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E-store Hosting: Free Options for Beginners
By: Katie Gatto
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    Table of Contents:
  • E-store Hosting: Free Options for Beginners
  • Free E-stores: the Good and the Bad
  • Choosing a Free E-Store
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    E-store Hosting: Free Options for Beginners - Choosing a Free E-Store

    (Page 3 of 4 )


    Now that all of the preliminary are out of the way, we can look at your e-store options. These options will come in two varieties: any product and swag. The swag sites are designed to let you put logos and images onto items such as T-shirts, tote bags and mugs quickly and easily. An "any" site will let you list any products that you want, from soap to stuffed animals or antiques. Now that you understand the difference, we can look out some of your potential new retail partners.  

    Your free e-store options:


    • A sub-domain

    • 500 MB of storage space

    • Custom templates

    • Photo Galleries

    • SEO

    • RSS and friending support

    Cafe Press

    • A sub-domain

    • The ability to put the same image on multiple items easily.

    • Custom templates

    • Photo galleries

    How do I choose?

    Well, a lot of your decision will be based on the features that you need. Some of it will be about feeling out the communities and deciding what you are best suited to. A solid community that you can interact with can help you to promote your wares. Just be aware that many of these sites are geared towards softlines. For those of you who have never worked in retail that means clothing, canvas bags, etc. and not hardware, home appliances etc.

    Before you make a decision, however, you may want to think about the future.  By the future, I mean future expansion of your e-store. If you plan to grow in the months or years to come, then there are a few questions that you may want to ask yourself when choosing a free host.

    1. Does this site allow me to upgrade?

    2. What are the fees to upgrade my account? Is there a one-time fee? An annual fee? A monthly fee? Do these fees seem reasonable?

    3. If I need to upgrade in the future will I be able to change the look of my site if I want to, or will I be stuck with the default?

    4. If my upgrade plans involve expansion to integrate with my own domain, is this possible? Is it associated with an extra fee?

    5. Does this site have a high level of paid accounts? (A low number may indicate a problem).  Does the community think well of the site or are there many complaints?

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