WooCommerce Guide for Beginners: Set up in 4 Steps

woocommerce guide for beginners

Did you know that Over 39% of All Online Stores Run on WooCommerce?

That is because Woocommerce is one of the most powerful and customizable shopping cart software out there… and the best thing? It’s free!

In this guide, I am going to show you how to set up a WordPress website with Woocomerce so you can sell just about anything online.

What is Woocommerce?

WooCommerce is a free plugin for WordPress that allows you to turn a WordPress blog into a fully functioning E-commerce store.

It currently has over 77,528,124 downloads and runs almost half of all ecommerce stores.

But let’s look at all of the things that make WooCommerce great…and the things that could be better.

WooCommerce Pros

  • Secure & Free
  • Customizable
  • Easy to use interface
  • Add-on Plugins

WooCommerce Cons

  • Can get slow with a lot of products/plugins
  • Updates can mess up your store
  • Small learning curve

Ok, now that you are familiar with the good, the bad and the ugly, its time to install WooCommerce on our WordPress website.

1. Installing WooCommerce

Once you have installed WordPress on your server, you are ready to install WooCommerce and get started setting it up.

To install WooCommerce, all you have to do is go to the plugins manager in WordPress and click Add New.

wordpress plugins add new

On the plugin search page search for ‘WooCommerce’, and click install on the correct plugin (It’s the one by Automattic).

install woocommerce

After you install the WooCommerce plugin, click activate and it will take you directly to the Setup Wizard that will guide you through the setup.

2. Setting Up WooCommerce

If you will be shipping products, then enter your Address, Country, and Currency on the store set up page.

woocommerce setup

After you have added your correct address (where you will be shipping from), click the continue button.

Now, you will need to set up your payment processor. If you don’t have a payment processor yet, you can simply click continue and skip this step for now.

Next, you will choose your shipping zones if you will be shipping actual physical products. You can choose a flat rate or you can choose live rates from carriers like UPS or USPS.

woocommerce shipping zones

After this step, you can exit out of the setup wizard as the rest of the steps are just trying to sell you more add-ons.

You have successfully installed and set up WooCommerce!

Setup WooCommerce Pages

Next, you will want to make sure that it has created a shop page, my account page, login page, etc. If not, there is a tool inside WooCommerce that creates them for you.

Just go to WooCommerce->Status->Tools and then scroll down till you see the ‘Create pages’ button.

woocommerce create pages

Click the button and all of the needed WooCommerce pages will automatically be created for you.

Now, lets set up our products.

3. Creating Products

All of the products are in a different tab than WooCommerce called ‘Products”.

woocommerce products

This is where you can create products, attributes, tags (though I don’t recommend) and product categories.

Simply go to Add New to create your first product.

woocommerce create product

On the Add New Product page, there are a number of different spots you will need to add information to about your product.

Product Name

woocommerce add product name

Product Description

The product description is the normal WYSIWIG editor that is the same for any post or page.

Your product descriptions should be long, explain the product in detail, its features and as much media as possible.

Adding images, videos and graphs to your product descriptions can increase the conversion rate and sales.

Product data

The product data is where you add the price, inventory, etc.

woocommerce product data

There is are tabs on the right you can navigate to enter in different information about the product. I am not going to go into real detail about all of these tabs but the most important ones are:

  • General: The general tab is where you add the price and sale price of the product.
  • Inventory: If you will be tracking inventory, add the SKU, stock status and choose the Manage Stock radio button.
  • Shipping: If you are shipping these products, and are using the live rate, enter the product weight and dimensions.
  • Linked Products: This is great for internal linking and upselling your customers on similar products.
  • Extras: The Extras tab is where you can add a product video (from youtube), custom tabs and top/bottom content.

Once you have added all the necessary information, you will also need to add the product image and gallery.

Product Images

Adding good product images is a necessity for getting sales with your e-commerce store. Include multiple images of your product from different angles and even being used (when applicable).

The main product image will be added as the product image. The rest of the images you have of the product will be added to the product gallery box.

woocommerce product image

Click Set product image and choose or upload the main photo of your product.

Note: The larger the image the better, but you don’t want it to be too large as this will slow down your load times.

Next, click add product gallery images to add the other images you have of your product.

Congratulations! Your first product is now set up and ready to be sold. But first, you will need to set up a payment gateway so you can accept payments online.

4. Add Payment Gateway

A payment gateway is what connects your store to your bank account and allows you to charge credit cards to your account.

There are a number of really good payment processors out there but these are the best (and easiest to connect to WordPress):

  • PayPal
  • Stripe
  • Authorize.net
  • Square

All of these payment gateways will charge a small fee for every charge you make. Here are some of the different rates for each payment gateway:

Provider Rates Rating Sign Up
PayPal 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction SIGN UP
Stripe 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction SIGN UP
Authorize.net 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction + $25/month SIGN UP
Square 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction SIGN UP

Once you choose the right payment gateway for you, its time to connect it to your WooCommerce store. In this example, we are going to show you how to add Stripe.

First things first, you will need to create an account with Stripe.

Go to Stripe.com and click the start now button to begin the account creation process.

stripe sign up

Add your account information and you will be directed to your new dashboard.

Note: It may take up 5 minutes for Stripe to approve your merchant account.

Once your account is approved, you can integrate Stripe into your Woocommerce plugin in WordPress. Head back to WordPress and go to WordPress->Settings.

