Are you wondering how to get your dropshipping store online in 2023? Well, wonder no more!
In this article, I'll teach you what different options you have when hosting your dropshipping store, and I'll even guide you step-by-step on how to pick a name, purchase a domain, and get a logo. If that sounds awesome to you, then let's go!
To get your dropshipping store online, you have two options. You can go for an ecommerce platform like Shopify, or you can host your dropshipping store yourself with WordPress/WooCommerce! An ecommerce platform is more expensive, but it is easier to get started; hosting your store yourself needs some more experience!
1) Decide if you're going for an ecommerce platform or if you're going to host yourself
If you want to open a dropshipping store, you can go with an ecommerce platform that includes hosting or you can use WordPress or WooCommerce and host it yourself.
These two are the most popular options that people choose when they open a dropshipping store.
Both have upsides and downsides.
This step is important because without any hosting, your dropshipping store can’t go online, and you can’t sell any products!
Side note: If you want, you can also start dropshipping without a website, but this will be harder than dropshipping with a website.
Are you ready to find out which one is right for you?
If so, then let's start with ecommerce platforms!
Picking an ecommerce platform for your dropshipping store
First off, ecommerce platforms!
You might be wondering: “What is an ecommerce platform?”
Did you ever go to something similar to a flea market?
Opening a dropshipping store on an ecommerce platform is basically the same as renting a stand on a flea market.
In these examples, and I recommend this ecommerce platform a lot on this blog, I will use Shopify.
Shopify is one of the best ecommerce platforms out there for your dropshipping store.
And a lot of information on how to run a dropshipping store is based on Shopify dropshipping stores!
Interested in Shopify now? Sign up by clicking this link to get a free 3-day trial + pay $1/month for the first 3 months!
If you don't want to use Shopify for your dropshipping store (or if you're not sure yet) but you still want to host your dropshipping store on an ecommerce platform, then I suggest reading the two articles I've linked below:
- Is Shopify Still Good for Dropshipping in 2023? (Pros & Cons)
- 13 Best Shopify Alternatives for Your Ecommerce Store (2023)
The last article is also a great article to look at to see what else is out there.
Disadvantages of an ecommerce platform
Let's start off with the disadvantages of picking an ecommerce platform.
1) You don't own your dropshipping store
Remember the example above about the flea market?
Well, if you stop “renting the stand,” then you can’t use it anymore because it’s not yours!
The same goes for your store if you cancel your subscription.
You can’t use it anymore after that.
If you use Shopify, they will remove your store if you stop paying them.
If you host your dropshipping store yourself, you have full control over it, and nobody will remove it.
2) A lot of monthly fees
If you go with Shopify, you pay Shopify a monthly fee ($39 or more).
One of the things they will give you in return is free hosting, but yeah, $39 x 12 = $468 or around $351 if you pay yearly.
On the other hand, DSers is free to use for unlimited orders right now, but most people want the features that the basic plan has.
What is DSers?
DSers is one of the most popular dropshipping apps for dropshippers. It connects your dropshipping store with AliExpress.
Maybe not immediately, but when they are getting more and more orders, there is a big chance that they will upgrade their account. (For example, to get cashback on their AliExpress orders)
So, then you’re looking at $20 x 12 = $240 per year.
This means that one year of Shopify with DSers on the advanced plan will cost you around $552!
That’s a lot!
For some people, this is worth it, because they don’t want to take care of a lot of things themselves.
But for others, it’s not, and for these people there is WooCommerce!
3) Not much freedom
Another reason why people pick WordPress or WooCommerce over something like Shopify is freedom.
They want more freedom.
They want to decide more by themselves.
If you've got a Shopify dropshipping store, you need to live by Shopify’s rules on how something is supposed to look.
It’s hard to change it without the help of expensive developers, or if you’re lucky and you found your perfect theme!
This is totally different from WordPress and WooCommerce.
You will have all the freedom you need to create something amazing.
But like I said above, not everyone wants this kind of freedom. Most are okay with the rules that Shopify laid out, but there are people that don’t like these limitations.
