So, you intend to start an online store. Well, everybody does realize that starting an online store can be a really tedious process particularly when you are not a professional in computer-related tasks. Indeed, you’re not lonely here. I have been helping my customers with their drop shipping businesses and, trust me, I know how to reach the high level of success in online business.
I hope that you fully perceive how important digital technologies are today and how profitable may be the online business, since you are reading this guide. Well, I’ve got good news for all of my readers – having a personal computer is a huge advantage, that lets you start an online business just in a twain of minutes even without having any serious skills or experience. That’s why I made a decision to create this actually detailed step by step manual on how to start an online store using the WordPress platform.
What Will You Need to Start an Online Store?
- 1 What Will You Need to Start an Online Store?
- 1.1 1) Setting Up Your Online Store Platform
- 1.2 2) Setting Up WordPress
- 1.3 3) Customize Your WooCommerce Store
- 1.4 4) Select and Customize WordPress Theme
- 1.5 5) Adding Items to Your Online Store
- 1.6 6) Expand Your Online Store With Plugins
- 2 Conclusion
Before starting an online store using the WordPress platform, you must grasp the next points: The developers created WordPress in a way that in a working process it sends a huge amount of inquiries to the database, which greatly overloads the hosting server. Thus, just select a web hosting for a WordPress online store with a memory to run a script not less than 256 Mb, better even 512 Mb. I would recommend Bluehost (later in the article I will explain why). And secondly, download any of the WordPress caching plugins for your system. It will not only decrease the server overloading level, but also will speed up the shop by shortening the loading time of pages and item cards.
Besides that, you must pick up a domain name that will be closely associated with the topic and comfortable for memorizing.
In point of fact, it’s all you need to establish your own online store, and in this guide I will also explain to you how to configure everything, what tools will be necessary and useful during the work, and also will try to analyze different beneficial factors regarding the creation process of a successful online store.
1) Setting Up Your Online Store Platform
Presently, there are two most far-famed and popular among users platforms for making an online store: Shopify and WordPress + WooCommerce and I with full confidence give my recommendations to both of them.
You can operate with any of these services, but I personally use both Shopify and WordPress, though Shopify is getting more expensive of late, thus the bigger part of bloggers and online entrepreneurs choose WordPress.
Using the WordPress together with WooCommerce plugin gives you an unlimited range of tools that would assist you in processing orders quicker. That’s why as I said many people select WooCommerce. Certainly, it takes some time and requires some set-up, but it’s definitely worth it in the long run.
In this guide we will find out how to make use of WordPress simultaneously with WooCommerce to build up a complete online store. As I have repeatedly mentioned, you need to have ready an already registered domain at hand, space on the web hosting and the SSL certificate.
I already explained to you the meaning and all importance of the domain name for your online business.
Hosting is a comprehensive service that provides you with the place for a website in the virtual space. In addition to actually storing site data, the hosting provider also grants computing resources for processing site requests, software that allows site applications to work, DNS support and much more.
The SSL certificate is responsible for keeping safeness of your store, transmitting personal details of a user, accepting payments via credit cards and a lot more. And from July 1, 2018, the presence of HTTPS in the site address is obligatory. Otherwise, your site will be marked as the dangerous content. Web pages that don’t have the SSL certificate (i.e. the link starts with http: //), are lowered by Google in the issuance of the search results.
Usually the domain name values around $16.99 annually, 9.99 USD is the monthly rate for the hosting space and approximately $100 annually goes for an SSL certificate.
In the beginning of your online business these are determined expenses, but I’ve got some excellent news for you: the domain name and SSL certificate are granted free of charge by Bluehost, and, additionally, you can obtain a significant rebate on a web hosting.
The offer on a web hosting discount is usually time-limited, but yet you can get it for just $6.95 monthly in case of registering today (discount price may change over time).
In case of having any kind of questions regard to how to order, or, for example, about the web hosting correct set up process, you afford visit the chat section on a Bluehost official web page anytime:
Though the platform’s data center is situated in the United States of America, thanks to their 750 employees, working 24/7 and usage of CDN network hosting, Bluehost demonstrates superior performance in all corners of the planet.
That’s why they managed to gain clients’ trust and establish undoubtedly the most famous and authoritative brand name, particularly when it comes to WordPress web hosting.
In the course of this guidance we will consider all advantages and inconveniences of the platform, so that you would understand better in which cases you can rely on Bluehost and what not to expect from them.
