WooCommerce is an e-commerce solution meant for WordPress sites. Since its existence in 2001, it has been downloaded more than 3 million times. You do not need to make any payments before you can download this plugin. I will explain everything that you can do in my WooCommerce WordPress plugin review.
However, setting up a functioning WooCommerce store can attract some fees. There are also extensions to add to your store for other features. If you are in the e-commerce business, you will benefit from WooCommerce features at a low price. You will also find it easy to integrate it into your website.
On the WooCommerce platform, it is easy for you to sell digital products from selected marketplaces. You can even sell affiliate products on it. At this time of social media marketing, WooCommerce can easily integrate with so many tools and platforms.
What makes WooCommerce good for you?
- Designed to support and integrate with your WordPress platform.
- It is open-sourced and easy to scale.
- It is designed to suit WordPress platforms.
- The developers keep working to make it better.
- You must have a good knowledge of WordPress to be able to use it.
- Even though it is designed for WordPress sites, sometimes it does not work well with them.
- Since it is self-hosted, the maintenance and updates are all up to you.
- Although the plugin is free, you still have to spend money to host and maintain it.
WordPress and WooCommerce
WordPress is popular for building different types of websites. These websites enable you to run different types of businesses. But if you wish to run an e-commerce store using your WordPress site, you will need extra help.
WooCommerce is very popular in WordPress stores. It has most of the features that you will need as you set up your online store. Interestingly, you can get this plugin for free but the extensions do not come free.
Benefits of WordPress and WooCommerce for Your Site
WooCommerce combines with WordPress for e-commerce sites. So far, downloads for this plugin have exceeded three million. WordPress can build you a website in a very short time. Where it does not completely achieve the purpose of building it, you can use plugins to add more functionality to the website.
When you add plugins, you can get more features with it like selling online and processing payments. WooCommerce is not the only plugin that you will find compatible with WordPress, but it is widely accepted and used. It is also easy to learn it and it can be downloaded without any fees.
Setting up WordPress with WooCommerce
Before you can use WooCommerce, you need to have your WordPress running.
Domain Name Registration and Hosting
There are many web hosts where you can register your domain name. Some people register their domains through their web host. Keeping them separate makes it easy for you to maintain your domain name even if you have to change your web host.
After purchasing your domain name from a reliable source, (Wealthy Affiliate is the best place to buy a domain name and host your site, start for free) you can find a good web host to launch your website. It is affordable, user friendly and you can easily scale it. The next thing is to get a hosting plan. A basic hosting plan is alright if you are new. As you understand your site better and seek more features, you can upgrade your plan.
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Some hosts let you use a simple installer from your control panel. The installer helps you with the installation process. With the installer, you only need to enter some information like the site’s name, domain, and admin. Then it will run the installation.
WooCommerce Plugin Installation and Activation
Your plugin needs to be running to start off your store. Go on the WordPress site and select the plugins tab, type in WooCommerce and the plugin will be shown. After the installation, the Activate option will come up. Without activating the plugin, it will not function. To make it run, click on Activate.
Starting out with WooCommerce
WooCommerce has a setup wizard to help with the store’s configuration. This makes setting up the store easy even if you are not yet familiar with e-commerce. It will give the store more features and make it more attractive. You should be able to customize your product and have more payment options.
After activating WooCommerce, the onboarding wizard will come up with the “Let’s Go!” button. This will take you through the basic WooCommerce setting. You will find the four basic pages for any store. Every store needs an account, a cart, a shop, and checkout pages
Next, you need to have a location for your store and choose your currency. There are also other settings to configure like choosing your measurement units. When you have done these, click on continue. On the next screen, check the right box to indicate if you will be shipping physical goods or if you wish to tax sales made through your store.
For the payment setup, you will indicate the type of payments you will accept. WooCommerce enables PayPal and Stripe by default.
In your store, you need to have a product catalog. You can set this up from the dashboard in the products tab. Here, you click on Create Your First Product. This will take you to the WordPress dashboard. In the WordPress editor, type a name and description for your product.
Scroll down to the Product data widget to specify the type of product. For digital products, tick the Virtual box. Set the price and indicate if it is in stock in the Inventory settings. Each product should have a featured image. If you want to add more pictures, use the product gallery widget. Click the Publish button after uploading the picture.
WooCommerce integrates with PayPal for payments. But you can also accept cash on delivery, bank transfers, and checks. You may also prefer to have more payment options so that other customers will be able to purchase your products with the options they have access to.
WooCommerce extensions are similar to the plugins and they can be used to set up these payment gateways. Under WooCommerce, go to Extensions and the Payment Gateways. Choose your additional gateway and license option and download the setup files.
Extensions have more features that will make your store better positioned for business. Extensions are like plugins and they make your site function well. They add more features and give you advanced options.
They are also quite easy to set up. You will only be able to use the WooCommerce extensions when WooCommerce is activated on your site.
It is important that you have this extension. Google Analytics makes it possible to integrate your site with Google’s platform. It collects data on visitors to your site. Such information is relevant as they guide you in taking important decisions and relevant steps.
