Read this guide if you are interested in running your own online store.
Choosing a Platform and Host
There are two types of eCommerce Platforms: Hosted and Self-Hosted.
Hosted platforms are an all-in-one eCommerce solution. You signup, they handle the software and the hosting for your site.
Self-Hosted platforms provide the software only and you are responsible for choosing a web hosting company to install and host that software.
Which type of Platform is better? Hosted or Self-Hosted
Like most things there is not a clear better or worse. It depends upon what you want out of the software.
For most people looking to setup an online store we suggest going with a hosted solution such as Shopify. The reason being many people who are just setting up an online store have limited staff, thus limited time, and even more important, limited technical skills needed to maintain a self-hosted platform. With a hosted solution the company handles all the technical issues while you can focus on maintaining and growing your store.
Many eCommerce platforms now have application marketplaces where you can easily customize your store to your exact needs.