How an E-Commerce website is built and how it works

Published June 2018
Website Design - Ecommerce Website

An E-Commerce website being an online store means that the website displays products, which can be added to a virtual shopping cart and checked out. Upon checkout, a customer can make the purchase online by using the payment method as laid out on the checkout prompt. This can be done via PayFast, a card service or similar online payment portals.

We know there is a lot more involved in the development of this type of website, and we are ready to answer any questions you might have. Previewing an example website of what you want to achieve is a good place to start the briefing form.

Depending on where your clients are, we can work on custom payment solutions and a variety of delivery options.

So how much does it cost and what do I get for my money?

So the first thing to understand about our E-Commerce website packages is that it comes in two versions.

  • E-Commerce Base Package – R6540.00. This is a very good entry level start-up website, which can be upgraded at a later stage should it be necessary. We load up to 5 products for you.
  • E-Commerce Base Package – this has more products preloaded for you.
  • E-Commerce Advance Package – R17 400.00. This option offers extra look and feel choices.

The difference in the two versions relate to template. The base package offers a basic template, while the client can choose a template with the advance package, which is then purchased.

Both versions come with ten pages for menu items. Five pages are used for standard pages.

  • Home Page.
  • Privacy Policy.
  • Returns.
  • T&C’s.
  • Contact Page.

That leaves the client with five pages for content. On both website versions we pre-load up to 30 products for the client, which brings me to platforms.

Of course, we can add as many pages as you want to either product. Once the website is completed, you can also add more pages and even load your products yourself.

Clients have two platforms from which to choose; WordPress with WooCommerce or OpenCart.

Which is the better option?

It is not really a factor of better but rather a factor of preference. WooCommerce is the better choice if the client wants a content and E-Commerce website, as it is easier for the client to manage him or herself. OpenCart offers the same in terms of self-management, as no coding is required to update the website. However, WooCommerce is more user-friendly and better in terms of simplicity.

What about payment and shipping?

Payment and shipping is up to the client. We offer the client recommendations, but the client must decide which company they want to use for these purposes and then also arrange it themselves. Some time on Google or looking at what your primary competitors are using is a good way to decide.

It should be noted that not all companies offer free module plugins and might need to be purchased, depending on the company you choose, so as to integrate it on the website.

…wait, what?

Payment companies include PayFast, PayPal, Amazon Pay and others alike.

Shipping companies include Aramex, Collivery.net, Courier Guy and others alike.

Module/Plugins is software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress/Opencart website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your website. Some are free, some need to be purchased.

The payment gateway is a module/plugin.

Also talk to us about linking your shop to other platforms like Facebook.

Website Design - Ecomm Shop

Overview so far:

So the above information gives you an understanding of how an E-Commerce website is put together. It is a CMS website with a shopping cart and payment gateway.

You can choose the base package, which comes with a basic E-Commerce template or you can choose the advance package in which you can choose a template. Preview example of each to compare. Then you decide which platform you would like to use. This is the most important decision you will make with regards to the design of your website, as this determines how easily you will be able to update and make changes to the website; WooCommerce being the choice for simplicity.

Then comes the content and product factor. The information you want on your E-Commerce website as well as the Terms & Conditions, Returns/Refunds Policy and Privacy Policy. It should be noted that these three pages are a requirement by law for E-Commerce websites.

We offer text templates for these pages, which clients can utilize under the client zone on our website. However, clients may use their own, using ours is not compulsory.

Following the content pages, we then pre-load up to 30 products for you, although the websites facilitate unlimited product uploads. It should be noted that products should be categorized so when customers search products, your products will surface as a result. If your products include baby items or construction equipment, for instance, it should be categorized accordingly.

Once the look and feel, content and products have been added, we integrate your payment and shipping functions.

What you get for your money is:

  • Great customer service and assistance.
  • A functioning E-commerce website with a virtual shopping cart, payment and shipping functions.
  • Content pages, some of which are required by law —we can assist with this element—
  • Up to 30 uploaded products with unlimited product upload availability.
  • Support documentation.
  • Product Reviews.
  • Unlimited categories. Example being, if you want a fashion store, your products will be categorized into jeans, shoes, t-shirts, jackets etc.
  • Product ratings.
  • Related products.
  • Automated sales report
  • Information pages.
  • Unlimited manufacturers.

How does it all come together?

You will have browsed the internet for a company that can build you that awesome E-Commerce website you want. Our web design company makes contact with you and you’re given a brief to fulfill, which can also be downloaded under the client zone on our website. The brief and client interaction will establish what you want your website to look like and what you would like it to do. Our computer nerds design the website as per your requirements. You and our designers as well as the project manager will review the website. You are happy and the website is made live on the internet. Quality checks are done before the website goes live, and you are given login details.

What now?

Now you share your link on your social media platforms or consult us about marketing services.


The information contained on these pages were carefully prepared and intended for the benefit of our current and potential clients and serve as general examples of our process and procedures and may be subject to change depending on each individual client’s specific needs and requirements.
SA-Online will not be held responsible for any misunderstandings and/or misuse of the information contained on this page.

Please note that the above price structures are subject to change and become outdated as time passes from the time of its publication. Please feel free to explore our website for updates or contact us for assistance.

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