Chapter 4. Selecting Your E-Commerce Host and Design Tools

In This Chapter

  • Selecting a hosting service for your Web site

  • Choosing software to create and edit your Web pages

  • Transferring your Web site files to your hosting service

You can sell items online without having a Web site. But do you really want to? Doing real online business without some sort of online "home base" is time consuming and inefficient. The vast majority of online commercial concerns use their Web sites as the primary way to attract customers, convey their message, and make sales. Ambitious capitalists use online auction sites such as eBay ( to make money, but the auctioneers who depend on eBay for regular income often have their own Web pages, too — plus storefronts on other hosting sites, where they can gather all the profit without having to pay fees to the auction marketplace.

The success of a commercial Web site depends in large measure on two important factors: where it's hosted and how it's designed. These factors affect how easily you can create and update your Web pages; what special features, such as multimedia or interactive forms, you can have on your site; and even how your site looks. Some hosting services provide Web page creation tools that are easy to use but limit the level of sophistication you can apply to the page's design. Other services leave the creation and design up to you. In this chapter, I provide an overview of your Web hosting options as well as different design approaches ...

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