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How to Create an Ecommerce Website: 6-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Create an Ecommerce Website

Are you interested in creating your own ecommerce website? An ecommerce site can be a great way to make money and sell products online.

If you want to create an ecommerce website, it is important that you know the basics of website development. With this 6-step guide for beginners, we will teach you how to create an ecommerce site from scratch.

3 Best Website Platforms for Building An Ecommerce Website

We shall start off by introducing the top ways to get started with building an ecommerce website. You see, choosing a platform can get confusing, especially if you have never owned an ecommerce store before.

1.) Shopify

Shopify is one of the most popular ecommerce platforms for beginners. Shopify is the go-to platform for many entrepreneurs who are looking to start their first online store.

It is an easy-to-use ecommerce site builder that comes with a variety of free and paid themes, which you can choose from depending on your preference. The theme affects how it looks, but more importantly, Shopify’s main advantage lies in how it works.

One of the best things about Shopify is that you can easily connect your new ecommerce site with a payment gateway to process transactions on your store securely, without having to worry about PCI compliance (the security standard for businesses that deal with credit cards).

Another reason why many like using Shopify as an ecommerce platform is because it’s easy to use and has a nice interface. Shopify is also known for its great customer support, which makes the platform an ideal choice for beginners who are still learning about ecommerce site-building.

In addition to that, there are over 100 apps you can install on your store with just a few clicks of a button from inside Shopify. These apps allow you to add capabilities like SEO tools, social media buttons, and pop-up forms that improve your site’s performance.

Shopify Homepage

2.) BigCommerce

BigCommerce is another great option for setting up an ecommerce website on a hosted platform.

3.) Custom-built ecommerce store

If you don’t want to use a platform that’s designed for ecommerce, then building your own website can be another option.

The advantage of this choice is that it allows you to design an ecommerce site exactly the way you imagine it should look. This approach also gives you access to better customization options and more flexibility in terms of the features you can add to your site.

However, building an ecommerce website from scratch can be very expensive and time-consuming. You will need web developers who are well-versed in coding and programming. When we take on projects like this, its typically for an ecommerce website built in Laravel, which is a popular PHP application framework for custom functionality.

This will allow them to create a site with all the features you need, such as custom themes and plugins that let users process online transactions in your store.

If you want an ecommerce website for your business, but don’t have enough time or money to build it from scratch, then using one of the platforms we mentioned above will be the best option.

Just pick a platform that fits your needs and budget, then follow the steps we laid out in this guide to get started with setting up your online store right away! If you would like a little more information on which one you should pick, check out our blog post on Types Of Ecommerce Websites: Which Is Right For You?

Someone coding a custom Website on a computer

How to Build an Ecommerce Website?

After reading about some of the best ecommerce platforms, you can now start learning how to set up your own website.

1.) Buy a domain name

The first thing you need to do is buy a domain name for your site. We recommend getting a domain that’s unique to your brand or business if possible.

You can purchase domains from the platform where you want to build your store, or you can purchase them from third-party sites, like GoDaddy.

Also, don’t forget to buy your domain name for the year ahead instead of just one month at a time. It’s significantly cheaper when you commit to a longer time period.

Some ecommerce platforms offer free domain names, so check this out before you make your purchase.

GoDaddy Homepage

2.) Choose your website builder

After you have your domain name, the next step is to choose a website builder. Just as with buying domains from third-party companies, we recommend getting ecommerce hosting through a site that specializes in it rather than using a general web host or shared server.

When researching hosts and builders for an online store, pay close attention to how much storage space and bandwidth you get for your money.

Some hosts don’t have many options, which means that if their servers are overloaded or offline, you won’t be able to access your website at all! This is very important when it comes to ecommerce platforms since they can process a large number of transactions every day.

You should also check out what type of customer service and support you can expect from your host or builder.

If you’re choosing a hosted ecommerce platform, like Shopify or BigCommerce, then the steps are fairly simple. All you need to do is create an account, choose a template that matches your brand or business, and customize it from there.

However, if you’re building a custom ecommerce website from scratch, then be prepared for this process to take longer since you’ll have more customization options available.

A web Designer Designing a website

3.) Select an online payment gateway provider

After integrating your chosen platform, it’s time to select a payment gateway provider.

This is an essential part of your website since it allows users to process transactions on the store. There are many ecommerce platforms that offer their own integrated payment gateways, which can save you time and money in this step.

However, if you have a custom-built site or prefer using another service for online payments, then you will need to compare the different payment gateway providers and choose one that fits your business needs.

We recommend choosing a provider who offers multiple types of gateways (such as credit cards and PayPal) so it’s easier for customers to make transactions on your site instead of having to look elsewhere online.

