Lots of WordPress users love WooCommerce, and it’s easy to see why. WooCommerce has over 5 million installations and is the most popular WordPress plugin of all time. According to the Automattic team, WooCommerce powers an estimated 28%-30% of online stores, with WordPress itself powering over 43.2% of all websites on the internet in 2022. This is an increase from 39.5% in 2021. That means that two out of every five websites use WordPress.
As of this writing, the technology search engine BuiltWith estimates that 5,106,506 live websites are running WooCommerce. With eCommerce sales at an all-time high and WordPress being easy to use + as flexible as an Olympic Gymnast, it makes sense you’d want to use WooCommerce!
Now, the only thing remaining is – How do I install WooCommerce, set up my webshop, add and manage inventory, figure out shipping and taxes, and get paid?
Not to worry! This tutorial was built with you in mind and will answer all of those questions and then some! By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to set up a shop like a WooCommerce Pro!
Now, go make a pot of coffee or tea, whichever you prefer, grab a snack, and let’s do this!
Table of Contents
- What is WooCommerce, and Wait… is it Free?
- How to Install and Setup WooCommerce
- Creating a WordPress.com Account
- Installing WooCommerce
- Installing the WooCommerce Plugin
- The WooCommerce Setup Wizard
- Configuring Taxes in WooCommerce
- Configuring Shipping in WooCommerce
- Getting Paid in WooCommerce
- Personalizing Your Store
- Adding your first product
- Customizing and Managing Your Shop
- Themes & Custom Designs
- Additional Considerations
- WooCommerce Hosting
What is WooCommerce, and Wait… is it Free?
Time for a bit of history… WooCommerce has its origins in a company called WooThemes. If you know your WordPress history, you might remember WooCommerce’s predecessor – Jigoshop. At the time, Jigoshop was one of the first WordPress plugins to provide a fully-featured e-commerce solution with powerful features like professionally designed themes for almost any type of shop, from fashion to electronics, as well as an excellent plugin called SEO Deluxe, enabling users to maximize the sales of their shops by optimizing and improving their search engine rankings.
At the time, WooThemes was a prominent developer of themes for WordPress, and you may remember their most popular theme – Canvas. While successful at developing themes, the creators – Mark Forrester, Magnus Jepson, and Adii Pienarr – knew WordPress was about more than News and Blog sites – it had the potential to become a leading platform for online stores.
To build WooCommerce, they hired Jigowatt and Jigoshop freelance developers Mike Jolley and Jay Koster to fork a version of Jigoshop into what would become WooCommerce. The new plugin grew and amassed a huge userbase, so much so that Automattic, the parent company of WordPress, and a number of other Internet services, acquired the WooThemes company and their products in 2015.
And not unlike WordPress, Automattic has continued to offer the core of WooCommerce for free to anyone who wants to install it on their website. And being open-source, the codebase for WooCommerce is available for anyone to audit, examine, and tinker with if they wish for their own purposes.
How to Install and Setup WooCommerce
You can follow the step-by-step instructions in this WooCommerce tutorial or watch out our video tutorial.
This tutorial assumes that you have already set up and installed a working WordPress installation on your WordPress hosting platform.
Looking for WordPress hosting options? 👀 ChemiCloud is the hosting solution designed to save you time and money! 🤓 Check out our WooCommerce Hosting plans!
Creating a WordPress.com Account
WordPress.com doesn’t make creating an account without also setting up a free WordPress site very easy. This section of the guide will cover how to accomplish this task. If you already have a WordPress.com account, you can skip this section of the tutorial and jump here.
Step 1: To begin, open WordPress.com by clicking here.
In the top right corner, click Get Started.
On the next screen, you’ll be able to choose between entering your email address and a random username + password or logging in via your Google Account or your Apple ID.
For this method, I strongly encourage you to create an account using your email address + a random password rather than signing in via Google or Apple. Additionally, you need to use a real email address for this to be successful. For security reasons, I recommend using an email address you routinely check. We’ll go into that more in a bit. 😉
After clicking the magenta Create your account button, you’ll see a screen asking you to get your website a domain, and you may think, “wait a second, I already have hosting and a domain name. I don’t need another one.” You’re right. Don’t do anything on this screen except close the window.
Yes, you read that right. Close the window.
