The e-commerce Industry is an evergreen industry which keeps growing and taking a pie from that would be of great advantage, But it seems confusing if you are not a techie and not sure how to set up an e-commerce website.
Having built a lot of stores online and tried a lot of best e-commerce platforms to grow and build the E-commerce business the best way to build your Online store is through WordPress.
With WordPress, you will have complete control over your online store.
It just involves 5 Simple steps But before you set up your Online store lets understand the basics of WordPress.
Step 1- Choose your domain
Step 2- Choose your hosting
Step 3- Install WordPress
Step 4- Install Woocommerce
Step 5- Import Products
Here’s the deal: Today I am going to show you each step in detail.
Step 1- Choose a Domain
Choosing a domain name for your business is not that complicated as you think but it’s going to be your brand so choose it wisely.
What is a Domain name?
In simple words, a domain is an IP(internet protocol) a unique set of numbers for your website. It will be hard for your customer to remember IP address which will be something like(192.xxx.xx.x) so a domain is created to read it user-friendly.
A DNS(Domain name server) which is like a phonebook translates those IP address to a user-friendly website address.
Phone numbers are like IP it changes when you update them, but names on phonebook don’t change, A DNS is Internet’s phonebook.
So Domain name points to an IP address which is stored in a Domain registrar or the Name Server.
Next time when you see A record it’s your IP address of your website.MX records are Mail Exchange record and TXT records for verification.
It’s that easy.
Now that you know what is a domain name lets hop and see how to find one.remember your domain name is your brand any good business built on a bad brand name would suffer.
I would recommend you to do the same 3 steps which I do to choose a domain name.
–Not more than 2-3 words ( ecomtutorial-2 words)
-This might sound crazy share your domain name with your friends if they asked you to repeat or spell it out then it’s not an easy for your customer to remember as well – I call it phone test.
–Always go for a .com unless your target is geographic TLD(top-level domains-If you have a build a brand on youwebsite.com and if there is a .org with the same domain you might end up losing some traffic to that domain)
Now head over to onewordreverlookup and search for the phrase related to your niche. Choose a phrase and check out the synonyms for the phare and see if it relates to your business.
I use to add shop or store at the end of the domain so that I can inform search engine that it’s an e-commerce store.
Head over to Godaddy
-Search for the name you have selected(don’t forget to choose a domain with a .com)
-unselect other services apart from the domain.
-Continue to cart and pay for the domain
it’s that simple.
Step 2- Choose a Web Hosting
Whether you are a Blogger or e-commerce business owner having a basic knowledge of hosting is very important as it is responsible to keep your site speed up and running which is an important factor of SEO.
What is web hosting and how does it work?
It’s a computer-technically a server which has your website files for your customers to access 24/7 over an internet connection.
Your computer needs to be online 24/7 with your website file all the time for your customer to access which is not possible that’s where hosting provider comes in place.
Hosting providers have big computers(servers) to store your website file and serve your customers or clients whenever they needed.
Now that you know What is a web hosting let’s talk about its types.
Every hosting provider has different types of service while there are 4 types
Shared hosting – It’s like your own apartment, where there is server space is shared with other users-Shared hosting is widely used by bloggers and other small businesses.
Dedicated Server– It’s your own house where the complete space is occupied by you, this type of servers is used mostly by big corporates.
Cloud Hosting – It’s like renting an apartment on the go, where you pay for what you use. While the price is costly it’s ultra fast.
I have tested a lot of hosting provider here are some points to consider before choosing a hosting provider.
-Has a server near you or in your local country or city.
-Customer support for you to reach if you ran out tech problems.
-Provide a cPanel.
-A provider with good uptime.
Some of the best hosting providers in the market I found reliable are Bluehost and Hostgator. While they claim they have 99.99% uptime they are not. You can test your page speed and server uptime test through Pingdom and see how the uptime is delivered.
There used to be a lot of great hosts, so it’s much harder to find a good host today. Siteground is rock solid and offers a great entry-level hosting account for not a lot of money.
