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Website for employee use - to take customer orders

Posted on 2013-05-21
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Last Modified: 2013-06-03
Hi,

I'm currently working on a project, which is currently in its planning phase, and I need some advice on the best way to implement it.

The objective is to create a website for a massage parlor's employees. The website will be accessed through the web or a private intranet. The employees will access the website through tablets provided to them by the company.

When a customer approaches an employee, the employee will understand their request, and select the appropriate massage package on the website, from a list of available packages. The employee will also enter any customization requests (eg: specific massage oils, etc.). Once the order is complete, the employee will enter the customer details and save the appointment.

This appointment will then be available in the back-end, for further back-office processing.

So, to summarize:

The website will have a list of massage packages to choose from. Each package will have its own page with description and pictures.

The packages may be divided into categories, which will form the main menu of the website.

Employee selects package and is redirected to a page which will optionally allow him to customize the order.

Employee selects required customization, and is redirected to a page with a form to collect customer information.

Employee enters customer information and saves it.

The "order" becomes available in the back-end for further processing.

---------------------------------------------

Whats the best way to implement such a website? CMS, self-coded PHP?

Which CMS will be most suitable for this purpose?

Can I use Wordpress for this? If yes, how do I set up the flow? I know how to create the categories, product pages, etc. But how do I create the customization and the information collection pages, and how do I integrate them into the flow?

Thanks a lot, in advance. I look forward to your reply.
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Question by:shishir_sri
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by:Jason C. Levine
Jason C. Levine earned 100 total points
ID: 39184468
Whats the best way to implement such a website? CMS, self-coded PHP?

Whichever way you best you know how.   If you are comfortable working with a CMS, do so.  If you prefer hand-coding, do that.  There is no "best" way, just personal preference.

Can I use Wordpress for this? If yes, how do I set up the flow

You can use any CMS, including WordPress.  I would recommend adding a shopping cart plugin that allows you to define products and options and checkout without actual payment.  I believe WPe-commerce for WordPress does that and there are similar options for both Drupal and Joomla.
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Dzynit earned 400 total points
ID: 39201827
Wordpress is always my preference. As jason1178 suggested, wp-ecommerce is a cart that could work for you, but I've recently switched to using the tribulant cart. It has more features and their support is great. http://tribulant.com/plugins/view/10/wordpress-shopping-cart-plugin

eShop is a decent cart also, but not as easily customizable: http://wordpress.org/plugins/eshop/

Since you want the employees to be using this rather than customers placing their own orders, you should take into consideration to have the area for the employees to require login or password protected. I'm sure you plan to have the site done for customers to view also, so you could always do a sub-domain installation for the cart to prevent customers from accessing it and thinking they can place their own orders.

I prefer wordpress over the other cms options mostly because they feel bulky and complex to me. Some require editing the core cms files to install features, etc so it makes upgrading difficult and time-consuming. You never have to edit core files for wordpress.

The reason I've recently switched to the tribulant cart is because I don't feel wp-ecom and eShop has been providing good support lately. Wp-ecom has upgraded their plugin to put theme files in the site theme so you can customize the layout without worrying about overwriting during upgrades, so that has definitely been an improvement for that cart.

But as jason said, there's many options with the variety of cms's - it's a matter of choosing the best for you that you're comfortable working with. I always suggest going with the option that has the least glitches, simplest to work with so your customer can learn how to use it (and easily train their employees on the system), and can be upgraded without fear of things breaking or requiring hours worth of copying edits into the upgrade.
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Author Comment

by:shishir_sri
ID: 39217461
Thanks for the reply guys. I apologize for the delayed response.
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