Requirements for Establishing and Maintaining Ecommerce
domain name. If you do
not have an existing web site, you can register a domain name, without
necessarily creating a web site at the same time, at a registrar such
Domains registered in
this way are referred to as "parked". Once registered, a domain name is
easily transferrable to another host server in the Domain Name System.
To determine if a domain name is currently in use, a "Whois"
search can be done. Calgary
Ecommerce Services can handle the domain name setup and / or transfer.
For existing domain names, Calgary Ecommerce Services will make
recommendations for rework of the site, if necessary, to accommodate
Internet merchant accounts differ from regular merchant accounts,
because of the "card not present" factor. Financial institutions will
charge a higher interest rate due to this. Businesses with a
brick-and-mortar store as well as an internet storefront will generally
have separate merchant accounts for these.
Merchants who handle US and Canadian dollar transactions separately
require an account for each of these. Canadian businesses wishing to
transact in US dollars are required to have a US bank account.
The major Canadian banks have affiliated companies that handle payment
processing for on-line businesses. These currently are:
Members of special interest groups, such as the Canadian Federation of
Independent Businesses, and Retail Council of Canada can qualify for
payment gateway. There
are 5 stakeholders in a credit card transaction: the cardholder, the
merchant, the acquiring bank processor, the card-issuing financial
institution, and the merchant bank. The Payment Gateway is the online
acquiring bank processor which is capable of hooking into credit card
accounts belonging to the online shopper and the merchant's internet
merchant account . The payment gateway handles the verification and
transfer requests. A payment gateway is recommended for higher
transaction volume sites. For businesses with lesser volumes, IVR
(interactive voice response) systems are suitable, where the
verification is done by phone.
Visa and Mastercard have aligned their standards into what is called
PCI (Payment Card Industry) Data Security Standards. If credit card
information is stored, it needs to be encrypted. Visa publishes a
list of service
providers who have validated
their compliance with an independent assessor approved by Visa.
(Secure Socket Layer)
to encrypt transactions. Calgary Ecommerce Services uses 128-bit secure
digital certificates. A secure web page is recognized by the lock
symbol at the bottom of the browser window (),
or by https:// (not http://) in the URL
Typically, web hosting companies differentiate their services between
Windows based packages and Linux based packages. Some, but not all
applications, exist in versions that will work on both platforms.
An application should be capable of handling typical issues such
support for unlimited
products and categories
storing information in a
allowing customers to view
their order history and statuses
allowing customers to
maintain their accounts
allowing various off-line
and on-line payment processing options
customization for various
shipping methods and rates
cutomization for tax set-up
support for multi-language
support for different user
Calgary Ecommerce Services focuses on using two widely known open
source applications, osCommerce and Interchange. With open source
applications, the code is readable and modifiable, and there are no
licensing fee issues as there are with commercial applications.
development and maintenance. There are several interfaces
are required to handle item maintenance changes and other areas:
administration panel (currently offline for osCommerce), for Interchange
: username - demo, password - demo.
a control panel for handling your account. Two commonly used
control panels are cpanel and hsphere.
(To access the hsphere panel demo, the user name is "admin", password
is "admin".) The control panel
will allow you to add, delete or change email
account settings, view your site visitor statistics, use FTP to upload
files to your site, and perform other functions.
For enhancements that need to be made, Calgary Ecommerce Services can
arrange a monthly maintenance agreement, or work on a per incident call
engine submission and
monitoring. If you build it,
will they come? Probably not,
unless you make the site known to search engines and work at
The search engines use information showing in a page's meta tags,
particularly title and description tags. What also plays an important
role in search engine ranking is link popularity. This means how
frequently other sites link to your site. There are some sites, such as
linkpopularity.com, which check this against several search engines.
This information can help you assess if you should be trying to link
with certain sites. The major search engines use different algorithms
to calculate the relevance of different factors and ranking. Microsoft
is among these now, competing with Google, Yahoo and others. One thing
to keep in mind, is that search engine ranking only makes sense
relevant to a word or expression. There are keyword suggestion sites,
such as the one for Overture
, which give information on the historic frequency of searches using a
given word / expression. Calgary Ecommerce Services can arrange to work
on this with you.