How to Build an Online Store Using WordPress

Share this article:

How to Build an Online Store Using WordPress | Picture of young woman fulfilling online orders in her living room, sitting on a couch - Juan Rojo Design Toronto

Building an online store can be a daunting task, but with the help of the popular content management system WordPress, the process can be made much simpler. WordPress is a powerful and user-friendly platform that allows for easy creation of websites and blogs, and with the addition of a plugin, it can also be used to build an online store.

Before diving into the process of building an online store using WordPress, it’s important to have a clear understanding of what you want to sell and who your target audience is. This will help guide the design and functionality of your store.

Step 1: Choose a WordPress Theme

The first step in building an online store using WordPress is to choose a theme. A theme is a pre-designed template that controls the overall look and feel of your website. There are many free and paid themes available on the WordPress repository, and many of them have built-in e-commerce functionality.

When choosing a theme, make sure it is responsive, meaning it will adjust to fit any screen size. This is important as a large percentage of online shoppers use mobile devices. Additionally, make sure the theme has a clean and easy-to-navigate layout, as well as the e-commerce features you need for your store.

Step 2: Install the WooCommerce Plugin

Once you have chosen a theme, the next step is to install the WooCommerce plugin. WooCommerce is a free plugin that adds e-commerce functionality to your WordPress site. It allows you to create product pages, manage inventory, process payments, and more.

To install the WooCommerce plugin, go to the WordPress repository, search for “WooCommerce”, and click the “Install Now” button. Once the plugin is installed and activated, you will be prompted to run the setup wizard. This will guide you through the process of setting up your store, including creating pages for your products, checkout, and more.

Step 3: Add Products and Product Information

With your theme and plugin installed, it’s time to start adding products to your store. To do this, go to the “Products” section of your WordPress dashboard, and click “Add New”. Here you can add a title, description, and images for your product, as well as set the price and any variations (such as size or color).

It’s also important to include detailed and high-quality images of your products. Images are a crucial aspect of e-commerce, as they allow customers to see the product up close and make informed purchasing decisions.

Step 4: Configure Payment and Shipping Options

With your products added to your store, the next step is to configure your payment and shipping options. WooCommerce offers a variety of payment gateway options, including PayPal, Stripe, and Square. It’s important to choose a payment gateway that is secure and easy for your customers to use.

In terms of shipping, WooCommerce allows you to set up flat rate shipping, or even offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount. You can also set up shipping rates based on weight, destination, and more.

Step 5: Customize Your Online Store’s Design

With your store set up and configured, the next step is to customize the design. WordPress allows for a lot of flexibility in terms of design, and you can use the built-in customization options to change the colors, fonts, and layout of your store.

If you want more control over the design of your store, you can use a page builder plugin such as Elementor or Beaver Builder. These plugins allow you to completely customize the look of your shop, as well as that of the individual products.