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:
- How to make a horrible Oscommerce site – From Jason Chance, this is a great, humorous guide on how not to make your oscommerce website.
- 10 Ways to ruin visitor experience on your website
- 10 easy steps to a horrible ecommerce site – Another from Jason on sitepoint.com, this is an extension of the oscommerce version, and covers mistakes that all websites should avoid.
- B2B Usability – From Jakob Nielsens Alertbox, a guide to usability from a B2B vs. a B2C standpoint.
- Top 10 mistakes of web design – One more from Dr. Nielsen, on the top 10 mistakes that website creators make. Weblog mistakes is another valuable article for blog owners out there. I admit that ‘Irregular Publishing Frequency’ is one that I rarely adhere to…
- Shopping Cart Abandonment – Donâ€™t do thisâ€¦ – 3 simple tips to lowering shopping cart abandonment rates.
- How to ruin a web design – This is a good article covering how to not over think a design project, and that often more people working on something means less quality.
- How to choose a web host – This is a good overview to help people that aren’t quite sure what they need, pointed in the right direction in choosing the company to host their website.
SEO and Marketing:
- How to Conduct Keyword Research – This is a great introductory guide on finding relevant keywords for a SEO or PPC campaign.
- 5 most common SEO mistakes – 5 simple SEO mistakes that are often overlooked.
- Ultimate guide to link-baiting and social media marketing – From one of the most authoritative persons on link building anywhere, Andy Hagens tells us how to properly build linkbait. I would consider this the definitive guide to linkbaiting. What is linkbaiting you say?
- List of the best directories – This is the best list of web directories out there. Directories are separated by value, and prices are listed next to each directory.
- How to market to other business owners – From entrepreneur.com, this is my ‘7 commandments’ on marketing B2B products and services. I highly recommend printing this one out and looking it over any time you need to deliver a message to a B2B audience.
- How to add $1 Million in revenue to your business in 1 year – From Andy Beal at marketingpilgrim, this is written with an SEM agency as the intended industry target, but it can be applied in theory to almost any ecommerce business.
- How To Generate Targeted Site Traffic Without Search Engines – This is an awesome guide on building traffic without completely relying on search engines for it.
- Top 10 business mistakes, marketing firms make – Another from marketing pilgrim, this can also be applied to just about any business.
- Six Payment Gateways Reviewed, The Chargeback Challenge, and Solve the Payment Processing Problem are all written by John Conde from the merchant-account-services.org blog. These are all great articles and should be considered essentials for website owners looking to accept credit cards on their website.
- How to accept credit cards on your website – This is a simple guide that I wrote a few months ago covering basic option to accepting payments online.
- Integrate a website with Authorize.net using php 5
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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