How to Create an Online Store With WordPress in 7 Steps Using WooCommerce

As eCommerce platforms become more accessible, aspiring sellers get multiple options to start selling online or expand their offline store’s reach.

One popular option is using WordPress, a content management system (CMS) that powers over 40% of all websites on the internet. Its user-friendly interface, extensive customization options, and scalability empower users of all skill levels to make their eCommerce stores.

This WordPress tutorial will show you how to create an online store with WooCommerce, one of the most popular eCommerce plugins for WordPress. We’ll also go through the benefits of using WordPress and WooCommerce to start your online business venture.

How to Start a WordPress Online Store in 7 Steps

WordPress has a wide range of plugins to scale your eCommerce site. In this tutorial, we’ll use WooCommerce, one of the best free plugins for creating online stores.

Here are the seven essential steps to creating an eCommerce website with WordPress.

1. Decide What You Want to Sell

Your product choices will shape the entire eCommerce business, from marketing strategy to store design. Basing this decision on your expertise and passion will make your business journey more enjoyable, boosting your investment in the growth and quality of your offerings.

Use product research tools like Google Trends and Trend Hunter to find profitable products to sell. For more inspiration, see our list of trending products and profitable things to make and sell for inspiration.

Whether selling physical or digital products, WordPress and WooCommerce can support your business needs. The CMS’s scalability and the plugin’s eCommerce functionality can handle different types of businesses, from boutiques to eBook marketplaces.

2. Choose the Right WooCommerce Hosting Platform

Since WordPress is self-hosted, you need to buy web hosting and a domain name to run it. Many hosting options are available with various features at different prices, so pick one that best suits your needs.

Opting for high-performance hosting ensures your online store is always accessible for optimal conversions. Server performance and resources, uptime guarantee, and content delivery network (CDN) are several aspects to consider when choosing a hosting solution.

With Hostinger’s managed WooCommerce hosting, you can save time by configuring WordPress installation and WooCommerce store setup during the onboarding process. Starting at RM49.00/month, our hosting service provides a free domain name, SSL certificate, email, and automatic daily backups.

We provide a free in-house CDN for optimized performance, ensuring your eCommerce store works optimally even during peak traffic. Other key features include robust security measures, a 99.9% uptime guarantee, and server resources for up to 100 websites per account.

All plans come with a 30-day money-back guarantee, giving you peace of mind during the trial period.

3. Configure WooCommerce Settings

Once you have installed WordPress, follow these steps to set up your WooCommerce website:

  1. Install and activate the plugin to access the WooCommerce Setup Wizard. Click Set up my store to start the setup process.
WooCommerce Setup Wizard with a button to start the configuration process
  1. Choose the seller profile that best describes your business venture.
A WooCommerce setup form with seller profile options
  1. Fill in your online store’s name, location, product type, and email address.
A WooCommerce setup form for submitting business details
  1. WooCommerce offers free features to scale your WordPress eCommerce store. Pick only the features you need to keep your website lightweight for optimal performance.
A WooCommerce setup form showing a list of free features
  1. After the initial setup is complete, it will redirect you to the WooCommerce dashboard.

4. Set Up Payment Methods

Your chosen payment gateway directly impacts how you accept payments from customers. The right payment gateways ensure smooth and secure checkouts, so it’s crucial to set them up correctly.

Here’s how to configure payment methods on your eCommerce website:

  1. Go to WooCommerceSettings from the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Open the Payments tab to see the available payment methods.
WooCommerce payment methods
  1. Let’s set up WooCommerce’s built-in payment solution, WooPayments. Click Install and wait until WordPress has activated the plugin. Once it redirects you to Payments, select Finish setup.
WooCommerce Payments dashboard, highlighting the button to finish the setup process
  1. Enter your email address to verify the connection.
WooPayments signup form
  1. WooCommerce will email a link to connect your online store with WooPayments. Click on it to continue the setup process.
  2. Enter your personal information to sign up for a WooPayments account.
WooPayments signup form to enter personal details
  1. Enter your business details, including your store’s legal name and URL.
WooPayments signup form to enter store information
  1. State your estimated annual revenue and the timeline to launch your business.
WooPayments signup form to estimated annual revenue and timeline to launch
  1. Follow the rest of the setup wizard to connect WooPayments with your bank account or debit card. Your online store is ready to accept payments once the Payments status turns to Enabled.
Unfinished WooPayments setup with pending status

WooPayments accepts debit and credit card payments and local payment methods. It’s one of the best WooCommerce payment gateways available, offering seamless integrations and ease of use.

