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Guide to setting up an online store 

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Setting up an online store can be a daunting task for many businesses. This guide will help you understand the fundamentals.

Online stores typically require the following components:

1. Web Hosting / Domain Name

Just like any web site, web hosting is the foundation of your online store. All the files, images and scripts that make up the store are setup through a web hosting plan.

Your chosen web hosting plan will need to support the Shopping Cart software you wish to run. In many cases this means PHP support along with a MySQL database.

2. Shopping Cart Software

Shopping Cart Software allows you to add products and accept orders.
There are numerous options to choose from, many of which are free of charge.

We recommend the following:


nopCommerce is free and is packed with features. You can set it up from our Control Panel (look under Applications) and start adding products within minutes.
It allows integration with many different payment gateways, including PayPal, and has an extensive module system that allows it to be extended with additional functionality. StudioCoast supports up to version 3.9 of nopCommerce.

Visit the nopCommerce web site (www.nopcommerce.com) for more information.

WooCommerce on Wordpress

WooCommerce is a fully customizable, open source eCommerce platform built for WordPress. This plugin can be installed for free into your existing Wordpress website. It also has a number of premium paid extensions for extra features.
Visit the WooCommerce web site (https://woocommerce.com/) for more information.

3. Online Payment Gateway

Online Payment Gateway facilitates the processing of credit card payments between the shopping cart and your bank.

PayPal is the easiest to start with, has no ongoing monthly fees and does not require a merchant account.
It also has the advantage of being supported by nearly all shopping cart software.

If you already have a merchant account with your bank they can recommend a payment gateway service that is the most suitable.
Many banks such as St. George can package an online payment gateway as part of their merchant service.

Your chosen Shopping Cart Software will either need to support the gateway out of the box or have a plug-in or module available that supports it.

4. SSL Certificate

SSL Certificates are used to create a secure connection between the customer and the shopping cart. This ensures that any customer details, including credit card details are kept private and secure during an order.

Use of SSL when accepting credit card details is mandatory and required by all banking institutions.

We hope that this information proves useful. Our Standard web hosting plan supports all the products and services mentioned above and is the recommended option when setting up your online store.

You can find out more information about that hosting plan here or contact us to discuss things further with one of our consultants.


Last Updated:  22/11/2017 9:02 AM


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