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July 26, 2004-- Newsletter #295
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Goodies to Go (tm)
July 26, 2004--Newsletter #295
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Featured this week:
* Goodies Thoughts - Mind the Store
* Q & A Goodies
* News Goodies
* Goodies Peer Reviews
* And Remember This...
The new Beyond HTML Goodies book is now available!
Goodies Thoughts - Mind the Store
The last thing in the world that a retailer wants is to lose
everything in their store. I can understand that! To prevent such a loss they
might install burglar and fire alarm and prevention systems, lock things in a
safe and put bars over the windows. What, however, are they to do if their
storefront is made of bits and bytes instead of bricks and mortar? Basically,
the same thing!
For a web store you need...... let's think about it:
1. a website
2. a hosting service
3. a merchandise database
4. a shopping cart system
5. a way for customers to pay you
6. a fulfillment system
7. an accounting system
That should just about do it. Except, of course, that's like a brick and mortar store without doors or locks!
Having said that, though, I would agree that if enough attention was paid to each of the named elements, it would be possible to build an effective and safe web store. If, for example, the hosting service guaranteed sufficient uptime, bandwidth, virus protection, backup, monitoring and technical support; and if the payment mechanism included sufficient security and believable guarantees to assure the purchaser that they won't be ripped off; and if..... etc.
Now, the brick and mortar retailer (let's call them the "retailer" versus the on-line "e-tailer") could choose to open their store inside a mall, in which case many of the concerns they otherwise would have had would be taken care of by the mall's building and security systems. E-tailers have a similar opportunity. The retailer, however, will have to surrender at least an arm and a leg to the mall owner, while the e-tailer can get theirs for (virtually) a song!
"How?" you say. "Yahoo!" I say and "E-Bay" I echo.
On Yahoo.com take a look down, almost at the bottom of the page, under "More Yahoo!" you'll see a "Small business" heading and under that, "Sell Online". Why such a neat link is buried so deep I haven't figured out, but there it is -- a link to one of the lowest cost, easiest to use and best backed on-line store creation systems on the web. They have a help system to walk you through eleven steps to starting you on-line business. Their comprehensive guide is also available in PDF format so you can print out the 300 page document and read the whole thing in the comfort of the hammock under your oak tree (or one in the park!)
Then there's E-Bay. E-bay's core business is selling stuff, unlike Yahoo which is primarily in the portal business. Strangely, however, they also have buried the gems of their store business opportunities deep in a series of links. Here's a shortcut: http://pages.ebay.com/storefronts/start.html
Yahoo! offers a more customized solution, which also adds to the setup complexity, whereas E-bay's offering is a simpler solution, but with less customization.
E-bay describes a four step process (though to be fair, each step includes a few "steps"!) for the creation of your store. E-bay also (now) owns Paypal. Buying out Paypal was a shrewd move, if you ask me, since the majority of sales on E-bay were paid via Paypal. The main reason for this was the level of trust consumers have in transactions completed though Paypal.
E-bay has only enhanced this trust since they took over, by adding buyer guarantees to transactions completed through Paypal's services. Taking Paypal payments seems to be competitive in price to the seller, easier to set up (you don't have to go through the whole "merchant account" application process) and enhances buyer confidence. Sounds good to me!
I love simple! And if simple also is complete, then I love E-bay stores. If, however, your store needs a more "private label" appearance, Yahoo! Stores is probably your best alternative.
Then again; if you want maximum control, you could always do the entire thing yourself. (See you in a couple of years!!)
Thanks for Reading!
- Vince Barnes
Questions are taken from submissions to our Community Mentors. You can ask a Mentor a question by going to http://www.htmlgoodies.com/mentors.
so that the older browsers will still recognize it and ignore the type="" part.
Q. How do I track hits to my website?
A. There are a couple of ways to track hits on a website. One is to attach a web counter to your home page. This is a small script that counts the number of times your page is accessed.
Another way is to ask your web host if your site has a web stats area that you can view. One other is to install a script yourself for gathering web stats. This would take some knowledge of scripting or you can look for one that has already been built.
[There's always http://www.thecounter.com - Ed.]
Q. I was wondering if there is an efficient way to design a site that fills 100% of the visitors' screen without having to code multiple pages and use a Java sniffer to deliver the correct page. I know there is also the option of directing the tables to a percentage equaling 100%. Any thoughts on other ways to go about this?
A. There are two that I know of depending on exactly what you want to do. One maximizes the browser window on entry to the page. The other expands the page without toolbars to the entire screen. The second one only works in IE and can be annoying to some people as they don't like websites to take control of their browser and it can be hard to close the window after the effect happens. I only suggest that you use them sparingly.
A. Usually the code will show up on a page if you have left out the <script> </script> tags.
Q. How do you create a form?
A. Here is the link to the HTMLGoodies tutorial on forms:
[& check out these newer Forms articles:
Q. There is a HALO fan site on the web and they have some sort of title generator that changes the title every time you load the site. How'd he do that?
mytitle="New Title One"
mytitle="New Title Two"
mytitle="New Title Three"
mytitle="New Title Four"
This is a test
Q. I'm having trouble understanding how to get an image map to work like a frame page. I want my map in one place, but the links to come up in another frame.