Advantages of an ecommerce platform
Now that you know all the disadvantages of hosting your dropshipping store on an ecommerce platform, it's time to go to all the good things!
Let's talk about all the advantages.
1) Easy to get started
If you're a total beginner in the ecommerce space and you don't know much about WordPress or something like programming, then opening your dropshipping on an ecommerce platform like Shopify is perfect for you!
You can literally open your Shopify store in a few minutes and have it up and running in no more than an hour (if everything goes right).
You also have a great customer support team that will help you with anything you need.
This won't be the case when you want to host your dropshipping yourself.
You will need to research a lot more.
2) Reliable hosting
Yes, in the case of Shopify, you will pay around $39 per month, but the hosting you will get in return is great!
It will be fast and reliable, and it's specifically built for ecommerce stores. (Source)
If you host your dropshipping store on an ecommerce platform, you will probably not have any downtime.
3) Ecommerce platforms are built for ecommerce stores
Do you understand this title, haha?
Ecommerce platforms are there to make the life of ecommerce store owners easier.
If you pick an ecommerce platform like Shopify, you can have a peaceful heart in trusting that they will do everything to keep you and your customers protected.
They also guide you with what kind of legal pages you will need on your ecommerce platform. (More information about that here)
Plus, they've created a whole checkout system for you so you don't have to worry about a security leak.
They take care of all that and much more!
For example, GDPR for ecommerce stores, they made a whole post, How does the GDPR affect you?, to help people be GDPR compliant.
Shopify wants to help place merchants in the best possible position to comply with the law. This article includes questions you should consider to help you assess your obligations to make sure that you have set up your store in a way that complies with the law.From Shopify
Hosting your dropshipping store yourself
So, what do you think?
Is having an ecommerce platform worth it for you? If not, then let's continue with hosting your dropshipping store yourself.
Let's first figure out why people host their dropshipping store themselves and not use an ecommerce platform.
Why do people host their dropshipping store themselves?
I explained most of these things in the disadvantages of using an ecommerce platform.
So, I will make a bullet point list for you so you can easily remember it:
- Fewer costs. If you're hosting your dropshipping store yourself, then you don't have to pay that many monthly fees. For example, hosting will cost you maybe $100 per year, but Shopify will cost you more than $300 per year.
- More freedom. You can do everything you want with WordPress. This blog is made on WordPress as well, and I have the freedom to do anything I want. Sounds awesome, right?
- You own your dropshipping store. If you go with an ecommerce platform, they “own” your dropshipping store. Because if you cancel your subscription, they can delete your store.
Let's start by learning how to get a good host for your dropshipping store.
1) Getting a good host
I've got a lot of great suggestions for you in this article here. I'll also cover in that article what to look for when picking your host!
Hosting will be, depending of course on which hosting company you go with, around $50-$100 per year.
So, hosting yourself will cost you a bit more upfront (because you will most likely need to pay per year), but it will save you money later on.
Because something like Shopify will cost you around $300 per year, remember?
2) Getting to know WordPress & WooCoomerce
If you're interested in learning more about this, I suggest reading How to Open a WooCommerce Dropshipping Store in 2023? Written by me.
Or you can click here to see all the articles that I wrote related to WooCommerce dropshipping.
3) Learn how to connect your dropshipping store with your supplier
Now it's time to learn how to connect your dropshipping store with your dropshipping supplier.
Because what is a dropshipping store without a dropshipping supplier, right?
You won't be able to process your orders easily!
You will not have any monthly fees with AliDropship (like with Shopify and DSers), just a one-time payment for a lifetime license.
This lifetime license even includes lifetime support and updates! How awesome is that?
If you don't want to use AliDropship, then I suggest reading The 11 Best WooCommerce Dropshipping Integration Plugins by me!
A lot of these alternatives in that article you can use on WordPress/WooCoomerce.
2) Picking a name for your dropshipping store
Now that you have decided how you're going to host your dropshipping store, it's time to learn how to pick a name for your store.
Do you know why it is important to name your dropshipping store correctly?
Because the name is the identity of your dropshipping store.
