234, RE: Website Design|
Posted by hostingdiva, Sat Jul-14-07 08:22 AM
Hi Rublaken -
There are a couple of ways for you to get an online store and much of it depends on how much you're willing to spend and how much work you want to do (or are capable of doing) on your own.
First things first - you have a merchant account (which by the way is not always necessary with things like PayPal around.. you may want to consider using PayPal as well because of its popularity with online users) but do you have a domain name? To have a website, you must have a domain name. They're pretty cheap ($8-$15 or so) and you register them in a yearly basis. You can get one just about anywhere - do a search on http://google.com for domain names or you can go to http://pagebuzz.com and click on the domains tab.
In terms of your website - You can have someone build you a website and have them install the necessary components for the online store (there are a whole slew of responses above this one). That can be costly, so you will definitely want to have all the prices spelled out up front. You will want to also keep maintenance costs in mind - make sure you ask them about those.
You can also choose to build the website yourself by using a do it yourself system such as the one Yahoo offers or the one pageBuzz offers (see my link in the signature). Doing it yourself would be a cheaper alternative because you don't pay as much in fees. Another bonus is that you can do it yourself, on your own time, and update it with out paying all the extra costs. Also, with these systems, everythig is usually included for the fee (with pageBuzz it is $9.99 for hosting and the shopping cart is already included - you can use your merchant account without a problem and process real time or not).
In terms of using your merchant account, that usually is not going to be a problem. If you want to process real time, you will have to sign up with a gateway such as AuthorizeNet - http://authorize.net. I don't know if they have a set up fee but I do know they have a monthly fee. Again, though, you do not need to process real time - you could always collect the information and then charge the person's card later.