WooCommerce also supports third-party payment options like Stripe, PayPal, and Apple Pay. Install and connect your chosen payment gateway’s extension to your online store or purchase its plugin from WooCommerce Marketplace.

Consider your target market’s preferred payment methods and transaction fees when choosing the best payment gateway for your store.

5. Customize Your Store with an eCommerce Theme

The store’s design influences your brand’s look and feel, impacting the shopping experience. Fortunately, WooCommerce has a wide range of excellent eCommerce themes for various business niches.

Follow these steps to change your online store’s design:

  1. Navigate to Appearance Themes from your WordPress dashboard and select Add New Theme.
WordPress theme section, highlighting the button to add a new theme
  1. Click Feature Filter and select eCommerce under Subject to show only eCommerce themes in the search results. Hit Apply Filters to confirm your choice.
WordPress theme filters, highlighting the eCommerce filter
  1. Install and activate the WordPress theme that best suits your online store.
  2. Click on the Customize button above your chosen theme. It will redirect you to WordPress Theme Editor, where you can modify the site’s appearance.
WordPress Theme Editor workspace
  1. Certain themes need a WordPress page builder for better customization. If you don’t have one installed, modify the theme with Theme Editor or Customizer for basic adjustments.

When choosing a theme for your eCommerce platform, prioritize a design that aligns with your brand and effectively displays your products. A good theme should be visually appealing, easy to navigate, and well-organized.

Ensure your chosen theme includes essential features like product galleries, customer reviews, and seamless payment integration to improve the shopping experience. Responsiveness is also crucial, as having a mobile-friendly website lets you reach customers on various devices.

Additionally, consider your budget for a theme. Free WordPress themes are ideal for new eCommerce sites, providing simple designs and basic functionality. On the other hand, premium themes offer extensive customization options, unique features, and professional support for a recurring or one-time cost.

Explore our best WooCommerce themes to narrow down your options. We also compiled the best eCommerce websites with fantastic designs for inspiration.

6. Add Products to Your WooCommerce Store

After setting up your WordPress eCommerce website, it’s time to populate it with products.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Go to ProductsAdd New from the WordPress dashboard.
  2. Enter the product’s name and description. See our guide on writing a product description for tips.
Forms to enter the product's name description in WordPress
  1. Pick a product type from the dropdown menu within the Product data section.
  • Simple product ‒ covers items sold individually, like a lamp. Check the Virtual option if it’s intangible or Downloadable to grant file access upon purchase.
  • Grouped product ‒ collections of related products that customers can buy individually, like a set of tea cups and saucers.
  • External or affiliate product ‒ items sold on a third-party platform, but promoted on your WordPress website.
  • Variable product ‒ products with variations, like a shirt in different colors and sizes.
WooCommerce product data section, highlighting the product type field
  1. Fill in the required information based on the product type, such as the prices, stock status, and attributes.
  2. Add the product category and tags on the right menu.
WooCommerce product category and tag sections
  1. Upload your product’s featured image via Product image and supplementary images in Product gallery. See our guide for tips on taking product photos.
WooCommerce product image and gallery sections
  1. Make the product listing private or password-protected if you’re not ready to make it public yet. Alternatively, schedule a publish date to make it visible to the public at a later time.
WooCommerce publish settings
  1. Click on the Preview button within the Publish section to see how the product page looks. Once you’re happy with the result, hit Publish.

Here’s an example of a WooCommerce product page:

An example of a product page made in WooCommerce eCommerce ecosystem

Manage all of your product listings via Products All Products. Filter items by product type and stock status as needed.

WooCommerce product list

Creating compelling product listings is critical to attracting and converting customers. For effective product pages, use high-quality images to showcase your products from different angles. Write detailed descriptions with relevant keywords and calls to action to improve search visibility and conversion rates.

7. Install Additional Plugins to Extend the Store’s Functionality

WooCommerce provides all the essential tools and features to run an online store. However, many excellent WooCommerce plugins are available to scale your WordPress site with advanced functionality.

Here are our recommended WooCommerce plugins to install:

  • OptinMonster ‒ a popular popup builder for capturing visitors’ attention and boosting conversions.
  • MonsterInsights ‒ integrates Google Analytics for online store performance and traffic monitoring.
  • PluginHive ‒ offers free and premium extensions to integrate with various booking and shipping options.
  • Weglot ‒ translate website content and meta descriptions to create a multilingual WordPress online store.
  • WP Fastest Cache ‒ improves website performance and reduces load times for better search engine optimization (SEO).
  • ATUM Inventory Management ‒ offers advanced inventory management tools with a quick editing feature.

