How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce in 2021: A Step by Step Guide

Are you preparing to start your online store? And as usual, many questions will arise like where to start? Which is the best place to start? And much more. Well, here we have provided a guide on how to build your online store with WordPress in a step by step procedure. Let’s have a look at them. 

What Do You Need to Start an Online Store?

Creating an online store is not too tough. Anyone who has a computer can start their store without any programming skills.

Three basic things are there to consider before starting an online store.

  • A unique name idea.
  • A web hosting account
  • A 30 minutes concentration

Within 30 minutes you can start your online store with WordPress. Let’s look at our guide. 

You will get to know about the details like.

  • How to Choose the Best WooCommerce Hosting
  • How to Register a Domain Name for Free
  • How to Get an SSL Certificate for Free (required for accepting payments)
  • How to Install WordPress
  • How to Create a WooCommerce store
  • How to Add Products in your Online Store
  • How to Select and Customize Your Theme
  • How to Extend Your Online Store with Plugins
  • Learning to Learn WordPress & Grow Your Business

Step 1. Setting up Your Online Store Platform

You have to choose the right platform for your online store. This is the most crucial thing and we are here to help you along. 

You can select between popular eCommerce platforms. We recommend Shopify or WordPress + WooCommerce. Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce solution that starts at the price of $29 / month. This is very easy and you can start selling with just logging in. The only downside is, it is expensive and the payment options are limited unless you pay additional fees. Due to its price, most people prefer WordPress + WooCommerce as they offer flexibility.

It needs some setup and it is worth doing in the long run. WooCommerce is one of the largest eCommerce platforms. Here you can get a guide on setting up an online store in WordPress using WooCommerce.

As a first step, you need a Domain name, Web Hosting and  SSL certificate to set up your store. The domain name is the website’s address that is visible on the internet. This is the name that the users will search in the browser to reach your site.

Web hosting is where your website lives on the internet. Each website needs web hosting.

An SSL certificate gives your site special security so that you can accept sensitive information like credit card numbers and other personal information. This SSL certificate is essential for you to accept credit card payments on your website.

You can buy your domain from $10 to $14.99 / year, Web Hosting around $10.95 / month with FREE SSL certificate.

For a startup, this is a huge one. Interestingly, GreenGeeks is a WordPress and WooCommerce hosting provider offer a free domain name and a free SSL certificate with a discount on web hosting for our users. You can start at $3.96/month.

This GreenGeeks web hosting service is one of the oldest web hosting companies. When it comes to WordPress hosting, this GreenGeeks is the largest brand name as they are hosting millions of websites.

Let’s have a look at the domain + hosting + SSL. Now open the GreenGeeks in your browser and follow along.

Once it opened, click on the green Get Started button to get started.

GreenGeeks How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

Once you click on the get started button you will land on the next screen. Then, you have to select your plan, the Lite and the Pro plan are the most popular plans.

The next step is to enter your domain name for your website.

GreenGeeks free domain registration How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

As a final step, you have to add your account information and complete the payment process. You can also find the optional extras offered to purchase.

GreenGeeks web hosting payment - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

As mentioned before it is an optional feature, that you can add a purchase or ignore it. However, you can also add them later if you want them.

GreenGeeks web hosting plans select in billing - How to Start an Online Store

Once you finish your payment process you will receive an email which will have the details about your login to your web hosting control.

Use that details and login to your cPanel. Now you will receive a pop-up showing that WordPress with WooCommerce is pre-installed on your website.

Then select the ‘Login to your site’ button, and you will land on to your WordPress site’s dashboard. Now, your WordPress setting up part is over.

The next step is to arrange your WordPress site and then your online store.

Step 2. Setting up E-Commerce with WooCommerce

WordPress and woo-commerce get automatically installed on your site with GreenGeeks. On your login, it will ask what kind of website you want to set up.

wordpress dashboard -How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

Now click on the ‘I don’t need help’ button to skip all steps, as we will explain everything. Then you will land on another page that shows your WordPress admin dashboard.

wordpress admin dashboard

Now, visit the General Page under Settings to set up your WordPress site Title and description.

wordpress site title and description

Setting up HTTPS to Use SSL

GreenGeeks provides Free SSL with your hosting plan and it is pre-installed for your domain name, but you need to configure your WordPress site, so it loads as HTTPS instead of HTTP.

Navigate to settings and General page and now you have to change your WordPress Address and Site Address to use HTTPS instead of HTTP.

wordpress ssl in settings - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

Now scroll down and save the changes. Your basic setup is finished and now you have to set up your online store.

Step 3. Setting up Your WooCommerce Store

You have to consider things like payment shipping information before setting up your online store.

You have to set up this thing to start selling. You can get a pop-up ‘Welcome to WooCommerce’ notification on your WordPress admin page and now select the ‘Run the Setup Wizard’ button in the notification.

woocommerce run the setup wizard

Now this will launch a new WooCommerce setup wizard and you have to select the ‘Let’s go’ button to get started.

woocommerce lets go - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

WooCommerce will setup some pages automatically for your websites like Shop, Cart and Checkout. Click on the continue button.

woocommerce page setup

Then do the next step. You have to inform your location, currency and units measures to WooCommerce. 

woocommerce currency and location - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

After filling the details you have to click the continue button. Now it is the time to enter shipping and tax information.

woocommerce shipping and tax information

You can use this WooCommerce for selling both digital downloads and physical goods that need shipping. You have to check the box if you are shipping physical goods to customers, or you can leave it unchecked if you are only selling digital products.

As a next step, you have to answer the tax question. With WooCommerce you can calculate and add taxes to your prices automatically.

