Thursday, April 7, 2011

Simple Web Stores - The Beginning

Hey guys and gals, welcome to Simple Web Stores, a blog dedicated to reviewing and informing you of the best hosted ecommerce stores out there. For those of you who are not sure what hosted commerce shops are, let me give you a brief overview as well as point out why they are the cheapest and most flexible solution to getting an online store up and running.

Already Hosted vs. Custom Hosted e-Commerce Software

Traditionally to sell your products online you needed to buy a domain, find hosting, install software or hire a company to install, customize and design your online store. Here are the pros and cons of the original solution.

Custom Hosted Pros

  • Flexible in Customization
  • Cheap Scripts already exist.
  • Can be low cost if you are a web developer and designer.

Custom Hosted Cons

  • If you are not a programmer customization is a pain or expensive.
  • Hiring a company to design and create your store is a big expense.
  • You have to pay hosting costs on top of the initial design/implementation.
  • As your online store grows, hosting becomes a pain and a big cost to manage.
Nowadays there are services, that I'd like to call "already hosted stores", that immediately let you build up an online shop for a small monthly fee and alleviate the headaches that the traditional approaches bring. There may be a few cons depending on which one of these services you chose, but generally here are the pros and cons of the solution that is currently extremely popular.

Already Hosted Pros

  • Cheap startup cost (as low as 9.99$/month). 
  • No hosting headaches and setup. 
  • Anyone can do it. You don't need to be a programmer or designer to get started.
  • No programming maintenance. These services always add more features over time and you don't have to do anything to get these updates.
  • If your online shop gets more popular scaling technology is taken care of, just watch it grow.
  • Many services to choose from so you can find what you need at an optimal price.

Already Hosted Cons

  • Some of these services have sharp learning curves to using their system. 
  • Not all of these services are perfect and they themselves have different pros and cons over each other.
The above cons are minor and my goal here is to educate you to chose the service that is best for you. As a programmer myself I can tell you that these hosted commerce services save a lot of headaches and money especially if you're just starting to sell online and testing the waters.

My goal here at Simple Web Stores is to list and review the best online hosted ecommerce store solutions to help you chose which one is best for your business. We will be giving full detailed reviews and definitely accepting user reviews as well.

Simple Web Stores is your one stop community and information site for hosted ecommerce shops, so stick around for a great user experience and lots of updates!

Still to come: My next post will be listing the top already "hosted" services, so stay tuned and if you have any questions or feedback please let me know!