How to Build a WordPress E-commerce Website

E-commerce Website

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system. It has a group of lead developers who ensure the platform stays up-to-date all the time. New features are added to WordPress now and then to ensure a user-friendly experience throughout the years. 

Almost 25% of the websites that you can see online are made with the help of WordPress. It’s a widely used platform for developing websites for both new and experienced sellers.

Sellers choose it since it’s easy to use and can be designed to meet any virtual need of an online website.

 There are numerous preset themes that are ready at WordPress. All you need to do is choose a theme of your liking and set up your page.

 The process of setting up a website with the help of WordPress is simpler than it seems.

In this article, Let us break down the steps so you can get a better idea about how you can proceed. 

Pick the Perfect Domain Name

A domain name is basically the address or ID for your website. A domain name is what we put in the search bar of a browser to look up a website. It has to be unique and registered for your website only. A minimum amount of money is needed to register the domain name you want for your page.

Since the domain name is like an ID for your website, don’t pick it hastily. Take some time to pick out a name that can represent your business well. A catchy domain name would help capture the attention of customers and bring in potential customers. It should be unique but not too difficult that people cannot pronounce. Make sure it rolls off the tongue easily. 

After you choose a domain name, you need to look for a hosting provider. A hosting provider is a service that is used to host websites on the internet. With a hosting provider in place, your website would load faster. You can get a shared host or a dedicated one, whichever you prefer. A shared host means less control over the website since you have to share a server with other website holders. As for a dedicated host, you get an exclusive server, which means full control over the website and faster operation. For the better facilities, you have to pay a little extra. A dedicated host is more expensive than a shared one, so make sure that you stay within your budget.

Installation

There are two ways you can install WordPress, and both are pretty easy. There is a One-Click installation method. In this process, once you choose a hosting provider, look for the ones that can offer one-click installation. You can find a list of the best providers in the market and choose the one you like. The hosting dashboard should show a button for installing WordPress. All you need to do is click on it, and the installation should start immediately. This process is highly recommended since it’s so easy to follow.

The other installation method is the manual method. This process is followed when the hosting provider you pick doesn’t offer the one-click installation. In that case, you need to manually download the WordPress application on your PC and then upload it on the dashboard of your host. It may not be as easy as the one-click process, but it is certainly not that difficult.

Set an E-commerce Plugin

Once you have WordPress up and running, you need to get an e-commerce plugin to set up your website. There are a few plugins that you can use. We are using WooCommerce as an example since it is one of the most used plugins for setting up e-commerce websites.

Before you can start displaying and selling products on your website, you need to set up the website properly. A website is comprised of several factors like the currency, shopping cart, payment method, shipping method, etc. You need to set all of this before your website is ready for setting up products.

 You can access the WooCommerce setup page directly from the WordPress admin page. All the instructions would be provided as you keep following one after the other. The process can seem a bit lengthy, but it’s not that complex.

Once you have WooCommerce on your window, you need to create separate pages for setting up a shopping cart, consumer accounts, and checkout options. The pages would be created automatically once you click on the continue button. Then you need to put in the information they ask for (location of your store, your chosen currency, and unit measures). Make sure all the information is put in correctly. 

You can use WooCommerce for selling both physical goods and digital ones. Make sure you check on the box of what kind of product or service you would be dealing with. You can also use WooCommerce to automatically calculate the tax rate and add them to your products. If you need to do more research on the tax, you can keep it blank for the moment and update it later.

The settings option in the WooCommerce lets you make updates later. So if you think you need to update or change any information after putting all the information in the initial stage, you can easily access the option from the settings.

Once you set everything up, you need to pick a payment method for your products. You can choose gateways like PayPal or Stripe for payment options. Once you’re done with the payment option, your online store at WooCommerce is all ready for setting up.

Set a Theme

WordPress has tons of preset themes in their template designs. Any one of their templates can be used to make a WordPress site. The template is a frame that you can work around with and add your own touch. Thousands of e-commerce theme options are available at WordPress since so many sellers use it for their website. There are also a lot of free themes that you can try. If you do use a theme, make sure it is compatible with the e-commerce plugin you picked.

