Starting an online business has never been easier. New entrepreneurs can open an online store in minutes thanks to platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce.
The downside of these platforms is that you’d be renting space on a third-party platform. As such, you have little control over how your shop looks and functions. But if you’re a WordPress user, there’s a more elegant solution.
You can easily add WooCommerce to WordPress and set up an online store with ease by reading this guide. Let’s dive in.
Platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify host hundreds of online stores of all kinds. You pay a monthly fee that includes a web hosting provider, shop “space,” and templates for creating the storefront. It also includes access to various administrative tools for running and managing the site.
But while these platforms make it easy to set up your store, you don’t own your store. Platforms can shut down or even suspend your account if they think you’re violating their terms of service. Needless to say, this can negatively impact your sales and brand reputation.
But WooCommerce works differently.
It’s a plugin, a small bit of code that you install onto your existing WordPress website. Once installed and activated, WooCommerce adds all the necessary features for setting up an online store.
More importantly, since the WooCommerce plugin is installed onto your self-hosted WooCommerce website, you have complete control over every aspect of your online storefront.
There are hundreds of WordPress themes designed specifically with WooCommerce in mind. These themes have modern designs and come equipped with mega menus, first product quick views, wish lists and more.
In addition, thousands of WooCommerce extensions add even more features to your online store. From integrations with accounting apps to additional payment gateways, WooCommerce gives you a stable, secure solution for managing an online store.
In other words, your WooCommerce store can grow as your business grows. You can add new features whenever you need them.
Core WooCommerce features include:
- The ability to sell physical products, services and digital products or downloadable products
- Support for various payment options, such as PayPal, Stripe, credit cards or bank transfers
- Inventory tracking
- Currency and shipping settings calculators for all countries
- Analytics for all product types
- Unlimited product image uploads and product pages
- Full shopping cart and checkout setup
It’s also worth mentioning that Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, developed WooCommerce. It’s included in the official WordPress plugin directory.
You can install WooCommerce on your new or existing WordPress site in a few simple steps.
Before getting started with learning how to set up WooCommerce on WordPress, it’s helpful to prepare your WordPress website. For starters, make sure that your WordPress website is updated to the latest version.
That ensures that your e-commerce website is compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce.
The next thing you should do is install a theme that supports WooCommerce. These WooCommerce themes come with additional templates that support key WooCommerce features such as WooCommerce product and checkout pages.
In addition, they were designed to be responsive for best viewing on mobile devices. That will ensure that your WordPress store is optimized for mobile shopping.
After that, you can add the WooCommerce plugin to your site. Here’s a straightforward step-by-step guide to adding WooCommerce to WordPress.
- Log in to your WordPress dashboard
- Go to Plugins > Add New
- Search for WooCommerce and press Install
- When the plugin is done installing, click Activate
- Set up and configure your store
Once you activate WooCommerce, you’ll be taken to the WooCommerce setup wizard.
The wizard allows you to configure key features of your store. You’ll be able to set preferences for the type of products you want to start selling, currencies accepted and shipping methods.
You’ll also need to specify your store’s business address and choose a theme for your store if you haven’t already done so.
Once you’ve configured the basic details for your store, it’s time to add your new products.
WooCommerce allows you to sell just about anything. That includes services, physical products, music and video files and digital goods.
To sell products, click on Products > Add New. As you can see from the screenshot below, you can add a product title, description and featured image.
You can also set a category for your product and add product tags. When you’re done filling out all the details, click Publish. That will make the product appear in your shop where every visitor will be able to buy it.
To add more products, simply repeat the steps above.
WooCommerce comes with all the basic tools for setting up an online shop. But, some businesses may have more complex and specific needs. For those situations, you can customize your WooCommerce store even more with extensions and add-ons.
As mentioned earlier, there are numerous WooCommerce extensions available from the official WooCommerce site and third-party sites.
Some extensions are free. Others are paid.
But you can install them on an as-needed basis to expand the features of your store to better customize search engine optimization (SEO), add more product data, add additional payment methods, variable product options, subscriptions, memberships, shipping options, coupons, tax rates, expanded SSL support and more.
There is no doubt that WordPress is the world’s most popular site builder and content management system. One reason why is the sheer amount of plugins available for WordPress.
It integrates seamlessly with WordPress and allows you to create a fully functioning e-commerce store that’s completely under your control.
If you’re ready to get started with WordPress and WooCommerce, check out our WooCommerce hosting plans. Pick the one that fits your budget, and get started building your online store today.