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How to Design an E-commerce Website: A Step-by-Step Guide for Malaysian Entrepreneurs

Images of custom designed websites on mobile phones

Launching an e-commerce website is an exciting journey for any entrepreneur. It's your virtual storefront to the world, enabling you to sell your products or services to a global audience. However, the process can seem daunting without the right guidance. This step-by-step guide will walk you through every essential phase, from conception to launch, ensuring you know exactly what it takes to create a website that sells.



image showing a local domain .com for Malaysian businesses

Step 1: Purchase Your Domain


Choosing a Domain Name: Your domain name is your brand's online identity. It should be catchy, easy to remember, and reflective of your business. Ideally, it will also include keywords relevant to your industry, enhancing SEO and making it easier for potential customers to find you.


Where to Buy a Domain: In Malaysia, domains can be purchased from local registrars like MYNIC, which offers .my domains beneficial for local SEO, or from international registrars like GoDaddy and Namecheap. Consider your target audience and SEO needs when choosing a registrar and domain name.


Business owner building their e-commerce store on Shopify

Step 2: Set Up Your Web Hosting


Choosing a Web Host: Web hosting is critical as it affects your website's speed, reliability, and security. Malaysian businesses can choose from local hosts, which may offer better local speeds and support, or global hosts known for robust infrastructure.


Types of Hosting: Understand the different types of hosting available:


  • Shared Hosting: Cost-effective but less robust, suitable for smaller sites.

  • VPS (Virtual Private Server) Hosting: A middle ground, offering better performance without the cost of a dedicated server.

  • Dedicated Hosting: Best for large, high-traffic sites, offering maximum control and resources.

  • Cloud Hosting: Offers scalability as your traffic grows, with a pay-as-you-go model.


Security Considerations: Ensure that your host provides robust security measures, including firewalls, SSL certificates, and regular backups.


To make things really easy for you, our studio recommends using Shopify if you're running an e-commerce business. Read: [ Why Choose Shopify for Your E-commerce Business: A Detailed Look ]



Customizing website for a online brand

Step 3: Designing Your Website


Wireframing: Start by sketching out your site's structure. Wireframes act as blueprints for your website, laying out the basic design without graphic elements. This is crucial for planning the user journey and ensuring a good user experience.


Choosing a Design Template or Custom Design: Depending on your budget and customization needs, you may choose a pre-designed template or opt for a custom design. Templates can be cost-effective and quick to set up but might lack uniqueness. A custom design will differentiate your brand but requires a higher budget.


UI/UX Best Practices: Focus on user experience (UX) by ensuring your site is easy to navigate, loads quickly, and is intuitive for the end-user. User interface (UI) considerations include aesthetic elements that align with your brand identity.



customer paying for products online using credit card

Step 4: Integrating Payment Methods


Choosing Payment Gateways: Select payment gateways that are trusted and commonly used in Malaysia, like PayPal, Stripe, and local options such as iPay88,Billplz,RazerPay which offer integration with Malaysian banks.


Security in Transactions: Security is paramount in e-commerce. Ensure that your payment gateway complies with PCI DSS standards and offers encryption to protect sensitive customer information.



example of a complete website design for a Malaysian business

Step 5: Launching Your Website


Testing Before Launch: Conduct thorough testing of your website, including functionality tests, usability tests, and performance tests. Check on multiple devices to ensure responsiveness and mobile compatibility.


Soft Launch: Consider a soft launch with a limited audience to gather early feedback and make adjustments before a full launch.


Full Launch and Promotion: Once testing is complete and your site is ready, launch it publicly. Promote your new site through social media, email marketing, and SEO to drive traffic and start generating sales.



Web designer customizing a website according to specific needs.

Understanding the Timeline


Realistic Project Timeline: A typical e-commerce site might take anywhere from three months to a year to develop, depending on complexity and scope. Planning for contingencies and feedback is crucial. You may also consider partnering with experts to speed up this process and help you launch your branded e-commerce website 2x faster.


 

Skip The Hassle — Hire A Professional Web Design Studio


Benefits of Hiring Professionals: While the DIY approach is possible, partnering with a professional team like Undoubt Studio ensures expertise and efficiency. Our team specializes in creating customized e-commerce solutions that are not only visually appealing but also optimized for conversions.


If you're ready to start your e-commerce journey with a team that understands your business needs and market dynamics, email us at hello@undoubtstudio.com for a project quotation.



 

Our previous works:



  • E-Commerce Website (Shopify)

  • Branding + E-Commerce

  • Monthly Subscription App

  • Custom Brand Icons & Illustrations

example web design by undoubt studio for essential oil brand

2. EM'S SOFT CHUNKY COOKIES

  • E-Commerce Website (Shopify)

  • Branding + E-Commerce

  • Product Photography

  • Bundle App (Cookie Sets)

  • Pick-up & Delivery Timeslots

example of a web design for cookies brand

3. EL-JO STUDIO

  • E-Commerce (Shopify)

  • Branding + E-Commerce

  • Product Photography

  • Welcome Email Sign-Ups

example website for jewellery brand


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