Step 2: Now, open up the email for the account you used while making that WordPress.com account. You should see a new email from WordPress asking you to confirm your email address. The message will look like the one below:
Proceed by clicking the blue button to confirm your email address. You will be taken to your My Account area of WordPress.com.
If you recall, a little earlier in the article, I mentioned why you should use your real email address when creating an account with WordPress.com for security reasons. Automattic owns WordPress.com and WooCommerce.com while also managing the core WordPress.org project and plugins like Jetpack for WordPress. Having a WordPress.com account allows you to log in to these things from your WordPress installation and connect WooCommerce and WordPress.com together for enhanced features. In the event there is ever something wrong with your WordPress.com account, they may send you an email to advise of such. This could be if there’s a critical update or security patch, for example.
Now that you have a working and verified WordPress.com / Automattic account, you can begin to install WooCoomerce.
Installing the WooCommerce Plugin
Step 1: Log in to your WordPress admin area and click Plugins from the left side of your Dashboard. Then click Add New.
In the top right corner of the Add Plugins window, enter WooCommerce into the Search Plugins area, and press enter/return on your keyboard. You should see results returned similar to the ones below:
Click Install Now to download and install the plugin, then click Activate when it has finished.
Congratulations, you’ve installed WooCommerce! But wait, there’s more!
The WooCommerce Setup Wizard
Step 2: After clicking Activate on the Plugins page, you’ll be taken to the WooCommerce Setup Wizard.
Click Yes please to begin setup.
The next screen will present you with the opportunity to enter your store’s mailing address. You can enter your home address, and PO Box, or if you have a physical storefront, you can use that too!
After clicking Continue, you’ll probably be prompted by the Wizard to Build a better WooCommerce. This is totally optional, and if you want, you can bypass this by clicking Continue.
Next, the WooCommerce Setup Wizard will ask you which industry your store operates in. You may select as many industries as you like, but you must select at least one.
Check the requisite boxes and click Continue.
The next step of the Setup Wizard will ask you what kind of products you’ll be selling in your shop. With the free version of WooCommerce, you are able to sell physical and digital products.
Physical products in WooCommerce are goods that are tangible in real life, like denim jeans, candles, and furniture.
Downloads in WooCommerce could be any digital item ranging from the music you’ve created and put up for sale, software licenses for apps you’ve created, and even photography and videos.
My store is going to sell physical products because I have a number of items to sell. Click the blue Continue button to proceed to the next step in the Setup Wizard.
Next, you’ll be asked for some information about your business, including an approximation of how many items you’ll plan to display in your shop and if you are currently selling any items elsewhere.
I have only a few items to list in my shop right now, and I’m not selling anywhere else and have indicated as such on my form.
After completing the two drop down menus, you’ll see three new options appear:
You should be aware that if you enable these options, WooCommerce will automatically install the corresponding WordPress plugin.
For the purposes of this guide, I am turning these three options off and clicking the blue Continue button to proceed to the final step.
Lastly, the WooCommerce Setup Wizard will ask you to choose a theme.
One of WooCommerce’s signature features is the ability to work with nearly any WordPress theme! If you’ve spent a lot of time customizing your site, and let’s be honest here – who hasn’t – you’ll be pleased to know you can keep using that theme and still use WooCommerce.
Of course, if you don’t want to use the current theme, or if your website is entirely dedicated to selling things, you can choose a theme from this page that suits your particular shop style.
To continue with this guide, I’m choosing the free Storefront theme, which is also super popular with WooCommerce users.
After clicking Choose, you’ll be taken to a page where you’ll be asked if you want to Enhance your store with Jetpack and WooCommerce Services. Now, you’ve probably been wondering – when does the account I created on WordPress.com come into this?
Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not an accountant and don’t have time to sit and futz with taxes, and when it comes to shipping – that needs to be as easy as possible. Plus, by connecting your WooCommerce shop with Jetpack, you get the ability to manage it on the go from the WordPress app on your mobile device! Lastly, there is the security/speed benefit that can be enabled with Jetpack. This is a paid feature, and honestly – with ChemiCloud’s WooCommerce Hosting platform + some other really good WordPress plugins to improve performance under the hood, you don’t really need to enable this down the line.
For the continuation of this tutorial, I’m going to click Yes please! and connect the WordPress.com account I created earlier with this installation. Since I am not already signed into that account, I am presented with the following screen:
Since I already have an account, I’m going to proceed by clicking Already have an account? Sign in, and enter my login credentials for the WordPress.com account:
After successfully logging in, WordPress.com will ask you to confirm you want to connect your WordPres.com / Automattic account to your WooCommerce Store by clicking Approve.
