How to built e-Commerce WebSite using HTML PHP

Posted on 2011-03-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi all,

I am new on Web Design, I would like to built an hobby WebShop and to put it online.

I had some small experience on building the website with ready template using software wizards such incomedia WebSite x5

They are not good enough those premade template WebSite so I want to built one from scratch but I also want to first learn how to do so.

I would like to know where to start from

1) Where and how to learn (Online Course, Books, CBT is my favorite,)
2) What tools do I need A- to Z
3) How should I built a successful Web Shop. HTML, php with SQL, both together, CSS3, Flash or combination of everything.

Please advise the best way to start such project I am willing to learn on my own time. H

How long does require to learn and became good enough to be able to built a Web Shop?

Question by:daveviolante
LVL 42

Expert Comment

by:Rob Jurd, EE MVE
ID: 35073829
w3schools is always a good reference too (

Now unless you want to build an html page for every item you have (and every item in the future) you are going to need to use PHP (or equivalent).  A database is a necessity as well so knowledge of SQL is required.  Really you've covered all the tools except maybe javascript in which case I would use a library such as mootools (

In terms of how to go about it that really is up to you.  I would personally start with a design of how you want it to look and how you want to work, and more often than not that determines what tools you use eg flash or javascript etc

This is all assuming you want to do this from scratch for personal education?  There are "off the shelf" CMS (Content Management System) products that you can customise to do this such as Wordpress and Joomla, both of which I would recommend you take a look at before doing it yourself.
LVL 37

Expert Comment

ID: 35078415
Always a good idea to start with something that is close to what you want.  There are quite a few php based ecommerce applications that are open source or shareware.

Consider osCommerce (


Accepted Solution

crazedsanity earned 500 total points
ID: 35083388
1.) I'm not completely certain what tutorials are the best.  I would read a couple of them to see which are written well.  Some things you should keep in mind:

  * separation of concerns: don't intermingle PHP with HTML when possible.  Instead, put HTML into templates with template vars, block rows, etc so it can be designed separately from how it is dynamically built.  CS-Content ( is a good library for doing just that (use Subversion to get a copy)

  * use a Network DBMS: go for PostgreSQL.  MySQL is okay, but you'll run into some annoying pitfalls if your database schema needs to change with code while the site is running.

  * extra libraries: take a look at CS-WebAppLibs ( for some extra libraries that help with:
       --  database stuff (executing SQL, abstract class for easily doing stuff to a single table)
       -- web application upgrades (updating code causes database schema/data to change as necessary)

2.) my development style is pretty old-school, so I connect to my Linux webserver and use vim to edit PHP files.  For more graphical stuff, I'd recommend using Eclipse with the PHPEclipse and Subclipse (for Subversion support) plugins.

3.) To build a good web shop, use PHP, HTML templates (PHP builds the HTML for you), CSS for styling/pretties, and an SQL database for storing information.  Don't use Flash, it will cause plenty of headaches, difficult/impossible to get search terms to search engines, and difficult/impossible to have bookmark-able pages within it.

A good way to start is to get an open source equivalent of what you're looking for, like an e-commerce site.  Install it so it is running, and then take a look at the source code to understand how it works; you will doubtless come across some systems that have a very pretty front end but have code that is atrocious.

There's a lot to cover with your question, and a lot simply cannot be covered here.  I'd suggest getting familiar with PHP, then come back here to pose more directed questions; I'm sure there will be plenty of experts willing to help.  Good luck!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 35086613
Thanks you made the exact point

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