Building an E-commerce Website: You Are 8 Steps Away from a Successful Online Store

Safalta Expert Published by: Shivam Ray Updated Fri, 12 Apr 2024 03:19 PM IST

Highlights

It’s estimated that 11.5% of sales in the first quarter of 2020 were e-commerce sales. 
Sales in online stores are expected to reach 22% of global retail sales by 2023, compared to 14.1% in 2019.

Estimates for 2024 state that 20.8% of all retail purchases will occur through electronic commerce platforms.

These days, if you don't have an e-commerce website, you're probably wondering about it. Existing businesses have found that competing is a necessity. New businesses just starting with a website and not worrying about a storefront until they've proven that their idea works with an e-commerce store.

So what does it take to get started with e-commerce? Honestly, it requires a lot of research and planning. The good news is that opening and selling an eCommerce store these days is easier than ever.

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Why should you create an e-commerce website?

The past few years have taught business owners the importance of their online presence. There are a lot of moving parts to an online presence but for most store owners, the central part is their e-commerce store.

  • An e-commerce site allows you to do business even when your customers can't reach your shop.

  • An e-commerce site allows you to do business at any time of the day or night.

  • An e-commerce site allows you to do business even if your customers are on a different continent.

In short, e-commerce websites allow you to do more business. If you want to be a part of the world's largest marketplace, you must have an e-commerce storefront. so let's get started! Below are 7 essential steps you need to take to create your e-commerce site. Additionally, we've provided some helpful tips on how to select the best tool for you.

Friends, nowadays our life revolves more around online things. Now you are wondering how it is, friends, from paying the electricity bill to ordering some good food for ourselves, all our work is being done online.

This means that we are dependent on online sites or rather e-commerce websites for our daily small tasks. This is the reason why at present the demand for website designers and developers in the market has increased very rapidly.

Especially e-commerce websites because in today's time every small and big shopkeeper, wholesaler, and manufacturers want to expand their business across the country through e-commerce websites. This is the reason that today more than one e-commerce platform is available in the market which provides you the best e-commerce website along with many other great features at a meager price.

Here we will especially mention Fynd Platform. Because there is a platform with the help of which you can easily create a very stylish e-commerce website yourself and for this you do not need to learn coding or make a lot of investment. That is why friends, in today's article we are going to provide you with all the important information related to how to create an e-commerce website.

Table of Contents

 

Choose your e-commerce platform : 

The problem most new store owners face is that there are too many options for setting up a new online store. Choosing the right one can be challenging. Choosing the wrong one can be disastrous. Many potential eCommerce store owners are faced with the choice of either guessing or hiring expensive consultants to help them make decisions.

WordPress + WooCommerce : 

The combination of WordPress and WooCommerce is my personal favorite eCommerce platform for building. It's easy to set up, not too difficult to configure, and with a little patience, the average site owner can have a store up, running, and taking orders in an afternoon.

WordPress+WooCommerce is an open source platform and both are free to use. They both share a wide community that supports them so you definitely won't feel alone when using them. WooCommerce has its marketplace with over a hundred extensions available to help you create the online store you want. Some of those extensions are free, although most have an annual subscription.

Choosing a quality web hosting that specializes in WooCommerce to host your e-commerce site is the first step to your online success. SiteGround is a dedicated hosting provider for WordPress+WooCommerce, recommended by both. Thanks to their expertise and unique hosting optimization for WooCommerce, it can be easily installed with SiteGround site tools in one click.

Then, WooCommerce sets up a handy “Getting Started” wizard to help beginners make sure they have everything they need.

In short, WordPress+WooCommerce is a solid platform for small businesses getting started with an e-commerce site. As you grow, so does the platform. You can easily increase your small e-commerce website into a better enterprise-grade solution as needed.

PrestaShop : 

PrestaShop is an open-source e-commerce platform. It runs primarily on PHP and MySQL, but also makes substantial use of JavaScript. The core platform is free for anyone to use.

PrestaShop claims to have over 300,000 merchants using the platform. This means you'll have plenty of company if you decide to deploy it. This usually means that you can generally find an answer to any problem you have. When working with open source, having a vibrant community is essential. Of course, if you want better support than answers when people can get around to it, there are solution providers you can hire to resolve just about anything.

