eCommerce Builders for Dummies

If you plan on building a shopping website and you aren’t a techno-geek, here are 2 options for quickly and easily setting up your own eCommerce site.

Option #1 – Shopping Page on Larger Shared Shopping Site:

If you want to put up a shopping website quickly and easily, one option is to add your shopping page to an existing shared shopping site. To research options, try searching on keyword such as:

  • Ecommerce site

  • Ecommerce site builder

  • Online store builder

This means your site will show up something like www.BigShoppingSite.com/mysite instead of www.mysite.com. Some of the benefits of going this route include:

  • Easy to design your own store

  • Secure shopping already in place

  • Hosting included in monthly price

  • No need to purchase domain

  • No configuration needed of domain, DNS, etc.

  • No installation of software needed

Option #2 – Shopping on Your Website

If you want to have shopping available on your own website, many hosting companies offer an auto-installer for various ecommerce applications. Different hosting companies offer different software, so you’ll need to find a provider that offers the software of your choice. Try these keywords when researching hosting companies, in addition to the name of any shopping cart software that you like:

  • Ecommerce hosting

  • Shopping cart hosting

  • Easy ecommerce

  • Easy shopping cart for website

Some of the benefits of going this route include:

  • Hosting companies offer an auto-installer

  • Only takes a few clicks and minimal input to install

  • Shopping is on your own website (domain)

  • You have more freedom to modify the design

Whichever option you choose, there are a couple more important things to consider before making your final selection: Features and Pricing

Shopping Cart Features

There are hundreds of eCommerce applications on the market today. All of these applications will have most of the same basic features, such as the ability to list an item with photo and description, the ability for a consumer to purchase the item and provide payment. Beyond the basics, applications vary widely in their ease-of-use and features offered. Make a list of the features you want before starting your search. For example, you may want the ability to:

  • Offer your customer coupons

  • Accept credit cards directly through your website

  • Use a payment service, such as PayPal

  • Duplicate an item to more easily list similar items

  • Offer downloadable products

  • Offer wholesale pricing and/or discounts

  • Track inventory

  • Input product variables, such a size or color.

How Much Does it Cost?

One of the most important questions to consider when researching an eCommerce solution, is the cost.

  • Free

    There are many free options available, which often need some kind of configuration. Most of the free software is fairly easy to setup, but each one is different. So be sure to demo or test-drive the software during your research.

  • One-Time Fee

    Some eCommerce applications have a one-time purchase price. This payment option is most often used when the software is hosted on your own website.

  • Monthly fee

    If you opt to setup a shopping cart through an existing website, instead of setting up your own website, there will most likely be a monthly fee.


Make sure you understand the pricing structure before committing to a selection.

Almost Done

Once you have selected a software and a hosting company, all you need to do is setup and configure the shopping cart software, list your items for sale, and start marketing!

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