How to Start an Online Store with WooCommerce

WooCommerce tutorial

This is a step-by-step tutorial to create an online store with WooCommerce on WordPress.

Every business owner wants to increase their outreach and attract more customers. Many businesses create their online store to achieve this goal. If you are one such business owner looking forward to starting an online store and need a guide to help you create an online store, you are at the right place.

This guide would teach you how to create an online store on WordPress using the WooCommerce plugin in the easiest way possible. Using these two tools, you can create your website and start selling products in services in no time at all. 

If you are unaware of WordPress and WooCommerce, this next section will help you understand these two tools in a better way. On the other hand, if you know what these two tools do, please skip to the next section.

WordPress and WooCommerce: What Are They?

WordPress is a free, open-source content management system. WordPress was made to help people create blogs, but it became one of the most popular tools to develop various websites over time.

At present, over 60 million websites run on WordPress.

In simple terms, WordPress is a tool that enables you to create web pages without any prior knowledge of web development. It helps you create and publish web pages without involving any programming. 

Once people got the knack of creating websites using WordPress, they thought about using it to create online stores. This idea led to the development of WooCommerce, an open-source ecommerce plugin for WordPress.

It is one of the most popular tools for creating online merchant stores. It is versatile, and you can use it to create an e-commerce website regardless of how small or big your store is.

With the help of the WooCommerce plugin, you can use a WordPress site to sell digital and physical products, offer services, offer booking facilities, provide subscription-based service, and other things.

What can you sell with WooCommerce?

You might be wondering what all you can sell with an online store built with WooCommerce.

Well, the answer is – you can sell anything with WooCommerce.

Here are few things to list –

  1. Physical products
  2. Services
  3. Print on demand products
  4. Events and Webinars
  5. Softwares
  6. Graphics, Images, Videos
  7. Books and eBooks
  8. Licensed products, and more.

Whether you have digital or physical products, you can sell it quickly. You just need a WordPress site where you have to install the WooCommerce Plugin and set it up, as we will be showing you here.

Step-by-step guide to create online store with WooCommerce

This section will show you the simplest way to build an eCommerce store with WooCommerce.

Ready? Let’s get started with the most essential element of the process.

Step 1: Get a Domain and Web Hosting

Before you start your e-commerce website using WordPress and WooCommerce, you need to do a few things.

  1. The first step involves getting a domain name. A domain name is in the format of (where ABC is the name of your store). There are many domain registrars where you can easily buy a domain of your choice.
  2. The second step is subscribing to a web hosting platform. A web hosting platform is a remote server that keeps all your website data and allows various users to access your website. 

Now, these are the only two things that you need to pay to get your WooCommerce store live.

You can buy the domain and the hosting from anywhere you desire. However, here are a few of our recommendations that you can consider using-

Note: Some hosting service providers offer additional features, such as emails and spam protection. If you want those features on your website, go for them, but they are not necessary. At this stage, a basic plan would serve you well.

Step 2: Install WordPress

Once you have chosen a domain and a web-hosting service, it is time to install WordPress on your hosting account. All the web hosting services mentioned above are WordPress friendly and offer a dashboard that allows you to install WordPress with a single click. 

You will get different on-screen instructions depending on your web hosting platform. Follow them, and you will get WordPress up and running in a matter of minutes.

install wordpress

Once you have installed WordPress, you could visit your website. At this point, it would be like a blank canvas.

If you add “wp-admin” at the end of your website URL, you can access the admin panel of your website. It allows you to make changes to your website.

Step 3: Install WooCommerce WordPress Plugin

After you have installed WordPress and got your website up and running, it is time to add the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce is a free plugin that you can add to your website through the plugin section of the WordPress Dashboard.

Type “WooCommerce” in the search bar on the plugin page, and you will get the plugin.

Install WooCommerce

Click the “Install Now” button and activate the plugin to proceed. Follow the on-screen instructions to run WooCommerce on your website.

Now that you have a bare-bone website, it is time to turn it into an online store. The first step would include adding store features to the website.

