Posts Tagged Zen Cart

Shopping for Jewelry (Jewellery) Online

As I continue to search for Christmas presents online, I have to admit I still get quite frustrated with Irish retailers online.

Over the weekend I search for an online jewelry store to purchase a gift for my mother. Instantly I was bombarded with jewelry websites that I can only say have been “left behind” in terms of the Internet. It was extremely difficult to find any decent Irish jewelry shop where searching.

I did find one that looked like it did everything I was looking for – the famous House of Ireland store. Everything looked good for a while as I browsed through the site, there was plenty of choice unlike other sites I had visited. One thing stroke me though, the prices were displayed in US Dollars by default. As their shop in Dublin is hugely targeted at the US tourists, I thought, ah no big deal, I’ll just choose Euros from the drop down menu.

After doing this, I noticed the price difference was staggering. A Waterford Crystal vase was $260, but when converted to euro it was a huge €240. With today’s exchange rate, it should have been in the €200-205 price bracket. I assume the difference in price is because they have displayed the dollar price minus the VAT and when you change to euros, it instantly adds the VAT price on. This is all well and good if they didn’t display dollar prices by default.

From a technical point of view, there is quite a lot they can do to prevent this sort of confusion for the customer. IP location software is widely available on the Internet, it would have taken a programmer a few hours to display the currency based on the customers location. Not 100% reliable I know, but in most cases would work pretty well.

The site itself is built in some flavour of either osCommerce or Zen Cart. Both of these packages have ready build modules to handle situations like this.

Better still, a simple notification that the dollar price didn’t include VAT would also prevent people from getting suspicious in the difference in price.

All in all – it looks like there really are no decent Irish Jewelry stores online. If you know of one, please let me know!

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Linux would have cost $10.8 billion to build… what would Typo3 or similar cost?

Logo Open Source Initiative

Image via Wikipedia

A few weeks ago The Linux Foundation released a report disclosed the approximate cost of developing a typical linux distribution would be $10.8 billion. They reckon the Linux kernel alone would cost at least $1.4 billion to develop.

That got me thinking, as a company we use open source software quite a lot. The idea is that we can pass on the benefits of open source to our clients. It doesn’t always make sense to offer an open source solution to a client, but when it does, we have no issues recommending an “off-the-shelf” open source product. Using open source software gives us the ability to offer our clients high quality, powerful and robust solutions for a for low price.

So the question is, how much money is open source saving our clients?

Let’s take Typo3 Content Management System for example. A standard, 10 page website using Typo3, would cost anywhere from €4k to €10k depending on the company you decided to go with. But what if you were to purchase a similar bespoke option CMS, with all the features of Typo3?

Looking at the code from the basic installment of Typo3, outside the modules and add-ons of course, there’s quite a large amount of work to be done.

Nevermind the brainstorming that would have been involved to get it to where it is today, at a complete guesstimate, I would estimate that there’s at least 7-8 months work in it for not 1, but 2 developers. Design is limited in Typo3, but it would have definitely needed some input from a designer at some stage.

Let’s break that down into the current markpet prices with a rate of €500 per developer (cheap I know)…

2 x Web Developers x 160 days (8 months) = €80,000
1 x Web Designer x 3 days (being nice) = €1,200
Total = €81,200

Of course, VAT isn’t included here – but it’s clear to see that there is quite a saving for the customer by choosing the open source solution.

In most cases, the basic installation of Typo3 isn’t enough to get a decent website going, which means there would be more development required for additional add-ons and modules.

The bottom line is that Open source solutions tend to offer you a lot more than a bespoke solutions and quite frankly costs very little in comparison.

We’ve obviously only discussed Typo3 here, but what about other systems such as Joomla, Mambo, Zen Cart, osCommerce etc etc??? Can you imagine how much you are saving with these systems too?

So the next time you think of developing a website, you should seriously consider an open source solution before even discussing the bespoke option.

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