Do you want to open an online store? We understand that the thought of creating an online store can be terrifying, especially if you are not technically savvy. You’re not alone, though. We decided to create the most comprehensive guide on how to build your online store after assisting hundreds of users in starting their online stores.
What Do You Need to Get Started with an Online Store?
There has never been a better time than now to start an online business.
Anyone with a computer can get started in minutes and without learning any special skills.
To start an online store, you’ll need three things:
- A concept for a domain name (This is the name of your online store, for example, madigitals.com)
- A web hosting service
- An internet hosting account (this is where your website lives on the internet)
For 30 minutes, you have my undivided attention.
Yes, it really is that simple.
We’ll walk you through each step of setting up your own online store with WordPress in less than 30 minutes.
This tutorial will go over:
How to Register a Free Domain Name &Hosting Account
How to Setup WordPress
How to Set Up a WooCommerce Shop
How to Include Products in an Online Store
How to Choose and Customize a Theme
How to Use Plugins to Expand Your Online Store
Learning WordPress and Growing Your Business
Ready? Let’s get started.
Step 1: Construct Your Online Store Platform
The most common error most users make is failing to select the appropriate platform for their online store.
Fortunately, you’re here, so you won’t make that mistake.
We recommend two popular eCommerce platforms: Shopify and WordPress + WooCommerce.
Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce solution with monthly fees starting at $29 USD. It’s a simple solution in which you simply log in and begin selling. The disadvantage of Shopify is that it can become quite costly, and your payment options are limited unless you pay additional fees.
Because of the flexibility it provides, most users prefer WordPress + WooCommerce. It does necessitate some setup, but it is worthwhile in the long run.
WooCommerce is the world’s largest eCommerce platform (compare Shopify and WooCommerce).
This tutorial will show you how to set up an online store in WordPress with WooCommerce.
To get started, you’ll need a domain name, web hosting, and an SSL certificate.
A domain name is the internet address for your website. It is the address that users will enter into their browsers to get to your website (for example: google.com or madigitals.com).
Web hosting is the location of your website on the internet. It is the internet home of your website. Web hosting is required for every website on the internet.
Your website’s SSL certificate adds a special security layer, allowing you to accept sensitive information such as credit card numbers and other personal information.
This is required in order for your website to accept credit card payments.
A domain name typically costs $14.99 per year, web hosting costs $7.99 per month, and an SSL certificate costs $69.99 per year.
That is a significant initial investment.
Our Recommend Hosting Company, an official WordPress and WooCommerce hosting provider, has agreed to provide our users with a free domain name, free SSL certificate, and a web hosting discount.
In essence, you can get started for $5.95 per month.
Recommended Hosting Company
There are so many hosting companies out there you can choose from but we give just 3 out of all.
Let’s get started by purchasing your domain, hosting, and SSL. Follow along by opening any of the hosting link in a new window using the link above. The first step is to click on the green Get Started Now button to begin.
Select the appropriate plan on the following screen (starter and plus are the most popular). Following that, you will be prompted to enter your website’s domain name.
Finally, you must enter your account information and finalize the package information to complete the process. Optional extras are available for purchase on this screen.
It is entirely up to you whether or not you buy these, but we generally do not recommend it. If you decide you need them later, you can always add them.
When finished, you will receive an email with instructions on how to access your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is where you manage everything, including support and emails.
Go ahead and access your cPanel.
A popup will appear informing you that WordPress with WooCommerce is already installed on your website. Simply click the ‘Login to your site’ button to be taken to the dashboard of your WordPress site.
Congratulations, you have completed the hosting and domain part of the setup process.
The following step is to set up your WordPress site, followed by your online store.
Step 2. WordPress Installation
WordPress and WooCommerce have been installed automatically on your website by hosting account. You will see a welcome message when you first log in to WordPress. You will be asked what type of website you wish to create.
Proceed to the ‘I don’t need help’ link.
Don’t worry, we’ll walk.
Proceed to the ‘I don’t need help’ link.
Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the entire process.
When you finish the setup wizard, your WordPress admin dashboard will look like this:
To begin, go to Settings » General and enter your WordPress site title and description.
Configuring HTTPS to Use SSL
A free SSL Certificate was included with your WordPress hosting package. This certificate is already associated with your domain name. However, your WordPress site must be configured so that it loads as https rather than http.