Click the top tab for ‘Payments’. This is where you can add all of the payment methods you will accept.

woocommerce payment tab

On the payment methods tab, you will notice all of the payment providers that you can enable if you would like. Usually, just PayPal and Stripe (or any other credit card processor) are good.

Enable the payment method by clicking the ‘set up’ button in the table.

woocommerce payment methods

To connect our Stripe account, we will need to click the manage button in the Stripe row.

woocommerce stripe settings

Now, you will need to add the webhook endpoints from Stripe so that the two can talk to each other.

stripe details webook woocommerce

To find your API keys in stripe you can visit your dashboard then click Developers->API Keys or just click here while you are logged into your account.

stripe api keys

You will see a publishable key and a secret key under ‘Standard keys’.

Simply copy and paste these values into the WordPress Endpoints above and uncheck ‘Enable Test Mode’.

Your store is now live and ready to accept payments!

It would be smart to set up a WooCommerce friendly theme that you can easily install with a few clicks.

Here are some of the best WooCommerce-friendly WordPress themes that you can purchase.

Best WooCommerce Themes

Flatsome

Flatsome has multiple tools that allow users to create fast responsive websites. The theme has unlimited options and a responsive page builder, so you can create anything without coding. Flatsome has a unique UX Builder that allows users to create sliders, banners, and responsive pages. The UX Builder includes drag and drop functionality, layout elements, and a text editor.

flatsome woocommerce theme

Users can create custom options for their tablets, desktop, and mobile device. The UX Builder has an optimization feature that allows users to create responsive content. Flatsome has a slider and banner system that allows users to drop elements without having to use other slider plugins.

The UX Builder is based on shortcodes. Users can easily edit content in the WordPress editor. All of the shortcodes are clean and readable. Flatsome also has an extensive library. Users can choose from multiple content elements, shop elements, and layout elements. Users also have access to hundreds of presets. With so many available options, users can build their website however they’d like too. The Flatsome studio has hundreds of pre-defined layouts and sections that people can add to their site.

Meridian One

Meridian One is a one-page business theme that promotes customization. Users can customize every aspect of their site through the WordPress customizer.

meridian-one

Meridian One is perfect for users who want a simple layout and full control over their websites. Meridian One places everything in one spot. Users can easily find the section that they are looking for. The homepage is controlled by the WordPress customizer. Users can disable sections by simply checking a box. WordPress widgets allow users to add or edit text. Any changes to the text appear instantly on the live preview.

The theme has over 10 homepage sections and users can display testimonials, services, clients, and features. Median One also offers one on one technical support if a problem arises.

Divi

Divi replaces the traditional WordPress editor with a superior visual editor. Users can create efficient designs with ease. Divi offers custom CSS capabilities. The theme gives users full control over their website. Users can save and manage an unlimited number of custom designs. Divi incorporates global elements and website design settings.

Divi streamlines the design process to improve team collaboration. Divi has over 600 pre-made website layouts. New layouts are added every week along with different photos and icons. Bloom pop-ups help users enhance their marketing lists. Monarch social sharing allows users to promote their websites on social media. Divi Leads Split Testing allows users to increase their website conversions.

 

Thanks to Divi’s hover options, users can transform Divi modules into fun elements with special effects. Users can add custom shapes to their pages, which creates transitions between sections of content. Divi also has a large border editor. Advanced code editing features such as syntax highlighting, error reporting, and color picking are also available. Filter options include Hue, Brightness, Invert, and Contrast.

Users can make substantial changes to their page withing seconds, potentially saving themselves hours of time. The Magic Color manager allows users to create their own color pallet. Divi’s extend styles feature allows you to update multiple elements at once. Divi also has an email opt-in module that makes it easy to capture emails and build email lists.

Bazar Shop

Bazar Shop uses the Woo Commerce plugin to create a WordPress powered shop. Bazar Shop offers users unlimited layout options.

bazar shop wordpress theme

Bazar Shop includes over 300 shortcodes and several custom checkout pages. Bazar Shop includes several product sliders that allow users to view the best sellers, top-rated products, and products that are on sale. There are multiple payment options available.

Bazar Shop has full WPMZ support with a widget in the header to show different languages. The theme also supports Search Engine Optimization and Bazar Shop has multiple slider types that you can choose from.

WooCart

WooCart aims to decrease the time that users spend on building new stores by simplifying the maintenance and store management process. WooCart allows users to display their stores on Google Cloud servers. WooCart lets users view the slowest pages in their store.

woocart woocommerce theme

The Lossless Staging feature allows users to view changes to their staging store in real-time. WooCart prides itself on offering low load times. WooCart has a 3 step store wizard that takes people to a live store within minutes. WooCart offers users unlimited free transfers. WooCart has an extensive security system, including daily backups and out of the box HTTPS. WooCart uses a Content Delivery Network to increase the loading time of different images. WooCart places all of the images on a store, which decreases the size of them and optimizes the use of available disk space.

WooCart lets users view the plugins that use the most resources so that they can find better alternatives.

The Retailer

The Retailer appeals to people who are selling online for the first time. The Retailer wants to help people create websites without having a lot of web designing experience.

the retailer woocommerce theme

The Retailer has a flexible shop layout. Users have the option to display products or categories. They can also change the number of products per row and page. The Retailer includes horizontal and vertical sidebars. The Retailer has catalog mode functionality.

With multiple header options, users can change colors, font sizes, and alignments.

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