Effortless E-Commerce with PHP and MySQL

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9780321656223: Effortless E-Commerce with PHP and MySQL

In this comprehensive guide to creating an e-commerce Web site using PHP and MySQL, renowned author Larry Ullman walks you through every step--designing the visual interface, creating the database, presenting content, generating an online catalog, managing the shopping cart, handling the order and the payment process, and fulfilling the order--always with security and best practices emphasized along the way. Even if you're an experienced Web developer, you're guaranteed to learn something new. The book uses two e-commerce site examples--one based on selling physical products that require shipping and delayed payment, and another that sells non-physical products to be purchased and delivered instantly--so you see the widest possible range of e-commerce scenarios. In 11 engaging, easy-to-follow chapters, Effortless E-Commerce with PHP and MySQL teaches you how to:

* Think of the customer first, in order to maximize sales
* Create a safe server environment and database
* Use secure transactions and prevent common vulnerabilities
* Incorporate different payment gateways
* Design scalable sites that are easy to maintain
* Build administrative interfaces
* Extend both examples to match the needs of your own sites

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From the Author:

This book has been on my mind for years, largely driven by reader interest in it (and thanks for that!). I'm glad that the book is done and am pleased with how it turned out.

My goal for the book was to present the broadest range of what it means to perform e-commerce today: a lofty goal, to be sure. To do so, I came up with two concrete and practical e-commerce sites. The first sells virtual goods (namely, access to content). The second sells physical goods. That distinction alone makes a big difference as to how a site is implemented. From there, I continued to distinguish the two examples:

  • One requires user registration and login (plus password management); the other doesn't
  • One uses PayPal as the payment system; the other integrates Authorize.net directly
  • One uses relatively simple PHP and MySQL; the other an MVC approach with MySQL stored procedures
  • Only the second site requires inventory management
There are numerous other differences between the two, but those are the key ones. Each feature, and related issue, is explained in terms of user interface, the customer experience, security, and is played out in usable real-world code. My thinking is that by presenting this range of what e-commerce looks like, and how it's developed, you can pick and choose the features you want to implement on your e-commerce project. From the feedback I've seen thus far, it seems that I succeeded (whew).

There was not room for some topics in the book (as a reviewer noted), so I've been writing separate articles and blog postings discussing those. You can find these, and other supplemental material, on my Web site (Amazon doesn't want me posting URLs here, but the Web site is just .com). As with all my books, I also answer support questions related to the material, or related things you're trying to do, in my support forums.

To be clear, one thing the book does not do is teach PHP or MySQL (or SQL, HTML, and CSS), but rather show how to apply them properly. Comfort with these technologies is assumed, although I would expect even seasoned Web developers will learn some new things. After much debate, I decided not to use object-oriented programming or frameworks in the book, although I do intend to write up supplemental material showing how some of the examples and code would be translated into an OOP or framework version.

Thanks for your interest in the book. It is appreciated. And if you purchase it, I hope you like it and find it to be useful and informative.

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