How to build an effective and safe ecommerce web site?

The first thing you need to do is make a great look for your web site. Its the first thing people see and sometimes its the deciding factor if they use your site or they continue searching. Its time to move up in the world from the “Paint” program that comes with windows to a more advanced program such as Paint Shop Pro or PhotoShop. If you know you have no chance of ever making a good looking image maybe you should consider hiring a design company or even purchasing a template. A template maybe your best bet; they can be low cost, but yet look they cost a thousand bucks.

Next you will need to find a host if you already haven’t. Try looking for a host that offers cPanel with Fantastico. This will allow you to manage your site very easily and allow you to install top of the line ecommerce scripts for free at just a few clicks of the mouse. Depending on what you will be selling it is best to find a host that will let you upgrade your plan as your site grows. Don’t go out and get what you think is the best deal for .25 cents a year. You and I both know that deal is too good to be true. Remember you get what you pay for. You would be best off with a good company if you want to run an affective business with all the extras.

Now on to the fun part, picking a domain name that is catch all and will stick in peoples head’s. I can’t help you with that, good luck! When registering the domain name, try to find a register that charges under $10 a year. There is no point paying $90 a year for the same domain name.

After you found your host and registered your domain name you should really consider getting a dedicated IP address and a SSL certificate. Customers will feel safer shopping at your site and it will help protect their information. Next use Fantastico (or install an ecommerce script manually) to install one of the ecommerce scripts. Configure and modify your site as much as you need to until it meets your standards and start the testing. Make sure you test everything and make sure it works. After all your products are live and everything is working start the advertising process.

Advertising is a tricky business that takes some hard work and some luck. I would stay clear of google adwords unless you really know what you are doing. Many people have spent a lot of money and not gotten a lot of sales, because they couldn’t configure their keywords correctly. I would start off buying low cost text links on similar content web sites and posting in forums. After a few months your site will be listed in search engines, then I would worry about search engine optimization. A lot of money can be made from search engines, but they are hard to figure out and to get the top spot. Read my search engine optimization tutorial for more on this.

That’s pretty much all I can tell you. The main thing you need to remember is that this all takes time. Don’t give up after a month or two, many sales could be just a few months away.