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GIMP Gone from Sourceforge

GIMP Download Moved from Sourceforge to Gimp.org

gimp gone from sourceforge thumbnailThe GIMP Windows installer package download was removed from Sourceforge by the developers of the software. Citing the recent changes made by Sourceforge where their own so-called “installer” package is pushed in visitors faces, GIMP announced they could not expose GIMP users to this practice.

The GIMP is available directly from www.gimp.org and this is the only download anyone looking the application should use now.

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Which ERP Solution

ERP Solutions for Small Business – Which One?

ERP or Enterprise Resource Planning Solutions are the next step up from a basic accounting package.

An ERP system integrates internal and external management information across an entire organization; finance/accounting, manufacturing, sales and service, customer relationship management, etc. ERP systems automate this activity with an integrated software application. The purpose of ERP is to facilitate the flow of information between all business functions inside the boundaries of the organization… (Wikipadia.org)

ERP Solutions are not for everyone. First of all they are much more complicated to set-up and get working, and a a lot harder to use somatimes too. They can also cost a lot of money. Most small business owners may be satisfied with a basic accounting system, e.g. Quickbooks or similar. But what about the business profesional starting his (or her) own small enterprise, but coming form a corproate or large business envirnment: Such person will be used to a fully integrated system to manage all aspects of the business from a central point, using a single software application.

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WP Online Store Plugin

WP Online Store Plugin Review

WP Online Store Plugin: The FREE WordPress e-commerce plugin integrating the osCommerce online store system with a WordPress website. WP Online Store is the WordPress integration of the Open Source osCommerce e-commerce platform.

WP Online Store PluginThe WP Online Store Plugin brings a full featured osCommerce site into a WordPress website framework. The plugin is not theme dependent like so many other WordPress e-commerce solutions. Some of the other solutions only work properly with themes specially designed for the plugin/system.  This feature allows a store owner to create a great looking website for their online store.

WP Online Store Site Optimisation

The excellent SEO aspect of WordPress allows for a very strong website. E-commerce website are notoriously hard to get rated by search engines. With Google so content driven, any site needs a lot of good content. Short product descriptions and so on are not Google friendly. Strong, original product features however can be content rich, exactly what Google looks for.

While highly detailed content may added to an osCommerce store, too much of this makes the shopping experience somewhat clumsy. In my opinion, a well written and optimised page describing a product, winked to the product in the store catalogue is an ideal, if work intensive, option. Product descriptions in the store catalogue can be concise and to the point, a brief overview of the main features and the most important specifications, with links to the description page for more detailed information.

WP Online Store for Large Catalogues

The WP Online Store Plugin integration of osCommerce is ideally suited to large product  catalogues. In the case of my store, a comprehensive range of computer products will be available aimed at Southern African buyers. The structure of the WP Online Store osCommerce solution permits products to be categorised by type e.g. motherboards, graphic cards and so on, placed in sub categories within these categories, as well as by manufacturer. Further Product Attributes (providing product options) can also be used, e.g. differentiating between different motherboard CPU sockets and chip-sets.

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osCommerce e-store

OsCommerce logo

WPOnlineStore e-store for Graphicline

Finally, after several days trying e-commerce solutions, I am going to use osCommerce and WordPress for the PC store with the WPOnlineStore system.

As I mentioned, the Drupal 7 option requires several unstable modules; after running up a development Drupal system, there were clearly going to be some problems with the plugins that I don’t intend to spend time fixing.

WordPress commerce systems tried included WP E-Commerce, wpStoreCart and finally osCommerce which worked out the best of the lot, and is the easiest to set up as well requiring just a shortcaode added to a single page to create a full online store.

osCommerce with Mystique screenshot

Click image for larger view

osCommerce is highly configurable with lots of functionality, and provided the appearance I was looking for anyway. A WordPress theme, probably Mystique, will be used on the front end; it looks good on the testing server, and matches some of our other themes (as well as this blog).

The Mystique theme is the Ajax powered version 3.1 from Digital Nature which also offers numerous options. Possibly using this theme is overkill as the WordPress part of the production store will be very basic, not much more than a front end for the shop.

The latest WordPress version will be used, version 3.3

osCommerce SSL Support

Another useful feature, osCommerce supports SSL (secure Socket Layer) adding security to the site for financial transactions. Although not required at the moment as only PayPal and Online transfer payment methods will e used, should the need to accept credit cards directly arise, the basics are already in place.

Other e-commerce systems tested:

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