Setting up an ecommerce website is remarkably easy, probably a lot simpler than you think if you have never done it before.

However, to clarify; This particular post is only going to get you to the stage of having an online shop up and running. It’s appearance, search engine optimisation, style and stocking will be dealt with at a later stage.

I have spent many hours building ecommerce websites, so I am going to dispense some of the things I have learned over the past few years in this blog for your free use and comment.

1. What Will I Need?

There a few ingredients required to come out with a complete ecommerce website. They are as follows :

  • A domain name. This is your address on the internet (e.g ‘ecommerce1.com’ is my domain!) (for purchasing domains try here.)
  • A hosting account – It must support PHP and MySQL (glx web hosting is my recommendation for ecommerce hosting)
  • FTP software (my recommendation is filezilla which is free!)
  • E-Commerce software. Choose which you would like to use (we will assume osCommerce for this post, but I will be going through all the ecommerce software at a later date and highlight the pros and cons.)

2. How Do I Install my E-Commerce?

This part is a little complicated if you haven’t done it before. If you have hosting with a reputable company, they will offer helpful support if you require it.

First you will need to log into your hosting control panel.

In your control panel will be an area for MySQL, you will need to create a database and create a username and password for that database. Keep a record of these as they will be needed in the osCommerce installation.

Next, using your FTP login details (provided from your hosting company) upload your downloaded copy of osCommerce.

Follow the installation instructions that you will find in the downloaded folder. (Some files may need file permissions changed, you can do this through filezilla by right clicking on the file or folder and selecting ‘File Permissions…’)

Once this is completed you will have a fully functional osCommerce website! Well done! But however this is just the beginning…