If you are looking to do commerce online, then WordPress is definitely one of your best options to make an e-commerce website. With simple procedures for setup, you get a professional website without having to know advanced methods of coding. You can also easily implement third party sales apps and showcase the entire site easily as WordPress integrates with the vast majority of web hosts around the Internet.
Here is the way to make an e-commerce website from start to finish using WordPress.
You will need to obtain a web hosting account. To learn how to choose a web hosting provider and install WordPress, click here.
Changing Your WordPress Website into an E-Commerce Website
In order to change your WordPress website into an e-commerce website, you need three separate components – pages for your product, a shopping cart and a process for checking out after the purchase. All of these things can be added at once with a single plug-in. Although you have many choices, one of the best options for a quick and easy installation is WooCommerce from WooThemes. This is an open source option that is always being by its community, so it will always keep up with the latest technology without you having to pay for new updates. It is also a very versatile solution that has many customizable options for you if you wish to go deeper into coding your website.
Navigate to the WooThemes website and download WooCommerce by clicking on the icon. You will be prompted to save the folder in a certain directory. You will also be prompted to install a full option package or break down the things that you want to install. Go with the default option that is at the top of the selection box.
On the same page, you will have the option to install other components of e-commerce such as inventory management or direct credit card processing. Every business is unique when it comes these options. Look over each of them carefully so that you can download and install only the options that are relevant to your company. Follow the same process for downloading the executable set up file and choosing the default option to install each of the components that you choose.
Installing Your E-Commerce Platform into Your WordPress Website
After you install the WordPress application itself, you will be directed to a navigation page that will allow you to add your e-commerce options. Navigate to your WordPress dashboard and click on the option that says “add new plug-in.” There are some product commerce pages that you will need to install in order to fully take advantage of your e-commerce options. You will need a cart page, check out page and and order confirmation page. You will find all of these options in the button that says “install WooCommerce pages.” Simply click on this purple button in order to get started with the installation. Because the two programs are so fully integrated with other, you will not have to select any other options; you will see a message that says “plug-in activated” when the installation is done.
Once this installation is finished, you will be directed to the credits page where you can undertake the next steps. Although it is possible for you to go straight into the settings, there are a few loose ends that you might want to tie up first.
First of all, you should probably create an avenue for your website to track analytics along with Google. You will need to set up your site analytics tracking from the very beginning in order for this to take place.
There is an option called “Google Analytics for WordPress by Joost de Valk” that you can find very easily online. This will allow you to pass SKUs and other item attributes seamlessly into your analytics in order to be organized. However, there is an even easier option if you want to stick with WooCommerce. The “add new plugins” feature that you initiated when you installed the WooCommerce platform also has an option that is named “WooCommerce Google Analytics Integration.” Simply click on this option in order to install it and activate it. You will now have analytics options that normally cost companies a great deal of money from a third party.
Setting up Your Online Store Structure
You want to make sure that your online store is easy for potential customers to navigate. In order to do this, you can use the new WooCommerce link that shows up on your WordPress dashboard under the settings – products menu.
From here, you can set up a product archive page that can display all of your products. This page will be called the “shop page” by default. You can easily rename it once you activate it, and you can toggle the options ensure that your visitors do not have to see it if you only want to use it for organizational purposes.
You will now set up your permanent links for each of your products online. Move to the “products” tab under your “product permalinks” in order to set your WordPress permalinks as well as your product permalinks. You can set the name of each page according to each subcategory of product that you have for easy organization. Although the default choices are usually very useful, you have the ability to reorganize these pages as you wish very easily by simply clicking on the name and typing in the name that you prefer.
Getting a Compatible WordPress Theme
The last step is getting a theme for WordPress that is compatible with your WooCommerce setup. Your WordPress theme will dictate how your website looks, so you can basically use your artistic instincts here. The only thing that you need to ensure is that your theme is fully compatible with WooCommerce. In order to ensure this, you can pick a theme from WooThemes itself or use a WordPress default theme like the one named “Twenty-Twelve” that can be found on your dashboard under “Themes” on the left hand menu.
You now have your completely customized e-commerce WordPress website that is ready for use online. Make sure you that always stay abreast of the latest updates for your e-commerce options as well as for your themes; you now have the ability to update your website with little more than a click.