Learn how to start an online store with WordPress in our comprehensive guide. From choosing the right domain to setting up payments, we've got you covered.
Starting an online business is a monumental task.
You have to set up your website, get your products online, accept payments, and who knows what other things you haven’t even thought of!
We understand because we’ve been in your shoes.
But we’re here to tell you it’s not as scary as it seems. And it can take way less time than you think, too!
So we’re here to help. This step-by-step tutorial will show you exactly how to build an online store using WordPress — from start to finish. And you won’t have to know any code to do it.
So, let’s get started with how to create a store on WordPress!
What you need to create an online store with WordPress
The internet has changed our lives in so many ways.
And the ability for anyone to create a website and start selling products is just one of them. But it’s a powerful tool that has helped many people transform their lives.
And you can, too.
All you need is a few basic things:
- A domain name
- A web host
- An SSL certificate
- A few plugins
- A cup of coffee
Okay, the last one isn’t required. But it does help!
So, let’s learn how to create an eCommerce website with a WordPress online store right now!
How to make an online store with WordPress
Step 1: Choose your online store platforms
First, you’ll need to get your domain name sorted out to start setting up a store on WordPress.
Your domain name is like your address on the internet. It’s what users type in to get to your website and view your excellent products!
You want to put some time into this and develop something that fits your business. Preferably keep it short and catchy, but a name that describes your site well so your target audience remembers it.
Once you’ve thought of yours, you can plug it into a Domain Registrar to see if it’s available.
There are plenty to choose from, but some top options are:
- Google Domains
Domain prices will vary, but you can usually find one for about $12-$15/year. Also, many web hosts include your domain name when you purchase, so read on 👇
Next up is web hosting.
Web hosting helps get your website up and running on the internet. It’s the company that comes and builds your house (your website) at your address (domain).
You can often get your domain name and web hosting together in a package, making it easier for you to manage.
For example, some hosting companies give you your domain name for free. And you can find web hosting plans for around $5-$10 starting out.
Some top options for WordPress hosting we recommend are:
Last is an SSL certificate.
Think of this as the security system on your house so no one breaks in and steals essential items (like credit card numbers or other personal information).
With most web hosts, you’ll get an SSL certificate included.
Once you have these, you’re ready to start creating your own WordPress site!
Step 2: Create a WordPress site
Depending on your hosting service, your host may have already installed WordPress for you.
If not, you’ll have to get WordPress installed before you can continue with your website builder. We recommend checking out our post on building an online store with WordPress for that.
But, for most users, it’ll be as simple as a one-click installation, then you're off to the races.
After that, you want to choose your WordPress theme.
Ideally, you’ll have something light and fast because it will help your page load faster. And since you’re building an eCommerce store, it’s good to choose an eCommerce theme, so you can choose one that fits your needs.
Step 3: Set up your online store on WordPress
You have a few options to add a store to WordPress.
It includes order tracking, delivery status updates, inventory management, plus many others. And there are even other WooCommerce plugins that help add extra abilities to your WooCommerce store.
So, install the WooCommerce WordPress plugin, then follow the setup process.
It will ask you for your business details to help configure shipping and tax rates, what type of products you sell, your business type, and more so it can configure your WooCommerce settings to your needs. Last, you can stick with your theme or choose one of the WooCommerce themes.
There are other WooCommerce plugins to add extra features to your site, too.
One plugin we recommend using is our own, Formidable Forms.
Okay, now that we’ve got a few plugins ready, let’s start adding products so your shop starts to take form!
Step 4: Add your products
To be clear, you can sell any product on your WooCommerce store — digital or physical.
And the process is similar for both. So, go to your WordPress dashboard to get started.
Next, go to Products → Add New.
You can add your product title, description, category, and related tags here.
The Product Data box below lets you add more detailed information, like the price and tax. And there are a few separate sections: General, Inventory, Shipping, Linked Products, and Attributes, and you can add additional options.
You can set your prices, SKU, upsells or cross-sells, and other valuable information in these sections.
