Question about starting a website

Hi, I’ve decided I would like to setup a website to sell some of the collectibles that I have in my basement. I am brand new to web design/development and have purchased the HTML, CSS, and Javascript books from sitepoint. I’m most worried about getting a working shopping cart. The website design will be as follows:

-An introduction page.
-A product listing page with prices and a buy now button.
-A contact us page.
-A search button.
-A shopping cart that accepts credit cards.

How skilled would someone have to be to realistically setup a web site like this and make it look professional, and are there any additional resources that you would recommend to help me get started?


Hi SKP1981, welcome to SitePoint! :slight_smile:

You can download all the code needed to set up an ecommerce site, such as Magento… BUT, you still have to worry about IP addresses, security certificates and so on, which is a pretty big responsibility.

I would suggest setting up a simple site with the home, contact pages etc and then signing up with a 3rd party shopping cart. There are hundreds of them, like Shopify. Many of them let you style the shopping cart page just like your own site, so users don’t know they’re on a different site. These carts handle all the security and functionality for you. I’ve been at web design for some years now, and I still wouldn’t take on setting up an ecommerce site myself. In my view, it’s better to specialize in this if you are going to do it.

Of course, you can also pop PayPal buttons on your pages to make things even easier, but it’s a bit limited. Or you could save yourself even more time by setting up your shop on Ebay. The pages are a bit ugly, though.

Honestly, unless you are making this as a hobby project or are going to be selling lots of things on a regular basis, I would probably just use eBaY. Building a website is a full time commitment (if you want it to look professional) and selling stuff online can be VERY complex if you take into account the kinds of security you’ll need to maintain over peoples information. Building an audience takes a lot of time and effort too. I don’t mean to put you off and if you’re doing this just for the fun of it then it’s a great hobby project to have, but if you want regular buyers and to get the best price for your stuff, use something like eBaY. They have the audience you’ll need to get exposure for your stuff (especially if it’s collectables and not just you running a store for something you created) and the foundation to ensure the security of the people who buy stuff from you. I usually have the philosophy of don’t reinvent the wheel unless you can do it better. :slight_smile:

Definately use a 3rd party shopping cart system (or as Alex said Ebay), otherwise you also have to worry about getting a secure server, and someway to accept payments, and getting a credit card merchant account is not the easiest thing to do.

Use eBay.
People know about eBay, they will not know about your site.