Would you like to start your own online store? We know that building an online store can be a terrific thought, particularly if you’re not a technician. Well, you’re not alone here. After helping hundreds of users start their online store, we decided to create the most detailed guide on how to develop your WordPress online store (step by step)
What are the Things You Need to Start an Online Store?
There’s never been a better time to start an online company than now.
Anyone with a computer can get started in a matter of minutes, without learning any special skills.
The three items that you need to start an online store are:
- A concept for a domain name (this will be the name of your online store i.e yourblogmaster.com)
- A repository for web hosting (this is where your website lives on the internet)
- And as usual your undivided attention for 30 minutes.
Yeah, it’s that easy, really.
You can set up your own WordPress online store in less than 30 minutes, and we’ll take you through every step of the process.
In this guide, we’ll cover:
- How to register a free domain name
- How to Pick the Best Hosting for WooCommerce
- How to Get a Free SSL Certificate (required for accepting payments)
- How to set up WordPress
- How to create a shop for WooCommerce
- How to add item/ products to your online store
- How to Pick and Customize Your Theme
- How to Expand Your Online Store Plugins
- Getting to Learn WordPress & Growing Your Company
Set, huh? Let’s get started now.
Step 1: Setting up Your Online Store Platform
The greatest mistake most users make is not to selecting the best/right platform for their online shop.
Luckily you’re here, so you’re not going to make that mistake.
There are two popular eCommerce platforms we recommend: Shopify or WordPress + WooCommerce.
Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce solution that starts at $29 a month. It’s a problem-free solution where you just log in and start selling. The downside to Shopify is that it’s getting very expensive, and your payment choices are limited unless you pay extra fees.
That’s why most people prefer WordPress + WooCommerce because of the versatility it provides. It does take some setup, but it’s worth it for the long run. WooCommerce is no doubt the biggest eCommerce platform in the world.
In this tutorial, we’re going to walk you through how to set up an online WordPress store using WooCommerce.
You need a domain name, web hosting, and SSL certificate to set up your shop.
The domain name is the url of your website on the Internet. It is what users are going to type in their browsers to enter your website (for example: google.com or yourblogmaster.com).
It’s where the website lives on the Internet. It’s the house of your website on the Internet. Single website on the Internet requires a web hosting service.
SSL Certificate provides a special authentication layer to your website so that you can accept confidential details such as credit card numbers and other personal information. You will need to accept credit card payments on your website.
Typically a domain name costs about $14.99/year, web hosting costs around $7.99/month, and SSL certificate costs about $69.99/year.
This is a lot of startup expense.
Fortunately, Bluehost, the official WordPress and WooCommerce hosting company recommended, has agreed to give our users a free domain name, free SSL certificate and discount on web hosting.
You can get started for $3.95 per month, essentially.
Bluehost is one of the oldest web hosting companies that began in 1996 (before Google). They are also the biggest brand name when it comes to WordPress hosting since they host millions of websites, including our own.
NOTE: We believe in accountability at Your Blog Master. If you sign up with Bluehost using our referral connection, we’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (in fact, you will save money and get a free domain). We will get this commission to recommend just about every WordPress hosting company, but we only recommend items that we personally use and feel would bring value to our readers.
Go ahead and buy your domain + hosting + SSL.
Open Bluehost in a new window using this connection and follow it.
The first thing you need to do is press the Green Get Started Now button to get started.
Choose the plan you need on the next screen (starter and plus are the most popular).
After that, you will be prompted to enter the domain name of your website.
Finally, you will need to add your account details and finalize the package data to complete the process. You’ll see optional extras that you can buy on this computer.
It’s completely up to you whether or not you buy them, but we don’t necessarily suggest buying them. You can always add it later,if you feel you need it.
Upon completion, you will receive an email providing information about how to log in to your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is where you handle everything from help to emails, among other things.
Go ahead of time and log in to your cPanel. You will be welcomed with a popup telling you that WordPress with WooCommerce is pre-installed on your website.
You just need to click the ‘Login to your account’ button, and it will take you to the dashboard of your WordPress site.
Congrats, you’ve completed hosting and domain component setup.
The next move is to set up your WordPress platform and your online store.
Step 2. Setting up WordPress
Bluehost has installed WordPress and WooCommerce on your website automatically.
You will see a welcome message when you first log in to WordPress. You’re going to be asked what kind of website you want to set up.
Go ahead and click on the link ‘I don’t need help.’ Don’t worry, we’re going to walk you through all the appropriate steps.
