Do you want to make money online, with an online store? If, so, yes, it is possible to do e-commerce website design yourself.
Building a website isn’t something that is really cut and dry. There’s a huge variety of products and services that can either help you get your website where you want it or simply confuse you. It’s also important that you make the right choices upfront so that you don’t end up having to restructure your whole website because of some problem with your design layout.
The level of time investment necessary for mastery in a lot of these software packages can range from little to a VERY significant amount. Because of this, I feel it’s important to be led in the “right” direction to make sure you don’t spend time in the wrong areas, or learn some software that might not be all that useful for you later on.
Design a Ecommerce Website
Where you should start greatly depends on what you plan on attempting to do, and how deep you’re going to dive in. For a moderately professional, clean-looking website without a lot of automation or intensive animated graphics, you can probably get by with some basic knowledge of HTML, ability with a good WYSIWYG editor, and an image editing program. On the other hand, if you’re someone that’s looking to build something that will really wow your audience, then you might consider spending some major time and developing some web design skills. I personally always spring for what I believe will bring me the greatest amount of profit with a minimal amount of effort, and because of this I usually end up spending all of my time diving in deeper with ONLY my WYSIWYG HTML editor, and my image editor.
What is a “WYSIWYG” editor?
A WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) HTML editor is what allows you to get by with minimal knowledge of HTML. Yes, that means you don’t have to know EVERYTHING about HTML to have a decent-looking website. When you use a WYSIWYG editor it interprets what you’re doing (inserting an image for example) as being a certain series of HTML tags with attributes, and does it for you… Thus, what you see on your screen is what you get. Instead of seeing a bunch of HTML code in text format, you’ll mostly see what will actually show up in your browser once your website is up WHILE you’re making it. I highly recommend using the latest version of Dreamweaver — it is well-known as one of the best HTML editors by consensus. Dreamweaver’s interface is very friendly, has a built-in FTP client, and is specifically built to be flexible enough to suit both the coder and the everyday amateur webmaster.
Ecommerce Website Checklist
Image editing? What do I need that for?
Okay, let’s be realistic here: If you’re going to make a professional appearing website, it’s important that you can make some basic, decent-looking graphics. There are a lot of graphics problems that can truly get the job done, but as far as power and flexibility goes, I recommend Adobe Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop definitely takes some time to get used to, but in the end, it’s VERY rewarding. I’ve ended up using my knowledge of Photoshop to make not only graphics for multiple websites, but also touched up portraits, made business cards, flyers, and other online advertisements such as banners. In fact, I’ve used it for everything except animation… But it also comes with Adobe Image ready which is very good with animation. This software is amazing, and if you’re going to learn ANY image editing software, I recommend you start with Photoshop because of its wide range of overall… usefulness!
Ecommerce Website Best Practices
Let’s get me some sales!
Kick off the new website you’ve gotten up from your knowledge of web mastering and image editing with a few new sales… Sounds like a plan? Well, a great way to do that quickly is with pay-per-click advertising. BUT WAIT! Doesn’t that cost money? Well… Yes. But with the tools brought to us by some of the biggest pay-per-click advertisers out there, we should be able to make a good evaluation of how much profit we’re going to make without much investment upfront.
The big question behind pay-per-click advertising is whether it’s worth the cash when you can simply get traffic from regular search engine ranking (otherwise known as organic traffic). After all, there are plenty of companies out there that promise to help get you all the traffic you need through optimizing your website for organic ranking. The answer to this question is quite simple: profit is profit. Through conversion tracking tools such as those offered by Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google Ads anyone can calculate exactly what their profit is after the cost of PPC advertising is taken out. In my opinion, Google Ads has the most user-friendly interface among PPC advertisers. Google Ad word’s interface makes it very easy to see which keywords are pulling you in the most sales, and which ones aren’t even worth your advertising money.
Ecommerce Shopping Cart
Let us not forget, however, that in order to make those conversions we’re going to be needing a shopping cart! There are a lot of diverse software packages out there you can use, but I’ve been using the WooCommerce e-Commerce shopping cart for a number of years with great success. The cart’s server is hosted on their machines, so that means you not only get away with not having to pay for the software itself, but you get out of having to buy an SSL security ticket too! Nothing’s a better bargain than free, eh?
Do Ecommerce Marketing
Getting those sales leads you’ve been building up to BUY!
Once you’ve scored a few sales, it would probably be a good idea to start using some kind of lead management services. I highly recommend the use of autoresponders for this purpose. Autoresponders are, essentially, a newsletter sign-up that allows you to strategically determine what you want to send each lead after a certain allotted amount of time. For example, let’s say someone visits your website, and you offer them a free newsletter. If you were selling an e-book on some very complicated topic, you might consider sending them only information on the most basic concepts at first to get them interested. Slowly but surely, you can turn those visitors that might have left your website and never have returned into some serious revenue!
As far as autoresponders go, I highly recommend the use of Aweber. Their customer service is superb (seriously, these guys really know their stuff!) and can be contacted at any point during the business day via online chat or phone. They also offer tons of free information and guides on making the most of their services.