If you’re trying to launch a new e-commerce website, WordPress and WooCommerce are a match made in heaven. Together, the two allow you to launch a fully functional site with almost no upfront investment and with very professional looking results.
First, Install WordPress
The first things you’ll have to do are common for any site, ecommerce or other.
- Choose a domain name
- Get a web host
- Install WordPress
- Choose a theme
- Create your most basic pages: Homepage, About Us, Contact Us
Next, Install WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a plugin, so the initial install should be as easy as any other plugin. However, WooCommerce is incredibly powerful, so right off the bat you’ll notice that there are a lot of options to configure from the plugin settings menu.
If you’re already familiar with WordPress, the way WooCommerce works should be pretty intuitive. You’ll be creating product pages that share many attributes with blog post pages, but they have additional attributes like product category, price, specs, weight, etc.
Once you have WooCommerce installed, you’ll have to create your product pages, including images, product info, prices, and other relevant details.
You’ll also want to create some kind of browsing menu that makes sense for your e-commerce store. If you have just a few products, a single “Products” page might be enough. But your site will have hundreds of products, you’ll likely do better to implement some filtering options and the ability to browse by product category, as well as a robust search feature, to make it easier for visitors to find what they need.
Finally, while WooCommerce will handle all the logistics of your online store, including the shopping cart, it does not directly process payments itself. For this, you’ll need a payment gateway. There are many of these available, such as:
These will tie into your store, and actually give customers the option to pay. They integrate with WooCommerce easily, as WordPress plugins. Many of them will actually create an ever more secure layer on your site for the processing of transactions, which is what you want, because you don’t want your brand new e-commerce store to be liable for things like stolen credit card numbers.
Creating a Marketing Plan
Finally, you’ll need to create a marketing plan for your new store — even a great e-commerce site is not much use if it doesn’t have any visitors. Do some research on the components of a good marketing system, such as:
- Paid Ads
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content creation and blogging
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
Each of these are entire marketing fields worthy of their own blog post, but you’ll need to start somewhere. If you don’t know much about marketing, consider working with a person or agency who is better versed in these matters and can help you drive traffic to your site.