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Whether you’re selling physical products, digital goods, or subscription services, Woocommerce makes it easy to turn your WordPress website into a fully functioning online store. It equips your site with a range of secure payment options for conducting transactions worldwide. The best thing about it is that it can be set up and configured quickly and easily by any user. And of course, you don’t need any website development experience to make it work. Ready to get started with Woocommerce? Read on for more information on how to configure your Woocommerce website.

How does WooCommerce work?

Online shopping is more popular now than ever. And it has never been easier for anyone to start and run a profitable online business. Even if you’re on a shoestring budget, there are definitely options for you. That’s party thanks to the growing list of ecommerce platforms offering online space to retailers and business owners.

For instance, platforms like Shopify will host your store and take care of the technical details for a monthly fee. However, the downside to this is that you’ll have limited options for customizing your online store and taking payments. And if the platform encounters problems or goes down, so does your store.

With WooCommerce, setting up an ecommerce store with WordPress becomes much less of a hassle. WooCommerce makes it easy to avoid the mentioned issues by integrating a complete online store into an existing WordPress site. It’s free to use, and you get all the options for customizing a storefront that any user might want.

WooCommerce is a plugin – one of many “add on” elements that give a basic WordPress website virtually endless versatility. Combined with plugins of its own for payment gateways and other features, WooCommerce offers all the features you’ll need to build an online store on your own self-hosted WordPress site.

Experienced web developers can work directly with the WooCommerce source code to create custom storefronts and add specific functions. But you don’t need that level of expertise to configure your online store to work the way you want. Here’s a rundown of how to do it.

Customize your WooCommerce store in five steps

To use WooCommerce, you’ll need to purchase a domain and install WordPress with a reliable web hosting provider. From your WordPress admin dashboard, navigate to ‘Plugins’ and select ‘Add New’. Search for WooCommerce – it is likely the first ecommerce plugin to appear. Then install and activate it.

Once WooCommerce is activated, all the tools for creating your store will appear. You’ll find setup wizards for many of the more complex elements of the store. WooCommerce works with any WordPress theme so that your store can reflect your brand identity. And you can further customize your site’s appearance with color and layout choices. All options for customizing your online store are available from your site’s Admin dashboard.

Now that you’ve got WooCommerce running on your site, it’s time to customize your store. Here are five steps you need to take in order to customize and build a functioning online store.

Make sure your store is mobile responsive

More people now shop on their mobile devices than from desktops and laptops, so it is important to make sure that your main WordPress site is mobile responsive. Start by choosing an updated, mobile responsive theme that displays your content on screens of all sizes. Another workaround is to add responsiveness to an existing theme with plugins designed to make content mobile-friendly. That way, your store will properly display content everywhere potential customers might find it. Regardless of this workaround, your best bet is still to choose a good, well-reviewed theme. If you don’t know how to start with choosing a theme, we have a guide for that. Check it out!

Build essential store pages

The WooCommerce plugin includes all the things you need to create the essential pages that an online store needs. That includes product pages, a shopping cart for filling orders, and a checkout page where customers enter payment information for processing through a payment gateway, such as PayPal or Stripe.

Depending on the kind of store you are creating, your website could also include things like account and profile pages for customers, or special sale and bargain pages. The setup wizard will help you in creating and configuring these pages. Then it’s time for you to populate your store with products and other information!

Set up your location and payment gateways

Setting up your store’s physical location is an important, but often forgotten step. Your location establishes how shipping rates and taxes are calculated, and what currencies you deal in. Along with this, you need to select your preferred payment gateways. WooCommerce comes with support for PayPal and Stripe by default. But you can add a wide range of options from the payment gateway plugins available from WooCommerce’s home site.

Add products

From your site’s Admin dashboard, select the Products tab. You’ll be taken to a screen that resembles the standard WordPress content editor. But you’ll find that it also includes prompts for entering the information specific to your product. That includes your product name, description, shipping information, and other information such as whether the product is a physical product or a digital download. The Products editor also lets you add a product image and set parameters for other variables such as size, color, and links to related products. Once you complete these fields, click ‘Publish’ and you’ll find that the product is available to purchase in your store! Repeat the process for each new product you want to add to the store.

Configure your store’s appearance

WooCommerce is designed to work with any WordPress theme, so you may make as many changes as you’d like. If not, your WooCommerce store will display the colors, fonts, and layout of your site’s overall theme. However, WooCommerce also has its own themes, designed specifically to optimize WooCommerce features. If that’s what you prefer, you can select the default WooCommerce theme, called Storefront. Other than that, you can consider purchasing premium WooCommerce themes from third-party developers. More often than not, these premium themes may add many built-in functions that would otherwise require plugins.

Final thoughts

Like WordPress hosting itself, WooCommerce is a free and open-source plugin backed by a huge community of developers and users, ready to offer support and advice. Designed with users of all levels in mind, WooCommerce makes it easy for you to set up an online store and start selling products right away.

To learn how to use WooCommerce, check out our website or talk to one of our experts at Bluehost today!

  • Devin Sears

    Devin is a Senior Event Marketing Manager for the Bluehost brand. He is our brand steward for all things Bluehost and WordPress. You'll always see him supporting Bluehost at WordCamps around the world!

    Brigham Young University
    Previous Experience
    Social Media, Customer Experience, Field Marketing, Sponsorships, Event Coordinator
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