I finally dragged myself out of an immense lethargy to continue with my experiment.
A quick read-up on Magento (trolling the web for reviews) shows that one needs to get a decent hosting package to get the best out of it. I searched for a reasonable hosting (reasonable meaning I wouldn’t be putting up my neighbors for sale just to pay for the hosting) and decided on Siteground.com. They have a mix of good pricing and features. Awoof dey run belle!
A background check is important as a bad host can ruin you. If you are not the reading type, trust me, you are on your own.
Before paying, I ran some checks on the customer service. This is to actually confirm the high reviews they have online. You can always know the quality of support from a company by trying to chat or talk to the customer service. If they treat you less than stellar, ask for the exit.
I was pleasantly surprised about the customer service checks. I tried to pay but then some dude called me to confirm that realness. I don’t know why; maybe it’s the standard practice or the location of my IP. Anyway, I’m legit so I paid. The best means of payment is using your debit card (credit card still don’t show up regularly around here). But if your bank doesn’t offer a card (MasterCard or Visa) that can be used anywhere in the world, then you are out of luck. Alternatively you could try using prepaid. You can buy a Naira Visa prepaid card from any UBA branch. It costs just N1,500. When you are done with buying whatever you want online, you can still rock the card anywhere in the world. Provided you fund it; that should be obvious.
Setup was easy. They did the installation free of charge and it was painless.
You also need to slap an SSL on top of the website if any bank would take you serious. Actually, it is standard that you must have an SSL for a shopping website. Would you shop in a mall when you can get easily mauled? Get it? An SSL cost as much as hosting so please double your budget.
The next stage would be to get a merchant ID and collection account from a bank. The payment gateway I want to use is called Consolidated Internet Payment Gateway (CIPG). It’s available from some 6 banks or so. It consolidates all the available payment options in Nigeria today, ETranzact, MasterCard, Verve and Visa into a single page. The alternative would be to integrate with InterSwitch, ValuCard and ETranzact independently. Trust me, you will be dead before you are done.
By the way, it is not related to Consolidated Breweries even though the config can make you feel dizzy sometimes.
That’s enough for today. Once the bank processes the form, we can start with the integration.
Wish me luck.