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In this post, I am showing you the best way to start an eCommerce website. There are many ways in starting your eCommerce store(like shopify,woocommerce,magento,bigcommerce, other shopping cart softwares etc). I assume you want to start an online ecommerce store, but you are not that sure about how to start it. This post helps you to start your eCommerce website in the best way.

So whats the best way to start your e-commerce store?

Answer: Bluehost+WordPress+Woocommerce+Woocommerce Theme.

Hmm… So what made me come to such a conclusion?

I am a Web Developer and has been working with various eCommerce platforms like Magento,Shopify, Opencart,Bigcommerce and many others(for 8 years) for various clients. I have also developed a shopping cart software. My judgment comes from this solid experience working in the eCommerce sector.

These are the factors I’ve considered in coming to this conclusion

  • Pricing – Woocommerce is totally free while for hosted shopping carts like shopify, bigcommerce etc , you need to pay life long(also a small amount of your sales as fee). Consider long term, even if you are using the most basic plan of shopify, you have to pay $3,480 (for 10 years). If you are going for higher plans you have to pay $35,880(plus the per sale fees). Keep in mind that its real hard to change the ecommerce platform once its chosen(you have to re-add the products, keep the url structure and all, believe me, its a real pain).
  • Design – I’ve developed some woocommerce themes for themeforest. And I can confidently says that woocommerce themes are the most good looking themes available in the industry. Themeforest wont approve sub standard designs, and you can see that a number of new woocommerce themes gets uploaded day by day in themeforest. All the designs are highly competitive, code is well written and highly secured.
  • You keep your code – If you are running an offline store, its better you be the owner of your own property right? By using woocommerce, you can achieve this. All the code, transactions etc will stay on your own server.
  • Light weight and fast loading – One of the biggest mistake in my life was to start an ecommerce store in magento for one of my important online business. Magento was notorious for slow loading speed and complexity, yet I decided go with magento(as my partner was a fan of magento, there was a general conception that woocommerce is suitable for small scale online business). But after 1 year of launch and facing lots of issues(like slow loading, bad feedback about design(we were using a magento theme), hacks(the store was hacked regularly)) we decided to change the store to woocommerce. Things got better afterall, the store loaded in seconds and the sales improved.
  • A wide range of plugins and easy customization– The WordPress plugin library is filled with woocommerce extensions. There are lots of free woocommerce plugins for many functionalities. Also, when it comes to customization, its far easier to customize woocommerce compared to magento and all.

So hope you are convinced with what I said from my experience.

Now, let’s have a look at 4 steps in starting an eCommerce store

Step 1: Register a domain and setup a hosting

The first step is to register a domain. You need a domain name for your e-commerce store, if you are not sure about your domain name, this article will help you in picking the right domain name for your ecommerce store.

Luckily, bluehost offer a free domain name along with their hosting, so that you can have it all in one account.

So, these screenshots will help you in setting up your bluehost account

1: Select the Pricing Plan

Bluehost does have 3 major plans(basic,plus and prime). To set up your first eCommerce store, I’d recommend you to take the basic plan. Initially, your blogs wont be having that much traffic so that the basic plan will be the perfect one to start with. Later on, once you build some traffic(visitors) to your blog, you can updgrade to bigger plans(this can save you some good money). The basic plan is $3.95 while plus and premium plans are $5.95 per month.

Well, you can go ahead with the plus or prime plans if you can get good amount of traffic initially. I am not at all against these plans, but what I meant is that you can always upgrade to higher plans anytime you want. This might probably save you some bucks.

Recommended: Basic Plan

bluehost-basic

2 :Register the domain

Enter the domain you want to register for your e-commerce store. You can enter a domain if you already have one, bluehost will show you how to transfer the domain to bluehost server.

bluehost-1

3: Fill in your details and the payment details.

bluehost-2

I am highly recommending you to uncheck the following options(which can save you some good money). Moreover, you don’t need this in the initial stage.

