Creating a successful online store involves more than just listing products on a web page. It requires careful planning, effective tools, and a strategy designed to attract and convert visitors. Below are the top seven guidelines to consider when developing an e-commerce website:

1. Choose Your Domain Name

Select a domain name that reflects your brand and is easy to remember. If your business already exists offline, try to match your online name to maintain consistency. Opt for long-term domain registration to save money. Popular domain registrars include:


2. Select the Right Development Tools

You can use e-commerce platforms like Magento to build your site quickly or develop a custom site for greater flexibility and control. For custom development, you’ll need a good understanding of web development languages or consider using software like Adobe Dreamweaver for a more guided approach.

3. Choose Flexible Web Hosting Services

Opt for a web hosting service that can scale with your business, such as cloud-based solutions that offer pay-as-you-go pricing. Amazon EC2 is an example of a robust cloud hosting platform that supports various e-commerce website needs.

4. Implement Convenient Payment Methods

Ensure your site supports multiple payment methods to prevent cart abandonment. Consider both payment gateways, which keep the transaction on your site, and payment processors like PayPal or Google Checkout, which redirect customers to their sites to complete purchases. Setup may require technical knowledge, especially for securing transactions with SSL certificates.

5. Select a Shopping Cart Solution

Choose a shopping cart that is compatible with your web host and supports the necessary payment and shipping options. Options include open-source solutions like osCommerce and Zen Cart, or partner solutions like 3dcart. Alternatively, you could develop a custom shopping cart with web development tools.

6. Secure Your Website

Security is paramount in e-commerce to protect your customers’ information and to build trust. Implement an SSL certificate to secure financial transactions and personal data, reassuring customers that your site is safe and legitimate.

7. Promote Your Website

Once your site is live, promote it through online advertising and social media platforms like Facebook and Google+. Additionally, invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to improve your site’s visibility in search results, driving more traffic to your site.


Building an e-commerce website is a comprehensive process that involves much more than just setting up a shop. By following these guidelines, you can create a robust, user-friendly site that not only attracts visitors but also turns them into paying customers. Keep these best practices in mind to establish a solid foundation for your online business presence.