Last Updated on August 2, 2021 by Obaro Alidou K.
If you want to create your first WooCommerce store and don’t know where to start from, here is the best place. WooCommerce is the most popular, flexible, and cheapest self-hosted eCommerce solution. It is also one of the most SEO friendly out there. In this full beginner’s guide I will show you how to start a WooCommerce store fast and easily without typing a single line of code.
But first, let’s discuss the pros and cons of using WooCommerce.
Advantage Of WooCommerce For Your Shop?
WooCommerce is the most popular ecommerce builder because it is (kind of) free. Here some advantages of using it for your ecommerce project:
- Low starting cost
- It is (kind of ) free to use (more on that in the cons below)
- Easy to use
- Integrates with WordPress
- Many free themes available
- Lots of plugins and add-ons
- Lots of payment methods
- Physical & digital products
- Service selling is possible
- SEO friendly
- Very flexible
- Developer friendly
- Can add a blog to your store
- Backed by a huge community of developers for support
WooCommerce is really easy to use, flexible, and has the lowest starting cost as well.
Let’s now see what is not so good about WooCommerce…
The Cons Of Using WooCommerce For Your Shop?
The top two disadvantages of WooCommerce are:
#The Final Cost
I said above that WooCommerce is kind of free. Yes, you can install it for free but you first need to pay for web hosting. While you can get a cheap hosting service for as low as $5/month, things can get quickly expensive when you grow or need some more features. The fact is that WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin and WordPress is known to be a resource hugging software. For example, when you start getting 50k+ visits per month with like 100 products on your store, your site might start running slower. This means you will need to upgrade your hosting package or move to a Managed WordPress hosting. It is a good thing but it costs around $30/month and for 50k+ visits you might need to pay even more (like $60/mo) for hosting.
Another pain point about the final cost is that there many piecemeal payments. For example, let’s say to want to add booking to your store. This will cost you around $259/year. Backups and extra security will cost you around $10/mo unless you pay for managed WordPress hosting. I’m not even including website builders and premium themes cost if you want your website to look professional.
#The Learning Curve
With WooCommerce you can’t just focus on marketing your business and making sales. You will also need to have some technical knowledge or a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and PHP to make some customizations or pay a developer to do it.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not telling you that WooCommerce is not good. You can use it at minimal cost if you just need the essentials of running an online shop. However, when you start growing or want some specific features or your business is becoming serious, the cost can quickly increase from $5 to $300+/month.
So if you are a pure beginner who don’t want to spend a lot of time learning or an entrepreneur who needs his/her full time to manage and grow his/her business, you might need a managed WordPress hosting, hire a developer or just choose a managed ecommerce solution instead.
The most beginner-friendly I have used is Kidaaga.io. It is a fully hosted and hassle-free eCommerce platform that allows you to start your online store within 5 minutes. You don’t need web hosting or tech skills, it is the easiest to use I have found, and it comes with global payment methods to collect payments from your customers. The coolest thing about Kidaaga.io is that it includes mobile, tablet, and desktop apps for free!
Start selling with kidaaga.io just takes the time of logging in, adding products, and setting up payment methods. If you just want to start selling physical products in minutes without the need for extra features, I highly recommend going with Kidaaga.io and it is free to start with.
What Do You Need To Start A WooCommerce Store?
Anyone with a computer and a good Internet access can create a WooCommerce store in less than an hour and without the need of knowing how to code.
So what do you actually need to get your WooCommerce store up and running?
- A domain name (this will be the name of your online store like amazon.com)
- A good web hosting made for ecommerce (this is where your shop files, products, and images are stored to be available to buyers on the internet)
And finally, 30 minutes of attention to follow the steps below.
So without any further ado, let’s jump on the actual process.
How To Start A WooCommerce Store Fast (For Beginners)?
#Step 1. Get A WooCommerce Hosting and Domain Name
To get your shop live on the internet, you need two things: a domain name and web hosting as discussed from the beginning of this tutorial.
