Want to open an online store, but feeling more lost than a sock in a dryer? We know how overwhelming it can be when you’re getting started. A quick Google search for ‘ecommerce website’ brings up over a billion results with too many hosting providers to choose from. There’s so much to do and when 99% of your time is spent developing products ready for launch, creating a website is probably the last thing on your mind.
But fear not! We’re here to walk you through every step of the process so you can get on with selling.
1. Register a domain name
Before you start building your dream website, we recommend registering your domain name. It can be anything, from your business name to an SEO-focused idea.
Sure, you can create the website first. But what if someone else swoops in and takes the name you want while you’re busy mapping out the perfect landing page? Register your domain name before it’s snapped up!
.shop is the perfect domain extension for online stores!
2. Choose a hosting provider
The next step is choosing a hosting provider. If you’re new to creating a website, this can be pretty daunting, but don’t let fancy acronyms put you off! There are a few different types of web hosting to choose from, like Virtual Private Server (VPS), Dedicated and Cloud. It’s important to review the pros and cons before making a decision.
A VPS is a great place to start, as they're more affordable and easier to maintain. As you grow, you might move want to Dedicated or Cloud hosting, which give you the option for more resources.
3. Select a website builder
Now for the fun part – choosing a website builder or ecommerce platform to bring your vision to life.
WordPress is a popular option for building functional websites. In fact, according to them, 42% of the web is built on WordPress – and it’s clear why. It’s incredibly easy to create an ecommerce site with WordPress. Plus, you’ll receive a range of handy features and integrations, like DDoS protection and built-in SEO tools to track traffic. Get started for free, or invest in a WooCommerce plan.
You could also use our Ecommerce Website Builder to kick-start your business.
If you plan on setting up a WordPress website for your online store the WooCommerce plugin is a must. The fully customisable, open-source ecommerce platform is built on WordPress and comes with a bunch of free or paid features and extensions to choose from – like WooCommerce Payments and Shipping Countdown. It really takes your website to a whole new level.
When it comes to choosing your ecommerce platform, some business owners prefer Shopify over WordPress. You can build a stunning online storefront without any coding expertise, let customers pay their way and fulfil orders with a single click. It’s also extremely affordable, with basic plans starting at just £25 per month. Don’t want to invest right away? No problem, there’s a free trial!
Still a WordPress loyalist, but finding your eyes wandering? You can add the Shopify Buy Button to your site in just a few clicks.
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, chosen your platform and saved your account password somewhere you definitely won’t forget, it’s time to get creative!
Having trouble starting? At Fasthosts, we have a range of WordPress Hosting and Web Hosting plans to choose from – all with a free domain and lifetime SSL certificate. Just pick a use case (like an online store) and we’ll pre-install recommended plugins and themes for you!