Dull stuff you need to know if setting up a web-based business
You can't make websites without getting involved in geeky and dull stuff eventually .. but I promise to make it as easy as possible and give you just the information you'll need to set up your basic website.
Don't be put off by the headings - read on, as you'll need to have at least an awareness of this stuff ...
If you're going to sell, take money or send money, you must get your security right.
Until you're making millions of pounds and can afford the best and most secure website design company in the land, I'd personally advise you to send any financial transactions through Paypal or Google Checkout.
Read up a bit on it via Verisign's website and you'll see why I'm telling you that ...
Data protection issues
The Data Protection Act 1998 governs the use of personal information by businesses and other organisations.
If your business requires that you store people's personal details, such as customer or employee records, then you must comply with the Act.
Check out the businesslink.gov.uk data protection section
Check out smallbusiness.co.uk data protection info
webcredible.co.uk on the Disability Discrimination Act and websites
Websites are covered by Part 3 of the DDA relating to the provision of goods, facilities and services.
All website owners are required to make 'reasonable adjustments' to ensure that it is reasonably easy for disabled people to make use of their website.
The guidelines within the W3C Website Accessibility Initiative (WAI) are widely accepted as the starting point for assessing accessibility.
Further recomended reading
businesslink.gov.uk has an excellent section on accessibility
Using other websites with useful info
Choose the trusted mark of high assurance for Internet security and enable the strongest SSL encryption available to every site visitor.
This section covers the basics of information securitywith introductions to encryption, PKI (public key infrastructure), information security in business, passwords and email encryption. Links to SSL spoofing demos are provided so you can see how easy it is for someone to spoof a web page or an entire web site.
Check out the IT seection of the businesslink website. Not only is this an excellent website, this section specifically about IT is extremely useful and informative.
Don't be put off the weird website name, their reading room has a whole stack of useful security information. This is not for the casual e-commercer, read this section if online security is going to be a big ussue for your business.
W3C is a forum for information, commerce, communication, and collective understanding. You'll see many
mentions about W3C guidelines ... not everyone agrees they're essential and you'll need to make up your own mind. Like them or not, you should at least be aware of what they say. For dissenters check out this forum thread and this blog post.