Business computer support services - All posts tagged 'help with starting a online store'
Tampa Brandon Computer Geek


Help with starting a online store

by chuck 5/14/2014 4:35:00 AM

In today’s business world it is very easy to get an online store up and running.

There are several ways to approach an online store.

First what is needed?

• A merchant account


• And the store itself

• Hosting

• Domain Name

So how do you get all of these items?

Domain Names
A domain name is the name of your online store. You know like or whatever variation that you decide. Your domain name is directly tied with your hosting – you do not need to have the same company to do your hosting and your domain name, but it makes it a lot easier with less numbers to call.  There are 1000’s of domain registrars available on the web. Instructions for setting up your domain name is provided by the registrar that you choose to purchase the domain name through like Go Daddy, newtech, directnic, and several 1000’s of other domain registrars.  Domains can be redirected to any where you need on the internet by most registrars. This gives you the freedom to move from platform to platform or hosting provider to hosting provider.

To me this is the most important part of setting up a store online.  Time should really be taken to locate a good hosting provider. What should you look for in hosting?  Uptime: because if the site is not up no one can find it. Customer service: Do they have a phone number to call? Or is all tech support handled through email or chat service?  Email/Chat is the current trend in Information Technology  today, and a lot of providers have moved to having just email support or chat support and no phone support. I avoid the email and chat only hosting. It is much easier having someone to talk with and a much faster resolution to problems via a phone call.  Something that takes days in email can take a few minutes via a call. Whether it be video or phone.  For your hosting you will also need to know what type of store program you want to use (see the store section below).  Again a lot of hosting providers have bundles available for creating a store. For beginners a bundle is the best way to go.  Bundles include the store, hosting, SLL, and the domain name or any variation of.

Secure Socket Layer also known as SSL is a certificate that validates via a third party the authentication of the website you are using. This is the lock you see when you go to a website that has a HTTPS prefix. The S at the end of the HTTP means that it is a secure protocol  between your store and you customer.  This does not mean however that the site is secure, it just means that the protocol that is being used to communicate between your customer and the browser they are using. Site Security is based on a lot more than just SSL such as folder permissions, user access, and a ton of other security things that can create a whole different discussion. There are several different types of ssl and they range in price form $1200.00 to Free.  AS an example Symantec charges I believe around $1200.00 where comdo charges around $300.00. Most hosting providers will also sell you a SLL cert.  There is also OpenSSL which is free and is a open source project (not the safest.) The next cheapest again would be a bundle that includes a shared SSL from your hosting or store provider.  SSL is lots of times included in the monthly price charged by your hosting provider. most of the time this is called a shared SSL. Meaning that several different sites share the SSL.

Merchant Accounts:

A merchant account can be acquired through any of the 1000’s of credit card processing companies. Merchant accounts can be as complicated or as simple as you need. Look at all your options before making a choice on a merchant account. Stuff like do they remove credit processing fee’s before or after they deposit to your business account.  (For me removing the money before made accounting a little of pain because my invoices never matched up with the deposit totals so I like the fee’s to be removed after the money has been deposited.) Really just get to know your merchant account provider and know all your options. i.e. charge back, Merchant fee’s, customer service.

Merchant accounts can also come as a bundle through the hosting company you choose. You can purchase a bundle via a hosting company such as GO DADDY or Thesba.newtek or any of the 1000's of hosting company’s available on the web.  When purchasing a bundle they have a store ready for you to setup as well as a SSL, merchant account and domain name to be purchased.  For beginners this is the best way to go. It’s a one stop service for all your needs and one contact number for support.

Merchant accounts are also available through on line stores like PayPal, Google, Amazon, and eBay and several other online retailers that will let you set up a online store via there services. Some will only allow you to sell what they have available.

Online stores
Again bundles are a great way for a beginner to go.  But if you already have hosting there is possibility you already have a store at your fingertips. Almost all hosting providers provide web app installation services to install either an open source store (developed by an open source community and is normally free) with one click install or the hosting provider may have purchased licensing for a piece of software or developed something in house. Almost all have a installation feature available for easy one click install. You can also set up a store form software that you purchase and move to your hosting. If you choose to purchase software to create and run your store make sure you have the right hosting for it. Knowing what language your store is developed in will help you decide what hosting you need. As an example PHP programing most of the time goes with MySQL databases and Unix/Linux platform hosting. While .net or ASP goes with Microsoft Sql/access Databases and Microsoft Windows hosting. This is not a rule written in stone more like a guideline to help make things run smooth.  All hosting providers will have what type of hosting they offer displayed on their website. A quick example of software that can be purchased and installed on your hosting server is Candy Press.  You purchase this type of software store and run through the set up process on your hosting that was purchased form a hosting provider.  Candypress is around a 100.00 and gives you complete control over your store. Once set up it functions just like the stores that come with bundles or web apps. You can move the software self install stores from hosting provider to hosting provider pretty simple. While bundle stores are usually embeded in to the server of the hosting provider and are a little more difficult to move around.

Affiliate stores are another type of store. This is based on the manufacturer of the product giving you a  store and letting you brand it. There a lot of different types of affiliate stores available. Some will give you the store like Amazon does or a way to integrate products in to your store via xml, edi, iframe or some other type of programing language. Rakuten is the largest right now for affiliate online stores.  You copy and past the code provided by the manufacturer or affiliate program in to the products section of your store and the product will automatically be displayed based on what the code is.  Not all online stores have this capability.

If  you are already a affiliate or reseller check with you vendor to see what they a have available and how there system works this well help you greatly in making a choice of what kind of online store you need. If you need one at all, the affiliate program may offer you a website builder and online store for free.

Hopefully this will help with getting you up and running online if not feel free to give me a call for some more help or some clarity if needed.

The prices are not quotes of any kind and are estimated. We are not affliated with any compney mentioned. All company names are trade marked by owner of said names.. 

Powered by Brandon Computer Geeks
Theme by Contact us


<<  June 2024  >>

View posts in large calendar



The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway.

© Copyright 2024

Sign in