How to get yourself an ecommerce website for free

The increase in E-commerce websites and online selling

In today’s day and age, there is everywhere a scheme to be seen.  Buy one get 1 free or 20% off on this when you buy that. Some of us want to invest in business and have decided to sell online. E-commerce is increasing like anything in India. What should be the option for someone wanting  to sell online for the first time and has a good range of products to sell. Let us assume you’re selling sports good or for that matter collectibles etc. already from a store. So , you already have the business and product knowledge. Now you want to sell online and what you basically need is an e-commerce website for free.

Zen cart , an ecommerce software

Example of Shopping cart software

So what should you do ?

Should you hire an ecommerce solutions company ?

This is a good option if you’ve a large website to make or an established business and able to spend some money and invest. But if you’re starting out, you can actually have an e-commerce website made for free. Yes, i know it sounds unbelievable but it is possible , very much possible.   E-commerce websites at their very heart have what is called a shopping cart.  Yes this is the piece of software which allows you to add , manage and delete products in your website and allow them to be sold online through various payment gateways. It also allows customer to browse the website effectively and see all products in various departments etc.

You will be amazed to know that you need NOT spend 1 Ruppee or Dollar in purchasing a shopping cart. Shopping carts which are very good and well known are available free of cost. This is because the internet and computer sector works on community help and open source software. Names of some well known such shopping carts are Zen cart, virtuemart and , magento and oscommerce.  You will find loads of information about them in the internet and you can download this software and get guidance how to work on them to make your e-commerce website.  But now a second question arises – do you make the shopping cart yourself or hire ecommerce developers to help you. These consultants will obviously need to be paid !

How to avoid paying for shopping cart developer

Well, here is the answer to the 2nd question.  You can actually not only get shopping cart free of cost BUT also make your e-commerce website from it WITHOUT paying to shopping cart developers.   If you have the budget and need professional e-commerce website with lot of features, i do suggest you use professional. But if its a hobby site or just for fun, you can make the website yourself. Here is how:-

Firstly each such shopping cart comes with a manual which you can read and find out how to make it work. Secondly almost all shopping cart have what are called DESIGN TEMPLATES or  ready made looks for the website which you can apply. You can also find these templates free in some websites. Just use google properly.  Lastly you need to follow instruction properly to switch ON many settings of the website. This is called configuration.   Do all this and without spending anything you’re website is almost ready.

Some things you will still need to pay for for your e-commerce website.

This is the law of nature and the truth. To get something you have to give something. It can be less or minimum but getting something out of Zero – well, this will be just plain gimmick. So while you can save cost of your website in many aspects such as making it and the software used , you still will need to pay for its name, and where it will physically be put. This is called domain and hosting . They do not cost a lot and can be bought as a package . You should choose a good  related name for website to your business.   There are other things you should think about paying for if you seriously want to sell product online. One of them is called SSL which is a security feature applied to save people from misusing customer information of your website.

So while your website will not be totally free – it will be as inexpensive as possible and still practical.

Credits:This article was contributed by Umesh Sethi – respected ecommerce consultant and owner of Creative Spark Solutions.


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