WooCommerce Guide: How to Start an Online Store in 6 Steps

Have you been wondering how to build an online store without breaking a lot of sweat? In this article, you will learn how to start an online store website using WooCommerce on WordPress.

Start an online store

What is an online store?

An online store is an ecommerce website where buyers can find a catalog of goods or services, and purchase them online.

An online store makes it easy for users to find and purchase your products online – without having to walk in to a physical store.

Can anyone build an online store?

NOT everyone can build an online store but YOU CAN – with the aid of this article.

An online store is unique in terms of features compared to a standard business website which makes it more tricky to start an online store all by yourself .

Kindly note : Running a successful online store involves getting buyers to visit your website, helping them find the products they are looking for, showing proof the products can solve their problems, and making it very easy for them to purchase the goods or services on your eCommerce website.

If you have been wondering how to build an eCommerce website, We will be showing you how to start an online store in 1 hour by following the steps outlined in this post.

What tools do I need to start an online store?

To build an online store, you’ll need to have the following major tools;

  • Standard Web Hosting
  • Domain name
  • WordPress
  • WooCommerce
  • Theme
  • Payment Gateway

The above-mentioned tools would allow you to build an eCommerce website using WordPress without breaking a sweat. In the rest of this article, you’ll discover how to gather all these tools and piece them together to build an online store.

WooCommerce Guide: How to Start an online store in 6 Simple Steps

Step 1: Get a Standard Web Hosting

A Web Hosting is internet housing that gives you the opportunity to rent or buy space so you can have a website on the World Wide Web. It can be likened or compared with the same thing as a land space for a physical store.

While there are several web hosting providers out there, we recommend you go for Namecheap web hosting plans as they come with quality customer support and a user-friendly interface for managing your website files.

In addition, you also get a Positive SSL from Namecheap which is a digital certificate that authenticates your website’s identity and enables an encrypted connection to your website.

Having Standard web hosting is crucial to building an online store for your business, as this is where all your website core software, product images, and other files will be stored in.

Step 2: Buy a Domain Name

A domain name is your website’s address on the World Wide Web. It is the URL your visitors type in their browser bar to access your website.

For instance; our website domain name is netsocialblog.com which users can use instead of a complicated Internet Protocol (IP) Address.

How To Choose and Buy a Domain Name for your Online Store

To get a domain name for your online store, you will need to first check for domain availability.

Domain Availability means if your choice of the preferred domain name is available to buy or someone has already bought it.

To check for domain availability and buy your dream online store domain name, visit namecheap.com

Step 3: Install WordPress

Now that you’ve gotten your domain name, and web hosting ready, it is time to start building your online store using WordPress.

WordPress is a powerful content management system that powers over 40% of the websites on the internet – thus making it the most popular CMS in the world.

While WordPress is used for different purposes – such as Standard Business websites, Forums, Social Networks, Blogs, etc. – our focus of this article will be solely on how to use it to start an online store.

To learn how to install WordPress on your website on Namecheap, check out this video or read this article.

Step 4: Installing WooCommerce Plugin on WordPress

In its raw form, WordPress can not do so much unless you extend its functionality.

To add the eCommerce functionality to your WordPress website, you will need to install the WooCommerce plugin on the website.

You can do this by logging in to your WordPress dashboard >> Plugins >> Add New >> WooCommerce

Add new plugins on WordPress
Install WooCommerce plugin on WordPress

Alternatively, you can also download the Woocommerce plugin from the WordPress plugin repository.

Follow the instruction prompts that follow to complete the installation and activation of Woocommerce on your website.

Upon completion, your website is now equipped with the functionality of an online store.

How to Add Products to your Online Store using Woocommerce

An online store is incomplete without products – right?

To start uploading products on your website, login to your WordPress Dashboard >> Products >> Add New

Add new products on Woocommerce WordPress

Write your Product name in the first box. (see screenshot with 1 below)

Add product information

Write your Product’s full description in the large box directly beneath the first box. (see screenshot with 2 above)

Upload your main Product picture preferably in the square format 1000 x 100 pixels. (see screenshot with 3 above)

Other important details to fill in are the;

Product information
  • Product Gallery images
  • Product type (Virtual and/or Downloadable Product)
  • Product Categories
  • Product price (Regular price and Sale discounted Price)
  • Product short descriptions
  • Shipping (optional)
  • Etc.

Step 5: Installing Astra – Best WooCommerce Theme on your Website

By default, WordPress comes with its own default theme but is not suitable for your online store.

To make your online store look beautiful and highly customizable, we recommend you use Astra – The Fastest, Lightest, and Most Popular Theme of All Time.

Astra - Best WooCommerce Theme

To use the Astra theme on your WordPress website, Login to your Dashboard >> Appearance >> Themes >> Add New

Now search for Astra Theme, Install and Activate.

Install Astra Theme on Website

BONUS TIP: Start an Online Store Quickly with Astra Starter Templates

If you want to save a lot of time in designing your online store, you can make use of Astra Starter Templates for WooCommerce.

Astra Starter templates allow you to create beautiful eCommerce websites without starting from scratch with their already made professionally designed sites in a click.

Some examples of Astra professionally designed eCommerce Starter Templates are shown below;

Step 6: Connect Payment Gateway to your Online Store

The final step is to connect the payment gateway to your online store.

Payment Gateways are a technology used by online stores to enable them to accept debit or credit card purchases from their customers.

This makes it easy for users to make payments online on an e-commerce website.

How to connect the payment gateway to your online store

Depending on your country and choice, payment gateway can be local or international.

International payment gateway includes but not limited to Stripe, PayPal, Debit cards, Credit cards, etc.

A typical example of Local payment gateway is Bank transfer.

To connect payment gateway to your online store, login to your WordPress Dashboard >> Woocommerce >> Settings >> Payments Tab

Toggle and follow the instructions on screen to complete the payment settings for Debit cards, bank transfers, PayPal, and any other payment method you would like to use.

From the Author’s Desk

Building an online store for your business can be a little bit tricky, but by following the steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to start online store with WordPress without going through too much hassle.

Have any questions, concerns or contributions? Feel free to leave them in the comment box below

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