What Is an Ecommerce Site and What Are the Things to Know When Building One

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The demand for ecommerce websites has been growing at a rapid pace over the past decade. This has been driven by the ever increasing number of consumers buying products over the internet.

An ecommerce site is simply a website that’s primarily designed t enable a business to sell their products online. It provides an interface where a business can display and market their products to online consumers. It also provides an interface where consumers can select one of more products, pay for them and have them shipped to their address. The products sold through e-commerce sites can be physical or digital in nature.

How to build an ecommerce website

Compared to the ordinary website, ecommerce sites are more advanced since they require additional specialized features like payment processing and security. In addition, e-commerce sites tend to have more pages than the average website. If you want to build your own ecommerce website, you have three main options.

Code the site from scratch

A small ecommerce site can be built using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. All you’ll need is to create a page for each product and the main page which highlights the different product categories. If you need a large e-commerce website that’s regularly updated, technologies such as PHP, Ruby or Python alongside a database management system like MySQL could be necessary. In such an instance hiring a web designer could be the best option.

Use a content management system

Some of the large ecommerce websites are built on a content management system. The good thing about using a CMS is that you don’t have to be a hardcore coder to learn how to use it. In addition content management systems make it easy to regularly update your e-commerce site. They also come prebuilt with amazing features which make customization of you e-commerce website easy.

E-commerce content management systems are divided into two main categories, open source and paid for.

Open source CMSs allow you to create your website on them for free. All you need is create and account, select a template to use for your site, add content, get a domain name and hosting and you’re good to go. The main problem with free e-commerce CMS platforms is that they have limited features. You’ll usually need to upgrade to paid plans to get additional features.

Commercial e-commerce CMS platforms come with many features which make running your site easy. You’ll have to pay a monthly and transaction fee in order to access all features. The good thing about these platforms is that most provide hosting and the only initial cost you might have to incur is buying a domain name.

Things to consider when building an ecommerce website

Regardless of the choice you make when building your e-commerce site, the main considerations to make with regards to the site include the following.


E-commerce websites are a perfect target for online hackers since they deal with financial transactions. Website security and security for your clients is one of the major considerations to keep in mind when developing your site.

Payment gateways or processors

You’ll need to consider whether to use a payment processor or a payment gateway to handle financial transactions. Both are third party financial service providers who handle the payment processing on your behalf. Whichever choice you select, you must be in a position to use the appropriate web design code for integration and enhanced security.

Easy accessibility of the site

Your website will rely upon heavy use of images placed on many pages. This can affect page load times. You should therefore consider using web design technologies which make accessing the site fast and easy for potential customers,