Ecommerce Website Design
I have developed over the years a backbone design
for Ecommerce websites that can be easily adapted to suit most requirements.
Payments are handled securely online using a third
party payment company such as PayPal
There are many advanced features to the design and
offers a very comprehensive package. Like all my designs it is created
to perform well in the search engines, particularly the better ones
In addition the key bonus is that this is my
design. We are not using an off-the-shelf package. We are not constrained
by licences or copyright. If we need to make changes or adaptations
at any time there will be no infringements.
So what does it include and what is required:
I can arrange a suitable hosting package with a .co.uk
or .com domain name included for £65.00 per year. This includes
everything we would need, ASP, PHP, mySQL database, several email
addresses, unlimited bandwidth, no adverts, etc.
The Website Design
There are a few current ecommerce sites listed at
the bottom of the page that will give you an idea of the public
pages and their capabilities.
For your administration.
- A password protected admin area, where you can …
- Add, edit, delete and remove from display products, within categories,
- Add, edit & delete the categories / departments. This can
also include an introductory piece of text for each department.
- Upload a picture to accompany each product – these can
only be jpg format, but the website will deal with uploading,
renaming, resizing and when the time comes; deleting.
- The ability to flag selected products as ‘featured’
or on special offer.
- Monitor online orders, update the order status i.e.. To dispatched,
- Search for orders, by order number, client email, etc.
- Search for products.
- Printable picking sheets.
- Invoicing facility, with printer friendly invoices.
- A product counter, so you could see what products or types are
looked at the most.
- A system that will record what visitors search for, it will
also provide a link to see the results the visitor got. So if
you have products that do match their search, but did not come
up, you can edit the description so that it shows next time.
It may also be a good tool for finding out what would be a good
new range, gaps in the product range etc.
- There are also several advanced features that can be included,
The ability to remove ALL special offer products off special offer
with one click – ideal for at the end of a promotion.
The ability to clear out redundant shopping baskets and keep the
To change prices en masse, such as changing every product at £9.99
to £9.95 with one click.
- Manage delivery areas and charges.
For the Visitor
- A home page with welcoming text and images
- Links generated from your categories / departments. Which feed
to a page that can show say five to ten products within that department
complete with brief description and photo. And an ‘add to
basket’ link. Next and previous links will be automatically
generated as required, to show the other products within the department
/ category. A link to the full display page.
- I code this page so that Google and some of the other key Search
Engines will recognise these as different pages. Each will have
a chance of performing for you in the search engines – as
each will be a related product.
- A full display page for each product, with full description,
order now link, text boxes to accept their choice of colours,
sizes, etc. I create these so that when they are removed from
display; i.e. no links appear to them anywhere in the website,
but are still accessed directly from old search engine indexes,
that they will still show, but the add to basket functions are
- The ability to search through your titles and descriptions
with a string search.
- Advanced product search: 'all words', 'any words', 'the phrase',
- Shopping basket with update quantity, delete item, empty basket,
- Your returns and refunds policy - Required by EU law.
- Contact information with country of residence - Required by
- Contact page. With a contact form included which you would receive
as an email.
- Relevant thank you pages
- An 'about us' page.
- A page to detail the most commonly searched for phrases/products,
with links to the results. This is more for the Search Engines
than the visitor. It will create extra pages, with easy to index
links, that are based on the phrases people actually search for.
- A delivery charges calculator.
Checkout & Payments.
On checkout the customer would have an option of payment by post
& cheque, by card online or by phone (if you wished).
All options would write the order to your database and you would
see which way the payment was coming.
Payment by cheque would give the customer a printable order form
with total payments, where to post it, etc.
Payment by card; would write the order to your database –
collecting the delivery details, then pass them on to WorldPay or
PayPal or similar. They go through the payment process, the payment
is credited to your WorldPay/PayPal account, and the customer is
given the option of printing a receipt and given a link to your
return to your website.
At the same time WorldPay or PayPal can send information back to
your website. My code will interpret this and will update the order
status to ‘payment confirmed’ or ‘payment declined’.
WorldPay / PayPal will also send both you and the customer a confirmation
The website will also send you a payment received email for orders
where the bill was paid online, and an email receipt to the customer.
Where an order is paid by post, there is a link within the admin
area to send a confirmation email. This is required by law under
the distance selling regulations. This link to send a confirmation
email does not appear ordinarily for those orders where payment
has been received online, as this confirmation will have been sent
automatically. In the event of any errors you can generate this
confirmation email link
Secure Payment Providers
You need to set up the account with a third party payment company
such as WorldPay or PayPal, as it is about your banking.
But they would provide you with a few URL's, username and password,
which you forward to me and I can use these to modify both websites
to talk to each other.
WorldPay : is the company my earlier ecommerce clients have opted
for. They are apparently comparable on price and offer a few advanced
features, such as feedback after payment, which my code can interpret
to update the order status to payment confirmed or payment declined.
So you are not wholly dependent on the confirmation email. I believe
WorldPay is the one most banks recommend.
PayPal : Most of my recent ecommerce clients have opted for PayPal,
it's quite a bit cheaper, it offers all the same functions. They
charge something like 3.2% +20p per transaction. It's worth having
a look www.paypal.co.uk
Of the two, I would recommend PayPal.
Included in the design
- W3C compliant code. This is likely to become a legal requirement
of ecommerce websites by 2005.
- Submission to the top thirty + free search engines and directories
(those that people actually use)
- Optimisation of all images for fast loading and search engine
- Optimisation of all Meta tags
- Optimisation of all pages for fast loading and search engine
- Site designed for both Internet Explorer and Netscape, though
older versions of Netscape do not like some advanced ecommerce
- Any changes or corrections for four weeks after the site has
gone live would be free of charge.
