WordPress is an excellent platform for building a powerful eCommerce store. There are many different themes, plugins, and other tools available to enable you to build a store that will make your brand and products look amazing. WordPress plugins make it easy to transform a WordPress website into an online store, removing the need to develop a store from scratch. This makes it possible for anyone to set up their own online store with plenty of features, without having to be an expert developer. Of course, if you are a developer, it enables you to build powerful eCommerce stores that will please your clients.
To launch a WordPress-powered eCommerce store, there are some steps that you should follow to find success.
Set Up WordPress
If you haven’t already, setting up WordPress is the first step you need to take. You need to find the right hosting provider and ensure you have a domain name for your online store too. There are various options out there and some hosting products may even be designed to work with specific eCommerce plugins. Ecommerce hosting options can be a good choice because they’re designed specifically for online stores and can provide some important features that will help you to set up your store. However, it’s not essential to use a specific eCommerce hosting plan, and you might prefer other options.
Choose an Ecommerce Plugin
There are some great eCommerce plugins that help you to transform your WordPress site into an online store. WooCommerce is probably the most popular option, and for some good reasons, but there are also other choices out there that you might prefer. Here’s a quick look at some of the top choices to help you make a decision.
WooCommerce is the go-to option for a lot of people when they want to create an eCommerce store. There are lots of add-ons and themes that you can use with this plugin and you can connect with the large developer community associated with it. You can even find hosting solutions that are designed just for WooCommerce. It can be used to sell both physical and digital goods and provides inventory management, and shipping, and payment options. One downside is that new users could find there are too many options to choose from.
BigCommerce offers a scalable eCommerce platform that integrates perfectly with WordPress. It will create your sign-in, cart, and account pages for you automatically, in addition to other pages. It’s a very scalable choice for your eCommerce plugin and it allows you to sell across multiple channels. There are also no transaction charges, although there is a yearly sales threshold for each plan.
For anyone selling subscription-based digital products and services, MemberPress offers a WordPress plugin. It has lots of integrations and can integrate with other eCommerce plugins like WooCommerce, plus it has powerful access control for managing user access. The built-in course builder is a handy feature for people who want to sell courses, and it has some great extensions too. One issue with the plugin is that its payment options are more limited compared to others.
Easy Digital Downloads
Another option for digital products is Easy Digital Downloads. If you want to create a store for your digital goods, this plugin makes it easy to create a functional, beautiful store. It’s simple to use and has plenty of extensions, and it works with any WordPress theme. Of course, it’s only designed for selling digital goods, so you need something else to sell physical products.
Plan Your Site
Before creating your eCommerce store with WordPress, you need to plan what your site is going to look like. You should think about what features you want to offer your customers, how you’re going to organize your products, and what essential pages your store needs to have. Get an expert in custom ecommerce web design involved with the planning of your site if you want to make sure you have it all worked out. You can start thinking about including features like a search function and filtering, while also considering how to categorize your products.
Get the Right Theme
After you’ve chosen a plugin for your WordPress eCommerce site, you need a theme to go with it. Not all themes are compatible with all plugins, so you need to make sure you choose the right one. In addition to choosing a compatible theme, you should also consider a few other factors before you decide which theme is right for your store. Be sure to choose a responsive theme that works on all devices and screen sizes. Check how often the theme is updated and maintained too. You should also balance functionality and aesthetic to ensure you end up with a site that looks good and works well.
Customize Your Store
After installing your eCommerce plugin and selecting a theme, you can also customize your store. This could include changing what it looks like aesthetically but also installing add-ons and additional functionality. For example, you might add some extra payment options so that your customers have a choice of ways to pay for their purchases. There are various things that you might want to customize, from the colors of your site and the images that you use to what information you offer to customers about their purchases.
When everything is set up, you can start adding products to your store. Take the time to learn how to do this using your chosen plugin so that you can start quickly adding your products. You might need to make sure you have various materials ready for each product page, including product images and descriptions. You’ll need to have your pricing ready too so that you can accurately price everything when you add it to your inventory. Remember to think about SEO when you’re adding products to your store if you want your site to perform well in search engines.
After your site is set up, you should take steps to start promoting it. WordPress plugins can help you to do this too.