The True Cost of Starting With WooCommerceeCommerce
Posted on: July 7, 2020
It's no surprise that more and more businesses are moving their stores online. The convenience of being able to purchase and ship items straight to your home benefits everybody. But starting a new eCommerce website as a business owner is pretty daunting. But how hard is it really?
With the evolvement of the web into what we have today, it's never been more easy to start your own ecommerce site. There are tools and guides ready at your fingertips. Some of these however go into too much detail and can leave you feeling lost and defeated.
So let's make it easy! I'm going to tell you exactly what you'll HAVE to have to start your eCommerce business, and how much it's going to cost you (it's cheaper than you think!).
This is the bread and butter of your new eCommerce platform. A website will need to be built where you can build your brand and get your messaging out there.
Since you'll be doing this yourself, I suggest finding a CMS that you feel comfortable with that will allow you to feel confident in making changes yourself. The best choice here is WordPress. It powers almost half of the websites on the entire internet, and it's completely free (go to wordpress.org. WordPress.com is NOT the version you want).
WordPress will allow you to add as many pages as you want (about, contact, etc), and let you change the content in a user friendly way (no coding required!). Note that WordPress does not have build in eCommerce functionality, but we'll get to that in a second.
Once you are set on how you'll build your website, you'll need to find somewhere to host it. A hosting provider is someone who will take all your website files and information and make it available for anyone to find on the internet.
There are a TON of providers out there, but what you'll want to think about are:
How much traffic you'll have: It might be hard to decide this before getting started, but if you think you'll have a ton of traffic to your site, you'll need more bandwidth, so find a provider that provides a good amount in their plan.
The size of your store: Have only 5 products? Thats a pretty small store. Do you have over 1,000? That's a pretty decent sized store. The size of your eCommerce store will determine the amount of space you'll need in your hosting plan, so take this into consideration.
Based on that criteria, the hosting could cost you between $10 and $100 a month.
My suggestion for hosting is to go with SiteGround, because of their years of experience in setting up eCommerce WordPress sites. They have a plan to fit any need, and their support is unmatched.
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress that will magically convert your site into a full fledged eCommerce store. It allows you to create products, track orders, let customers create accounts, set up shipping, and more. The best part? It's completely free!
WooCommerce + WordPress is the best way to set up an eCommerce store because of their massive amount of support and ability to customize it to make it fit your needs.
After your customers place orders, it's important to send them an email confirmation. So you'll need to find an email provider to ensure these emails get sent and are reliable.
You wont need to spend too much time setting this up, once you sign up for one you can integrate it with your WooCommerce store and don't really have to worry about it again.
I recommend something like SendGrid. They even have a free plan if you send less than 1,000 emails a month. So this also could be free!
If doing all the above yourself sounds too complicated, there is an option to just hire a freelancer to set it up for you. But this will cost you a lot more in labor. The costs of hiring an agency or freelancer to do this for you could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000, depending on the size of your store.
And if anyone is saying they can do it for cheaper, well...you get what you pay for!
Maintenance on an eCommerce site generally depends on your confidence in being able to work on the website yourself. If you run into bugs and problems that you can't fix yourself, hiring someone will likely cost around $50-$100/hour.
WordPress plus WooCommerce is fairly easy to learn however, and will always be free. The only cost to you is the cost of monthly hosting and potentially an email provider.
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