A Beginner’s Guide to Using WooCommerce

WordPress has a complete grip on the web design market and now controls more than half the market share. The CMS tool is used to create a variety of internet platforms for numerous purposes. The types of internet platforms that can be developed using WordPress include company websites, personal websites, portfolio websites for professionals, and of course, blogs.

Another type of internet platform that can be built using the WordPress tool is an e-commerce website. This is a web platform that is solely used for carrying out direct commercial activities.

E-commerce has become a huge part of the internet and is responsible for generating billions of dollars in revenue. Thanks to E-commerce and innovative developments in product shipping, you can make a purchase from the comfort of your home and have it delivered to you on the same day without any hiccup.

WordPress has become the go-to web design tool for individuals and businesses looking to own an e-commerce website. It has proven to be both reliable and efficient as an e-commerce platform. It is, however, only able to carry out this important e-commerce function with the aid of an essential plugin, WooCommerce.

Renowned as WordPress’ most popular plugin, WooCommerce actively competes with other top e-commerce platforms on the internet including Shopify and BigCommerce. It controls over 30% of the e-commerce market share and is the shopping platform used by all WordPress users.

Why WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is an open source e-commerce solution that is acquired in the form of a plugin. It perfectly integrates with WordPress sites, making it the default e-commerce plugin for WordPress. The plugin, which was built by a team of developers at WooThemes, offers a secure e-commerce solution that is completely responsive and easy to use. Its setup is also elementary and it gives complete control to you the user.

There are several reasons why WooCommerce is the ideal e-commerce platform for your website. First and foremost, since it is more probable that you are going to be using WordPress as your web building tool, WooCommerce should automatically become your e-commerce solution. Both tools are just perfectly designed to work together; hence, there is no reason to even consider any other alternative.

Apart from this obvious point, there are other reasons why WooCommerce should be the platform of choice for you. Here are some of the pertinent reasons:

You can sell anything

This is perhaps the most important benefit of using WooCommerce. There is basically no limit to what can be sold on the platform. Whether you intend on selling physical products like electronics, appliances, and clothing or want to sell digital products like e-books and apps, WooCommerce is able to cater to your needs in order to ensure that your online store is productive.

The e-commerce platform also has a variety of free and premium extensions that allow you to include things like bookings, subscriptions, and membership payments.

You can sell and ship to any place

E-commerce has helped to facilitate global transaction by making it easy for sellers to reach out to customers scattered across the globe. WooCommerce also contributes to this impressive feat, allowing its users to be able to offer a wide range of shipping options, while also giving real-time shipping costs.

With WooCommerce, you can also limit the number of countries you sell to if you’re unable to ship to some particular countries.

You can accept various payment methods

This is the most important aspect of e-commerce for sellers because it is the part where they receive payment for sold products. WooCommerce accepts a majority of the used credit/debit cards as well as other payment methods like BACS, PayPal, and even cash on delivery.

WooCommerce also comes with about 140 payment gateways, which are region specific. They include Aunthorize.net, Stripe, and Amazon Payments.

It allows easy customization

A WooCommerce shop can be easily modified either to blend with the rest of the WordPress theme or have its own distinct design. This powerful visual feature is one of the reasons why it is the most renowned e-commerce platform on the market.

How to Select Ideal Web Hosting for WooCommerce Sites

If you want to integrate WooCoomerce into your WordPress website, it is crucial to the platform’s performance for you to choose a web hosting service that is both competent and dependable.

There are various things you should look out for when selecting a web host for your store. The most important thing should, however, be compatibility. This means that your web host must have a WordPress hosting package that is specifically for websites run with the WordPress platform.

A web host that offers this service will definitely be able to host your WooCommerce store without any issue. You should also read the customer reviews of a hosting company before finally deciding to settle for it.

WooCommerce Installation and Activation

Installation and Activation

To download, install, and activate WooCommerce on your WordPress site, you should visit the plugin section of your admin page and enter WooCommerce into the search box.

When it brings out the WooCommerce plugin in the result page, you click on “Install” to begin the process.

After installation, you then activate the plugin by clicking on “Activate”.

This creates two new menus and adds them to the admin page. The menus are WooCommerce and Products.

You must then proceed to run the setup wizard for WooCommerce, which helps to create all the vital components of an online store. These components include the shop itself, the checkout tool, the cart, and of course, the user account as well as the database.

The names of these components can also be changed if you wish.

Configuring WooCommerce

Though you have your WooCommerce site setup, you still haven’t configured it to become functional. That means the features and functions haven’t been customized to meet your store’s needs.

To do this, click on WooCommerce while on the admin page and navigate your way to “Settings”.

