Selling Online for Dummies: A Reference for the Rest of Us


The biggest myth in online selling is that the world will beat a path to your door as soon as you launch your business-based Web site. This technique -- "If you build it, they will come" -- may have worked fine for Kevin Costner in the movie Field of Dreams, but here in the real world, where competition for online goods and services is growing increasingly stiff, you need all the help you can get.

Now, you can take full advantage of today's online tools with Selling Online For ...

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The biggest myth in online selling is that the world will beat a path to your door as soon as you launch your business-based Web site. This technique -- "If you build it, they will come" -- may have worked fine for Kevin Costner in the movie Field of Dreams, but here in the real world, where competition for online goods and services is growing increasingly stiff, you need all the help you can get.

Now, you can take full advantage of today's online tools with Selling Online For Dummies, a smart, plain-speaking reference book for building and maintaining practical, professional-looking Web sites that will keep your customers coming back again and again. From the basic decisions of moving your sales operation online to choosing the right hardware, software, Internet Service Provider, and security features (for managing and protecting direct online sales), Selling Online For Dummies is packed to the brim with proven tips and techniques for success. The book's own CD-ROM includes great software for PCs and Macs -- software that can help you get your online store up and running -- including Web server software, Web site design and development tools, and templates for creating your own online database search engines.

New to the concept of online sales and marketing? Be sure to pick up a copy of our companion book, Marketing Online For Dummies®, for more insight into the rapidly growing world of online commerce.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764503344
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 3/1/1998
  • Series: For Dummies Series
  • Edition description: BK&CD ROM
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.50 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents


Who You Are and What You Already Know
How to Read This Book
What's in This Book
Part I: Building a Site That Sells
Part II: Laying a Strong Online Foundation
Part III: Creating Selling Content
Part IV: Keeping Your Web Site Strong
Part V: Accepting Payment Online
Part VI: Looking at Legal Necessities
Part VII: The Part of Tens
Icons Used in This Book

Part I: Building a Site That Sells

Chapter 1: From Physical Store to Virtual Store: Establishing Your Online Selling Vision
Is Selling Online Right for Your Business?
Four Things Your Online Store Must Do
Displaying your products and services
Processing inquiries and orders from your customers
Processing payments
Delivering your products and services
Using the Ferengi Approach to Making Money
Retail business
Service business
Media business
Here's the Main Idea of This Book
Make it easy to pay
Make it easy to find prices
Give full-featured product descriptions
Create an environment of trust
Essential Elements of a Successful Online Store
Trust, without which no transaction ever takes place
A clear statement of the benefits of your products and services
Support for the customer's decision to buy
A pleasant and convenient shopping experience
A consistent corporate message, understandable by real people
Knowing Where to Start
Decision 1: Operating and connecting your site
Decision 2: Selling and storefront choices
Decision 3: Choosing commerce capabilities
A Room with a View: Creating the Right Impression
Budgets to Live By
Fictional Site Profiles
Jim's Coffee House
Herb's Herb Shack
Jane's Parent Line
Chapter 2: Drawing Up a Blueprint for Your Online Store
Designing the Parts of Your Store
The storefront
The storefront content
The storefront framework
The shopping cart
The cash register
The back room
A Trip through an Online Store
Chapter 3: Connecting to the Internet
Hire a Host or Host It Yourself?
This Way to Your Web Site: Web Hosting Services
What you get
It's gonna cost ya...
Asking the right questions
The domain name game
Caveats about Web hosting services
The size of the pipe
Limited data transfer
Hosting Your Own Site
Picking Internet Service Providers
Nationwide and international Internet Service Providers
ISPs and Internet traffic
ISDN and coffee, please
Racing into the future
Getting a Domain Name
Creating your domain name
Setting up domain name servers
Checking and registering a domain name
There's a service for everything
How Much Bandwidth Do You Need?