VAT or Sales Tax
Most clients opt for a 'retail price', so VAT is not needed.
However, if this is applicable to your business, we can include
this in all calculations.
We can calculate delivery by a range of means.
However, calculating delivery charges is one of the more complex
aspects and we would need to establish which method we are going
to use from the start.
Changing this later can be time consuming and opens up chances
of bugs, many background pages can be affected.
The most widely used is to have bands for different delivery areas.
So initially we set 'United Kingdom' and 'World-wide'. Then for
Orders under £A = £X
Orders between £A and £B = £X
Orders between £B and £C = £X
Orders between £C and £D = £X
Orders over £D = £X or Free! etc.
If you find you enjoy a high number of sales from a new region
this can easily be added into the system with its own delivery charges.
If you have a system in mind that would be more appropriate for
yourself, perhaps where weight is an issue, we can create an alternate
system for managing the delivery costs.
I would need
- Any pictures, logos etc. you would like to use on the website.
- Text, text and more text. Be very descriptive about what you
I can optimise the text you provide to work with the search phrases
that people actually use to find you, but I do need the text to
- A returns and refunds policy. This is require by law.
Guidelines can be found on the DTI's website. Visit
You can also visit some of my existing clients websites to check
out their Returns and Refunds Policies. There are example sites
- All of the product information, department descriptions, special
offers, FAQ's, feedback, etc. can be up-dateable by you, online
in a secure admin area.
- The more static content, you have me do if or when it was required.
Having the general information more static helps in the search
engines. Pages such as the home page, about us, etc.
International Ecommerce Websites.
My ecommerce website system is designed to work with a range of
currencies. It can easily be adapted to work for you wherever you
are in the world. Provided your language is based on the Western
Using PayPal or WorldPay allows you to accept payment in a range
of international currencies, while you receive the payment in your
Not included in the basic ecommerce package, but easily incorporated
are a range of advanced features to give you more control over your
website. More functionality for your visitors and a greater range
of pages that can work for you in the search engines.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
- In your admin panel, you would be able to add, edit and delete
- Search through your FAQ's
- Set them to display publicly or be suspended.
- For the visitor, a page listing your FAQ's, with next and previous
links generated automatically as required.
- The ability to search through your FAQ's.
Visitor Feedback / Guest Book
- In your admin panel, you would have the ability to edit and
delete comments left by visitors to the site.
- Their email address is included in the admin panel so you can
contact them, but displayed publicly so their email address is
not harvested by Spam software.
- Visitor comments do not go live until you authorise them. This
allows you to ensure the content is suitable for all.
- For the visitor; a page to show other visitors feedback. With
the most recent authorised comments first, next and previous links
- A form for the visitor to submit their feedback.
Most Recent Products
- A page for the visitor, that lists the most recently added live
products to the website.
Most Popular Products.
- A page for the visitor that lists the products with those viewed
the most showing first. This page is not based on actual sales,
but on the number of times a products' full display page has been
Popular Product Searches
- A page for the visitor that shows what other visitors to the
website have searched for, through your products.
Each search phrase has it's own counter and provides a link to
display the results of that particular search.
- If different outlets sell your products, we can include a page
within your admin area where you can manage these outlets and
provide a page to the visitor to list them and details where they
can be found.
- Key fields are a title, description, contact details and a link
to their own website.
Shows, Fairs, Exhibitions and Displays.
- If you regularly attend trade shows, exhibitions or similar.
We can include a page in your admin area to advertise these events.
Complete with title, description, date etc.
- The visitor to the website is provided with a page listing these
- A more advanced version is available if your events are numerous,
where the visitor can filter results down to individual months.
Recommended Websites and Reciprocal Link Management
- A page in your admin area where you can add recommended links
within four categories of your choosing. Including a title, description,
anchor text and the URL. Also included is a field for keywords
to help visitors search through your entries to find a website
matching their requirements.
- The visitor initially has a page where all links are listed.
These can then be filtered down to any one of the four categories.
- The visitor also has the ability to search through your recommended
links, through the titles, description and keywords you have entered.
- Next and previous links throughout as required.
Photo Gallery or Portfolio.
- Within your admin area; the ability to add, edit and delete
a photograph for an online gallery. Complete with title and description.
- You select the jpg file from your computer and the website will
deal with uploading, resizing, renaming and saving. And if the
time comes, deleting the image too.
- The visitor initially has a page displaying thumbnail versions
of your photographs. These show X number per page with next and
previous links as required. There is a link to see the full sized
- The full size picture page will show the larger picture, complete
with your title and description. Links to browse through your
pictures are included. Error handling ensures if the page is visited
without requesting a specific picture it will show the most recently
Latest News Management
- A page within your admin area where you can add, edit, delete
and suspend articles, latest news or information.
- Features include the ability to include a picture to accompany
each entry and the ability to include a link at the bottom of
- The visitor has a page showing the most recent live entries
first. We initially show just a limited amount of the article.
And article that is longer than this set amount, or where there
is a link included, has a link created automatically to visit
a second page to see the full story.
The price does reflect the time involved.
Bear in mind there is no annual licence fee applicable as there
is with many popular ecommerce solutions. And this system is fully
adaptable at any time without infringing any licences or copyright.
Please contact me in the first instance
and detail your requirements, I will be happy to provide a quote.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
A few current clients sites using this system:
- supplements, herbs & skincare
Bespoke ecommerce website, with the ability to select one
of several colour schemes for various pages around the site.
Multiple order processing and more.
Further Ecommerce Solutions:
Handcrafted Card Company
The most complex website I've created to date. Separate
sections, fancy card displays, all manageable by the client.
Hand painted glassware, hand made greetings cards and with
commissions undertaken. All products are designed and handmade
by popular Devon artist Louise Thompson.