Online stores were, at one time, extremely costly to set up, especially since the task usually required the services of a professional Web design firm. Of course, time and labor factored in as well. Only those with real capital, like corporations, could afford such a venture. Beginning entrepreneurs with a limited budget had no chance at all.
Nowadays, that is no longer the case. A multitude of new hosting websites offer their platforms and a myriad of other applications to anyone with a passion to design and build their own website. The process isn’t only individualized but cheaper, quicker and easier.
WooCommerce is an open-sourced platform provided by WordPress to help struggling entrepreneurs with little-to-no experience and/or capital establish their own businesses. If you use WooCommerce, you can create an eCommerce presence with minimal overhead.
What Is WooCommerce So Special?
That’s the magical question, and it is no less important. The WooCommerce homepage contains a video documentary that explains how you can develop your venture into a full-blown multifaceted and successful business. I recommend you view it, whether you are thinking about signing up for WooCommerrce or not. This video might change your life.
Below, I sum up the major points for easy retention. This will give you an idea what’s involved. Believe me, the benefits are plenty and the steps are simple to follow.
- Inexpensive: This platform is is FREE if not low in cost. Added options and extensions have a charge, although not much. WooCommerce can accommodate many participants on one business site without any great expense.
- Effortless Merchandising: Product list creation is both fast and easy. Once you engage with WooCommerce, you can whiz right on through it.
- Ongoing Promotional Support: Promotional deals and special offers to customers who possess voucher codes are done effortlessly and to everyone’s benefit. You can advertise widely and network at the same time.
- Swift and Simple Order Management: Interface management simultaneously facilitates both the processing of customer orders and stock-level monitoring.
- Easy Payment Process: The interworking of various monetary exchange platforms allows you to acquire customer payment without any complications or waste of time.
If you’re new to the online business community, you can discover and utilize a wide range of possibilities when using WooCommerce. Merchandise uploading, color and decorative preferences and a myriad of other options for website development will satisfy your needs and tastes as well as those of your customers.
By the way, about 10 percent of established eCommerce businesses already use the WooCommerce platform. That’s quite a lot! You’d be in great company.
WooCommerce: the Process
To me, this outline is necessary as it shows the overall simplicity of the WooCommerce activation process, which has four basic steps:
- Set up a business domain via a Web host. This is essential if you want your business to gain and keep a high SERP ranking and draw heavy traffic.
- Upload and install WordPress into your domain. This is WooCommerce’s Content Management System, so you need to do this before that which follows.
- Choose a website theme, save it and upload it into WordPress.
- Install and engage the WooCommerce plugin.
This tutorial does not offer everything you need to build your eCommerce store, but it provides the basics that point you in the right direction.
Okay, let’s delve into each one of these steps individually:
1) Domain and Web Host Selection
The first thing you need to do is select a domain, or rather, a domain name. What is your eCommerce store to be called? That will be the domain.
You will likewise need an online location for that store, and that requires a hosting service. Here are the top 3 wordpress hosting providers that I recommend.
2) WordPress Installation
Once you have selected and registered a domain and signed up at a hosting service, set WordPress up on your domain.
3) Theme Selection
A WooCommerce-Ready theme is essential if the former is to function correctly. These files are designed specifically for WordPress, so I highly recommend them.
Still, as mentioned earlier: research. This is always important—and necessary—for you to find what would be most ideal for your particular eCommerce store.
Here are a few common types of WooCommerce themes that will serve your needs well.
- The WooTheme Library: WooThemes supports WooCommerce, so it provides a vast library of styles and designs. Many WooThemes are free, so that helps for those of you with limited budgets. Most, however, fall in the $99+ price range. These cut into your funds, but they provide what you need to start out.
- ThemeForest: ThemeForest is a leader as far as business themes go. These files adapt for a variety of Content Management Platforms, so they are versatile and cheaper than WooThemes. $50. If you have a budget, this helps.
A couple of ThemeForest examples stand out:
- Flatsome: – This application is minimalistic in style and is ideal for presentations that are less involved or ostentatious. It is typically used in fashion retail, among other areas.
- MayaShop – This application is more elegant and eye-catching in appearance than Flatsome, and is extremely versatile in its suitability.
- WPThemes: WPThemes offers a wide range of WordPress themes that are also WooCommerce-Ready. This sister-site is connected to ThemeForest, so the purchasing process is quick and easy.
Theme Upload and Installation
After you have selected a theme, and you have saved it on your computer, in ZIP-file format, you then upload it into WordPress.
That process is easy and requires very little time:
- Sign into your WordPress dashboard.
- Go to the list of functions on the left and hold your cursor over “Appearance.” When the secondary menu opens, click on “Themes.”
- A large screen then previews your archive of available themes. Click on the large ‘+’ sign in the field to initiate the “Add New Theme” option.
- On the “Install Themes” screen, press “upload” to retrieve a theme of your own.
- When the next screen appears, select “Choose File,” browse for the desired file on your computer, then “Install Now.”
- If the upload process is successful, the WordPress system immediately tells you. Hit “Activate” to put the theme in “Live” status.
That’s simple, isn’t it?
4) WooCommerce Upload and Installation
The WooCommerce Installation process is just as easy. First, save the pertinent file to your computer:
- Go to WooCommerce. Click on the “Download WooCommerce 2.1.4” button.
- Press “Plugins” on the WordPress dashboard, followed by “Add New.”
- When the “Install Plugins” screen opens, click “Upload.”
- Select “Choose File,” attach “WooCommerceZIPfile,” then “Install Now.”
- After the system tells you the process is complete, engage the “Activate Plugin.”
- When the “Welcome to WooCommerce” screen pops up, click on “Install WooCommerce Pages.”
- A “Welcome to WooCommerce 2.1” page will open with a list of additional menu options to your left. You can now configure your settings. Remember to “Save” everything before signing out.