#5 Things to Consider for Building Your eCommerce Website Using PHP
According to a study, as many as 20,000 new eCommerce
storefronts open up around the world every week.
As a matter of fact, eCommerce is the most booming segment of the entire retail industry. In this circumstance, as a promising entrepreneur, you must be anxious to learn how to create a DIY eCommerce website for your business.
The following paragraphs will give you a brief idea about building your own eCommerce website all by yourself, covering the aspects like:
- Picking the right set of tools to create your webpages
- Choosing the right services
- Hiring an ideal hosting service provider
- Picking the best payment solution that fits your business and
- Including the best security firewall
Picking the right web designing tools
Here you’ve two options. Either, you can build everything from the scratch with hand-coding. But then, you’ll need sound expertise in PHP, HTML, MySQL and other topics. Or you may use web design application software like MS Expression Web or Adobe Dreamweaver. There are also open-source tools like Bluegriffon (previously, known as Nvu) and Kompozer.
In case, you’re not much accustomed with HTML, you can use a WYSIWYG version of the HTML editor to make your task easier. While using a WYSIWYG application, you just require to click and drag elements, apart from inserting texts and links to build your website. If you’re designing a small website with lesser complexities, it is better to use HTML/CSS. On the other hand, if the content or structure of your website is going to change pretty often, then you should use an open-source Content Management System (CMS), like Drupal or Joomla. This will help adding and replacing webpages along with replacing the existing content much quickly and conveniently.
Tools for building your website
While selecting your website building tools, ensure beforehand that the chosen applications support each and every functionality that you expect in your website. Otherwise, your purpose will not be served in the long run.
Choosing the right web host: There are lots of web hosting services in the market. It is important that you choose the right service provider for your job. While making the choice, consider the following factors:
- Costing factor: The service provider, who charges the most reasonable rate may not be the ideal for you. Cheap hosting services often prove inefficient in providing satisfactory tech support and customer service. There are also host services that offer reasonable prices upfront but as you move in, they bring out hidden fees.
- Offered features: Apart from costing, it is also important to consider the features that a hosting service is offering. Your hosting provider should better have compatibility with programming languages like MySQL and PHP. This is because, currently, most websites are built on these tools.
Make sure, your host provider offers sufficient firewall security and virus detection. Before finalising the deal, check the uptime the host provides. A high uptime ensures that the audience can access your site by typing in the URL into a web browser or searching through the search engines. In addition to all the factors mentioned above, remember that a good and reliable hosting service offers frequent backups to safeguard you from accidental crashes.
Choosing your site’s payment solution
Broadly, there are two types of payment solutions you need to consider. These are:
- A payment processor and
- A payment gateway
Payment processors will send your customers to a checkout page. This page is hosted by your chosen processing service. Here customers will provide their credit card information. Then, they’ll again be sent back to your website. Examples of online payment processors include PayPal and Google Checkout.
On the other hand, payment gateways will integrate with the shopping cart and the transaction procedure will mostly remain hidden from the customers. In this context, it is important to mention that Authorise.net is an ideal example of a payment gateway.
Both these approaches have their pros and cons. If your site is using a payment processor, then you won’t have to look after securing monetary transactions. The service provider or the processing website will do all the needful on your behalf. However, as it will take your customers away from your site for a moment, this might create a confusion and they may backout without commiting to the transaction.
If you want to include Payment Gateways, in that case you need to have more technical knowledge and expertise. You also need an SSL certificate to protect customers’ credit card information. However, in contrast to the former, payment gateways offer smoother and more hassle-free experience to your visitors.
In addition to the factors mentioned above, your chosen payment system should provide additional services like automatic tax calculation and computing shipping charges. These features will save you from lots of overheads.
Choosing or creating your shopping cart
At brick-and-mortar storefronts, shoppers pick items from shelves and drop into their carts. When they’re finished with their shopping, they wheel the carts at the cash counter for billing. You need have something identical to this procedure at your electronic storefront. This is a shopping cart solution. Your shopping cart application will enable your customers to:
- Select their chosen items from your webapges
- Add those to their carts and
- Carry the carts through the electronic purchase process
Make sure that your shopping cart computes the taxes and shipping charges for your customers’ greater convenience. As such, this facility will prove mutually beneficial for both you and your shoppers.
Some of the popular open-source shopping carts for the eCommerce platform include osCommerce and Zen Cart and 3dcart.com.
On the other hand, you can also create your customised shopping cart application, using Dreamweaver. You may also build it right from the scratch by making use of programming languages like PHP and MySQL.
Imposing SSL security on your eCommerce website
In order to protect your customers from online theft and fraudulent activities, you need to impose an SSL security on your eCommerce website. The latest researches on this subject reveal, a large percentage of customers adandon online purchases because of uncertainty over an eCommerce site’s online security measure.
To counter the steadily rising threats from hackers and cybercriminals, implement SSL security on your eCommerce storefront.
The tips given above are tried and tested, time and again. Follow the tips and reach your goal fast and hassle-free.