Only install plugins that your business actually needs, as having too many plugins can slow down your eCommerce store. Get plugins from trusted platforms and update them regularly for compatibility with the latest versions of WordPress and other integrated tools.

Leverage WordPress auto-update features to automate the process for WordPress core, themes, and plugins. With our WordPress Enhanced Automatic Updates, you can log updates and roll back to specific versions from your hosting account.

Getting Started With WooCommerce

Check out our WooCommerce tutorial to unlock the plugin’s full potential.

Advantages of Using WordPress and WooCommerce for eCommerce

Here’s why WordPress and WooCommerce are ideal for launching your eCommerce business.

Cost-Effective Solution

WordPress and WooCommerce are perfect for budget-conscious sellers looking to scale their eCommerce platform gradually.

WordPress mainly incurs expenses for web hosting and domain registration, which many web hosts like Hostinger bundle together for value and convenience. After buying WordPress hosting, you can install the CMS and start building your online store.

Similarly, WooCommerce’s core software is free. Manage your budget by only paying for premium extensions and themes to unlock necessary features and customization options.

Check our guide for detailed WordPress pricing for all the necessities, including costs for maintenance and security.

Flexibility for Customization

WordPress and WooCommerce offer a flexible eCommerce system to customize your store according to your needs, marketing strategy, and growth. For instance, you can easily create a custom homepage to make a strong impression or a converting checkout page to boost sales.

Adding new functionality is also easy with the extensive range of plugins available for WordPress and WooCommerce. Many WordPress inventory management plugins are available to extend WooCommerce’s basic stock control functionality.

Users can customize store design and functionality without coding, making the ecosystem accessible to all skill levels.

Built-In Blogging Platform

WordPress eCommerce sites have built-in blogging capabilities, facilitating content marketing without extra plugins. Regularly creating and sharing informative blog posts can boost your website’s ranking on search engines, benefiting your search engine optimization efforts.

Additionally, embedding a blog in the WordPress online store helps you engage with customers and build a strong community. This engagement fosters loyalty, turning casual visitors into returning audiences.

Supports Multilingual and Multicurrency

WooCommerce integrates with popular WordPress translation plugins like WPML and Weglot, making it easy to translate your online store into multiple languages. It also lets you set up different currencies based on customers’ locations for a seamless shopping experience.

Running a multilingual WordPress site breaks down language and currency barriers, fostering familiarity and trust with international customers. This personalization can lead to higher customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and market reach.

What You Should Do After Creating an Online Store

Launching your online store is only half the journey. Here are some tips for growing your business and setting it up for success:

Conclusion

The eCommerce industry’s lucrative opportunities inspire more sellers to launch eCommerce stores. With various accessible eCommerce platforms to choose from, anyone can jump on the trend without needing coding skills.  

Through this guide, you learned how to create an eCommerce website with WordPress and extend the store’s functionality with WooCommerce. Let’s recap the steps:

  1. Decide what to sell.
  2. Choose the right WordPress hosting provider.
  3. Install WordPress and configure WooCommerce settings.
  4. Set up payment methods.
  5. Pick an eCommerce theme.
  6. Add products to the eCommerce site.
  7. Install WooCommerce plugins for additional features.

We hope this article helped you launch a successful online store. If you have any questions, check out our FAQ section or leave a comment below. Good luck!

How to Create an Online Store With WordPress FAQ

This section covers the most common questions about building an online store with WordPress.

Can I Build an Online Store With WordPress?

Yes, you can turn your WordPress site into an online store using eCommerce plugins. We recommend using WooCommerce, a popular free plugin that adds eCommerce functionality to WordPress. It has a wide range of features and extensions to help you create a successful eCommerce store.

How Secure Is WooCommerce for Handling Online Transactions?

WooCommerce employs robust encryption and frequent updates to secure online transactions. It complies with the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS), ensuring a safe shopping experience for users and reliability for store owners.

Are There Any Ongoing Costs of Using WooCommerce?

Yes. While WooCommerce is free, running your self-hosted WordPress site requires periodic payments for the web hosting and domain name. Adding extra eCommerce features and customizing your store’s design with premium plugins and themes also incur additional costs.

Author
The author

Jordana Alexandrea

Jordana is a Senior Content Writer with over 5 years of experience in digital marketing and web development. When she’s not busy with work, she dabbles in creative writing and movie reviewing. Follow her on LinkedIn.