There are quite a few different programs you can install on our servers to help you run and manage an online store. While each application works a little differently, getting your online store up and running generally includes the same steps regardless of which program you use. We've outlined steps below to help you in getting your store up and running, and ready for business.
Setting up an online store can be very rewarding, but it can be a lot of work. Whether it's configuring taxes and shipping, or getting products to display just right, there are times you simply need some help. While this page serves as a general e-commerce overview, feel free to ask a question in our Community Support if you need any specific questions answered.
Step 1. Choose and Install Cart Software
E-Commerce Applications available for easy install on your account
Most ecommerce applications installed on our servers are free and open source. This means that you don't need to buy the software. It also means for the more popular applications that there are thousands of people using them (if not hundreds of thousands), and there is a large community of store owners and software developers devoting their time to make the software even better. While we don't recommend one program over another, we do suggest that you check out there website and possibly install a few of them to determine which one would be best for you.
Step 2. Configure your online shop and add your products
After you've installed your Cart Software, your next step is to begin adding products and configuring your store. Adding products can be simple and straight forward, or it may be a little more time consuming if you need to setup colors, sizes, etc for many items. Configuring your store will include such things as tax (if applicable) and shipping and handling methods.
Step 3. Setup your Merchant Account / Gateway
After your cart software is setup with products and you're ready to make money, you'll then need to determine how you're going to get paid. Unless you'll be accepting check / money order only, you'll need a way to accept Customer Credit cards. Signing up for a Merchant Account will allow you to accept Credit Card payments on your website.
Step 4. Choose and Configure your type of SSL
If your customers will have the option to pay be credit card, you'll want to ensure you have their trust by using SSL. Using a SSL certificate in your store allows your customers to enter their credit card information on your website securely. Your decision now is whether to use dedicated or shared ssl.
Step 5. Test your Online Store
When you think your online store is ready to open for business, be sure to test it thoroughly. The last thing you'll want to do is lose out on an order because something wasn't setup right. Be sure to navigate through your shop, purchase a few products, and test your payment system (paypal for example). Pay attention to the automated emails the software send out, and ensure they represent your company. Also be sure that you're ready to handle more of the common issues that arise, such as requests to return product / refunds.
Good luck with your new store!