  • Domain Privacy Protection – Only select this if you want privacy for your domain,. Means you dont want to disclose the identity of the domain owner
  • Site Backup Pro – Your blog wont be having tons of contents intially. So that, it wont be hard for you take backup initially. You can easily take your blogs backup using the Backup WordPress plugin. You can always select this option later(if you need this)
  • Search Engine Jumpstart – This is not necessary, you always have the yoast seo plugin to make your blog seo friendly
  • Site security lock – Not needed intitally, you can use this later once your blog gets established. This can save you some money

I am saying this because I dont use any of these additional features for my eCommerce store and everything is super cool for me.

Again, its all up to you, if you think you need privacy and backup feature, just go for it.

Approximate Pricing for Bluehost: 45-72 USD a year

Step 2: Install WordPress in your domain

Now you’ve set up the domain and hosting. The next thing is installling the WordPress in this domain in your bluehost. The one click install of bluehost makes this process so easy(like installing a software in your pc). If you want a complete guide about installing WordPress in your bluehost account, read this tutorial . I’ve given a quick tutorial below about installing WordPress in your bluehost using 1 cilck installation.

1. Login to your bluehost and select the Install WordPress option.

step 1 installing wordpress bluehost

2. Click the Install Button

step 2 clicking install button wordpress bluehost

3. Select the domain you want to install WordPress
step 3 selecting domain to install

4. Enter the WordPress site title, username and password(to access the WordPress admin dashboard of your website)

step 4 setting wordpress user name and password and installing

5. Completing the WordPress Installation

step 5 installation complete and logging in

6. Logging into the admin dashboard using the admin URL
step 6 logged in wp panel

Step 3: Install Woocommerce plugin in your WordPress

Now lets set up the WordPress ecommerce (Woocommerce) store.

1. Select Plugins>Add New
Once you log in to the dashboard, select the Plugins> Add New button

woocommerce1

2. Search for “Woocommerce” and Press enter

This will prompt WordPress to search for the Woocommerce in the WordPress Plugin Repository. The Woocommerce Plugin will be shown in the list. Click the install button to install Woocommerce
woocommerce-install

3. Activate Woocommerce

After all you need to activate the Woocommerce. After activating woocommerce, you will be directed to a small survey page. You can select the Not Right Now(which can save 3 minutes of your life time) or complete the survey.
woocommerce-3
That’s all! You are done! The store functionality is ready.

Step 4: Buy a Woocommerce theme and install it in your WordPress website.

The next step is to buy an apt Woocommerce theme for your woocommerce store. I would only recommend themeforest woocommerce themes as they have the best quality and the most good looking and high quality WordPress themes available in the industry(I’ve developed many WordPress themes for themeforest and their quality guidelines are top class).

Download the WooCommerce theme(installable zip file) and upload it to the WordPress theme directory.

Go to Appearance>Themes>Add New>Upload Theme

 

theme

 

Once the theme has been uploaded you have to Activate the theme.

Approximate price of WooCommerce theme – 50$

Step 5: Integrate a Payment gateway in your WordPress-Woocommerce store.

After uploading a Woocommerce theme, your store will be ready. Now you need to integrate your payment gateway into your Woocommerce store. You have to take an account some payment gateway which is convenient for your like(stripe,braintree or whatever).

You’ll get WordPress integration plugins for the payment gateway you are using. For instance lets try an example with stripe.

Go to Plugins>Add New and search for “Stripe” and press Enter.

stripe

 

Select the right plugin you are looking for and install it. Here you can use the first one and second one(I prefer the second one).  Make sure, the plugin does have good start rating (I’d say something above 3.5).

Install the plugin and Activate it.

Configure the payment gateway plugin

You can configure the payment gateway at Woocommerce> Settings > Checkout > Stripe Payment

 

stripe-payment

I am saying about Stripe here. If you are installing another payment gateway, you can take the settings of that payment gateway.

