The birth of the internet has been one of the most tremendous successes in computer technology and since then, numerous advancements have been made in the field. Various ways of harnessing the web have also been developed and businesses have not been left out. Central to the use of the internet is the website whose purpose is to serve web users with resources that can be tailored to accomplish the business goals of the business firm. A firm’s website can be used to make extend the firms business activities such as marketing, sales and customer care if the right technologies, software, hardware and expertise are available (Perlman 2009).
For a company that needs to have online sales and deliver system, there are a few requirements that should be address to promote the success of the firms in marketing its good online. To begin, the firm has to establish the objectives to be met by the website. This should be done by an analyst skilled in system analysis and design employed by the firm perhaps with the help of a consultant in the field. The objectives identified should help in the creation of logical interaction of various function and processes with result being the set of actions and actors responsible in executing them. The proposed website plan should then be given to a web programmer who will create the website using software tool.
The web programmer can build the website from scratch using scripting languages like php, java server pages or active server pages and at the same time connect the website to a database from a provide like Oracle or Microsoft. Content management system such as Joomla or Drupal can be used to build the website even faster (Lawerence and Tavakol, 2007). However in all these, the website needs to be tested to verify that all modules are working. To maintain this website, changes should be submitted to the in-house webmaster who will update the website to reflect the new information. Due to security issue, the web developer should enhance the security of the system using encryptions as well as captcha to control spammers.
Since the website will be for making online sales, the website must have an in build cart where consumers can select what they would like to buy and pay for them at once. With special emphasis being placed on payment, the website must have an integrated payment system that is well proven and comes packed with latest security feature. A third party API from a company like SWREG can be used to accept payment from numerous payments options which are then transferred to the bank account of the firm. The payment section should run in secure socket layer for security by using secure protocols such as https (Newman, 2009).
Once the website has been setup, the website will be hosted in server preferably in a dedicated and reliable hosting service. This beneficial as compared to in house hosting this can be fatal in time of power outrage of internet failure within the firm. The hosting service should be able to offer security to the website. A good hosting service should also provide no restriction in the number of databases or bandwidth used which is essential for growth of the website. Most importantly, the hosting service should be running on well-developed software such as Cpanel which will allow the website to be updated with ease (Pedersen 2009). The hosting service should also support an advert server which can be used to serve the websites need for advertising. This server should have the ability to customize the adverts and cycle them as required.
With a hosting service handling the website, the firm should just have a handful of computers for local development and updating the remote serves where the websites are hosted. The local computers should be computers of considerate specification with a reliable internet connection. The computer should have software tools such as MYSQL, MSQL or Oracle database engines, Dream weaver for building the website and WAMP or XAMMP to act as a local server.