After connecting your WordPress.com account to your WooCommerce shop, you’ll be taken to your Shop’s Home area in your wp-admin Dashboard.
This is where the fun begins! 🎉🥳
You’ll see a modal window (a pop-up that isn’t a totally separate browser window) that appears with a tour of WooCommerce. You can proceed thru the tour if you’d like or click the ‘X’ in the top right corner.
After the modal has closed, notice the 5 remaining steps under Finish setup. We’re going to complete those, but in a different order than presented on your WooCommerce Dashboard.
Configuring Taxes in WooCommerce
Not long ago, to accurately handle taxes in WooCommerce, you would need additional plugins, complex reporting, and maybe even an actual accountant to double-check the figures. You also had to pay attention to ever-changing commerce policies and laws to ensure you were charging the right tax rate. Fortunately, WooCommerce has made it much easier over the years to handle complex things like taxes, and there is now an Automattic (little pun there) way to handle them!
From the WooCommerce Dashboard, click Set up tax to begin.
You’ll see a screen with some great news! Jetpack and WooCommerce Services can automate your sales tax calculations for you.
Proceed by clicking the blue Yes, please button.
In the background, your WooCommerce installation will communicate with WooCommerce Services (at woocommerce.com) using your WordPress.com username/password. The process is entirely hands-off, and there are no options or configuration settings to mess with. It’s that easy!
Once the setup is completed, you will be taken back to the WooCommerce Dashboard.
Configuring Shipping in WooCommerce
Next, select Set up shipping from the Finish Setup menu on your WooCommerce Dashboard.
On the shipping screen, you’ll see the WooCommerce check that you’ve set your store location, and you’ll be presented with the option to set shipping costs for the US and the Rest of the world.
For now, I want my shipping set at a flat rate of $10.00 in the US, and I want to have shipping to the rest of the world disabled, as shown in the image above.
When you’ve set your shipping costs, click the blue Complete task button to proceed. You’ll be taken back to your WooCommerce Dashboard.
Getting Paid in WooCommerce
Next, we’ll set up the methods which our customers can use to pay us for goods they want to purchase on our WooCommerce shop. This setup involves a couple of options and some configuration, which is why we’ve saved it for now.
Proceed by clicking Set up payments from the Finish setup menu of your WooCommerce Dashboard.
You will be presented with 4 options for accepting payments in your new shop:
In eCommerce lingo, WooCommerce Payments, Stripe, and PayPal Checkout would be considered a payment gateway. Payment gateways facilitate the authorization and payment transaction when a customer completes checkout, bridging the gap between your website and their bank account. There are lots of other payment gateway providers which integrate with WooCommerce, notably:
- Chase Paymentech
However, we’re going to focus on only 2 of these options for our tutorial – Stripe and PayPal. At ChemiCloud, we’re big fans of Stripe.
Why, you might ask? Because Stripe is a leading payment gateway provider which supports over 135 currencies, it allows you to accept all major credit and debit cards and use other popular payment methods such as SEPA Debit, iDEAL, and Alipay, making your shop truly global.
And accepting PayPal brings a familiar and trusted payment solution used by millions on the Internet every day. PayPal also has solutions for stores that want to offer their customers options to pay for their purchases over time, set up recurring payments & subscriptions, and create invoices for custom orders or bundles. Perfect for shops that sell expensive goods, like furniture and electronics, as well as custom goods, like handmade scarves and haute couture, which might need custom measurements or have fancy textile options.
Proceed to Stripe Configuration by clicking the Setup button from the list of payment options.
WooCommerce will automatically download and install the Stripe plugin, after which you will be prompted to connect your Stripe account.
Click the blue Connect button to begin.
You will be redirected to Stripe’s website and will see a screen that looks just like the one below:
Proceed by clicking the blue Sign in with Stripe to connect, even if you don’t have a Stripe account yet.
On the next screen, you’ll be prompted to log in to a Stripe account:
At the bottom of the login form, look for Don’t have an account? and click the Sign up button to begin creating an account.
Enter your email address and create a secure password, then click Create account to continue.
