eCommerce Blog / How to Build a Website

How to Build a Website


Websites are considered the building blocks of the internet and you must be wondering on where or how to start. Building your website for personal or business purposes is not rocket science. You don’t need to be a tech expert to create one.

Types of Websites

1. Ecommerce or online store

This type of websites offers users the capability to purchase and avail of services online. Ecommerce is leading the business niche nowadays due to the convenience it brings customers and buyers.

It has the ability for the users to choose, order, and pay for the items or merchandise they want using your ecommerce website.

2. Online Portfolio

Online portfolio also known as e-portfolio or digital portfolio is simply a collection of a user’s work samples. It is now advisable to have an online presence that showcases your skills and talent. This allows you to market yourself online beyond what your cover letter or resume can do.

The internet makes it easier for individuals to share their work samples such as photographs, graphic designs, website designs, articles, data, and even paper works that can provide information about your work. This is important for people who are looking for better opportunities in the corporate jungle.

3. Blog

A blog site is basically an online personal journal or diary that is frequently updated. Most people blog to express their opinion or themselves to the world regarding almost all topics under the sun. Nowadays, ecommerce or online businesses create their own blog sites to discuss things about their brand and services.

Blog is also considered an online portfolio and most people maximize the use of blog as a starting point to creating their portfolio.

WordPress was once a simple blogging platform that has efficiently evolved into one of the most powerful CMS (content management system.) This blogging platform started on 2003 and has turned into a go-to for building a website.

4. Business

Business websites represents the vision and mission of a company, it showcase what they do and what they can do for the people.

Often, business websites includes the history of the organization and the people behind it.

5. Community

Community is basically the people who use a certain website. This is the place where they discuss the problems, innovations, ideas, and opinions within the website.

Often, it has a forum feature where people communicate. This is also where the team of the website communicate with their users and audience.

Choosing a Platform

The key is choosing the platform that is right for you and what your website is for. In the digital era, having a personal website is just one of the vital factors in establishing your online presence, and this also goes out for online businesses.

1. WordPress

WordPress started as a blogging platform that made its way up brilliantly, now widely used by professional web designers, organizations, and ecommerce entrepreneurs around the world.

It is probably considered the most popular amongst all CMS and one thing about WordPress is that it is an excellent platform to use for beginners due to its excellent documentation on how to use it. It also has a fast installation wizard.

WordPress also provides a WYSIWYG editor for those who are not familiar with using HTML (hypertext markup language) or other forms of languages. Another great thing about it is that users should have no trouble finding their way around the administration section.

This platform probably has the most extensive base of themes and plugins to choose from. WordPress community is also great for helping each other around and they are a bunch of faithful and zealous group.

Pros:

  1. Come up with a polished and clean looking website, perfect for those who runs an ecommerce business and individuals with serious careers.
  2. You can optimize your website using SEO (search engine optimization,) monetize your website, track your analytics, explore plugins, and more.
  3. WordPress comes with unique themes, clean imagery, and multiple pages.
  4. It is for free. However, if you don’t want the “wordpress.com” on your website name, you can register for a new domain: Personal is for $48 yearly, Premium is for $99.84, and Business is for $279.84.

Cons:

  1. If your portfolio is a little slim, all of WordPress options might be a little too overwhelming and you might be better off with a simpler CMS platform.
  2. Spending a little time tinkering with the platform’s template and get familiar with it, it won’t take too much of a time, but you need to go your way around its nooks and crannies.
2. Shopify

This CMS platform caters especially for an ecommerce website, simply a CMS shopping cart. If you wish to start an online retail business, you can sell you products and accept credit card payments from your customers. It gives you everything you need to come up with a successful online retail business.

Shopify offers over a hundred beautiful ecommerce website templates in their theme store. You can also choose to customize the template you like that will suit your business and brand by putting your logo, changing the color scheme, and choosing your website font.

This platform offers a streamlined backend administration area and a secure hosting which make your ecommerce website fast and easy for both you and your users to use. Shopify operates on an HTML and CSS (cascading style sheet) coding.

With Shopify, credit card payment is easy and simple. You can also integrate with over a hundred payment gateways which includes PayPal.

Pros:

  1. Built-in speed and security for ecommerce hosting.
  2. Amazing customer support. Shopify customer service gives answers to your questions fast, correct, and helpful.
  3. Add-ons. Shopify Buy button adds a lot of flexibility for various brands that has an online present around the internet.