You have to enter your stripe account credentials here, like Secret Key, Publishable Key, Live Secret Key, Live Publishable Key etc. There are two modes Test mode for test transactions and Live Mode for live transactions.

Any payment gateway should have these basic configurations.

How to integrate Paypal with Woocommerce.

Go to the same Woocommerce payment checkout settings

Paypal comes default with Woocommerce, so you don’t need to install any separate plugin for that.

Woocommerce> Settings > Checkout > PayPal

You can enter your paypal email, paypal receiver emails etc.

Once you’ve saved the settings, you can see the payment gateways integrated automatically in your checkout page.

Have a look at how I implemented paypal and stripe in my checkout page.

woocomerce-checkout

 

You can select your preferred payment gateway and make the payment and complete the purchase.

That’s all with setting up your first eCommerce store! And all under 100 $.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial in setting up the best ecommerce store for you using WordPress and Woocommerce.

You can contact me to help or implement an e-commerce website for you (I won’t be charging for the first 50 enquires).

 

 

Motive

To create a good looking website (DIY) with the minimum possible budget.

In this blog post I am going to explain how you can create a good looking website with the minimum possible budget. What would be the minimum cost to create a website if you approach a web design company? For sure, nothing less than 250 $. Here in this blog post, I am going to show you how you can create a good looking website for just 10 $ (minimalist features) and up to 95$(with all required features and top quality design).So what all are the Cheapest ways to start a website ? How can you make the worlds cheapest good looking website? Lets have a look at the 4 steps in creating the website at low cost.

cheap website

 

Step #1 – Register a Domain name – Total Cost-10 $

First of all you need  a domain name for your website. You need a unique available domain name for it (like google.com,facebook.com etc) . Here lets assume that you are going to start a burger website , you need to register a domain name for the website from a public domain registrar.

Step 1.1 – Check whether the domain name is available

First of all you need to check whether the domain you need is available. Make sure the domain is catchy and suits your purpose. Check ,
How to select a Good domain name
Best domain name suggestion tools
Here for our burger website I looked for a domain name tastyhotburgers.com , Oh yea! its available .
domain

 

step 1.2 Register the available domain name

Now we’ve fixed the domain and made up our mind to register it. You need to continue the purchase and register the domain. The average registration cost for a domain for 1 year is 10$ (you may get it for a price lesser than 10$  depending on the offers provided by Godaddy).

Step #2 – Get a web hosting – Total Cost ( 0$-40$ per Year)

We need a space to host your website . Internet is a connection of computers. You need to buy some hosting space (to store your website data(files,images etc)) or being more specific, some space inside some computer hard drive. So what all are the cheapest ways to host your website? Here I list three methods through which you can cheaply(or freely) get a hosting space.

2.1 Method 1 – Godaddy Hosting

Godaddy provides a hosting platform ,so that the customers can get it all under one platform (The domain,hosting,email). This is one of the most hottest and easiest ways to start a website as godaddy provides Domain name+Hosting+Email+Website builder all in one platform, all you need tp do is to pay additional money for  each and every sections. And the good news is that godaddy have really cheap web hosting plans . As cheap as 20 $ per year (you will be getting a website builder too,through which you can build up your website.)

Have a look at their cheapest plans

goadday-2

 

The first package(Website builder+Hosting) should cost you approximately around 20 $ per year. What does this 20$ package mean? This package (website builder+hosting) package doesn’t give you access to the back end( file manager,database access etc).  It means you cannot create a website as you wish. They will have a predefined theme and a website builder through which you can build a website (keep in mind that their website builder has very limited features) . This is ideal if you only need the simplest website, like you only need two or three static pages or a website to notify some event. You cannot hire a designer and modify the website in your own manner. I’ll explain it little more vividly with a real world example, consider your hosting as a restaurant. In this case, your hosting is a vegetarian restaurant, and you need a chicken tikka from the restaurant.Being a vegetarian restaurant you wont get a chicken tikka from it.

