eCommerce Website Development

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Ready for Your Business eStore?

    • Have an existing online store in a free or cheap system?
    • Heard about drop-shipping opportunities and want to build your own structure to sell goods to your target demographic?
    • Have a brick and mortar store and thinking you might give this ‘internet thing’ a try?

No matter what your “why” is for starting an eCommerce website, Webmaster For Hire is here to help you build exactly what you need.  We will guide you through the process and ask the questions that may have escaped your mind.

Before Starting eCommerce Website Development

There are a lot of business decisions to make for your online store to be successful.  Just a few of those include, but are not limited to:

    • Payment method. How are you accepting payments from customers? Credit card processor from your bank? PayPal, Stripe, WooCommerce Payments, or another method?
    • Shipping method. How will you be delivering your products? Will you have local delivery or pickup? Will you need real-time rates from UPS, FedEx, USPS, or another carrier? Or will you use a shipping cost table based on the number of products or the total cost of the order?
    • Do your products have different options for your customer to choose (size, colors, styles, etc.)?
    • Phone Orders. Will you be taking orders over the phone? How frequent?
    • Customization / Personalization. Will your products allow customization or personalization?

Build with WooCommerce

Why WooCommerce?

It isn’t because this is the only platform we know, like other developers. In the past, we built sites in Shopify, Magento, CS-Cart, PrestaShop, Zen Cart, X-Cart, and even osCommerce years ago.

No, after working with all these carts, we have found that WooCommerce is:

    • The most user-friendly for our clients to add/edit/delete products after launch,
    • The most flexible for our clients’ variety of needs for functionality,
    • The most affordable.

WooCommerce vs. Shopify

The number one issue that our clients find with Shopify is the cost.  It starts at a nice low monthly fee. Then that small monthly fee starts eating the ROI (return on investment) as they increase.  With every new functionality that an online store owner needs, a new add-on monthly fee is added.  Small incremental feels of $4/month, $8/month, and higher start to add up where shop owners find themselves paying hundreds of dollars a month in the add-on costs.  Without marketing your website before launch, your site will need to boom to make a profit.

Online Store CMS Statistics

As of June 20, 2020:

WooCommerce Checkout – “A WooCommerce website that has a checkout page” claims 26% of online stores using their CMS (Shopify is in second place with 21%).

Out of the top one million websites on the internet, there BuiltWith detects 418,329 are eCommerce sites.  Out of those, “WooCommerce Checkout is currently the most popular technology in this category.”

43,848 websites (4.38%) of the top one million eCommerce sites are using WooCommerce (34,783 – 3.48% use Shopify).

3,320,691 websites that are WooCommerce Checkout Customers. We know of 1,898,857 live websites using WooCommerce Checkout and additional 1,421,834 sites that used WooCommerce Checkout historically and 1,085,663 websites in the United States.”

Benefits of WooCommerce

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Pricing

As mentioned above, the cost savings are significant.  WooCommerce base store is free.  There are a lot of one-time-only and free basic plugins to add any required functionality. Most premium plugins are a nominal annual fee.

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Flexible

WooCommerce is modular and able to fit your needs instead of you modifying your store capabilities into their platform.

Sell any type of product 

Physical, digital download products, or both. Sell dropship, warehouse stored to ship, or local inventory.

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Variations are unlimited

  Offer any range of sizing, colors, styles of any one product on a single product page.

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Works with most payment providers

 Stripe and PayPal. Accept credit cards, direct bank transfer, checks, or cash on delivery.

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Product ratings and reviews

 Get feedback about your products to display on your product page.

Unlimited

Unlimited products, images, galleries, shipping options, and locations.

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Manage orders and customers

 Customer and guest accounts. Internal and customer notices. Refunds, inventory, and order management.

Sell

Offer coupons and discount codes. It is optimized for search engine rankings. Cross-sell and upsell. Get reports on sales, inventory, and more.

eCommerce Agency

Your store isn’t just another project.  It’s your business and part of, if not all, of your livelihood.  Building your online store needs to be done with all the functionality and design that meets your business requirements.  That’s the benefit of working with developers with decades of experience.

If you’re looking to have a cheap site where you give the orders and direct the project, then you don’t need us.  We consult right away.  We seek solutions not only to meet your needs but also to give your customers a positive user experience.

eCommerce Development FAQ

Do you use existing theme or custom theme for building my website?

We can do both. Some clients desire a branded, custom developed website and other prefer an existing theme.  We have the team and capabilities to service both clients.

Do you build mobile friendly websites?

Yes, our websites are responsive. This means they flow from large desktop screens to mid-size tablets and down to the smaller smartphone screens.

