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Building an Ecommerce Website: 8 Technical Aspects You Need to Know

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Creating an e-commerce website is not a complicated endeavor. You can focus on developing solid products and promoting your brand while turning to a software company to handle the technical details—and you won't even need an engineering degree. However, while you don't need to be a programmer yourself, it's important that you understand at least the basics of what your website hosting provider delivers in terms of e-commerce capabilities, and that issue remains important even after you get your e-commerce operation up and running.

I spoke with Stergios Anastasiadis, Director of Engineering at Shopify (9.00 Per Month at Shopify) about the most important technology living within an e-commerce website and what you should know to get started. "We have merchants selling products out of their homes," Anastasiadis said. "All you need is an internet connection, and any successful commerce platform should be able to run the technology on your site for you."

First and foremost, your vendor will help you determine the look and feel of your website. It will also provide the capacity to store all of your data, and help you finalize and fulfill transactions. Those are just the most obvious obligations of an e-commerce provider. Beyond that, there's a lot you should know about the specific tech your partner is using to ensure your website is functional, successful, and secure.

You want your e-commerce website to be safe from hackers. The best websites offer 256-bit Transport Sockets Layer (TLS) encryption, allowing for an end-to-end secure connection across all of the data and transactions on your website. Websites should meet the TLS 1.2 standard and will need to upgrade a browser or operating system (OS) if they currently support TLS 1.0 or TLS 1.1. TLS has replaced Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) as the standard for communications security over a network. From the moment a person accesses your website to the moment that person leaves the website, all of the data is encrypted.

An easy way to implement this is to use Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure (HTTPS) instead of plain old HTTP to power your website. Using HTTPS combines Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) support with TLS. For any sort of online web transaction that needs privacy, HTTPS is an obvious candidate—so much so that, since January 2017, Google Chrome has flagged any non-HTTPS site asking for log-in or credit card........

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