If you stumble across this post chances are, you already have an existing WordPress site. If you want to start selling products online, WooCommerce may well be your best option. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin made by Automattic, the corporate arm of WordPress and was launched in 2011. The plugin adds an E-commerce functionality to your WordPress site along with its additional features available as an extension in just a few clicks.
WooCommerce provides basic store functionalities right out the box. The plugin can be installed from the plugin repository or straight from your WordPress dashboard. And just like WordPress, WooCommerce is free, open source and has a strong development team behind it. More importantly, it’s easy for beginners to use.
Here are some of the WooCommerce features:
- Sell any kind of products you like: physical, digital or even affiliate
- Add unlimited products and images
- Add categories, tags and attributes – including size or color – to any product to make them easier to find and search
- Show product ratings and reviews on product pages, including a ‘Verified Owner’ label
- Customize store location with currency, language and measurement units
- Product sorting and filtering lets customers sort products by popularity, newness, rating, price or attribute
- Embed products and checkout on any page
- Geo-location auto-detects customers’ addresses to simplify shipping and tax calculations
- Choose how you’d like to process payments: use popular providers such as Stripe and PayPal, credit cards, Direct Bank Transfer, checks or Cash on Delivery
- Choose shipping options and restrict options based on customer location
- Manage orders and customers with one-click refunds, customer accounts, and guest checkout
Installation and setup
The installation is simple and would only take a few clicks in your WordPress dashboard. The inbuilt Setup Wizard will walk you through the basic configurations to get your store up and running. The Setup Wizard will allow you to setup the vital steps and highlights the important options.
To add WooCommerce to your WordPress site from your dashboard head to Plugins → Add New and search “WooCommerce” to locate the WooCommerce plugin. Click Install Now then Activate. You’ll then immediately see the WooCommerce Setup Wizard. You would need to fill in the relevant data for your store. After the activation, you will see that the plugin has added a couple of options and menus once you head back to the WordPress Dashboard.
After doing the initial setup, the first thing to do is to add some products. Those are the things you will be selling. To add the products, go to Products → Add New and you’ll be forwarded to the product page. It’s like adding posts or pages, but specifically for WooCommerce products. You will need to fill in the product name, description, product data, and the relevant images. If it’s your first time adding a product, WooCommerce will provide some helpful prompts telling you a little about each section.
Once you’ve added in all your information, hit publish and you have your first product available on your site. Of course, you will need to also setup the payment gateway unless you are giving the product away for free. WooCommerce comes with a couple of payment gateways built in, including PayPal. There are other options, such as check and payment on deliver too. If you want to setup credit card payment, you may add other plugins for credit card payment such as Stripe. You’ll find your payment gateway options under WooCommerce → Settings → Checkout. Choose either PayPal or Stripe and use the check box to enable your gateway of choice. Then follow the instructions to sign up for relevant accounts and connect them to WooCommerce. With your payment set up, you’re able to start selling!
With WooCommerce, sky is the limit. There are over 450 extensions and counting which means that you can configure your shop in virtually limitless ways. You can install free and premium extensions from within the WooCommerce shop suited for the way how you would like your online store to go.