With so many eCommerce solutions available, setting up an online store is really not that difficult. However, choosing the best eCommerce solution is the key to having a successful online business.
So, are you looking for the top, most versatile, easy-on-the-pocket, and easy-to-use eCommerce platform to help you with your online store? If yes, then you must opt for WooCommerce.
As soon as WooCommerce stepped into the market, it stole all the spotlight. With remarkable features, this easy-to-use and accessible platform still shows a promising future. It has over 4 million current installations, a 4.6 user rating on WordPress, and a large following of satisfied and loyal online business owners.
So, do you want to use WooCommerce for your business and need to know how to use it? If so, then keep scrolling to know all about it. In this WooCommerce tutorial, we give you a detailed and easy-to-follow step-by-step guide to help you set it up and use it for your website.
So, let’s jump right in!
What is WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is free of cost and an open-source plugin for eCommerce. But it is so much more than just a plugin. It is a user-friendly and comprehensive eCommerce platform that helps business owners sell their products and services online effortlessly. Being used by millions of online businesses worldwide, it has become the most popular eCommerce platform.
WooCommerce is created as a WordPress extension. Either you want to build an eCommerce website from scratch or wish to add the shop cart functionality to an existing WordPress site, WooCommerce is the best way to do both.
You can easily download and use WooCommerce for free. The only thing that would cost money is the domain name and web hosting service to build the website.
WooCommerce review + Comparison with other eCommerce platforms
WooCommerce has become the leading eCommerce platform all across the globe because of the remarkable benefits it offers. Let’s look at some of the most significant features of this plugin and how it compares with the other eCommerce platforms.
WooCommerce is open-source and thus 100% free. Moreover, you get to have complete control over your eCommerce site. Where other eCommerce platforms usually include licensing fees, WooCommerce does nothing like that. As a result, with WooCommerce, you can develop as many eCommerce websites and online stores as you want, whilst paying for just the web hosting and domain renewal.
WooCommerce offers as many as thousands of attractive and functional designs and templates for your WordPress website. Plus, all of these websites provide you with easy-to-use customization options so that you can tailor the platform as per your needs. Also, many of these customization options are available free of cost.
The flexibility offered by WooCommerce is matchless and one of the top reasons why business owners love it. It allows you to add many extra features to WooCommerce by using various of its plugins, also known as add-ons. There are thousands of plugins made specifically for WooCommerce that you can use to extend its functionality further. You can add features like subscriptions, booking, sales tax collection, shipping platform integrations, and many more.
Apart from the WooCommerce specific plugins, you can even use the countless number of WordPress Plugins on your website. These plugins allow you to add functionalities like call now buttons, contact forms, data backup, galleries, security, etc.
Unlike various other eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce puts no restriction on the way you run your business. You anyone sell both physical and digital products and services through WooCommerce. You can add an infinite number of products, make unrestricted sales, import and export product data, etc. Moreover, you can add unlimited data related to your product, including their images, videos, categories, and more.
The variety of payment and shipping options is another criterion where WooCommerce supersedes other eCommerce platforms. Where online payments are a big hurdle for many users and business owners, WooCommerce comes with unique benefits. It seamlessly integrates with a large variety of payment services and gateways.
Out of the box, WooCommerce supports Stripe and PayPal by default. In addition to those, you can use many other payment options via add-ons, including lesser-known and even regional payment services.
What do you need to create a WooCommerce store?
In order to create a WooCommerce store, you will need these three items:
- A WordPress hosting account where all the files of your website will be stored.
- A Woo-commerce theme as per your preference.
- A Domain name is the dedicated address of your website on the internet.
- An SSL Certificate that enables you to accept online payments safely.
These four items that you require to build your WooCommerce website are not free of cost. Even though you get to access and use WooCommerce for free, you will still have to pay for these items. The overall expense of creating your online store will depend on the services you opt for. You can take charge of your expenses by only buying the services that you truly require.
As we have established that WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin, therefore, it can be directly installed from the WordPress plugins directory. When getting started with WooCommerce, you need to log into your WordPress admin area.
Once logged in, follow these steps to install WooCommerce.
- Select ‘Plugins’ from the left panel of your WordPress dashboard.
- Select ‘Add New’ and search for WooCommerce through the search bar.
3. Go to WooCommerce and then click on ‘Install Now.’
4. As the installation gets completed, select the ‘Activate’ button.
At this instant, your WooCommerce plugin will start running on your website.
Once your WooCommerce has been installed and activated on your website, you will be asked to go through a setup wizard. Even though it is optional, we highly advise you to go through it so that you can configure some basic settings.
You will see the first page of the WooCommerce setup wizard, which shall be as follows:
Here, you will have to enter some key information related to your online store. You will be prompted to enter the address of your website, the currency that you would like to use, and either you are selling physical products, online products, or both.
Now, you will have to choose the payment processor that you want to use in your store. By default, WooCommerce supports Stripe, PayPal, and offline payments. You only need to select the options that you would like to use on your website, and WooCommerce will get them fixed for you. You have the unrestricted option to choose one, both, or neither. In case you select either of the given options, then you will have to set up an alternative gateway later.
As you move forward, you will see the Shipping screen as follows:
Here, WooCommerce will ask you about the shipping ‘zones’ where you want to ship your products. Shipping zones are geographical locations for where you wish to apply a specific delivery rate. You can fix a particular delivery rate for one zone and a different rate for another zone. Plus, if you want, you can also provide free shipping to any one or even both the zones.
Now, you are done with all the basic WooCommerce configurations and settings for your online store. At this point, the WooCommerce setup wizard will present you with some optional add-ons, which you can review and add to enhance the features of your online store.
Even though none of these add-ons is essential for your WooCommerce website to run, they can be quite useful. You only need to select the add-on you want on your website and move on to the next page. WooCommerce will set them up for you
As you go to the next page, you will find an extra optional add-on:
Jetpack is quite a useful WordPress plugin with an extensive range of beneficial features, including various analytics, security functionality, and much more. You can select this add-on if you want and move forward.
Congratulations! Your WooCommerce store is now configured, up and running. You should now see the following screen:
Here, you will find various convenient and useful links for your online store. You can add your products onto your store, you can make changes to the configurations you just made, or you can return to your WordPress dashboard.
Adding and managing products onto your WooCommerce store is quite an easy and straightforward procedure.
Go to Products >> Add New page to add your first product.
Now, you will have to enter a title for your product and then give a detailed description.
Then, click on the ‘Add new product category’ link given on the right-side panel of the window. You can also create a new category.
Now, go to the ‘Product Data’ box, where you will have to choose the product type, add the price of your product, shipping details, and other information.
At this point, you will see a ‘Product short description box. The description you write here will be used on the different product pages on your website.
Now, you will have to add product images to go along with each product you add. First, you need to determine and add the main image of your product, which will be used on different pages across your store.
Underneath the main product image, you can add a number of images to form a gallery for your product.
Now, make sure to review and verify all the product information you have added till this point. If you find everything okay, then it is time for this product to go live on your online store.
Click on the ‘Publish’ button at the top right corner of your screen.
You can repeat the same procedure for as many products as you like to add to your store.
That is all! We hope that this WooCommerce tutorial helps you in setting up WooCommerce for a successful online store.
WooCommerce is undoubtedly an exceptional tool to transform your WordPress website into an eCommerce online store loaded with features. The best part about WooCommerce is that you do not need to be a tech-savvy person to make full use of it. You only need to follow the simple steps explained above, and you will be able to get your products sold to the whole world out there!