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How much does a Webstore really cost?

 

Starting up a Webstore is not so straight forward so spending time in researching what is available will serve you well further down the line when the money starts rolling in.

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Understanding the checklist we have laid down below will help influence your decision on the right designer to use.

1. Design

Nowadays you can find a lot of webstores on the internet that might offer a variety of free templates and designs which are easy to setup and get you setup online quickly. Unfortunately most of the time they are seldom perfect for your market and don’t offer you much flexibility in changing the title tags, meta descriptions which are all relevant to the success of ranking and growing your business organically online. In reference to the design you may struggle to change the background colour or even adding zoom in functionality on images.

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Extra costs: will now creep in as you have little alternative but to throw what you have and start the process again. So start by collating a list of well formed and usable websites that you like and present them to the list of design agencies making it clear that you want them to provide a quote for the functionality seen on website A.

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Solution: Get your list down to two or three companies that will create your custom webstore for you, make sure that they have a impressive portfolio, that they have their own designers, coders, developers and most importantly that they provide support so you can get speak to them whenever you need to.

A solution like this is to likely cost more money that an off the shelf template but save you unnecessary stress and time wasting to achieve the targeted result.

2. Security

Most sites will offer basic security for your webstores and this is one of the factors often neglected by ensuring you do things properly. As failure can lead to vulnerability from being hacked as well as spamming and possible identity theft. In order to sell online you must remember the customer will feel uncomfortable providing identification information such as address details and bank account numbers. Trust is gained from seeing “https” in the URL header as well as familiar images extending this trust both valuables signs of enhanced security.

Extra cost: A secure socket layer (SSL) is a certificate encryption that protects the credit card numbers and scrambles them so they are not available to hackers. A good one will set you back £150 per year.

Solution: You will have to find a company that offers SSL encryption. If you are interested give us a call on 0121 285 1050

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3. Payments

Beside the fact that the security has to be top-notch, you have to carefully in choosing the correct payment solution. One of the best one’s is PayPal and SagePay.

Paypal is easy to integrate in to any website but if you would like to accept credit cards then you will need a fully integrated merchant account and a payment gateway. Expect a long process that could take a few days including perhaps a phone interview or a site visit.

Extra cost: firstly expect ongoing fees when processing incoming payments regardless of what payment gateway you have, plus monthly usage fees which could go from £25 up to £100 plus transaction fees between 1.8 to 3%.

Solution: need to find a web builder that offers the payment plan included in price.

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4. Bandwidth

Another probable limitation to any website is the speed of loading the pages. This will depend on the server bandwidth and server specifications. The average Magento site is 2GB in size.

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Extra cost: Just to give you some figures Volusion’s Pro Plan will give you 10GB of data and you will pay $75/month and if you want to go for the Premium Plan, you will get 35GB of data, for the price of $135/month.

Solution: you need to find a provider that will give you unlimited bandwidth included in the price. Don’t go for cheep because later you will have to pay the extra price which will burn your pockets.

5. Other unexpected possible bills

The list doesn’t end here, there other small services that you have overlooked just because the price was “good”. Another example is marketing tools , many webstores will offer a basic one , but if do want people to know who you are then you will have to invest in a serious marketing tool that will cost you again.

Another small issue that you may overlook is the storage limits, the same way as the bandwidth , as your business grow , adding new products with images will fill all the storage space that you have paid for and then again have to pay for the extra space will put another load on your wallet .

As a closing just a small advise “Not everything what is cheap is it really so.” Please overview all your option and plan ahead, you may start slow but you need to have a plan and you have to know where you want to be in a year or so.