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Ecommerce

Thanks to the level of technology that’s available today it’s easier than you may think to launch your own ecommerce website.

Chances are that you’ve seen some ecommerce sites on the web that are run by people at home (working in their pajama’s of course) and not realized it.

In this post you’re going to learn not only how easy it is to launch your own ecommerce website but you’re going to get an overview of just what you need to do it.

Deciding what to sell

Before you do anything you’re going to need to know exactly what you’re going to offer and how you can make it unique to other websites over there. In the business world we call this a USP (unique service proposition) – this is what separates you from everyone else in your space.

The easiest place to start is to pick something that you have experience or more importantly passion for.

Here is a great example; my friend’s wife is really into arts and crafts, she creates some truly beautiful Jewellery and other very unique household items.

Recently she decided to take advantage of her talent and move towards the launch of her own unique ecommerce website to sell her products.

Brand name and domain name

The next step is to figure out your brand name, it’s worthwhile thinking about a domain name at the same time because there is a chance that you’ll pick a great brand name and you won’t be able to get hold of the domain name.

Now you can head over to a domain registrar like (Bluehost for example) and start looking at registering your domain name.

Hosting

Now that you’ve got your brand name and domain name sorted you’re going to need some web hosting.

There are a number of different providers, but I would suggest going for a company such as Bluehost similar to your domain name registration as they provide a very good level of service and they are very reliable.

WordPress

If you haven’t heard of WordPress then I’ll explain; WordPress (sometimes referred to as just WP) is a content management system that allows you to create websites for a variety of purposes from business websites and blogs to ecommerce websites.

The majority of web hosts (including those mentioned above) provide software that allows you to install WordPress at the click of a button. There are generally two different types of software that can do the one click installs for you; Fanastico and Softaculous.

Picking a theme

Once you have got your WordPress installation setup it’s time to pick a theme that is compatible with ecommerce stores.

There are plenty of options but Woothemes.com provides some free themes that would be a great basis for your new ecommerce store.
There are also some paid themes that are a step up in terms of design.

Installing an ecommerce plugin

As well as installing a theme you will need an ecommerce plugin; this will form the inner workings of your store and provide you with shopping cart functionality and everything else you need to get your ecommerce store ready.

There are a number of different WordPress plugins available for this but one of the most straight forward to use is the WooCommerce plugin provided by Woo Themes (again, this is free to download).

Payment information

There are a number of different payment gateway options that you can work with using the theme and plugin mentioned above.
These include the more popular PayPal and Worldpay options so get your accounts registered and payment information added to your site.

Legal stuff

The legal elements of your ecommerce store will be dependent on the laws of the particular country that you live in and due to the number of possibilities it will be near impossible to tick all of the boxes for everyone here so I suggest you get a once over from a lawyer.

Ready to launch

That’s it, you’re ready to go.

Going back to the example I mentioned at the beginning of the article; my friend’s wife has gone through this process – picked her brand name & domain name, purchased hosting, installed WordPress, setup a WordPress theme with WooCommerce and is now ready to make a move and you can do it too.