17 April 2023
5 min read
The True Cost of an E-Commerce Website: All You Need to Know
E-commerce website builders are platforms that allow you to easily create and launch your own online stores without needing extensive technical knowledge or web development skills. They usually are less expensive than hiring a web development company so, at least, you probably want to consider this option.
Popular website builders for e-commerce
Builders offer a convenient and cost-effective way to create and launch your own online store, with a range of features and functionality to meet unique needs. These are some of the most commendable to try:
- Shopify: It is one of the most popular e-commerce website builders, with a wide range of templates and themes, as well as a user-friendly interface and a robust app store for additional functionality.
- WooCommerce: This is a popular e-commerce plugin for WordPress websites, offering a range of customizable themes and plugins to create a unique online store.
- BigCommerce: An all-in-one e-commerce platform that offers a range of features, including customizable themes, payment processing, shipping and fulfillment integrations, and marketing tools.
- Squarespace: It is a website builder that offers a range of templates and themes, as well as e-commerce functionality for businesses looking to sell products online.
- Wix: It consists of a drag-and-drop website builder that offers a range of e-commerce templates and features, as well as a robust app market for additional functionality.
- Magento: This is an open-source e-commerce platform that offers a range of customizable features and functions for businesses of all sizes.
Building and managing your own e-commerce
Website hosting costs start as low as 2€ per month and can go up to more than 1,000€. This depends on diverse factors, such as how much traffic your store gets and any extra services you want to include.
You also need an easy-to-remember name associated with a physical IP address: a domain. This will be like the digital home for your e-commerce store. It is the unique name that appears after www. in web addresses.
Back to hosting, as an e-commerce manager, you can choose between diverse types. SaaS and self-hosted are the most popular and commendable ones
SaaS e-commerce platform hosting
SaaS platforms are typically hosted by the service provider, meaning that the responsibility for managing and maintaining the hosting environment is not you.
As a user, you generally pay a monthly or annual fee to use the service, and the provider takes care of the hosting. It is a great option if your business doesn’t have the resources to manage its own hosting environment yet, or if you don’t feel like dealing with the technical details of running a website.
When choosing your SaaS e-commerce platform, you must consider the provider’s track record for uptime and performance, the availability of support resources and its level of customization and flexibility. Take into account any additional fees or charges associated with using the platform.
Self-hosted e-commerce website
This type of website is built and managed by yourself and on your own hosting environment, so you are responsible for selecting and setting up the web hosting service, installing and configuring the software, and maintaining the website and hosting environment.
Some benefits of self-hosting include greater control over the environment, more flexibility to customize the website to your specific needs and lower ongoing costs since you only pay for the web hosting service and any additional third-party plugins or extensions.
But, self-hosting requires technical expertise as it may require tasks such as server administration, software updates, and security management. If you don’t have the necessary skills or resources to manage your own hosting environment, this might not be the best option for you.
This step involves accepting and processing payments for online purchases through a payment gateway through various payment methods. As a merchant, you are charged fees for payment processing, which vary depending on the payment gateway provider, the payment method used, the volume and value of transactions processed, and many others.
Ensuring secure payment processing is crucial in building customer trust! Don’t forget to implement robust security measures to safeguard sensitive payment information. And, be transparent when it comes to communicating payment methods and fees to your customers. This builds credibility and fosters a positive customer experience.
Shoppers buy based on trust, and your branding is a key indicator for them to trust on you. E-commerce platforms usually have available templates you can apply to your site easily to make your launching faster while affordable.
- Custom development for e-commerce usually offers a wide range of functions and features tailored to a business’s specific needs. Some common functions included in custom development include:
- Product catalogs and inventory management systems
- Shopping carts and checkout processes
- Payment processing and integration with third-party payment gateways
- Shipping and fulfillment integrations
- Reporting and analytics dashboards
- Customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation systems
- Integrations with third-party platforms, such as social media or email marketing tools
The costs of custom development vary widely depending on the complexity and scope of the project. As custom development can be a significant investment for businesses, costs can quickly add up.
Total costs of an e-commerce website
Overall, the total cost of an e-commerce website can range from a few thousand dollars for a basic website on a simple platform to tens of thousands of dollars or more for a custom-designed website with advanced features and integrations. It’s important that you carefully evaluate the needs and budget before selecting, and always consider the long-term costs and benefits of the investment.
To summarize, building an e-commerce website involves several steps and factors to consider, from selecting the right platform and hosting to payment processing and design. Choosing the best options for your business requires careful evaluation of your needs, budget, and technical skills. While the costs of an e-commerce website can vary widely, it’s essential to remember that this investment can pay off in the long run by helping you reach a broader audience and grow your business.