Do you wish to set up an online store? Then this is a great opportunity for you as e-commerce is now a major player than ever before. With WordPress, entering the e-commerce industry is fairly easier, and it gives you all the options you need to set it up within a few clicks. WordPress is a highly suitable e-commerce platform.
7 Steps to Create an Online Store With WordPress
This article lays down all the steps you must follow to start your e-commerce website with WordPress. So, let’s get started!
Step 1: Domain name and hosting provider.
The first step is to select a domain name. Your domain name is the address of your future website. It is the name that you search for in the address bar that leads you to your website. So, choose your domain name carefully. Try to keep your name as relevant and close to your brand name, short and memorable.
In addition to a domain name, you also need a hosting provider. This is a service that will host your website on the internet. When you have a dedicated hosting provider, your website is secure and also is highly responsive. If you are not sure of the hosting provider, you should opt for, head over the official WordPress site, and find the recommended hosts like Pressable, BlueHost, Dreamhost, Flywheel, and SiteGround.
Step 2: Install WordPress
Once you have chosen the domain and host, you can now install WordPress. There are two ways to do this –
This is the easiest way and is highly recommended if you are new to WordPress. Usually, hosting providers give you the option of ‘one-click’ installs. So, all you have to do is go to the dashboard of the hosting and click on the tab that says ‘Install WordPress.’
If you have been using WordPress for a while and are quite a pro, then you can opt for manual installations. You have to download WordPress to your device, and then configure it. All you need to have is an FTP client, a database or cPanel or phpMyAdmin, and the access to your web server. WordPress offers extensive documentation to walk you through this advanced process.
Step 3: Install and configure the e-commerce plugin.
What differentiates your e-commerce website from other WordPress sites is the functionality of your website to sell products. To convert your website into an e-commerce website, you need to install an e-commerce plugin. Here are a few WordPress plugins that you can choose from –
WooCommerce is a high customization platform and gives you complete control over your online store. Studies have shown that about 30% of online stores use WooCommerce as their platform. It lets you build and organize product pages, shopping cart, and checkout processes.
Easy Digital Downloads
If you are selling digital products on your e-commerce website, then you should opt for EDD or Easy Digital Downloads plugin. It helps you to create discount codes, restrictions on downloads, tracking, data reporting, and so much more. In addition to these, it also gives you the ability to sell software licenses, subscriptions, and payment processors.
WP eCommerce is a widely used plugin for creating an online store with WordPress. It has all the basic features you need, like product pages, shopping cart, checkout, data reporting, and inventory management.
So, once you have chosen the e-commerce plugin for the WordPress site, you need to install it now.
- To install the plugin, login to your WordPress dashboard, and click on the ‘Plugin’ on the left panel.
- Search for the plugin you want in the search bar and then click on ‘Install Now.’
- Once installed, click on ‘Activate Now.’
The wizard will take you through the rest of the setup process.
Step 4: Choose a theme for your website
The theme that you choose acts as a basic design for your web content. WordPress offers you a library of website themes that are highly customizable. If you are a pro at using WordPress and coding, you can take advantage of these customization features. If not, you can still choose a theme that looks close to your desired finished product.
- To access the theme, login to your WordPress dashboard, hover over ‘Appearance’ and then click on ‘themes.’
- Click on the ‘Add New’ tab, and you can browse through the various themes.
- Find the one that you wish to use and click on ‘Install’ to download it.
- Once downloaded, you can click on ‘Activate,’ and the theme reflects on your website.
Step 5: Create pages for your products
Now that your plugin and theme is set up, you need to add products and images to your website. Every product you add should have a product name, price, image, and description. Based on the eCommerce plugin that you have installed, you can add the various product pages.
- Login to the WordPress admin panel
- Select ‘Products’ on the left sidebar and then select ‘Add Product.’
You can find documentation based on the plugin you have downloaded from the official WordPress site.
Step 6: Set up payment pages
A very important step is for you to set up a means of receiving payment from your customers. WooCommerce supports a variety of other gateways, and you can add them by clicking on the ‘Payment Gateway’ section. You will also need to have an SSL certificate to ensure that all transactions between you and your customers are safe from hackers. An SSL certificate can also be gained from your hosting provider.
Step 7: Publish your site.
Once you are satisfied with the look and functionality of the website, you need to make it public and accessible to your target audience.
- Go to ‘settings.’
- Once done, click on ‘Public.’
This guide was aimed at making the process of setting up an e-commerce website with WordPress very simple and easy to perform. If you follow all the steps, you should have a highly functional e-commerce website that you can grow and expand along with your business.
What is your experience of building an e-commerce store with WordPress? Which plugins have worked best for you? Leave a comment below.