Got something to sell? Let's do it! In this guide, we'll show you how to build an online store with WordPress. Good news: it's a lot easier than you'd think.
Want to learn how to build an online store with WordPress? In this guide, we'll show you how to do exactly that.
If you've got something to sell, it's now easier than ever to start selling it online. One of the best platforms for an ecommerce site is WordPress. In fact, one of the tools in this guide is used in almost 30% of all online stores!
Here's the best part about making a store with a WordPress website: many of the tools used are actually free plugins. You'll still need to pay for WordPress hosting and a WordPress theme, but these are a lot cheaper than paying for a custom developed ecommerce store.
Just to give you an idea, custom development on an ecommerce website could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Luckily, the technology has improved so much that it's now feasible for anyone to create an online store without any professional assistance.
Wait... is WordPress good for online stores, really?
Why choose to make a WordPress ecommerce website? Since there are a lot of options when building your online store, you might wonder what makes WP so special?
Before we invest precious time learning how to create an online store with WordPress, let's make sure it's the right move. Here are the top 3 reasons we think it is:
- Low startup costs: Because WordPress is free as a platform, it won't require as much money to get off the ground.
- Highly customizable: Other ecommerce platforms tend to box you into their system. With WordPress, it's possible to build a custom solution tailored to your needs.
- Data ownership: Data is one of the most important parts of an ecommerce shop in the long run. WordPress always stores your data in your database (not the cloud), allowing you to decide what to do with it.
Besides the above, WordPress has also been around for a while. It's a stable solution that isn't going anywhere, making it a safe choice to invest in.
How to make an online store with WordPress
Here we go! It's time to learn how to make a WordPress online store.
As promised, we're going to do this in 5 easy steps:
- Install WordPress
- Install WooCommerce
- Upload your products
- Install some e-commerce plugins
- Promote your store
Step 1: Create your website using WordPress
Ask anyone how to add online stores to WordPress sites, they'll likely point to this obvious first step: install WordPress!
Assuming you have your domain picked out already, the first thing you'll want to figure out is web hosting. Here are a few hosts we recommend. If you don't know where to start, check out our guide to the best WordPress hosting companies.
After you get on a hosting platform, it's time to install WordPress. Most of the above options make this especially easy by offering 1-click installations.
Once you've installed WordPress, you may want to choose an e-commerce theme. Then you're ready to move to the next stage.
Step 2: Install WooCommerce
WooCommerce is an e-commerce solution popular with many new online stores. It's free, customizable, and easy to use for beginners:
WooCommerce stores have many useful features. These include order tracking, delivery status updates, inventory management, and extensions. Plus, you can add extra features with WooCommerce plugins.
To get started, you simply need to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin. Then, you can follow the setup wizard to finish the installation.
Beyond that, you'll want to spend time customizing your WooCommerce settings. We'll cover the essentials below, but there are a few things to start pondering:
- Setting up payment options
- Designing your product pages
- Setting up some marketing features
Step 3: Upload your products to the online store
How's the tutorial going so far? We told you this would be easy!
Once WooCommerce is installed, you can get straight to adding your products. The process is simple and happens straight from the WordPress dashboard.
To be clear, you'll be able to sell whatever you want on WooCommerce, whether it's a physical product or digital products. You'll want to have your product images & descriptions ready to go, but you can always just upload some test products to get a feel for how the system works.
To get started, head to Products and click on Add New. Now you can add your product title, a description, categories, and tags:
The Product Data meta box lets you add detailed information like the price and tax. There are six separate sections: General, Inventory, Shipping, Linked Products, Attributes, and Advanced.
Fill out all the information and save it. Then you can follow this process for each product in your store.
Step 4: Install plugins and extensions for extra features
You can make a simple online store with WordPress and WooCommerce alone. However, it probably won't have all the features you need.
We promised to show you how to set up an online store on WordPress. That promise can't be met without a few trusty plugins!
WordPress plugins can add new characteristics to your shop. Although there are many options, some are more relevant to online stores.
MonsterInsights, meanwhile, is a great analytics plugin. Used by over 3 million professionals, MonsterInsights offers real-time data and reports on e-commerce sales, user behavior, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) performance. You can use this plugin to learn more about your customers and improve your online store:
Finally, if you're creating a B2B wholesale website, you might want to consider Wholesale Suite. The plugin offers wholesale pricing, order forms, tax control, shipping maps, and more:
However, we recommend only installing the necessary plugins. Otherwise, you might slow down your site and harm your loading speeds.
Step 5: Start promoting your online store
Once you've set everything up, it's time to start promoting your store. Social media and paid advertising can help you reach your target audience.
It's also important to remember to give potential customers an offer. If you haven't already done so, consider installing Advanced Coupons. There's plenty here to tempt potential customers. Features include BOGO deals, loyalty programs, gift card promotions, and shipping coupons to offer great deals:
You might even run an online contest and offer your products or gift cards as prizes. This method can grow interest in your business and collect customer email addresses.
A few simple steps can remove the stress of starting your online store. Using WordPress, WooCommerce, and a selection of plugins, you can start making sales in no time.
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