For example, if you’re running a clothing store, you can set your t-shirt prices, assign the product IDs, and then add any related products you have, such as other t-shirts to recommend.
Step 5: Accept payments
You have a few options to start accepting payments.
You can use WooCommerce Payments, the only solution WooCommerce integrates with fully. And it’ll allow you to accept credit & debit cards.
It also has extensions for Stripe, PayPal, and Square to add more payment gateways to your website.
Another option we mentioned earlier is using Formidable Forms.
And speaking of order forms, it’s an area where WooCommerce is a bit limited.
Instead, you can use Formidable Forms (which specializes in forms) to create a custom WooCommerce order form for your website!
That way, you display your products with WooCommerce, then get orders and payments through Formidable!
Step 6: Send invoices and receipts
This is where things get tricky with WooCommerce.
To send invoices, you’ll have to purchase its PDF Invoices extension. However, we think you know the drill by now. Formidable can create PDFs from your form entries that you can send to customers or download for yourself!
And, even better, with its Views PDF editor, you can customize exactly what your PDF looks like!
If you’re starting an online store, you want simple.
And with WooCommerce and Formidable, that’s precisely what you get.
Step 7: Install other plugins for extra features
This is only the beginning!
With how WooCommerce’s popularity, there are tons of plugins out there to help you expand your abilities.
We’ve already covered Formidable Forms, so we wanted to recommend a few more plugins to help you out. And that starts with analyzing your store traffic.
For that, MonsterInsights is the perfect analytics plugin. Over 3 million professionals use it, and that’s because it gives you real-time data and reports on your e-commerce sales, user behavior, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance.
So this plugin will help you get to know your traffic better so you can cater to them.
And if you’re a B2B wholesale website, you want to consider Wholesale Suite. The plugin offers wholesale pricing, order forms, tax control, shipping maps, and more.
If you plan on running BOGO deals, loyalty programs, gift card promotions, or other coupons, then we recommend Advanced Coupons.
And last, we recommend WooFunnels to help capture leads, boost your order values, and improve your sales funnel overall. After all, your leads are what lead to paying customers!
But remember, treat your plugins like a guest in your house. You wouldn’t let just anyone in, only who is necessary.
You help speed up your WordPress website by keeping your plugin count low.
Step 8: Add an AI assistant or product quiz
Now that your website is running, it’s time to look at ways to improve the customer experience.
And there are two great ways to do it:
- Use AI
- Use product recommendation quizzes
Customers may need to learn what product is best for them when they arrive on your site. And one way to get more buyers is by making it easier for them.
And when they’re told exactly the best product for them, that’s about as easy as it gets.
*Cue Formidable Forms*
We know it’s our plugin, so of course, we will recommend it. But if it can do all of these things for your store, why wouldn’t we recommend it?
And lucky for you, Formidable helps you use AI in WordPress and gives you product recommendation quizzes for WooCommerce for you to use. We’ve even made templates to make it faster for you (and we create more every day!).
With an AI field, you could have a simple field to answer any customer questions when unavailable.
Or, you create a fun interactive quiz, and it gives them a product recommendation at the end!
Either way, improving your customer experience means more sales. And that’s more opportunities for your online store to grow.
Is WordPress good for eCommerce stores?
Yes! WordPress is great for eCommerce stores!
On average, about 40% of all websites are built using WordPress. And that includes tons of online shops and small businesses. With WordPress’ support for plugins, you can add any feature you need to your website with a simple installation.
So, don’t hesitate to make a WordPress online store!
Does WordPress take a percentage of sales?
No, WordPress doesn’t take a percentage of your sales.
WordPress provides you with a structure for you to display your website. However, WooCommerce, Shopify, and other eCommerce services may charge a percentage based on your sales.
Are you ready to create a store on your WordPress site?
Alright! You’ve learned how to build a profitable online store with WordPress.
So, it’s time for you to make an eCommerce WordPress store right now! No more reading. It’s time to do make your store on WordPress!
So grab WooCommerce and Formidable Forms, and get your website started. And let us know what you’re working on in the comments when you’re finished!