Let us consider all the subsequent required steps that you should take to register correctly in the system:
- Move through the link to open the official Bluehost website.
- Scroll down the page and choose the suitable plan for your online business. So far as your target is to start an online store using WooCommerce I would suggest selecting Starter or Plus plan. Here’s the link to tariff plan for $6.95 (discount price)
Now type in a domain name in the appropriate field.
And finally, complete the buying process by providing your account details. Please note, that prices may slightly differentiate from those that you see here, as the pricing policy of the web hosting service may sometimes change, but in general, this web hosting service always keeps the most attractive and lowest prices. Additionally, I want to recommend appending Domain Privacy Protection and Site Backup Pro to your hosting pack. Thereby, your private information and confidential data of your online business will stay unrevealed to others, as well as it will give you the ability of creating and recovering the backup copies by dint of the special tool, so you will be sure that important information won’t be lost.
You should receive a confirmation that your order was completed successfully, along with the manual on how to log in to the admin dashboard and confirmation that WordPress and WooCommerce were installed on Bluehost with success.
The next step is to sign in to your account by clicking on ‘Log in to your site’ and you will find yourself on your WordPress site’s dashboard. In the admin panel you can control data, edit the webstore design, create an email, add new domains and so on and so forth.
There you go, you’ve almost obtained your goal and you’ve got everything to begin configuring your online store parameters.
Despite the easiness of the entire process, if you nevertheless doubt that you can configure all by yourself. Do not hesitate to order a full adjustment from our technicians, who will do everything on a turn-key basis. You will obtain all you need completely ready and functional for a successful run of your online store. Please, feel free to follow the link to clear up the details.
2) Setting Up WordPress
When you log in to your WordPress admin panel for the first time, you see this kind of welcome form. It offers you to make a choice between a Business or Personal website. Beneath there is the third option, as well – just click the ‘I don’t need help’ window to continue.
Here you will see the page with some information to help you with the WooCommerce installation. (This plugin is useful for those who want to launch their online store)
Next, go to Settings – General and edit the title and description of your WordPress site.
In order to configure the SSL certificate, you also need to make one change. Just choose https instead of http in your settings as you see it on the screenshot below.
Now just save the changes and check whether everything operates according to your configuration.
So, we have finished configuring the basic settings and now we can boldly proceed to customization of your online store.
3) Customize Your WooCommerce Store
To alleviate the task for you, the developers created a special plugin that resolves problems with performing various types of automatic operations like making the payments, calculating and converting currencies. But before you will be able to benefit from this useful plugin you must have it installed and configured on WordPress.
You have probably spotted the ‘Welcome to WooCommerce’ window in your WordPress admin panel earlier. Click the ‘Run Setup Wizard’ message to start up the configuration.
Now we begin the step-by-step installation of WordPress, thus and so we press the ‘Let’s Go!’ button.
‘Let’s go!’ button will redirect you to the Page Setup section, where you begin the installation process itself.
You can add Pages from the Page Setup and control them from the admin panel. Please note that the Cart, Shop, Checkout and My Account pages are constructed automatically.
In the Appearance – Menus section you can mark which pages you would like to be shown on your own webstore.
The Continue window (at the bottom of the Page Setup screen) will lead you to the Store Locale Setup page, as it is shown underneath:
Here you will have to fill some primary information about your online store and choose the preferred options. There are a variety of choices available: which currency to use in payments, the currency button location, the product measurement units, and so on.
The tool, called Wizard, finds your location using your IP address and configures it automatically, as well, as adds some required information accordingly to your location. You have to check manually whether this information is configured correctly.
By clicking on the Continue button in the same screen, you see the Shipping and Tax Setup page.
If you are planning to sell physical goods, tick the appropriate checkbox. In “General Settings” you can select whether it will be shown Tax Inclusive or Tax Free prices. With the lapse of time, when your income will grow I would recommend adding taxes. However, you would better take a consultation from a good accountant or a tax expert.
Further the Continue window on the Shipping and Tax Setup screen will bring you to the Payments screen.
Here you can configure the basic payment settings.
By default, WooCommerce offers its users the ability to pay by direct payment, post-delivery payment, PayPal, or debet/credit card. You can also add a large number of other “payment gateways” such as PayU, Chase, PayFast and Amazon Payments. To get payment via bank cards, you need to contact the bank for further instructions. To enable online payments, you need your PayPal account to be linked to your online store.
