One of the main aspects of e-commerce study is to learn how to actually build and host an e-commerce web site. There are many choices for building a web site, ranging from complete in-housed development to complete outsourcing. In-house development means that you need to have staffs, hardware and software. Outsourcing means that you need to hire outside vendors to provide services you cannot perform with in-house personnel (Laudon & Traver 2004, p. 201). There are four alternatives for building and hosting: completely in-house, build-in-host-out, build-out-host-in, and completely outsourced. This essay will describe the major issues surrounding the decisions to build and/or host a new e-commerce Web site or outsource some aspects of site development, including the advantages and disadvantages of each decision. Developing a Web site in-house requires more resources than out-sourcing. Such a development requires multi-skilled staff of programmers, graphic designer, web designer and project managers (Laudon & Traver, 2004, p.203). The firm will need to buy hardware and software tools. There is a broad variety of software tools for Web site development. Some tools can be used to create Web site from scratch such as Microsoft FrontPage, Macromedia Dreamweaver. Some tools give pre-build packages that can be customised to suite the firm’s need. Examples of pre-packaged tools are Microsoft Commerce Server, IBM Websphere, and OpenMarket. The firm may choose to use pre-build templates, such as those provided by BigStep and Yahoo! Stores. Building a Web site involve a lot of risks. If you choose to build from scratch, there will be more skilled staff required. The time to develop the web site will be high and hence the Web site might enter the market later than opponent’s. The costs for developing in-house Web site are high. It costs staffing, hardware and software tools and the complexity of features. If the staffs are not yet skilful then …
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