Checklist for Setting Up a WordPress Store
An eCommerce industry has brought a great revolution across the world. New-age business owners are setting up beautiful online stores to grow their standards and generate maximum revenues quickly and efficiently. They are leveraging the new technologies, online marketing and selling techniques to make their brand stand out from the crowd.
However, creating a fully-fledged eCommerce site is not an easy task. There are lots of things you will need to consider while developing your web stores such as product pages and categories, user-friendly shopping cart, checkout process, personalized homepage design, product images with different angles and a lot more.
Fortunately, WordPress comes with high-powered tools, plugins, and themes that make it cinch to create a fully-interactive and professional-looking web store, without ever generating a single piece of code. There are lots of plugins that helps you setup your WordPress website or should I say, online store.
Here, in this blog post, we will go through a complete checklist for setting up an online store on WordPress. We will include all the steps to help you create an intriguing web store, without any stress and confusion.
1. Choose the best hosting provider
First you will need to choose the most suitable domain name and hosting provider that can serve your unique eCommerce needs on time. So, make sure you understand your business needs and also determine how much web traffic you want to generate on your site before selecting a web hosting plan.
If you want to start off an online store on a small scale, then shared hosting such as Tribulant Hosting, Bluehost, SiteGround etc. would be an ideal solution for you. It offers shared hosting at the most reasonable price, which is good for beginners. Plus, they offer domain name along with the hosting plan so don’t need to purchase it separately.
But if you are planning to host a huge web store or you are getting over a thousand page views, then you must opt for a dedicated or managed hosting provider. While managed hosting is quite expensive, you will get all the advanced features, such as automatic updates and backups, security patches, 24/7 customer support, etc that will help you run your web store without any downtime.
2. Acquire a SSL certificate for your web store
An SSL “Secure Sockets Layer” certificate is essential for every eCommerce site. No matter what type of web business you are running, make sure you add an SSL certificate to give potential web customers a safe and secure shopping experience.
The certificate creates a secure link between your server and your customer’s browser which is displayed in your URL as ‘https://” (also shows a symbol of a green lock along with the site’s URL). So, don’t forget to add an SSL certificate to your WordPress online store.
3. Choose the most suitable eCommerce plugin
WordPress comes with a whole slew of powerful eCommerce plugins to let you convert your regular website into a feature-rich online store. With the help of these plugins, you can customize your web store, add eCommerce – driven features and functionalities on the fly.
They can help you create beautiful product landing pages, simple and intuitive shopping cart, quick and easy checkout process, integration with payment gateways, and a lot more, without even generating a single piece of coding.
Below are some of the best eCommerce plugins that will help you create an online store with ease:
The WordPress Shopping Cart plugin gives you the ability to quickly and seamlessly integrate an online shop with a fully functional shopping cart into any WordPress website. You can start selling any types of products and/or services online with very little effort!
WooCommerce is one of the most popular and trending ways of creating the online store on WordPress. It is an incredible WordPress plugin that comes with a ton of exciting features that let you convert your simple website into a full-fledged eCommerce store instantly.
Although it is a free solution, they can charge for its advanced extensions that can drastically change the look and functionality of your web store without any coding.
WP eCommerce is a powerful WordPress plugin that lets you convert your simple site into an interactive online store, without ever getting your hands dirty in coding. It lets you add products to your catalog on the fly. You can even monitor your sales, prepare reporting, configure taxes, integrate payment gateways and also provides 24*7 customer support.
Easy Digital Downloads
Easy Digital Downloads is an incredible plugin for creating a web store for selling online digital products to web customers and subscribers. It is a fantastic solution that helps you create professional looking eCommerce site for your business.
4. Install the eCommerce plugin
After selecting the most suitable eCommerce plugin, you will need to install it into your WordPress site. This is a simple process. All you need to do is to select and download a particular eCommerce plugin and install it from the dashboard of your WordPress site.
Below are the steps to install and activate the eCommerce plugin into your WordPress site:
- Login into your WordPress installation
- Hit the ‘Plugins’ item in your WP dashboard
- Click on the ‘Add New’ option
- Search for the ‘Selected eCommerce plugin’
- Click on ‘Install Now’ button
This will download and install your plugin files automatically within a matter of few seconds.
5. Setting up Product Pages
Once you are done with the plugin installation, it’s the time to set up the product pages for your online store. Since each eCommerce plugin comes with the instructions on how to set up product pages, you can easily convert your site into an online store within few clicks.
Just make sure that you choose a plugin that comes with comprehensive details on how to use a plugin – this makes it easy to set up a web store, without any technical guidance. After setting up your pages, ensure that you add the product name, description, image, price and reviews to make it more interactive and user-friendly.
6. Select and customize your WordPress theme
A design of an online store can make or break your web business. If you want to engage more web visitors towards your store, you will need to enhance the overall look of your site according to your brand.
Fortunately, WordPress comes with a ton of themes that will showcase your products and services in the most appealing way.
You can even customize the default settings of your theme such as color scheme, icons, header, footer, layouts, font size, font style, and a lot more to reflect your brand the way you want. To customize your store, you will need to:
Go to the Appearance (in your WP dashboard) → customize page → this will launch theme customizer to let you tweak the theme settings easily.
7. Don’t forget to review your site’s settings
The best part about WordPress plugins that they let you customize the design, functionality such as the style of the buttons, the size of the fonts, and borders of your products, without any coding. As these aspects are set by default, you will need to edit it to reflect your branding to your web customers. For that, you will need to tweak some of the CSS codings of your store settings.
Also, cross-check the settings of your product images. You can optimize the size of your images if you are having too large image files. This will make your store run faster and give your web customers a seamless shopping experience.
Apart from this, review the permalink settings on each of your product pages. Customize it to make it more SEO friendly. This will help you get better visibility on search engine platforms. You should also change the metadata of each of your pages and posts to make your site more search engine optimized.
8. Extend the functionality of your web store
There are many free as well as premium plugins to let you extend the functionality of your web store, without generating a single piece of coding. You can add advanced features and functions such as multiple online payment methods, integration with payment gateways, incorporating one-page checkout process, free shipping options, adding discount coupons and deals and a lot more.
These plugins will give your web customers a rich shopping experience and encourage them to buy from your store over and over again.
No matter what you are selling online, just make sure your web store encourage web visitors to make a purchase whenever they visit your site. All the steps mentioned above in this blog post will help you convert your WordPress site into a fully-fledged eCommerce store, without any technical assistance.
Lucy Barret is associated with HireWPGeeks Ltd., a leading WordPress Development Company and handles all major web development projects along with her team of developers. She is also a blogger and loves to write technical articles on various topics. You can follow her on Twitter.