Ecommerce, WordPress Wednesday
how to create an online store, online stores, WooCommerce, WordPress, WordPress ecommerce, WordPress Plugins
September 23, 2020
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When it comes to WordPress and ecommerce, there’s probably no better plugin than WooCommerce. Seriously, take a search for WordPress ecommerce plugins, either through Google or the Plugin Directory, and see which one pops up with the first result. I’m willing to bet that it’s going to be WooCommerce. So let’s take a look to see what it is and if it might help your business.
Hey there and welcome to WordPress Wednesday!
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce plugin for WordPress websites. According to WordPress.org, there are over 5 million active installs of the plugin. And it continues to grow.
WooCommerce makes it super easy to turn your WordPress website into an online store. Just install the plugin, go through the settings, maybe add in an add on or two, add in your products and you’re now running an online store.
So when you’re looking at options for your ecommerce website, you’re probably going to want to look at WooCommerce. And to help you figure out if it’s going to be right for you, we’re going to take a walk through of WooCommerce, from installing it to going through the settings to adding our products and then maybe we’ll look at an add on or two.
And if you want more videos on WordPress, ecommerce and other website related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and ring the bell for notifications.
Now let’s get started.
What is WooCommerce
Simply put WooCommerce is the top WordPress ecommerce plugin on the market.
Started in 2011, WooCommerce is one of the oldest ecommerce solutions for content management systems. And they make it super easy to turn your WordPress website into an online store in just a few minutes. Simply install and activate the plugin, follow the starting guide and you can be selling in minutes.
As you’ll see, they make adding new products as easy as creating a new post or page. And the back end code is reliable and can scale with your business as it grows.
They are backed by Automattic, which is the company of WordPress project co-founder Matt Mullenweg, and they are the same people who work on Jetpack. And they feature a library of extensions and themes to extend your online store and make it look amazing.
All in all, if you are selling physical products, you’ll really want to look at WooCommerce.
Installing WooCommerce is super easy. You can do it straight from your dashboard. Go to Plugins and Add New. Then search for WooCommerce. Hit install and then activate. And now you’ve got the power to turn your website into an online store.
Going through the settings
Once we’ve installed and activated WooCommerce, we need to go through the setup process. Fortunately, WooCommerce will walk with us through the process.
So after activating the plugin, hit Yes please to start the setup process. First, we’ll fill out the address for our store. Then we’ll select our industry. In this case we’re looking at home and garden. Next, we’ll let it know that we’re going to be selling physical products.
Then we can add in more details like how many products we plan on selling (this does not lock you into anything) and if you are selling elsewhere. One cool thing is that it will suggest other places for you to market, such as Google Ads and Facebook Marketing place.
Finally, we can continue with our current theme or select a new one. We’ll keep our current one and we are done.
From here, you can continue with adding payment gateways, setting up sales tax and setting up shipping.
Those depend on where you live, so for now we’re going to hold off on those. When we create a store for real, we’ll cover these settings in more detail.
Creating a product
The good news is that creating a product in WooCommerce is as simple as creating a new post.
The title is the product name, and where you would enter in the post content, you can talk more about what the product is, what it does and how it can help the customer. Plus, you can add in a featured image for the product and upload multiple photos of the product for the product gallery.
Then we get to the fun bit. The product data section has a lot of information you can enter in. Here you can have just a simple product, or one that has a lot of variables, such as color and size, and adjust the price for each. Plus, you can choose to control the inventory, set shipping settings for the product, link it to other products and more.
Finally, the short product description at the bottom is a place for you to quickly state what this product is. Basically make it an elevator pitch.
I highly recommend playing around with adding a new product after you install WooCommerce to get a good feel for what you can do.
Another batch of good news is that you don’t really have to worry too much about how the products will be displayed. WooCommerce takes care of that for you.
Once you’ve entered in your products, you can go to pages in the dashboard, find the store page and view it. There, all of your products will be shown without you having to lift a finger. Plus, you can click on a product to view it.
Now, if you’re using one of WooCommerce’s themes or a theme built for WooCommerce, you should be good to go. If not, you might have to make a few styling changes to get it looking just right, but the heavy lifting is done for you.
Available add ons and themes
Once we’ve got WooCommerce up and running and our products on the website, we’re probably going to want to add a little bit more functionality to our online store. For example, I want to add in functionality to create shipping labels and to add Stripe as a payment gateway at checkout.
And we can easily do that. There is an extensive library of add ons you can install on your website. From payment gateways to making it easy for customers to sign up for a mailing list and shipping tracking options. Some are free, and others you will have to pay for. But we can add a lot more functionality to our website.
So, since they are free, I’m going to get the WooCommerce Shipping and Stripe add ons for our store.
Also, you might want to use a theme that is built directly for WooCommerce. They have a selection of top quality themes available on their website for you to choose. I wrote a blog post a while ago that went through my favorite WooCommerce themes, which I’ll link to in the description.
So what questions do you have about WooCommerce? Have you used it before? What was the experience like? Be sure to leave your answers down in the comments section below.
On Friday we’ll be discussing payment gateways that you might want to use for your online store. And next Wednesday we’ll take a walk through Easy Digital Downloads.
To see those videos and more videos on WordPress, ecommerce, digital marketing and other website related topics, be sure to hit the subscribe button and ring the bell for notifications.
But until next time, happy WordPressing.
Taking a Walk Through WooCommerce