A domain name is your ecommerce website’s address on the internet. It is what people type in their browsers to land on your website. For example, amazon.com, ebay.com, giantblogger.com.
Web hosting is the place your shop lives on the internet. Everything you put on your online shop (items for sale, images, product descriptions, payment methods, etc.) is stored there. Web hosting is what makes your online store available on the internet 24h/7/365. Thankfully, you can get both at the same place. I will show you in this guide how to get the best web hosting for WooCommerce and set up your ecommerce store from start to finish.
Which Web Hosting To Choose?
As we are going to use WordPress + WooCommerce, you need a web hosting that is optimized to run WooCommerce fast. Then, as you are launching an online store, you need to make sure the hosting provides not only SSL certificates, but also some extra security steps like DDoS protection and Web Application Firewalls.
Finally, the host should provide a WooCommerce dedicated support to assist with common WooCommerce issues.
After having tested over 98 website hosting providers, I trust FastComet for beginners and small budgets, and Kinsta for enterprises, high budget and high traffic stores. They supply clients with optimized servers for WooCommerce and some of the most helpful technical teams I’ve seen.
However, as you are just starting out, using FastComet is a smart choice.
FastComet provides cloud hosting meaning your online store is hosted on a whole network of hundreds of servers with 12 cloud datacenters worldwide to choose from, pure SSD storage, latest server technologies, free Virus Scans, BitNinja security, free SSL certificates, full account isolation in the cloud, and a proactive 24h/7 support.
Next, as you are launching an online store, I recommend you choose the FastCloud Plus plan to start with and click on “GET STARTED” button. But feel free to choose any plan you feel comfortable with.
On the next screen, enter the domain name you want for your online store and click on “USE THIS DOMAIN”.
On the following page, fill in your contact information, choose a password to create your hosting account, check the “Terms & Conditions” box, and click on COMPLETE ORDER to get your hosting account.
#Step 2. Setting Up WordPress
The first step after getting your hosting and domain name from FastComet is to install WordPress. So let’s do that…
First, login to your FastComet account (just go to FastComet, click the login button at the top menu, and enter your mail and password).
Once logged in, scroll down to the “Services” section and click on cPanel icon.
You will be asked to enter a master password. Just type in your hosting account password and click “proceed”
This will bring you to your cPanel account. To start the WordPress installation process, scroll down to the “softaculous” section and click on the WordPress icon.
On the following page, click “Install Now”
Next, fill in your store details, and click on the blue “Install” button.
Installation URL: select your domain name, and for the “In Directory”, leave it blanc (don’t put anything there).
Admin Username: this is your WordPress/shop username. Choose a username different from the default “admin”. I recommend you pick something hard to guess. This will put an extra security step for your store.
Admin Password: Choose a strong password to make it hard for malicious attacks to access your store.
Admin Email: Type in your real email. Everything related to your ecommerce store installation and reports will be sent there.
The installation process lasts 3-10s and then you will get a congratulations message!
From now, you can access your website’s admin panel or WordPress dashboard by just typing yourdomainname followed by /wp-admin (this way: myniceshop.com/wp-admin) in your web browser. Of course, replace myfirstshop.com with your own domain name.
This will take you to the WordPress login page. Putin your WordPress username and password, then click on Login to access your WordPress dashboard.
Once logged in, your WordPress dashboard looks like this:
Note: Your website admin panel or WordPress dashboard refers to the same thing. It is where you control/set everything on your online store. From now, your WordPress dashboard is where you will spend most of your time.
Now that you have WordPress installed on your domain, the next big step is installing WooCommerce to run your online store. Don’t worry it just takes about 30s. So let’s jump to that…
#Step 3. Install And Setup WooCommerce
WooCommerce is the tool that will run your online store. It handles every aspect of your business including adding products, setting prices and discounts…
To install WooCommerce, hover the mouse over Plugin and click Add New from your WordPress dashboard.
After installing WooCommerce, you need to activate it before it starts working. So click “Activate”.
