I need to redesign the website for the company. Completely. It's going to have to have some sort of shopping cart feature on it to sell things such as Readers for the universities and colleges around here, as well as being upgradeable to the point that we can use it eventually as an online quote/order system for user-created documents. Now the first part of that isn't very hard... There's lots of eCommerce shopping cart code out there, and lots of it is free. My issue is finding one that I A)don't have to code myself, and B)will be able to fiddle with enough in the future to be able to properly give prices for online reprographics orders.
Here'e the fun part: I'm going to have to do -everything- for it. Everything from designing the layout to doing the hard coding, to figuring out where we are hosting it. If we're hosting it ourselves here at our corporate office, I'm going to have to figure out the cost of a webserver, all the needed certs to do secure transactions, not to mention what server software base I'm using and what server language I'm going to use. That's where I need advice.
I know that I have enough geek friends on my friends list that can offer advice on the best way to do this. So start brainstorming with me here...
What are the advantages of hosting it ourself over having a third party host it for us? (security, complete access to computer, etc?)
What O/S should we start with?
What server? (Apache, MS IIS, ColdFusion, etc)
What server-side language? (CFM, PHP, ASP, etc)
What database type? (MSSQL, MySQL, Access, ??? I don't know)
Anything that I obviously haven't thought of would be a great help too... :)