A. It sounds as if you are not using the "target" correctly. If you have two frames, one on the left and one on the right and you have the navigation in the left frame. When you click on a link in the left, you want the page to open in the right frame. If the name of the right frame is "right" then in the hyperlink tag you have to have target="right"
<a href="some_page.htm target="right">Click Here</a>
That should do it. Change the target name to the frame name that you have designated in your own frames.
[Exactly the same applies to the href's in your maps. Note that if you create the map with a graphics program like Paintshop, however, you might have to add the "target"s manually, after the map is created. - Ed.]
Google Sets IPO Price Range
[July 26, 2004] UPDATED: Plus, it sets some more rules for its unique auction IPO process for the long-anticipated IPO.
MS SQL Server Steps Up
[July 26, 2004] The software powerhouse's forthcoming database will back both Intel and AMD chips, as Beta 2 is vastly improved.
Sun Serves Up AMD Servers, Workstations
[July 26, 2004] The company unveils its 4-way Opteron based Sun Fire and two workstations that made their debut on eBay.
IT Heavies Lifting Dollars For Blogs
[July 26, 2004] Microsoft, IBM and other tech players see dollar signs in advancing social networking even if the industry is currently in an 'awkward adolescence.'
Microsoft on Hiring Spree
[July 26, 2004] The company's HR department fills vacancies, new positions in light of its bulging purse.
eEye Stares Down Security Threats
[July 26, 2004] The Blink security software helps companies safeguard against known and unknown network threats.
Diebold for Democracy
[July 23, 2004] Creased and curled voting receipts, or the lack of them, may be the hanging chads of this year's elections.
BayStar To Sue SCO
[July 23, 2004] SCO's creditor won't sell back its equity shares until confidential information surrounding SCO's licensing revenues are released.
OSDN, Microsoft to Collaborate Again
[July 22, 2004] The partnership coincides with the open source developer group's plans to create a new corporate identity.
VeriSign: Be Wary Online. Be Very Wary.
[July 23, 2004] E-commerce not keeping pace with e-scammers.
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Thanks again for all your feedback!
Windows Tech Goodie of the Week:
A Sneak Peek at Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition (Beta 1)
I always thought Microsoft made a mistake when they eliminated Visual Interdev as a stand alone product. I guess I wasn't alone because it looks like it's coming back as Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition.
And Remember This . . .
On this day in...
1908 The Federal Bureau of Investigation Was Created
On this day in 1908 US Attorney General Charles Bonaparte instructed a group if federal investigators he had recently hired to report to the Chief Examiner of the Department of Justice, Stanley Finch. Prior to that point, the Department of Justice had primarily concerned itself with examining the financial transactions of the federal courts. The hiring of ten former Secret Service investigators marked the expansion of these duties to over the investigation of federal crimes. By March of the following year, the Office of the Chief Examiner had grown to include 34 agents and the then Attorney General, George Wickersham, renamed it the Bureau of Investigation. On May 10, 1924, J. Edgar Hoover was appointed acting director of the Bureau of Investigation. With Congressional approval, he expanded and restructured the Bureau into an efficient crime fighting force, gaining wide public fame as it battled organized crime. In 1935 Hoover and his "G-men" became known as the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Today was also the day that in: 1775 Benjamin Franklin became the first US Postmaster General; 1790 the Assumption bill passed making the US responsible for any state debts; 1835 the first sugar cane plantation in Hawaii was started; 1848 the first Woman's Rights Convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY; 1865 Patrick Francis Healy became the first black awarded a PhD; 1887 the first Esperanto book was published; 1926 the National Bar Association (US) was incorporated; 1945 Churchill resigned as British Prime Minister; 1947 the US Department of Defense was established; 1947 with the passing of the National Security Act (US) the Central Intelligence Agency was established; 1948 Bob Howard became the first black TV network show host; 1953 the Cuban revolution began with Fidel Castro leading an attack on Moncanda Barracks; 1956 Egypt seized the Suez Canal; 1957 the USSR launched the first intercontinental ballistic missile; 1963 Syncom 2, the first geosynchronous communications satellite was launched; 1964 Teamsters Union President Jimmy Hoffa was convicted of fraud and conspiracy; 1990 US TV soap opera General Hospital taped its 7,000th episode; 1991 Paul Rubens (Pee Wee Herman) was arrested in Florida for exposing himself in a movie theater;
Born today were: in 1856 Irish dramatist George Bernard Shaw; 1875 father of analytic psycology Karl Gustav Yung; 1892 novelist Pearl S. Buck; 1894 English author Aldous Huxley; 1902 comedienne & Mrs. George Burns, Gracie Allen; 1922 writer / director Blake Edwards; 1922 actor Jason Robards; 1926 actor James Best; 1928 director Stanley Kubric; 1929 humorist Jean Shepherd; 1940 Mary Jo Kopechne (killed in Ted Kennedy car crash); 1941 country singer Bobby Hebb; 1941 actress Darlene Love; 1943 Rolling Stone Mick Jagger; 1945 actress Linda Harrison; 1946 English (Russian father) actress Helen Mirren (Ilynea Lydia Mironoff); 1949 musician Roger Taylor (Queen); 1950 English actress Susan George; 1956 skater Dorothy Hamill; 1965 actress Jennifer Ashe
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