Magento 2E-CommerceSeptember 19, 2016

How To Build Your Store Under The Budget Of $500

How To Build Your Store Under The Budget Of $500
The easy access to the internet through handheld devices is the reason behind the increase in eCommerce specifically online mobile shopping. Doing a business over the internet is just like the way a traditional shop runs in a busy street as the owner has to possess a place and keep it open for the customers to purchase products or avail services. In a conventional business model, you need to allocate funds for shop rent, warehouse maintenance, arranging shelves for products, a reception and lots of other things from decorating the premises to the basic infrastructure. The online store replaces the expenses with owning a domain name, hosting a website, installing an eCommerce platform and marketing charges. So, you need three things to go live that are;
  • Domain name (website address like
  • Website Hosting (hosting the entire data of your website on a server)
  • ECommerce software (a platform to showcase your products)
The purchase of a domain name and hosting are among the ongoing cost, as both of them needs to be renewed each year, or you can sign-up for consecutive years. So, the major investment is about having an eCommerce platform to showcase products and services. Generally, a simple website development can cost you around $2000-$5000, while building an online store may double this amount. So, this post is drafted to help you manage all the expenses within the $500 budget.

Make a decision of offering products or services

The selection of niche decides the kind of website you need for starting a business. An individual who specializes in a single line of products like garments will need a few categories, whereas the one who want to host multiple stores like shoes, cosmetics, jewelry on a single website will look for a more dynamic platform.

First: How much a domain costs

A domain name is your online identity and normally costs around $10-30 a year. It can be your business name or a brand you want to establish. The selection of a domain name depends on its availability. Grab a domain that exactly matches your desirable name and available for the easy purchase. A premium domain can cost you more than $1000 for the first year and normal (USD 10-20) renewal charges. There is no need to come up with a premium domain while coming online, as you do not know how much you are going to earn from the first startup. You can search other domain sellers like and bid for a favorite domain which depends on how much you afford to spend, else you can sit and brainstorm for a creative domain name by not spending more than a $20. You can have a free domain as some of the web hosting companies offer it when you sing up for a year or two.

Second: Website hosting cost

Website hosting may cost you around $4-10 a month that makes $45-120 annual expense. A store has more data to host on a server that's why you need to opt a reliable hosting company that offers higher storage space and bandwidth, which may obviously deviate than the pricing for a simple website. To be on the safe side, you have to allocate around $200-300 for a yearly hosting plan. To secure a lower cost, you can sign up for a longer duration, say 3 consecutive years, as it saves you from paying higher renewal charges each year and the domain cost too. The major hosting companies include Bluehost, InMotion, GoDaddy has well-structured plans for small, medium, large enterprises. You can start with the basic and later move to an advanced one according to store requirements.

Third: Selecting an eCommerce platform

The strive to provide a secure business platform, the software companies have offered free e-commerce applications that allow merchants to start as soon as they manage to buy a domain and hosting, else the web development itself cost thousands of dollars. Save your money and start with the free platforms like Magento community edition, PrestaShop, and WooCommerce. At the initial stages of your business, you need to focus on implementing the business model and bring it to reality rather than thinking for a custom developed theme or platform, because it may cost beyond your perception, for example, the Magento enterprise edition costs $18,000 a year. PrestaShop is also prominent and reliable software for showcasing products to a large number of audiences free of cost. In the recent years, WooCommerce has also emerged as a demanding eCommerce platform that requires install of a plugin over a WordPress based website and set up an entire store for free. Starting your business with the basic feature does not mean it will restrict you from continuing business. In fact, it gives you a base to go live and become a stable entrepreneur, as you can unleash the endless possibilities of migrating to a better and more dynamic platform.

Summing up the cost

So, the total cost accumulates to $30 (domain name) + 300 (maximum hosting plan) = $330 which means you still have $170 in pocket to hire a professional for store customization, whereas if you are a tech savvy and want to do it yourself, you can spend the amount in buying useful premium plugins. Usually, all the eCommerce platforms have all the basic features available, but for an additional functionality, you need to install extensions and plugins. The best approach for starters is to search their relevant marketplace and utilize their free themes and plugins or avail the giveaways by the community of developers.

Customizing the store and going live

The store customization depends on the platform you select for the online store. Magento is a bit difficult as it hosts a lot of advanced features even in the free edition that a layman can understand at a first glance. It does not mean it is difficult to handle as you can seek guidance from videos and tutorials.  Going with Magento community edition can help you in the long run when you need to expand your store. In the same manner, PrestaShop customization also needs adequate knowledge and does not require you to alter the code like an expert. You can instantly make necessary changes and go live without paying an Conclusion The online shopping industry is not new, but still, a businessman has to take into account the risks and rewards associated with each product line, category, and field. Spending lavishly on a store with the expectation to make thousands of dollars each month is not wise. For a successful business journey, it is recommended to start with small and add on things with the passage of time, rather than downsizing products, firing employees or cutting costs. We hope the above discussion will help you to start an online store below a budget of $500 without mastering the skills of web development.