Ecommerce How-to List for Do-it-yourself’ers

Following a post from Matt Cutts, I have been collecting how to’s every time I come across one that I use. I have about 900 saved up now, in just about every area imaginable.

There are so many how to guides that people need for running their ecommerce website’s. With that in mind, this is a list of very useful how to’s related to ecommerce. Hopefully this post will be a good resource for site owners, and those looking to get into ecommerce. Topics include everything from setting up a web server, marketing, to integrating a website with a payment gateway.

Please send me some feedback if there are some good how to’s that should be on here.

Servers / Networking / Programming Setup:

  • The perfect Fedora 5 server setup – While I don’t like the virtual control panel that the guide recommends at the end, this is a perfect step-by-step guide to setting up a Fedora 5 Linux server. This guide covers setup for PHP5, mysql, SSL Support, ProFTP, and a few others. The guide states that it is for 64 Bit systems, but I have setup five, 32 Bit systems without any additional modification.
    Fedora Core 4, Fedora Core 3 setups are also available.
  • Setup a Windows XP Web Server – Also php.net has an excellent guide on the overall steps to setup php and Apache on windows. The php.net version tends to leave out some things that later may cause errors, but the comments section of the article probably cover all of the missing information.
  • Windows XP Apache Virtual Hosting – Having needed to setup a Windows XP server recently, this guide covers both the setup, and how to use virtual hosting on the server allowing multiple websites to exist at the same time. I have a company server that was setup using this and the previous guide running several websites, very effectively.
  • How to make Cat 5 / 5e Patch Cable – I’ve saves myself a few hundred dollars in under a year, by making all my own Ethernet patch cable. You can get cat 5e cable and connectors really cheap when you buy them in bulk. If you think you may be needing a lot of cable in the future, this is the way to go. It may take a few tries to get your cables nice, but once you get it down, you cables are just as good as anything.
  • 13 *nix command line tricks – A quick tutorial on a few command line codes that are very useful but often not known, not used, or one’s that we forgot.
  • Top 5 PHP security holes – After running a server scan I was referred to this excellent resource on the major security problems that websites commonly have with php. Since almost all of these problems are due to use error and poor programming, they are all fixable.
  • Integrate Linux PHP with a MSSQL database – After working on a few of these integrations, one successfully, and one failing, this is the best overview on the topic that I have found. Easysoft.com also has another good guide, but it is geared to using their own paid extension, which is expensive. I don’t recommend performing this integration unless you absolutely have to (Just save yourself the time, and switch the site to a windows server), but these should get you pointed in the right direction.

Web Design / Hosting / Usability:

SEO and Marketing:


Other / random useful stuff:

  • Microsoft Windows Power Toys – If you don’t know what these are, check them out. Extremely helpful, and can safely change a lot of things on your computer that you couldn’t before. I highly recommend the Tweak-UI, Clear Type, Virtual Desktop, and the Image Resizer toys.
  • Magazines for small business owners This is an article covering some good business magazines for print and online for business and website owners.

Web Server Control Panels:

Getting Information (Where I go when I need help):

Freelance Marketplaces (If I need programming/ design work):

If you know of any really good how-to’s or guides for ecommerce do-it-yourself’ers send them to me. I may add them to the list.

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  1. Erik 16 May, 2007

    Fantastic resource. I don’t think you are missing anything. The marketing section is especially useful.

  2. Adrian 10 Oct, 2007

    I would like to know if there is any guide or website that tells beginners how to build an e-commerce website from scratch.


  3. shelly 19 Jan, 2009

    A fantastic company for people who don’t want to do it all themselves is the Intersoft Group. Check out http://www.goxsellit.com. If you are an owner who wants to concentrate on building your buisness, not your website than this is the company for you.

  4. Plumbing Directory 17 Mar, 2010

    Thank you for this interesting article, I’m looking for a long time for good directories that can attract much traffic and are able to improve the conversion rate on my site. I think a massive registration can improve the odds. I’m thinking to a special service that specializes in this

  5. JeremyQ 19 Nov, 2011

    Amazing! So helpful… especially the web design section and the top ten mistakes in web design article.

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