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How to Set Up an Online Store

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Setting up an online store can be daunting task, so we’ve created a guide to help you get your shop up and running.  With the right tools, you can create an ecommerce website quickly and easily.

Purchase a Domain Name

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Your domain should be as close to your store’s name as possible, making it easy for your customers to find your website.  Thankfully, there are lots of different TLDs for you to choose from, including .com, .co.uk, .net, .co, and .biz, and you can register a domain name for as little as £4.25 + VAT per year.  Plus, our domain checker makes it incredibly easy for you to see which domains are available for you to buy.

Buy a Hosting Plan

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When starting a website for the first time, it’s not always easy to know which hosting plan to choose.  Thankfully, we allow our customers to upgrade and downgrade to different hosting plans at any time.  Our hosting plans start at £3.99 + VAT per month; if you outgrow this plan, you can easily upgrade to a larger option.

Order an SSL Certificate

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An SSL certificate allows your customers to purchase items from your store safely and securely, and we offer 2 types of SSLs for you to choose from.  Our SSL certificates start at just £24 + VAT per year, and they are a must have for almost every ecommerce website.

Choose an Ecommerce Application

magento

We offer multiple open source ecommerce applications free to all of our customers, and our auto-installer Softaculous makes them incredibly easy to install.  Some of out most popular open source ecommerce applications include PrestaShop, Magento, and OpenCart, but you can even use applications like WordPress and Joomla to build and manage online stores.  Each of these applications offer different features, so it’s important for you to take the time to choose the right application for you and your store.

Find a Theme

themes

After you’ve chosen your ecommerce application, you can customise the look of your online store with the help of a theme.  There are lots of free and premium themes and templates available for open source ecommerce applications, so you just have to find the right look for your company’s branding.

Customise Your Store’s Appearance to Match Your Branding

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Once you’ve customised the look of your site using a theme, you will need to add your logo, edit text and images, customise emails and contact forms, add important pages to your website, and more.

Choose a Payment Provider

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In order to receive credit and debit card payments from your customers, you will need to decide on a payment provider.  There are lots of payment providers for you to choose from, including PayPal, Authorize.net, Sage Pay, and Stripe, so it’s important to find the right service for your store.  Not all payment providers are compatible with all ecommerce applications, so be sure to choose a service that can be integrated into your chosen application.

Add Your Products & Categories

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To complete your online store, you will need to add your products to your website, as well as create relevant categories.  Most ecommerce applications allow users to import lists of products from spreadsheets and CSV files.

Set Up Shipping

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You will need to decide on the methods of shipping you will offer to your customers, as well as the amount you will charge clients for different shipping options.

Choose Your Required Plugins & Extensions

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There are so many different free and premium extensions and plugins available for open source applications, allowing you to customise your online store to meet the needs of you and your customers.  There are plugins available to help you manage various aspects of your ecommerce website, including SEO, social media, invoices, customer service, accounting, and much more.

Maintain Your Online Store

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In order to keep your store secure and functional, it is important to keep not only your ecommerce application up to date, but also your theme and any extensions and plugins you install.  Out of date applications, themes, and plugins leave your website vulnerable to hackers, putting you and your customers at risk.