You DEFINITELY, ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY DO NOT NEED to host your own ecommerce store.

Todd A
Todd A
Aug 31, 2015 · 2 min read

I’ve watched many clients take on too much overhead (financial and technical) to run an ecommerce store when they can’t afford it. So not only can I give you this absolute, definite rule for your website, I can provide you a completely simple path to determining when you can host your own ecommerce website.

You should not host your own ecommerce site until you can fulfill these three requirements:

  1. You are able to pay someone in-house to manage it full-time.
  2. You can afford to pay a developer in-house or agency to support it
  3. You have 100 or more products for sale.

If you have a small business, you likely don’t fulfill these requirements. So don’t even consider the massive overhead for an ecommerce site (software licenses, SSL setup and maintenance, credit card processing, so much custom code).

Let me be unambiguous in my advice here: DON’T EVEN LET YOUR AGENCY HOST ecommerce ON YOUR SITE unless you, personally, can fulfill those requirements above. I used to work for an agency that set up a massive, expensive, and sluggish ASP.NET storefront platform for any ecommerce client (even if the client was selling only one or two products). Then the client had to call the agency and get put in a support queue just to change a price or deactivate an item.

I’ve also watched WordPress agencies oversell a plugin called WooCommerce to run ecommerce websites for clients. The result is the same: it complicates the client’s business, costs too much, requires too much maintenance.

The reason I can give you such hardline advice on ecommerce is this: there are options available for you to run a sophisticated online store with WAY less overhead.

  1. If your website is primarily for your offline business but sells a few items, check out Squarespace’s ecommerce options.
  2. If your website is mostly a store, check out Shopify.

I’m all about reducing overhead so that you can spend your time and money on the right things. You probably need marketing more than you need ecommerce support. So off-load that support to a host. Go with a third-party solution that will manage the support, SSL, and credit card processing for you.

“Seriously, do not start down to the path to a website for your small business until you read Todd A’s book.” — Amazon review

Buy Unconventional Website Advice on Kindle for $1.

Check out good.simple.open for more ideas about doing better work.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store