Woocommerce tutorial – Overview ( Beginners User Guide)
Let this blog serve as your Woocommerce tutorial designed for beginners. We will cover various aspects, questions, and help guide you through setting up your first Woocommerce store!
Some of the topics we will go over are:
- How Woocommerce works
- How to use Woocommerce
- Woocommerce vs other softwares
- What you will need to set up your store
- How to setup your Woocommerce shop page
- How to add products to your store
- The best plugins for Woocommerce
If you are familiar with E-commerce, WordPress, or working on your own website, chances are you have heard of Woocommerce. If you are not, let us fill you in…
What is Woocommerce – (Introduction to Woocommerce)
Woocommerce is a free software designed to make selling products and services online easy. It is recommended by WordPress and many other big name website builders have them integrated within their websites by default. Currently there are over million business owners across the world that use Woocommerce for their E-commerce processes (online stores).
Woocommerce was first developed as an extension for WordPress (The largest website building platform on the market) and quickly took over the online E-commerce software industry by storm. Woocommerce made it easy for users to build online stores from scratch or add features of Woocommerce to an existing ecommerce store.
Woocommerce is free to use but owning your own website domain and web hosting for your website where you will set up your Woocommerce will cost you a few dollars. We specialize in setting up Woocommerce stores and building high converting beautiful websites for businesses with Woocommerce integration if you decide you want to leave it to the professionals. Check out our work for our clients here.
Woocommerce vs Other Platforms
As Woocommerce became the most prominent E-commerce software in the world used by millions, other competitors have begun to emerge and offer similar services. It is important to consider when comparing Woocommerce to other E-commerce platforms is that W-oocommerce is constantly updating their software, is compatible with most website builders, offer some of the best customer support within the E-commerce software space, and most importantly, integrates with the most payments services and gateways including smaller lesser-known gateways and regional gateways.
How Does Woocommerce Work
To start, Woocommerce is a plugin or add-on to your website meaning you need to have a website in order to have Woocommerce. It is a free add on that will essentially let you turn a basic website into an online store. Woocommerce allows you to add your products, a shopping cart, a checkout, and a secure payment processor that can change if you desire. Woocommerce is currently used by over 30% of online E-commerce store owners.
What Do You Need to Make a Woocommerce Store or Shop
If you have a website already, you can just go to your website’s plugin or add-on section and search for Woocommerce and download it for free.
If you do not currently have a website, there are a few things you will need in order to have a Woocommerce online store:
-A website hosting account or a website builder such as WordPress (we strongly recommend WordPress as we use that for all our clients and so do most digital marketing agencies)
-A domain name for your website. Your domain name will serve as your website’s address on the internet such as https://sagemarketingservices.
-A SSL certificate so your information and you customer’s information remains private and secured especially when accepting online payments
These prerequisites to your Woocommerce store are not free and do in fact cost money. You will need these regardless if you want to have an online store or use Woocommerce, these are necessities to operate and own a website online.
To get an idea on the pricing of these items you can typically expect web hosting to be around 7.99 a month, your rights to your domain name around 15.99 a month, and a SSL certificate to be around 70 dollars a year.
We recommend using a hosting service such as Bluehost as they make starting a WordPress website and buying a domain name extremely easy. You can set up your WordPress account, Woocommerce store, and hosting all in one place! Bluehost is one of the biggest and well known hosting companies used by millions of website owners.
How to Set up a Woocommerce Shop Page
If you decide to use Bluehost for your website’s hosting, you can install WordPress with 1-click through Bluehost. No headaches, no hassle, no problems! Bluehost will automatically setup WordPress for you after that you can visit your new website’s WordPress dashboard or home screen. From the WordPress dashboard, look to the left and visit the section labeled ‘Plugins’ then search for ‘Woocommerce’ in the search bar to the top left. After finding the Woocommerce plugin, click on the ‘Install Now’ button to add the Woocommerce E-commerce software to your store. From here, click ‘Activate’ to start the Woocommerce setup wizard which will get your information regarding your business such as store location, currency, and the type of products you are planning on selling.
After filling out that information, proceed to click on the ‘Continue’ button. From there you will choose your payment method. Woocommerce by default will use Stripe and Paypal as payment gateways. You can toggle either of the two default options within the settings tab.
Next you will need to set up shipping. You are given a few options here; flat fee shipping costs, shipping costs for different zones, weights, sizes, or set up free shipping. After setting up shipping you can click the continue button to keep along the Woocommerce setup wizard. Most of these steps can be skipped and filled out later if you choose to do so.
There will be a section that includes a recommended add-on section. It is best if you just skip this section and come back to it later if you decide you need these add-ons later.
Now, let’s get into how you can set up and add products to your Woocommerce store.
How to Add Products to Your Woocommerce Store
Thankfully, it is very easy to add products to your Woocommerce store and this is one of the main reasons we are suggesting to use Woocommerce in the first place.
First, you are going to want to be on the WordPress dashboard. Then on the left hand side of the dashboard you should be able to see a section named ‘Products’. Click on the products label then click on the ‘Add New’ button.
From here you will be able to add your first product. Add your product name to the title section and below within the description box, add a detailed description or sales copy. After that, you can click on the ‘Add new category’ button to the right to create a new category for your products.
The product categories will help your customers navigate your store and find your products. Categories also keep your store organized and allow you to decide what products you want to feature later on in your store.
After creating a product category (or skipping the product category) you should consider entering the product’s information below. Within the ‘Product Data Box’ you can explore the sections within that allow you to enter the product’s regular price, sale price, shipping details, suggested or similar products, specific attributes, and inventory options.
Below the product data box you will come across the ‘Product Short Description’ box the description will be used on different product pages across the pages on your website. This description should be utilized for attention, clicks, and sales language to peak customer’s interests.
In order for you customers to see your product, you need Images! On the right column of the page, towards the bottom, you will see a section labeled ‘Product Image’ and ‘Product Gallery’. Here you want to add the main and best image of the product to the Product image section. This will be the image featured for your product listing across your website. The Product Gallery section will be the other images that showcase the product that customers can scroll through and explore.
After you complete the steps above and double check all of your product information, you can move on to the last step of adding your products to your Woocommerce store. Navigate to the top of the page where you should be able to see in the upper right hand corner and click ‘Publish’. Publishing the product will now make it available to your customers on your website. You can go back at any time to change the product details, images, or remove the product.
Best Plugins for Woocommerce
There are thousands of available plugins for Woocommerce and WordPress. The plugins will give you a more customizable, easier experience most of the time. They are there to compliment the main software and add to the existing features.
Some plugins are designed to create contact forms within Woocommerce and WordPress where you can save contact information from your customers. Other plugins will allow you to add social proof to your product pages, special sales, countdown timers, insights from google analytics, and many more.
Here we will recommend a few plugins that are practically essential to any successful E-commerce store:
-WPForms: This plugin lets you create surveys, customer login forms, customer contact information, pretty much anything that a form can be used for. You can insert the form practically anywhere on your website too!
-Trust Pulse: features social proof on your product page or website homepage to your visitors.
-Monsterinsights: Lets you connect your google analytics to your store where you can see where your customers are coming from, where they go on your page, allows you to see which products or pages are viewed the most, and much more!
-Beaver Builder: Easily one of the most beginner friendly website design tools that allows you to drag and drop website elements to create your ideal product page and landing pages.