Part II: Laying a Strong Online Foundation

Chapter 4: The Machine Age: Choosing Your Hardware
Looking at the Basic Stuff You Need
Comparing Server Platforms
Choosing Hardware and Figuring Costs
UNIX workstations
Intel-based PC servers
Intel for small to medium-sized businesses
Intel for medium to large businesses
Intel enterprise-class servers
Macintosh workgroup servers
Configuring Your Site as It Grows
Web farming
Don't get burned: Picking out your firewall
RAID -- Reliability in a can
Alternative Servers for Your Site
Twister: Instant Web server in a box
Chapter 5: Selecting Server Software
Your Server Software Wish List
Software for Windows NT and UNIX
Netscape server software products
FastTrack Server 3.01
Enterprise Server 3.0
Microsoft Web server products
Windows NT Server 4.0
Internet Information Server 4.0
Microsoft Site Server
Microsoft Site Server, Enterprise Edition
Other Web server products
WebSite Professional 2.0
AOLserver 2.1
Novell server products
Server software for Windows only
Commerce Builder
Server Software for UNIX
Server software for UNIX only
Stronghold 2.0
Zeus Server
Server Software for Macs
Apple server solutions
Chapter 6: Choosing Electronic Storefront Software
Opening the Door on the Electronic Storefront
Entering the store
Picking up a shopping cart
Stepping up to the cash register
Peeking into the back room
Basics of Buying Online
Storefront Software for Your Server
Open Market
Intershop Online
Intershop Mall
Merchant Builder
The Vision Factory
Outreach Communications
Free, downloadable storefront products
Selena Sol's Public Domain Web Store
ObjectNet iShopping Wizard
Hosted Electronic Storefronts
ViaWeb Store
Chapter 7: Maintaining Your Site
Your Maintenance Goals
Managing the Pages on Your Site
It's Dead, Jim! Backing Up Your Site or Server
Creating New Log Files
Keeping Up with Your Server
The basics of setting up your server
Installing your server software
Getting an IP address
Editing your hosts and hostname files
Setting things up especially for your server
Understanding Internet configuration
Maintaining Windows NT servers
Managing Your Site Traffic
Mirror, mirror on the server
Knowing when to set up mirrors
Keeping your mirrors in synch
Mirroring your database
Making mirrors transparent to your users
Virtual domains
Interface cards
The role of the logical interface
Configuring your virtual domain
Moving a virtual domain to another machine
Bringing up an interface
Bringing down an interface
Editing the hosts and hostname files
Editing the hosts file
Creating and deleting hostname files
Dealing with the httpd Process
Starting an httpd process
Killing httpd processes gone bad
Killing the root httpd process
Using Subnets Efficiently
Tuning Your Directory Structure for Fast Access

Part III: Creating Selling Content

Chapter 8: Giving Your Text Some Character
Good Ol' HTML: Gateway to the Search Engines
Choosing the Right Tools
Using WYSIWYG editors
Writing your own HTML
Setting a Standard for Your HTML
Looking at a Sample HTML Template
Simplifying with the template
Simplifying the SSI in the template
Simplifying the table in the template
Filling out the template
The first line
The title definition
The metatags
The body tag
The basefont tag
Comments and a header
A table for the logo
The advertisement
End of the table
The main body of text
The footer
End of the template
Chapter 9: Images, Anyone?
Using Images Effectively on Your Site
Scanner or Digital Camera?
Old reliables: Scanners
Cool stuff: Digital cameras
Processing Your Digital Images
Adobe Photoshop
Photoshop filters
Processing tools for Windows 95 and NT
Making Your Graphics Web-Compatible
CompuServe GIF format
PNG format
Using the Safe Palette for Your Images
Creating Web Animations
Extra, Extra: Movies and Music
QuickTime movies
Video and audio streaming
Virtual Reality on Your Site
VRML basics
VRML for the Mac
General VRML resources
Video compression basics
Chapter 10: Testing Times Three
Testing with Multiple Browsers and Platforms
Planning Your Test-O-Rama
Testing your links
Testing your forms
Checking your files
Bringing in the Style Police
Got a Plan? Get a Plan!
Defining the production process
Behind the scenes: Developing your site
Looking at a sample production process
About 14 days before you go online
About 7 days before going online
The day before going online
Launch day
Chapter 11: Interactivity 101
Understanding the Advantages of Interactivity
Getting Animated with Dynamic HTML and Layers
Adding animation to your site
Exploring dynamic HTML on the Web
Playing with Plug-Ins
Let's Chat
Using a Message Board on Your Site
Threaded message boards
Message board security
Setting up a site message board on Windows
Setting up a site message board on UNIX
Setting up a site message board on a Mac
Programming Your Site for Interactivity
CGI -- Not a secret government agency
Java tools for beginners
Other Java products
Pushing the Outer Limits

