Quite a lot, if you're doing it right. If you're curious, here's an example of some of the things involved.
We came across a link to this free online course to "build an online business from scratch in 30 easy steps" the other day, and were intruiged.
If you're curious about what is actually involved in doing a DIY ecommerce site, this course will give you a hint at what's involved. And it's not for the faint hearted.
Going down the DIY path involves everything from registering a domain, obtaining a web hosting package, planning out the site structure and website content to the nuts and bolts of website design and development.
The course is interesting, because it highlights the big decision facing anyone wanting to build their first ecommerce site - whether to learn all these things, or hand the job over to someone else.
Given that you can get a pre-built site started on a site like Bigcommerce for less than $40, the temptation to take the pre-built path is bigger than ever.
Then there is the other approach - a custom site designed with the help and planning of a professional ecommerce agency.
We're not suggesting either is necessarily "better", but from our interviews with various website owners and builders, there are definitely pros and cons to each approach.
Time to build and keep it running and the risk of having to start again if the site doesn't have the right features or you're unable to add the right features are two major drawbacks to DIY.
Given the increasing popularity of pre-built ecommerce services like BigCommerce and Shopify, it will be interesting to see who continues to build HTML "from scratch" like this.