Is there anything I need to provide to build my website?

Yes, you will be providing the text, image and any multimedia content that you wish to have on your website.  We can provide stock photography as needed.

Are there any hidden/additional charges?

We work to provide fully accurate quotes upfront. Additional costs outside of the project quote for all sites include:

However, there can be unexpected fees.  If there are changes in the project scope or a premium plugin fits a requirement that wasn’t part of discovery, those are additionally fees.

What is your fee schedule for website design projects?

Website design fee schedules are 50% – 25% – 25%. Half of the payment is due with a signed contract; a quarter is due upon approval of the design or theme, and the final quarter is due before the site goes live.

I am totally new to building a website. How does the whole process work?

The process is easy.  You are part of it every step of the way, and we give you advice, directions, and answering questions throughout the whole process. Check out our full development process here.

How long does it take to have a website built?

Of course, the timelines for website builds depends on a few variables:

  1. How fast designs are approved,
  2. Do you have all the content ready,
  3. How large is the site, and
  4. Are there any add-on development that is needed.

A custom website design project with up to ten-pages that has approved designs and all the content can take up to 6 weeks but rarely over two months.

Do I own my website?

In our contract, we assign full copyright of your website to you upon receipt of the final payment. This assignment gives you complete ownership of your website.

How do I get my “www” address?

The website’s address is also known as a “domain” or “url.”  Domains are not purchased once.  You register for your chosen and available website address for an annual fee.  You can register for your domain here for less than $15 a year.

How do I keep my site secure?

This is a great question that every website owner should ask.

Since most websites are developed with a database (i.e., WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.), they can be targets to hackers.

Please note: hackers rarely attack websites because:

  1. of the nature of the business,
  2. the owner or people involved in the business, or
  3. pretty much anything that has to do with the business.

Websites get hacked mostly for the website’s resources, which include the mail server, the site’s host server, and any stored data in a database.  For this reason,

  1. We do not allow any websites to use our hosting that contains highly sensitive data (credit cards, date of births, health records, social security numbers, etc.), and
  2. Anyone is susceptible to being hacked – it’s not personal.

To keep your website secure: all updates to plugins and the CMS systems itself (i.e., WordPress, Joomla, Drupal) regularly.  Install security plugins and schedule regular backups of your website (daily, weekly, monthly).  You should have website monitoring, too, to detect downtime.

We have “WordPress Maintenance & Support” packages. These packages include backups with WordPress and plugin updates.  Websites hosted on our servers are required to have this service.  There are no contracts required, and you can cancel at any time.

Do I need an SSL Certificate?

It used to be the answer was “it depends.”  But today, every website needs an SSL Certificate if they want to meet Google’s new standards as they “aim for a more secure internet.”  Since most people online are using Google’s browser, Chrome, they have set the rules for the SSL Certificate requirements. It is visible when a website has an SSL installed, next to your website’s address in the location bar, it will show a lock that lets the visitors know it’s secure:

If you  don’t have a certificate your visitors will see ‘Not Secure’ next to the website’s address:

Therefore, the answer now is, “yes, you need an SSL Certificate.” It is an annual fee.  We sell and install the certificates for our clients.

Do you include Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as part of the website build?

We typically do not include SEO services during development. It is our opinion that adding this service during a build tends to rush through the process of proper keyword research. Most web designers just toss in whatever keywords the clients want.  We don’t want to do SEO work quickly and give a misconception that the on-site keywords will be all a website needs to rank.

If you or your marketing professional have metadata to include during the build, we will be glad to add it in for you.

Once my site is built, will you be providing training to manage the content on my website?

Yes, we will schedule a video conference to give you a tour and training on how to update your website (add/edit/delete). This will be recorded and delivered upon completion. Additionally, we are available for up to 30-days for any oversight fixes.

If I decide that I do not wish to add content after launch, are you able to assist me?

We do have monthly retainer packages available. For simple updates each month, typically one-hour packages are sufficient.  We do offer other packages for sites that require more attention.

Can my eStore scale as I grow?

Yes, that’s the beauty of WooCommerce. Whether you have 50, 100, or more products, WooCommerce can grow with you.

What if I have multiple shipping options based on the products?

WooCommerce can handle per product shipping options.

Will you set up my payment processor for me?

Because banking access is a requirement for setting up payment processor accounts, we are not able to do this for you. It is an easy process that we will gladly give guidance on if needed.

Can I store customer credit card information in my database?

No, for security purposes, we do not allow any sensitive customer data stored on our servers. Many payment providers can process payments on-site without storing the data in the hosting area.

Ready To Discuss Your Project?

Let’s schedule time to connect and discuss your specific needs.

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