Part IV: Keeping Your Web Site Strong

Chapter 12: It Pays to Advertise
Getting People to Your Site
Establishing Your Site Traffic
Gathering informal data
Measuring hits and impressions
Checking IP addresses
Server software products for ad management
External audits
Building a Better Banner
Banner basics
Buying banner ads
Selling banner ads
Making linkable banners
Getting the Word Out: Your Offline Advertising Plan
Hiring an Advertising Agency for Your Site
Profiling Customers Using Cookies
Affinity-Based Online Advertising
Chapter 13: Selecting a Database for Your Store
Defining Your Database Needs
Flat file databases
Relational databases
Making the Database Decision
Maintaining Your Database
Selecting Database Products
Relational databases for a small site
Relational databases for medium to large sites
Oracle (for Windows and UNIX)
Sybase SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server
Informix-Online Dynamic Server
Informix-Universal Server
Databases and Customer Privacy
Chapter 14: Your Customer Service Department
Online Customer Service Basics
Making Your Customers Feel Great
Communicate, communicate, communicate
Using mailbots to respond quickly
Taking customers right to the top
Encouraging a community at your site
Chatting and Customer Service
Letting Your Customers Serve Themselves
Customer-Pleasing Policies
Keeping in Touch with a Newsletter
Selling Online For Dummies Internet Directory

Part V: Accepting Payment Online

Chapter 15: Money Talks, Sometimes in Ciphers
Data Security Technology
Encryption basics
Public keys talk in Cyberspace
Digital signatures
Digital certificates
Understanding the controversy about digital certificates
Getting a digital certificate
Data Security Designed for the Web
Chapter 16: Accepting Digital Dollars
Your Merchant Bank Account
Digital Dollars and Other Forms of Money
Credit cards online and electronic wallets
Digital cash
Digital checks
Digital coin (for smaller purchases)
Smart cards
Internet Cash and Credit Service Providers
Other Online Transaction Services
First Virtual
Wave Systems
Paying bills online with CheckFree
Accepting Payments Internationally

Part VI: Looking at Legal Necessities

Chapter 17: It's the Law
Finding Out the Law
Knowing Export Restrictions
Exporting Encryption
Collecting Sales Taxes
What's Right with My Copyright?
What's protected
Protecting your own work
Using technology to protect your work
Digital watermarks
Put it in a plain brown digital wrapper, please
Public domain works and fair use rules
Protecting Privacy
Monster Stories of Multilevel Marketing
The Scarlet Letter: Pornography Online
Chapter 18: Wading through the Gray Areas
Domain Name Disputes
The Netiquette of Linking
Electronic Jurisdiction

Part VII: The Part of Tens

Chapter 19: The Ten Commandments of Online Selling
Thou Shalt Not Commit Spam
Thou Shalt Not Sell Thy Mailing List without Permission
Thou Shalt Not Steal Thy Neighbor's Images
Thou Shalt Not Treat Thy Neighbor's Resources as Thine Own
Thou Shalt Not Create Images Too Big for Downloading
Thou Shalt Not Establish Multilevel Marketing Schemes Online
Thou Shalt Not Post Adult Materials on Sites That Children May See
Thou Shalt Update Thy Site Regularly
Thou Shalt Use High Production Values
Thou Shalt Organize Thy Site Simply
Chapter 20: Ten Ways to Get More Traffic to Your Site
Get Listed on All the Major Search Engines
Use Metatags in Your HTML Files
Optimize Your Site's Title
Buy an Ad on Yahoo! or Another Top Site
Form a Strategic Partnership
Give Something Away
Advertise in the Traditional Print Media
Offer Revenue Sharing to Sites that Send You Traffic
Get Active on Discussion Groups, Bulletin Boards, Chat Rooms, and Usenet
Look for More Information at Yahoo!
Chapter 21: Ten Mistakes to Avoid When Selling Online
Getting Stuck in Offline Mode
Sending Spam
Forgetting Navigation Buttons or Bars
Valuing Beauty over Use
Not Answering E-Mail Quickly Enough
Skimping on Your ISP
Forgetting Regular Backups
Posting Unproofed Content
Undertesting Your Site
Ignoring Privacy Issues
Appendix: About the CD-ROM
System Requirements
How to Use the CD with Microsoft Windows 95
How to Use the CD with Mac OS
What You'll Find
If You've Got Problems (Of the CD Kind)


License Agreement

Installation Instructions

Book Registration Information

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