Can anyone help me get all of the right information in how to design a e-commerce site built on a mac. Everything from what software to use to track and maintain the database to how to create the gateway for the merchant account from PayPal.
I have created web sites before but never done a e-commerce.
My client is going through earthlink to host his site but I do not know what else I need to cover everything else.

All comments are welcomed and appreciated greatly.
I am on a time senstive deadline so please help.


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Developing it on a Mac is no different then developing t on a PC or Linux.

You need:

1) A shopping cart with order management
2) A merchant account with payment gateway and/or Paypal
3) SSL certificate (if you use a merchant account with payment gateway)

Hi, thank you for your reply,

can you recommend on what shopping cart software and SSL app I need to use?
I am using Dreamweaver in the Adobe CS 3 bundle, my client is using earthlink to host the site and wants on PayPal to be the gateway to make the purchases from his site to go to his bank account.

Again thank you for your assistance.

There are a ton of shopping carts out there with various features and such. You will need to make a list of required functionality and prioritize them and then see what shopping cart matches up to it best. Or you can create one from scratch which may take longer but will be a perfect fit for the website. Naturally Paypal support would be one of the requirements.

You can purchase an SSL certificate quickly, easily, and affordably from

What would you recommend: the site I am building is for a small company that is selling shirts for both men and women and hats. small operations and not huge. another aspect of the site is to promote awarness of the california bear. the client wants the site to be a vechile to show that the cal bear is making a come back and to have people involved in persevering this animal and also the environment.

So he wants clips of video he shot to be streamed into the site. Sort of like the movie trailers you see from Apple's Quicktime section. I downloaded the quicktime streaming app but now wondering if there is anything else I need in order to make this all happen.

The shopping cart is the very first thing I need to take care. your recommendations would be great. I am not sure what I would need based on what I just wrote with his current inventory.


I can't recommend a shopping cart as I write custom solutions for my clients. But if you're selling typical products virtually every shopping cart will suit your needs. In this case you should be looking for one that is easy to skin so you can integrate it directly into their website.

The content aspect can be done through a simple CMS of which there are a million to choose from. The video also won't be part of the shopping cart and probably will be custom written by you.

Do I also need to have a databased in order to keep track the items as well the sku numbers?

Speaking of which how do i generate sku numbers for the shirts and hats? Does each shirt with a different size and color need a sku #?

Thank you

You will need a database but the shopping cart will take care of that for you. You only need sku numbers if you wish to have custom numbers like that. Otherwise the shopping cart will take care of creating unique identifiers for each item. It will also help to manage sizes and inventory as well.

ok, all of this helps out greatly, but which shopping cart do you recommed since he is only trying to sell less than 50 items online?
I think i would want a cart that is also able to handle large quanities later in the future.
Any one you can think of that fits this would be fine with me but I have no idea where to get the cart or which one would be better than another

Once you are selling more then 2 or 3 items the number of items becomes irrelevant. 5 or 50,000 it's all the same.

Since you mentioned that any shopping cart can keep track of inventory and have a database of its own. i wanted to ask the shopping cart that earthlink is any good?

After I create the site how and what do I do to have PayPal as the only way for the items to be purchased?

Thank you

Since you mentioned that any shopping cart can keep track of inventory and have a database of its own. i wanted to ask the shopping cart that earthlink is any good?

I don't know. But since i never even knew they offered a shopping cart I would say it might be a good idea to avoid it.

After I create the site how and what do I do to have PayPal as the only way for the items to be purchased?

That depends on the shopping cart. Most likely it will just be a matter of changing a few settings in the control panel as most shopping carts have payments methods broken down into modules and you just turn on the ones you want.

Now I am more confused than ever. My client wants to use Earthlink and they do offer a e-commerce bundle. I know I can use the Lunix version of their bundle. However, if you feel that avoiding their cart is best then what shopping carts do you recommend I can download and use as part of the design part?

Really appreciate your help and sorry if I sound like a broken record, just don't know what to do and still learning this aspect of designing a e-commerece.


I can't recommend any carts as I only ever write my own. But if your client wants to use Earthlink's ecommerce bundle then use it. If they want it you might as well give it to them. If they're ever unhappy you can always say you gave them exactly what they wanted.

Very true, do you for see any problems I might have since I am on mac and using Dreamweaver to put everything together?


Nope. That shouldn't cause any problems at all.

What is the difference if I were to use PHP and how easy is it to use with this site?
Is PHP all coding or like Dreamweaver where its a WYSIWYG?


PHP is all coding. And doing it for ecommerce is more challenging because security is even more important plus a bug could mean lost revenue for your client. If you are not an experienced programmer definitely use an existing solution as it will make your life easier in virtually every way.

Actually there is a MAC-style (cool looking, fast loading, apple-style storefront, etc. etc.) service available; which is NOT limited to MAC per say AND it is online. Plus, there is absolutely NO coding required!!!

I think that is cool because you could make your storefront from anywhere on anything as long as you have internet! Check it out, it's called SHOPIFY ... checkout their showcase (examples); basically delivers & makes your storefront look very professional, period. This makes Zen-Cart looks like sh|t, LOL Enjoy! ;)

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