HTML and CSS Reference
Assuming that the amount of data is enough that it makes sense to keep
it in a database, where should that database be? Without going into the data
security aspects of that question, there are good arguments for keeping data
with third-party services, and there are equally good arguments for maintain-
ing a database on your own server.
You should not keep customer credit card information unless you absolutely
have to. It is a burden of trust. A credit card's number and expiration date are
all that is needed to make some types of purchases. Many online gaming and
adult-content services, for example, don't even require the cardholder's name.
Using a payment service means that you never know the customer's complete
credit card number and, therefore, have much less liability.
Dozens of reputable payment services on the Web, from Authorize.Net to
WebMoney, work with your bank or merchant services company to accept
payments and transfer funds. PayPal, which is owned by the online auction
irm eBay, is one of the easiest systems to set up and is an initial choice for
many online business start-ups. A complete, customized, on-site purchase/
payment option, however, should increase sales 1 and lower transaction costs.
he payment systems a website uses are one of the factors search engines use
to rank websites. Before you select a payment system for your website, check
with your bank to see if it has any restrictions or recommendations. You may
be able to get a discount from one of its ailiates.
Customer names, email addresses, and other contact information are
another matter. If you choose to use a CMS to power the website, it may
already be able to manage users or subscribers. If not, you can probably ind a
plugin that will it your needs. With an email list you can contact people one-
on-one. Managing your own email address list can make it easier to integrate
direct and online marketing programs. his means that you can set your pri-
vacy policy to relect your unique relationship with your customers. If you use
a third-party service, you must concern yourself with that company's privacy
policies, which are subject to change.
Many websites are built to satisfy the needs of right now. hat is a mistake.
Most websites should be built to meet the needs of tomorrow. Whatever the
enterprise, its website should be built for expansion and growth. Businesses
used to address this matter by buying bigger computers than they needed.
Today, however, web hosting plans ofer huge amounts of resources for low
1. Would you shop at a store if you had to run to the bank across the street, pay, and return with a receipt
to get your ice cream?