In 2022, starting an e-commerce business and building an online store has never been easier. There are ecommerce platforms to choose from, but in this article, we'll take you through two of the best, Ecwid and Square.
If you're just getting started in the world of e-commerce and want to start an online store for free, this article will help you do just that.
Before you start deciding which of the two free ecommerce platforms to choose, there are two topics to consider.
Domain name for your online store
Website Security SSL Certificate
Before diving into store builders, let's walk through how to sort them.
Choose a domain name
Hopefully by now you have an idea of the product and company name you will be selling. If not, fine, here are some great tips for choosing the right domain name.
Sounds alike – ideally, customers will know what you sell just by seeing your name
Ingenuity – seems obvious, but enter your idea into a search engine and see if it’s currently being used
Existing Boutique – The idea of securing your eCommerce website domain name is important from the start. Use something like Name : to see what's on offer
Free plan for Square and Ecwid, you will have https://business-name.square.site/my-ecwid store format. However, if you want to have your own custom domain, you'll need to upgrade to a paid plan on either platform.
When it comes to web hosting, choosing a reliable provider is crucial to the success of your ecommerce website. Hosting ensures that your website doesn't crash, avoid unnecessary hacks, and loads quickly for users.
Web hosting prices can range from $2.49 per month to as high as $900. It depends on how active your online store is, initially, you just need lower pricing.
If you decide to go for Square Online 's free plan and are happy to use the URL format we mentioned above, hosting is free. However, if you connect a custom domain, you will need to purchase web hosting. This rule also applies to Ecwid .
We recommend going for VPS hosting by SiteGround , because essentially, that means you have your own dedicated hosting instead of having to share hosting with several other sites.
Finally there is the issue of safety. This is critical to ensuring customers feel secure when checking out on your website.
When you choose an online store, it's email list worth checking whether it should be included in the pricing plan. and Square, which is included in the free plan, but not Ecwid.
what does it look like? Basically, it appears as a simple lock next to your name. Instructions are displayed in Google Chrome to reassure customers that their information is safe. This is very important as customers may be concerned when using their credit card online.
Having a secure website has another SEO benefit. Google rewards websites with SSL certificates that help customers when they use search engines to find your products.
In this article, we'll explore two ways to set up a store for free:
Method 1: How to start a free online store using Ecwid
Method 2: How to start a free online store using Square Online
First, we'll walk you through how to do this with Ecwid and then with Square Online.
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Method 1: How to start a free online store using Ecwid
Ecwid is a great choice for your online business.
However, the feature does differ from your standard ecommerce platforms such as Shopify, Wix and WordPress. With Ecwid you are essentially adding your own online store to an already existing one. However, they do provide a platform, which we will discuss later.
Their main product comes in the form of a widget that is added to your website. Here they get their names from "Ec" (e-commerce) and "Wid" (widget).
This may sound complicated, but it is not. Not only can you start selling on your store right away without coding, but the plugin allows you to integrate with social media platforms and marketplaces like Amazon.
When you sign up for Ecwid you get immediate access to their forever free plan. You can sign up via the desktop, or the very handy Ecwid app available via Apple or Android.
Before you start adding product categories using the dashboard, you need to consider the following steps.
Store Name – what is the name of your store and what currency will be traded in
Business address – this is required to receive payments and set up deliveries
Ecommerce Experience – Ecwid wants to know how long you have been selling online and what type of products you are selling. Be sure to fill out this information and tick the box to receive ecommerce tips from them, they are very helpful
Your website – As we mentioned, Ecwid is essentially a plugin. So they want to know if you already have a website. If you don't, then you can Ecwid's platform
After completing these steps, you will be sent to a dashboard with a handy setup guide to complete the steps below.
Add a product or service
Check your locale
It's important to point out that mentioning whether you already have a website will determine if you want to do step 2. If you don't have a website, you can skip the next section and go to the products section.
Add Ecwid to an existing store
Step 2 is "Add your store to a website or social network". If you choose to have your own online store, you can choose to integrate with Google, Amazon, eBay, and more.
Just click "Learn More" and you will be taken to the relevant marketplace to add your Ecwid . This step is very easy to do.
If we look at the example below, credit your Wix to Ecwid. On the dashboard, click on "Main" and there will be a "Connect Account" option.
You will be asked to grant Wix permission to use the app, just select "Accept" and you will see the image below showing it is connected.