The bottom line is that Prestashop is a good player that is suitable for small to medium-sized online stores. You won't feel abandoned because it is currently being developed. There's a marketplace for add-ons, so whatever work the shop owner wants to do can already be done without hiring a developer.

Opencart : 

OpenCart is another open source ecommerce solution for your online business and it's free to use. It can be easily installed on a website hosted by SiteGround. Nevertheless, you must be comfortable using the command line as the installer is not web-based, but a command-line program.

Similar to PrestaShop, OpenCart features an online store where you can buy themes and plugins. This means that many of the things you want to do with your online store are already available for you to buy—things like integrating your mailing list into shopping or pushing your products on Facebook.

OpenCart boasts a robust ecosystem of service providers and specialists that can assist you with putting your ideas into practice, as well as a dynamic community that can assist you in solving challenges.

Weebly : 

In line with the e-commerce platforms we've talked about so far, Weebly is an online drag-and-drop website builder. Everything you'll find about Weebly is related to getting your store hosted on its infrastructure. However, if you host your e-commerce site with SiteGround, it is possible to install – and honestly very easy. All you have to do to set up a new website on SiteGround is choose "Weebly Sitebuilder" as the software to install, and SiteGround will take care of the rest for you.

Then all you have to do is jump in and start setting up your site. You can see more information on how to activate and access Weebly Sitebuilder in SiteGround here. Of the options we've looked at, this is by far one of the fastest installs we've discussed.

Even though your new shop will be hosted with SiteGround, some content will still come from Weebly's infrastructure. This means you'll still need an account with Weebly for this to work. Most of the configuration for your site will be done on weebly.com, not your storefront.

While Weebly has a fast install and easy-to-use management interface, if you're hoping to host your site and "be the boss of it all", Weebly is not the solution for you.
 

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Drupal : 

Drupal is a general website-building tool that is useful for almost any type of website.

Like the others, Drupal is open source and free to use at its core. Many of the modules in its ecosystem are free to use. However, there are no better ecommerce modules.

The Drupal community is so large that they have annual conferences around the world. This means that the community is not only large but also active.

Drupal, and many of its key modules, are under current development.

Since Drupal has modules for both e-commerce and other things, it's a good choice as a platform if you're planning on doing more than just e-commerce.

Then, it would be a wise decision to choose a top hosting provider that supports this application. Drupal can be installed and hosted on SiteGround through their app installer. Using its straightforward tools, Drupal is just a few clicks away. You can review this Drupal tutorial to see the step-by-step setup procedure. 

Factors to Consider When Selecting an E-commerce Platform : 

Self Hosted vs SaaS 

Most of the above solutions have one thing in common, they are all self-hosted. Weebly even has a self-hosted component. This implies that the site's hosting is under your control as the business owner. You can host them on a privately owned server running in your corporate basement, or you can use a reputable hosting partner like SiteGround. The point of self-hosting is that you make the decisions and you get as much or as little help as you want.

Software as a service (SaaS) is another option. With SaaS, you, the site owner, don't have control over where it's hosted, but you don't even have to care. You are buying a fully managed service, part of which is software, and the other part is infrastructure and management of the infrastructure.

Your right hosting choice depends largely on what you plan to do and how much control you want.

If you want influence over – but not direct control over – the server on which your software will be running, self-hosted is probably your best option. For example, for my website hosted on SiteGround, I have control over most of the variables that matter to me:

  • PHP version

  • PHP extensions installed

  • Software running my site

Maintenance: Another important factor to consider when considering is the maintenance of your store. If you take a look at the different solutions, you will quickly find that some can be easily maintained and other solutions require maintenance staff.

For example, WordPress has a built-in update system. Not only core but all plugins and themes can be updated automatically. This of course includes WooCommerce and all of its extensions. From a maintenance standpoint, much of it is automated. Sometimes, you have to update the database but they make it easy with the press of a button.

The opposite end of the spectrum is Magento. Magento is a large project and will require dedicated staff for its ongoing maintenance. Whether that takes the form of an actual full-time employee, a contractor, or an agency on retainer, if you're using Magento, you'll be paying someone to help you.