Here’s why Siteground is best.
–Free site transfer while every other host tagged a price for a site transfer, if you are not sure what you’re doing then your site may disappear until you find a techie to fix that and Siteground does that for you in just a few hours.
–Customer support – World-class customer support, this is very important when you ran into a tech issue, while this is best for all the providers, Still, Siteground is quick and fast in responding.
–Speed – Site speed is one of the factors of SEO while Siteground suggests you website optimization most of their suggestion worked as you see my site page speed has dramatically increased.
–Security – One of the super cool features for your online business is Security Siteground understand this best and provides you with Hack protection and account isolation.
–Dedicated WordPress hosting– if you are building an e-commerce store with WordPress then Siteground has got a dedicated hosting for WordPress which is a good news.
I would highly recommend you to go with Siteground’s Gogeek plan for your e-commerce store which gives you high flexibility.
Siteground doesn’t play around with price and they deliver what they promise. if you decided to go with Siteground here’s how you signup.
Step 1- Choose your plan
Step 2– Choose your domain name if you have already bought one, I recommend you to buy one from Godaddy.
Step 3- Select the period and you’re done,
Once your payment is confirmed follow the onscreen process and your site is now hosted with Siteground.
One good thing about Siteground is they have hosting specially designed for WordPress.
Now that you have your domain and hosting, you need to do some configuration before you install WordPress.
Siteground will provide you with an IP address and a Nameserver like the one below.
You need to point the IP to the nameservers which Siteground gives you.
I don’t want you to use those nameservers as they deliver your website files through their local server from a different location not from where your client is visiting your website.
You need to use a CDN(content delivery Network) and SSL (Secure Socket level).
What is a CDN?
A CDN is a server across the globe which delivers your content from the local server near your client or customer is located.
And SSL helps you encrypt the data for security, protecting sensitive information such as payment and login details. If you are not sure or aware of it check out a site with https.
Siteground gives you a free SSL for your site, Although we are going to use a CDN it is a must to update your SSL first with siteground or your hosting provider and update the same with Cloudflare.
First, update Siteground’s nameserver with your domain registrar(GoDaddy) in my case. And update the SSL.
If you are using siteground and not sure how to update SSL here is a link that will walk you through the process.
One easiest way to update the SSL for your site is by contacting siteground’s tech support by chat or call and tell them to do that for you.
Now let me show you how to get a CDN and SSL for free?
Yes! You read that right-for free.
Let’s head over to a site called cloudflare.com and create an account. Although the premium option is available Cloudflare limits free for one website.
Sign up for a free account.
Now add the domain name and click scan DNS record.
You might get some random IP address to which Cloudflare is pointing go ahead and delete that.
A record is your website’s IP which siteground provides you. Add A Record to Cloudflare with www and without www.
Any MX records(Mail Exchange records has to be added here)
Cloudflare will give you a nameserver which you have to update that to your domain registrar(in this case it is Godaddy).
Once you have updated your nameservers with your Domain registrar click to continue.
Now recheck Nameserver and see if your IP is routed through Cloudflare. You should see the Status as active. If not head over to intodns.com and enter your domain name and see if you can see your Cloudflare nameservers.
It might take some time to update your DNS reload the page and you should see the status active. If not give Cloudflare some time to update the same.
One other way to check if you have updated the nameservers is by visiting intodns and enter your website URL. if everything is correct then you should see Cloudflare’s nameservers there.
Once you see the active status. Hover over your crypto and don’t forget to update your SSL.
Cloudflare has got great features for your website performance and security, I recommend you to explore Cloudflare to get a thorough knowledge.
Step 3 – Install WordPress
WordPress is a content management system, almost 70 of the site are built with WordPress, It’s an open source platform with lots of flexibility and security you can add.
All you need is an undivided attention.
To install WordPress access your cPanel from Siteground’s main screen.
Since Siteground is a dedicated hosting provider for WordPress you should see a separate tab for WordPress, however, you can access it from Auto Installers.
