The WooCommerce plugin offered by WordPress is the most popular platform to create eCommerce websites today. If you are thinking about building your site this way, here is a brief guide to follow:
The very first step in creating your site is installing WordPress. It’s not that hard, but there will be several instructions to follow. You can use WordPress official instructions to install depending on your machine specs. The tricky part is picking a hosting plan. Keep in mind that eCommerce websites require more memory and capacity because they are highly data intensive and attract high numbers of web traffic. So, you will have to be careful when choosing a host for your WordPress site to make sure the plan is suitable.
Choose WooCommerce Plugin
If you want to make your WordPress site into a commercial one, you need to choose an e-commerce plugin. There are several available, but WooCommerce is the most popular and efficient one. WooCommerce will allow you to add commercial functionality to your sites like a shopping card and multiple payment systems. It will also enable you to optimize your site for SEO and marketing purposes. Without this plugin, your site will be just another WordPress blog.
Choose an eCommerce WordPress Theme
Your WordPress theme or web template decided the overall design and layout of your online store. Make sure you choose a theme that is created for commercial purposes. When you use WooCommerce, you will also have to pick a theme that is compatible with the plugin. Most popular eCommerce themes are. You will have to make adjustments to the theme, so your site does not look similar to others. Pick a minimalist theme to make sure your site can load fast without clutter. More importantly, choose a mobile responsive WordPress theme so that even smartphone users can view your site without experiencing lag.
Setup the Permalink Structure for Your Online Store
You will need to set up permalinks efficiently for your online store. Otherwise, a host of useless links will be generated leading to clutter and shunning by search engines like Google. Be very careful when setting up your permalink structure. Once it’s set up, it is tough to change. You can start by the default settings provided by your web theme and WooCommerce extension. Go to the settings to edit page names and show permalinks. Enable Pretty Permalinks first before changing other settings. Use WooCommerce permalinks afterward because each is unique and does not clash with others.
Change General Store Settings
Go to the WooCommerce store settings and change the default settings as you wish. These settings can be adjusted to change the number of products displayed per page, payments settings and so on. This is part of the design process but having the right settings is also important for the overall functionality of your website.
Design Product Pages
Finally, you will have to create unique pages for your products. They should be optimized to compel the users to purchase a product. Include colorful images of your products from different angles with a scale on this page. Write a detailed product description. Also, you will have to optimize each page for SEO purposes. You should also add product categories and tags to keep track of your product pages.
The above is a very basic guide to building an online store using WordPress. If you choose a good hosting plan, theme and the right eCommerce plugin, you will be ready to sell and turn a profit online.