Starting a web business
April 12, 2005 12:03 PM   Subscribe

I've started making sorority crafts that have received a pretty good reaction from friends, and I've read a few online tutorials of how to start an online business, but I've found that posters here seem to give the best information. So what advice would you offer in terms of buying a domain, web space, shopping cart utilities, marketing, etc.?
posted by sicem07 to Work & Money (3 answers total)
Unless you enjoy monkeying with web-related stuff, you might make better use of your creative energy and time to sell through a hosted service provider (like CafePress, but for things you make yourself. One example I know if is BuyOlympia, but they only work with companies based in Olympia, Washington. Anyone? A little help?). This also means very little up-front capital investment on your part.

If you want to handle the web hosting and design yourself, you could still "out-source" the payments; take a look at paypal's merchant services.

For domain names, I suggest GoDaddy. I have 5 or 6 domains with them, and I have been quite happy with their service.
posted by misterbrandt at 12:50 PM on April 12, 2005

I am creating a custom shop for osCommerce right now. It's a free and open-source shopping cart system. It's got integration to many of the big and small cc processors, that part's a snap. Customizing the look of the site is no small feat however. I'm not sure yet whether I'd recommend it, but it's very powerful and full-featured.
posted by zpousman at 1:18 PM on April 12, 2005

registrar advice: I recommend that people no longer support GoDaddy -- their domain purchasing process is no longer straightforward and requires you to go through several levels of "No, i don't need your crappy services" in a manner very similar to the much hated Network Solutions. I register personal domains through, who are friggin' great, and also are apparently somehow shielded from bad US domain dispute decisions by virtue of being in Germany. If you don't feel comfortable with an international registrar, my second recommendation would be, from whom I've purchased several domains for my work, all without all the junk GoDaddy puts you through. however, for an all-in-one deal for a first-timer, godaddy may be a good choice, only because they, at the least, register the domain in your name and you won't have to deal with setting nameservers.
posted by fishfucker at 3:30 PM on April 12, 2005

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