It will show you how customers are relating with products in your store. You can see which of the products attract visitors more to your store. You can also know what they want and the products they seek but you do not have. This tool is free but if you want to see more data on your store, you will need the premium option.
One important way to reach out to your customers is through newsletters. Through newsletters, you can encourage customers to patronize you more and keep updating them when there are new products. You can integrate your store with the MailChimp email service.
Once you have set up an autoresponder you will need to send on subscription confirmations and regular emails. This basic training will help you to get started.
When customers visit your store, they can sign up for your emails during checkout. You can use a customer’s history to decide on the right emails to send to him. If necessary, you can target customers from a particular region and send emails to them.
WooCommerce Extensions for Existing Stores
This extension can make you a lot of sales. With Product Bundles, you can put multiple products together for sale. You can put together different kinds of bundles and offer them up for sale. It also supports virtual and subscription-based items.
- WooCommerce Freshdesk
Customer service can help to increase the patronage of your customers. This extension connects you to enjoy Freshdesk service. You can also have a knowledge base for your store. This will allow your customers to be able to resolve some problems on their own.
WooCommerce themes work just like WordPress themes. However, WordPress themes do not include features designed for WooCommerce integration. When choosing a theme for your store you should look out for the following:
- Frequent updating – themes that are updated frequently will be more reliable and secure and will incorporate recent developments for your store.
- User rating – what the users have to say is very important. When you check user reviews, you will be able to tell if it is a good theme or not.
Where to Find Quality WooCommerce Themes
- WooCommerce theme store
You will find many themes that will benefit your store here. There are many free options and premium themes for different niches and stores.
- Choosing the right products for your store
You won’t want to pick just any product that you find for sale. If you don’t have the right products in your store, you may never get the patronage that you expect. There are several ways you can decide on the right product to stock in your store. You should carry out a little research before you stock your store.
You should research and weigh all options. Select products that already have demand in the market. If you have to make changes to the products that you have uploaded, you can do that before you open your store.
Find out if you can find brands better than your competitors’. Ways to market the products also need to be researched. Your store needs to stand out from other stores in the same niche as you.
Showcasing your products
High-quality photos have much to do with successfully closing a deal. When a visitor arrives at your store and clicks an item, the photo for it will come up. If the products do not look good enough in the photos, the customer will not be convinced to read the information about the product.
So when uploading images of your product use photos that show the product being used. Show all the available colors and styles for it. This will dispel any doubt or misinformation that the visitor already has about the product. With these tips, you can drive up sales for your products very quickly.
- Giving prices in different currencies with WooCommerce
Even when you have quality products in your store, you should be able to attract many visitors to your store. As you market to the audience at different geo-locations, you need to remove the barrier of understanding the price of the products.
WooCommerce Currency Switcher makes it possible to sell products to customers in the currency which they understand. There are two currencies for your store by default. They have their abbreviations, symbol, flags, and description.
You can then choose the currency that will be your second option. Upgrading the plugin will give you more currency options. Check the list of currency codes online so that you choose the one you want. Type it in the currency tab and save your changes. The currency will be added to your products.
- Setting up a multilingual store
To add new languages to your WooCommerce store, you need WordPress Multilingual Plugin (WPML). This plugin is meant to support product translation. Install both plugins to supply your customers with product information in the language that they understand.
To be able to get much patronage for your store and optimize sales, you need your store to perform well. When visitors arrive at your store, they need to get a pleasurable customer experience so that they are encouraged to shop from your store.
If your pages take too long to load, they may even terminate the visit to your store before they arrive. Loading time is highly related to bounce rates. This in turn has a negative effect on conversions.
You need to review your store set up to check every area that may cause problems or dissatisfaction to your customers. Some problems that may be encountered at your site may include:
- Poor site optimization
- Bad hosting plan
Any of these can cause your site to perform slowly. To make your site perform better, you need to work on the following:
Optimizing Images on Your Site
Using quality images is important for high conversions. However, high-quality images can take up much space which can affect your site’s performance. You can solve this problem by compressing the images with tools like Compress JPEG & PNG Images. Install the plugin and automate the optimization process for any image you upload.
Replacing Poorly Performing Plugins and Extensions
Some plugins can slow the performance of your site while adding more functionality to it. In this case, you should back up your store and then you begin to deactivate the plugins one after another.
When you deactivate one plugin, you test the loading time. If it remains the same, you reactivate it and check the next one. Try each one until you find the ones causing your site to perform slowly.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
Server distance and server load are among the causes of the poor performance of websites. The server you use may be overloaded. It may also be very far from the location of your visitors. A CDN will distribute cached copies of your site to other closer servers around the world. This will lighten the load on your main server. Cloudflare is one popular CDN.
WooCommerce is a relevant plugin for your WordPress site to enable your store to perform optimally. This plugin has features that make it easy for you to set up your e-commerce store and upload products for sale.
It also allows other plugins and extensions to integrate and work effectively on your site for better performance and customer experience. If you are setting up an eCommerce store, it will not be complete without a WooCommerce experience.
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