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I need to build an E-commerce site...

GeorgeGeorge subscriber Posts: 4
Hi everyone,
I`m in the process of building my business and was wondering if anyone recommends a website developer. Does anyone know of a more economical way to create a website that has e-commerce capability? Thanks!


  • asykesasykes subscriber Posts: 3
    George,If keeping costs down is vital, perhaps you should consider a two stage approach to getting the business online.Why not start with a brochure-style website, make sure you have access to good stats for the site. Create a few pages featuring products then go to work promoting these online.The beauty of this approach is that a brochure site has much lower setup costs so you can test the market and find out how much investment (in time or money) it`s going to cost to get a decent SE position. Once you have some solid stats indicating that investment in ecommerce infastructure is going to be worth it, you can confidently make the jump to the higher costs.I don`t want to prescribe to you what those stats should be, so I`m going to start another thread that asks the question "When are my stats sufficient for ecommerce".I know this seems like a much slower route to market, but the truth is a lot of ecommerce sites struggle to pay for themselves, so in the interests of stable financials, please think carefully about whether you want to spend the extra money up front.Remember also that at the moment it sounds like you are quite rightly focussing heavily on how to get an ecommerce system at the lowest price. But there are a lot of important criteria in choosing an ecommerce system, and these will become apparent as you build your online presence.In conclusion the advantages to this approach are...1/ You don`t incur costs for an ecommerce site that isn`t yet performing...2/ You don`t invest in an ecommerce site that doesn`t properly fit your needs.
  • DamienDamien subscriber Posts: 0
    Is it a retail website that you want to create?
  • GeorgeGeorge subscriber Posts: 4
    Thanks asykes! and Damien, yes it is a retail business. Comments and perspective very much appreciated. Here is a little more insight into my business. I have been selling on Amazon since the begining of the year. When I first started I actually did pretty good, I think. I was making a few hundred dollars every week. Then as time went by I kind of let it get away from me and did give it the time and attention that it required so my sales kind of dwindled. Now I want to get back on track, but I want to go ahead and create my own site as I have more control over the cost of running it.
    I see where you are coming from asykes when you mention stats. I myself have been very conservative on my spendings. I am a little shy on taking a big risk and spending a lot of money, but then again it takes money to make money.
    I`m not sure how my a statice site would work as far as when someon buys from me. How would they order? How do I get paid?
    Thanks, George
  • LovePilatesLovePilates subscriber Posts: 0

    Hi George,
    I`m in the same boat.  I`d like to sell my exercise audio CDs online in the most economical way possible. 
    A few options I`m considering are Prostores, Yahoo small business, and SiteKreator.  They all offer similar services at slightly different prices.  It all gets confusing if you`re not web savvy.
    Hope this helps.
  • DamienDamien subscriber Posts: 0
    If there is one thing i know do not go with the yahoo stores.  The reason being that they do not offer a bundle of features and you will end up spending $700 a month.What i recommend is that you check out www.volusion.com.  It is $50 a month i believe.  I do not personally use it, but i have heard of it on certain podcasts, and professionals say it`s great.  It includes all the features that you need to build a website and it includes a great shopping cart with all the statistics that you will need.  One of the most important things is that it generates a google map and has search engine optimization features.  They did a comparaison of this site with yahoo, and if you want the features offered by volusion in yahoo, it would cost you hundreds of dollars.  I believe that it might help you greatly.Good luck,Damien
  • LovePilatesLovePilates subscriber Posts: 0
    Thanks Damien!That`s very helpful information. I`ll be sure to check it out.~Liz
  • ChrisSmithChrisSmith subscriber Posts: 3
    I would look at an open source solution called osCommerce or something similar.  You can host it through your webhost and it offers a full catalog and checkout.  I`ve setup a couple of online stores using this package and it has worked great.  Using the default package will get you started and then you can hire a php developer to tweak it as needed to fit your business.  Let me know if you are interrested and I wouldn`t mind helping you out.
  • mariannemarianne subscriber Posts: 0
    I am wondering what the $700.00/month for going with Yahoo is for. I do use Yahoo for my web hosting and e-commerce. I went into it blindly. I have monthly bills that I pay, but nothing at $700.00. This may be because I am not really making sales.
    I have friends that have told me about other website hosting and e-commerce. I am a little overwhelmed to change at this point. I have a website designer that did everything through dreamweaver.  But he needs to tag different things and every time I have hime go in and change something he is charging $60.00/hr
    I have joined to see what I can learn and get some direction. I need a new website designer because I just can not afford the one I have.  But his price may be reasonable. I don`t know.
    In the meantime I am working at bringing sales in but it is very difficult when you are not known. Any suggestions are appreciated.
    [email protected]</A>
  • rvdebbyrvdebby subscriber Posts: 11
    I tried a few companies and even interviewed one. They were great on the first phone call but didn`t come through with any follow-up. Found a bad comment about them on squeakywheel.com so I am back to square one.
    Have heard commotion about website in a box. People have seemed to like that. I have been going to sites and looking at the portfolios, then going to the featured websites and emailing the companies. So far I am still not finding what I am looking for--a great website for nothing
  • mariannemarianne subscriber Posts: 0
    Can you take a look at my website? The address is [email protected]</A>
    I have a website designer/ maintenence that is so expensive he has my hands tied.
  • enlightDanenlightDan subscriber Posts: 0
    If you`re looking for an economical solution, check out www.frightcatalog.com - one of the leading online, Halloween Retailers.
  • leadstudiosleadstudios subscriber Posts: 1
    Hi George,We have a lot of experience in building various types of websites (static, dynamic, ecommerce, etc) in whatever language is preferred. If you are interested in discussing further, drop me an email.For economical solutions, I would consider going with OScommerce or ZenCart which are open source ecommerce solutions that many web hosting companies support. Its a pretty easy install and setup, using the default template. Just remember to discuss with your hosting company the cost of adding in SSL Certificates.  An advantage of using one of the open source packages is that there is a solid community backing, many templates and other code available to allow for customization and flexibility for future development.Any questions, please let me know. Good Luck!Brandon
  • linuxuserlinuxuser subscriber Posts: 3
    Hello George,What do you sell through Amazon.com?
  • GeorgeGeorge subscriber Posts: 4
    Hi Linuxuser,
    I pretty much have stuck to selling toys for children. I am looking at expanding the line of products in my inventory.
  • GeorgeGeorge subscriber Posts: 4
    Hi Brandon,
    I would need some advice as to what type of website (you mentioned static, dynamic...I`m not sure what the benefits or cons are). I would also prefer it in English for the time being.
    I have actually taken a look at the oscommerce software but I`m a little lost in programming aspect of it. I would definately not mind using it. I would be very apreciated if we have a little pow wow on this further. Thanks for your consideration.
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