The second plan gives you cpanel access with 1 mysql database which means you’ll get access to the back end engine of the website.  You can change the design and programmatic side of the website. You can hire a designer/web developer and do whatever in the website (the domain is all yours, you have no limitations). Say you want to create a website like facebook, yes it is possible as you have access to all the files,database etc. Coming to real world, this hosting would be a common restaurant where you can order a chicken tikka or a vegetable sandwich or whatever.

2.2 Method 2- Bluehost

Another great option in budget hosting is using bluehost. When it comes to efficiency and speed Godaddy hosting isn’t that fantastic as you think. Bluehost even though their cheapest plan is little bit costlier than Godaddy’s,it is a much efficient hosting provider with great support and reputation. I’d say you should go for bluehost if you are really looking for a serious and long term web business. The minimal plan with bluehost starts with $3.49 per month ,through which you get complete backend features like cpanel, filemanager, Mysql database etc.

SignUp for Bluehost

2.2 Method 3 – Get Hosting at Zero Cost
Not ready to spend any money for hosting? Try some of the free web hostings, it will never give the result or data security your are expecting but there are a lot of free web hosting with limited services.

Have a look at some of the free web hostings

Another option to cut down the hosting charges is using some others shared/dedicated hosting. If one of your friend does use a hosting (shared or whatever) and if it has the capabilities to host multiple domains , ask him whether you can host your domain on his hosting. When I started my website experiments(10 years before), I was not ready to spend money on hosting. One of my good friend was using a dreamhost shared hosting at that time, and when I asked him whether he can host my domain on his server, he was more than happy to do that. Well, that’s how I hosted my first website free of cost.
It wont do any harm for the hosting owner if your website is a normal website with ordinary amount of traffic and of moderate size. Normally multiple users uses shared hosting, like even if you buy a shared server, many other people would be using the same server to host their domain. So ideally using your friends shared hosting should not harm you or him in both sense.

Step #3 -Design & setting up the website – Total Cost-0$-50$

So what does it comes to your mind when you hear the term web designing? A web designing company or individual right? What would be the minimal cost you need to give to a website designing company or team to design and setup a website for you ? I work in the web industry for 9 years and I know the rates. A minimum of 250$ will be charged for the design/programming section alone. What if I say you can cut the cost down from 0$ – 50$ ? Yes! it is possible ! All you need to do is go over some of the basic tutorials. 3-4 hours of work around can make you handle it all alone. Well, don’t be misled, I am not saying you can learn designing/programming, but using platforms like WordPress and Installing its predefined themes.

step 3 .1 – Install WordPress – Free (0 $)

What is WordPress ?

You might already  be familiar with WordPress. FYI, 1 out of every websites you see is running in WordPress. WordPress is an opensource platform that can add lots of functionality to your website. WordPress is web software you can use to create wonderful websites or blogs. You can create pages and posts in WordPress . There are a lots of free plugins available for WordPress which can take your website to another level. WordPress has its image upload facility(media upload), so that you can easily upload images to your website and bring it up in the front end.Likewise, if you need a contact form in your website, you can install the contact form 7 plugin in your WordPress website and place the contact form anywhere inside the website.

How to install WordPress in your website?

The theoretical way of installing WordPress is to download its core library files from the WordPress library , upload it in your server and configure the database. But luckily, many of the web hostings offer 1 click install,through which you can install your WordPress in 5 minutes with 4 or 5 clicks. Have a look at this detailed tutorial in installing WordPress in bluehost with one click install in 5 minutes. The one click install mechanism is almost same irrespective of the hosting(dreamhost,godaddy). Follow the same tutorial to use the One click WordPress install.

step 3.2 – Install a WordPress theme (0$-50$)

 

Your next task is to select a WordPress theme. What is a WordPress theme? Keeping it simple,it is a portable design or code written in PHP with respect to the WordPress standards. All you need to do is to install the specific  WordPress theme in your WordPress engine. If you are not sure, have a look at some of these WordPress themes. The best part of using WP themes is that, they are the best themes available in the industry. You can see lots of themes in each niche. For instance, we are saying about a burger website here. You can find lots of food WordPress themes or even burger themes in WordPress which would suit perfect for your website.