The WooCommerce settings page is filled with several tabs. Click on “General” to begin configuration.

General

You can configure any of the following features on the General tab:

Base Location

This is the base point of your e-commerce site and the exact location of your business. It isn’t only used to give buyers a sense of security, it is also valuable for calculating tax rates as well as shipping rates.

Selling Location

This feature helps you to choose the countries you’re willing to sell to. You can either choose to sell to all customers regardless of the location or limit to certain countries that allow a particular payment method. You can also restrict certain countries that are difficult to ship to.

Customer Address

This is a very valuable feature because it helps you to determine the tax and shipping costs for your customers’ purchases depending on their locations. If your online store only caters to customers in your base location, you can provide the tax and shipping costs when the checkout process is nearly completed. Otherwise, you will have to make use of the Geolocate tool to confirm your customers’ locations.

Currency Option

The “General Tab” also allows you to define a currency for your online store. Of course, the base currency remains the US Dollars; you can, however, change it in order to select a currency that perfectly fits a customer’s location.

Products

Next to the General Tab in the settings page of WooCommerce is the Products Tab. This is an important aspect of your online store because it basically determines how your products will be displayed for buyers to see.

There are several settings that can be modified in the Products Tab. The manner in which you configure the features should be dependent on the products you intend to sell and the customers you wish to reach.

General

This includes those general features that are pivotal to the execution of e-commerce transactions. It includes things like the weight of the product or the unit dimension that is used to measure major attributes.

You can also select the manner in which product ratings are dropped for purchased items. The star rating system is, however, the most commonly used for e-commerce platforms.

Display

This is crucial to the success of an e-commerce website because it determines the ease with which prospective buyers are able to make a purchase. With this feature, you can set a web page style for your online store, choose a parameter for sorting products, and also choose a layout for the display of your products.

The parameters that are available for the sorting of products include price, most recent, popular, and rating.

Other display features that can be customized are the size of the image catalogue, the product images as well as the thumbnail.

Inventory

This gives you control of your store’s inventory, allowing you to manage it efficiently. You can configure your store to hold on to products for customers and also notify them when products are running low or out of stock.

Downloadable Products

If you intend to sell downloadable products like e-books and mp3s, you can configure your store to use any of the reliable download mediums for your customers. They can also access the file after a login process or immediately after payment.

Tax

The tax setting of your online store is pretty much essential to the final calculations of a product’s price. You must look into the tax rules for local purchases as well as international commerce before configuring this setting.

This is important so that you do not sell at a low price and end up footing the tax costs with your profit.

Checkout

The checkout is the crux of an e-commerce transaction because it is the part where money is exchanged and the process of product transfer is instigated. The Checkout Tab allows you to modify the checkout process so that it suits your online store’s needs.

You can enable the use of coupons and also incorporate guest checkouts for visitors who do not want to create an account on your site. Another feature you can configure is the page where a customer is directed to upon checking out.

Finally, the tab helps you to select the appropriate payment gateway for your customers, ensuring that the purchases are swift and painless.

Shipping

There are different shipping settings for you to use when configuring the tab for your store. The primary settings you must handle are the calculations, the destinations and the country restrictions of your store.

You must also configure the shipping methods that will be used on your e-commerce site. When you select a method, you still have to fill in the necessary details so that your customers are well aware of crucial information like its costs, its duration, and its restriction.

Accounts

Configuring this setting helps you to establish an effective frontend registration mechanism for your online store. You will have to choose a default page where users will be directed to for the purpose of creating an account and accessing account information. The page should be able to display basic information like customer name and address. It should also be able to provide a Password Recovery feature and a Logout option.

You can also make it mandatory for customers to register or login to their accounts before beginning the Checkout process.

Emails

Electronic messaging is an important component of e-commerce because it helps alert you to certain transactions on your online store.

The Email Tab on the Settings page carries out a variety of functions including sending alert notifications for new orders and cancelled orders, sending notifications for completed orders, and also when new accounts are created.

The template of the email can also be modified to match your site’s theme.

API

Not only does this tab allow you to enable the REST API function, it also helps you to create Webhooks and Keys for your online store.

Final Thoughts

WooCommerce is definitely the best option for site owners with little web expertise. This is mainly because it is quite easy to use and can be perfectly integrated into WordPress. Setting up your WooCommerce store is indeed effortless, and in just a few minutes, it will be up and running and ready for commercial transactions.

Other part of the equation

At Nestify, we specialize in fully managed WooCommerce hosting, so you can focus on growing the business without worrying about your store. Our team is expert in WooCommerce performance optimization and can reduce up to 10 seconds of loading time from WooCommerce stores, giving you competitive advantage.

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