Welcome To Building An Ecommerce Website

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day…Teach a man to fish and he will never go hungry”

This site is for beginners looking to create an ecommerce website for free. Ecommerce is such an expanding field that today there are very few businesses that do not have a web page and there are many that exist entirely online. There are many advantages to having an online business and I’m sure if you are reading this you are familiar with some of them. The primary advantage of having your business online is the savings made on not having to upkeep a premisis or even sometimes pay staff. Other advantages include automated sales and the ability to reach a wider market than if you just had a store front. Anyone with internet access anywhere in the world can browse your products or services. My goal through this website is twofold. First I want to pass on my own experiences building an ecommerce website and secondaly share the wealth of knowledge out there.

So where do you start. Well as someone famous once said ‘nothing is created without first a dream’. Planning is crucial to the success of your site and sitting down and deciding exactly what you want from your site will save you time, money and frustrations later on down the road. This site is designed with the beginner in mind. I try to avoid using code or scripts and therefore much of the site is focused towards the content management system Joomla.

How to Use This Site

1. Read through the pages on planning your site

2. Read and watch my set of Joomla Beginner video tutorials on getting your website up and running

3. Read and watch the tutorials on adding components.

4. Come back from time to time to read my blog posts and comment on how your site is going

I wish you all the success in creating your own site


Selling files on your site

I recently started a new website and wanted to enable users to be able to download resources from my site. I also wanted to have control over the resources and what was downloaded. So i went on the search. In the past I had used a Joomla 1.5 free program but having recenmtly upgraded to 1.6 it wouldnt work so i decided to choose DMS document seller.

I was won over by its simple to use features –

All you need to do is set up the categories you are going to include, uplaod the files and then create documents.

Documents Seller (aka DMS) is a Joomla 1.5 & Joomla 1.6, Joomla 1.7 extension developed by Ossolution Team to allow selling your downloadable products : Documents, Ebooks, Softwares, Joomla extensions, Joomla templates and get paid via Paypal, Authorize.net, Eway MoneyBooker and Offline payment payment gateway. It also allows your site members to upload and sell their own documents (If you turn on this feature) on your site.
Note : In version 2.6.0, we just released 10 new payment plugins for Documents Seller. They are : Paypal Pro, Google Checkout, FirstData , Moneybookers, 2Checkout, Authorize.net SIM, Worldpay, Alertpay, DPS Px Pay, MIGS: MasterCard Internet Gateway Service (Australia).Now, Documents Seller supports total 13 different payment gateways .

How it works :    1. Customers go to your site, browse for documents and choose the documents which they want to purchase.

2. Customer fill in order form, pay for the selected documents using one on of available payment gateway .

3. Administrator will received an email notification about the order .

4. Customers will receive an confirmation email about the order. In this email, they can get the purchased documents (sent as attachments if you enable this feature). They can also get the documents by clicking on the download links sent in this email (if you enable this feature) .

5. Customers can come back to your site later to download future versions of the purchased documents. Of course, you can limit this download by time or by number of downloads (see explanation below) .

6. Administrator can manage these orders from back-end .


Features :    1. Nested categories : DMS allows you to organize your documents cross infinite categories and subcategories.    2. Documents management : DMS allows you to upload documents, enter document description,  setup price and download restrictions from back-end of your site. From version 2.5.7, a document can be assigned to multiple categories.    3. Flexible download restrictions : You can limit download by time or by number of download.    4. Multi-payment gateways support : Right now, DMS support Paypal, authorize.net, EWAY and Moneybooker payment gateways. We will continue working and adding more payment gateways to the extensions in the near future.    5. Allows you to collect user’s information (first name, last name…) when they download your FREE document (this is configurable, mean you can turn this feature of) .    6. Offline payment support .    7. Orders management : You can manage orders from back-end, assign an order to a user, export orders into csv format to view it in MS office application .    8. Powerful tags system .    9. Support sh404 (the extension has sh404 plugin to generate SEF Urls)    10. From verion 2.5.7, DMS allows your site members to upload documents for selling. When creating new document, user can enter the paypal account for this document. When someone purchase document, money will be tr

Lost Password for Back End of my Joomla Site

How do you recover your admin password?

Sources From Joomla! Documentation

Normally, you can add, edit and delete users and passwords from the back-end User Manager. To do this, you must be logged in as a member of the Super Administrator group.

In some situations, this may not be possible. For example, your site may have been “hacked” and had the passwords or users changed. Or perhaps the person who knew the passwords is no longer available. Or maybe you have forgotten the password that was used.

In these cases, it is still possible to fix up the Joomla! database so you can log back in as a Super Administrator. There are three possible methods discussed below.

Use the Lost Password Feature

If you have access to the email address that was used for the admin user, and you have made the “lost password” feature available on the front end, the simplest thing is to do is to use the “lost password” Front-end function. The site will send an e-mail to the user’s e-mail address and allow you to change the password.

If this method will not work, you have two other options, both of which require working with the MySQL database directly.