Step 4: Add Store Pages

WooCommerce lets you add all the necessary pages with a click. Here are the pages that WooCommerce adds to your site.

Woocommerce page setup
  • Shop: This page on your website would display the items that are on sale on the web-store.
  • Cart: A cart would help your customers pick the items that they would like to buy.
  • Checkout: This page would allow your customers to proceed with the payment and delivery processes.
  • My Account: If you want your customers to visit your store again and again, a profile section would be necessary. It will keep their information saved for future use.

In addition to the store pages, you can also add the About, Contact, a blog page, and other legal pages from the WordPress Pages section.

Once you have added these pages and other things that you would like, you are ready to proceed to the next step.

Step 5: Location Settings

Setting up the location is one of the most critical aspects of creating an online store. It allows you to select the location of your store, define the reach of your business. It also lets you pick the currency and measurement units.

Setup store location

Once you have selected these options, click on “Continue.”

Step 6: Setup Store Tax Calculation

You might also want to take a look at the sales tax. Sales tax is an integral part of any business. But, you don’t need to worry about that as WooCommerce helps you take care of the taxes. 

To get started, you need to tell WooCommerce if you are dealing with physical goods that are to be shipped. Once you enter your answer, WooCommerce would help you figure out the taxes with an integrated tax module. 

Woocommerce store tax and shipping setup

Step 7: Add Payment methods

You create an online store to earn more money, so the next step involves selecting how you want to get paid. WooCommerce takes care of this part as well and offers you a choice between PayPal and Stripe. 

Setup store payment methods

The go-to option would be PayPal as it offers multiple payment options, including online payment through credit cards, offline payments through check, bank transfers, and cash on delivery.

Most store owners select both PayPal and Stripe as payment channels. WooCommerce developers plan to add more partners in the future. 

To set up PayPal and/or Stripe, you need to login into your PayPal and Stripe account. You need to create an account on these platforms beforehand. Click on “Continue,” and you are ready to receive payments on your e-commerce platform.

Step 8:  Populate your product catalog.

Now, as you are ready to start your online store, it is time to add the product that you will be selling.

To add the products, go to the dashboard and select the “Add Product” option from the “Products” section. You will see a screen that lets you add details related to the products.

Add new product

Here, you will have to fill up all the details related to your product. Here are the essential fields that you must not ignore –

  1. Product name.
  2. Product description. This is the main product description section, where you can talk about your product in detail and include images and videos to support it.
  3. Product data. This section is where you select the type of product you’re adding, and whether it’s a physical, a downloadable, or a virtual product (services are considered virtual products too). You can also add several other product parameters that allow customers to filter the products and learn more about the specific products. These are as follows –
    • General. Add regular and sales prices.
    • Inventory. Add the stock level and select whether you want to limit the number of quantities per order.
    • Shipping. Set the weight, dimensions, and shipping class.
    • Linked Products. Add related products that are shown in the “You may also like it” section.
    • Attributes. Set custom product attributes like color variation, size, etc.
    • Advanced. If you are selling something that should have a note related to how to open or use it, add the purchase note else, leave it.
  4. Short Description. This is the product description that is visible on archive or catalog pages below the product image. Add a short and intriguing description here. 
  5. Product Categories. Assign a category for your product.
  6. Product Tags. This is similar to WordPress tags; it helps you organize products with different tags.
  7. Product Image. This is the main product image that is visible on the catalog pages. Add the best picture of your product here.
  8. Product Gallery. These are images that are visible on the product page only and allows you to showcase your product in different angles or use cases.

 After filling up all the details, click on the “Publish” button to add products to your online store.

Similarly, populate the store with all the products that you want to show in your store. Regularly visit this section to make adjustments to your catalog.

Step 9: Get a theme for your store

Your store is all set, and you can start selling your products. However, you still need to make your online store attractive.

Your online store should portray what you are trying to sell. So, select a theme that suits your style. There are some amazing WordPress themes that seamlessly integrate with WooCommerce to make your store look visually appealing.

There are several WordPress theme marketplaces where you can easily purchase a WooCommerce compatible WordPress theme.

