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What does it cost?


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#1   Jack_mcs

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 17:48

Questions about costs involved with running an online shop popup here failry frequently and I noticed there are a lot of shop owners that are over-paying for various services. This post is meant to provide a guide to check against to see if you are paying too much for a service. These are estimated prices at the time of this posting. All prices are in US dollars.

Hosting:
Hosting charges vary with the type of server you are on as well as the options the plan offers.
  • Shared Server - The cost generally starts at $6 and can go as high as $50.
  • VPS - The cost generally starts around $50.
  • Dedicated - These can be found starting around $100, although those are bare-bones and should generally be avoided. A decent dedicated server, with full support (very important), usually starts at around $200.

SSL
All sites should have an ssl certificate. The cert that is provided with some of the payment modules is not enough. A decent 128 bit cert can be found at namecheap, and sometimes at godaddy, for $15/year. I recommend godaddy since they are now a verified ssl authority and have made improvements in their certs, but any business type cert will work. Don't be fooled into thinking the more you pay for a cert the better it is. There are some benefits to higher priced certs but, for the most part, they are just extra bells and whistles.

A private certificate requires a private IP. A host will usually charge $1 to $5 per month for that.

Most hosts offer a shared certificate you can use for free. The main difference between it and a private one is that the url will contain the name of the account it is setup for.

Payment Methods
The payment methods available can be roughly broken down into two groups: off-site and on-site.

Off-site - These types of modules require that your customers leave your site to make the payment. The only fees associated with them is usually a per item fee. These are best suited for new shops that don't have enough sales volume to cover the costs. These include:
  • Paypal
  • 2Checkout
  • Amazon
  • Google
The average cost for the above is around $0.30 per item and some base fee.

On-site - These types allow your customers to stay on your site while making payment. They have a per item fee, along with a monthly and sometimes yearly fee. These are better suited to sites with high-volume sales.
  • Authorize.net
  • Paypal Pro
  • LinkPoint
Besides the per item fee, the above each charge a monthly fee of $20 to $30. There may also be signup fees, gateway fees, maintenance fees and others. Be sure to shop around in the case of authorize.net since the costs can vary by quite a bit.

Design
If you want to pay to alter the appearance of your shop, there are two ways to do that: buy a pre-made template or have the design coded.
  • Pre-Made - A popular way to alter the appearance of a shop is with pre-made templates. The cost of these usually range from $150 to $200.
  • Design - These can vary greatly since the design can to but be prepared to pay from $600 to $3,000 for a site designed specifically for you.
Warning: There have been posts on these forums by shop owners that have paid thousands for a shop design only to find out the person doing the work installed a pre-made template.

Code Modifications
Oscommerce is free and you are free to make whatever changes you want to it. But some shop owners don't have the experience to do that and some just don't want to. If either applies to you, then you can hire someone to do the work for you. Prices vary greatly in this situation since everyone can set their own prices. You should put together a list of what you want done and then ask for quotes from various programmers. Three or four quotes should provide an idea of what the project should cost. Please note that asking for quotes on this site is not allowed.

#2   Biancoblu

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 17:11

Thank you Jack, very informative post.
I am amazed at godaddy's prices for SSL certificates...I pay $199 for a 1 year renewal at geotrust. /blink.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':blink:' />
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#3   Jack_mcs

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 17:57

You're welcome. One of the reasons for this post is because I recently found out that a new client of mine had purchased the cert for his site through his host and paid $1,200 for it, and it was only a 128 bit cert. He did get a fancy graphic for the site though. /ohmy.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' />

#4   Biancoblu

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 18:58

You're welcome. One of the reasons for this post is because I recently found out that a new client of mine had purchased the cert for his site through his host and paid $1,200 for it, and it was only a 128 bit cert. He did get a fancy graphic for the site though. /ohmy.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' />


/huh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':huh:' /> some people just have no morals or ethics. I too got hosed on a couple of occasions but thankfully never that bad.
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#5   mdtaylorlrim

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Posted 14 January 2010 - 19:09

You're welcome. One of the reasons for this post is because I recently found out that a new client of mine had purchased the cert for his site through his host and paid $1,200 for it, and it was only a 128 bit cert. He did get a fancy graphic for the site though. /ohmy.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' />

It's a good thing he didn't get a multi-domain EC cert...those really cost, even from the lesser expensive suppliers.
Avoid the most asked question. See How to Secure My Site and How do I...?

#6   Jarus

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 07:08

Nice post to have all this info in the one place, but might want to add like, in regards to the hosting pricing, like are those prices per day, per week, per month, per year? /smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':)' />

They are definately prices for the US market though, which mostly anyone can use/purchase around the world, but pricing in Australia is a bit different, we pretty much pay much more for the same, as usual though.

But like I mean genuine Australian hosting, where the servers your paying for are actually in this country, not someone just reselling US hosting, which unfortunately the absolute majority of companies here do and you can really notice the latency difference, makes a massive difference when modifying your site, but yeah you could basically pay 10%-20% if you buy US hosting over AUS per year, its much cheaper but as I said, the latency difference is huge and is very noticable, very important consideration to make.

#7   Jack_mcs

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Posted 15 January 2010 - 11:11

Yes, I probaby should have stated the hosting estimates were monthly. If you are noticing a difference between response times with a US host versus an Australian one, it almost definately has to do with the hosts involved. We have several Australian hosting members and they never mention having such problems.