Change the Password in the Database

If the admin user is still defined, the simplest option is to change the password in the database to a known value. This requires that you have access to the MySQL database using phpMyAdmin.

  1. Navigate to phpMyAdmin and select the database for the Joomla! site in the left-hand drop-down list box. This will show the database tables on the left side of the screen.
  2. Click on the table “jos_users” in the list of tables.
  3. Click on the “Browse” button in the top toolbar. This will show all of the users that are set up for this site.
  4. Find the user whose password you want to change and press the Edit icon for this row.
  5. A form will display that allows you to edit the password field. Copy the value

    into the password field and press the Go button. phpMyAdmin should display the message “Affected rows: 1”. At this point, the password should be changed to “secret”.

  6. Log in with this user and password and change the password of this user to a secure value. Check all of the users using the User Manager to make sure they are legitimate. If you have been hacked, you may want to change all of the passwords on the site.

Add a New Super Administrator User

If changing the password won’t work, or you aren’t sure which user is a member of the Super Administrator group, you can use this method to create a new user.

  1. Navigate to phpMyAdmin and select the database for the Joomla! site in the left-hand drop-down list box. This will show the database tables on the left side of the screen.
  2. Press the “SQL” button in the toolbar to run a SQL query on the selected database. This will display a field called “Run SQL query/queries on database <your database>”.
  3. Delete any text in this field and paste in the following and press the Go button.
INSERT INTO `jos_users` (`id`, `name`, `username`, `email`, `password`, `usertype`, `block`, `sendEmail`, `gid`, `registerDate`, `lastvisitDate`) VALUES (NULL, ‘Administrator2’, ‘admin2’, ‘your-email@yourdomain.com’, ‘d2064d358136996bd22421584a7cb33e:trd7TvKHx6dMeoMmBVxYmg0vuXEA4199’, ‘Super Administrator’, 0, 1, 25, ‘0000-00-00 00:00:00’, ‘0000-00-00 00:00:00’); INSERT INTO `jos_core_acl_aro` VALUES (NULL, ‘users’, LAST_INSERT_ID(), 0, ‘Administrator’, 0); INSERT INTO `jos_core_acl_groups_aro_map` VALUES (25, ”, LAST_INSERT_ID());

At this point, you should be able to log into the back end of Joomla! with the username of “admin2” and password of “secret”. After logging in, go to the User Manager and change the password to a secure value and the e-mail to a valid e-mail address. If there is a chance you have been “hacked”, be sure to check that all users are legitimate, especially any members of the Super Administrator group.

The examples above change the password to “secret”. Two other possible values are shown below:

- password = "this is the MD5 and salted hashed password"
- admin  = 433903e0a9d6a712e00251e44d29bf87:UJ0b9J5fufL3FKfCc0TLsYJBh2PFULvT
- secret = d2064d358136996bd22421584a7cb33e:trd7TvKHx6dMeoMmBVxYmg0vuXEA4199
- OU812  = 5e3128b27a2c1f8eb53689f511c4ca9e:J584KAEv9d8VKwRGhb8ve7GdKoG7isMm

Turned on Debug in the Global Admin and can’t access site

I have seen that turning on debug can cause problems with some Joomla sites. if you have accidently clicked this setting and you are now locked out of your site this is how to fix it.

1. go into your cpanel for your site and then enter the file manager

2. Open the file ‘configuration.php’ you might need to change access to the file so it lets you write to it.

3. Go down and find the line in the code that looks like this

“var $debug = ‘1’;” 

and replace it with 

“var $debug = ‘0’”

Basically you are just telling your Joomla site to turn debugging off

4. Now go back to your Joomla site and the problem should be fixed

please feel free to comment

You can deactivate debug modifying the file configuration.php from the root of your joomla instance.
Just replace “;”.

Setting up Social Advertising ‘tell a friend’ extension

I have been looking at ways to promote my site and Social Media advertising is the latest promotion tool for website administrators. By putting a simple Facebook or Twiter link you give people who visit your site a way of instantly telling their friends.

Joomla has many extensions that let you do this. I road tested the open source Tell a Friend module for Joomla and incorporated it into my website. 

The only confusing part about the installing and settig up the module is the registration process.  For the module to work you need to register with Social Twist. The registration process is easy you just select register and social twist creates for you a code that if yo had a conventional website you would paste onto the page or section you wanted your tell a friend box to appear.  What you do if you are installing the Joomla Tell a friend module is find within the code your identification number. Its easy to find as its a long number in the code.

You install the module and then open it in module manager. There is a spot in the module configuration panel that lets you enter the code.

Once you have entered the code the module is like any other module that appears on your site.  Good luck setting this up and if you run into any problems please feel free to comment below.

Setting up ck Forms on your Site

I recently set up a website and needed to incorporate a form to allow users to submit information. I have used the form component provided with Joomla in teh past but it always seemed such an effort to configure and it doesnt really give you that many options. I found CK Forms and tested it before installation.

