As you can feel, eCommerce is poised to become a major player in the global retail market and it is believed that more than 8% of all retail sales will be done by e-Commerce in 2027. In this industry, you don’t have to own an international giant brand like Lazada or Redmart to be successful; even local e-Commerce websites can make a nice profit.
In this article, we are going to discuss how we can create a cozy e-Commerce website with WordPress easily and what are the gold keys of this process.
Why we should use WordPress?
WordPress is a free-and-open-source content management system that about 25% of all internet websites are written by this platform. Its open-source, community-managed nature also ensures that WordPress is constantly up-to-date with security patches and new features. Furthermore, there are lots of tutorial videos on social media so you can easily get familiar with them.
WordPress is particularly useful when building an eCommerce website because there are plenty of premade themes suited to an online storefront and also it contains plenty of plugins so you can customize your layouts.
What do we need to make an e-Commerce website?
Here we will teach you in detail how you can start creating a bright e-Commerce website in just 12 steps;
- Create a perfect domain name
Your domain name is your website’s unique address. It’s the part after the ‘www.’ in your URL. You can buy domain names from many sites on the internet at a low rate (15$ – 30$/ year).
We recommend to you to keep your domain name as close to your brand name; because it will be much easier for users to remember it.
- Find an efficient hosting provider
After purchasing a good, short, memorable domain name, now it is time to a web hosting provider. Finding a host means that you are seeking a good and enough land on the internet to establish your new website, so you should be careful.
One thing we will say, though, is skipping shared hosting. When you’re sharing a server with other websites, if one of them gets hacked, your site is left vulnerable, too. Another thing you should be informed of is that it is better to buy a host which is compatible with your business. If you are going to have a website with lots of products and files, a low-space host will not be going to fit your job.
- Install your WordPress
The third step is to install WordPress on your device. Probably two ways to do this thing;
Number one: “One-click” install through your hosting dashboard
The first way is so easy. The point is, when you are looking for a hosting provider, find those providers offering the perk of ‘one-click installs. Once you have signed up with a hosting provider, the only thing you have to do is go into your hosting dashboard and hit a button that says “Install WordPress”.
Number two: install the WordPress manually and upload it to your hosting account
If you see there is no one-click install option of your hosting account, you have to download WordPress on your computer and then uploading it to your account. Although it is not so difficult, you have to complete a bunch of works to reach the goal.
- Find and install your e-Commerce plugin
At this level, we are going to select an e-Commerce plugin for our website. What will separate your WordPress eCommerce website from a standard WordPress website is, your website has developed for selling products directly from the site. There are 3 main e-Commerce plugins
Number one: WooCommerce
It seems WooCommerce is the best choice we have, which has converted into a full platform with an extended plugin system and is highly customizable. WooCommerce features a complete eCommerce backend that helps you build and organize product pages, and provides a shopping cart and checkout process. WooCommerce is free, but you can achieve further features with paid extensions.
Number two: Easy Digital Downloads
Although most e-Commerce plugins are primarily created for physical products, EDD is provided exclusively for selling digital products. EDD allows you to create discount codes, place restrictions on downloads, and provides full tracking and data reporting of downloads. EDD is free too.
Number three: WP eCommerce
It is not quite as fully featured as WooCommerce, but WP eCommerce is another popular choice which we have on the table.
This plugin is also free and It has all the basic features, including product pages, shopping cart, and checkout functionality. You can also purchase premium payment gateways like Stripe and Authorize.net.
- Choose a theme
Your ‘theme’ will act as the basic design for all your web content. The golden advantage of WordPress is being customizable – so you can choose many beautiful layouts to make your website bright.
Unless you are a coding pro and would relish the opportunity for complete customization, it makes sense to choose a theme that looks as close to your desired finished product as possible. There are many sites you can purchase your themes such as ThemeForest and Elegant Themes.
You can also find a selection of free themes in your WordPress directory. You can access them as the following:
- Log into your WordPress dashboard.
- Go to the “Appearance” section, then click “Themes”. As a result, you will go through the themes dashboard.
- Click on the “Add New” button above the themes and then browse themes under many categories like “Featured”, “New” or use the search bar to search for specific industries.
- Once you liked any theme, hit the “Install” button under the theme to download it.
- A button will appear under the theme that says “Activate”. Click on it, and the theme is all yours.
Otherwise, if you want to have one of those premium themes on your dashboard, check these steps;
- Download the .zip file of your new theme.
- Log into your WordPress Dashboard and go to the “Appearance section”. After that, click on “Themes”.
- Click the “Add new” button above the themes. This will take you to the WordPress theme dashboard.
