Posted May 28, 2020 by Den Nikiforov, Ecwid team

How to Build an E-Commerce Website: The Easiest Way That Requires No Experience

Having an online presence is a must in 2020. People communicate, study, work, and of course, shop online — and they do it a lot. Over 2.14 billion customers worldwide are expected to buy products and services online in 2021. It’s much easier to find customers and build trust in your business if you have your own place on the internet — your website.

Creating an e-commerce website might sound like an overwhelming task, especially if you can’t tell the difference between site builders and CMSs. The good news is, you don’t need to! Whether you’re tech-savvy or not, you can create an e-commerce website yourself. Let’s find out how.

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What is an E-commerce Website?

An e-commerce website is a site that allows you to sell your products or services by means of the transfer of information and funds over the Internet. Often connected to online payment providers, so that you can accept payments online. You can choose to get paid offline too, for example, in cash when the product is delivered to a customer.

ecommerce website


An example of an e-commerce website (Image: Sand and Stone Jewelry)

How Do I Create an E-Commerce Website?

Here’s how you can create your own website:

  • You can make it yourself from scratch using a CMS (content management system) platform or a popular site builder. CMS is a software that lets you create, manage, and modify digital content. A website builder allows you to put together a site using pre-built components.
  • You can use special e-commerce platforms. They can be open source — platforms where the source code is available for developers, allowing to modify and adapt the software for different purposes. Open source platforms require some degree of technical skills. There are also SaaS (Software as a Service) platforms, where e-commerce providers build, host and maintain the software, so users don’t have to maintain it themselves.

If you’re not tech-savvy, finding an e-commerce site with a SaaS platform like Ecwid is the easiest option. This way, to sell online with your own website you don’t have to seek help from web developers or designers.

When you sign up with Ecwid E-Commerce, you get an easy-to-use website with a built-in online store right away. No coding needed — just add products, your business information, and you’re ready to go.

e-commerce site


Cuprum Distillery’s site build with Ecwid

If you have a website already and just need to add a shopping cart, you can use Ecwid to embed an online store to your website. You can add an Ecwid store to any website, including:

  • WordPress
  • Wix
  • Weebly
  • Or a site built with any other site builder, CMS, or website platform of your choice.

How Much Does an E-Commerce Website Cost?

To code an e-commerce website from scratch, you’ll need to hire a developer who may charge $70-$250 per hour to build an online store. This option works for bigger businesses that need a complex, deeply customizable website (for example, a large marketplace).

If you run a small business and don’t have tech skills or a big budget, we recommend e-commerce platforms. Their entry plans are about $12-29 per month.

When you sign up with Ecwid, you can create an e-commerce website at no charge. That’s right — you get a free site no matter what pricing plan you choose, a free or a paid one.

After you sign up, you get your own site that is fully hosted, secure, and maintained by Ecwid — an Instant Site.

What Is Ecwid Instant Site?

Instant Site is a free customizable one-page website with a built-in online store that allows you to start selling right away. It looks great on any device, including mobile, and has everything you need to build a successful online presence:

  • Customizable content blocks and design themes let you create a unique website.
  • Edit and update your site content as often as you like, no coding required.
  • Professional and responsive design makes your site look great on any device.

Instant Site is your place on the net to create a professional look and demonstrate all the strong points of your business. Our goal is to help you make a great first impression with your customers from the moment they land on your site.

ecommerce website


An example of Instant Site

Who is Instant Site for?

Instant Site is perfect for you if:

  • You’ve just opened your business and you want to start selling online as fast as possible
  • You need a website for your business but you don’t have tech skills.

Create your website

How to Build an E-commerce Website with Ecwid’s Instant Site

First, you need to sign up with Ecwid. You can start customizing your Instant Site right after the signup. To do that, go to your Ecwid Control Panel → Website and click “Edit Site”:

create e-commerce website

In a new window, you’ll see Instant Site content that you can edit:

free ecommerce site

In “Address Settings,” you can link the website to your own domain name. If you don’t have your own domain, you can use a free address in the form of “mystore.company.site”.

Then you can click “Themes” to choose a look for your store from our collection of 75+ predefined design themes (and we’re constantly adding more.) They are grouped by niches, so you’ll find a theme that fits your business no matter what you sell: food, apparel, art, digital goods, furniture, toys, electronics, and so on. Each theme is customizable: you can change texts, fonts, button CTA, images, colors, and layouts. Check out this blog post to learn how you can design your Instant Site.


Use a predefined design theme or customize it to add a personal touch

In “Site sections”, you can edit the content of your website and change the order of their appearance. These sections are:

  • Headline & Cover Image
  • Store
  • Company’s Mission
  • Customer Testimonials
  • About
  • Location
  • Contact Information.

You can use all of the sections provided, or choose the ones that work for you and hide the rest.

The first one is the “Headline & Cover Image” section. You can choose from six cover layouts for your store. All of them have a space for your store’s name and a short description of what your business is about. To set a background for your cover, you can upload a photo of your team, your product, an eye-catching picture that represents what you do. You can even add a video here! This cover can be changed anytime to keep your site fresh, promote sales and events or showcase new products.

The “Store” section contains the products you sell. Here, you can customize your storefront’s appearance.

You can change the look and feel of both a product list and a product page. Change thumbnail sizes, product page layout, category name position, and more. If your products don’t have images, you can turn off their display.

Instant Site allows you to lay out the information in a way that convinces customers to make a purchase. Even a one-page checkout focused on getting more sales. It’s transparent, easy to fill out, and collects customer emails right away. This way you can send a follow-up email to those who abandoned their orders.

The “Company’s Mission” section is a place to share what makes your business and products stand out among competitors.

The “Customer Testimonials” section allows you to add up to four testimonials to show some social proof and increase customers’ trust. Learn more about using testimonials in your Instant Site.

The “About” section is there to help you share your business story and create a connection with your site visitors.

The “Location” section allows you to share your brick-and-mortar details if you have a physical location. When you type in your store’s address, it will be automatically tagged on Google Maps.

The “Contact Information” section is there to help customers get in touch. You can provide your phone number, email, and social links for quick communication.

You can hide any section whenever you like — for example, if you don’t have a brick-and-mortar store, you may not need to display “Location” on your site.

If you need help with setting up your website, check out our Help Center for detailed instructions on configuring design and editing content of your Instant Site.

Create an E-commerce Website Today

Ecwid Instant Site is a fast and feature-rich solution to find a home on the web for your business — fully hosted, secure, and maintained by Ecwid. You can get your website in less than five minutes, and its full setup won’t take more than a couple of hours. Did we mention that it’s all for free and no coding required?

Start your e-commerce journey today! With Ecwid’s tools and your dedication, your store is destined for success.

About the author
Den Nikiforov is a Product Designer at Ecwid. He loves to see his ideas come to life and bring good to Ecwid entrepreneurs. In his free moments Den enjoys sci-fi books and long walks.
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