Archives For ecom

On January 30th, 2014, I’ll be presenting “Using, and Learning From, Stripe“, at the online eCommerce Web Summit. This is one of several conferences put together by the awesome folks behind php[architect]. Mine is one of four presentations that are part of this online e-commerce conference:

Tickets start at $39 for the recording only, and $49 for the live (online) attendance. And you will be able to ask questions during the live presentation!

There are two thrusts to my specific presentation. About two-thirds of the content will explain how to use Stripe to accept payments online. I’ll cover both one-time charges and recurring billing. Along the way, I’ll emphasize best practices and any applicable tips and tricks.

In the last third of the presentation, I’ll share some of the things I’ve learned in my few months at Stripe. I’ve organized the ideas into three categories: technical, structural, and personal. The technical and structural lessons are intended to help you design your product and run your business. The personal lessons are my way of sharing what it’s been like to work for an organization of Stripe’s calibre, with such amazing coworkers.

I think it’ll be a great afternoon of online e-commerce talks, and I hope you’ll consider joining in. Let me know if you have any specific questions or thoughts about it.

I recently came across an article titled “9 Ways to Make the Payment Process Easy for Online Customers”. The article describes nine best practices for e-commerce sites: what you should do to have the best possible conversion rate. I definitely stress most, if not all, of these points in my “Effortless E-commerce with PHP and MySQL” book, but they are policies and approaches worth repeating. If you do any kind of web development, and especially if you do e-commerce, give this quick article a read. The only thing the article leaves out is how to convince your client that you’re right when it comes to implementing these policies, especially the one about not requiring accounts to complete orders!

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It’s a beautiful, gorgeous, beautiful fall day here in central Pennsylvania (which is odd, because it’s late July), and it’s time for another newsletter. This is a special newsletter for me, as the topic surrounds a big change in my life. As of August 1, I’ll be working for Stripe. I officially accepted the position, and announced it, about a month ago, so you may have already known this, but I thought I’d spend a little time discussing Stripe, my personal decision, and how this might impact you. For the sake of breaking the newsletter into more readable chunks, I’ll present some content as if I’m answering a question I’ve been asked (although I actually haven’t been). Apologies for the artifice.

In another newsletter, I’ll write about my thoughts and experiences in working for myself, creating my own business, and “building up my brand”. Not that those parts of my working life are entirely switched off from here on out, but this is going to be an existential change, and there are aspects of having worked for myself for 14 years that went into the decision to join Stripe.

As always, questions, comments, and all feedback are much appreciated. And thanks for your interest in what I have to say and do!

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I am pleased to announce that I’ve just signed a contract to write the second edition of my “Effortless E-commerce with PHP and MySQL” book, published by New Riders. The first edition was written in the fall of 2010, and has been very well received (out of 22 reviews at Amazon, 18 are 5-star). There was more I wanted to do in the first edition, and a few things have changed since the book was written, so my publisher and I felt it was time for a revision. I’ll be writing the book at the end of the summer and early fall (after I complete “The Yii Book”), with a release date in October or November.

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One of the problems with technical writing is that the instructions you provide will eventually become outdated. Some details, such as the fundamentals of a programming language like C, Ruby, or PHP, change relatively slowly. Others, like libraries, frameworks, and browsers, change frequently. And so, it was not surprising to find out that PayPal changed some of their systems a while back in a way that will affect readers of my “Effortless E-commerce with PHP and MySQL” book. This issue first appeared last summer in my support forums, with Sean and Michael discovering the problem and the solution.

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