The internet is a very valuable business platform. Every business needs to have an internet presence so that they can stay ahead of the competition. If your business offers good or services which may be marketed on the internet then you will need to set up an ecommerce website. An ecommerce website is simply another name for an online store front.
Building an ecommerce website from scratch can be quite difficult and expensive. The shopping cart and payment modules are very difficult to implement. This type of software is very flexible as it’s possible to make the ecommerce website behave exactly as required. However, coding your own website from the bottom up will be very time consuming and could also be expensive if you outsource the development.
Instead of building a website yourself, it is possible to use a pre-made ecommerce system. Ecommerce software packages include all of the modules that you need and can easily be integrated into your website.
There are many different ecommerce packages available. Some of them are quite expensive and can be difficult to customise.
Freeware Ecommerce Systems
There are also freeware, open source ecommerce packages which are available. One of the most popular is OSCommerce. There are also other examples of open source ecommerce packages including CREreloaded and ZenCart, both of which are based on oscommerce.
Magento and Joomla also have their own ecommerce modules which makes it possible to use them as online stores.
OsCommerce is very easy to install. The easiest way is to install it through Fantastico which can be found in the cPanel hosting control panel. Other hosts will also have their own automated installers for ecommerce software.
If this isn’t possible then it’s also an option to download the installation files from the internet. These files will need to be unzipped to a folder on your computer. Then using an FTP client the files can be uploaded. It’s then simply a matter of following the installation instructions in your browser.
Setting up OsCommerce
Once OsComerce is installed on your web hosting account, you then need to customize the software. It’s possible to use template systems such as the Simple Template System to adjust colors, buttons, and background images.
There are a number of different add ons which can be installed to your Oscommerce installation. These will add extra features and customizations.
If you are running an ecommerce website then you will need to collect sensitive information from your customers. To give them confidence in your site it is important that you use SSL security certificates. This will ensure that all the information is encrypted so that the data is not at risk.
Ecommerce sites are very popular because they provide a convenient way to buy anything. This means that if your business is run properly then it can make a lot of money. However, with so much competition you will need to work hard to promote your business properly.