Creating An Online Store in 2022: A Step-by-Step Guide
Are you interested in opening an online store? We are aware that starting an online store can be terrifying, especially if you are not technically inclined.
You are not alone, though. We have decided to put together the most thorough tutorial on how to build your online store with WordPress.
What Are the Requirements to Launch an Online Store?
Now is the perfect time to launch an online business.
Without learning specialized skills, anyone with access to a computer can get started in a matter of minutes.
To launch an online store, you'll require the following three things:
- An idea for a domain name. This will be the name under which your online store will be known, such as wpbeginner.com
- A web hosting account (where your website is stored online).
- 30 minutes of your undivided attention.
It is that easy.
WordPress makes setting up your online store easy, and we'll walk you through the process.
We'll cover the following in this tutorial:
- How to Freely Register a Domain Name
- Finding the Best WooCommerce Hosting
- How to Obtain a Free SSL Certificate (necessary for accepting payments)
- Installing WordPress
- creating a WooCommerce store
- Adding Products to Your Online Store
- How to Choose and Personalize Your Theme
- Using Plugins to Expand Your Online Store
- Learning WordPress and Growing Your Business
Ready? Let’s get started.
Step 1: Configuring Your Online Store Platform
Users' most common error is selecting the incorrect platform for their online store.
Thankfully, you're here so that you won't commit that error.
We advise using Shopify or WordPress combined with WooCommerce, two well-known platforms for online stores.
Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce solution with monthly prices starting at $29 (paying annually in advance will save you money). You can log in and begin selling with this hassle-free solution. The drawback of Shopify is that it can get quite pricey, and you have few payment options unless you pay additional fees.
Because of the flexibility it provides, WordPress + WooCommerce is the platform that most users choose. Although some setup is necessary, it's worthwhile in the long run. WooCommerce is the largest eCommerce platform in the world, and WordPress is the most popular website builder (compare Shopify vs. WooCommerce).
This tutorial will show you how to set up a WordPress online store using WooCommerce.
You require a domain name, web hosting, and an SSL certificate to set up your eCommerce store.
The internet address of your website is its domain name. It is the address that visitors will enter in their browsers to access your website (for instance, google.com or hubtolearn.com).
Your eCommerce website resides online on a server called web hosting. It serves as the online home of your website. No website can exist online without web hosting.
It costs $2.75 a month to get started.
One of the first web hosting businesses, founded in 1996 (before the creation of Google), is Bluehost. Since they host millions of websites, they are also the most well-known company regarding WordPress hosting.
Let's proceed and buy your domain, hosting, and SSL.
Open up Bluehost in a new window.
You must first click the green "Get Started Now" button.
Choose the appropriate plan on the following screen (Basic and Plus are the most popular options).
You will see a prompt to enter the domain name for your website.
To finish the process, you must add your account information and finalize the package information. You can purchase extras that are optional on this screen.
Although it is entirely up to you whether or not you buy these, we typically don't advise doing so. If you need them later, you can always add them.
After completing the process, you will get an email with instructions on accessing your cPanel web hosting control panel. All your management is done here, including email management and customer service.
You'll see that Bluehost has already installed WordPress for you once you log in to the cPanel, and you can log in to WordPress by clicking the corresponding button.
Click the "Login to WordPress" button will take you to the dashboard for your WordPress website. It looks something like this:
Congratulations! The hosting and domain setup is now complete.
Next is setting up WordPress and your online store.
Step 2: Installing WordPress
Bluehost might assist you with setting up your website when you first log in to your WordPress website.
Click the "I don't need help" link now. Do not worry; we will guide you through every step.
Let's install WordPress on your website.
To set up your WordPress site's title and description, go to Settings » General.
You can use the name of your store as the site title and write a compelling description for your product. Don't worry if you can't think of anything immediately because the description part is optional.
Configuring HTTPS to Use SSL
A free SSL Certificate was included with your WordPress hosting plan. Your domain name already has this certificate installed. However, you must configure your WordPress site to load as HTTPS rather than HTTP.
