Getting the right e-commerce platform is important to the success of your store. It will affect how you market to your customers, how your customers shop, and more. It will also change how much you spend, since some platforms cost more than others.
In 2023, the most popular way to make an online store will be with a plugin for the open-source WordPress software called WooCommerce.
Installing the WordPress software on your web hosting is the first step to opening a store with WooCommerce. Then, you can add the WooCommerce plugin to WordPress to turn your site into a fully functional online store.
WooCommerce is a free, open-source project, just like WordPress. This means that anyone can download, change, or copy its code. It was made by the same people who made WordPress.com and Tumblr.
The best things about WooCommerce are that it is flexible and cheap. Even though WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, there are also thousands of official and third-party WooCommerce plugins that add more features to the core platform. You can use these plugins to improve the shopping experience in your store, make your store easier to find, connect it to other tools, and have more control over it.
WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, so you need to make a WordPress site before you can install WooCommerce.
Get a plan for web hosting.
When making a WordPress site, the first thing you need to do is get a domain name and a web hosting service. There are a few hosting options that are recommended for WordPress. Find the one with the best plan for your needs and follow the instructions from the host to get started.
Pick a name for your website.
After you finish setting up, you’ll have to choose a domain name. Your brand name should be in the domain name, and it should describe your store. Try to keep it as simple as possible, and don’t use hyphens in your domain because that makes it harder for people to remember your site. We recommend using the ‘.com’ domain extension for an eCommerce site.
We suggest that you buy your domain name at the same time as your hosting plan because this makes it easier to manage.
If you can’t come up with a domain name at all, you might want to use a domain name generator like Namemesh or Panabee.
Set up WordPress.
After you buy a hosting plan and a domain name, your hosting provider will send you an email with instructions on how to log into your account.
After logging in to your hosting account, click on the My Accounts tab and then log in to your cPanel. To install WordPress, click on the WordPress icon in the auto-installers section of cPanel and then follow the steps.
How to Get a Woocommerce Store Started?You’ll need to enter a username, password, and some other information that will be used to log into your site. Then, click the button that says “Finish installation,” and wait for WordPress to be set up.
Note: There are two kinds of WordPress:.org and.com. To find out what makes them different, check out our in-depth guide, WordPress.com vs. WordPress.org.
Once you have WordPress installed, you will need to set up your website. For more information, see our full guide on How to Create a WordPress Website.
Put WooCommerce in place.
Once your WordPress site is set up, you can download and install WooCommerce just like any other plugin. Just go to the WordPress repository and get the plugin from there.
Or, you can go to Plugins > Add New, type in WooCommerce, and click Install from the WordPress dashboard.
How to Get a Woocommerce Store Started?Once the plugin is installed, click “Activate Now” to start using it.
How to get WooCommerce set up
After that, the WooCommerce installation wizard will be the first thing you see. You could, in theory, skip it and make all the changes by hand. But going through the process is helpful if you want to set up basic WooCommerce settings and pages. So, that’s exactly what we’ll do.
The official installation guide from WooCommerce has more information.
Give the basic details
At first, the setup will ask you for the most important information about your shop.
This includes the country it is based in, its address, the currency it uses, and the types of goods you plan to sell (physical, digital, both, in person). You can also decide if you want WooCommerce to track how you use their product so they can make it better.
Enter the right information for your business and click the “Let’s Go” button at the bottom to move on.
Set up ways for people to pay.
How to Get a Woocommerce Store Started?In the next step, you will set up how people can pay. Choose between Stripe (credit card) and/or PayPal (enter your login information) and other offline payment methods like a check, a bank transfer, or cash. If this is not what you need, you can use a plugin to add more gateways. Also, look at the list of plugins at the bottom. Depending on what you choose, these will be installed.
Set up shipping.
How to Get a Woocommerce Store Started?After that, the only thing left to do is ship. You already have a few basic zones set up, which you can turn on or off and add rates to. Again, you can add more options with a plugin.
At the bottom, there is also an ad for ShipStation, which you can use or not (if you do, WooCommerce will install an extra plugin). After that, you need to figure out which weight and size measurements to use. Again, you can choose and move on.
Also, don’t worry if you don’t know all of this information yet. You can skip steps and change everything later.
Extras that are not required
If you can’t find a plugin or theme that does what you need, you also have full access to your store’s code, which means you can make direct changes (or hire a developer to do things for you).
Overall, WooCommerce is popular because it is free and offers full flexibility while still being simple enough that anyone can use it to build a fully functional, secure online store without having to be a developer.