Hover’s Ultimate Domain How-to Guide Vol. 6: Setting up an Online Store for Small Businesses

Posted on July 19, 2012 by in Blog Friends & Partners How-to Internet Tips

So you’re thinking about taking your business online? The task of setting up an online store can be daunting. With the amount of shopping cart software out there it can be hard to decide which one is right for you.

If you’ve already registered your domain with Hover, it’s easy to forward your domain to an online store.For small businesses we recommend Shopify simply because it’s the easiest and quickest way to get your online store up and running.

That was easy!

In terms of ease of use, Shopify takes the cake. While Shopify may not be as feature-rich as some of the other shopping cart software out there (BigCommerce, for example), you really can’t get anything better for a small business. Other sites offer more features but are often more complicated and require extensive web design knowledge. With Shopify its super simple to create a fantastic looking online store in little time.

To prove how easy shopify is to navigate, I created a brand new store for the purpose of this blog post. I have no web design experience whatsoever and found the process of creating a store refreshingly easy. The site took me step-by-step through everything and even allowed me to customize every aspect of my store. You can have a look at my store here: www.nickymclaren.com/store (Please note that none of the items are actually for sale!).

Worth every penny

As for pricing, Shopify definitely isn’t the cheapest option out there. Pricing starts at $29 per month + 2% per transaction. However, it does save you the cost of contracting a web designer, you would otherwise need to do to set up shop online. The beautiful, customizable templates are worth the price of admission in themselves. The 30 day free trial lets you test out the software before you make any financial commitments.

Hover + Shopify = BFF

If you love Hover, you’ll love Shopify. We know Hover customers appreciate responsive, knowledgeable customer service. That’s another reason we think you’ll love Shopify. Telephone support is available at 1.888.746.7439 Monday – Friday 9am – 9pm EST and Saturdays from 9am – 5pm EST.

Visit www.Shopify.com to start building your store. Once it’s ready to go, follow the steps below to forward your domain right to your online store.

If you’d like to create a domain forward from your Hover domain so that the url will look like this: www.yourdomain.com/shop, simply follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Hover account.
  2. Click on the domain you want to redirect to whatever social media account you choose.
  3. Go to forwards
  4. Click +Add new
  5. Enter a shortcut name and click “Mask This”
  6. Enter the url of your Shopify store and click Save

To create a subdomain forward to your store (shop.yourdomain.com) follow the following steps:

  1. Log into your Hover account.
  2. Click on the domain you want to redirect to your store
  3. Go to forwards
  4. Click +Add new
  5. Enter a shortcut name and click “Mask This”
  6. click the make this a subdomain button
  7. Enter the url of your Shopify store and click Save

If your domain is solely based around your online store, a complete domain redirect is your best option:

  1. Log into your Hover account.
  2. Click on the domain you want to redirect to your store.
  3. Check your domain’s nameservers. If the nameservers are ns1.hover.com and ns2.hover.com, then you can skip to the next step. If your name servers are not set to Hover, click on the Edit button and change your name servers to ns1.hover.com and ns2.hover.com.
  4. Click on the DNS tab. Double check that your domain name’s A records are pointed at 64.99.80.30..
  5. Click on the Domain Details tab and then click on Edit in the Forward This Domain section.
  6. Select Yes to enable forwarding and then type the destination address in the “Forward to” text field which is your shopify store address.

With Shopify you have complete template control right down to the pixel so you can fully customize your store to meet the needs of your business. Visit Shopify online or on twitter @Shopify! Stay tuned for the next installment of Hover’s Ultimate Domain How-to Guide!