Cons:

  1. Shopify only offers a 30-day trial and pricing is as follows: Basic Shopify is for $156 yearly, Shopify is for $648, and the Advanced Shopify is for $1,284.
  2. Going through around customization is not easy because Shopify use a unique setup to customize their themes compared to other platforms using PHP for setting up and customizing their templates.
  3. Content marketing is broad marketing medium for ecommerce because it increases your social shares, boost your organic traffic, help you grow your brand, and your customers learn from it. However, Shopify’s blogging software is not the greatest compared to WordPress.
3. GoDaddy

GoDaddy is a domain registration company that offers hosting. The domain name or your website name can be purchased and registered through GoDaddy.

It is considered the leader in domain marketing, and is now thriving to become the leader in all business services and hosting. GoDaddy Online Store is a fast and easy way to get an ecommerce store up and running with a little effort.

Getting started with GoDaddy is easy by signing up to its website. It offers a free trial that is followed by a price tag of around $360 yearly.

There are number of ways you can promote you ecommerce store through its “Promote Your Store” feature. A link on your dashboard allows you to setup the following:

a. Sell on Facebook

b. Social Follow Buttons

c. Email Signups

d. Like and Share Buttons

e. Product Reviews

GoDaddy offers a basic ecommerce store solution which is easy to setup and go through around with a little effort.

Pros:

  1. GoDadddy is inexpensive, having an economy plan with only $7.99 per month at renewal, but it always offers coupons for longer lock-ins and you can even have the price down at $1.99.
  2. It comes with an unlimited bandwidth. It holds up well to a surge of traffic from users.
  3. Excellent product integration, it can also integrate Google apps if you’re into it and they also offer bookkeeping services nowadays.
  4. GoDaddy’s hosting is on the latest technology, using 4GH Linux Hosting. It has all the latest technology to come up with the right website hosting.
  5. It has a little down-time and offers phone support. It has improved its customer service offering 24/7 support.

Cons:

  1. GoDaddy’s marketing is quite odd in a weird and unlikely way. It is known for using blatantly sexist advertising along with its bad controversies.
  2. GoDaddys limits your email addresses and memory, and your database, unless you’re going for their ultimate plan.
  3. Choosing a website hosting is a huge commitment and this makes it hard for you to leave GoDaddy. You need to invest a lot of time and energy to your website.
  4. GoDaddy is restrictive on data and this will make you do a little bit of more work.
4. Wix

As Wix says: “It all starts with your stunning website”. This platform unites advance technology with beauty to create a stunning website for you.

It believes that anything is possible if you have the proper and right website builder, this is the reason why Wix offers a few various ways for you to create your website. It also has a drag-and-drop interface for you to work on and customize anything you want, especially designed to guide non-developer users to quickly build an efficient website.

You can have the freedom to design your own website or choose from over 500 deisgner made templates.

You can create your website using Wix’s software and tools and your website stay in their servers. In a simpler form, you can design how your website will look but you leave the building to the platform itself.

Wix also now offers its new mobile solution which is readily available in the Wix Editor. It saves you money, time, and the trouble by automatically optimizing your desktop-based website for mobile browsing.

Pros:

  1. Wix removed flash and significantly focused on the specific needs and marketing tools that DIY small ecommerce business owners.
  2. It is investing more into keeping it simple and easy for DIY users who need something that works.
  3. Wix is something that best fit your small ecommerce business.
  4. It comes with a short-term pricing and also offers a free plan if you won’t mind having “wix.com” in your website’s URL.
  5. Its design templates are on point with solid varieties of modern themes.

Cons:

  1. You can find a lot of Wix complaints around the internet. Some are justifiable and some not.
  2. Long-term pricing, with paid plans starting at $4.08 monthly, but this plan won’t remove Wix ads from your website.
  3. Its SEO for growing ecommerce websites are often criticized for its overpromises and crawlability.
  4. Advanced marketing tools and technical limitations.
5. Squarespace

“Make it beautiful. Make your own website.” Squarespace helps even a non-expert website designer create a site that looks and feel like a professional. It boasts on its beautiful and award-winning templates that help you present your ideas and ecommerce business online.

It allows you to drag-and-drop images on your website and easily adjusts, add, and delete sections of your page. You can create a unique website with its customizable settings that include colors, fonts, and page configurations.