After clicking the Create account button, Stripe and WooCommerce will ask you for some information:
You’ll also need to give Stripe some information about you/your business. Being able to accept payments from customers via credit or debit card is much easier now than it used to be, but there’s still a lot that goes into making it work. There’s a lot of options on that page, let’s review them in sections.
We’ll call Business details section one.
It’s important to note, the questions you see on this page will vary depending on the country you select at the top.
I am in the United States and as you can see, this section will ask you for the following information:
- Your business’s mailing address and phone number.
- The type of business:
- Individual, sole proprietorship, or single-member LLC
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
- Nonprofit Organization
- Business EIN number – this is optional.
- Your website.
- Your business industry + a text box to describe what you sell, whom you sell to, and when you charge customers.
- And finally, some questions about shipping.
Let’s cover three examples of how you can complete the Business Description area, including the industry dropdown menu + how to accurately complete that section to make it easier for Stripe in the event they audit your Stripe Application and have questions.
Hypothetical Example 1:
Your store sells custom reverse tie-dyed t-shirts.
You charge your customers when they complete checkout.
You ship the shirt or shirts within 3-5 business days.
In the Business description dropdown menu, you would select Clothing and accessories from the drop-down menu as your industry.
In the text box beneath the dropdown, you could enter a description such as, “I sell custom t-shirts to customers anywhere in the world. They are charged when they place their order via my website and I ship the products within 3-5 business days. ”
In the drop-down menu for “How long after paying will your customers typically receive their goods or services?” you could choose within two weeks.
Hypothetical Example 2:
You sell the music you produce on your own website.
You’re charging the customers when they complete checkout.
Allowing the customer to download a digital version of your music.
In the Business description dropdown menu, you would select Digital products, and when it expands to offer some more precise categories, you would select Music or other media as your industry.
In the text box beneath the dropdown, you could enter a description such as: “I sell music I write and produce to customers anywhere in the world. They are charged when they place their order via my website and are allowed to download the music instantly via digital download.”
In the drop-down menu for “How long after paying will your customers typically receive their goods or services?” you could choose within one day.
Hypothetical Example 3:
You sell custom furniture, such as wooden tables, chairs, dressers, and nightstands.
You don’t take FULL payment until the job is complete, only a deposit.
You don’t deliver the item to customers for more than a month because each piece is custom and you only ship in the United States and Canada, due to costs.
In the Business description dropdown menu, you would select Retail, and when it expands to offer some more precise categories, you would select Home goods and furniture as your industry.
In the text box beneath the dropdown, you could enter a description such as: “I sell custom furniture I build to customers anywhere in the United States and Canada. They are charged the remainder of their balance when their order ships and typically receive their ordered pieces within a month.”
In the drop-down menu for “How long after paying will your customers typically receive their goods or services?” you could choose within one month.
Onwards to Section 2 – Individual or sole proprietor details
Continuing with the theme of requiring some personal information and how important it is to stay safe online, I would like to remind our readers that while we arrived on this page through our own WordPress installation of WooCommerce, we were redirected to Stripe’s website, which is secured with an SSL Certificate issued to them. See below:
This section of the Stripe form asks you for the following info:
- Your name
- Phone number
- Date of Birth
- Last 4 of your Social Security number
- Home address
While Stripe isn’t performing a credit check on you, they do need to verify I am who I say I am.
Next, let’s look at the Credit card statement details section.
This is a really important section of the Stripe setup because what you put under the Statement descriptor is what your customers will see when they examine their bank or credit card statements. There is a 22 character limitation in this field, so choose your entry carefully and make it as obvious or descriptive as possible. This will help reduce the number of people questioning the charge because they will recognize the company it’s from.
You must provide a phone number for support. You won’t have to advertise this phone number on your website, if you don’t want to, however, Stripe requests this so they can contact you if there are ever any questions about your Stripe account.
Make sure to provide them with the address details where you provide customer support. This would ideally be a location where you could receive a returned order, if possible.
The last two sections are Bank Details and Two-step authentication:
You can use your personal checking account or a business checking account if you already have one.
Two-factor authentication is extremely important, especially when working with payment data, such as credit or debit card information and transactions. In fact, it’s so important to Stripe, they require you to use Two Factor Authentication.
After setting this up, you’ll have the option to click the purple Authorize access to this account button at the bottom of the form.
Once you authorize WooCommerce and Stripe to your WooCommerce store installation, you’ll be redirected back to your WooCommerce Dashboard.
