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WordPress for eCommerce: Beginner's Guide

The WordPress eCommerce site has become a popular platform and is starting to become a big business. Just look at the impressive statistics of WordPress.  

  • 38.2% of the Internet is powered by WordPress.
  • WordPress is the Top Content Management System, with a 63.5% CMS market share.
  • Enjoy the benefits of using WordPress for free and the open-source content management system (CMS), which means that WordPress is up to date with security patches and new features.
  • WordPress Content is published in Over 120 Different Languages..
  • About 70 million WordPress posts are being published each month, which means that 2.75 million posts are published each day.

When it comes to building an eCommerce website, WordPress is particularly the top choice because you can use premade themes that are suited for your WordPress eCommerce site. You can also add feature plugins that can add useful functionality to your WordPress eCommerce sites, such as product displays, shopping cart, and checkout.

It can be a daunting task creating your own WordPress eCommerce site, especially when you have never done one before. In this article, you will gain a basic understanding of how to put up your WordPress eCommerce site. 

This is perfect for beginners who are just starting to learn how to sell online. That is because you do not need much experience and technical knowledge to get started.  

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Preparing WordPress for E-commerce: Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1. Choose Your Domain Name and Hosting Service Provider

This is the first and one of the most crucial steps because this will become the address of your future website. A domain name is what you enter into the address bar on the Internet to access your website.

Although WordPress is free, you still need to pay for your domain name. A domain name usually costs around $10-20/year. The price is worth it because having your own domain name will give your business a more professional look. Your domain name is your unique identity, and if you are planning to have an Internet presence, you should invest in one.

You will also need to have a dedicated hosting service provider. The main purpose of a (web) hosting service provider is to make your website accessible to the World Wide Web.  

Step 2. Choose a Theme

The theme is the visual for the front page of your eCommerce website. This is also one of the most challenging tasks, as there are thousands of WordPress themes out there. It might take you days to search through them. So, it is better to make a list of the features you want before selecting a theme.

In choosing a theme, you must avoid feature-rich themes, as this can affect your website’s performance. A complex design will also affect your users directly. 

Lastly, you need to check your theme thoroughly, such as the 404 pages, the search page, the archive, and so on. Installing the Theme Check plugin can help you check if your theme is up to all current WordPress standards.

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Step 3. Select and install your eCommerce Plugin

There is no native WordPress eCommerce feature. That is why you need to select and install your eCommerce plugin to add functionality to your website. The features of a plugin usually allow you to add a product catalog, monitor sales, configure taxes and shipping, forums, social network, customer support, and payment methods. 

A popular choice of the plugin is the WooCommerce. It is a standard plugin for eCommerce as it contains almost everything you need to establish a WordPress eCommerce site.

Once you have chosen an eCommerce plugin for your WordPress eCommerce site, you need to install your plugin through the WordPress backend. The following steps are applicable, assuming that you chose the WooCommerce platform:

  1. Go to: Plugins > Add New.
  2. Search for “WooCommerce.”
  3. Click Install Now.
  4. Click Activate Now, and you’re ready for the WooCommerce Wizard.

You may also read the article, How to Install a WordPress Plugin – Step by Step for Beginners, for the steps if you bought an eCommerce plugin and you have a .zip file.

4. Set up Your Products and Product Pages

Once you have installed your plugin, the next step is to add your products and their product pages. Each product must also include its feature information, such as product name, description, image, price, and other details.

Every plugin sets up their product pages differently. The best way to set up your products and product pages is by installing and activating the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce allows its users to create a physical and virtual store. Here are the steps on how to add a simple product:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Products > Add Product. You then have a familiar interface and should immediately feel at home.
  2. Enter a product Title and Description.
  3. Go to the Product Data panel, and select downloadable (digital) or virtual (service) if applicable.

5. Payment Method 

The final step in the shopping process is payment. For you to make sales, your WordPress eCommerce site needs a means of receiving payments from customers.

Most online financial transactions are performed over a payment gateway. Payment gateways must be quick, convenient, safe, easy-to-use by your customers, and compatible with your platform.

You may consider the following in choosing your payment gateways:

  • Study the pricing or fee for using the third-party tool.
  • There are merchant account options, by which a bank can process transactions. 
  • Supports all necessary payment methods, such as PayPal, credit card, debit card, and other e-payment methods.
  • International transactions and availability in other countries.

Suggested Online Courses

Setting up your WordPress eCommerce site can be confusing when you are just reading text. Taking online courses to learn how to set up a WordPress eCommerce site is the easiest and fastest way for you to understand how to launch your own site. 

Below are three online courses from Skill Success that can effectively teach you how to use WordPress for your eCommerce site:

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