Alastair’s Place

Software development, Cocoa, Objective-C, life. Stuff like that.

Company Website Update

I’ve just finished a marathon site update on my company web site. It’s probably quite hard to see what has changed, but here’s a short list:

  • Automatic(!) localised pricing (U.S., Europe and U.K.)
  • VAT support (although the company isn’t VAT registered yet…), including support for both physical and downloadable products, with correct allocation of VAT, including E.U. distance selling thresholds. That doesn’t mean it’s fully automated, of course, because it isn’t possible to do that at present.
  • Invoicing, including both text-based invoices sent by e-mail and, in parallel, the same information presented on the web.
  • Integration with a proper credit-card handler (i.e., not PayPal). PayPal’s great, especially in Europe where it’s properly regulated, but a lot of people don’t like it—plus you have to sign-up for an account in order to use it. Well, OK, if you’re a U.S. merchant, then you can make sign-up optional, but those of us in the rest of the world don’t have that option.
  • Finally, the beginnings of a usable back-end… still not really finished, but it’ll save me from at least some command line SQL. It’s even got some SVG-based graphs, which I’m quite pleased with (although as a customer, you wouldn’t be able to see them).
  • Re-vamped customer area, including the ability for customers to view and edit their own details, download software, generate licence keys, and view past purchases.
  • Support for account customers.
  • “Shopping Cart” support, which makes it easier for people to purchase more than once licence at a time.
  • (Hopefully) even better support for accented and other non-ASCII characters. The entire site is now UTF-8 based (previously only the My Keys area used UTF-8).
  • Built-in support for e-mail announcements, which means that customers only have to keep a single address updated, and also means that it isn’t necessary to copy their addresses across periodically to keep a separate bit of list software up to date.

There are still plenty of things to come, including a new product, which should be available for beta test late this month.