Boss Lady

Developing the skills to build a bespoke ecommerce website

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There are a lot of options available to small businesses looking to get started with a website. You can pay a freelancer or agency to handle this work for you, build something yourself using a handy DIY website platform, or even put together something entirely by yourself. Cost will usually be one of the biggest factors when you’re thinking about something like this, and the latter of the three options available to you will always be the cheapest. Of course, though, you’ll need to develop some skills before you can build a bespoke ecommerce website.

To help you out with this, this article will be exploring all of the skills and tools you’re going to need to handle a project like this. Most people have the ability to build a website, but they don’t realise quite how simple this process can be in the modern age. Even those who aren’t very tech-savvy can handle a job like this.

The website platform

The platform you’re going to be using for your website is always the first element you need to consider as you go through a process like this. WordPress is by far the most popular CMS tool on the web today, with more than 25% of the world’s active sites using it, and this makes it a great place to start when you’re going through this.

WordPress is excellent because it gives you the choice between coding a website by hand or using visual editors to do the job. This means that you can go from a complete novice to a seasoned web development expert without ever having to change the tools you’re using, while also benefiting from the support network which comes with such a popular platform. Options like Wix, Squarespace, and Shopify are great for beginners, too, but will lack the features you want as you develop your skills.

Hosting & domain

Once you know which platform you’re going to be using, it will be time to think about hosting. In most cases, online stores with less than 1000 products will be fine using a shared server from a company like Namecheap.com. If you plan to have more products or are expecting a large number of customers when you first launch, a VPS server could be better, as this will offer greater performance and security without costing as much as a full-blown dedicated option.

Alongside your website host, it also makes sense to think about the domain you’re going to be using for your website. Shorter domains are more memorable and often look more professional than long ones, but they will also cost more. This makes it well worth spending some time figuring out exactly what you want from your web address. If customers aren’t likely to use it to get to your site, you won’t have to worry too much about it.

Building tools

One of the key benefits of WordPress is the array of plugins available for it. There are a lot of building tools which can be used with this platform, but few can be the ease and power of an option like Elementor.

Elementor is a visual page building tool which allows you to simply drag and drop your content into the right places on your website. You can download loads of different templates, and many of the most popular WordPress themes come with this plugin included. This will be a great option to use as you develop your skills in web design, enabling you to build unique websites without ever having to see a single line of code. Of course, though, it’s always worth pushing yourself, and the advanced options offered by tools like Elementor can be a great way to start.

Taking payments

Taking payments will be one of the trickier parts of your web design experience. Security is key to this element of a site, and this makes it the first area to think about as you go through this. You will need to have a valid SSL certificate installed on your server before you can start taking payments. If you used Namecheap as your host, this will be incredibly easy, as they offer a one-click installation service and tend to give away free certificates when you buy a domain from them.

Once you have an SSL certificate installed, it will be time to start looking for the payment platform you’ll be using. Companies like Paxum can help you to take an online payment, and this works great for websites which are selling a limited amount of high-value products. For those working on a site which will be selling a lot of small things, though, an option like WooCommerce would be a little better, as this will enable you to take payments through the site itself.

Going deeper

As mentioned above, all of the tools in this post will enable you to build your website without any code. Of course, though, code can be a very powerful tool, and learning how to use it could bring your web design results to the next level.

HTML will be a good place to start with this. As a markup language, HTML is very simple, but gives you the power to create striking visual designs in no time at all. Alongside HTML, a lot of people choose to learn some CSS. CSS works with HTML to provide information about styles, and this includes anything from the color of text to complex animated elements.

HTML and CSS will quickly start to feel too easy for a lot of people, and this is where PHP and JavaScript come in. PHP runs on a server and can be used to build website plugins and other tools. JavaScript runs on the client’s computer, giving you the power to make web pages which can change dynamically without having to reload them. This is quite an oversimplification, and it’s worth looking into these languages if you’re interested in taking your web design further.

As time goes on, many businesses are likely to start building their own websites like this. While it can be daunting at first, this industry has become very mature, and there are loads of tools available to make it easier.

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Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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