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How to Set Up an Online Store
Web design

How to Set Up an Online Store

March 22, 2024

Selling your products and services online rather than in-store means that you need a site with the ability to handle an online store. But while setting up an online store may seem challenging and time-consuming, it's really not as difficult as it seems!

Where possible, a lot of businesses are relocating some-- or all-- of their products and services online. Have you been investigating transitioning some of your business' sales and operations to ecommerce?

To get started, all you need is a website that's powered by WordPress-- we'll show you how to do the rest using WooCommerce, a free and open source plugin that allows you to conveniently set up a functioning web store, complete with payment and shipping choices, in minutes.

What you'll need to start

  • A site powered by WordPress
  • Products or services to sell
  • 30-60 minutes to set up and add products to your online store

Set up and install WooCommerce

Step 1: Locate and install the WooCommerce plugin

First, you'll need to install WooCommerce on your WordPress site. You can download it free of charge from the WordPress repository, or you can install it directly from your WordPress dashboard.

Log in to your WordPress dashboard and navigate to Plugins > Add New. Search for "woocommerce", and click Install Now on the WooCommerce plugin (Note that the correct plugin's author will be listed as Automattic). Wait a minute for the plugin to install, and then click Activate.

The plugin will now be active on your WordPress website.

Step 2: Follow the Setup Wizard

After installing WooCommerce, you'll have access to the WooCommerce Setup Wizard to configure your store's primary settings like location information, payment and shipping methods, and kinds of products that you'll be offering. Note that whatever you select in the setup wizard can be adjusted later in your WooCommerce settings.

You'll first enter information regarding your store's address, the currency you accept, and whether you'll be selling digital or physical products (or both).

Step 3: Select your payment processing methods

Next, you'll select which payments you'll take using your online store. By default, you can use Stripe and/or PayPal, but you can also choose to take offline payments like checks and cash.

Select the choices you 'd like to use, and WooCommerce will set them up for you. Extensions that enable you to utilize additional payment processing methods are available, if needed.

Step 4: Choose a shipping method

You can also configure how customers will be billed for shipping. You can set one rate for your particular business area, in addition to other prices for consumers outside of your business' region.

Step 5: Choose optional add-ons

When you've set up the basic settings for your online WooCommerce store, you can review optional add-ons. None of these add-ons are required to run your store, but some, such as Storefront, can simplify particular aspects of setting up your store.

Step 6: Finish setup

Before finishing the setup process, you can choose to enable Jetpack, which is another WordPress plugin with added features that can help in setting up and running your store This plugin is not required, however WooCommerce recommends that if you're in the U.S., you'll want to enable Jetpack given recent legal changes.

As soon as you've completed the steps over, your store will currently await use, and you can start including your products to it.

Managing your WooCommerce store

After installing WooCommerce, two new tabs will be available on your dashboard's side menu: WooCommerce-- which contains your store settings, and Products, including your product settings.

Follow the link at the end of the Setup Wizard or go to Products > Add New to begin adding products to your store.

WooCommerce has considerable documentation and tutorials on how to create, manage, and operate your store. Here are some handy links for how to add products, sell and ship them, manage orders, and more:

Add and manage products

Adding and Managing Products

Adding Product Images and Galleries

Managing Product Categories, Tags and Attributes

Product CSV Importer and Exporter

Payment options

Managing payment options (Stripe, Paypal, payment on delivery, etc.)

Setting up Taxes in WooCommerce

Which Payment Option is Right for Me?

Shipping options

Managing shipping options (Flat rate, local pickup, free shipping, etc.)

Setting up Shipping Zones

Product Shipping Classes

Order management

Managing Orders

Email FAQ

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