1) when we ask the user to enter his email and then confirm it by entering it again and also when we ask the user to enter a pw and then confirm it - the message "the two entered emails/pw do not match" appear too soon. it gets shown just after the first email or pw is entered and the user begins to enter it again. How can we ensure that the message is shown only AFTER the second round of the email/pw is entered AND only if they do not match up??
This way they won't see an error message while they haven't even finished composing the form fields that the message says are in error.
2) do you know of any free or decently cheap asp.net servers that allow for email verification/confirmation email through automated emails??
What exactly do you mean? You mean one that will let you send email?
3) our website will attract people from many countries. how can i get a list of countries in alphabetical order which we can add in a drop down box of countries. We would also like to keep usa first - cos thats where most of the clients will be from.
Search for "list of countries". Do note that the list may change occasionally.
As to putting the USA at the top I would like to suggest a usability tweak to that: if you can, geolocate the user by IP address and put whatever country that IP is from at the top instead.
If you can't putting the most common countries for a site is usually done as you describe, by putting them at the top (and also repeating them in the alphabetical listing) but this way is so much more usable for all those who aren't in the selected common countries.
4) finally the bit about onilne payment. the business end of things - do you know any 3rd party agency we could use to handle our billing - if someone wants to buy our services using visa/mastercard/paypal/other standard card, how can we incorporate the feature in our website. We will of course also have money order payment using the normal snail mail.
I know of plenty of them, but they all have upsides and downsides and what I would use depends on what I am trying to do. For example, if you don't mind sending your users to someone else's site for the payment you may not need your own credit card terminal and merchant account. So here is a roundup of some popular choices:
- They have cut and paste HTML for accepting regular paypal payments, but they also offer actual merchant terminal services where you can receive payments without sending your users to them.
- Like traditional paypal where you send users to their site.
- They have many different options, including complex options for developers where you can have complex terms of billing (e.g. you can even make a site where the users pay Amazon based on how much of their other web services they use, real pay-as-you go type of stuff).
- This is just one example of a traditional credit card payment gateway (like you may use with a merchant account to process the credit cards online). They are one of the most popular but there are many others. This kind of service is usually what the serious business do, the ones that don't send you to other websites to collect payment.
Anyway, what system you use is an important decision and each comes with upsides and downsides and different costs. You should research the rules, features and fees of each to access which is best for your project.