Everything you need to know to start setting up your online store with Prestashop
Many of you have ever wondered how an Online Store is built and what is needed for it. Ignorance in the field suggests that to start an online business, it takes many months of effort and web programming by a programmer and web designer. However, the reality is in a way different. Nowadays there are free and open source platforms to be able to create your own Online Store in a relatively simple way and with custom installer (OpenCart, Magento, osCommerce, Prestashop, etc…).
What would be the re-enclosed platform to set up my online business?
There are numerous platforms developed for e-commerce, however, each has its own peculiarities and depending on the type of business, you must choose the one that best suits you. Among all the platforms of creation of Online Stores, we recommend PRESTASHOP.
Among its features are the following highlights:
- Ease and speed of installation.
- Fully customizable and with endless modification possibilities.
- E-commerce platform with an intuitive and very easy to use interface by people with little knowledge of web development.
- Optimized to improve the web positioning of online businesses.
- Possibility of multi-store management.
- Back-office very complete where the entire store is managed.
- Complete store management with multiple options to choose from and customize.
- Fully professional platform adaptable to any type of online business.
- Existence of countless free and paid modules complementary to print functionalities in the store.
- Existence of countless templates with modern and responsive designs.
- Availability of a very active Forum and in several languages where doubts and problems that may arise can be resolved. There is also a section where developers publish their modules and works so that they are downloaded for free by any user of the Forum.
What you need to set up an online store with Prestashop
To start building your business online, you must first be very clear about the type of business you want to dedicate yourself to and the chances of success in online sales, since not all businesses thrive on the internet, so it is very important the type of product/s that are intended to sell to know whether it can be sold online or on the contrary is only viable in physical stores.
Once you are clear about the above point and already fully decided to start your online business, you will have to follow the steps below:
Acquiring a domain
You will need to purchase a Domain (the “domain” is the address where your website will be hosted, for example: www.liewebs.com). To choose a good domain, it should contain some keyword that summarizes the type of business that is intended to be constituted. For example, if the business is going to be a musical instrument store, the most suitable domains might be: www.pianos.com, www.instrumentosmusicales.com, www.musicaysonido.com, www.musicalpaco.com, etc…
Domains have to be renewed every year and prices range from 5o to 23o depending on the extension chosen (.com, .es, .net, etc…)
Note: We recommend choosing a domain that ends in .com, as it will be indexed with better results internationally, and it transmits the appearance of a large company with international views.
This way we will have more possibilities to improve the web positioning and make it easier for people to find us more easily.
Acquire a web hosting (Web Hosting)
Now it’s time to choose the accommodation where you’re going to install the online store. There are many web hosting providers (Hosting), some are cheaper than others and offer different services. In addition, there are several types of web hosting servers: Shared Servers, VPS Servers, Dedicated Servers, Cloud Servers. So before you hire your Hosting provider, we recommend that you consider the following recommendations:
- The type of Hosting you will need would be at least one hosting on a VPS Server (Virtual Server) being reocmendable to a Dedicated Server as long as the economy allows you and the online business will need many available resources from the server. Shared servers are not recommended because the optimal resources for the configuration and operation of an online store cannot be available (You cannot modify the parameters of shared servers because they would affect the other websites hosted on the same server), in many cases are shared the same IP address between all websites hosted on the same server, resources are limited, etc…
- It is very important that the Hosting Provider has a good reputation, that its servers are fast and secure (preferably hosted in the country where the online store is intended to operate) and that they are optimized for operation with e-commerce platforms.
- Another extremely important aspect is that the Hosting Provider has a fast and effective Technical Support system and that its staff is very professional and efficient in conflict resolution and server configuration. Generally, a good Hosting provider usually processes customer inquiries immediately or within a few hours, and weekends are also available. Otherwise, you can despair while you wait for your problem to be taken care of, and in the worst case you will have your online business inoperative until everything is resolved (critical problems may arise where access to the web is impossible until it is resolved).
- Finally, it is about the price of the web hosting they offer you.
Note: It is highly recommended to hire a dedicated IP at the same provider to be assigned to your Hosting. This way your domain will be associated with a single dedicated IP and this is valued by Google to improve positioning. In addition, you will not be penalized for SPAM practices performed by other websites, by not sharing the same IP address.
In Liewebs we give you the possibility to hire web hosting. We configure, optimize and manage your web hosting so that your Online Store works perfectly and you don’t have to worry. We have high performance VPS accommodations and fully optimized for Prestashop.
Buy an SSL certificate
You need to purchase an SSL Certificate to install it in the control panel of your web hosting. SSL Certificates encrypt data on web pages. So the important and susceptible content to be extracted by Hackers (customer registration page, payment processes, customer account menu, etc…) will be at all times encrypted by a powerful encryption engine. This way there will be no risk of data theft, thus complying with the security in e-commerce operations and gaining confidence in your potential customers.
Note: To check if a page is encrypted by an SSL Security Certificate, the URL of the page should start with https:// instead of http://. The “s” means that it is a page protected by an SSL Certificate.
Download and install the chosen online store platform
Once you comply with all the above sections, you will need to install your E-commerce Platform in your web hosting. In this case, if you want to use Prestashop, you can download the latest version by clicking the following button:
As soon as you have Prestashop installed in your Hosting folder, you can customize your store, configure it, edit the product catalog, etc…
You can purchase paid or free templates to give your business a beautiful and professional look, or if you are an expert in web design, you can create your own template totally customized and to your liking.
A highly recommended website for purchasing next-generation templates for your business is www.leotheme.com
Hire a professional company for the development and design of my online store
All the steps we have indicated above are what is necessary to make sure certain basic notions and thus have a guide on how to start with your online business. However, all this requires a lot of time, a long way in self-taught learning and the acquisition of knowledge in programming and web design if you want to create a professional, personalized and fully adapted online business in design and functionality to what is required, ensuring a good start and future business success.
Although platforms like Prestashop are designed so that most people can use it with minimal knowledge of web design and programming, it is ESSENTIAL to have professionals in the field to be able to design a custom project with the appropriate functionalities, without errors, fully optimized and with a good positioning in search engines like Google.
In addition to never forgetting to invest in marketing and SEO. A physical store involves a large initial investment, but its presence is physical and people see the business on the street and enter. On the contrary, an online store needs to be positioned so that people know of its existence and can enter to buy.
A poorly positioned online store on the Internet is like having a business in the middle of a mountain with no access.
For this reason, at LIEWEBS we work with everything you need to create your online store, advise you to choose the best path by investing in the most important. We create your business with a solid foundation and give you the knowledge so you can manage your business in the most efficient way. With total transparency, because we are interested in your success and that you make us participate in it.