Click on Install and follow the onscreen instruction and you are done.
It’s that super simple.
In your Dashboard, you will find all your products, pages, post, orders, shipping and in short, everything if you are stuck somewhere you can access the help topics on the top right to read detail documentation.
Now that you are on the dashboard. Head over to settings and click on general. On the WordPress, URL add https://www and change it from https://yoursitename.com to https://www.yoursitename.com. I prefer www.yoursitename.com so I add http://www.yoursitename.com but it’s totally up to you,
if you decide to change that to www at later point search engine will consider that as a new website when you set up webmasters.
Now click permalink.
A permalink will display your URL in a structured way than showing it an ugly URL, this feature with WordPress will allow webmaster spiders to crawl your website and understand better.
And change the settings to postname to get rid of crazy ugly url and help webmaster understand what your page is all about.
Good job! You have completed your basic setup it’s time to setup your Online store.
Step 4- Install Woocommerce
What is Woocommerce?
Woocommerce is a WordPress plugin that allows you to build an Online store and sell products. And it seamlessly works only with WordPress giving you the flexibility to manage your e-commerce store.
WordPress is powered by more than 50000 plugins, you have full control over how you want your site to be displayed.
To install woocommerce head over to plugins and click add new and search for woocommerce.
Click on Install now and activate the plugin.
Once activated woocommerce will run through a setup process, do remember to keep your Payment processor, Shipping information ready.
Here’s how you do it.
Step 1- Store Setup
In this setup, it will you ask you where is your store located, your physical address, your currency and what kind of products you are selling.
If you have an LLC go ahead and fill all those details here.
Step 2- Payments
Woocommerce integrates a lot of payment processors options for your Online store, you can use stripe if you are from the United States, if not then you may contact the service provider who helped you get your LLC set up.
If you are working with a payment processor, contact them to get an API and documentation on how to integrate with your store.
Step 3- Shipping
In WordPress you can integrate plugins from any shipping provider to your e-commerce store, If you ship from the U.S. to the U.S then you can check the live rates, by default woocommerce uses Jetpack to calculate live rates.
But you still have the option to integrate what type of shipping you want to provide to your customers.
But do remember that it is always good to get the size from your supplier to check live rates.
Step 4 – Extras
Every state in the U.S has different state taxes and benefits if you’re selling physical products if you are not sure of what to charge check on automated tax.
Step 5- Activate
Connecting your jetpack service and activating it would be an easy way where the system can handle your e-commerce store’s taxes, shipping rates, and labels.
You will be asked to create an account with Jetpack as simple as creating a Gmail account.
Once done you will be redirected back to the setup process.
My recommendation for you, Unless you are comfortable with the taxes and shipping rates, activate Jetpack.
Step 6- Up and running
Your setup is done now and you can start Adding products you can also import products if you have an existing store.
You can manage all your sales Activity from the dashboard.
Final Step-Adding Products
Let’s move on to the next step of Adding products.
Here you have to be little creative as this is where you showcase your products to your customers.
As I can see most of my students have been busy designing the homepage of their store which is really important while the sad truth is homepage has not been viewed most of the time.
Yes, this might sound crazy.
Your product page is where you want most of your visitors to look after and become your customers.
Adding a product in woocommerce is like adding a post, you can add images write descriptions, add offers prices, upsells, cross-sells and a lot more.
If you are approved by an M.A.P supplier then you will have all the information you can add here.(Read here to know more about M.A.P supplier)
To wrap things around
Having the right goals and desire will help you build and grow e-commerce Business.
Here’s what you do step by step.
-Get your legal setup ready.
-Find a profitable niche product.
-Fitrusted and legit suppliers to work with.
-Build your online store.
-Get your Hosting
-Build your social network.
-Get the most out of Ads
Bottom line, With dedication and desire, you can win great success.
Do you find this post informative? Have you tried building an Online store? Which part of the process have you been struck?
If you like the article, then please subscribe and stay tuned for future updates.