Whether you are an established offline business and now need an online presence or a start-up looking to trade purely online, setting up an online store can be stressful and expensive. Not only do you have to start off by purchasing a domain name (picking the right one is one of the most important business decisions you will ever make), you then have to build your site, integrate a payment processing system (you want to get paid don’t you?) market your online store, keep the customers’ attention, and manage your stock. It’s serious business, but help is at hand.

Jargon free and seriously easy to use, Mr Site Takeaway Website Beginner gives you everything you need to get your own professionally designed dotcom Web site online. Available just in time for Xmas and costing just £19.99, Mr Site Takeaway Website Beginner it is the perfect stocking filler for him or for her. Not only is the software ludicrously low priced and both PC and Mac compatible, but it handles everything a very small business needs to consider to get online and start selling.

Takeaway Website Beginner is the third product from Mr Site, and is the easiest way to start up online. Other products in the Mr Site range are Takeaway Website Standard (£34.99) and Takeaway Website Pro (£99.99). Takeaway Website Beginner lets you create a Web site consisting of a maximum of five page and five e-mail addresses. You also get 75MB of Web space and 2GB of monthly bandwidth (traffic to your site). The other two packages from Mr Site offer more flexibility, but of course you pay more. At least all three packages of Meta tag customisation for Web site optimisation, but only Takeaway Website Pro offers SiteBoost SEO Tools.

Takeaway Website Beginner, like Takeaway Website Standard and Takeaway Website Pro, has extra features like blogging facilities, a music player, photo gallery, and forum, but only the flagship title has a stationary creator and image editor for optimising your product’s photos. Mr Site does all the coding for you – you just select the elements you want. You shouldn’t get too excited: all of these features are rudimentary compared to dedicated or custom-created solutions. A PayPal shopping cart is provided, but sadly there’s no advanced express checkout, stock control or full order history features. Basic Web site visitor statistics are present, but you’d be better served with Google’s fantastic Analytics program.

Having purchased Takeaway Website Beginner you get a box containing an instruction manual, an Activation code and a copy of the manual on CD-ROM. However, creating your shop is all done online, so you’ll need a broadband connection. Once you have opened the activation page on Mr Site’s Web site, entered your exclusive code, and then selected your domain name (if available), you’re free to choose the style of your shop from a list of templates. You then simply follow a step-by-step path for adding pages, adding content to the pages, uploading pictures and music etc. Once done you’re site is made live and its doors opened to the world.

Web sites aren’t just for geeks any more. If you’re in business, the chances are good you’ll be involved in building a Web site in one way or another. But what if you don’t know HTML from H20? Or a browser from Bowser? Building a Web site isn’t the most difficult thing in the world, once you know how, but knowing where to start can be. Mr Site Takeaway Website Beginner is the easiest shop-in-a-box program on the planet, but it’s far too simplistic for those who want to rule the world. If you’re a sole trader wanting to sell a few items online – or a lot of one or two products – Mr Site Takeaway Website Beginner could be just the ticket. But if you expect your company to grow quickly, you should jump straight into the deep end with Takeaway Website Pro. Takeaway Website Beginner is good, but it’s online shopping at its most basic.