Building An Online Store With Less Than US$ 100 Over A Year
When I have this discussion with people, I notice that about 50% of the audiences believe that can happen for IT trained. But when I told them this can be done without the knowledge of coding, the number goes down to 20%.
This is of course 100% possible for anyone even for children. This is made possible thanks to great work of contributors over the years on open source application such as web creation tool WordPress. Of course there are some other popular tools such as Weebly which is also another easy to use application. Weebly ‘s user just need to drag and drop the content block. Wix is another drag and drop option that is popularly used today too. As this blog is not about which application is the best, the point here is there are options of free web creation tools out there in internet. The wonderful part is that all these applications are offered free and easily available and integrated with major domain hosting service providers.
You also need the e-Commerce platform to handle your online store or marketplace. Again there a few popular platform available in the internet now. I used WooCommerce, as it is totally free, although some useful extension worth buying but it is not necessary. Shopify is currently the most popular, I tried it for a week and dropped, as it is not free after the trial period of 2 weeks. After I dropped Shopify and try WooCommerce I stay with WooCommerce. The reason is simple, whatever I can do in Shopify, I can do using WooCommerce and it free. This is an important for a startup or any self-employed or store owner who still experiment their business model. Again, not discussing which is the best platform, it is still about the acceptable level of usage.
Next, to have an online business, be it a marketplace (multi-vendors) or a single store owner, you need to have a secure domain thus that bring to decide what the domain hosting option that available. Fortunately, there a few domains hosting service providers available that provide almost near to free and they charge less than 100 usd. Initially, a few months ago, I start with the cheapest budget with Bluehost which cost me about US$ 60 for the next 12 months hosting. Along the way, I upgrade to better features when my business pickup, I believe in re-invest part of my profits into my business IT infrastructure.
Thus technically we can build an online business with less than US$ 100 to sustain over a year. The existence of this blog and online marketplace is a good proof. This is an important factor for startup that are tight on budgets, this allows them to try out and experiment their project for at least a year even there is no revenue coming in.
Is it difficult to pickup WordPress? Not at all, with a proper instructor guide on a classroom, an user shall able to master it easily. For more details check out our product, WordPress 4.x Essential Training.
On my next blog I will discuss on the whole eco-system such as security, education and disruptive behaviour of such business model as we have a big mass of non IT trained in IT culture behaving in the internet of the new era.