How to Build a Simple E-Commerce Website


How to Build a Simple E-Commerce Website

Building a website has always been seen as a difficult thing to do. Having to set up hosting, domains and of course the website itself. But one website, in particular, is more difficult than others, e-commerce sites. However, with new software and fantastic user-friendly CMS system, there has never been a better time to develop your own simple e-commerce website.

What is an E-Commerce Website

An e-commerce website is a form of site that allows commerce. The transaction of money through a website, hence the E part. Most users consider this to be selling products from a website, such as shoes or hats. E-Commerce websites can be more than this, however. You can use it for pretty much any purpose, a commerce site can take payment for services and events as well.

Why is E-Commerce Difficult?

These types of websites are often seen as difficult to build because they have quite a lot of moving parts. Each site needs to have the product or service to sell, with photos, descriptions written and optimised for search engines. As well as this, they also need to have a user area, where users can see the products they’ve bought and also what details you have on them. This is mostly for GDPR, so it takes less time for you to feedback their details when requested. This area needs to be secure using HTTPS and secure logins. Finally, the site will need a payment gateway or onsite payment. Both have difficulties and costs, payment gateways need adding to the site and chances are they’ll take a fee for every transaction. If you’re using your own payment system, it needs to be very secure.

Building a Simple E-Commerce Website

As we said before, there are now so many ways to build a great looking, simple E-Commerce site. Our recommendations to you if you’ve never looked at building a website before will be to follow the steps below. If not, you can always get in contact with a company like Channel Creative for help in building your website. It can be surprisingly well priced to build a great looking simple site.

WordPress Website

WordPress is the largest CMS (content management system) for websites. It is the largest for good reason as well, as it offered the best option for building a great looking site. With a huge amount of free and paid plugins and themes, you can’t go far wrong with a WordPress site.

So why should you be thinking about building your site on WordPress? Basically WordPress offer themes and plugins to make building your e-commerce website easy.

WordPress Themes

There are literally millions of themes to use on your WordPress site. These themes range from gardening based themes all the way through to specific themes for commerce. Meaning that you can use a pre-built template that can be easily modified with CSS to make it perfect to your needs.

E-Commerce Plugins

As well as a huge amount of themes out there, there are also millions of plugins. Plugins are like add-on’s to a website that improves the functionality of your site. Plugins like WooCommerce are fantastic for building a simple e-commerce website. This plugin pre-builds the product pages, with options to customise with ease. It also takes care of all the payment gateways. With preinstalled gateways for the most popular payment systems, such as PayPal and Stripe.

Shopify Website

This section isn’t just about Shopify, but Shopify is by far the best way to build an e-commerce website if you’re not looking to use a system like WordPress. So why is Shopify your best bet for a non WordPress site? It offers more customisation and better focus on actual commerce than the alternatives. Some massive websites like GymShark and Tesla use this system.

Shopify Themes

Shopify like WordPress works of using themes. They don’t quite have as many themes as WordPress and the majority require some sort of payment for use. However, themes are all directed towards selling, thanks to themes using sales optimisation. Meaning that call to actions are pre-built and very clear.

Building a Simple E-Commerce Site Pricing

So down to the nitty-gritty, how much are you likely to pay to build your dream website? We’ve broken down the prices below:

WordPress E-Commerce Site Pricing

£ 120

  • 40 – Hosting & Domains
  • 60 – Themes
  • 20 – Plugins

Shopify Pricing

$ 189

  • 29 – Shopify Pricing
  • 160 – Themes
  • Nothing here… just wanted to keep it even

Make it Simple

So you now know the best platforms to build your site on, but, how do you make it look great and also make it rank well on search engines?

Making Your Site Look Great

Making your website look great is a difficult process, but using a few simple skills can help you keep it consistent and great. A website like a business should have a consistent brand running through it. For a website, this means keeping the same font styles, same colour scheme and same page styles. There is nothing more amateur than a website that mixes and matches the way it looks as the user changes page.

As you’re looking to sell products or services on this website, it is important to have great looking images. Don’t forget your users will only be able to see your images, not the whole product or service. So make sure you give them everything they would need to make a quick decision on buying or not.

Keep it Optimised

You’re looking for two things from your content, and that’s for optimisation for search engines as well as optimised for users. Content should feature keywords that relate to your product or service. Using the basic techniques that you can find in most of our SEO article.

You’re also looking to write great content that helps drive users to your point of sale. You want to be aiming to convert around 2.5% of users into becoming a customer. Using great images and call to actions can help drive the traffic towards buying. This is all trackable through Google Analytics, here is a little guide to setting up conversion points on your website.

Build a Simple E-Commerce Website Conclusion

So there you have it… building a website and particularly a simple e-commerce site isn’t as scary as you might have thought. It can be a difficult process don’t get me wrong, but there are many tools out there to help you out. Use existing themes and plugins to help create the foundations of your site. When you’re ready for content and images, use high-quality images that represent your products or services well. Optimising content for both search engines and sales. You don’t want to build a great looking site that is invisible or one that won’t actually make any sales.

If you’re looking for a professionally built SEO focused e-commerce website get in touch with Channel Creative. You can either get in touch with us here or you can click the button below. Happy building!