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Venturing into E-Commerce - Low Cost vs. Custom Solutions
by Terry Young



When taking your retail business onto the web,
'Low Cost E-Commerce Solutions' are everywhere.
However, custom shopping cart development can
return much more than it costs, and save future headaches.



 



When venturing into the world of E-Commerce, every web designer says they can provide you with a cheap shopping cart site.

While 'low cost' may be perfectly acceptable for a small business 'brochure' type site, when it comes to
E-Commerce you not only need something that will fit with your particular business practice, but will bring you
visitors, and also protect those visitors from credit card fraud and identity theft.

When we create an E-Commerce site, we do so from the ground up, because not all businesses are the same. If a client needs a function to make their life easier, we build it in, to streamline their transition to online business.

We also include our proprietary FirstPage coding, giving them first page search results, which is necessary for an online store.

Unfortunately, a very major security problem stems from the fact that a very high percentage of web designers, and even web companies, simply download and slightly modify open source shopping carts, rather than creating custom secure systems themselves. This is done because they either don't have the necessary knowledge, or to save on production time, and therefore turn a higher profit.

Open source sites are basically free software, for which everyone in the world, including hackers, has the manual and source code. Not only that, but every time a new security bug comes up, it is made public, even if it has not yet been fixed.

Since open source carts store credit card information in the site's database, if a hacker knows of a security bug in your cart type, this is a ticking timebomb, and leaves you wide open to potential lawsuits.

The only way to repair these issues is to wait for the people who created it to release a fix, and get the web designer to install it, for a fee. Often, open source bug fixes are released on an almost daily basis, making it hard to keep track of how secure your site is.

Because our sites are proprietary, only we know the source code, and we change many parameters with every site, so things are not in the same place. We also care greatly about credit card and identity theft, and never store credit card information on the site itself.

When an order comes in to the site, the credit card is encrypted (coded) three times, using three different methods, and random keys. This means that no hacker, even if they could gain access to your site, could ever read the card information back.

Should we ever come across something that could pose a threat, we fix it, and build it into all our client sites for free, even those that were completed in the past, because it's our business on the line also.

'When we were thinking about going online we contacted Terry Young and he talked to us at length about the do's and don'ts of setting up a web site.

He and his team did an outstanding job of creating our new site - http://www.scrapbooklegacies.com- and kept us informed through the progress. Now that we have it up and running, they are still extremely helpful in answering our questions and helping us with anything that arises.

Internet Marketing and Design is a great resource for internet services and I would highly recommend them to anyone interested in starting or expanding a business.'

Dolly Woodworth
Scrapbook Legacies
www.scrapbooklegacies.com




Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,
his computer programming and graphic design knowledge have kept his company
at the forefront of the latest technology in web development.