Expandability: Similar to maintainability is extensibility. How easy it is to customize the solution you choose. In the majority of the above-described solutions, "marketplaces" were mentioned. If a solution has a thriving market, it is easy to expand, and many people are doing so. Solutions that don't have a market are usually difficult to scale or the system becomes clogged. If you choose one of these solutions make sure it does everything you need it to do out of the box.

If you've chosen the solution you'll use for your online store, here are the next steps you'll need to take to get it up and running.

Get a Domain Name : 

It all starts with a domain name. Make sure you choose one that is easy to spell and memorable. A good domain name will help you with “discoverability” – the ability for people to find you easily.

Your domain name is a symbol of your brand. So you want to choose one that best represents your brand and not a generic term. For example, for my scuba diving mailing list, I could try registering at scubadivingmailinglist.com. It's memorable and tells what you can expect in the area. But it doesn't speak to my brand. Instead, I chose unclekalsdiveclub.com. It's memorable and brandable.

Avoid hyphens if possible. It's strange to say "Go to myDASHdomainDASHisDASHHere.com". As someone who owns a hyphenated domain, I'm speaking from experience. You don't want this.

Stay away from trademarks. If you're not sure whether your domain is trademarked, contact an IP attorney. In the US, trademark holders are legally bound to protect their trademarks otherwise they lose them. So if you use someone else they will follow you.

Finally, if you can't think of a domain name, use a domain name generator. Enter that term into your favorite search engine and you will get many options. These can help you think outside the box and find a domain name that checks all your boxes.

Choose your Hosting Provider : 

Now that you've chosen a domain name, it's time to link it to a website. Before you swipe your credit card, think about your needs. Changing hosting partner can be done after your site is launched but it is not easy and takes a lot of time and planning. It's best to get it right the first time. Hello, to make it feel right for you, consider the following:

Do they support the platform you want to use?

A potential hosting partner's tools, servers, and resources should be optimized for your chosen platform.

Can you grow with them as your site grows?

Top-tier hosts will have a variety of plans that can be developed with you. For this reason, I recommend that once you choose a host, purchase the smallest plan that offers everything you need. As you begin to expand, you can upgrade as necessary. 

Do they assist?

Support is an important factor to consider. Can you contact support 24×7 or only during office hours? Do they have a strong history of providing solid support? Most importantly, if the problem is not the underlying architecture - who are they there to support - can they recommend a qualified professional to help troubleshoot and resolve your site's issues?

Many companies only offer email support and response times for their bottom lines can be measured in days, not minutes. Ask about support response times and ask if you can upgrade to a better response time if you want to pay.

Do they offer domain registration?

Also Read: The Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Social Commerce Posts
 

Finally, top-tier web hosts are also registrars. This makes it much easier to create a new site because they can not only register the domain name for you, but they can also configure your DNS for you. Managing DNS is not an easy thing and if you can let someone else do it for you, it is always the best plan.

After hosting websites since 1996 and running my hosting operation for 15 years, I've seen the good, the bad, and the ugly when it comes to hosting companies. For me, SiteGround is the best service because of its cutting-edge technologies and expert support. They are a hosting partner rather than just a vendor of hosting.

How to set up your e-commerce Platform : 

Once you've chosen your platform and hosting partner, it's time to install your application and get everything up and running. Follow your host's guidelines to do this. If you choose WooCommerce and SiteGround as your web host, setup will be as easy as I show you in the following video:

Choosing the Right Design for Your Ecommerce Website: 

Understand your brand and target audience : 

Start by understanding your brand identity and the specific audience you want to target. Your target audience should be able to relate to and associate your template or design with your brand. Consider elements like color, typography, and overall aesthetics that align with your brand personality and meet your audience's preferences.

Prioritize User Experience (UX):

A smooth and intuitive user experience is important for retaining visitors and encouraging them to make a purchase. Seek for templates or designs with logical layout patterns, easy-to-find search features, and straightforward navigation. Emphasize mobile responsiveness to cater to the growing number of users accessing e-commerce websites via mobile devices.

Customization and Flexibility: 

While templates provide a starting point, the ability to customize the design and make it your own is essential. Choose one that allows you to modify the layout, colors, fonts, and other visual elements to match your brand identity. Flexibility is important as it enables you to customize and evolve your website as your business grows.

Accountability and Performance: 

In today's digital landscape, users expect fast-loading websites. Choose templates that are optimized for speed and performance. Make sure they're responsive across a variety of devices and screen sizes, providing users with a seamless experience no matter what device they use to access your site.

