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How to Build a Website

We’ve had lots of SaleHoo members asking us how to set up their own website recently. An ecommerce website of your own gives you freedom to advertise and link to your listings; control over costs, listing format and duration; and greater flexibility with branding. The best part is that buyers tend to pay more when buying directly from your website just because they are removed from competing offers on eBay!

Sow how can you get your own website up and running? Check out our 5 step guide for the easy way...

5 Steps to Your Own Website

There’s a lot to cover, but this should give you a broad idea of what is involved in setting up a site.  

1. Site Design

Are you going to design the site yourself or have someone else do it?

  • DIY – This gives you greatest control, but you’ll need experience in graphic design to create anything but the most basic of pages. Popular web design software options include: Dreamweaver, Frontpage, NVU, Coffee Cup…to name but a few.  Price varies widely from $0 to $500+. 
  • This helpful questionnaire will assist you in the process of selecting a web design software that meets your needs.
  • Elance.com – The cheapest way of getting a site built for you. Advertise your site design as a job and allow designers to bid on it. You get to control how much you spend, although you do get what you pay for, so be sure to use a designer with good feedback.  
  • Local designer - You could find yourself paying between $200 and $50,000 for a local web designer. In my experience, graphic designer’s skill levels can vary enormously so it pays to view samples and get testimonials before picking one.
  • Template or an off-the-shelf ecommerce package such as SaleHoo Stores. Templates and store builders vary greatly in quality so make sure you go with a reputable one. SaleHoo Stores offers a free 30 day trial so that you can test it out completely and with no risk. Learn more about SaleHoo Stores and get your 30 day trial now

2. Register a domain name

This is the fun part, selecting a name for your website!  Tips for choosing a good domain name include: a name that’s easy to remember, that includes your most important keywords, and that uses simple words. With regards to SEO, adding hyphens between words (e.g. www.pet-supplies-online.com) has some SEO benefit and helps to increase readability. If you want additional kudos (and you have the spare cash!), you can buy older domain names that have expired. These will cost considerably more, but have a greater weighting with search engines. Cost = $7-$29.

3. Select a web host

Spend some time researching the options before you decide. A poor web host can mean your site is down more frequently. With SaleHoo Stores, all your hosting is taken care of, so you can skip this step, otherwise, you should consider these factors:

  • How much space will you need? This depends on how many pictures you have and whether you’ve got audio and video files, which take up much more space. The average site only uses about 5 MB of space – you’ll be able to tell how much space your site will need from the size of your files. 
  • How much downtime does the host allow for? A good host should have 99%-99.5% uptime.  If it falls below this figure, the host should offer compensation.
  • How easy will it be to upgrade? Make sure you can upgrade quickly and easily as your needs change.
  • Compare the number of POP3 mail accounts and aliases on offer and what kind of access you are allowed and how.  Read the host’s FAQ and make sure you understand and feel comfortable with the set up.
  • Are they are hosting any Adult sites? These sites often use up substantial server resources, which could potentially have a negative affect on your site’s stability. For that reason large companies should get their own dedicated server.
  • Good customer service and support? This is a biggie because if something goes wrong, I guarantee you’ll want an answer as soon as possible. Unfortunately there are many web hosting companies for which customer support is very low on the list of priorities. The best way to check this is by sending the company a test email. You can also search the net for user feedback and experiences on forums.
  • Cost - You should be able to find what you need for $10-$25 a month, although some hosts do offer cheaper services than that.

4. Change the DNS records

Currently your website is in a temporary location – you can upload to it, but if you want to see what your site looks like, you’ll have to copy the piece of code from the web host into your browser.

After signing up with a host, you’ll be sent an email with your details, including your name servers. What you need to do now is make sure the requests for your website go to the server specified for that host, e.g. www.yourdomain.com. To do this, you need to change the DNS records.

Log in to your web host site. Inside your account you’ll be able to change the DNS details to the name servers in the email from your web host. This takes between 2-24 hours to update across the Internet. After that time, you’ll be able to type in your domain name and your website will appear.

5. Uploading your webpage

Uploading a page is simply copying it from your computer to a web server where people will see it. It’s very easy to do.

In the email from your web host you’ll be given a URL to access your cpanel.  Just copy this information into your browser window and login by entering your username and password (also in the email). Go into the file manager and click upload.  Then browse for the file you want to upload.