Well,  many says that using themes for a website spoils its uniqueness. But trust me, the new generation WordPress themes are highly customizable so that no two websites using the same WordPress theme look identical. Moreover, the chances that your competitor using the very same are slim to zero.
Read – How to install a WordPress theme in your WordPress

Next question? How much does it cost for a WordPress theme ? Well, it depends, lets say an average about 40-50$.

Dont want to spend money for WordPress themes ? Don’t Worry, you got lots of good looking free WordPress themes. There are lots of free WordPress themes in different niches with great quality. You can download it them for free,install and customize them.

Conclusion

Thats how the Worlds Cheapest good looking has been made! I’ve summarized the expenses into a table, have a look

Process Minimum Budget Minimum Expense Maximum Budget Maximum Expense
Step 1 : Registering a domain You cannot cut down the domain registration expense 10 $ The very same expense 10$
Step 2 : Buying a host and hosting the domain Use a free hosting or ask some one to host your domain in his shared/dedicated server 0 $ Buy a cheap hosting 40 $ / Year
Step 3 : Designing the website Install WordPress an use a free WordPress theme 0 $ Install WordPress and buy a Premium WordPress theme 45 $
Totals 10 $ 95 $

Its all your choice depending on your budget. Let me know if you need any help, I’m happy to help 🙂

As I’ve said in my previous posts, I’m in a mission in educating people around the world in starting their own website (without depending any one).

[blockquote source=””]Fact is that launching a new website is something which you can Do It Yourself(DIY) without much efforts.[/blockquote]

As a part of this mission, I started an article series which includes tutorials which can help non technical people in starting and establishing their website.

In this post I am gonna show you how to install WordPress in your bluehost server in less than 5 minutes. Yes very much less than in 5 minutes, its that easy.

Step 1 : Login to your Bluehost and take the Install WordPress Option – 1 Minute

After setting up your bluehost server and domain you need to have WordPress installed to your server(after all you can purchase a good looking theme and can install it into your WordPress website).
Login to your Bluehost Panel and take the install WordPress Option

 

step 1 installing wordpress bluehost

After that click the Install button on the WordPress installation page.

step 2 clicking install button wordpress bluehost

Step 2 : Select the Domain into which you need to install your WordPress – 1 Minute

step 3 selecting domain to install

Here you need to select the domain to which WordPress has to be installed. Here I’ve selected the domain as dollarfry.com and sub directory as wordpress which means the WordPress will be installed to dollarfry.com/wordpress.

Step 3 : Enter your WordPress Login Details and click Install Now – 2 minutes

Here you will see three check boxes (tick boxes) .

1. Advanced Options check box.

Check this and enter your WordPress website site title, username and password (through which you will be logging into your WordPress website).

2. Automatically create new database check box.

Check this option and the one click install will automatically create the database(where all your website data(website content,user login details etc) will be stored or else you may need to create one yourself

3. Terms and conditions check box.

Check this option to agree to the terms and conditions.

step 4 setting wordpress user name and password and installing

Now click the Install now button and the WordPress installation should begin

Step 4: Completing the installation and logging into the WordPress admin dashboard. – 1 Minute

This is the final step. After your installation has been completed, you will be shown a notification about the completion.

Click the View Process and View Credentials Option and you can see the login details to your WordPress installed website (which you gave before).

step 5  installation complete and logging in

In my case( as shown above ) was,

Main Website url – http://www.dollarfry.com/wordpress
WordPress Admin url – http://www.dollarfry.com/wordpress/wp-admin

I did login to the WordPress dashboard all in 5 minutes from the beginning of the one click install process.
step 6 logged in wp panel

Queries? Shoot a comment ! 🙂