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Friday, 22 February, 2019 - 10:10 (UK)  

..:: Fork Lift Truck Parts Co.

The Fork Lift Truck Parts Co. was the first (and so far last) website which I developed with what is essentially an online shop. The main feature of this site was the products catalogue of parts broken down into sections with costs. Only think missing from the whole online shopping experience is that the site does not actually make any credit card transactions. A customers order is emailed directly to the company and then the customer is contacted to get details of payment.

Initially there was a small site in place and the company made the requirement that the initial design was to stay in place. This meant more time could be spend on the overall workings of the site. Some of the smaller changes to the site included a contact form and some changes to the images and content on the site.

The main specification for the new site was a product catalogue that listed all (or at least most) of the items which are sold by The Fork-Lift Truck Parts co. This resulted in a database of thousands of products.

This was the first time I had attempted anything like this. At around the same time I was starting to look at creating e-commerce sites using ASP and Microsoft SQL server. However with the timescale's for this new site I did not have the time to learn ASP and get the site up and running. Instead I took the information on building an e-commerce site with ASP and adapted the code for PHP and MySQL. This was a bit of a gamble as there are differences in the way the two languages interact with databases. This meant that most of the code written in PHP was written from nothing. Where an ASP/SQL server concept could not be written in PHP I was forced to write my own objects/methods to do the same job in PHP/MySQL.

The finished site was a success. Although some of the administration tools were thrown together at the last minute, the site did match the requirements and was able to collect customer orders which meant the company was now able to take orders from anywhere in the world 24 hours a day!

Looking back at this project, there are many things I would do differently. I now have much more experience with PHP/MySQL and could do a much better job of writing the product catalogue and shopping cart. One of the main changes would be the addition of credit card transactions so that the site was capable of taking orders online there and then. Also making the site more user friendly for both the user and the administrator would be worked better. At the time of development the back end Administration was limited and not particularly user friendly with limited amount of modifications allowed. Sadly most of the limitations were as a result of the time and budget constraints for building such a site.

Note: Since my work of the site The Fork-Lift Truck Parts co.has moved to a development company to update their site once again with a new much nicer graphics template and some new nice features!...

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