Change your WordPress Address and Site Address to https instead of http on the Settings » General page.
Remember to scroll to the bottom of the page and click on to save your settings, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the save changes button.
Your WordPress installation is now complete. It is now time to launch your online store.
Step 3. Configuring Your WooCommerce Store
There are a few things you must set up before you can begin selling, such as currency, payments, and shipping information.
On your WordPress admin pages, you will see a ‘Welcome to WooCommerce’ notification. Proceed to the ‘Run setup wizard’ button in the notification.
This will launch the WooCommerce setup wizard, where you can get started by clicking the ‘Let’s go’ button.
WooCommerce requires a few key pages for the cart, account, shop, and checkout. You can create these pages automatically by clicking the continue button.
This takes you to the next step.
You must now tell WooCommerce where your store is located, as well as which currency and unit measure to use.
After you’ve chosen your location and currency, click the continue button to proceed.
Following that, you must enter shipping and tax information.
WooCommerce can be used to sell digital downloads as well as physical goods that require shipping.
If you will be shipping goods, check the box; otherwise, leave it unchecked if you will only be selling digital goods.
You must then respond to the tax question.
WooCommerce can help you calculate and add taxes to your prices automatically.
If you are unsure, simply leave it unchecked.
You can always add tax information from the WooCommerce settings later.
To proceed, click the continue button.
Following that, you will be asked to select a payment method for your online store.
WooCommerce includes payment gateway support for PayPal, PayPal Standard, and Stripe by default.
There are numerous other payment methods available for WooCommerce that you can add later if necessary.
PayPal Standard is the simplest way to accept payment.
Enter your PayPal email address and press the continue button.
Many people, including ourselves, use both PayPal and Stripe.
You can allow your users to enter their credit card information on the checkout page without using Stripe.
leaving your site and going to PayPal
Stripe can be configured by following the instructions on the WooCommerce screen.
Your WooCommerce online store is now fully operational.
To exit the setup wizard, click the ‘Return to WordPress dashboard’ link.
You are now ready to add products to your online store after completing the WooCommerce setup.
Step 4. Product Uploading to Your Online Store
Let’s begin by adding your first product to your online store.
To add a new product, go to the Products » Add New page.
Give your product a title first, followed by a detailed description.
The ‘Product Categories’ box can be found in the right hand column.
Click the ‘+Add New Product’ button.
To create a category for this product, click the ‘+Add New Product Category’ button.
This enables you and your customers to easily sort and browse products.
Scroll down a little to find the Product Data box.
This is where you will provide product information such as pricing, inventory, shipping, and so on.
A box to add a product short description will appear below the product data box.
When users are viewing multiple products on a page, this brief description will be displayed.
Finally, on the right-hand column, there are boxes for adding a main product image and a product gallery.
When you are satisfied with all of the product information you have entered, click the Publish button to make it live on the website.
Repeat the process as needed to add more products.
Step 5. WordPress Theme Selection and Customization
Themes determine how your WordPress sites appear to users when they visit them.
They also have control over how your products are displayed in a WooCommerce store.
There are thousands of WordPress themes available, both paid and free.
Your Bluehost hosting account will install the Storefront theme for your website automatically.
You will need to modify it to meet your requirements.
Navigate to the Appearance » Customize page.
This will launch the theme customizer, where you can modify various theme settings.
If you don’t like the Storefront theme, you can change it by going to the Appearance » Themes page.
If you need assistance choosing a theme, please see our guide on
If you need assistance choosing a theme, please see our guide on 9 factors to consider when choosing the best WordPress theme.
Step 6. Plugins can help you expand your online store.
Now that you’ve created your online store, you’ll probably want to start adding other common elements to your website, such as a contact form, about page, and so on.
WordPress plugins are required to further customize WordPress and add features such as contact forms, galleries, sliders, and so on.
WordPress plugins are apps that allow you to extend the functionality of your website.
So, do I really need a website for my company?
The final decision
Hopefully, you’ve realized that the question isn’t “do I need a website for my business?”
By now, you’ve probably realized that the question isn’t “do I need a website for my business,” but “can I afford not to have a website in the digital era?”
And the answer, if you want to thrive in the long run, is no.
A website is one of the most important investments a company can make in its future.
If you’re ready to get started with a small business website, you can Request a Quote from us Here.