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- At least one laptop or PC:
Shipping workstation. (This does not have to be a separate computer.)
- Windows, Linux or Mac (Mac support in beta). Ubuntu Linux is recommended, especially for newly purchased computers.
- Minimum 8 GB RAM (16 preferred)
- 1 GB free disk space
- Minimum display resolution: 1280 x 900. Bigger is preferred.
- Oracle Java 8 installed. (Open JDK will work, but some features will be unavailable.)
- FireFox or Chrome web browser. Internet Explorer, Edge, Safari may work, but are not officially supported. (The integrated, customer-facing, retail web server will support all these browsers, depending on the HTML design used.)
- Mouse or track pad
Reliable Internet connection. (Everything in the system is done over the Internet.) You must have either a static IP address or a router that can be configured to provide a dynamic DNS entry (DDNS). Check with your Internet Provider if you are unsure.
- All requirements listed above.
- USB enabled scale. Recommended: Fairbanks 3012. Other scales may work, but will have to be tested and may require billable development time to make it work.
- USB barcode scanner. Recommended: Motorola LS4208 or Motorola DS6878-SR. Other scanners may work, but these are known to work well. The scanner must be able to scan a standard "3 of 9" barcode reliably and simulate the "Enter" key following the scan data.
- Zebra GK420d or Zebra ZP 450 or label printer. Other ZPL enabled printers may work but have not been tested. Dymo brand printers will not work.
- 4" x 6" thermal labels for above printer. One supplier is Tursso Companies. You'll use one label for each box/package shipped.
- Optional self-peeler attachment for the above printer. If you have high volume this can speed up the shipping process significantly, as you don't have to manually peel the label from the backing, but it can jam more frequently.
- (optional) Touchscreen monitor or laptop. Not required but will make the shipping process faster.
Integrated Web Site
I am not a web site designer (as you can tell by looking at this site). I can design a web site for you, but it would be more functional than beautiful. If you want me to design your web site, that design time is billed at my normal hourly rate. A good design can require 40 hours or more of work.
The normal flow for implementing the web site is:
- You hire a person/firm to design the site. (You pay them directly.)
- I provide technical specifications to the design firm.
- You work with the design firm directly until you are satisfied with the results, keeping me in the loop along the way.
- The design firm delivers a complete HTML file for each type of page on the web site (e.g. home page, category page, product page, checkout pages).
- I integrate the provided HTML files into the system.
I bill by the hour for my work in this. The time required varies depending on the complexity of the site and if any re-work is needed from the designer. A typical implementation requires 20 - 40 hours.
Web Site Important Notes
- I have found that using WordPress to design the web pages is not a viable option. HTML generated by WordPress typically violates #4 below.
- The system (base system or web site) does not currently integrate with other web systems (e.g. WordPress, Shopify, etc.) (Not to say that it could not, but does not currently do so. It would be a significant development effort to integrate.) The only way for a web site to be integrated with the system is by doing an HTML-based integration, following the technical specifications below. Other eCommerce systems might work by downloading order files (and maybe uploading availability files).
Web Site Design Technical Specifications
- The design is to be mobile-first: works very well on mobile and is acceptable on other devices.
- The final deliverables: HTML, CSS and JS files along with supporting images. Each of those files types should be in it's own directory. We should be able to view a fully operational site by unzipping the files onto a computer.
- Many of the pages you deliver will be converted into templates with details added dynamically.
- The entire site must have standard header, footer and possibly navigation bar that are exactly the same across
the entire site. Each page must use exactly the same js and css files.
Conceptually, each page should be able to "include" the header and footer surrounding the main page content.
There are no exceptions to this.
- The design must include a design for each of the pages listed below.
- Design should include the following types of pop-up messages. Include a demo page to show these. Simple pop up with title, js callback on OK. Pop up with OK & Cancel buttons (js callbacks for each).
- Checkout pages should have a progress indicator of some kind.
- Site must include a optional banner that will be added dynamically. The site must work equally well with and without the banner. The banner is used for special notifications.
- Pages with data entry must have a place to display error and success messages
- Nav bar must show cart item count
Here is the current list of page types required. There may be more depending on your implementation.
- Home page
- Category page - list of products
- Product page
- Available now
- Search results
- Cart page
- Checkout start / new customer
- Date selection
- Shipping address, add new address
- Payment page, add new credit card
- Confirmation page
- Order complete
- Account login and new customer
- Account menu
- Account/order list
- Account/order details
- Account / change password
- Account / address book
- Account / add or edit address
- Account / phones
- Account / add or edit phone (several dynamic sections)
- Account / credit cards
- Account / add or edit credit card
- Account / change email
- Newsletter signup
- "Static" content only page (the system includes a very basic Content Management System for these)
- Contact form with Captcha
- Password reset