Do you want to sell products or services online? Are you looking for starting an eCommerce business and don’t know where to start? If so, you’re in the right place.
WooCommerce is the world’s most popular eCommerce plugin. It has over 5 million active installs and a 4.6 user rating on WordPress.org. It is cost-effective, super flexible, and easy to manage even for beginners.
In this article, I’ll cover how to set up WooCommerce step by step. I will also share some useful resources like the best WooCommerce themes and extensions.
Let’s get started.
- 1 An introduction to WooCommerce
- 2 Why choose WooCommerce to sell your products?
- 3 What can you sell with WooCommerce?
- 4 How to Install and Set Up WooCommerce (In 7 Steps)
- 5 Adding and Managing Products in WooCommerce
- 6 Choosing a WooCommerce Theme
- 7 Installing WooCommerce Extensions and Add-ons
- 8 Final Thoughts
WooCommerce is an open-source eCommerce plugin developed for WordPress. It is developed by Automattic, a company behind WordPress. It is a robust plugin for building a store for both small and large size businesses.
WooCommerce is packed with features like different shipping and payment methods, variable products, simple one-page checkout, marketing and promotion options, extensive reporting options, and much more.
While it includes the requirements of many online stores, plenty of free and premium extensions are available to extend its functionality.
- Built for WordPress: It allows seamless integration with WordPress and includes the features to get your online store started.
- Fully audited by WordPress security company Sucuri: It ensures WooComerce follows the best coding practices of WordPress.
- Ensures security: WooCommerce protects your data and ensures secure transactions between you and your customers.
- Vast Global Community: There are more than 850 contributors and more than 5 million active installations.
- Availability of free and paid extensions: There are lots of extensions available for WooCommerce to extend the functionality to fit your needs. They allow customizing WooCommerce with a wide range of features and functionalities.
- Well-documented: It provides comprehensive documentation to get you started with WooCommerce, such as installing & updating, settings, setting up products, selling products, and much more.
The list goes on. In simple, WooCommerce gives you all that you ever need to build an eCommerce store with WordPress.
It’s quite a lot:
- Physical products
- Digital products (e.g., software, ebooks, downloads, etc.)
- Bookings (e.g., appointments)
And much more. In other words, you can sell anything with WooCommerce on your site.
With that being said, you must be curious about how to set up WooCommerce and start making money online. Without further delay, let’s dive into it.
Before you proceed further, I assume that you already have a site running on WordPress.
Setting up WooCommerce is straightforward. You begin by installing and activating the plugin.
WooCommerce is a free plugin and available to download from the WordPress repository. You can install the plugin directly from your WordPress dashboard.
To install and active WooCommerce, go your dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New. Search for “woocommerce” and click on Install Now when you see it in the search result.
Once the plugin is installed, click on the Activate button.
At this point, WooCommerce is running on your website.
After installing WooCommerce, you are redirected to a setup wizard. It is optional, but I recommend going through it to configure some basic settings. The information set in the setup wizard can be changed later on in your WooCommerce settings.
The WooCommerce setup wizard looks like this:
Here, you can enter some necessary information about your store. It includes your store address, what currency you’d like to use, and whether you want to sell physical or digital products (or both).
Once you fill the necessary details, click on Let’s go.
On the next screen, you can choose what payments option you’ll like to enable for your online store. By default, it includes the integration of Stripe and PayPal, along with offline payments through checks, bank transfer, and cash on delivery.
Select the options you want to use and click on Continue.
You can configure the Shipping settings for your store. You can set the flat rate or offer free shipping. You can also set a different rate for customers who are in your preferred location and other locations.
At the bottom, you can set the unit used for product weight and dimensions. Once you are done setting up, click on Continue.
At this stage, you’ve configured all the necessary settings for your online store. On the next screen, you are presented with some recommended(optional) add-ons.
Although none of them are required to run your eCommerce store, these tools can boost your store. Leave it checked if you want to use and then click on Continue.
