What is the cost of creating an online store? How do you get started with less than $1,000?

What is the cost of creating an online store

The first thing that comes to your mind about e-commerce is: What is the cost of creating an online store?

You may have in mind that it takes importing products from China and contracting with a software company to set up a store, marketing and sales company, supply chain, shipping, and other things.

But this is not necessary at first. In this article, I will explain to you how the cost of creating an online store is less than $ 1,000.

The cost of creating an online store in the traditional sense

Regardless of the size of your online store that you intend to launch in the coming months, launching the online store will depend on a system of three in most cases:

  1. special programming

 When you want to determine the cost of building the store, the first thing that comes to your mind is to go to the programmers, so that you contract with a programmer (freelancers) or a software company to design the store with the specifications you need and the characteristics that you want from the beginning (From Scratch), so that the programmer writes in writing The first line of code responsible for the appearance of texts on the site to the codes for the protection and security of the site.

Advantages : You guarantee the stability and full customization of the store, and configure it with all software links to suit the size of your store, the required characteristics, and customize the appearance of the store.

Disadvantages : If you do not have significant programming experience, you will not be able to appoint the appropriate programmer, nor ensure the integrity of the code, nor perform security and protection tests, etc., and the cost is exorbitant: it often starts from $ 10,000.

You may ask: can I pay this much and not be a very professional store? Answer: Yes, I have come across a lot of companies that delude the customer into completing a mythical project while in fact they deceive him and complete the site with the worst known standards in creating websites or electronic stores. 

  1. Shop building platforms

 There are some platforms that offer you to build a complete store and provide all the tools to modify its appearance and settings. The platform bears the bulk of the modification to the site’s programming, protection, security, software links, and so on. The cost usually starts at $30 per month.
The most famous of these platforms: Shopify and Square Space , and there are some platforms such as: and .

Advantages : Extremely easy to use without the need for any programming experience.

Disadvantages : You do not have the code for the site, and therefore you are forced to rely on the platform for eternity + you do not have any powers other than the powers provided to you by the platform.

  1. Content management systems

There are some developer companies that provide you with a ready-made script that you install on your hosting, and then you customize this system to suit your site’s needs, using some of the tools provided by the system.

Exactly as Microsoft provides you with a Windows system for using a computer and provides you with some desktop programs to customize the different uses of the computer, this is the case with systems for content management systems for electronic stores.

The most famous of these systems: OpenCart and WooCommerce

Pros: Low cost, mostly open source.

Disadvantages: You need to take some time to customize the system properly.

Note : If you have a large budget, or you have huge financing, then you have mostly planned and divided this budget appropriately, but in this case I am talking about a person who wants to benefit from every $1 that he invests in his own store.

Create an online store at an affordable cost ($5 per month)

In order to summarize the rest of the article for you, the system that I will explain to you starts at a cost of $5 per month, then we customize the online store with the capabilities we need … and you can develop the characteristics of your store later.

In fact, among the previous three options, I advise you at first to rely on hosting + content management system ( WooCommerce ) is the best, for several things.

  • WooCommerce is an open source and customizable platform
  • There are many plugins that you can install alongside WooCommerce to get more features
  • You own your site’s files, so you can develop your store’s operating system at a later time
  • Low cost (woocommerce is free in itself), but you pay some money in other tools
  • Protection and security (the extension itself is characterized by protection and security), but you are definitely required to rest the protection parts of your site
  • The fame of the system has garnered more than 1M activation so far
  • Providing a built-in statistics and tracking system in the add-on

In order to simplify the process for you in reducing the expenses of creating your online store, we will rely on: web hosting + WordPress + WooCommerce + some other additions

With this equation, your store will be ready for viewing, and users will be able to complete the purchase through it.

I explained these steps in detail and an addition in the following video. I advise you to watch it to learn how to launch an online store practically in this way and easily:

Note: The store is built on Bluehost hosting. Click here to go to the presentation page that we relied on in the video

The previous steps may be useful for you to start creating an affordable online store. But let me complete some tips for shipping and purchasing goods.

Merchandise purchase and warehousing

This is another important question that comes to your mind about buying or importing merchandise and putting it in the warehouses in your city to get it ready before displaying it in the store.

You can actually rely on this option and import the right goods for you to start selling, but I do not recommend this option at first if you do not have much experience in e-commerce, because you will purchase goods with a large investment and wait for the completion of the capital cycle and collecting the return you invested, and what about storage costs? And stagnant goods? And the variables of purchasing power of customers?

In the beginning, you will not be able to successfully decide on these matters (in addition to the fact that import and customs costs are high in some countries), so I advise you at first to make a partnership with one of the merchants in your city according to the market of your store (electronics, household appliances, electrical appliances, etc.). etc.), and then offer the products of this merchant to you in exchange for a commission to be agreed upon.

Of course, the profit that you will get will be low, but after a while, when you have an existing business system in your online store, and a fixed number of sales come to you on a daily basis, then you can be the owner of the product, and increase the profit margin.

Shipping services and payment methods

In fact, shipping services are the easiest, and I do not think that it is an obstacle for you at the beginning, because you can contract with the shipping company, and the customer bears the cost of shipping in most cases. As for collecting the price of the product, you can collect it by prepayment or by payment upon receipt.

As for the obstacle that you will face is the increase in returns, and you can overcome this problem by ensuring the professionalism of the shipping services of the company with which you contracted or building an internal shipping system if you will depend on one city in the beginning.

As for payment methods, I advise you to diversify your payment methods to facilitate the purchase process for the user and not to withdraw from the purchase for not providing a suitable payment method for him, and the most famous of these methods

  • Paiement when recieving
  • Payment via PayPal
  • Payment by Visa
  • Mobile payment
  • Payment by local payment systems

If you can provide all available payment methods that would be great, or limit yourself to the most popular payment methods in your country (and you can provide one or two at first)

Appointment of the working group

In the beginning, you will not need to hire a large number of work teams or own a company headquarters. What you will need, as we explained in the previous explanation, is: building an online store, then promoting it across various platforms, then making a partnership with a merchant and an agreement with a shipping company.

These tasks that you need in the beginning, you can distribute the roles between you and a maximum of one or two people, while relying on outsourcing for some tasks that you do not perform frequently

Also read: Explanation of e-commerce for beginners – a comprehensive guide


The cost of creating an online store varies depending on the business model that you will rely on (such as owning inventory or working in partnership with a merchant), relying on special programming or a system dedicated to online stores, and other factors that contribute to determining the cost of building the store.

But in general, I advise you at first to rely on the lowest costs and build a prototype for the project, then after this model succeeds with you, start expanding by relying on more advanced solutions.

What is your admiration?

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