So first off, if you want to start an e-commerce website. As most of you know I have had several websites. The NEW site is definitely the best so far, I really like it and really like the features. It is also very easy to use on my end and on the consumer end too.
So my current site is powered by Merchant Moms (the host). This is the brains of the site, the insides, this is where I add all my info, products, registry, etc.. The other inside, the shopping cart, the money, etc.. is powered by Mal's. This is where you set up how people will checkout as well as gift certificates, discount codes, etc.. Currently my payment method is Paypal. I just link my Paypal account to Mal's shopping cart. You can get another company to just process your credit cards, I don't currently have that 1. because it is really expensive 2. because I am not doing a lot of business outside of my website right now and don't need to process cards separately but if you plan to do shows or fairs and need to type credit card #'s in you will want to get a credit card processor. I have used quickbooks in the past. They do a credit check for this so if you don't have good credit, be aware.
Next for the design, the outside the style of your site, you can google website templates. There are hundreds, many are free. I got mine from Boutique Mama, it is very affordable. The prices range from free to several hundred $$. Once you buy it the designer or company you buy it from will install it for you. So you will go to your control panel (mine through Merchant Moms) and add your products, check out your site and viola, it is all pretty and perfect!
I think one of the biggest misconceptions is that if you pay someone loads of money (starting at about $7,000, when I checked into it) to make you a custom site, you are getting the same thing that you can buy from a template website designer. Even if you pay someone loads of $$$ you still have to take all your own pics, add all your own products and do all the inside of your site yourself. If you pay someone loads of $$, you will still have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for someone to power/host your site. They only give you the design, the outside. Another company that does hosting and has designs is Pappa Shop (I almost used them but liked the features of Merchant Moms better).
So now with using Merchant Mom's, Mal's & Paypal, I have a very affordablele yet professional website.
So if you haven't already checked out my fabulous new website, check it out NOW. You can use code site20 for 20% off EVERYTHING!!
Feel free to comment with your questions, I will make sure to answer them to the best of my knowledge. OR if you have any good tip, share them!!
Do you have your own blog? Well I finally figured out how to make a button!! Check it out! Feel free to post the code on your blog. If you do, let me know and I will reciprocate! Thanks in advance!
The code is up there in the right hand corner....