It does exactly what it’s supposed to Ive created a professional loking form and it took about half an hour to set up. The only negative is the setting of it up. You need to configure every field individually. Now ok I like having the control to do this but the developers could have at least put in the basic fields like name and email address to give you examples of what a typical field might look like.

ck field display

The field options allow you to choose the text type to ensure field validation. This means your users have to enter the correct details to complete teh form.

The last thing to do after you have created your fields is to create a submit and reset button. Now this really threw me as you would think that all forms need a submit button but no you have to create one. You do this by going into create new field and selecting button and submit as the type of button you want.

To set up the mail configuration you click on the form and then go to the e-mail tab. Here you can set the email you want the results delivered to and also the message sent to users when they have submitted the form.

ck forms front end

An added feature of the form is the editable region on the form. This allows your users to submit html layout. They can put in headings, graphics and layout the text to their liking. Alternatively you do have the option to turn this off and just have them submit normal text.

The component also allows you to add text onto this page at any point. You do this through the field configuration pages. You select the field and then click on the advanced tab. This brings up a space to add custom text below the field.

I do recommend this component as it is easy to use and configure. Please feel free to comment or ask a question below.

Working with Ads Manager

I recently built a website that advertised trades jobs. I wanted to allow my users to be able to post adverts on my site. I had trouble with the layout of Ads Manager last time I used it. It is really restrictive when it comes to teh layout of the Ad’s. You adjust the layout in the fields section. Then  like most edits in Joomla you need to go back to the front end and see what it looks like.

The other issue I’ve had is that setting up the website has been really easy now getting people to use the website seems to be the hard work. You arenot really going to post a job on a website that has no jobs listed and you arnt going to hang around long if there are no companies listed either. So the tast now is to collect customers.

I really do recommend ads manager as it is so easy to configureand it is straight forward for the end user to use also.

If you have any problems or glitches please feel free to comment

I’ve Lost the template on all of my pages how do i get it back?

In a recent attempt to get my website to be more seo friendly I decided i would enable the short url’s on my Joomla site only to find that when I did this they took away all of the template settings on every page except for the front page. So in effect all i had was text and no template or page formatting. So the first thing I always do when i run into a problem is to retrace my steps. Unclicking the short Url button did get me back my template and order was restored to the world once again.

How to Add a Favicon to My page

I have noticed for a while that my web pages didnt have the little icon image up the top of each page tab so I hunted around for a solution to the problem. It is a really simple solution but one that was not easy to find.

Ok,  here is how you change the favicon to whatever you want for your site. Ok the short version of these instructions is to create a favicon icon and put it in your defult template folder. Here is the long version for people who like things explained.


Step one – Go into your host cpanel and go into the Joomla files


Step two – Find the template folder and find the folder holding the template that your Joomla site is running and open the folder.


Step three – You need to have an icon file to put in this folder. You cant just put a picture in as it wont work. You need to get your logo and shrink it down to 16×16 PNG or GIF file.


Step four – Once you have done this you need to convert this file to a favicon.ico file. I called mine favicon so I wouldn’t get it confused with the other image files. To convert your file you can go to Dynamic Drive and use their “FavIcon Generator.


Step five – Once you have done this you open the defult template folder and upload the favicon.icon into the folder.  If this does not work then the advice from the how to Joomla website is to put the Icon in your images folder.

Welcome to my E-commerce site building Blog

Please Visit my website I use to support this blog www.freecommercewebsite.com here you will find all the resources you need to build your own Joomla site.

Welcome to my ecommernce site building blog. It has been a work in progress for some time and I have added to It as I have encountered problems. Im creating it as a how to guide as I become frustrated trying to navigate through forums to find answers to my questions. Often these answers are over complicated and don’t take into consideration people who have no programming knowledge at all. Please feel free to use this blog as a resource for any of your Joomla problems. if you have a prblem type the key words into the search box above  alternativly, if you have a new problem please feel free to post a question in the comment box below.

if you are starting out and want to build a free ecommerce site then please browse the pages of this blog and visit my website at www.freecommercewebsite.com

I want to change You are not authorised to view this resource to something meaningful

It has been some time since i have written anything up here but i have come across a solution I thought i would write up.

I have a link that allows my users to add links from thier site. My website is called www.freecommercewebsite.com and i wanted to change the

“You are not authorised to view this source”


“Please register or log in to view this page”

To do this you need to go into your sites files. I know what you are thinking oh no i dont want to go into the site files as i might break something. I have the same feeling eveytime i play around with php or any scripting page. Dont worry it is easy to do and here is how.

1. Go to your file manager and open your joomla files up

2. Open the Languages files (there are three files in here)

3. Find the file called ‘en-GB’ and open it.

4. In the en-GB folder you will find a file called en-GB.ini

5. Click on this file to select it and click at the top of your file manager edit.

6. it will open and you will see a long list of code that gives all the messages you get when you do things in your Joomla site.

7. Go to the sentence in the code that reads ‘you are not authorised to view this source’ and replace it with your own message.

8. Click save and the job is done. Try to access a page to see if it works

Hope this helps