The Gold Market

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thegoldmarket.jpgWe finally have live a jewelry store we did for a client in Italy. The store is called The Gold Market, but unfortunately the URL is not the same - that name was hijacked sometime ago (the client had it registered but lost it - like millions of other small businesses have). You can find the site at:

We tried to do this job as inexpensively as we could for the client. I will try to give you an idea of what the means from a web designer/developers prospective.

First, since the client is in Italy, we had to find an e-commerce solution that would work with their banks, etc. I did a pretty thorough search and came to a lot of dead ends. I finally decided that Zen Cart could give us what we needed in a shopping cart (too much really) and decided to use PayPal for all forms of payment (Zen Cart has a pretty straight forward integration with Pay Pal).

One of the reasons I went with Zen Cart was that I found a pretty decent template for a jewelry store that I planned to adapt to fit our clients needs. In hindsight this may not have been the best way to start with Zen Cart - I may have learned more about their templates and page creation options, etc. if I started with their default template (which is so ugly though it may scare you away from the solution altogether).

Anyway - we ended up changing the template quite a bit. You can change most of the layout of the page from the control panel (where things show up, when they show, etc.) and you can change fonts, colors, and other elements from the style sheet. We now have a custom header in place, and have changed most of the colors.

The most time consuming part of this project was getting the photos of the jewelry. We went through a couple of fits and starts, and once we did finally get the images, we did spend some time doing some extra editing. Then you have to upload the images, put all the products info in, etc. Zen Cart handles this all pretty well - but it does take time when you create 50 new items.

So the site is now live, but we have yet to do any promotion. Depending on what the client wants to spend we will take some time to submit the URL to search engines, make some blog posts about it, and look for directories and other places where it is appropriate to list it. On their end they need to figure out who is going to be in charge of filling the orders!

This project came in at about $5,000 US. That included registering the domain and finding the host, installing the shopping cart, designing the cart and site, inventory upload, and PayPal integration. If you need an on-line shopping solution, give us a shout.

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