Are you planning to sell online? Perhaps you may be looking to build an e-commerce website.
If you think building & running an e-commerce website is complicated, perish that thought. But at the same time, it’s not a fun either.
All you need is a well planned strategy right from the website development to fulfilling the orders.
In this blog post, I am going to share 7 steps that you can follow to not only build your website, but to run it successfully too.
Step #1 Think about website hosting & domain
The first and most important step in building an e-commerce website is to decide upon a domain name. It could be your brand name or company name.
Many people may tell you that including your keywords or product names in the domain name will help your website get ranked on search engines. That’s not true at all!
If you ask me, stuffing your domain name with your keyword looks like a spam. So, don’t do that forcefully. It’s not going to help you in anyway.
Recommended Post: 5 Tips to choose a domain name for your website
Coming to the website hosting, let me tell you that it’s an important part of your website development.
A reliable website hosting package can make your business while a lousy web hosting can break your business too. Therefore, consider a lot while deciding upon an appropriate website hosting package and choosing a reliable web hosting company.
Step #2 Search & hire a website developer
This is perhaps one of the most critical steps in the whole process of website development.
Hiring a professional website developer is the key to succeed in any online business, especially e-commerce websites.
If you are fortunate enough to engage a reliable website designer or developer, you will be able to complete your website and launch it on time. But most of the times, people consider their website development cost so much that they make mistakes of hiring inexperienced & inefficient developers just for the sake of saving some money.
Here are but few ways to hire a reliable website designer:
- Check their experience.
- View their past works & testimonials.
- Check their programming skills.
- Don’t underestimate their support.
Recommended Post: 6 Things To Check Before Hiring WordPress Designer in Singapore
Step #3 Settle on a CMS platform
Once you shortlist & hire a website designer to build your website, the next step is to choose a CMS platform.
Most of the business owners leave this part on their web developer which is OK, but you must at least get some idea of pros & cons of different CMS options available in the market.
For eg. if you want to build a website that you can manage yourself, you can go for WordPress.
Although, there are several options available for you to choose & build your e-commerce website, but below are few major players:
Step #4 Choose a payment gateway
The next step to build an e-commerce store after choosing a platform is to decide upon a payment gateway.
How you are going to accept online payments. There are several options for you to do that like below:
The selection of an appropriate payment gateway depends on your targeted customers’s preferences and the price charged by these payment gateways.
Step #5 Test your e-commerce store
After the completion of your e-commerce website development, the next step is to test it.
Testing is perhaps the most important part of your website development. Because a website that’s full of errors will not only affect your online sales, but it will also affect your branding.
Again, you can rely on your website developer, to a certain extent for testing your website. But you must also ensure that you have done all the necessary testing before you launch your e-commerce store.
You may test your website for:
- Different browsers.
- Various screen size & resolution.
- Different devices (PC, mobiles or tablets).
Step #6 Conduct preliminary SEO activities
The most important reason to build any e-commerce website is to get more traffic & sales. When we talk about the website traffic, SEO is one of the best mediums to achieve it.
Although SEO is a slow process and it may take several weeks or months for your website to show up on search engines top listings, you can still perform some of the basic yet necessary SEO activities on your website.
Below are some of those basics:
On-page SEO (before making your website live)
- Meta tags optimization
- Images optimization
- Interlinking between webpages
- Fast loading speed of your website
- Robots.txt file
- XML Sitemap
- Content optimization
Off-page SEO (after making your website live)
- Submission of your website in Google webmasters.
- Submission of your website in various local directories and classifieds.
- Social media participation.
- Forums & blogs participations.
Step #7 Make your website live
Now is the time to launch your website and make it available for the public to browse and buy your products.
Don’t think that after you make your website live, your job is over. Rather, it has just started.
You need to analyse your users’ behaviour on your website in order to optimize it by making some necessary changes. To do this, you may signup with Google Analytics and install it on all of your webpages.