You can find numerous WordPress themes right inside the WordPress software. There is a theme option on the Appearance menu. You can use keywords like e-commerce to cut down the search. You can also use a graphic designer to design the website if it fits your budget. It’s better if you choose the theme directly from the WordPress library. There are a lot of free themes that you can try. These themes are all 100% safe. If you look for other sources, there is a chance of your system being hacked since WordPress won’t guarantee any safety for those sites. 

Add Products or Services

Once your website is ready, and you have a design in mind, you need to start adding the products or services you would be offering in your online store. The store won’t be ready for operation until there are some products in the database. Whether you are selling physical goods, digital goods, or offering services, you need to add them to the website one by one.

You can find the ‘Add Product’ option under the Products menu on the dashboard. Fill in the product name and description properly. The large description field allows you to fill in as much information as you need. You can explain the product to your heart’s content to attract a consumer into buying it. To make things more interesting, you can also add images, charts as well as videos in the description field.

Then there is a section for central product data where you set the type of product you are adding to the website. In this section, you also have more tabs to fill about the product. The general section is for setting the price and tax. The inventory section lets you manage the stock levels with the help of WooCommerce.  

Then comes the shipping section, where you determine the weight and dimension of the product, so the consumer knows what kind of package to expect at their doorstep. You need to also mention the shipping cost depending on the location of your warehouse. You already filled the description for the products, but there is also a short description section where you summarize everything you already put in. This field gives your consumer a brief description at a glance.

Once you’re done setting everything up, just click on the ‘Publish’ button, and the product would be added. Follow this method for adding all your products and services to the store.

Fill in the Details

If you have visited other websites, then you know what information can be found there. You need to make sure your website also has all the information a visitor would want. The main shop page is where the main list of products is displayed. Make this page simple but engaging so that your visitors are intrigued to look through the products. The more they browse, the higher chance is of them purchasing something.

If you scroll down at the bottom of any website, there are some common sections that you would see. About Us, Contact Us, and Terms and Conditions are just a few to name. You need to set up these sections as well. The ‘about us’ page contains details about the company or business itself. Make sure you clearly explain the mission of your company and establish your future visions.

The terms and conditions are basically the legal matters that you need to mention. Do a little research on your product and the country you are operating in to find the policies that need to be set. 

The contact page provides ways for visitors or consumers to get in touch with you. You can put information like your e-mail address and phone number. Customer support is a very important factor in the marketing world. Establish good communication with your consumers and earn their loyalty. If you don’t respond to their mails, they will lose faith in your credibility.

More Plugins

Cart: Shopping cart is where your consumers or potential consumers put in the products they intend to buy. This section doesn’t require many complex options. It is basically a temporary storing unit where your consumers put the products they like. Just make sure they can easily proceed to the checkout page from there.

Checkout: Checkout is a very important page, probably the most important. That is where your consumer finalizes their purchase. They can add or remove everything they put in their cart. Just because someone added 10 products to their cart doesn’t mean they would end up buying them all. Keep the checkout page clean, so the buyers don’t get distracted by anything and just proceed to the payment option.

Payment Gateway: The payment gateway should come right after the checkout, where the buyers can choose how they would like to pay for the products they just picked. PayPal is the widely used payment method in online stores but the more options you can add, the better.

Shipping: The shipping extension determines how your buyer would receive their product. There are standard delivery companies like FedEx or UPS. Make sure the shipping extension is properly integrated with the official shipping rates set by the company you pick for delivery. The delivery charge would be determined by the shipping destination.

Final Thoughts

This is basically an easy guide for setting up a website with WordPress. The process is pretty simple and fulfilling. Once you finish setting up a website of your liking, you would feel like a proper entrepreneur. After you are done following all the steps, you would have a website up and running for your business. If you think setting up the website is the end of it, you are highly mistaken. This is just the beginning. Now you need to run your website and make sure your investment pays off. Running an e-commerce website requires a lot of dedication, but it is not impossible.