Set up payment options: 

Once you have your storefront up and running, you will need to decide how you will accept payments from your customers. This includes choosing a payment processor, opening an account with them, and configuring your payment processing system. It normally takes several days to complete this correctly. You may accomplish both of these tasks concurrently with your web designer's precise work. 
 


 

Define and add your products: 

Now that you can accept payments for your goods and services, it's time to add those goods and services to your new store. It's best to start with your simplest product and add a few products so you get used to the interface before you start tackling your more complex products.

Set up shipping of your products: 

Ultimately, you have to be able to deliver your products to your customers. If all your products are digital, you can skip this part. However, if your products are physical, shipping will be important.

For most of the solutions described in this article, major shippers have plugins, modules, or extensions that will let your system automatically calculate shipping. Of course, this requires that you know things like the weight of each product, etc. This may be the last step before you start taking orders but it is still an important step. Spend time choosing the shipper you want to work with. After that, give the module the time it needs to be configured, set up, and integrated into your system. I strongly suggest that you start with a single shipper and move up after you gain some experience.

E-commerce has become much easier since we set up our first storefront in 1997. These days, a few button clicks will install, configure, and fill your store. The important thing is to go slow, think carefully, and take your time clicking those buttons. The cheapest time to correct a mistake is when you are still in the planning stage. The most expensive time to try and correct a mistake is when you've already implemented your store and are taking orders. So take your time, do your research, and think it over.

When people ask me for my advice on which solution they should adopt, I give them this advice

If you're building a small site and just want to sell a few products, choose WordPress+WooCommerce hosted with a top-tier hosting partner like SiteGround's GoGeek plan.

If you're a medium-sized business that needs more resources, choose WordPress+WooCommerce hosted on SiteGround's managed cloud hosting plan.

If you need an enterprise-grade solution, choose Magento hosted on SiteGround's custom-managed cloud hosting plan. In the "Partner Perks" section inside your SiteGround account, you'll find great agencies to help you get your site up and running and assist with ongoing maintenance.

Friends, at present, an e-commerce website is the most important need of every small and big shopkeeper and this is the reason why every small and big shopkeeper is exploring his business through online platforms today. Friends, if you also want to create your e-commerce website, then you can follow the methods mentioned by us. Friends, in today's article we have tried to provide you with all the important information related to how to create an e-commerce website. We hope you found the information we provided usefully. Stay connected with us to read such informative articles.

How to create an e-commerce website?

Preparations for creating an e-commerce website -
1 - Money - Friends, whatever the business, when we start it, first of all we should have a money arrangement. ,
2 - Planning - ...
3 - Domain Name - ...
4 - Web Hosting - ...
5 - Website - ...
6 - Shopping Cart Software - ...
7 - Merchant Service Provider - ...
8 - time -
 

Can I create an e-commerce website for free?

Wix is also an ideal store builder that will let you create an e-commerce website for free. However, if you want to start selling to customers, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan. In other words, creating a real eCommerce store is free, but it will require some investment on your part to make it fully functional.
 

What is required to set up an online store?

To build an e-commerce website, you'll need to pay for a domain name, SSL certificate, e-commerce hosting, payment processing integration, store theme and design, and any other third-party tools you're using.

Which is the largest e-commerce website in India?

Flipkart is first and Amazon is second in the country. Both companies started with online bookstores. Today Amazon is America's largest e-commerce company and Flipkart is India's largest e-commerce company.
 

How much does it cost to create an e-commerce website?

The cost of creating an e-commerce website can range from Rs 9000 to Rs 50000 or even more. The cost of creating an e-commerce website depends on this. How many features do you want on your website? If you are a manufacturer and want to sell your product online.

What is the monthly cost of a website in India?

The typical cost of maintaining a website ranges from ₹5,000 - ₹30,000 per month. The cost of maintaining a website increases with the size and traffic of the website. Websites that receive high amounts of traffic require more maintenance.

What comes in e-commerce?

A digital platform that makes it easier for businesses and customers to conduct online transactions is known as an e-commerce website. These websites usually have shopping carts, payment processing systems, product catalogs, and other tools that let users peruse, choose, and buy goods and services.

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