Do you want to create a store with Woocommerce? Then you’re in the right place! In this article, I’ll take you step by step and help you build an eCommerce store with the plugin Woocommerce.
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Creating a store with the help of WordPress and Woocommerce is the best option if you are looking for cheap prices and top notch results. While on Shopify (click here to learn how to build a store in Shopify), you have to pay at least $29/month, with Woocommerce and WordPress you’ll get way cheaper prices at under $4/month if you combine them with Bluehost hosting. There is another option that Bluehost offers, which will cost you a bit more but comes with Woocommerce installed, store-front theme installed, payment processing (one-click install), and more. Both options work well, but the cheaper one comes with more work on your side. I’ll walk you through both of them and let you decide which one is best.
For registering, click here: BLUEHOST and click on the ”GET STARTED” button.
– You will land on a page offering you three options for your plan. As a beginner, the basic plan will be enough. You can upgrade later as your store becomes bigger so don’t worry. With the simple plan, you will get 1 website, 50GB space (more than enough), a domain, and an SSL CERTIFICATE for free. (the SSL CERTIFICATE is extremely important, but Bluehost offer it for free if you click through this link)
After writing your domain (!make sure you wrote the right one!), you will be taken to a page where you must fill your details and pay. If you’re feeling nervous about the extras, know that you can uncheck all of them and your store will still be just fine. In the beginning, there’s no need for too much fuss. Baby steps. You can always buy those later from your Bluehost account.
IMPORTANT: If you get the pop up with “choose your domain later” don’t pick that option! My advice is to find your domain name first and only after that buy the hosting. If you choose the option of picking your domain later it will be hard to change it and it will give you unnecessary work.
I still remember the first time I had to install WordPress. Now looking back I know it wasn’t THAT hard but as a beginner, it was quite a pain in the a**. The best part about Bluehost is that you can install it with a single click. Takes away some worries, doesn’t it? On your Bluehost account homepage, you will find a ”Login to WordPress” button. Press it and voila, you now have a WordPress website.
How to install WooCommerce and add products to your store
Once your WordPress is installed, you’ll have to go to “Plugins”, it’s on the left in the menu, on your Dashboard. Click on “Add New” and write “Woocommerce” in the search bar. It will be the first option as in the picture below, click on “Install Now”, and then on “Activate”.
Once it’s active, it will take you to a page where you’ll have to offer more information about your store. Make sure to give the right information, WooCommerce needs it to help you build the best store for your needs.
The next tab will offer you to install Jetpack, you can click on “No, thanks”.
This will take you to your dashboard to finish your set up. Click on “Add my products” for our next step, and on “Add manually”.
If you don’t have anything to sell yet but you’d still like to customize your shop, then just add random products. This will help you to design your theme and put everything together for when you’ll have them.
If you already do have your products, simply go through every step and offer as much information about them as possible. Keep in mind that you’ll need to do SEO research and have great pictures.
The title – You might be tempted to use unique words or phrases for your product, but my advice is to use simple words that describe it. For example, if you are selling a mug, add “white camping mug”, or “white enamel camping mug”. You risk losing a lot of free traffic for your store if you don’t describe your products as clearly as possible. Ask yourself what would your customer write on Google search to find the product you are trying to sell.
The description – Here you are going to offer more details about your product. The way I like to do it is by thinking of a word family. I gave an example of an enamel camping mug, which means I should add keywords such as “campfire”, “outdoors”, “travel”, “coffee” and “soup”. The next thing is to talk about the materials, dimensions, and how it should be used. It does help to have your ideal customer in mind, because then you’ll know exactly how to convince them to buy your product. Remember you are not selling a product, but a solution. It doesn’t matter what you sell, your customer will buy your product to use it for something. Therefore, you must talk about the benefits, the vision. How will your customer feel and be perceived if they’d have your product. Get into their mind and make them see why THEY MUST buy it.
Media – Did you know you have approximately two seconds to convince someone to pay attention to your product? We are visual creatures, if the pictures are not attractive enough, people will pass by it. You could have the best product in the world, but if your pictures don’t show that, you will most probably have no sales. So take the time to create high-quality content. Make sure your pictures are high resolution, bright, and show the products in their best form. If you don’t think you can shoot good content, hire a professional to do it for you. It might cost you now, but it will bring more sales later.
WooCommerce offers you the next options for your products:
Product categories – You will have to put your products into categories for an easier navigation process. For example, you could put hoodies, t-shirts, dresses and so on. It depends on your products.
Product tags – Just as with categories, your tags will help the customer navigate easier in your online store and find exactly what they are looking for.
Product image and Product gallery – The product image is the first image that appears on your dashboard’s store. The product gallery is where you add more pictures of your product.
Product data – If you are selling physical products, then you should go with “Simple product”. If your products are digital, then you should click on “Virtual” and “Downloadable” if you want the customer to receive the product directly after paying.
Once you added your first product, you will get a pop on the down left to continue your setup, click on that, and let’s continue setting up your Woocommerce store.
Depending on your country of residence, you might have more options for your payment gateway. For this tutorial though, we’ll go with Paypal. Click on “Paypal setup” and then add your details. It shouldn’t take more than two minutes to finish the payment setup.
The tax and shipping tabs are simple to set up, all you have to do is offer the required information.
Customize your store
There are hundreds of great themes out there, both free and paid. You decide which way to go. To customize your store, click on “Appearance” from the menu on the left on your dashboard page, then on “Themes”. My advice is to buy a theme instead of going for a free one. A paid option gives you more freedom to create the perfect store and it comes with a 6-month customer support if you buy it from Theme Forest.
When it comes to building a store, we all have a favorite style. You can search through the options and pick the one that aligns best with your needs. Usually, I go through different stores I like and pick a few favorite elements. Then, I search for a theme that offers that. Make sure your theme is customizable and gives the option to switch through elements until you find the perfect match.
Once you have your theme, click on “Add New” and activate it.
How your homepage should look like
First and foremost, you must show your products. It depends on your wished design. For example, if you want a clean look, then you might want to add a few products and call it a day. This works.
But you can also design a complex homepage that not only shows your products but your branding as well. This could mean a short story about your business, your vision. You could add more details about your products, such as if they are eco friendly, or the materials they are made of and so on.
Don’t forget to add a subscription box. It’s important to build an email list of your customers or potential customers. This way, when you have a new launch, you can promote it through email.
More expensive option
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there is a more expensive option for starting a Woocommerce store (still cheaper than Shopify though). The difference is that Bluehost offers you a premade store, plus giving you other tools to operate it at its full potential.
To get the full package, click here, then click on “Online Store” from the menu. The standard plan is great for beginners, you’ll be able to switch later if needed. With it you will get the following:
Online Store (Website + Blog)
Jetpack free installed
Store-front theme installed
Customer Product Reviews
Website Traffic Analytics
24/7 Customer Support
Payment Processing (One-Click Install)
Manual Order Creation
CodeGuard Backup Basic – 1st Year Free
The rest of the process is just as I described it in the first part of this article. For more details on how to set it all up read it again.