Congrats! Now you can take payments from customers via their debit or credit cards!
PayPal Checkout is a method of payment almost everyone recognizes. The service is widely known to be very secure with powerful protections for buyers and sellers and thus has earned the trust of millions of users. Adding a PayPal checkout to your shop is a great way to gain buyer confidence.
Let’s begin by clicking Set up.
Next, you’ll see a screen similar to the one below, prompting you to either create a PayPal account, if you don’t have one, or you can uncheck the box and connect to an account you already have. Since we already have a PayPal account, we are proceeding with connecting our account.
Next, you’ll be taken to the PayPal website where you can log in into your PayPal account.
Enter your e-mail address and country, then click the Next button.
If you are signing in with a Personal PayPal account, you’ll be notified you need a PayPal Business account in order to accept payments with your WooCommerce Shop. You have a couple of options to choose from.
In our case, the PayPal account we are using is an account I don’t mind converting to a Business account for now. PayPal will ask you for some information, similar to what Stripe asked us earlier:
After clicking Agree and Upgrade Account, your PayPal account will be connected to your WooCommerce shop and you’ll be able to accept payments your customers make via PayPal!
Personalizing Your Store
Proceed by selecting Personalize my store from the Finish setup menu of your WooCommerce Dashboard.
You’ll see this section is able to be completed in four quick steps!
Step 1: Import sample products
WooCommerce will give you the opportunity to import some sample products. For this tutorial, I’m not going to do that and will be skipping that option.
Step 2: Create a custom homepage
In this step, WooCommerce can create a new Page in your WordPress installation specifically for your new shop and also set it as the ‘homepage’ of your WordPress site. You can skip this option if you’d like.
Step 3: Upload a logo
If you have a logo file, you can upload it in this option. Don’t worry, if you don’t have one right now, you can upload one later in the Store Settings.
Step 4: Set a store notice
This is an optional feature that lets you display some prominent text at the bottom of all of your store pages. This could be really useful if you had a company sale that was happening. You can turn this on and off as well, via the Store Settings.
Click complete task when finished to go back to the WooCommerce Dashboard.
Adding your first product
This is the final step in the quick-start of WooCommerce! High-five for making it this far! 🙌
After opening the Add my products area you will have three options:
For our tutorial and since we have a small shop to run, I’m going with the first option. Proceed by clicking Add manually.
On the next screen, we have the Add new product page. If you’re familiar with WordPress and writing blogs or creating content on pages, this isn’t much different.
Let’s break this page down into sections.
Adding via the Visual Editor
I have a pair of shoes that I want to list as my first product. In the Product name field, I’m going to give them a name.
Using the Add Media button, I will upload a photo of the shoes to my product listing. It’s important to note – adding an image to this section is not the same as adding a product image. We’ll cover that shortly.
And in the big white box, I’m going to enter a description of the shoes. In this field, you want to use very descriptive text to make your item really stand out to customers.
This is what my product listing looks like when completed:
This looks great and our customers are shoe-r to like these shoes.
Managing Product Data
1. The first section is General. In this area, you can set the product’s regular (non-sale) price, as well as it’s sale price. You can also use the Schedule feature to schedule a future sale on the item if you wish. You can also change the tax status and tax class of this item if needed.
2. The second section is Inventory. In this area, you are able to set an SKU for the product, which is very helpful if you are using a 3rd party fulfillment option, like FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) since items sent to their warehouses require an individual SKU be used. You’re also able to manage stock levels for this item, including how many you have on hand, whether you allow backorders, and at what quantity you want the system to send you a low inventory notification.
3. The third section is Shipping. In this area, you can configure the product’s weight, dimensions, and shipping class. Shipping classes are very helpful when you have items that ship via different shipping methods. For example, you may set a store policy that items under 5 lbs or 2.26 kg are shipped via the United States Postal Service, while items greater than that weight are shipped via FedEx.
4. The fourth section is Linked Products. In this area, you can configure products that you may have in stock which could be related. For example, if I had a pair of shoes similar to the one I added to my Inventory, except they were in the green, I could use that as a cross-sell. Additionally, if I had another pair of shoes, except they were an upgraded version, I could use that as an Upsell. These features enable you to engage with customers on a different level and help them find precisely what they are looking for.
