Database Driven websites

Whilst a database can open up a variety of options, a common application might be to add or edit products in an online store. On the public side of the site, this would enable visitors to view products, search for products, and view product details.

  • Add / Edit Records
  • Product Search
  • Search Results
  • Product Details

Add / Edit RecordsAny website that has a database back end will have an admin section that you, the site owner, can log in to in order to add, edit, or delete records to various database tables.

These will form the basis for any public facing pages, such as an online store. The example to the left is a simple page showing how new items can be added to an online clothes store.

As well as manually entering text, information can be added using drop dowm lists (eg to select colour), or by using checkboxes. These have the advantages of eliminating mistakes whilst adding records, and makes the process faster.

Product SearchOnce data has been added to your database, you can set up pages that list various records from any of the database tables.

The real power of a database however, lies in providing visitors to the site with the ability to search for items stored in your database.

Any search page can be extremely flexible, allowing visitors to search on any appropriate fields. Again, drop down lists or checkboxes can be used to make it as easy as possible.

The example to the left shows a search on our sample clothes store, which also allows users to search for items with a minimum and maximum price.

Search ResultsThe page to the left shows an example search results page.

In this example there is just a single result, but your search results page would usually be set to list multiple matching records.

You can list the main fields here, which can be set to be re-ordered in different ways, for example alphabetically, or from least expensive to most expensive.

From here, visitors would be able to click on any product to view full details of that product.

Product DetailsThe final page in the sequence shows the full details of any product selected from the search results page.

Although a common application of databases, this is just one example. The same could be used to provide listings of stock, even if isn't available for sale through your website, such as on the MPH Vehicle Solutions website, or to list vacancies for available jobs as is the case on the SearchTech UK site.

Or, you may simply want to store contact details of potential customers in order to bulk email them details of any offers, promotions etc.

This should give you some idea of the sorts of ways a database may add useful functionality to your website, with or without an online store. If you have any questions, or want to know more, just get in touch and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have.

eCommerce Sites and Online Stores

Although there are several ways in which a database can add functionality to a website, it is an essential part of any fully functioning online store in which you, the site owner, has full control over adding, editing and deleting products to your online store.

What You'll Need


1. A website, including bespoke shopping cart in keeping with the site's design, built by us.

2. A Merchant Bank Account in order to accept card payments. You can find out more on the Business Link website here :

Merchant Bank Accounts

3. An account with a Payment Processor to handle the card payments on a dedicated secure server. For our sites, we use the UK's leading Payment Processor, Sage Pay :

Sage Pay Payment Processing

The way it all works is that customers visit your site, and add products to the site's cart as required. The cart will keep track of what is in the cart, the total cost of items in the cart, and any postage costs.

The total cost is then passed to Sage Pay's secure site, where the customers will make their card payments on Sage Pay's secure site. And finally, the customer is passed back to a confirmation (or payment failure) page on your site. They will also receive an email confirmation of the sale.