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What is WooCommerce: beginners guide

Creating an e-commerce website from scratch can be quite a daunting task. However, with WooCommerce, it is possible to have a functioning web store with a matter of clicks. WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin with an easy to use user interface without a need for any coding knowledge.

Wordpress Tutorials Oct 11, 18 by Criss N 8 min Read
What is WooCommerce: beginners guide

You can create, maintain, measure and manage an online web store with ease. In this beginners guide to WooCommerce, we will go through:

  • What is WooCommerce
  • Key features of WooCommerce
  • Why use WooCommerce
  • How to install WooCommerce on WordPress

This article will cover all the basics needed for anyone to start using and getting things started with WooCommerce.

What is WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is the world’s most popular open-source eCommerce solution. It is built on top of the WordPress Content Management System (CMS) instead of making it from scratch. WooCommerce is built so that it is lightweight with the functionality to create an online store.

WooCommerce was launched in 2011 and had been providing an easy to use solution for all e-commerce businesses. It is a free and open-source plugin that powers thousands of websites worldwide with its significant share in promoting the e-commerce industry.

WooCommerce powers more than 30% of the world’s web stores, and there’s no sign of the percentage going down. WooCommerce was initially a separate entity however it was acquired by Automattic – the people behind WordPress.

The plugin is great for first-time users and other businesses, thanks to its advanced extension system. You have the possibility to add or remove extensions with advanced functionalities. Extensions to WooCommerce are like plugins to WordPress.

When it comes to setting up an online, there’s online very little that you can’t do WooCommerce. The secret behind the incredible growth is how easy it is to use and implement on the site. You can turn your WordPress website into an online store within minutes, and running the said store has never been easier.

Key features of WooCommerce

  • Enables you to set up an online store on top of your existing WordPress site
  • Ability to sell both digital and physical items
  • 100+ payment gateways to choose from
    • PayPal
    • Amazon Pay
    • Square etc.
  • Automatically add taxes to your prices
    • Standard rate taxes
    • Reduced Rate taxes
    • Zero rate taxes
  • Search Engine Friendly (SEO)
  • Custom URLs
  • Email notifications
  • Analytics integrations
  • Optional real-time payment integration
  • Built-in features for shipping products
    • Flat rate – Lets you set a single price for shipping
    • Free Shipping – ability to set this as a choice or appear after a certain price threshold
    • International shipping – you can set a flat shipping cost as per item basis or entire cart basis
    • Other shipping – If you would like to implement a method not built-in, contact WooCommerce support.
  • Enables you to increase the functions of the store by using extensions

Why use WooCommerce for your site?

WooCommerce combines the power of mainstream e-commerce products with elegance and simplicity. You will be able to:

It’s free

WooCommerce is free and open-source. It has a massive community of developers backing up the service with bug fixes and new features. The features are incredibly versatile and flexible, making the selling process easy and innovative.

User-friendly experience

WooCommerce made its way through multiple experimentation and implementations, which led to the most optimized state which we see today. WooCommerce made it possible for a person with a minimal amount of technical knowledge to bring their products online and start making sales.

The layout is straightforward, and managing the page layout can be done hassle-free. You can monitor customers’ activities in detail, such as leads, conversions, signups, order tracking, etc. Similarly, a customer can track their past orders and track the delivery of orders.

Easy customization

WooCommerce has its themes, but it also works well with WordPress themes. You can have a custom look for your website and still get the full benefit by having an e-shopping site. WooCommerce offers detailed documentation on how to make some themes compatible, which can be found on the official site.

A personalized touch

WooCommerce is not only about creating an eCommerce site but a complete platform. Your customers will have a personalized client area where they can edit their profiles and track their recent orders.

You can get everything in one place without clashing with other CMS features.

Secure

WordPress is a secure platform that is checked for vulnerabilities on a daily basis and patched instantaneously. WooCommerce is not as different as it is updated daily and addresses any and all security concerns whatsoever.

Integrated Social Features

The cost-per-like (or CPL) can be somewhat reduced through well-integrated social features which encourage people to share your product over their social profiles. At least for social-location-mobile, WooCommerce is way too beneficial where your cost for native advertisement gets reduced.

Tracking made easy

WooCommerce lets you track customers’ behaviours predict trends and analyze your marketing efforts accurately and comprehensively. You can analyze statistics like total sales, sales by date, average orders, reviews and overall website performance.

All these (and more) can be displayed in a visual format (graphs, charts) or as raw data (excel, XML).

Product management

You have full control over the products. You can add descriptions, price, sales price, product dimensions, weight and shipping details. You can also set options for grouping similar individual products together or adding variations to your product (such as colour or size). You can list external products with the relevant information, but the user will be redirected to the affiliate or sellers site during the purchase.

You can manage the orders, create coupons and sales, alter taxes, shipping, and anything related to product sales.

24/7 support

What would you do if your site stops working? There is no need to panic as the WooCommerce team offers support through their live chat, chat forums, and video tutorials. Since it’s a community-driven product, there are always developers who will solve the issues you might have.

How to install the WooCommerce plugin

Now we will go through the process of installing the WooCommerce plugin to your WordPress website. Installing this plugin works much the same way as installing any other plugin on WordPress.

  • Head into your WordPress dashboard
  • Go to Plugins
  • Click on Add New

  • Now search for WooCommerce in the search bar
  • Click on Install Now
  • Click on Activate

  • You will be redirected to WooCommerce installation Wizard.
  • Click on Let’s Go!

You can always set it up manually, but we recommend going forward with the installation wizard if it is your first time. 

  • WooCommerce will create the backbone of the store, which contains the:
    • Shop
    • Cart
    • Checkout
    • Client Account
  • Read the sections that you will see in the wizard, and then click on Continue.

  • Now fill in the form with the needed information. There are a lot of fields that you should fill depending on your business needs.
  • However, the main sections are store location currency.
  • Once the form is filled, click Continue.

  • Now you need to set the shipping details and taxation.
  • Fill in the details as per your site’s needs.

  • Select the payment method to charge your customers

Congratulations, you have successfully created your digital store. Your store has the product pages, shipping details, payment information and taxes, which is all you need to start using the store. Be sure to check out the WooCommerce documentation to add more advanced features.

Conclusion

If you want to use your WordPress site to sell goods and services, WooCommerce is by far your best option. It’s the most popular e-commerce plugin for a reason and makes it incredibly easy for beginners and experienced users alike to open an online store. While using the basic plugin will enable you to build a successful store, you can improve it even further using themes and extensions.

If you enjoyed this article, let us know in the comments below.

author img

Criss N

I’m a master graduate in ICT and my passion has been towards the software from a very young age. I’m also a professional athlete and a developer. I have more than 6 years of SEO experience, webmaster and a huge fan of wordpress. I love working with coding and also a fan of networking specialities.

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aleshka430

2018 Oct 12, 17:10:14

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