it has my name and home address as the details instead of our website name and po box. Our po box is set to start on March 10th 2008 so we will have to wait a few weeks to do this change. Then, in order to change the ssl information we will have to provide :

1) Articles of Incorporation (with address)
2) Business License (with address)
3) Trading License (with address)
4) Copy of utilities bill (Tax/Electricity/Water/Telephone/Gas)
5) Bank statement
6) Cheque containing your company name and address

Normally this kind of information is easy to provide but we have set up our company account under our partnership name ‘Muldoon & Garry’ and not under our website name. It was important for us to do this because it allows us to change the name of the website in the future if needed without having to change our company details. So our partnership name will be the umbrella for all projects we will be working on. However this does cause us problems in providing the above info ie. we are working from my house so all utility bills are in my name and our bank statement and cheque book are in our partnership name.

None of this is hard but it’s these little things that can hold up a project. Over time I’m sure we will have many small obstacles like this but it’s all good as we are learning every week :)

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