WordPress has come a long way in the past decade and is no longer just a blogging platform. With the help of plugins, WordPress can be transformed into an excellent platform to build an online store. However, with so many plugins and e-commerce themes available, it can be overwhelming for eCommerce newcomers to choose the right platform. In this article, we will take a closer look at one of the best offerings on the market – WooCommerce by WooThemes.
WooCommerce is WooThemes’ enterprise-level eCommerce software that allows for the addition of premium extensions to build upon the default installation in myriad ways. It is fully audited by WordPress security company Sucuri and offers comprehensive store management, extensive reporting options, a simple one-page checkout, multiple payment gateway options, and several marketing and promotion options.
Before installing WooCommerce, it is important to ensure that your current theme is WooCommerce compatible. WooCommerce should be listed as a feature on the theme page. It is recommended to obtain a premium theme to ensure that your theme is continually compatible with the latest version of WooCommerce. Once you have a compatible theme, installing WooCommerce is as simple as installing any other plugin from the WordPress Plugin repository.
After installing WooCommerce, you need to create all of the necessary pages for your online store by clicking the Install button. Once the plugin is fully installed, you should check the WooCommerce System Status to ensure there are no immediate problems.
In the WooCommerce Settings menu, you are presented with numerous options to configure your store. The General tab gives you some of the basic configuration for your store, including location, API, and currency options. The Products section covers all of your many product settings, including measurement units, review options, product and shop options, product image cropping, inventory options, and downloadable products settings.
The Tax section allows you to configure tax settings with tons of options for calculating tax rates. The Checkout section allows you to set your cart and checkout pages, add terms and conditions, and select your payment gateways. The Shipping section allows you to configure every aspect of the shipping process for your store, including choosing your shipping methods, setting flat rates, enabling free shipping, adding international shipping options, and choosing special settings for local pickup or delivery.
The Accounts page provides options for setting your user accounts page, adding custom URLs for important account pages, and enabling/disabling accounts and registration. The Email section allows you to configure the email options and email templates used when communicating with your customers. The Webhooks section makes it much easier for WooCommerce to work with 3rd party plugins that you might want to use to extend the functionality of WooCommerce.
Once you have configured your store, it’s time to begin adding your products. The product creation process is almost exactly the same as creating a normal blog post in WordPress. You can create categories and tags for your products and add shipping classes to group your products by those that have specific shipping requirements.
After your store is live and you have sold some products, it’s worth looking at the reporting functions of WooCommerce. These can be found in the WooCommerce Reports menu. There are reports that break down your sales by day, month, product, category, and also your top sellers and earners. As well as your product sales, it also has reports for the discount coupon use and various reports on your customers.
In conclusion, WooCommerce is one of the best e-commerce solutions for WordPress out there. It’s free and comes with more functionality than many premium eCommerce plugins. With your store up and running, you can use these tips to sell online and content marketing tips to grow your business.