You must switch the WordPress Address and Site Address from HTTP to HTTPS on the Settings » General page.
Make sure you click "Save Changes" to save your changes.
Your basic WordPress configuration is finished. Now it is time to set up your online store.
Step 3: Configuring Your WooCommerce Store
The best platform for creating online stores is called WooCommerce. Because it is built on top of WordPress, you can sell any product you want and benefit from WordPress' flexibility.
The WooCommerce plugin must first be installed and activated. See our step-by-step tutorial on installing a WordPress plugin for more information.
Just enter WooCommerce into the Plugins » Add New page search bar. Select the WooCommerce listing in the search results by clicking the Install Now button.
Now, WordPress will download and install the WooCommerce plugin for you. Click the "Activate" button to proceed after waiting for it to finish downloading the plugin to continue.
When activated, WooCommerce will display the Welcome to WooCommerce screen and start the setup wizard. You will be guided through crucial WooCommerce settings by this setup wizard.
You must first enter the fundamental details for your online store, including your address and nation. If you are a retailer, you can enter the address of your retail location.
After that, click Continue to move on to the next step.
You will be required to select a store industry. You can pick a sector most closely related to the kind of store you want to open.
To continue, press the continue button.
You will then be prompted to select the categories of goods that you will sell in your store. For instance, you can choose physical products if your products need to be shipped.
You can select from a variety of product types. For instance, you can choose both Downloads and Physical Products. Don't worry about selling various product varieties. You can specify the product type you are adding for each product.
Select the Continue option.
You will be asked to provide some business information, such as how many products you intend to sell and whether you currently sell elsewhere. Selecting "No" for the other option will allow you to indicate that I don't yet have any products.
You must now select the "Free Features" tab. You'll see a box with the option to add free features to your website already selected.
This option needs to be unchecked because it will install several additional WooCommerce extensions you might not require. You could always install them yourself if you need them later.
For the following action, click Continue.
You will then be prompted to select a theme for your online store. Continue using your default theme, and select Storefront or one of the other free options on the page.
Take your time selecting the ideal theme. Later on in this article, we'll demonstrate how to pick the perfect theme for your online store.
You've successfully finished the initial setup of WooCommerce.
Step 4: Configuring Payments for Your Online Store
You must then configure your store's payment options to accept online payments. Many payment gateways offered by WooCommerce are simple to set up.
Select the "Payments" tab from the WooCommerce » Settings page. By default, you can choose from Checks, Cash on Delivery, PayPal Standard, and Bank Transfers.
Installing WooCommerce Payments, PayPal Checkout, and Stripe are options you can find by scrolling down. As payment options, we advise selecting Stripe and PayPal Standard.
You can click the Setup button for each payment gateway to enter the necessary data. You could, for instance, enable Stripe and enter your API Keys (found in your Stripe account).
Remember to save your payment settings by clicking the Save changes button.
Step 5: Integrating your online store with products
Let’s begin with adding the first product to your online store.
You must go to the Products » Add New " page to add a new product.
Give your product a title and a thorough description before moving on.
You can find the "Product Categories" box in the right-hand column. Click the "+Add New Product Category" button to add a new category for this product. This makes it simple for you and your customers to sort and browse products.
If you slowly move your cursor down, the Product Data box can be seen. Here, you should include details about the product, such as the cost, availability, and shipping.
A box to enter the product's brief description can be found below the product data box. Users viewing multiple products on a page will use these product descriptions.
Finally, there are boxes to add the main product image and a product gallery in your right-hand column.
When satisfied that you have added all the necessary product details, click the Publish button to publish the page on your website.
When more products are required, repeat the process.
Step 6: Pick and customize a WordPress theme
Themes determine how your WordPress websites appear to visitors. They also control how your products are shown in a WooCommerce shop.
Numerous WordPress themes, both paid and unpaid, are available to assist you in building a stunning online presence.
WordPress themes aren't all created with eCommerce stores in mind, though.
The best WooCommerce themes have been hand-selected for your consideration.
Once a WooCommerce theme is installed, you can change its appearance to suit your needs.