- Click on the blue button with the caption of “Upload Theme”. In the next step, choose your desired theme’s .zip file from your computer.
- Finally, you will then see a success message, with a link to activate your theme.
- Set up the product pages
At this level, we need to create specific pages to present our products to customers. We have to care about this thing that these pages are more frequently going to view than other pages so they must be chic enough.
What does need to inform about our products?
- Main product image
- Additional product images (optional)
- Product description (long)
- A short and brief description
- Product category
- Add your physical products
In the next step, you are going to insert your products on your store website. in the Product Data section, add more details about your product. The first thing to pay attention to is the Product Type drop-down box. To do this, you should define these items for each product;
General features: you can define two elements of “SKU” and “price” in this section. The price can be Regular or Sale. Regular is the price it is sold at normally; Sale is a discounted price that can be scheduled at certain periods.
Shipping: for this part, you can define “weight”, which is in Kg, “dimensions” as the length, width, and height of the product, and “shipping class”, which is different shipping costs for different items.
Advanced: in this section, you have 3 elements of “purchase note”, “enable reviews” and “menu order”. In “purchase note”, the website will send a note about the product the user purchased. In “enable reviews”, users can selectively enable or disable reviews for the products. For “menu order”, users can override the product which you have displayed.
- Add your virtual products
Virtual products are items which are not physically existed, instead, they are downloadable. Some products, such as books, can be both physical or virtual. Adding virtual products is the same as physical ones. However, with virtual products, you’ll check the “Virtual” or “Downloadable” boxes next to Product Type.
For downloadable products, the general tabs get more options;
- Downloadable files links
- Download limits
- Download expiry
- Install additional plugins
Some additional plugins further can upgrade your output and make it more willing to review. Here we have some of them;
- Yoast SEO
Don’t neglect SEO!!! It is an essential element that anybody could your website easily and Yoast SEO is one of the good assistants. It will help you climb the search engine rankings, giving you the best possible chance of securing a spot on page one.
When you are trying to add payment sections to your website, you should be assured the security is also provided. While there are many free security plugins, it is better to pay if you want to be restful. Securi plugin is one of the nice items which guarantee your website’s transactions. It starts at 199$ per year.
- Site reviews
It has been proven that using social media can draw a detailed map where you can establish nice layouts. Installing Site Reviews will enable customers to leave a review on your site.
How can I add additional plugins to my website?
It is so simple. Here we go;
- Log into your WordPress dashboard.
- Next, go “Plugins” click on “Add New”.
- Use the search bar on the top right-hand side to search for specific plugins.
- Once you’ve found your desired plugin, look at its reviews and ratings to check it seems trustworthy. After reviewing, click on the “Install Now” button
- Once the downloading is finished, you’ll get a completion message, and be prompted to click “Activate Plugin”.
- In the last step, go to settings to configure your plugin.
The last step for purchasing a product is payment, so Your eCommerce site needs a means of receiving payments from customers. Most online transactions take place over payment gateways, and it is important to choose the best one for your store.
PayPal is one of the leading payment gateways available, but it’s not necessarily everyone’s preference. There are many other gateways such as 2Checkout and Asia Pay which help your customers to have a better experience.
What should I consider when choosing a payment gateway?
Cost: every gateway charges a certain transaction fee when using it. Try to find a gateway whose service is justifiable enough for the mentioned fee.
Financial information input: Payment gateways will offer two options for receiving financial information from customers. The first one is hosted page, where customers enter their info directly. The second one is integration, where customers input their financial information in a series of fields directly on your website. It is clear, the second method is more convenient but less secure.
Mobile compatibility: nowadays many transactions took place on mobile devices rather than PCs. So your task is to choose a payment gateway that not only supports transactions over mobile but also has an optimized mobile experience with a good UI.
- Add content
Now it is time to adjust the copy on your key pages. In this section, nail all the elements below, and you will have a successful e-Commerce store;
“Microcopy” or “UX copy”, refers to the little bits of navigational copy on your site, as well as error messages and ‘calls to action’ (CTAs). Take about what you are writing. You should know every word is very important and can easily affect the reader’s mind.
You have to notify users who don’t have the full time to read a book so your descriptions must be short and useful. Use bullet points to separate the information.
It makes a big difference to put high-quality images rather than just filling your pages with useless ones. Always remember the better images, the higher performance. So, bring your camera and take some nice pictures of your products.
- Make your site public
In this article we tried to arrange the steps of creating a noble e-Commerce website based on WordPress and by end of this article, you should have a fully functional, eCommerce site that you can continue to expand and improve as your needs require. Furthermore, if still want to learn more about WordPress and e-Commerce stores, you can visit Youtube or other social media and download the tutorial videos.