I have been actively creating ecommerce shopping cart websites for myself and clients for over 15 years now; during this time, there has been a drastic change in both the platforms and technologies used to create ecommerce websites, but precious little change in the prices that some unscrupulous ecommerce companies are willing to charge their unsuspecting clients.
Here’s what got me thinking
Just the other day I came across a company ( who shall remain nameless ), who we’re specialist in Magento ecommerce websites – charging their customers upwards of $3000 in order to have a shopping cart website built for them. As someone who works with Magento on almost a daily basis, my first thought when I came across their prices was: ‘but why?’
Why $3000 to me just seem ridiculous
You see; Magento is an open source ecommerce platform that is given away for free by most companies that offer cPanel website hosting – so where exactly does the company I mentioned get their “$3000+” figure from?… is it purely a labour charge?
I really hope this article serves as both an educator and money saver for anyone who is looking to set up their own ecommere website.
How to set up your own ecommerce shopping cart website
Setting up your own ecommerce shopping cart website really is not hard once you have the know how. There are just a few important things you will need:
- A Domain name (www.YourWebsiteName.com).
- Website hosting ( This is where your website will “live” on the internet ).
- A payment processor
- SSL certificate
- A nice theme & design for your store
Step by step
1. Domain Name
In order to find and register your website domain name, I recommend you use a well established domain registrar such as Godaddy.com.
On the Godaddy.com website you will be able to search for the availability of any domain name, register domains, and change the nameservers of the domain in order for it to point to your web hosting.
2. Website Hosting
Who you choose for your websites hosting will play a very important part in whether your ecommerce website set up process is troublesome or stress-free.
I recommend that you choose a web hosting provider that provides the “cPanel ” environment with their hosting – as this allows for easy installation of several free ecommerce shopping cart platforms, including: Magento, Zen Cart, Os Commerce and even WordPress.
Once you are inside cPanel, you can then look for the ecommerce software of your choice and commence the installation process.
The ecommerce platform you choose will be dependent on your needs, requirements and level of ability.
3. Merchant account / payment processor
Gone are the days when you had to have a massive budget and a perfect credit rating in order to be able to accept and process payments via your website.
You can now simply sign up for an online payment processor such as PayPal, who will handle all the payment processing and fraud checking for you. They will usually take a small per transaction fee for their troubles.
4. SSL Certificate
Although not essential to do business, it is essential to make sure your customers will feel comfortable about submitting their personal information via your website – as everyone cares about their personal information.
Installing an SSL certificate from a reputable provider encrypts your customers sensitive personal information.
Offer your customers extra peace of mind by clearly displaying that your website encrypts their personal information via SSL.
5. A nice theme and design for your store
Although not essential, having a nice theme for your ecommerce website can really help to create a good first impression.
The majority of ecommerce platforms out there will have a universal theme that everyone who installs the shopping cart will receive. For customers landing on your website first impressions count; it can be the difference between a sale or not.
I recommend that you invest in a professional theme for your ecommerce website as it should pay dividends in the long run.
I really hope you have enjoyed reading this article as much as I have writing it – and that if you are in the market for an ecommerce website you’ll realise there is absolutely no need to pay ridiculous prices for an ecommerce website.