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Great answer Barry
Going to try to help you a bit as this is what this community is about.
Have you decided on a platform for your website yet? Will you hand code it yourself? Are you hiring a designer to do the work for you? Tell us a little bit more about your website plans and I'm sure we can help move you along.
I'm a IT engineer for over 15 years, I don't have much experience on the web design but I a least try, and I have the same issues, so you need to know what are going to sell, in order to do so, but I'm not advertising anything here but here is the cost saving you may try
- buy a webhosting space with hostmonster/ bluehost, etc it going to be around $100 for a year with unlimited space, domain, etc
- buy a version 4 of cubecart (shopping cart) or they have free installation verison for version 3 but I will recommand 4 ($180 lifetime key) well done (design) and give you more payment option such as PayPal, Google Checkout (I prefer google checkout) You need to sign up from these area as well
- and eh voila, you have a shopping cart and you may have a website was well, in less than 24h. And if you need to install a SSL (secure your customer information) you will need to by a ssl from your hosting around $12 or from godaddy + you will need to have a static ip address this will be around $30 more dollars.
Now compare the money you will spend versus renting a shopping cart (est. $29/mo) what is going to be cheap or from godaddy started around $9/mo and go from there. I'm building my shopping cart you can check the sample (http://www.malbepconnect.com/store ) If you need any help, you may send me a PM message.
Some may disagree, but I find PayPal's rates to be pretty decent. There are also many shopping cart packages out there that integrate PayPal as the payment service..
Over at Diamond Candles we are using Shopify. We have been more than pleased with their service.
We figured we can either have little to no monthly cost and hire a developer on the front end to work with magento or we can pay a little bit every month to have full support and everything really simple and easy so that we didn't have to hire a developer.
Would definitely recommend checking them out.
I am currently in the process of starting an online retail business and at this point am trying to find out who to talk to, what are some good websites or companies that provide me the capability of allowing my customers to pay by credit and debit cards on my website.
I am a sole-proprietor so I am doing this by myself, no help from anyone. So as much information and direction as you all can provide would be greatly appreciated!