Setting up an online store for your business is much easier than you think with the use of WordPress for eCommerce. WordPress is a good choice if you want to start a business website. It powers almost 41% of active websites today, which makes it one of the most accessible and trusted website software to launch your eCommerce business.
However, WordPress with eCommerce is not for everyone. If you are a blogger or hobbyist who likes to do creative projects and sell them online, you should not consider using WordPress eCommerce yet. A typical blog website is enough to handle all the work you will need for that.
But if you have already established a website, published a lot of content, owned a small online store, and like to upgrade, then creating a WordPress for an eCommerce website is a nice move to improve your brand or business online.
If you are curious to find out how you can build a WordPress eCommerce website, here are the steps you should follow.
7 Steps to Set Up WordPress Ecommerce
1. Create and register your domain name
Thinking of a good domain name is the first thing you need to do in building up your WordPress for an eCommerce website. You should come up with a unique name that represents your brand and make sure it is still available to purchase. If you find it hard to come up with a name, you can try using a domain name generator to give you some ideas.
Once you are done and your desired name is still available to use, you need to register your domain name right away. Since you are creating an online store, make sure the extension you will use is .com as it is the most popular choice for websites.
If you already have a domain name, you don’t need to register for a new one. Instead, you can just transfer your domain to your new web hosting provider.
2. Sign up on a web hosting provider
All websites need a hosting provider for them to have a space on the world wide web. After registering your domain name, you need to choose among the best WordPress eCommerce website hosting that will assure it will load quickly and won’t experience frequent downtime. Since you will launch an online store, visitors of your site mustn’t experience any disturbances while accessing your site as it may lose you a potential sale.
When choosing a web host provider, you have two options: shared hosting and dedicated hosting. In shared hosting, you are setting up your website on the same server as other websites. Though it is cheaper, it gives you less control of your website and also has lower storage capacity and bandwidth to offer.
It’s the total opposite for dedicated hosting. It is more expensive but can provide you more control of your website and has bigger storage and bandwidth capacity. You can choose either of the two, depending on your current needs for your online store as both can still give you all the basic stuff you need to launch your WordPress eCommerce website.
3. Install WordPress
Now that you have registered your domain name and signed up for WordPress hosting, installing WordPress is the next thing you should do. There are two ways on how you can install WordPress eCommerce free on your web host.
The first is the “one-click” installation. It is the easiest way to install WordPress. You can check with your hosting provider if they offer “one-click” installation. Most web host providers who have this feature offer a similar process. You just need to check your hosting dashboard and click the button that refers to installing WordPress. And, you’re good to go. One-click, indeed.
The second one is the manual installation. If you don’t see any offer for the one-click installation, you can do it manually instead. You have to go to WordPress.org’s website to install it on your computer. Then, you have to upload it on your web hosting’s dashboard. It seems easy to do, but you might get confused if you’re not too familiar with it.
4. Install plugins
After installing WordPress, you need to install WordPress eCommerce plugins to make your site more functional as you sell your products to your customers. Installing plugins is easy to do, you just have to search for the plugin, click the install button, and you’re good to go.
The most popular WordPress for eCommerce plugin is WooCommerce, but there are also other useful plugins you might like that can give you more benefits as you launch your online business.
WooCommerce is a free and open-source platform perfectly designed for eCommerce business websites. This plugin includes product pages, secure payment methods, cart and checkout, shipping options, tax calculations, and Google Analytics integration, Facebook, and MailChimp.
However, for some extensions you need, aside from its original features, you have to pay additional fees.
Aside from WooCommerce, there are also other good options to choose from if you want to compare and check out which is the best fit for your business.
BigCommerce is also one of the good WordPress eCommerce plugins to use. It is a fully hosted platform with WordPress integration to make it easier for you to place your products on your website. But just like WooCommerce, in case you need more features, you may want to pay extra cash for additional apps and tools to run your website.
BigCommerce has all the necessary features you need to keep your online shop’s security, performance, and scalability. However, you might see it as a bit complicated to use if you lack experience handling some technical stuff.
Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is a good plugin to install on your WordPress eCommerce website if you are selling digital goods. It is easy-to-use and has incredible features to make your store aesthetic and functional.
Just like what its name suggests, you can experience easy downloads for your digital products with the help of this plugin. However, if you want to sell products other than digital ones, you will need to install other third-party apps for that.
Another great plugin you can install for your WordPress for an eCommerce website is MemberPress. It is perfect to use if you have several followers or subscribers to your brand and would like to offer subscription-only products and services.
MemberPress works well with WooCommerce and third-party services, so you can offer your customers, especially your subscribers, the best service on your eCommerce website.