As we mentioned above, some platforms will provide you with a free payment gateway, so check this out before signing up for another service.

The next step is to connect your chosen provider to your platform and start accepting payments from users on the store right away!

Authorize.Net homepage

4.) Pick a website hosting provider

After you’ve integrated your ecommerce platform, it’s time to pick a website hosting provider. If you chose to go with Shopify or BigCommerce, then you can skip this step as they offer their own servers for storing your data.

We recommend using an ecommerce-specific host if possible because they offer more bandwidth and storage space than regular hosts do.

The main reason for this is that the servers will be receiving high volumes of traffic every day due to all of the transactions being processed on the site.

When choosing a hosting provider, be sure to check how much support they are offering for your ecommerce platform, as well as their prices and plans so you can find one that’s right for your business.

You should also check whether the host includes a CDN (Content Delivery Network) service. This will help optimize performance since it uses edge servers around the world to cache content, which reduces server load and speeds up page loading times considerably!

We recommend selecting one that offers SSL certificates too because they’re a security requirement for accepting payments in the store.

A2 Hosting Homepage

5.) Build your ecommerce website

Now that you have all of the technical bits in place, it’s time to build your ecommerce website!

Some platforms will provide simple drag and drop option for creating a store while others allow you to enter custom HTML code if needed. We recommend choosing an advanced platform so users can add features or functionality with ease when they need them later down the line.

Creating a new ecommerce website can take time, so we recommend starting with one of your products and creating it from there. This will help you get an idea of how to customize pages and add content on the site before actually launching it live to customers!

Just remember that if you’re using a custom platform or hosting service, then you will need to check out their documentation and tutorials before getting started.

However, Shopify has a variety of ecommerce website templates available that can be used for any type of business or product!

Once the website is complete, it’s time to launch your store or affiliate site, so customers can start buying products right away!

a person mocking up a website on paper

6.) Launch your ecommerce site

Once you’ve built the site, it’s time to launch your ecommerce store! If you used a pre-built platform or hosting service then this process will be quick and painless. However, if you opted for a custom solution then there may be some additional steps required here.

We recommend testing everything first before going live with customers so you can identify and fix any potential issues before they happen. Once everything is ready, it’s time to open your store up for the world! From there, you should only need the help of a web developer for routine website maintenance and support services.

a rocket ship taking off

What To Do After Launching an Ecommerce Website

When it comes to building an ecommerce website, the building is only one part of the equation. If you want to get the most value from your site (think leads and sales), then you need to maintain and market your website so more people can find your business.

1.) Promote your brand and products on social media

Social media is a great place to start when it comes to promoting your ecommerce website and business.

Make sure you post about new products or available discounts on the platform, as well as share photos of customers using the items they bought from you! This will help build trust with potential customers since social proof can be powerful for convincing people that something is worth spending money on!

Facebook Login screen open on a phone

2.) Grow your website traffic with SEO content

When it comes to growing your business, most people focus on paid advertising and marketing campaigns. However, organic search engine traffic is still one of the best ways for a new website or store to get visitors since you don’t have to pay anything upfront.

In order for this type of content strategy to be successful though, you need quality SEO content that ranks in Google’s search results. This will help your website get found by new customers so you can convert them into buyers!

3.) Upload your products to Google Merchant Center

If you sell physical products, then it’s important to upload them to Google Merchant Center so they can be listed in the results of a user search.

This is an essential part of marketing your ecommerce website since people will often type product names and phrases into the search bar before buying something online! With this content strategy combined with SEO for organic traffic, you’ll be able to reach a very large audience teeming with new customers!

Google merchant Homepage

4.) Track your progress

Now that you’ve built the website, it’s time to start tracking your progress. You can use Google Analytics or other analytics platforms for this task.

After you have some data on how users are interacting with your site, you should consider expanding and improving things based on their behavior. This process will involve lots of testing so make sure that whatever you change has a measurable impact on your business.

Google Analytics homepage

Final Thoughts on Creating an Ecommerce Website

As you can see from above, there’s a lot more to creating an ecommerce website than just building it and launching the store. If you want your business or brand to grow, then it will require some time and effort on your end. However, if done right, you can expect your site to be a booming success in no time!

Related: The Evolution Of Ecommerce.

Disclaimer: WebCitz, LLC does not warrant or make any representations concerning the accuracy, likely results, or reliability of the information found on this page or on any web sites linked to from this page. This blog article was written by Timothy A in his or her personal capacity. The opinion(s) expressed in this article are the author's own and may not reflect the opinion(s) of WebCitz, LLC.