On the next page, you are prompted with Jetpack integration.
Jetpack, developed by Automattic, is a popular plugin that offers a wide range of features. It includes features store monitoring, better security to protect against unauthorized access, displays your store stats, product promotions, and much more.
At this point, your WooCommerce store is ready.
On this screen, you will find some useful links. You can directly dive into creating your first product, import products to your store, return to your WordPress dashboard, or edit the settings you have just configured.
To continue the tutorial, let’s learn how to add products to your store. To begin, click on the Visit Dashboard button.
After installing the WooCommerce plugin, you’ll find two new tabs on your dashboard sidebar menu. These are WooCommerce (where you can configure your general store settings) and Products (where you can manage your product settings).
To start adding your product, you can either go to Products > Add New or click on Create a Product button at the end of setup wizard. Both approaches will enable you to add your first product.
You will see a classic WordPress content editing screen, as shown below:
You can fill the sections with your product information.
- Product name
- Description of the product: You may include a description of the product, related images, or anything you like.
- Product data area: It is the section where most of the setting for the product is configured. In this section, you can customize the product.
- Product short description: You can write a brief description of your product.
- Product Categories: You can group similar products. It works just like the standard WordPress categories.
- Product Tags: Similar to standard WordPress tags, you can organize your products by adding tags to them.
- Product Image: The featured or main image of your product
- Product Gallery: Other additional pictures or collections of images to showcase the product.
When you create a product, the first thing you do is add the title and description for the products. Here’s a preview of what it looks like when you add just the title and description.
The WooCommerce plugin allows you to add more information to your products. Let’s look at how to do so.
If you scroll down below the post editor, you’ll see the Product data widget. Here you can add more information about your product.
At the top, you can select whether the product is virtual ( which removes the shipping tab) or if it is downloadable. In the General tab, you can set the product regular and sales price.
If you’re selling digital products, you’ll also have to upload the file to be purchased, set the download limit and enter the download expiry days (leave it unset to keep it available permanently).
In the Inventory tab, you can manage your stock by entering the number of products available, allow backorders, set a low threshold for your stock and stock status.
You can also enter the product’s SKU (identification number) if you have one. Besides, you can mark the product as individually sold, which means the product can be bought in a single order.
Next, in the Shipping tab, you can specify the weight, dimension, and shipping class of the product.
In the Linked Products tab, you can add upsell and cross-sells products. Upsells are the products that you recommend instead of the currently viewed products. Cross-sells are the product that you want to promote in the cart, based on the current product.
Under the Attributes tab, you can add information for your products like item’s color, size, etc. It appears in the Additional Information tab on the single product page.
Finally, in the Advanced tab, you can add the purchase note to provide some vital information to your customers. You can also enable or disable reviews for your product.
If you want to add more options, you can view the recommended extensions under Get more options tab.
You get plenty of options to add additional information to your products and customize them fully. Two of the most useful options available in WooCommerce are – Attributes and Variable Products.
Attributes provide more information for your products. The information like item’s size, color, material used, size or type, etc. can be added. These pieces of information can be vital for a purchase decision.
If you are selling products that come in multiple options, you can select the Variable product option. You can create multiple versions of your product using the attributes assigned. For example, if you offer a product with different colors, sizes, or fabrics, you can set value for each variation with different descriptions, product images, and so on.
This feature is super handy as you don’t have to create separate product pages for each variation. Also, it makes it more comfortable for your customers to make quick choices and purchase.
Below the Product data, there is a Product short description section. Here you can add a brief description of your product. It is displayed underneath the product’s title.
After adding your product’s data, description, and other essential information don’t forget to assign tags and category, set the featured image, and even add a gallery if you have before publishing it.
Here’s the preview of what a final product might look like:
You can repeat the process to add more products to your website.
If you create an online store, you will probably have many items. WooCommerce makes it easy to manage them. You can view all your products through the Products tab in your dashboard.
Under the Products section, you can view your product categories, tags, and attributes.
