Let’s build a store!
Starting your own eCommerce store can seem daunting at first. You not only have to worry about your products, and your business, but you have a new website to deal with. There are many technical aspects that need managing. This is where I help. As your web developer I will guide you through every step of the way, from choosing the store platform, to designing a theme, to secure hosting and SEO. Here’s an idea of what you can expect.
Choosing A Platform
After deciding you want to open an eCommerce store, first you must pick a platform. I recommend WooCommerce (a highly-customizable WordPress store), but you can also go with Shopify. These two are the biggest in the industry. I can help you understand the pros and cons of each so you can make the right choice.
Choosing A Theme
The next big decision to make is the website’s theme choice. Depending on your budget, we can do either a custom designed theme that I make just for you, or go with a premade template theme instead.
A bespoke theme will set your webstore apart from everyone else and provide the greatest control over esthetics and user experience. It’s custom-coded to best compliment your unique content and brand image, with less limitations than a premade theme. I can make design mockups for your approval before starting work, and once done, and allow you to request revisions. The end result is a one-of-a-kind site made just for you.
A premade theme is the cheapest option (even if it’s a paid theme) because less design and development time is needed. The main drawback is they come with limitations, which depending on the theme, can be significant. Your content must be fitted into the layout, and it might not always suit your needs. Despite this, it can still be customized to some extent, and many people are happy with this. Start your search for a WooCommerce theme at ThemeForest or TemplateMonster. For Shopify themes, checkout Shopify Themes. I don’t have any affiliation with the makers of these themes.
You will need a way to take credit card payments from your customers. For WooCommerce, I recommend Stripe payment processing, which is inexpensive and easy-to-use. Shopify has their own payment processing.
Shipping Carrier Integration
There are plugins available that offer integration with a shipping carrier account. This lets your customers calculate shipping costs based on postal code before checkout, and lets you print prepaid shipping labels with discounted rates.
All web stores that accept payment must have SSL encryption. You can tell if a website has this by looking for the https in the url. A web page that doesn’t have SSL enabled will have http. You can either get your own hosting with SSL certificate, or you can host through me. I offer Canadian-based managed cloud hosting with SSL and DDoS protection through Cloudflare. It’s fast and secure.