1. Compare and contrast each of the sites below.

Shopify was one the better shopping carts of the 6 listed.

It cost $29 /mo

Social media integratabtle: facebook, pintrest

Offers the user the choices of a online store or point of sale store.

Number of products  listed: unlimited

24/ hour support

No transaction fees

Unlimited file storage

You can use any hosting that you want, as well…. I loved shopify


There is no charge to use this cart service and it is paypal integratabtle , as well

Allows the user to make many changes to the design of the cart.

Big Cartel: 

Seems to be marketed towards craftspeople/artist

basic plan cost: $ 9.99/mo

25 products only allowed in their basic plan

no coding required

5 images only allowed per product

Big Commerce:

Basic Plan: $ 29.95

Unlimited products

unlimited hosting

unlimited bandwidth

Accepts credit cards/ paypal

1.5% transaction fee


Free to use

Sell’s templates of carts from $ 124 and up…

Doesn’t require hosting, if you use their cloud.

Mobile responsive

1 Shopping Cart: 

$ 18.95/mo

Unlimited products

1 GB online storage included

Use their  templates or own designs

2. Compare and contrast hosting options available for use with shopping cart software.

Hosting options:  Unlimited hosting on big  commerce, compared to the rest… was a better deal.

3. Discuss shopping cart vulnerabilities and best-practice preventative measures.

Shopping carts are vulnerable to viruses and attacks.

Zen Cart is vulnerable to quite a number of different attacks, and in some circumstances may allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the underlying web server with the rights of the httpd process. In addition to remote code execution several different SQL Injection attacks may be possible.

4. What software is needed to install and setup pre-built shopping cart software.

Depends on the shopping cart you use…..

Paypal seems to be the most convenient  pre-built shopping cart software.

5. Pick a shopping cart of your choice and install and configure the program.

I like shopify, but will go with paypal.

1. Describe the differences between Transaction Layer Security (TLS) and its predecessor, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL).

SSL:  Encrypted connection between web server and visitors browser allowing for private information to be transmitted without eavesdropping, data tampering or message forgery.

TLS:  The successor of SSL.  It ensures privacy between communication applications and their users. When, a client and server communicate, TLS  ensures no eavesdropping.

Explain transaction security:  A system for ensuring security of financial transactions over the internet.

What are security and payment processing issues involved in developing a site (e.g., SSL, Digital Certificates, SET Protocol, Cyber Cash)?

The issues are developing a site that consumers feel is secure, no one wants to fall victim to identity theft.  SSL security certificate is critical. SSL certificates prevent cyber criminals from intercepting financial data. They encrypt credit card numbers/ passwords/ log -ins.

Extended validation is considered the best bet, when developing a e-commerce site. It requires a more thorough authentication process.

What is https and htaccess?

htaccess:  A directory level user authorization method. It resides in a directory and indicates which users or groups can be allowed access to files contained in that directory.

https:  Secure version of http, the protocol over which data is sent between the browser and website you are connected to.

How to obtain an SSL certificate and secure transactions?

  1. have a  host with dedicated IP address
  2.  Go to and pick a SSL certificate from basic to extended validation
  3. Buy certificate
  4. Install certificate
  5. Update your site using HTTPS

Compare and contrast the appropriateness of employing a merchant account or a payment gateway to handle online transactions. 

Merchant accounts/Payment Processor: hosted by the processing company. After customers submit their payment information, they are sent back to the  e-commerce website.

Payment gateways: Integrate directly within the consumers shopping cart. The transaction is invisible to customers.

Comparison:   Payment processors give merchants a bit of freedom, they don’t have to worry about securing financial transactions. The payment processor takes care of it for them.(ex. paypal or google pay)

Payment gateways requires merchants to obtain a SSL certificate to protect credit cards.

Discuss the process, advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with opening a merchant account.

Paypal is free to set up their basic merchant account. They only charge 2.9% + $0.30 on each transaction. The advantage is it is a secure process, the disadvantage is users have to leave your website to make purchases to the payment processor.

Describe the process, advantages, disadvantages, and costs associated with using a payment gateway.

Biggest advantage is the process is invisible to users it is integrated in the shopping cart. Cost are securing a SSL certificate basic or EV. Disadvantage is  you have to worry about credit card user’s security.