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CostHelper > Consumer Electronics  > Computers & Internet > e-Commerce Website

e-Commerce Website Cost


How Much Does an e-Commerce Website Cost?

 
low costLow: Free, $7/monthaverage costMedium: $25-$200/monthhigh costHigh: $2,000-$,5000+
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  Typical costs:
  • The simplest, least expensive way to have an e-commerce presence may be not to process payments yourself. Some simple sites choose to create very simply websites (without catalogs or shopping carts) that accept simple payments only through Paypal[1] . And some web retailers do not have their own websites at all; instead selling goods on sites such as eBay.com or Amazon Marketplace[2] .
  • Assuming you have a Merchant Account to accept credit cards, the next simplest way to have an e-commerce presence is to use a ready-made storefront template for $25-$200+/month. Companies such as Yahoo[3] and Homestead offer storefronts that you can customize to include your products.
  • Paypal[4] offers a merchant account that integrate into shopping carts. Google Checkout[5] integrates with their AdWords program and makes it easy for people with Google accounts to buy goods at your site. Each of these options would require some engineering work on a website.
  • Assuming you have a Merchant Account to accept credit cards, hiring a small, professional web design firm to create a small e-commerce site can cost $2,000-$5,000. A website designer who is experienced at setting up store fronts can recommend a website host that offers SSL to encrypt information, permits cgis, has built-in shopping carts, and integrates with a payment gateway. If you host your own e-commerce site, you'll need a shopping cart technology (such as osCommerce or MIVA Merchant), a payment gateway (such as e-commerce exchange[6] or payQuake[7] ), and a Merchant Account with a financial institution. Your web host should provide details on which technologies they support.
  • Tip: web designers are sometimes paid commissions to refer clients to particular web hosts. Be sure to research the web host they recommend to make sure it's competitive and one you'd want to use.
Related articles: Website Hosting, Merchant Account Service, Point of Sale System, Website Design

What should be included:
  • Anytime you hire a designer, they should give you all the source files you need to set up your site, including .html files, Flash files, web-ready images, easy-to-edit original versions of the images, and also possibly the original designs layouts, such as Photoshop .psd files.
  • Some designers may also give you some hints on how to optimize your website for search engines.
  • High quality designers will make sure any JavaScript functionality will work correctly on a wide variety of web browsers and will compress whitespace out of the .html to make files download as efficiently as possible, and will provide compressed and uncompressed versions.
Additional costs:
  • In most cases, in order to accept credit card payments, you'll need to set up a Merchant Account, typically with a bank.
  • Many web retailers find it challenging to generate the desired number of site visitors to get substantial sales. Some choose to get free "traffic" by selling on eBay; some pay for Internet-based advertising, such as paying or each visitor who clicks to a site.
  • Complex websites can cost much more, especially if they require advanced functionality or sophisticated or original artwork.
Discounts:
  • If you decide to let someone else handle the payment collection, options include Paypal Standard[8] , selling on eBay or selling on Amazon Marketplace[9] .
  • If you decide to use a web host that will help you create a simple storefront from a template, options include Yahoo[10] and Homestead.
  • If you choose to build your own e-commerce site, a good place to start looking for a local designer is Craigslist[11] , searching for Web designers under services. Be sure to find a designer with substantial experience building e-commerce sites, and look at the designer's portfolio.
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External Resources:
  1.  ///www.paypal.com/home
  2.  www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161238
  3.  smallbusiness.yahoo.com/ecommerce/features
  4.  ///www.paypal.com/home/
  5.  checkout.google.com/seller/why.html
  6.  /firstaffiliates.com/Affiliatewiz/
  7.  payquake.com/
  8.  ///www.paypal.com/home/
  9.  www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=1161238
  10.  smallbusiness.yahoo.com/ecommerce/features
  11.  www.craigslist.org/about/sites/
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