Web Page Start
Finding you the right web solutions

Creating an E-Commerce Site

To create an E-Commerce site, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1)You want a reliable web hosting company. If your site goes down, so does your e-business. Don't be afraid to look around before choosing the right web hosting company for you.
2)You want a professional looking site with a shopping cart system. The more professional looking a business site is, the more likely a consumer will trust the contents and make a purchase. Some templates are very nice and most hosting companies do offer the means to create your own shopping cart system, but if you have room in your budget for a web designer or developer to help create the site, it is not a bad investment. (Usually- just be picky about who you work with and read any contracts carefully. Some web designers write into the contract that the work created belongs to them and you are actually renting the website content from them rather than fully purchasing all rights to it.)
3)You want a dedicated SSL. Even if you use PayPal to process your purchases, having a dedicated SSL on your site makes it more professional and people trust the https:// and lock in the corner of their web browser which tells them that you have a secured and encrypted site to protect their information. (A dedicated SSL is based on YOUR domain name. It is different from a shared SSL. It encrypts information sent over the internet. It also helps increase your rankings with a search engine because it provides proof that you have a legitimate site.)
4)You want to be able to process credit cards online. A merchant account is important to do this. There are many companies that offer these services. The most familiar one is PayPal, it is also one of the more expensive merchant services. The other problems with PayPal are: Your customer needs to leave your site to have their payment processed by PayPal and some may view a company needing to use PayPal as the only means of credit card process as unprofessional. The big advantage of PayPal is that, if you can't get a dedicated SSL for your site for some reason, PayPal supplies it's own SSL for protecting customer data during transactions.
5)Traffic! How can you sell anything if you have no customers? SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is important to bring traffic to your site. You can do it yourself, or pay to have it done for you, but either way- GET IT DONE! People cancel their web hosting all the time with the reason, I never sold anything or Nobody ever came to my site. You have to make an investment to get a return on it. I strongly suggest that if you have the choice between marketing services for your website or search engine optimization for your site, that you choose the SEO. In the long run, it will make a bigger difference.
6)Time. Running a business takes time and effort, an e-commerce system can be just as demanding as running a physical store. Check your site and your email everyday. Keep on top of processing and shipping orders out. Do not expect an instant success.
7)Always keep a backup copy of your website. This is extremely important. Do not count on your web hosting provider or webmaster to do this for you. Always, Always, keep a back up copy of your website on a cd, your own computer or on a file back up system.