5. The fifth section is Attributes. This section is very useful if you have a store that sells items in different configurations, styles, colors, or sizes. With a custom attribute, you can list items in a logically sortable order, such as by “color” and “size”. This way if you are selling t-shirts in black, blue, red, and green, customers can use these attributes to filter out or sort by their preferred style/color in your shop.
6. The sixth section is Advanced. In this area, you can configure a custom purchase note to be sent to the customer after they complete their purchase, as well as custom menu orders, and the option to enable or disable reviews for a particular item. The custom purchase note is very useful if you are creating custom items for people and want to send them a special thank you for their purchase or send them a coupon code for a future purchase.
Setting the Product Short Description
The product short description
Setting the Product Image or Product Gallery
Next, we want to set the product image for this product. Although there is an image of the shoes we’re selling in the product description above, if customers are looking at our Shop’s main product listings, they won’t see the image until they open the product listing. Instead, the product would look like this:
To configure a product image, you can use the Set product image feature, as shown below:
You can also Add product gallery images if you have a product with photos from multiple angles. Very handy!
Setting Product Categories and Tags
If your shop has a lot of different product types, such as footwear, electronics, apparel, and kitchen goods, categorizing will be key to enabling your customers to quickly find items for sale on your shop’s website.
You can use the Add New Category feature to add categories for individual departments, such as Household, Health & Beauty, Footwear, Apparel, and Electronics, for example.
You can also use Tags to tag individual items with attributes, such as sports shoes, trek shoes, outdoor shoes, or mobile phone, cellular phone, telephone, for example.
Publishing your first product
After you’ve entered the details of your products, you can use the Publish feature to make your new product ready for the world!
Congratulations! You’ve made it this far and have successfully configured your WooCommerce store to take payments, manage taxes, and shipping, and you have your first product listed for sale!
Customizing and Managing Your Shop
WooCommerce makes it really easy to manage aspects of your shop, like orders, coupons, and customers, as well as details such as tax and shipping settings. You can access these features from your WooCommerce Dashboard.
While we don’t have any orders at the moment, if we did you would have actions to manage the orders such as:
- Order Number & Customer Name
- Date of Purchase
- Order Status
- Billing and Shipping Address
- Purchase Total
- and Actions, such as mark as shipped, or cancel an order.
The Customers tab allows you to see a list of all of your customers, as well as other important details, such as when they were last active, when they signed up, which orders they have placed, which country they’re from, and how much in total they have spent on your shop.
WooCommerce has powerful integrated reporting tools. Perfect for examining if that latest sale did as well as you hoped. By opening the Reports area, you will be able to create reports for a number of things, including:
- Gross Sales
- Net Sales
- Number of Orders Placed
- Number of Items Purchased
- Amount Refunded
- Amount Charged in Shipping
- Total Amount of Coupons Used
You can also create reports for customers, stock/inventory, taxes, and shipping labels if needed.
Managing Store Settings
Although you went through some basic store set up earlier in this guide, there are some advanced settings that can be configured using the Settings link in the WooCommerce toolbar.
After configuring your store, I would suggest exploring this area as there are several options you may want to modify. For example:
These three settings are usually fine as they are for most people, however, you might want to change which countries you sell to or ship to manually.
You can also change the default customer location, which is the location that will appear as the default “Ship To” country at checkout.
In Product Settings, you also have the ability to set some advanced features, such as your measurement defaults, whether you want reviews enabled or disabled globally, as well as what the default cart behavior is, and also the default Shop Page.
The Payments area of WooCommerce Store Settings is especially helpful if you want to add or remove any payment providers, such as Stripe, WooPayments, and PayPal.
You can also enable or disable alternative payment options, like Check Payments, Cash On Delivery, and Bank Transfers.
Managing Emails your customers receive is another feature of the Settings area.
I highly encourage you to check out these email messages and customize them so they are on-brand with your shop. When customers complete their orders, they often enjoy seeing personalized order confirmations.
Taking your store to the next level with Extensions
One of the best things about WordPress is how extensible it is. That is, WordPress is incredibly flexible and can handle almost anything from being a simple blog to a storefront, to a community forum.
Good news! WooCommerce is just as flexible. With add ons that let you handle things like Subscriptions & Bookings, you can sell more than just physical items.
Themes & Custom Designs
WooCommerce comes with a great FREE eCommerce-oriented theme called Storefront. This is an excellent theme you can use to build your store from the ground up. Storefront comes with deep, deep integration into WooCommerce, and you can customize almost every aspect of the theme.
