What comes first...The chicken or the egg?

I plan on creating a website as an affiliate for multiple fashion merchants. I’ve looked into PopShops, which seems to be pretty dynamic, but am confused what my first steps should be. PopShops says I need a webhost prior to using their services, not sure if I am understanding correctly. Should I sign up with a company like DreamHost first and then build my PopShops store? Help!!!

if you need a webhost, then yes you need to sight up with a company like dreamhost. I googled and took a quick look around popshops site and couldn’t find webhost requirements, you might want to post back with those requirements so we can tell you if they match dreamhosts resources.

If your jumping into this and have no prior knowledge of web hosting you might want to seek the help of a hosting environment knowledgeable friend or professional to get started.

Below are the requirements which I found on the PopShops site. This may not be all, but it’s a start.

Hosting requirements
You need to have your own website in order to use PopShops. Websites need to be hosted (unless you have your own servers), and all hosts are not created equal. If you want to use some of our more dynamic features (like AutoFeed and dynamic pages using Search), we recommend finding a host that supports PHP and uses cURL. For most hosts this is the default, but if you run into issues with the PHP code not working, check with your host to see if cURL is supported.

Make sure that the host you choose offers you unlimited domain hosting and reliable customer support. (Most hosts offer a trial period. We suggest taking advantage of that trial and contacting customer support.) Dreamhost has good customer support and an easy-to-use control panel.

Sounds like they recommend dreamhost then!

There are a number of one click installs int the dreamhost panel you can use to set up shopping environment. I didn’t compare the list on this wiki page: http://wiki.dreamhost.com/Available_One_Click_Installs to ensure it was completely up to date but it looks reasonably complete and up to date. I don’t fully understand what popshops is providing you with, it sounds like feeds of merchandise that you then display for sale on your own website. I think the setup of this would be considered advanced. If someone else has more knowledge of popshops please chime in.

Again I must add that you may want to seek one on one assistance while getting started. There are many security concerns since you may be storing customers private information. You can farm out checkout as dreamhost themselves does in some cases to google checkout or paypal. Getting all of these things set up so that they work together and securely can be confusing.