Developing an e-business site is not all that different from making a brick-and-mortar business; just the place of business is different. All of the common steps to starting a business are still required for an e-business site, including making a business plan and targeting a niche. Where it gets different is choosing a host, domain and payment method, because these are all specific to digital businesses. Building the website design also is different, but this can be easily done by both new and seasoned business owners.
Before building the website, choosing a domain, or marketing to buyers, an e-business site owner should create a business plan. The business plan is where the owner details his or her mission statement, a summary of the business, funds and resources needed, and steps to achieving the overall business goal. Along with the business plan, a niche is needed for the business website. The niche is the category of the website and the products sold, such as weight-lifting equipment, electronics, general products or services.
All websites are registered on a web host, which essentially rents out server space to website owners, including e-business site owners. Hosts come in two major categories: shared and private. Shared means several websites populate the same server space, while private means the website has its own private space. The former is better for business websites that need little memory, which will be most, while private is better for larger ventures. Choosing the right host type can save money and ensure the business site can run without downtime.
Choosing a domain that fits the niche and goals of the business is just as essential as picking a business name. A domain is the e-business site’s digital address, and visitors will know it by the domain. The owner should pick a domain that is easy to spell and remember, and one that coordinates with the website’s topic.
Unlike a physical business that has a cash register, an e-business site needs to have an electronic payment method to effectively do business, and choosing the right payment provider can help the business save money on fees. Free payment methods allow buyers to use credit cards, but the provider usually takes part of the sale. Paid methods charge a monthly fee and either take nothing from the sale or a small percentage.
Building the website design can be tricky for those who do not know much about Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) or Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), because these are the two most often used languages involved in building a website. Many new website owners do not know these languages, so most hosts and websites offer free or low-cost website design. If the e-business site owner does not want to spend time learning website design building, he or she can quickly choose a pre-made design and start doing business.