After your store is live and you have sold some products, you can view the report. WooCommerce offers powerful built-in tracking functionality. It is found under WooCommerce > Reports.
In the Reports tab, you can view charts and graphs of your sales, orders, coupons, downloads, and shipping costs over different periods.
WooCommerce is a pretty vast plugin, and there are so many things it offers. I suggest you go through the official WooCommerce documentation to learn more.
There are thousands of themes to choose from for your online store. Selecting a professional theme that is optimized for WooCommerce will make a big difference in your customers.
You can find plenty of free WooCommerce themes in the WordPress repository. Most of the themes are WooCommerce compatible, and you can use them to set up your online store. I recommend choosing a WordPress theme that is made specifically for WooCommerce websites. WooCommerce optimized themes provide additional features and boost more sales on your website.
With thousands of options to choose from free and paid WooCommerce themes, it might be difficult for beginners to choose the best one.
To make it easier, I have hand-picked some of the best WooCommerce themes that you can use. All the themes listed below are SEO optimized, mobile-friendly, and optimized for better performance.
Blossom Shop is a clean, easy to use WooCommerce ready WordPress theme. The theme is optimized to create a fully functional and beautiful online store. The theme includes support for WooCommerce along with popular add-ons like YITH WooCommerce Wishlist, Quick View and Compare.
You can change the theme color and typography to reflect your brand. The theme is optimized to load fast and is mobile-friendly.
Astra is a clean and free WooCommerce ready theme with lots of customization options. It includes several built-in templates for products and shop pages along with several 1-click ready-made websites.
It supports all the popular page builder plugins making it easier to drag and drop widgets.
OceanWP is a highly customizable free WooCommerce theme. The theme comes with a free companion plugin that offers lots of premium-like features. The theme is optimized specially for WooCommerce to increase conversion rate and boost your sales.
It includes tons of customization options in live customizer. The plugins work with all popular page builder plugins, including Elementor.
Storefront is designed and developed by the WooCommerce core developers team. The theme is fully compatible and optimized for WooCommerce. It seamlessly integrates with popular WooCommerce extensions.
It has built-in live customizer support, includes several layouts and color choices, demo importer, and multiple widget areas. If you are looking for a powerful and easy to setup theme, Storefront is an ideal choice.
The extensions and add-ons are something that makes WooCommerce powerful. They allow you to add new features to your site and help to grow your business. They work exactly like a WordPress plugin but are light-weight and developed to achieve specific goals.
There are thousands of free and paid add-ons available for WooCommerce plugins. To make it easier, here are a list of few popular recommended add-ons.
- YITH WooCommerce Quick View: It allows your customers to quickly peek into product details by merely taking their mouse over a button. The customers can get the product information directly from the product listing page.YITH offers tons of add-ons that can help you increase your conversion rate and maximize sales. Check out their collections of add-ons for WooCommerce.
- WooCommerce Currency Switcher: This plugin allows your customers to easily switch currency and get real time conversion rates in their local currency.
- LiveChat: It allows you to chat live directly with your customers from your site. You can build your trust and address their questions instantly.
- WooCommerce PDF Invoices & Packing Slips: It automatically adds a PDF invoices to the order confirmation emails. You can customize the email templates or add your templates. You can also download or print invoices and packing slips.
- Order Delivery Date: This plugin allows users to choose a delivery date for products during the checkout. It reduces the risk of abandonment and improves customer service.
If you are looking for some more extension, check this list of 25+ best WooCommerce plugins that you should install for your Online store.
There are many eCommerce solutions for WordPress, but WooCommerce is one of the best choices. The plugin is free to use and comes with more functionality than any other premium eCommerce plugins. The integration of add-ons and the availability of tons of WooCommerce themes make WooCommerce an ideal choice to start your online store.
That’s all on how to set up WooCommerce in WordPress. I hope this article will get you started building your online store.
If you face any questions or want to share your opinions, please let me know in the comment section below. If you have any themes or add-ons recommendation, please feel free to share.