Closing the setup wizard will reveal your WordPress admin dashboard that looks like this:
First, you need to go to Settings » General page to set up the title and summary of your WordPress account.
Setting up HTTPS to Use SSL
Your WordPress hosting kit has issued a free SSL Certificate. This certificate will be pre-installed for your domain name. However, your WordPress site needs to be configured to load as https vs http.
Go from your Settings tab » General tab, you will need to update your WordPress Address and Site Address to use https instead of http.
Don’t forget to scroll down to the bottom of the page and press the Save Changes button to save your settings.
Your basic setup for WordPress is complete. It’s time to set up your online store.
Step 3. Setting up Your WooCommerce Store
There are a few items you need to set up before you can start selling, such as currency, payments, and shipping information.
You’ll see a ‘Welcome to WooCommerce’ message on your WordPress admin pages. Go ahead and press the ‘Run Configuration Wizard’ button in the notification.
This will open the WooCommerce Setup Wizard where you need to press the ‘Let’s go’ button to get started.
WooCommerce requires a few essential pages like cart, account, shop and check-out pages. You can press the Continue button to build these pages automatically.
This is going to take you to the next level.
Now you’ll need to say WooCommerce where your store is located and which currency and unit sizes to use.
After selecting your position and currency, press the Continue button to move on.
First, you need to enter your shipping and tax details.
WooCommerce can be used to sell both digital downloads and physical products that require shipping.
You need to check the box if you are shipping merchandise, or you can leave them unchecked if you are just selling digital goods.
Next, you need to answer your tax issue. WooCommerce will help you measure and apply taxes to your prices automatically.
If you’re not sure, you should leave it unchecked. You can still add tax details later in the WooCommerce settings.
To step on, press the Continue button.
First, you will be asked to select a form of payment for your online shop.
By default, WooCommerce comes with PayPal, PayPal Standard, and Stripe payment gateway support. There are several other payment options available for WooCommerce that you can instal later if you need them.
PayPal Standard is the best way to accept payment.
Simply enter your PayPal email address and press the Continue button.
A lot of people, including us, are using both PayPal and Stripe. By using Stripe, you allow your users to enter their credit card details on the checkout page without leaving your site and going to PayPal.
You can set up your Stripe by following the instructions on the WooCommerce screen.
Once you are done, your WooCommerce online store is all set up.
You need to click the ‘Return to WordPress dashboard’ icon to exit the setup wizard.
Now that you have finished setting up WooCommerce, you are able to add products to your online store.
Step 4. Adding Products to your Online Store
Let’s start by adding one first product to your online store.
You need to go to Items » Add a new tab to add a new product.
Next, have a title for your product and then a comprehensive summary of it.
You can see the ‘Product Types’ box on the right hand side. To create a category for this product, click on the ‘+Add New Product Category’ button. This helps you and your customers to quickly sort and search the items.
Scroll down a bit, and you’ll find the Product Data box. This is where you can have product-related information, such as pricing, inventory, shipping, etc.
Below the product data box, you can see a box to add a short summary of the product. This short summary will be used when users view multiple items on a list.
Finally, on your right-hand side, you can see the boxes to add the main product picture and the product gallery.
Once you’re pleased with all the product description you’ve added, you can press the Publish button to make it live on your website.
You only need to repeat this process to add more products as needed.
Step 5. Select and Customize Your WordPress Theme
Themes monitor how your WordPress pages appear to users as they visit them. They also monitor how your goods are presented in a WooCommerce store.
Thousands of paid and free WordPress themes are available.
Your Bluehost hosting account will automatically install the Storefront theme for your website. You’re going to need to configure it to suit your needs.
Go to Appearance » Customize tab. This will open a customizer theme where you can change various theme settings.
If you don’t like the Storefront theme, you can use another theme by visiting the Appearance » Themes tab.
Step 6. Extend Your Online Store With Plugins
Now that you’ve got your online store ready, you’re probably going to start adding other popular features to your website, such as a contact form, a blog, and more.
You need WordPress plugins to further customize WordPress and add features such as communication forms, galleries, sliders, etc.
WordPress plugins are apps that allow you to add new features to your web.
There are more than 46,000 WordPress plugins available. At Your Blog Master, we have the best WordPress plugins to help you add the features you need.
We hope this tutorial will help you learn how to create an online store. You may also want to see these 19 actionable tips for driving traffic to your new WordPress blog.