Additionally, because the theme is developed directly by the WooCommerce team, meaning you can say goodbye to fears of conflicts between your chosen WooCommerce theme and your WordPress installation when it comes to major WooCommerce releases/updates.
Of course, there are loads of other themes for WooCommerce and WordPress. WooCommerce works with most themes on WordPress, so you can feel pretty confident you won’t have many if any, conflicts. I’ve taken the liberty of gathering some of my favorite themes for your consideration!
If you want professional and custom-designed work done, you are in luck. Two great places to start with custom designs for WordPress and WooCommerce are 99Designs and Codeable. These types of custom design sources may come with a higher than the expected price tag, but the work is also top quality, and you are able to get exactly what you want instead of sitting at the computer, futzing about with theme files for hours. 🙂
There are so many things from a UI and UX perspective you should consider when designing your shop. Of course, the idea of anything you’re selling is to make the product as appealing to the potential customer as possible. But you also want to make your web store easy to use, fast, safe, and secure for your customers.
One great way to make things easy for customers is your checkout page. Did you know if your checkout page is too complicated or has too many steps, the chances that customers will abandon their cart and complete their purchase elsewhere increase by over 60 percent?
While WooCommerce, like other shopping/e-commerce solutions, allows you to customize the checkout experience totally, I’d like to mention two very popular add-ons to WooCommerce to make checkout even easier for your customers:
WooCommerce One Page Checkout
WooCommerce sells a number of add-on extensions to their product, one of them being their One Page Checkout extension. In my opinion, this is one of the top three “paid” enhancements to a WooCommerce shop every shop owner should buy.
According to a poll of 1,200 online shoppers conducted by Webcredible, 1 in 10 people who abandon their shopping cart do so because the checkout process is just too long.
According to WooCommerce, One Page Checkout makes it possible to turn any page into a checkout page. It also makes it easier for your customers to buy from these custom checkout pages by displaying both product selection and checkout forms on a single page. Customers can add or remove products from their cart and complete payment without leaving the page and waiting for a new page to load.
Checkout fields can also be displayed on a single product’s page, or you can add the field to custom landing pages for unique promotions. It’s easy to create a single page checkout, and once you do, it’s even easier for your customers to purchase the products on that page.
Build WooFunnels is a developer of highly functional addons for WooCommerce. Their product, Aero Checkout, formerly Handsome Checkout, is incredibly powerful and very easy to use. With this plugin, you can :
- Create dedicated checkout pages for specific products
- Replace default checkout pages with a checkout page with style similar to Shopify
- Embed checkout forms on custom landing pages
- and more!
Some of the cleanest and most optimized checkout pages on WooCommerce stores are running on the Aero Checkout plugin.
The plugin also supports Google Address Autocomplete for an error-free experience, eliminating the possibility your customer entered a typo when providing their shipping address.
Multiple Payment Methods
We discussed how you could use PayPal and Stripe to accept credit/debit cards and get paid for your products; however, the more payment methods you can accept, often the better.
We live in the age of the smartphone. Consumers are using cash less and less these days, and the amount of literal and physical debit or credit card swipes at stores is becoming lower by the day as consumers use payment solutions like Amazon Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.
WooCommerce absolutely has the ability for you to accept payments from these platforms, and I strongly consider implementing at least Apple and Google Pay on your website.
Time = money when you’re running any kind of store, be it in a shopping mall or on the internet. Having fast and reliable WooCommerce Hosting is paramount to having a successful online store as it results in greater uptime, higher customer conversion rates, and a better return on your investment overall.
WooCommerce is a memory-hungry application, like any e-commerce solution, and fortunately, ChemiCloud has designed its WooCommerce Hosting services with this in mind. We provide stellar managed hosting services for your WooCommerce / WordPress shops with high performance in mind. Our Happiness Engineers are also available 24×7 by Ticket and Live Chat in the event you have any trouble or a question.
Without question, WooCommerce is probably the best free e-commerce solution for WordPress, probably even the Internet itself. Automattic’s recent acquisition of WooCommerce is only going to drive increased and better improvements to the application, and you can bet even better features will be coming soon.
Was there something we missed in this guide? Let us know in the comments! And of course, if you like this guide, you’ll love our hosting.
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