How do I build an ecommerce store with WordPress & WooCommerce?
Have you been flirting with the idea of creating your own online store, but don’t know how exactly you should do it?
Creating it with WooCommerce and WordPress is a perfect way to go even if you are a total beginner.
Well, if you are familiar with WordPress, you already know that it’s one of the best CMS’s out there and rightfully so. The options are limitless with WP, it has various tutorials and one of the biggest digital communities, so you will definitely find help if needed.
Not only WooCommerce is completely free of charge, it has a wide variety of plugins for any feature that you would need while creating a WooCommerce store.
If that sounds appealing, let’s move to the steps on how to create an eCommerce store with WooCommerce.
Step 1. Buying a hosting plan, a domain, and setting it up
The first step you’ll need to do is purchase a hosting plan and a domain. The good news is, you won’t need to break your budget. If you are looking for some high-quality and low price, try Hostinger.
Have in mind that you’ll need at least a Woo Started or Woo Premium plan for an eCommerce site. Later, if you start experiencing a lot of traffic coming to your store, you can upgrade to even a larger plan.
Next, you’ll need to purchase a domain name. A domain name is going to be a virtual address of your online store, so make it short and catchy.
The good news is, if you are buying a hosting plan with Hostinger, you’ll get a domain name as a freebie for the first year.
Another important thing — you’ll need to install an SSL certificate if you are creating an online store. An SSL certificate will show up as a little grey padlock next to the domain name and will ensure the safety of your users’ data.
Without the SSL certificate, your website won’t be ranked by the Google search engine.
Step 2. Install and activate WooCommerce
After you set up your preferred hosting plan and have registered your domain, it’s time to install WooCommerce.
If you are using Hositnger, you’ll be able to install it directly from your hosting dashboard — just choose a platform marked as WooCommerce.
Otherwise, you need to install WordPress first and then add WooCommerce as a plugin through the WordPress admin area.
If you need help installing a WordPress plugin, feel free to check out this tutorial.
Step 3. Customizing your store
Once you have your e-store all set up, you can start choosing the theme that you think fits your store’s style, and customize it accordingly.
You’ll be able to find both free and premium themes, and install them through Appearance -> Themes.
If you are having trouble finding a nice theme that fits your needs take a look at these 14 best WooCommerce themes, I’m sure you’ll find something suitable.
During this step, you should add all the essential pages to your website and add design elements to create a user-friendly interface, where your clients want to come back again and again.
Generally, e-stores have at least these pages covered:
- Homepage/frontpage — the first page where your clients enter, often it has a short description of the shop itself and some pictures
- Shop — the shop page, where you’ll have all the merchandise placed, and customers will go here to shop
- Cart — a page where a customer can see what items did he choose and proceed to checkout
- Check out — a place where clients enter the payment details and shipping address if needed.
You can also add pages such as About us or Blog if you feel needed.
Step 4. Set up you WooCommerce store
While setting up your eCommerce store, you’ll have to fill out the most important information about your store, so it’s best if you already have a plan in mind, and don’t need to think on the spot.
- Store setup — here, you’ll need to add your store’s details such as country, address, and currency. Also, a mark of which product types you are selling.
- Payment — here you’ll enter the payment methods (for example Paypal, Stripe, possible credit cards, and other)
- Shipping — in this step, you’ll enter the details of shipping for local and international clients. You can make it free, have a flat rate, or even have a shipping calculator of the distance.
- Recommended — in this step, WooCommerce will recommend you adding certain extensions, which will come in handy while managing your store. You can check the ones that are important to you, such as a tax calculator, or MailChimp.
- Activate — during this step, you’ll be asked to activate the Jetpack plugin. This step is mandatory if you’ll later want to enable payment getaways and automated taxes.
- Ready — and it’s done, now you can click create a product.
Step 5. Uploading Products
Now that your shop is ready, you can start adding and managing products in your store.
Remember — you need to have a clear plan and structure of how you plan to place your products. Don’t just start adding them sporadically, better come up with a visual plan (a map). This way you’ll be able to upload products much smoother.
WooCommrece will save you time by letting you apply a lot of filters, so your customer can find the product they desire, much faster. You’ll have a product category, attributes, product type, and more possible filters.
Once you have a clear plan, you can start uploading products via your WordPress dashboard, go to Products -> Create product.
You’ll have to provide pictures, descriptions, price, tax information, and visibility status.
Make sure your descriptions are well written and engaging since they have to paint the picture and convince the client to buy the product which they have never touched before.
After you are happy with the results, press Publish.
Step 6. Managing your store
Now that you have a perfectly functional e-store, you’ll have a job of managing it. Every time a customer finishes an order, you’ll see it in the Orders section of the dashboard.
If you wish to implement coupons, you can also do so in the Coupons section of your dashboard. Special discounts and coupons can be a great way to kickstart your sales.
You’ll also have a Reports section, which will show the overall performance of your e-store. You can see how well your store is doing regarding sales, what fluctuations you have, and so on.
In the Settings section, you’ll be able to manage and change the information and settings of the overall WooCommerce site.
And here you have it! That’s how you create your dream WooCommerce website, looks easy, doesn’t?