Its templates are specialized to work for all devices and help you by designing your website only once. You can test how your website will look on a range of screen sizes.

Squarespace also has powerful integrations and will let you have the feel of a professional email.

Pros:

  1. It offers beautiful templates and designs optimized for mobile devices.
  2. Even if its web blogging capabilities are second only to that of WordPress, you can still host your own podcasts on its platform.
  3. Squarespace offers a live chat support that can answer almost instantly and you’re sure to have a very positive experience.

Cons:

  1. Working on its website editor can be a rather dull experience due to its gray and drab looking interface. Not to mention it is not as easy to use.
  2. It is not suitable for a large websites that require a more complicated menu hierarchy.

Choosing a website name and theme

Both your website name and theme depend on your ecommerce brand.

You have to keep in mind that your website name should be relevant to your brand or if you’re creating a personal website for professional purposes, it should always reflect your brand’s vision and mission.

It is always advisable to use a website name with the “.com” domain because it is the most established and credible website domain extension. It is also the most memorable for users, especially for those who are not that tech-savvy.

Your theme will also depend on your branding, starting with your logo. Your website’s color scheme must reflect that of your logo so it will look professional and trustful for your users and customers.

Website Domain and Hosting

Domain name can oftentimes be expensive compared to registering an already available one online. This is the very reason why you need to have a really good marketing strategy for your ecommerce business.

Once you have your own domain, you will need a server to host your website. It is also advisable that you setup your domain and hosting with the same provider, because if not, you may need to point your domain to a different server.

Installing WordPress and Shopify

WordPress Installation

Here are the steps on how to install WordPress:

  1. You need to download WordPress
  2. After you’ve downloaded it, upload WordPress to your hosting account
  3. Then, you need to create your MySQL Database and User and there are three options available to choose from, such as via FTP, File Manager, and SSH.
  4. You then need to configure your wp-config,php
  5. Run and complete the installation.

Check this site for a complete step-by-step instruction on WordPress installation.

Shopify Installation

  1. Choose the app that you would like to use on the app store.
  2. Click on the install app button.
  3. You need to provide your store’s address and authenticate the app.
  4. Then, confirm the installation of the app.
  5. Use the app, which is really easy.

Check this site for a complete step-by-step instruction on Shopify installation.

Website Design

Here are sites where you can hire professional website designers that can fit exactly what you’re looking from. You can see sample of their work, the price for their service, and hire and pay them easily.

  1. Upwork – this is formerly Elance-oDesk which is a global platform where professional freelancers and business owners connect, communicate, and collaborate.
  2. Airtasker – this is a Sydney-based Australian company that provides mobile and online marketplace which enables its users to outsource daily tasks.
  3. Fiverr – this is a global marketplace that offers services and tasks which begins at a cost of $5 per job accomplished.

Creating Content

Creating an authentic and informative content for your website would depend on what kind of personal website or ecommerce business you have. You have to determine and identify your unique value proposition.

Here are some of the best ways to get ideas you’ll need in creating content for your website:

  1. Brainstorm with other people or your team, this is a great way to improve your creativity and ideas.
  2. Think of creating a story, rather than just some random contents for your website. Using a story to deliver a concept helps you develop your ideas and use them effectively.
  3. Interview others to learn and gain leverage in marketing and at the same time creating content for your website.
  4. Social networking is also a great way to gain knowledge of what your audience and users may want.

Website Promotion

  1. Basic SEO – By submitting your website to search engines, and local directories you can optimize your website by generating new content, using keywords and headers.
  2. Social Media – Social media has become widely used around the globe, using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote your website is one of the most effective ways for your brand to get known.

Conclusion

Building your website nowadays is not as complicated as it is years before. You don’t have to be an expert in website designing to come up with a successful website, may it be for personal or ecommerce use.

Tinkering your way around different website platforms is a huge step for you as a professional or ecommerce business owner, this will help you increase and grow your online presence which is beneficial for you and your business.

