9. Your Shop Building Options
To open an Internet shop, you must create web pages with your information. You have four options:
1. Create your own web pages from
2. Pay someone else to create your shop for you.
This may be a good option, depending on your budget. It can be very expensive, if you are not careful. Get a fixed price contract so you don't get caught out. However with the right developer it can make your life easier.
You can also ask a developer to use a software package which you purchase for yourself, such as ShopFactory. The developer can then build the shop for you, and when it is ready hand it over including the software - so you can maintain it yourself. But make sure you agree with the developer that you will get ALL files. That way making a few small changes, such as changing a price and adding a few products can easily be done - and costs nothing.
3. Use shop building software.
I may be biased here, but I always liked this option best. The software takes care of all the issues, such as design, tax and shipping calculations and so on. All you have to do is enter your product and shop information. Best of all you should be able to get away with a once off payment which you can easily budget for and which may even be tax deductible. And you are in complete control.
4. Build it directly on the Internet.
Some ISPs or Service providers allow you to build your shop directly on their system via the Internet. This usually means they assign you an Internet shop address, and if you become unhappy with the ISP service, all the work spent on the shop is lost, as you can't take it with you.
If you want to build your shop using such a service, at the very least make sure you can point your own Internet address to this shop. You will spend a lot of effort promoting your shop address. If it is owned by someone else, they effectively control your shop.
Also check the connection speed. Building a shop directly online can be very time consuming and frustrating, if you do not have a very fast Internet connection. And very expensive, if you are subject to timed phone call charges.