In this small guide, you’ll learn about how to create an e-commerce website on your own, because often the ecommerce website cost is very expensive. We will guide you from picking the right tools and services you’ll need to create your web pages, to selecting the best hosting provider and payment solution to fit your business, to figuring out the best security for your site.
We would like to introduce you the main steps:
- Choosing Your Web Design Tools
After you have your business plan in place and are ready to focus on your new online venture, it’s time to start creating your e-commerce website. The first step is selecting the tools you want to use to design and code your site. You can start from scratch and code everything by hand, but this requires solid knowledge of HTML, PHP, MySQL, and other programming languages.
To shorten the learning curve, you might want to invest in web design software like Adobe Dreamweaver or Microsoft Expression Web. Depending on what version you buy, these programs can run anywhere from $50 to $300. While they may not offer all of the sophisticated features that paid software does, these open source programs are still powerful and easy to use.
Everyone likes different web tools for different reasons, so it’s hard to say which will be the best program for you. However, there are some key elements you should look for in any software.
When you’re considering which website building tools to use, you should make sure that the applications you choose to support all of the functionalities that you want in your website. For example, if you plan to use a MySQL database to power your product catalog, be sure that you can integrate it into your site using the program you decide to go with. If you’re not completely sure about the functionalities you may need, spend some time exploring websites that you like and pay special attention to the features that appeal to you the most.
Aside from product catalogs, many e-commerce sites offer newsletter registration forms, customer support widgets, and other elements that make a site more interactive. After you have a list of features you want on your site, do a little research to learn more about the technologies behind them.
- Selecting Your Web Host for E-commerce
Now that you’ve got an idea about how you’re going to build your website, you need to think about where to host it. There are hundreds of different web hosting providers to choose from, so how can you be sure you’re making the best decision?
Even though it may seem like a daunting choice, picking the provider that’s right for you can be an easy decision if you pay attention to a few key issues. The first is price, and while it’s easy to do a quick price comparison on the web, the cheapest host you can find may not always be the best.
Providers that have lower prices sometimes skimp in other areas, like customer service or technical support. You should also be on the lookout for providers that may offer low prices up front, but then run up charges with hidden fees. In addition to price, you should also consider the type of features offered by a hosting provider.
Since PHP and MySQL currently play an integral role in creating dynamic, interactive e-commerce websites, picking a host that offers compatibility with these languages should be at the top of your list.
If you’re interested in having email addresses that match your domain name—an important factor when considering how you will communicate with your customers and any employees you may have—access to an email server is critical. Host-based security services, like firewalls and virus detection, are also must-haves.
It is also important that a good hosting provider will be able to answer any questions you may have during your site launch and should be able to help you quickly address any day-to-day problems that may arise.
- Picking a Payment Solution
After deciding where you’ll set up shop on the web, the next step is choosing a method to accept payments on your site. The payment process is what puts the “commerce” in “e-commerce.” There are two kinds of payment systems that you should consider for your site: a payment processor and a payment gateway.
Payment processors, like PayPal Website Payments Standard and Google Checkout, will send a customer to a checkout page that is hosted by the processing company. After customers submit their credit card information, they will be sent back to your website. In contrast, payment gateways—such as Authorize.net—integrate directly with your shopping cart and the transaction is essentially invisible to your customer.
Check to see whether the payment services provider you’re interested in offers automatic tax calculations. This will make it much easier to figure out how much sales tax you should be collecting and will cut down on accounting headaches during tax season.
Also be sure to find out if the processor or gateway you want to use can automatically calculate shipping charges. With this kind of service, you’ll know exactly how much to charge your customers so shipping costs won’t eat into your bottom line.
- SSL Security: An Absolute Must-Have for Your Site
A nice site design and seamless integration with a payment system are great, but they won’t mean a thing if you and your customers aren’t protected from fraud and theft. Security is one of the biggest concerns that shoppers have when it comes to buying online. In fact, a recent survey found that 45 percent of consumers are worried about identity theft when they buy on the web.
Even more troubling for e-commerce business owners, security concerns like these have a serious impact on consumer behavior. The National Cyber Security Alliance recently found that a majority of Americans—64 percent—have abandoned an online purchase because they were not certain that a website was secure.
E-commerce has made it possible for entrepreneurs to extend their reach farther than they could have ever imagined. You’ve just read about all of the different components that go into creating an e-commerce website, and we hope that this information will help you in your website creating.