YEP; it is that simple. Your online store is now up and running. But before you start adding products and selling, there are a few things you need to define like your shop address, currency, payment method, and shipping information.
After activating WooCommerce, a “Welcome to WooCommerce” notification appears on your WordPress dashboard. Go ahead and click on the “Yes please” button. This will launch the WooCommerce setup wizard.
To get started, WooCommerce needs your store location, address, and whether you are building your own store or one for a client. Once you provide the info, click “Continue”
Next step, you will need to tell WooCommerce in which industry your online shop operates in.
Don’t forget to always click on the “Continue” button to move on.
Next, you will have to define whether you are going to sell physical, digital products or both. Then decide if you want more features like Membership, subscriptions, bookings, and bundles for your ecommerce store.
Next, tell Woocommerce whether you are just starting or already have a business in place, and decide if you want to install the free business features. Then hit the blue “Continue” button to move on next step.
Now select a theme for your ecommerce website.
Themes in WordPress control your shop’s design . The simplest theme to use for your WooCommerce store is “Storefront”. Just select it and click “Continue”.
#Step 4- Setting up Payment Methods
In this section you will have to choose a payment method for your online store.
There are many payment methods available for WooCommerce which you can install.
But by default, WooCommerce comes with support for WooCommerce Credit card payments, Direct Bank transfer, Check payments, Cash on delivery, and PayPal Standard. You can install Stripe as well to collect credit card payments.
First, hover the mouse over WooCommerce and click on Settings.
Next, click on the “Payments” tab
The easiest way to accept payment is using PayPal Standard. You just need to enter your PayPal email address and you are good to go. So let’s do that.
Activate “Paypal Standard” on next page and click on the “Set up” button.
Finally, fill in the next page with your Paypal email and click on “Save Changes.”
After setting up Paypal, the next most popular payment method is credit card. You can use WooCommerce payment to collect credit card payments.
To get it up and running, you first need to click on the payment link from your dashboard.
On the next page, click on the “Set up” button.
Now just follow the instructions to get it working and you are all set. Once you’re done, your online store is all set up and ready to start selling.
After setting up WooCommerce and payment methods, you can now add products to your online store and start making sale!.
Without any further talk, let’s move on to the funniest step of adding products to your store…
#Step 5: Add Products To Your WooCommerce Store
Adding products to your online store is simpler than you might think. Just go to Products >> Add New from your WordPress dashboard.
On the new page, give a title to your product and provide its detailed description. Then on the right hand column, add a new category for your product. This is to make it easy for your clients to browse products.
Now scroll down to the “Product Data” tab to select the type of product (simple, grouped, variable, or external/affiliate), whether it is downloadable or not, and provide the pricing, shipping, and inventory information.
Next, scroll down again to the “Product Short Description” box to provide a short description of the product. Then at the right hand, add images for illustration. If the product requires more than one image, you have the option to “Add product gallery images”.
Once you are done, click the “Publish” button to make your product available to customers on your ecommerce store and you are all set. Repeat the process to add as many products as you want to your store.
Congrats! You have just started your first eCommerce website and added products for sale.
What is next?
Well; you need one last thing before you start marketing your product: making your ecommerce store look beautiful….
#Step 6: Designing Your Online Store To Catch Customers
Making your online store beautiful is a strong marketing tactic. The more professional it looks, the more likely customers will browse your product and eventually buy from you.
When it comes to design, it’s better to see it than just reading. So once you have the Storefront theme installed, watch this video to design your store.
Getting an ecommerce website is a good way to reach a larger audience, increase your customer base, and make more sales. WooCommerce is a flexible ecommerce solution with the lowest starting cost. You can sell any type of products and expand easily as you grow.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable with installing WordPress and dealing with themes, plugins, extra payments for features, and the learning curve, or you just want a straightforward path to sell your physical products, then Kidaaga.io might be the right choice.
Want a hassle-free option?
What do you think about starting an eCommerce website? What is your pain? Share your experience in the comment section below.
Have a wonderful day!