Friday, December 26, 2008

DNS blues and Google Checkout

My hosting company (who has been having more and more problems lately) has apparently been having some kind of DNS problems all day. People have been able to see the site, and then not. It's kind of random. If you're seeing this things can't be too bad, but if you run into any problems I'd just try again later. Also apparently they've had email problems all day - as far as I know I haven't been affected but I wouldn't necessarily know, you know? If you've written and I haven't replied you might want to resend just in case. (Update: Everything seems OK now but if you got a bounce it wasn't one of these ones where it resends later - you need to resend your mail. Sorry about that.).

On the plus side I revisited Google Checkout today and they added a shopping cart option. I'd investigated them in March and they had the ability to buy one item, and the ability to integrate with a cart, but not to use their own cart. I'm trying to get away from dependence on eBay and PayPal (both companies can be very frustrating) and long term I'll probably end up with a full merchant account and shopping cart software but as a baby step this will be a nice option.

I set up a clone of my sample page with both checkout systems. The red add to cart ovals (OK, orange, but play along) are PayPal and the blue ones are Google Checkout. (Choose the red pill or blue pill?) As a limited test I've set the lab prints to the same introductory pricing I offer for a couple of days after I upload a new set. The threshold for free shipping is lower, too. I'm hoping that people will buy some prints for it so I can test everything out. I'll leave it up for... oh, probably a couple of days but no promises. I'll probably be fiddling with it and if I run into serious problems or get plenty of test data (i.e. "sales") I'll just take it down.

Curious? Want to save some money? You can test it out over here. Let me know what you think (email's over in the sidebar on the right) but please focus on the functionality, not the looks. I haven't really tried to make it pretty yet.


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