How do I setup my online e-commerce store?

The best way to go about setting up your web site to become an online store is to make a checklist of what you will need.

You will need the following:

1. A Shopping Cart software which will help you organize your products, categorize those products you are selling and upload images so that your visitors can see what they are purchasing. Your visitors will be able to add the products you want them to buy to this shopping cart and once they are through the shopping cart will organize the purchases for checkout & payment. You can use services like PayPal which have their own  shopping cart tied into their merchant services which makes it easy to get up online with your ecommerce store very quickly and easily or you can have a shopping cart which ties into your web site’s look and feel. WoahBox offers several free shopping carts with our Fantastico script package (Free on every WoahBox account) for which you get shopping carts like Zen Cart, OS Commerce, and CubeCart. You can also go out and purchase other shopping carts scripts if you already have one that you like.

PLEASE NOTE: WoahBox does not provide training on the use of these scripts. Please consult the website of the shopping cart you are going to use and download its user manuals.

2. An SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer [SSL] Certificate) which is a way for you to accept online transactions while making the transaction secure so that neither your customers information nor your company’s information can be accessed through the transaction. The SSL certificate will also change the browser of your site from http:// to https://, so that your web visitors know that they are purchasing from a secure connection. Once you are ready to setup your online store you can purchase an SSL certificate online from any number of companies who sell them.

3. You will need a Dedicated IP address to be able to have a secure e-Commerce store. The way that an SSL certificate connects your web site visitors to your merchant account (see below) is over a dedicated IP address. The dedicated IP addresss is the second way that your visitors are protected as all of the transactions that occur through your site is not only secured through the SSL but also through a dedicated IP address which means that no other web sites are connected to the internet through that IP address. WoahBox is a shared environment and by default your account is assigned a shared IP. You can purchase a dedicated IP address for your ecommerce store through WoahBox for $48/year. Many web site customers also purchase a dedicated IP address to help them with their SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

4. The Payment Gateway is the next item you will need and it is a software which allows communication between your shopping cart and the payment processing system. Obtaining a payment gateway will allow you to take credit cards and other payment options online. A popular option for web site owners is to use Paypal which allows visitors to use their credit cards or their Paypal funds to pay for your products. Also, Paypal provides you with a merchant account (see below) to process your transactions and collect payment from your buyers.

You can read more about payment gateways at –

NOTE: The merchant account is the unique number associated with your online store and is arranged with the banks or other financial institution, while the payment gateway is the software that connects your store’s shopping cart with the back-end banking system.

5. The Merchant Account, also widely known as payment processing or credit card processing, is finally the last piece of your ecommerce store and the most important as this is where you receive your payments. In most cases you can have your bank assist you with establishing a merchant account which is a unique identifying number so that you can accept payments from VISA, M/C, AMEX, etc. Your bank may have already issued you a merchant account so you should check with your bank’s representatives to see what you may still need regarding your Merchant Account.

You can read more about merchant accounts at

The easiest way to get started with an all-in-one solution is to setup your online store through your PayPal account. PayPal provides a a payment gateway, shopping cart buttons, merchant account and a secure connection all-in-one.

NOTE: The merchant account is the unique number associated with your online store and is arranged with the banks or other financial institution, while the payment gateway is the software that connects your store’s shopping cart with the back-end banking system.

Please note that WoahBox can refer you to a web development company we are partnered with as an option for you to work with if you need help setting up your online store. If you have a very large and/or popular online store you may need to look at a larger hosting plan, WoahBox offers Hosting plans for those larger websites. We also offer reseller hosting plans for those who want to resell hosting and which they can setup an online store for.

Please let us know if you have any other questions and good luck with your online store.

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