Here is the list of payment options:
- PayPal powered by Braintree – option where clients make secure payments through credit cards or PayPal. You can install this plugin from WordPress.org. It is totally free of charge.
- Stripe and I like stripe, because it’s a mega secure for all financial operations. You can install it from WordPress.org as well.
- PayPal Standard allows payments from PayPal and via credit cards.
WooCommerce also offers offline payment modes including:
- Check Payments so it means payments by using checks.
- Bank Transfer Payments which allows you to transfer money between different banks
- Cash on Delivery means when the client pays cash directly to the courier on place, after receiving the order.
Pressing the Continue button will confirm that your online store is in full readiness for trading and will open such a screen
Now it’s time to begin adding items to our online store. Do you see the link “Create Your First Product”? Do not wait! Push this button right away.
4) Select and Customize WordPress Theme
It’s time to finish the epic. By the way, WooCommerce officially recommends the Storefront theme. If you would like to change it, follow the next steps:
- In the right menu, select Appearance → Themes
- In the upper left corner is Add New
- Next, click on the Filter Features
- In the left menu, select Store
- Click Apply Filters
Next, you will see a list of themes that support e-commerce plugins. This usually refers to WooCommerce.
Look for a theme that will appeal to you.
If you want to purchase an already ready online shop with all the settings, then follow this link. After your purchase, you can contact me by email so that my programmer will set up a working online store with goods that sell well in the online market.
We can also set you a WordPress template that is easy to modify. In addition, this template is proven and converts leads into sales of goods quite well.
If you yourself are familiar with the work of WordPress, then you can always choose any other template from the Internet and install it on your CMS WordPress.
5) Adding Items to Your Online Store
Add a few items to the store immediately after the basic setup of the platform. This will provide a good example when working with fine-tuning and site functionality.
The products in the store will be organized in categories. You can view existing and create new categories in the Products – Categories menu.
To create a new category, specify a name, add a short description and a thumbnail. Indicate a label if necessary. In the Display Type screen, select the option you want.
Please note that when installing WooCommerce, the system creates test categories. Edit them to not add new ones.
You can add an item in the Products – Add New menu. Choose a category, specify the item name, add a description.
Select a product type, specify a standard price. If you are planning a sale, enter the appropriate data.
Add the necessary data on the Inventories tab: specify the article, if necessary, enable automatic inventory management. In this case, you will see the quantity of available products in the item details. You can even enable preordering.
On the delivery tab, specify the weight and dimensions of the product. If you want to can specify products for upsell and cross-sale, then you can do that with the help of Related tab. On the Attributes tab, enter additional product details, such as colors or sizes. Provide additional information if necessary.
Add products’ thumbnail and short description. You can find these records on the main page or in the category pages. If necessary, create a photo gallery of the goods.
Publish a product. Check how the product preview is displayed on the storefront.
6) Expand Your Online Store With Plugins
To further customize WordPress and add new features you need to download WordPress plugins. Pay attention to some useful solutions:
⦁ The Facebook for WooCommerce plugin will assist you in guiding your ad campaigns on the most famous social network. It’s also simple to add a store on Facebook’s brand page by using an add-on.
⦁ When the theme doesn’t support magnification on hover, YITH WooCommerce Zoom Magnifier will help.
⦁ The YITH WooCommerce Wishlist plugin adds the necessary Wish List section to the store.
There are over 46,000 WordPress plugins obtainable. Here you will find the best WordPress plugins to enhance the functionality.
Thanks to the tandem of the most popular CMS and the most popular ecommerce platform, you can build up a fully functional online store in really short time. This does not require knowledge in web development. At the start your expenses will be minimal, as the basic system and a lot of useful plugins are obtainable for free.
As you can see, it’s really easy to start an online store and manage it. You can independently increase the SEO-friendliness of the store and further adapt it to mobile traffic. Thanks to the well developed WordPress infrastructure, you have almost unlimited possibilities for customizing and expanding the functionality of the store on WooCommerce.
I would also like to supplement the article with the fact that you can start selling products from your online store, but if you want to learn more about additional ways to earn money on the Internet, then read this article: 14 Best Easy Ways How To Make Money Online Fast (2020)
Maybe some of you want to sell your services on the Internet, but don’t know how to do it. Someone wants to earn money through affiliate marketing. In this article you will find many interesting ways to make money online.