Start with WooCommerce in 5 Steps

While there are a lot of ways to create an online store, WooCommerce is often regarded as one of the most reliable ones. With over 28% of online stores using WooCommerce it is the most popular eCommerce platform. So, it stands to reason that the people at WooCommerce have the necessary skills and expertise to help you set up and run your online store with ease and safety. So, with this in mind, we are going to guide you through the necessary steps for you to start with WooCommerce.

How to start with WooCommerce

Implementing WooCommerce on your website, unfortunately, is not always straightforward. The guide we will outline is for standard WordPress websites that can support WooCommerce. But, if you have a complex website with multiple plugins already running, your best bet is to work with a professional web designer. Keep in mind that most plugins, even on WordPress, have to be optimized and updated if they are to run properly. So, don’t shy away from consulting with professionals in order to keep your website in a top-notch condition.

Step 1: Setting up store hosting and domain

If you already don’t have a website, your first task with be to set up one. In order to do that you will have to set up a web hosting account and a domain name. For hosting, we suggest that you use one of the platforms that WordPress recommends. Among the more common companies are:

  • Bluehost.
  • Fastcomet
  • A2 hosting.
  • Cloudways.

Hosting websites have a pretty straightforward setup procedure where you will select your plan and install the necessary software. Once you get a hosting account, you will have to pick a domain name. After you enter the necessary info that goes with your domain name, you will get an email. There you will get the necessary login info for your web hosting control panel. If you use Bluehost, you will have WordPress and WooCommerce already installed. Once you log into it, you will be able to access the WordPress by clicking the “log in to your site” button.

Step 2: Installing and activating WooCommerce

If you have used Bluehost so far, you already have the WooCommerce plugin installed. If not, you will have to do it manually. The best way to do so is to go to your WordPress website. Then open Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > Search Plugins. There you need to search for WooCommerce and install it. Once you’ve installed WooCoomerce you will have to activate it.

A mouse pointer hoovering over Settings button in WordPress.
Once you get used to it, adding new things to WordPress can be surprisingly easy.

The first option you will get from WooCommers is “What kind of a website you want to set up?“. For now, we suggest that you pick “I don’t need help.” and to keep going. Go to your WordPress dashboard and click the “Run the Setup Wizard” in the WooCommerce panel. This will open up a multistep configuration process to activate your WooCommerce plugin. Here you will only have to enter your private info, so we won’t go into much detail. The one thing that we will note before you start with WooCommerce is that when it comes to online payments, WooCommerce only works with PayPal. At least for now.

Step 3: Adding products

Now you will need to add products that you would like to sell on your website. To do this you need to open the WooCommerce widget on the left side of WordPress and open Products > Add new. Here you will be able to add the name of your product and any description that you see fit. You also have the option of adding regular price and sale price, if you wish to put items on sale. We would advise you to organize your products into categories before adding them, especially if you have a lot. Perhaps you can even consider adding them to a dropdown menu. You can do this by using the “Add new category” option in the “Product categories” panel. It is always a good idea to add images of your products if you have them.

A keyboard enter key that has "Add to cart" written over it.
Set up your website so that it is as intuitive and informative as possible.

Step 4: Theme customization

If you have used Bluehost, you will automatically have the Storefront theme installed for your website. This is a tried and true theme that was developed by the WooCommerce developers. So you can rest assured that it will function properly once you start with WooCommerce. But, by no means should you feel stuck with this theme. There are a ton of other options that you can choose from online. And know that installing and uninstalling themes can be quite easy. We recommend that you check out:

  • Online Shop Pro.
  • Ocean WP.
  • Divi.
  • Ultra.
  • Outfitter Pro.
  • Nozama.

Before you settle on a theme, make sure that it functions well with your website. Both in style and in website performance.

Step 5: Tracking eCommerce performance

Once you start with WooCommerce, it is important that you keep track of how your sales are going. A simple tweak in product categories, descriptions, or even names can have a substantial impact on your sales. Even a small thing like a coupon can substantially boost your traffic. But, you need to know when and why these changes are happening. Furthermore, if you are serious about increasing your online sales, you want to track conversion rates and customer behavior. While these things can be difficult to track, they are vital in your understanding of your customers. The better you are in predicting their behavior, the easier it will be to promote the right product, in the right time, in the right way.

WooCommerce next to various aspects of online marketing, showing you what you'll need to tackle once you start with WooCommerce.
Once you start with WooCommerce there are multiple online marketing aspects that you’ll need to keep track of.

As a bare minimum, we suggest that you install Google Analytics. After that, there a couple of plugins that make eCommerce tracking more manageable. These plugins can vary in availability and ease of use, so we suggest that you research them a bit before you try them out. Among those you should check out are:

  • Analytify.
  • MonsterInsights.
  • ExactMetrics.
  • Enhanced eCommerce Google Analytics plugin.