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Selling Online

A commerce site is one of the most ambitious and complex types of Web sites you can create. In addition to using Web pages that may or may not contain all the features and technologies already covered, a commerce site also includes a database, forms, and authorizations (for credit cards and passwords at least). In short, creating this type of Web site is not for the faint of heart, the newcomer, or even the person or company with a brief window of time. The following sections describe the basics of each area I've mentioned.

Databases

The idea of a commerce site sounds dazzlingly simple up front: It's like combining the best of television ads and catalogs into one single place to purchase. And this is absolutely true. On a commerce site, you can offer options and features to your customers that you can't give them in a 30-second television spot or on a printed catalog page. Figure 17.8 shows a sample commerce site.


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