Regardless of where you buy the theme or using a default WooCommerce theme, just ensure that you have got all the essential features and designs as per your desire.

Step 10: Make the store design User-Friendly

Your store is ready for business, but is it prepared for the customers? At times, the customers might get overwhelmed with the design of the online store.

So, make adjustments to the website layout to make it customer-friendly. Here are some tips that would help you create an attractive and user-friendly online store.

  • Keep the design simple. A simple and easy to navigate website would help the customer reach the product they want a lot quicker. 
  • Grab their attention from the get-go. The center block would be the first thing that your customers would see. Customize it to grab the attention of your customers.
  • Take a look at the sidebars, and adjust their numbers. Sometimes, not having a sidebar helps give the website a cleaner look.
  • Navigation is crucial if you want your customers to return to your online store. Optimize your website’s layout so that a customer can find the product they want without much hassle.
  • Today most people use their phones to surf the web. So, don’t forget to optimize the website for mobile devices. In most cases, WordPress takes care of that, but it would be a good idea to take a look at the Mobile layout of the website.

Here are our recommendations to design specific pages for your online store. 

1. The Store Page- The store page is where all the products that you offer will be listed. You can access this page by adding “shop” at the end of the website URL. You can edit this page through the WordPress dashboard.

Customize this page to encourage visitors to visit your website regularly. You can play around with the themes and other page elements to figure out what looks intriguing.

Try different options related to product placement, sorting, product images, and other aspects of this page.

2. Product Pages- After finding the product they want, a customer wants to know more about the product. This is where the individual product pages come in. 

In most cases, you don’t need to make any significant adjustments to the product pages. Still, it would be a good idea to visit a few product pages and see if the information present is sufficient or not. 

Ensure that the page looks complete, and no blank spots are present as they might confuse the visitors.

3. The Shopping Cart- The third step in buying a product is the shopping cart. This page stores the products that the customers want to buy. Check if the page shows necessary information such as the product image, product name, price, and quantity of the product. You can also add a section to enter coupon codes if you want to distribute coupons.

Keep the design of the Shopping Cart minimalistic and provide only the essential information to your customer.

4. Checkout page. The final and probably one of the most important pages of an online store is the checkout area. It is the page that allows your customers to choose the shipping address and the shipping options. It is also the page where the customers would make the payment.

On this page, ensure that the pages don’t distract the users and provide a smooth medium to complete the transaction . 

Step 11: Install other essential Plugins

WooCommerce opens a doorway to some powerful plugins for your online store. You can add various payment gateways, shipping extensions, and more. Here are the most common WooCommerce extensions that you must add to your site –

  1. WooCommerce Tax (Free) – To configure how much taxes should be collected from customers by city, country, or state. 
  2. WooCommerce Shipping (Free) – To print shipping labels right from your dashboard.
  3. Facebook for WooCommerce (Free) – To add your products on Facebook Shop and promote on the platforms.
  4. Mailchimp for WooCommerce (Free) – for Email marketing
  5. QuickBooks or Taxjar (Paid) – To financial account and tax management

Along with WooCommerce extensions, you’ll need to install WordPress plugins to add functionality and security to your site. Here are a few of the essential ones –

  1. Yoast SEO – for SEO configuration and optimization
  2. UpdraftPlus – for cloud backup
  3. WP Rocket – For speed optimization
  4. Jetpack– for security and optimization
  5. Social Warfare – for social sharing icons.
  6. WPforms – For contact forms and email subscription forms
  7. Elementor – To customize theme designs and build custom pages.

You should also check out our guide on WordPress Plugins for the eCommerce website to find a complete list of essential plugins for your site.

Step 12: Launch your store

Once you have installed all the essential plugins and configured them accordingly, your store is now ready to live.

If you have created “coming soon”, replace it with your live site.

Congratulations! Your online store with WooCommerce is ready to take orders!

We hope this guide helped you launch your eCommerce store on WordPress successfully. After building your online store with WooCommerce, you should also check out our complete guide on WooCommerce SEO to optimize your online store to rank #1 on search result pages.

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