Posted 01 December 2007 - 07:38 PM
Yes, I meant a hosting company.
I appreciate that you have a do-it-yourself attitude. E-commerce websites are sort of special in that there are huge liabilities associated with running one; when one is dealing with credit card information, etc, there is an enormous responsibility to make sure that private information remains private. Going with a pre-established package helps limit that liability, especially since you will have (at least theoretically) some sort of support staff to help you set things up correctly. Choice of a host also becomes an issue when choosing whom to handle the store. $15 a month might sound like a great deal, but if the hosting company does not have the expertise to keep their systems secure, then any breach of privacy will become your problem. The ability to demonstrate that you have taken all conceivable precautions will limit your liability, and ignorance is not an excuse.
So that said, firing up your favorite search engine and looking around will probably yield plenty of ready-made packages, both commercial and open source. I can not recommend any because I develop my own for on-off use. I also can't recommend any hosts either because I do my own hosting. If I am going to get my butt in a bind, it's going to be because I made a mistake, not some faceless shmoe that failed to do their job properly.
Lot's of people have e-commerce websites, and chances are that you will not run into any problems, so this is more of a cautionary note than anything.