Should I build my own storefront or hire a professional web designer

Knowing whether or not to build your own online store really depends on your unique situation and the skills you possess in the areas of shopping carts, web design, platform development, graphic design, content creation and potentially advanced programming. Sure there are both simple and complex ways to plan and begin building your own web store, but if it were really something that just anyone could do we would see a lot more people making millions just from selling online.

Building your own store can take time and may interfere with your ability to run your eBusiness including management of your product catalog and processing your orders. For many it’s difficult to balance the time between developing the store and administrating the online business. Unless you are already a designer or have some background knowledge in developing websites it’s best to hire help or outsource certain tasks.

The absolute basic skills you would need to build your own store may include knowledge of HTML or WYSIWYG text editors, the process of uploading files to a server (FTP), and the ability to setup and attach a standalone cart system. There are programs that make many of these steps more simple than doing it by hand, but there may be certain drawbacks to using them. If possible, try and find an affordable company to design you a store and theme or provide you with eCommerce software and template designs. Be sure there is documentation and technical support as an option in case you need more help along the way. Pick an eCommerce provider or developer that uses an order control panel or administrative area for you to process orders and maintain the storefront. Remember, once you go to the trouble of taking all these steps, you wouldn’t want to loose any of your work, so be sure to research backing up your files or ask your designer about doing it for you.