How to Start an Online Store in 2018 –  Quick Step by step Guide

Online Store? Do you really want to create your own store? Then definitely you have a question – how can I create my own online store?

We know that building an online store can be a really difficult task especially when you are not techy. But, you’re not alone. After helping our hundreds of users to start their own online store, we have decided to create the most comprehensive step by step guide on how to build your online store with WordPress.

How to create your online store?

Every day is a better time to start an online business so you should start it today.

Anyone with a laptop or a computer can get started within few minutes and without learning any special skills.Here we are providing complete step by step guide on how to start your own eCommerce website.

The three things you will need to create your store are:

  1. A domain name
  2. A web hosting account
  3. Your proper attention for just 30 minutes.

Yes, it is really that simple.

You will set up your own online store with WordPress in less than 30 minutes and we are here to walk you through every step of the process.

In this tutorial, we will guide you on:

  • How to Register Domain Name for Free
  • How to Choose Best Web Hosting
  • How to Get SSL Certificate for Free
  • How to Install WordPress on your site
  • How to Create WooCommerce store
  • How to Add the Products to your Online Store
  • How to Select Your Theme and Customize it
  • How to Enhance Your Online Store with Plugins
  • Learn WordPress to Grow Your Business

Let’s get started.

Step 1: Set up Your Own Online Store Platform

A big mistake many of the users make is that they choose the wrong platform for their online store.

Thankfully you are on our site, so you will not make that mistake.

There are two popular eCommerce platforms where you can create eCommerce store: Shopify or Combination of WordPress and WooCommerce.

Shopify has fully hosted eCommerce solution that will start with $29 / month. It is a hassle-free solution where you just create your account, log in and start selling. The negative point to Shopify is that it is quite expensive, and payment options are very limited until you pay additional fees.

This is why most users choose WordPress & WooCommerce combination because of the flexibility they offer.

But, How does WooCommerce work?

 

It does require some efforts to setup, but it is worth doing it for a long run. As we know, WooCommerce is the world’s largest eCommerce platform.

In this tutorial, we will take you through how to set up an online store on WordPress using WooCommerce.

To set up your store, you just need to have a domain name, web hosting service, and an SSL certificate.

A domain name is the website’s address on the internet. It is the name of your website and users will have to type this in their browsers to reach your website, for example, google.com or technologyfair.com.

Web hosting is a place where your website lives on the internet. It is your website’s home on the internet. Each and every website on the internet needs to have web hosting.

SSL certificate provides a special security layer to your website, so you can accept sensitive information like credit card numbers and other personal information. This is highly important for you to accept the credit card payments on your website.

Normally a domain name will cost you around $14.99 / year, web hosting plan will cost you around $7.99 / month, and SSL certificate will cost around $69.99 / year.

That will be a lot of startup cost.

Thankfully, Bluehost is an officially recommended hosting provider for WordPress and WooCommerce and they are giving our users a free domain name, with a free SSL certificate, and a big discount on web hosting.

Basically, you can get started for $12.95 / month.

→ Click here to Claim this Exclusive Bluehost offer ←

Bluehost is one of the best and oldest web hosting companies, which started in 1996 even before Google. Bluehost is also the largest brand name if you talk about WordPress hosting because they host a large number of websites including our own.

Let’s get started and purchase a domain with hosting and an SSL.

Open up the Bluehost in a new window using this link and follow the steps.

The first thing you have to do is click on the green “Get Started Now” button to get started.

Bluehost + woocommerce

On the next screen, select the plan that you want – plus and starter are the most popular.

After that, you will be asked to enter your domain name which you want for your website.

Free domain name

Lastly, you will have to add your account information and also finalize the package info and complete the process. On this screen, you will see some extra options that you can purchase.

It is entirely up to if you want to purchase or not, but we generally do not recommend to purchase these now. If you will need in future you can always add them.

Bluehost package

Once finished, you will instantly receive an email with the details on how to login to your web hosting control panel (cPanel). This is the place where you will manage everything from support, emails, and other things.

Now, get started and login to your cPanel. You will see a popup informing you that WordPress with WooCommerce is pre-installed on your website.

Bluehost + woocommerce

You just have to click on ‘Login to your site’ button, and you will be redirected to your WordPress site’s dashboard.

Congratulations, you have completed setting up hosting and domain part.

The next step will be setting up your WordPress site and after that your online store.

Step 2. Set up WordPress

Bluehost has already installed WordPress and WooCommerce on your website.

When you will do the first login to your WordPress, you will get a welcome message and will be asked what kind of website you want to set up.

Bluehost

Click on ‘I don’t need help’ text. Nothing to worry about we will take you through all the necessary steps.

After closing the setup wizard you will see your WordPress admin dashboard which will look like this:

Wordpress Dashboard

First, you need to go to Settings » General page to set your WordPress site’s title and description.

