A guide to the main requirements when building an ecommerce website.
1. Domain name & web hosting
You will need is a site (domain) name in the format www.yourdomain.com and a hosting package. If using Actinic software, the hosting requirements are either a Windows, UNIX or Linux server (Linux recommended) with Perl 5.004 or later recommended MD5 Perl module as Perl 5.10.0 not supported, a user writeable CGI bin and a recommended minimum of 20 MB process memory.
Depending on the hosting company you can expect to pay from £50 - £250+ for hosting yearly renewal costs. You may need to pay more if your site becomes extremely busy.
2. Ecommerce software
There are many types of ecommerce software and the type depends on your requirements. We do a lot of work with Actinic and SellerDeck software which can be installed on your computer and allow you to completely manage your own ecommerce website. You can add your own brochure pages, products and images, upload the site and download orders any time.
Actinic / SellerDeck costs from £499 +VAT for the starter package Catalog which is a single site licence, £899+VAT for Business (extra marketing features) and £1399+VAT for Business Plus (multiple site licence). More information.
3. PSP payment service provider
To take payments on your website, you will need a PSP (stands for payment service provider). They will securely take credit card payments on your behalf and also comply with PCI DSS guidelines. Actinic offers a wide range of trusted payment providers already built into the software. See UK Payment Gateways.
4. SSL certificate
Card details are taken securely by a PSP, but you can optionally purchase an SSL certificate from the hosting company to encrypt the data of the checkout. This will further increase the security of your customers name, address, email, phone details etc and it will also display a padlock on the page which give shoppers confidence to purchase safely. SSL certificate costs vary but are often in the region of £100 - £150 per year.
5. Website design
Many people prefer a personalised design for their ecommerce website, either made to match an existing site or a new design. Design costs can vary. We can create a custom quotation. For Actinic / SellerDeck designs, see SellerDeck website design.
6. Building site content
Building content can be done before or after applying a design, because you can change the design without affecting site content.
Many people enter their own site content which does not cost anything except some of your own time. If you need someone to enter products to get you started, please request a quote (cost depends on quantity and complexity).
7. Online marketing
When we build your site we make it search engine friendly by using CSS style sheets and techniques and being sure to include heading tags. Along with good original content this helps your search results.
You may still need to do further work to compete with competitors. You could either set up Google Adwords for instant promotion or in the long term it may be more efficient to have your site optimised for natural listings with search engine optimisation.
Work with us
If you would like us to work on your website, contact us and we can discuss your project.