How to create an e-commerce site
Before we look at the actual e-commerce platform, one thing you’ll absolutely need is a way of accepting money to your e-commerce site. The easiest and most popular way is PayPal. If you don’t have an account or even if you have one but it’s a personal account, you’ll need a Business account. It’s free to create, so go do that right now, just click this link to be taken directly to the proper section and come back to this email once that’s done.
Now, now that you have a way (or soon will) to accept payments, you need the e-commerce actual platform to start selling items…
Self-hosted e-commerce solutions
These e-commerce systems are a bit more work to get installed and maintain (because you’re installing, hosting and maintaining it yourself or paying someone to). But the upside is that you retain full control. Many online business experts agree that you should always build your brand with self-hosted solutions however there are some very good hosted solutions out there now that, in my opinion, are perfectly acceptable, allow you to get started quicker and allows you to focus on growing your business instead of dealing with issues that arrise with your self-hosted platform (we’ll look at those shortly).
If you want to go with the self-hosted solutions, you could download an open source (and free ) software like OsCommerce or Magento and install it yourself on your hosting account ( If you don’t already have a hosting account HostGator is a good choice and if you use coupon code
” francoscoupon ” …
you get your first month for 0.01 Can’t go wrong with that! ).
Now you’ll either need to install the software yourself if you know how or hire someone to do it for you. You can either go with a web development company like the one I own ( shameless plug ) e4WebSolutions or you could post the project on a freelancing site like Scriptlance (this is probably the cheapest option as you’ll get many starting programmers eager to earn feedback who will do this for cheap).
You can also go with a paid self hosted script. You still have to isntall it etc but most of the time, they offer an installation service as well because it’s a paid system, you can expect a level of support that is better. With open source software, the support is usually done via forums users help each other. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but sometimes business owners prefer to have someone they can pick up the phone and talk to and hold accountable for the product they trust their business with! Here’s a few recommendations:
- Shop-Script. Click here and then on “shop-script”, input the coupon code ” 441318 ” and get 5% off
- XCart – Great e-commerce software.
- Shopplugin – E-commerce plugin for Wordpress.
- WP-Ecommerce – Another plugin for Wordpress.
Now, you might still need a programmer to help you configure it or a designer to help you integrate the design seemlessly with your site, don’t forget you can post a project on a site like Scriptlance and get programmers to bid on your project.
You’ll save a ton of time and technical headaches by going with the hosted solutions. If you’re looking for the quickest way to get started, I recommed you choose this option.
I highly recommend you compare all the providers that I list below. Although I’d like to say I recommend a particular one over the others, the truth is that they each have their stenghts and unique features that might suit one person and another solution might suit another person better. The best way is to compare them all and decide which one suits YOUR needs better. Many offers free trials, which is a good thing, signup to the free trials and try them all and decide for yourself. The best way to see which one you like best is to try them!
ProStores - One month free trial
I put this recommendation first because if you’re like me like to keep dealing with one company wherever possible to minimize the contacts you have to deal with, then you might want to consider ProStores which is owned by Ebay (by the way, eBay also owns PayPal that I recommeded you create a business account for earlier).
Shopify - 30 days free trial
This solution has me really excited. Ok, I now I said that I didn’t want to recommend one over another but if I had to, I’d be this one. I mean look over at the site and better yet, try the trial and see for yourself how awesome this system is.
3D Cart - 15 days free trial
This is such a competitive field! Another awesome system. They also offer a trial so just go check out the features and try the trial and see for yourself which solution you prefer
BIG Commerce - 15 days free trial
Another great solution. All these features really have my inner business geek all excited and if you’re like me, your head will be spinning too after comparing all these great ones.
Again, as you can see there’s free trials for each one so I think the best solution is to try them all! You can only see so much from the features chart, the only way to really know is to try it out.
Now if you need products to sell in your new e-commerce store, you might want to look into using drop shipping.