Just navigate to the Appearance » Customize page. The theme customizer will then be launched, allowing you to alter various theme settings.
Most contemporary WooCommerce themes offer various customization options and function well on desktop and mobile platforms.
Step 7: Use Plugins to Expand Your Online Store
You should add more features now that your store is almost ready to build a successful online store. For instance, you could include a customer support form or advertise your brand-new company on social media to make your first sale.
Plugins are helpful in this situation.
Using plugins or extensions, you can quickly add new features to your website using WooCommerce and WordPress.
For your WordPress website, plugins function similarly to apps. There are 59,000+ plugins in the WordPress.org plugin directory alone. You can utilize thousands of them, both premium and free.
However, there are so many options available that it can be challenging for beginners to pick the best plugins. To know which plugin to choose, here are a few top recommendations for crucial plugins that every online store needs to set up.
Utilizing OptinMonster makes it simple to turn website visitors into paying customers. It includes countdown timers, sticky header and footer banners, lightbox popups, spinners, and more.
They all assist in enhancing conversions, increasing sales, expanding your email list, and lowering cart abandonment rates.
The best WordPress form builder plugin is WPForms. It lets you quickly create any form you need for your store, including order forms for gift cards, surveys, and login forms.
It has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop form builder that enables you to create forms with just a few clicks.
If you don't require the Pro features, you can use WPForms Lite, a free plugin version.
You can easily add an affiliate program to your online store with the aid of AffiliateWP. As a result, you can collaborate with affiliate marketers to market your products in exchange for a commission.
It has robust affiliate tracking capabilities, no transaction fees, fraud detection, an affiliate dashboard for your partners, and one-click payouts.
4. Advanced Coupons
The top WooCommerce coupon code plugin is Advanced Coupons. It enables you to expand the capabilities of the WooCommerce default coupon system and produce mighty coupons to grow your business.
You can make shipping coupons, scheduled coupons, a Buy One Get One Free deal, and more with Advanced Coupons.
SeedProd is the top page builder plugin for WordPress and WooCommerce. It makes it simple to create personalized landing pages for your online store.
It includes ready-to-use templates created to increase conversions and sales.
Additionally, it contains WooCommerce blocks that can be easily assembled by dragging and dropping to produce customized product pages, homepages, checkout pages, thank-you pages, and other pages. Additionally, it can be linked to your email marketing service to help you expand your email list.
Note: WordPress.org directly links to the free version of SeedProd.
FAQs on Opening an Online Store
Many users frequently inquire about launching their own company with an online store. Below, we've attempted to address some of the most frequently asked queries:
1. Where can I find goods for my store?
Store owners can obtain goods in a variety of ways. Some businesses offer downloadable goods like music, software, and digital art.
Others purchase goods from domestic or international suppliers through online marketplaces like Alibaba or AliExpress. Start a print-on-demand store or consider dropshipping if you want to avoid managing your inventory or shipping.
2. Can I open a free online store?
Yes, some eCommerce platforms offer brief free trials that allow you to launch your online store without paying anything, but after the trial period has ended, you'll need to do so. Although WooCommerce is free, a domain name and a hosting account will have to be paid for.
3. What is the price of opening an online store?
Your business plan and financial constraints will determine the cost of opening an online store. With Bluehost, you can get started for $2.75 a month and use free plugins and themes to keep your expenses down. We advise using a business strategy in which you invest as your enterprise expands after a small initial investment.
4. Can we set up an online store without shipping goods?
You can, indeed. The same online store can be used to sell your products and those of third parties. For instance, you could build an Amazon affiliate store, an eBay-like marketplace, or an online store using dropshipping plugins.
5. How do I handle taxes and shipping costs for my online store?
Depending on your region, you might need VAT, add sales, or other taxes. WooCommerce allows the addition of taxes by enabling them under WooCommerce » Settings page.
You can also navigate the Shipping tab, add shipping rates, set flat rates, and create various shipping zones.
We hope you learned the steps to create an online store from this tutorial. You should also check out these practical suggestions for your online store's top live chat programs.