Got questions about creating a website? Just post them as comments or log on to the member’s forum and we’ll be happy to help you out. If you want to skip the hassle of building your own website, and fast-track to the part where you can start making sales, get a SaleHoo Store today! 

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17 Comments Add your comment
I was very confused by all the techno-babble and terminology. If this is meant to assist newbies looking for info, it needs either a lexicon, or definitions along the way for the many acronyms and terms that, it seems to me, only people who are knowledgeable enough to pursue a website, would be able to follow. There is not much info here that makes sense to me. I was able to glean very little, other than I'm totally unprepared to learn how to do these things because I don't get the lingo. Pretty disheartening. Reply
Elliot - If you need some guidance on lingo you can email me. I would be more then willing to answer any questions you might have. email is davix500 at gmail dot com Reply
This is the worst descritpion for newbies how to setup a website i ever ever read on the web. I think you know nothing how to build a succesfull website at all. this is an copy and paste out of the web article. sorry but that needs to be reworked in every way Reply
I have to agree with everyone, I am more confused than ever! but I won't give up we weren't all born knowing it! Reply
I also agree, no information here, just confusion. I am glad you are not a teacher, most in class would fail, unless they are smart enough to be self taught. Reply
Well I guess I must be very smart,everything made sense to me. Thank You Reply
thanks for the helpful info. A good place to launch into further research Reply
Full Member
Once you have the site then you need to promote it. Building or getting it built for you is the easier part. You then need to get loads of people to come visit your website (traffic), this is where the hard part comes in, and once you figure out how to get the traffic then you need to keep it going. Ongoing maintenance and not likely for newbie to try and learn and keep up with. Reply
If you don't understand what is being said, you're not ready for e-commerce. If you don't know what the difference is between a torque wrench and a combination wrench, the difference between fuel injection and a carburator is, bias-ply tires, mud&snow tires, and radial tires are, and don't understand that it's important to know which post on a car battery is positive and/or negative, then you're not ready to be an auto mechanic either. Keep reading and learning until you start to get it. It took me approximately 2 1/2 months of learning and experimenting before I could post my first eBay listing. Ciao! Reply
Setting up a website for newbies, plain and simple. This in the realm of things, is very simple and laid out. Reply
Why can't I post more than three things on eBay, since I am new.? Very frustrating, don't they want business? Reply
Site Admin
@Saskia: This limitation is not meant to limit new sellers, but rather to help them pay more attention on the service and gain more experience in online selling online as part of their initial steps in selling at eBay. Go through this limit, learn quickly and then communicate with eBay that you are ready, and request for a higher selling limit. :) Reply
I thought SaleHoo builds the site themselves and will give you a storefront? To me this seems the easiest way to go for people for people who do not want to do it themselves( for a cost of course) I'm surprised Salehoo is not promoting this instead of trying to explain how to do it Maybe I did not get this information right.. Reply
Site Admin
@homeatlastgirl: We have been promoting the SaleHoo Store. :) The article above was posted year 2007. You can find information about our latest product at http://www.salehoo.com/stores See you on board! Reply
"If you don't understand what is being said, you're not ready for e-commerce..."That sounds pretty judgmental. Also I don't believe its true. We all have different skills, levels of abilities, even learning curves. It's what makes us unique as individuals. Who hasn't started out as a Newbie at most everything at one time or another? I think sometimes there are people who would rather discourage new sellers because in the back of their mind they figure 'Less competition ' Which is ridiculous because the world is bigger than any of us can imagine. I'm not interested in becoming a computer specialist. Yet I do believe that if one can show what they have available, to the largest audience of 'interested' people (those who are actively seeking) they will find success. I think once we understand the potential for mixing social media with online sales, we'll have the key. Remember this is all new technology that grows ex potentially, daily. What an exciting time to be alive! Peace... Reply
Mmm i`m still a bit fuzzy on all that,but i agree with Lenny V,obviously me not ready enough in the head,and of course a lot of the lingo used is a bit computer academia , much the same as getting a straight answer out of a Politician,But i didn`t get 4 trades in my life by waiting for everyone else to answer all the Queries,most of them come by being self convinced that you can do it,get on site ,then watch ,learn and try,in the end i think you get to a point where it all comes in a rush Reply
Full Member
I don't have a bunch of money especially as I'm just starting my biz. but where should I get my website at for my salehoo store that I am putting together? thnx Reply
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