Wordpress Settings

Setting up HTTPS to Use SSL

You got your WordPress hosting package with a free SSL Certificate. This certificate already installed for your domain name. However, you need to configure your WordPress site, so that it loads as HTTPS vs HTTP.

For that go to the Settings » General page and change your WordPress Address and Site Address to use HTTPS instead of HTTP.

http to https

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the blue save changes button to save your settings.

Basic WordPress setup for your site is complete. Now it is the time to setup your online store.

Step 3. Set up a WooCommerce Store

Along with setting up a website to sell products, there are just a few more things like payments, currency, and shipping information that you will need to set up.

You will get ‘Welcome to WooCommerce’ notification on your WordPress Dashboard. To run the setup click on ‘Run setup wizard’.

setup WooCommerce store

Your WooCommerce setup wizard will be launch and you will just need to click on the ‘Let’s go’ button to get started.

WooCommerce dashboard

Some essential pages will be required on WooCommerce for cart, account, shop, and checkout. You just need to click on the continue button to automatically create these pages.

WooCommerce Setup

Now you will be taken to the next step.

WooCommerce will ask where your store is located and what currency and unit measure you will use.

After selecting the location and currency for your store, click on the continue button to go to the next step.

Next, your shipping and tax information will be asked.

WooCommerce setup

On WooCommerce dashboard, you will be able to sell both digital downloads and physical goods which will require shipping. If you face any issues then there are several WooCommerce dashboard demos available on Google.

Just check the box if you want to ship goods only, otherwise, you can leave it unchecked if you want to sell digital goods only.

There will be some tax-related questions you will need to answer. WooCommerce will help you in automatically calculating and adding taxes to your prices.

If you are not sure about the taxes, then you can leave it unchecked. You are always able to add tax information later in WooCommerce settings.

Click on the continue button to go to the next step.

Next, you will have to choose the payment method for your online store.

WooCommerce Payment

By default, WooCommerce already comes with the support for PayPal, PayPal Standard, and Stripe payment gateways. Also, there are several other payment methods which are available for WooCommerce and you can always install them later if you need.

PayPal Standard is the easiest way to accept payments.

Just create an account on PayPal and enter here your PayPal email address and click on the continue button.

A number of people including us, use both the PayPal and Stripe. By using Stripe method, your users are allowed to enter their credit card information on the checkout page without leaving your site and going to PayPal.

You can setup Stripe payment method by just following the instructions provided on the WooCommerce screen.

Once you are done with these steps, your WooCommerce online store setup is finished.

WooCommerce Store dashboard

Now click on the ‘Return to WordPress dashboard’ link and exit the setup wizard.

After completing your WooCommerce setup, you are now allowed to add products to your online store.

Step 4. Adding Products to WordPress Online Store

Let’s go ahead and add your first product to the online store.

You just need to visit Products » Add New page to add your product.

add products to online store

Now, provide the title for your product which will create a permalink for this product automatically and then add some detailed description of the product.

You will see a ‘Product Categories’ box on the right-hand column of the dashboard. Just click on the ‘+Add New Product Category’ to provide a category to this product and also you can add several categories to your products in future. This will allow you and your customers to sort the products and browse the products in different categories easily.

online store Product Categories

Scroll down the screen a little and you will see the Product Data box. This is the place where you need to provide product related information like the pricing, inventory, shipping etc.

add products in WooCommerce

Just below product data box, there is a box to add a short description to your product. This short description will be shown when your users are viewing multiple products on a page.

add products in WooCommerce2

Lastly, on your right-hand column, there are the boxes to add the main product image and a product gallery.

Once you are finished with adding the product information, you need to click on the Publish button and make it live on your website.

Repeat this process to add more products to your store.

Step 5. Select WordPress Theme and Customize

How your WordPress sites look to the visitors is controlled by the WordPress Themes. An online store has products to display so your WordPress Theme is responsible for How your products will be displayed to your visitors. There are a large number of paid and free WordPress themes available.

Bluehost will automatically install the basic Storefront theme to your website. You will just need to customize it as per your needs.

Click on the Appearance » Customize option. It will open the customize page where you can customize your theme and change the settings according to your requirements.

Wordpress Theme Customize

If you do not want to continue with the Storefront theme, then you can use another theme by going to Appearance » Themes page.

WordPress Themes

 Step 6. Enhance Your Online Store Using Plugins

Now your online store is ready. Next step for your store will be adding essential pages like Contact form and about page. You will also need some plugins to make your online store management simple.

WordPress plugins are simple web apps which allow users to add some features to the website.

There are thousands of WordPress plugins available to make your life easier.

We hope that this Step by Step guide on how to build an online store helped you a lot. If you really liked this article, then please share it with your friends so that they can also get benefitted by this article.

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