Wondering how to create an online store with WordPress? We show you how to open an online store step by step using the powerful WordPress WooCommerce plugin.
What is WooCommerce? WooCommerce is a free plugin that transforms any WordPress website into an eCommerce store, so you can sell physical and digital products online.
WooCommerce is very versatile, you can customize your store with free or premium WooCommerce themes to match your business brand or niche.
Whether you want to start an online clothing store or start a dropshipping business, registering a great domain name and using the best web hosting provider is one of the most important steps to create an online store with WordPress.
A great domain name and reliable hosting is crucial to running a successful eCommerce business. A great domain name can improve your search engine rankings (SEO) and drive more traffic to your website.
Also, if you don’t get the best web hosting for eCommerce, your site can have too much down time, slow loading pages, poor customer support and security.
Customers should have a great user experience every time they buy from your store. If you’re using a slow and unreliable host, then you’re putting your company’s brand and reputation at risk
In this tutorial, we walk you through, step-by-step, so you can easily create an online store with WordPress, even if you’re a beginner.
Step 1. Register Domain & Web Hosting
The first thing you need to do is register your domain name and get a web hosting account. Many web hosting providers are also domain registrars, which makes it super easy for you to purchase a domain name and setup hosting at the same time.
If you don’t already have a domain name or hosting, we recommend using SiteGround they are considered one of the best WooCommerce hosting providers and you can get both, a domain name and hosting under one roof. Not to mention, they are both highly recommended by WordPress.org.
Before choosing a domain name, it’s a great idea to do some keyword research. This is extremely important as you can rank higher in the search engines, if someone is searching for keywords relevant to your website domain name and content. When selecting a domain name, keep the following in mind:
- Keep it short and easy to remember.
- Use keywords in the domain name, if possible (Tip: long-tail keywords are easier to rank in search engines)
- Don’t use numbers or hyphens in the domain name.
- Use the appropriate domain extension for your website niche or market. For example, .com, .net or .org.
When registering a domain, we recommend purchasing the domain privacy add-on (private domain) so your personal information is protected online.
It prevents strangers from seeing your mailing address, email address and phone number. You don’t want random people having access to your information or contacting you about your website, do you? After you have a domain name and hosting, you’re ready to move on to the next step and install WordPress.
Step 2. Install WordPress
How to install wordpress? Installing WordPress on your domain is easy, especially with the Cpanel Interface.
Many hosting providers have the 1-Click WordPress installation, which makes it super easy to install WordPress with the click of a button. Once you’ve completed the WordPress installation, now you’re ready to install a WordPress theme.
Step 3. Install WordPress Theme
WordPress lets you easily install plenty of free and premium WordPress themes, however, many people ask if they should use a free or premium theme to build their site?
This is a great question, but it really depends on you and your needs. If you’re starting an online store with no money or on a tight budget then you might want to go with a free theme.
If you’re going to use a free theme, It’s recommended that you use the free WooCommerce Storefront theme and its child themes as they’re specifically designed and optimized for WooCommerce. Check out the free storefront theme in this WooCommerce demo.
On the other hand, if you have money to invest and this free theme doesn’t work for you, then a premium WooCommerce theme can do wonders for your brand. A premium WooCommerce theme can give your website a unique look and more professional feel. Remember, you can always add extensions to free and premium themes to customize and add functionality to your store.
Before installing a new WooCommerce theme for your site, it’s important to choose a theme that matches your niche market. For example, if you want to start an online clothing store, then it’s best to install a WordPress WooCommerce theme, which allows you to easily showcase your clothing and accessories.
It’s good to know that WooCommerce themes are responsive, intuitive and flexible, which means your theme’s layout and content will automatically adjust according to your visitor’s computer or phone device screen size. Nowadays, responsive themes are a must, especially with all the different devices we use to browse the internet.
After you’ve found the WooCommerce theme you want, you can easily install it from your WordPress Admin Dashboard:
In your WordPress dashboard, go to Appearance > Themes > Add New.
From there you’ll see an option for “Upload” at the top of the screen. Select the “Browse” button and navigate your computer files and select the .ZIP file for your downloaded extension. Upload the .Zip file of theme you want to install and you’re done. If you purchased a premium theme you may have to enter a license code, provided by WooCommerce in order to complete the installation.
Step 4. Install WooCommerce Plugin
- You must be Logged into your WordPress website.
- Go to Plugins> Add New.
- Search for WooCommerce.
- Select Install Now (Make sure it’s WooCommerce by Automattic)
- Select Activate Now and complete all the settings you want during the WooCommerce Wizard setup.
Awesome! You’ve just created a new online store with WordPress and WooCommerce! Now, you’ll just need to start customizing your eCommerce store and start adding great products and content. As with starting any new business, it will require lots effort but the payoff in the end can be huge.
With that being said, if you’re new to WordPress, it going to require a small learning curve, but you’ll get the hang of it. We wish you much success in your business venture and please be sure to share your insights in the comments below, it can really help your fellow entrepreneurs along the way!