1. Choose a domain name in WordPress
In WordPress, creating an online store is similar to creating any website. In fact, unlike e-commerce platforms like Shopify or Adobe Commerce (formerly Magento), the most used CMS in the world works through a plugin (WooCommerce). During this 1st step, you must choose your domain name. It is recommended to opt for a .com or .fr extension and purchase your domain name. Follow the steps given by WordPress to set the basic parameters of your website.
You will also need to choose a web host for your website in order to store all your files. There are different types of hosting: shared, dedicated server, VPS (Virtual Private Server). Make sure you choose the one that will be most suitable for your site in terms of server performance, ease of use, and cost.
2. Install the WooCommerce plugin
WooCommerce is an open source e-commerce solution. Its particularity: it comes in the form of a plugin that allows you to easily create your e-commerce website on WordPress. Once your website is created, you just need to access the section extensions, available on the left sidebar of the WordPress interface to find the WooCommerce plugin and install it. Once the installation is complete, you will need to enter basic information about your store: sector of activity, type of products offered for sale, details regarding your stock, etc.
WooCommerce then appears in the WordPress left sidebar, so you have access to several tabs:
- Generally : this tab contains information about your online store, such as its location, delivery zones and currencies.
- Products: This section allows you to configure product-related parameters such as inventory management or presentation options.
- VAT: you have access to taxes that correspond to your geolocation.
- Dispatch: you choose the terms of delivery, the countries to which delivery or the costs related to each country of dispatch.
- ordered: this tab allows you to configure all the steps from ordering to payment. You configure your general sales conditions, transaction pages or accepted payment types.
- Bills: here you manage customer accounts, as well as redirects depending on the action performed.
- Emails: this section allows you to configure email notifications for each transaction performed.
3. Set a suitable theme for your online store
Choosing the theme, that is, the visual aspect of your online store, is one of the steps that complete the WooCommerce plugin configuration. This is a crucial detail for your e-commerce site, as the theme you choose should highlight your products. Note that WooCommerce works automatically with all WordPress themes, so you have the option to keep the theme initially selected when creating your site. Otherwise, other themes, specially optimized for WooCommerce, are also available. In addition, WordPress also allows you to create your own theme.
Good to know: if you want to have a concrete overview of a specific theme, make sure you add a few products before setting it up.
4. Design the interface and layout of your e-commerce website
WooCommerce installation automatically generates a central navigation interface composed of 4 options: the homepage, the shopping cart, the payment and My account. On the other hand, the presentation of your e-commerce site should be easy to understand. This is reflected in particular by a navigation menu, which should clearly present the options offered by your website. When going to the section Appearance, you can configure the elements to be included in your menu, as well as its structure. Depending on your chosen WordPress interface, through the theme you can make various changes to the layout or menu structure.
5. Add products, text and images
Adding new products is quite intuitive. From the section WooCommerce in the WordPress left sidebar, select Products > Add. The interface is made up of several blocks and allows you to choose a title for your product, integrate text, add shipping details, images and a short description listing the essentials to know about the product. You also have the possibility to add categories or tags to better list your different products.
6. Opt for add-on extensions
Thanks to WordPress and WooCommerce, you have the possibility to optimize your e-commerce site with free or paid add-on extensions. In fact, WooCommerce offers plugins related to payment, booking or shipping. The solution is also compatible with other marketing, payment and analytics tools. The different extensions available are listed on the WooCommerce website.