Just like your personal name is with you.
If your marketing is great, then that name will stick with people.
If you want to learn more about this, I suggest reading 10 Tips to Choose the Best Name for Your Dropshipping Store written by me.
3) Picking a domain name for your dropshipping store
Now that you've got a name for your dropshipping store, it's time to purchase a domain name as well.
Getting a custom domain name for your store is great for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it lets you create a free business email address like ‘email@example.com'.
I'll explain it for what to do when you're going for an ecommerce platform, and then what to do when you're going to host it yourself.
Let's begin with the ecommerce platforms:
What to do when you're going for an ecommerce platform for your dropshipping store
If you decide to go with Shopify, you can use their subdomain for free.
Which will be: store-name.myshopify.com
This means that you won’t have to spend anything on domain costs, but if you have a bit of budget, then I highly suggest you buy a domain name for your store. (More about that below)
You will gain so much more trust with mystore.com instead of mystore.myshopify.com, and it looks so much better!
Below you will learn how to purchase a domain, but if you also want to learn how to add your newly purchased domain name to Shopify, then I suggest reading Connect your domain name to Shopify by me!
If you're going with a different ecommerce platform, then don't forget to look if they offer a free domain.
What to do when hosting your dropshipping store yourself
If you're hosting your dropshipping store yourself, first look to see if your host gives domains for free!
This is definitely nice if you're on a tight budget.
For example, with Bluehost, you will get a free domain name.
How to purchase a domain name for your dropshipping store?
Now that you've got your name ready, it's time to purchase your domain name.
If you're going with WordPress/WooCommerce, don't forget to check with your host to see if they offer a free domain!
But if you still need a domain, then I suggest you use Namecheap as your domain registrar.
I personally use them as well, and I think they are great (and cheap).
If you're looking for a domain registrar with cheaper renewal fees, then another great option to look at is called Porkbun. (Usually, the second year is more expensive than the first year)
Also, I suggest you purchase the .com domain extension of your new store name. It’s one of the most popular domain extensions. (Source)
But don't forget that there are other extensions out there – a great example is a .store domain:
Plus, don't forget to check out this article here to learn how to create a free business email address.
4) Getting a logo for your dropshipping store
If you want to know why having a recognizable logo is important, then you can click here to learn more!
The first option with creating your logo is to create it yourself, but not everyone is skilled enough with Photoshop (or maybe Paint) to create a logo like that.
For those people, I suggest you check out Fiverr. You can get a logo there for around $5-$20.
If you're looking for more tips on how to get a logo and favicon for your store, then I suggest reading this article here.
5) Getting started with dropshipping in 2023
So, are you ready to get started with dropshipping? Or maybe you have already started, but you’re looking to get some inspiration?
If so, I suggest reading my complete Shopify dropshipping guide!
It’s a huge article, but it contains everything that you need to know to create your own Shopify dropshipping store in 2023. It’s like a dropshipping course, but for free!
Reading this article will help you to get started and stay motivated while beginning and continuing your dropshipping journey!
Just don’t forget that success takes time. Keep improving each and every day!
And here are some of our best articles:
- AliExpress Dropshipping: A 20-Step Getting Started Guide (2023)
- The Complete Guide: Can You Start Dropshipping Without Money in 2023?
- 12 Reasons Why Most People Fail With Dropshipping in 2023 | Beat Them!
- 23 Awesome Shopify Dropshipping Store Examples
Also, if you decided to go with Shopify and you don't have an account yet, then you can click here to get a free 3-day trial + pay $1/month for the first 3 months!
So, there you have it!
Everything you need to get your dropshipping store online in 2023!
I hope this article made everything a bit easier for you, and I hope you made a decision if you're going with an ecommerce platform or if you're going to host your dropshipping store yourself.
If you've got any suggestions for this article or if you have any questions regarding dropshipping, let me know by commenting below or contacting me directly by pressing the “Contact Us” button at the top!
Also, what are you currently using or want to use when you're opening your store?
An ecommerce platform, or are you hosting your dropshipping yourself?
Good luck with opening your dropshipping store in 2023!