Filed under General , work , Online Stores
I've been very busy the last few weeks working on a new store for Here's Health in Patrick's street, Cork. This new store has given me a great opportunity to work on some new and interesting technology that I've been itching to try out.
The site should be launching by the end of the week all going well. Here's a quick overview of some of the nice tech I managed to implement:
- Extension-less URL rewritting - the store uses SEO friendly URLs for its pages so instead of calling products.aspx?ProductID=XX we can call the page using something more meaningful like products/department-name/product-name
- PayPal XML integration - This is the last item I am working on at the moment. I'm setting up the site to use PayPal's SOAP XML integration for a 'seamless' paypal integration system. We get the benefit of letting PayPal handle the payments but we can use our own styling.
- A brand new store edit tool that gives you full control over all aspects of your store. Full control to add in new departments, new sub departments, new products, featured products, most popular products, and much much more! It's all extremely easy and visually a delight to use. We've spent countless hours tweaking usability for the store and there are many powerful options for reporting including export to excel options, powerful site search options to find products or orders, quickly see at a glance how many orders you have pending, or how many orders you have completed. We have over 8yrs experience with online stores so I think we have a very good idea of the types of things you will need for your store ;)
- ASP.NET Charting Controls - Sticking with our site admin tool for a moment, our dashboard panel is full of cool and interesting charts - view the last 30 days of orders, the last 12 months of orders, your stores top 10 items sold on the site, etc.
- Website Optimization - I have spent as much time as possible to ensure that our system is as streamlined as possible. We use ajax.net calls properly and help cut down on the traffic sent to and from our server. A cold page call, i.e. the first time your on the site takes only 3.5 seconds to load the site. If you return to the site you should see the web page almost instantly - roughly 0.4 secs. I must setup GZIP on the server yet so that should help speed things up for end users too. We have also tested the system with 100,000 products and 100,000 orders in the database and this has almost 0% impact on pulling the data to display to the user on the front of the website.
- Website security - I have setup proper database encryption on sensitive user data and locked down database access permission. Both server side and client side validation is on all textbox entries on the site and we also ensure that all textboxes are html encoded before the data within it is used.
All in all, I'm really excited about the new store software we have built up here. We have had a number of recent enquiries from people who are looking at getting something similar setup for their own shops so we might be onto a winner with this one (hopefully). We have also laid out a full development road map of features we will be adding in to this software over the coming months. I'll be blogging about some of these features and how you can implement them into your own sites over the next few weeks so stick around!