 

 

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Comments (17)


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Elliot on 9:31 6 Aug
I was very confused by all the techno-babble and terminology. If this is meant to assist newbies looking for info, it needs either a lexicon, or definitions along the way for the many acronyms and terms that, it seems to me, only people who are knowledgeable enough to pursue a website, would be able to follow. There is not much info here that makes sense to me. I was able to glean very little, other than I'm totally unprepared to learn how to do these things because I don't get the lingo. Pretty disheartening.
David on 20:42 30 Aug
Elliot - If you need some guidance on lingo you can email me. I would be more then willing to answer any questions you might have. email is davix500 at gmail dot com
The Others on 14:07 5 May
This is the worst descritpion for newbies how to setup a website i ever ever read on the web. I think you know nothing how to build a succesfull website at all. this is an copy and paste out of the web article. sorry but that needs to be reworked in every way
Pat on 17:00 3 Aug
I have to agree with everyone, I am more confused than ever! but I won't give up we weren't all born knowing it!
Linda on 3:49 20 Aug
I also agree, no information here, just confusion. I am glad you are not a teacher, most in class would fail, unless they are smart enough to be self taught.
Darla on 16:48 1 Sep
Well I guess I must be very smart,everything made sense to me. Thank You
deb on 20:54 2 Jan
thanks for the helpful info. A good place to launch into further research
Val King on 6:15 18 Jan
Once you have the site then you need to promote it. Building or getting it built for you is the easier part. You then need to get loads of people to come visit your website (traffic), this is where the hard part comes in, and once you figure out how to get the traffic then you need to keep it going. Ongoing maintenance and not likely for newbie to try and learn and keep up with.
Lenny V on 13:16 7 Jun
If you don't understand what is being said, you're not ready for e-commerce. If you don't know what the difference is between a torque wrench and a combination wrench, the difference between fuel injection and a carburator is, bias-ply tires, mud&snow tires, and radial tires are, and don't understand that it's important to know which post on a car battery is positive and/or negative, then you're not ready to be an auto mechanic either. Keep reading and learning until you start to get it. It took me approximately 2 1/2 months of learning and experimenting before I could post my first eBay listing. Ciao!
dan on 17:25 6 Jul
Setting up a website for newbies, plain and simple. This in the realm of things, is very simple and laid out.
Saskia on 4:42 31 Oct
Why can't I post more than three things on eBay, since I am new.? Very frustrating, don't they want business?
Irene Vallejo on 15:59 31 Oct
@Saskia: This limitation is not meant to limit new sellers, but rather to help them pay more attention on the service and gain more experience in online selling online as part of their initial steps in selling at eBay. Go through this limit, learn quickly and then communicate with eBay that you are ready, and request for a higher selling limit. :)
homeatlastgirl on 21:34 23 Jan
I thought SaleHoo builds the site themselves and will give you a storefront? To me this seems the easiest way to go for people for people who do not want to do it themselves( for a cost of course) I'm surprised Salehoo is not promoting this instead of trying to explain how to do it Maybe I did not get this information right..
Irene Vallejo on 3:26 24 Jan
@homeatlastgirl: We have been promoting the SaleHoo Store. :) The article above was posted year 2007. You can find information about our latest product at http://www.salehoo.com/stores See you on board!
EFT4Me Debi on 19:38 23 Mar
"If you don't understand what is being said, you're not ready for e-commerce..."That sounds pretty judgmental. Also I don't believe its true. We all have different skills, levels of abilities, even learning curves. It's what makes us unique as individuals. Who hasn't started out as a Newbie at most everything at one time or another? I think sometimes there are people who would rather discourage new sellers because in the back of their mind they figure 'Less competition ' Which is ridiculous because the world is bigger than any of us can imagine. I'm not interested in becoming a computer specialist. Yet I do believe that if one can show what they have available, to the largest audience of 'interested' people (those who are actively seeking) they will find success. I think once we understand the potential for mixing social media with online sales, we'll have the key. Remember this is all new technology that grows ex potentially, daily. What an exciting time to be alive! Peace...
wakeywakey on 3:46 29 Mar
Mmm i`m still a bit fuzzy on all that,but i agree with Lenny V,obviously me not ready enough in the head,and of course a lot of the lingo used is a bit computer academia , much the same as getting a straight answer out of a Politician,But i didn`t get 4 trades in my life by waiting for everyone else to answer all the Queries,most of them come by being self convinced that you can do it,get on site ,then watch ,learn and try,in the end i think you get to a point where it all comes in a rush
Kevin Huska on 4:20 11 Feb
I don't have a bunch of money especially as I'm just starting my biz. but where should I get my website at for my salehoo store that I am putting together? thnx

 

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