How to build an e-commerce website?

Business on the internet or “e-commerce” is not a new trend. But each year more people start online businesses as more customers use their services. In this article we will tell you about how to build this kind of website. (Read also about how to avoid design mistakes on selling e-commerce website).

So, let’s start with the benefits from e-commerce:

* Saving money on developing a sales area

* Lower operating costs which can translate to lower prices in comparison with “brick and mortar” businesses

* Selling to virtually any location without investing in new stores

* Enabling clients to purchase from anywhere rather than making a trip to the store

Nevertheless, creating an internet store presence requires investments in hardware and website development.

In this article we hope to help you to better understand what technologies are used to create an internet store and which of these best suits your budget and needs.

General issues and hardware

Before beginning to develop an e-commerce website a few questions should be considered:

* The amount of items in your e-store

* The geographic area to cover (local or international)

* The number of visitors you may have

* The hosting choices

Answering these questions will help you to decide on some important technical issues:

* Suitable hardware

* Sufficient software

* Advisable framework

Of course, answers to these questions will depend largely on the amount of money you have to invest. Consultation with project managers in an outsourcing company will help you to solve technical issues and decide on your budget.

All the various types of information for your website including what items you sell, their prices, descriptions, your client accounts, etc. are stored and accessed via a database software application which runs on a computer file server. This specialized computer is also known as a “server.”

Some companies may choose to host their website on their own servers while others use servers owned and managed by hosting companies. The decision is often based upon which choice is more economically viable for you and what your long range plans are.

If you decided to use your own server you would need to install and manage the necessary software for it. Today most servers work with two of the most popular brands of software: Apache or Windows IIS.

Website development

Developing your website is the most important part of your e-commerce project since your clients will be interacting with it. It must be easy and comfortable to use. Let’s take a look at what is needed to develop an e-commerce website.

Since an e-commerce site is dynamic (it enables client-server interaction) it requires both frontend and backend development. Frontend refers to the is coding of information from a page that will be processed by a browser and presented as visual information. Backend code enables interaction between a client and a server with its database.

Mobile optimisation and browser compatibility are musts for a good website. Mobile optimization enables clients to enter a website from any mobile device. This is increasingly important since the number of people who enter the internet from smartphones and tablets is growing. Browser compatibility enables to enter on your site from any web browser.

Some popular frameworks

Today most of the developers don’t code an e-commerce website from the beginning. Instead they use “ready to use” frameworks. Their choice depends on the client’s needs and their budget.

The price for e-commerce website development begins from approximately $2000 and largely depends on the framework choice and other additional features. If you want to enable your web

store for personal clients accounts, comparison of items, automatic notification about new discounts etc., be prepared to pay extra for these features.

Most of today’s e-commerce projects are developed on several frameworks. These include WordPress, Magento, Opencart, and Shopify.

WordPress is not an e-commerce platform actually. It is a framework for the development of a blog or news sites. But if your e-commerce store has a relatively a small amount of items, developing a website on WordPress framework is quite possible. Work on this platform is not only simple but it is the cheapest and generally costs around $1500.

Magento is a widely used framework. This technology is more expensive than WordPress but it is still cheaper in comparison with other platforms. Additionally, it is very easy for SEO optimisation and integration with other services like payment systems.

Opencart is another popular open source framework based on PHP. It supports usage of different languages and currencies. Website on Opencart is generally easy to develop and administer.

Shopify enables the user to augment sales channels faster. This framework makes it easier to manage orders and track sales as well as analyzing them.

Make your choice today

Developing an e-commerce website is a progressive modern business trend which enables your clients to buy your products online from any location and in the most comfortable way. The time required and the price of its development depend on many factors such as hosting, software, platforms and additional features you may choose. Using frameworks like WordPress, Magento, Opencart, and Shopify make it easier and faster to develop an e-commerce site.

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