You can also add the tax information later on the settings. You can also leave it unchecked if you are not sure. Now, click on the continue button. Now you have to choose the payment method for your online store.

woocommerce payment gateway - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

WooCommerce supports PayPal, PayPal Standard, and Stripe payment gateways by default. In addition to this, it has many other payment methods too, that you can install them later. The easiest way is using PayPal Standard. All you have to do is enter the PayPal email address and click on the continue button.

PayPal and Stripe have widely used payment methods. If you use Stripe it allows users to enter their credit card information.

You can easily set up the Stripe by following the instructions available on the WooCommerce screen. Then your setup is done.

woocommerce setup done

Now click on the ‘Return to WordPress dashboard’ to exit this setup wizard. Once you finish this setup, now add your products to the online store.

Step 4. Adding Products to Your Online Store

Now add your first product to your new online store.

Go to Add Product under Products button on the left sidebar.

woocommerce add product - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

Give a title for your first product and add some description. On the right corner, you can see the ‘Product Categories’ box. Now click ‘+Add New Product Category’ to make a new category list for your product. This feature will be useful for your customers to filter products based on the category.

woocommerce product categories - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

You can find a Product Data box below. You can add more information about the product like Price, Inventory, shipping and many more.

woocommerce product data box

You can see a box to add the product short description below the product data box. When a user is viewing multiple products, this description will be useful.

woocommerce product short description

Now it’s the time to add product images and product gallery. 

woocommerce product images - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

When you finish the product page, you have to click on the publish button. Then your product is available on the internet.

You have to do this method for all of your products to go live on the website.

Step 5. Select and Customize WordPress Theme

You have to set up a unique theme to your website to be visible for the users when they visit your page. You can avail thousands of paid as well as free themes in WordPress.

Install any your preferred Woocommerce theme from Themes button under Appearance tab on the left sidebar.

woocommerce add theme - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

Once your theme will get installed then you have to customize it as per your requirements.

Navigate to Appearance and then Customize page. This will set up a customizer that allows you to change many theme settings.

woocommerce theme change - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

Step 6. Extend Your Online Store With Plugins And Widgets 

You are all done in setting up your online store. Now you have to get started by adding other normal elements like About page, Contact Forms, Sliders, Gallery and more. You have to use WordPress plugins..

You can add many features to your website with free and paid WordPress plugins.

About 46,000 WordPress plugins are available, so select the best one according to your need.

WooCommerce Extensions

A wide range of extensions available at WooCommerce. It includes gateway additions, shipping methods, accounting, marketing and more. You have purchased them to use, however, some free elements are also available.

You can access these WooCommerce Extensions under WooCommerce tab in the left sidebar.

woocommerce extensions - How to Start an Online Store with WordPress using Woocommerce

WordPress Plugins

Visit the “Plugins” area of the WordPress dashboard and add a new plugin.

woocommerce add plugins

Now search for WooCommerce in the search bar on the right-hand side.

Woocommerce add plugins in search

then Install and activate WooCommerce Paypal Gateway and WooCoomerce Stripe Gateway.

install woocommerce related plugins

If you want more features in WooCommerce online store then you can go for additional plugins. We have listed some exclusive plugins for your e-commerce store.

Wordfence Security

Wordfence is a free security system that protects WordPress. It is better to have more security in addition to the SSL certificate. To start an online store, security is more important.

Yoast SEO

Your product description and blogs will boost up your optimization. Yoast SEO will help you to create a description that is perfect for search engines.

TinyMCE Advanced

If you are looking for easy drag and drop interface for adding more functionality like adding toolbar and formating options, then you can go for TinyMCE advanced plugin.

Step 7. Marketing Your Online Store

Without proper marketing, your online store won’t achieve a hit. You have to engage with your customers on your site itself in addition to the Search Engine Optimisation. You can use the following methods to increase the traffic to your online store.

Social Media

Social media is always a perfect tool to drive traffic to your site. About 80% of the population use social media daily, so it will be a great way to get engage thousands of potential online buyers instantly to your Store and Boost Your online store’s reputation.

Email Campaigns

Email is not a traditional one and it is still important for many people and the easiest form of marketing on the internet. You can engage more people through email marketing. You can use many MailChimp or GetaResponse services and make this process automated.

Discounts, Coupons and Deals

Posting discounts, coupons and deals will attract everyone’s attention and it naturally brings more traffic to your online store. In some times people will buy the product because of its low price even if they don’t necessarily need it. Once you start an online store, make more discounts and you will get more traffic.

Affiliates Program

Many online stores use an affiliate program to get more traffic. You have to give some commission of sales to your affiliates if they help you to generate sales. This is a great way to attract more traffic without doing more effort. This strategy converts your fans into marketer to boost your income.

Other Online Store Solutions

Remember that WordPress is not the only method to start your online store. You can also go for other possible methods to create your new store online and each other methods has their unique benefits. Usually, these other solutions need a simple upload & install, while others are often available through cPanel, should your host provide such tools.

The other popular Platforms are:-

Magento

Magento is a great solution to start your online store as it has many tools with simple customization. A free  version is also included and that can power e-commerce that is somewhat limited when compared to the paid version.

PrestaShop

Most people support for this PrestaShop as the software is also a free one. Anyone can easily install and start selling with a tons of tools and settings. The best thing here is, you can get paid modules to add more features and flexibility.

Zen Cart

Zen Cart is an open-source platform and it is also a free platform and has more tools. You can add more plugins like WordPress to improve the functionality. This system is maintained by the community. Developers and users can help in development through design and coding.


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Conclusion

Infact, how to start an online store with WordPress and WooCommerce is one part of the process and making your online store is not a big challenge but the real challenges we have to bring it to the high position.

It requires a lot of dedication and effort with the proper strategy of your online store. We hope that we have provided a useful guide to start your online store. If you have any suggestion about the guide on Start your online store, let us know by commenting in the below section.

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