5. Choose a theme and customize your website
The next step is to look for WordPress eCommerce themes to design your website and make it more enticing to your customers. If you want to customize the theme according to your preference, you can do so by editing the HTML code of your website. With a few tweaks, you will see the theme is far from its original design and look more like your style.
However, you can only do full customization of your website’s theme if you are skilled in coding. But don’t worry since there are still lots of WordPress eCommerce free themes you can choose from that might not need major changes or work much better for your eCommerce website.
Here are some WordPress eCommerce themes free options we handpicked that you can search and choose from:
This theme is highly customizable and perfect to use for beginners or those who lack experience in HTML. Agency Ecommerce includes basic features like color options, fonts, and multiple layouts to provide a better online shopping experience for your customer.
Aside from usual customizations, it also has WooCommerce widgets you can use for ads, call-to-action-buttons, product sliders, etc. This theme can also help you improve SEO and site navigation to make your website user-friendly.
If you prefer a faster loading theme for your WordPress for eCommerce website, you might consider Astra. Since website speed is an important factor to consider to keep customers browsing your web pages, it’s better if the theme you will choose can keep up with it.
Aside from fast loading speed, Astra also offers easy-to-use customization options so you can design your website’s layout with ease.
Prefer to have a colorful and stylish online store? The eCommerce Gem is a great fit for that. It features a header image and banner for your homepage and also provides a visible space for your brand’s social media buttons, shopping cart, and contact information. Also, you can integrate it with WooCommerce, making your eCommerce site fully functional and operational.
However, eCommerce Gem is not a free download WordPress eCommerce theme. So if you want to make the most of its features, you can upgrade to its premium version and use it as much as you want to make your website more user-friendly and easy to use.
The Estore theme is a sleek theme that also has WooCommerce integration. It features a beautiful and responsive design, which is also perfect for mobile browsing. It also has a variety of colors to choose from to represent your brand and make it more enticing for your customers.
Just like eCommerce Gem, you can also make the most of the Estore theme if you can avail of its premium version. One of the things you can have upon purchase is their pro version widgets to upgrade your eCommerce website to the next level.
You can consider the GeneratePress theme as one of the most flexible and easiest free WordPress for eCommerce themes you can use. No matter what type of online store you want to establish, this theme’s features can go with it. It has solid and lightweight code, which means you can expect fast loading speed and performance of your website if you use this theme.
Another good feature it has is its compatibility with the most popular eCommerce plugins. With the use of GeneratePress, you won’t feel you are only using a free theme since it offers more than enough functions and quality.
6. Set up product pages
Of course, the main highlight of your eCommerce website is the products you will sell. Adding products on your site is somehow similar to when you are creating a typical WordPress blog post. There are designated spaces for each feature you will need like for the product name, prices, images, description, etc. You only have to fill out those.
To guide you on how to upload your products on your website, here are some tips you can follow:
- Create SEO-friendly title
Product titles based on SEO have more chances to rank on search engine results pages. Do some keyword research for your product first to know the usual terms people used.
- Write brief yet catchy product descriptions
Copying and pasting the product’s description from its manufacturer won’t attract more attention to your customers. Instead, you should create something creative and catchy. Make sure you are specific as well in describing your product since most buyers only skim product descriptions and don’t read the entire text. Keep it brief and limit it to 150 to 250 words.
- Use high-quality images
Images play an essential part when selling your products online. Images don’t just attract your customers to buy the product but also set an expectation for them on what they will receive if ever they buy your product. So to avoid having “expectations vs. reality” moments from your customers, make sure to upload high-quality images that feature your product well.
- Use proper categorization and tagging
This tip is something you should not miss, especially if you have lots of products on your website. Placing them in the proper category and using tags will help your customers browse easily on your site and look for their desired product. Categories and tags also contribute to your products’ SEO.
7. Choose a payment gateway
The last step to complete your WordPress eCommerce website is setting up a payment gateway. All financial transactions in online shopping require payment gateways to serve as a middleman between you and your customers. Once your customers decide on a purchase and proceed to checkout, they will be transferred to your chosen payment gateway’s website to make the transaction secure and safe.
The most popular and commonly used payment gateways are PayPal or PayPal Express. It is convenient to use and offers fast, secure, and efficient transactions in just a few clicks. However, some prefer other payment gateways as they have to consider other aspects as well, such as cost, eCommerce compatibility, financial information input, and mobile compatibility.
Use WordPress for Ecommerce to Grow Your Business
Now that you learned how to use WordPress for eCommerce, you can start building your online store and grow your business in the long run. It might be complicated to do at first but with continuous research, you can manage to establish your business online. If you need further help, you can also reach out to reliable WordPress for eCommerce web hosting to do the job for you at affordable rates.