Are you itching to start your own online store? Perhaps you’re looking to take your business online for the first time – and right now you’re in that temptation to set things up as fast as possible.
However, the reality of selling online takes a lot of time, effort, and certain technical preparation to set up. Also, rushing too much can lead to missed opportunities or technical issues in the long run. In this article, we’ll cover the aspects that go into e-commerce websites, regardless of your industry.
You might as well be selling using only a catalog if a store software doesn’t exist to power your website. By using a content management system (CMS) or a store software, you can choose compatible add-ons like shipping suites and payment gateways that are vital to all modern webstores.
There are two basic types of online stores. The first one is Hosted, or a software that runs on a server provided and managed by the same company, with recurring monthly payment, and Self-hosted, where you choose and pay for the server, and download, install, and do the maintenance of the e-commerce store yourself.
Hosted servers are preferred by new store owners since it’s easier to setup, but they lack the control over add-ons, bandwidth, etc. that most self-hosted sites do.
A good host
An e-commerce site can’t exist without a server that powers it. A hosting provider does the daily backups, quality redundancy control, 24/7 maintenance, and other vital background services for a website.
There’s a lot of things that make up a quality host and finding one can take a lot of time and energy. Here’s what you should look for:
Of course, choosing a host is also a financial decision. Look for reasonably priced plans with good features.
Most hosts will promise 99% uptime and daily backups. However, you should also look for must-haves like one-click installs, specific hosting environments (Linux/Windows), 24/7 tech support, and others.
Honest user reviews are always a factor when choosing a host. It doesn’t hurt to ask people you know about their opinions or recommendations as well.
Once you’re sure of your brand name or have already reserved a list of potential domain names, promptly accomplish a domain check using Whois, the world’s largest domain database through Crazy Domains NZ. If the results come up empty, the domain name can be bought directly from them as well.
Accidents happen to the best of us. Even the most well-meaning store owners can accidentally delete files they needed, or even wipe out customer records. Ideally, the host should have a routine, automatic backups for the store before you sell products.
Shipping software and payment gateway
Shipping software is used to get your products to your customers after they placed an order. It allows you to take their information and track the package.
A payment gateway, on the other hand is a piece of software that lets you accept online payments from customers. Until you can accept payments from your clients, your store can’t start functioning.
There you have it! By getting these technical pieces in shape before setting up your web store, you’ll be better prepared to create a solid store that runs well and can scale quickly.