How to start an online store using WordPress


One question that is frequently asked is how to make to make on online store using WordPress ?

So today let us talk about what will you need to do before you get started with creating an online store and how you can create an online store using WordPress.

I am going to use terms like hosting, WordPress and domain name in this article so if you would like to revisit them please read important terms to know before you start building a site with WordPress

Note – Latest deals on hosting we have tried and tested and we recommend available at the end of this article.

What you need to start an online store

To create a website where you can sell your products or an online store you will need to have the below in place

Your Domain Name

A domain name is nothing but a name of a website or blog. For e.g. when you hear www.google.com then this is actually a domain name. The domain name of the website you are reading is www.sharingourexperiences.com

Before you can start a website or blog you need to buy a domain name for your site. And Remember just having a name will not mean that now you have website but yes it is the first step to getting started.

Where can I get a domain name from

You can get a domain name from domain name registrars or in some cases web hosting companies.

You need to pay an annual fees to the registrar to use a particular domain name. Note you have registered your site for only one year and this registration will need to be renewed every year.

Note – some web hosting companies like Dreamhost and Bluehost also throw in a free domain name when you buy hosting from them.

So I suggest that you don’t buy a domain name individually and get it free when you buy hosting from a hosting provider. We are going to talk about hosting next.

If you want to buy only a domain name then here is a list of some well known Domain Name registrar’s –

Dreamhost

Bluehost

Namecheap

Bigrock

– Go Daddy

You can search for domain name availability using the below tool

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Good Hosting

To start with you can think of hosting as a service that will connect your site to internet i.e once you host your domain name your site will be visible to the world.

Web hosting companies provide technology and the services needed for a website to be viewed on the internet. Websites are stored or shall we now say hosted on special computers called servers.

Self hosting (buying hosting for your site) gives you access to install themes and plug-ins in your site which is necessary to create an online store.

Theme in simple words is how your website looks. Plug-in is block of codes that you can just download and activate and they define how your website behaves. You could have a plugin for menus, or lets say sharing button and so on.

To know more about free hosting, self hosting, themes and plugins read what is WordPress, WordPress.com and WordPress.org.

“For a successful online store, finding the right hosting is very important”

You can buy hosting for your site from web hosting companies. There are monthly and yearly plans available so you can chose and buy hosting as per your need. Some well known web hosting companies are

Dreamhost

SiteGround

Bluehost

BigRock

– Go Daddy

 

Hosting providers I recommend are

Siteground (Cheapest and reliable – their main advantage is that they transfer your blog for you and have excellent support)

BlueHost US (Cheaper and internationally recomended, transferring the blog is not difficult but you will need to to it yourself)

Dreamhost (Expensive but fastest)

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I recommend buying a shared hosting plan from Dreamhost. It will cost you around Rs 400 per month or may be lesser depending on deals going on.  Our site is hosted on Dreamhost for couple of years now.

Click here to sign up and browse their hosting plans, What you will need to buy is a shared hosting plan (there are various kind of hostings but shared hosting works fine). Pictorial Steps below.

Get Hosting and a Free domain from Dreamhost

Clicking on above button will take you to below screen. Click on “Hostings and Server”. Select Web hosting

Dreamhost Hosting step1

 

Dreamhost Hosting Step 2

This will take you to the screen below. Click on “See our shared hosting plans”. Select whether you want to pay monthly, yearly or a lumpsum for three years.

Dreamhost Hosting Step 3

Dreamhost Hosting Step 5

If you need cheaper plans then I will recommend Bluehost and Siteground. They are cheap and reliable. And I am suggesting them as I have now set up few blogs for bloggers on these hosting sites.

I will suggest you to get hosting from Bluehost US rather than Bluehost india. I had bought hosting from Bluehost India but returned it within a month. Bluehost India and US are almost two separate entities in terms of services provided.

Again what you need to get is shared hosting from Bluehost.

Get Hosting and a Free Domain from Bluehost US

Get Hosting from Siteground

If you need any assistance in setting up feel free to drop me a mail at sharingourexperiencesblog@gmail.com, I can set it up for you.

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SSL Security Certificate

Once you have a domain in place, I will suggest you to buy a SSL security certificate.

What is a security certificate – If you see some sites like Amazon you will notice that they start with https instead of simple http. The reason is because they have purchased SSL certificate. This certificate makes exchange of data between these sites and users secure.

You can buy a security certificate directly from Dreamhost, Bluehost or Siteground, after you have signed up and created an account. The below is a snapshot of Dreamhost dashboard.

 

Dreamhost Dashboard

On the left hand side you will see Secure hosting tab. Using that you can buy a Comodo verified SSL for $15 per year.

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Your Payment Gateway

You will also need to engage with a payment gateway like PayuMoney or CCA Avenue. These payment gateways can be easily integrated with your website and make life easy.

Please note that all payment gateways charge a percentage of transaction as their commission. Some also have other fees associated so do check out and start engaging with them at an early stage.

I recommend engaging with PayuMoney as a payment gateway. Its safe, its fees and commissions are lowest and integration with woo-commerce is very easy. It willtake some time to complete your formalities with Payumoney so get started today.

Get Started with Payumoney

Once you have the above in place, you have the basic set up ready.

To summarize, this is what you need to be able to start your own ecommerce website.

What you need to start an online store

  1. Domain Name
  2. Hosting
  3. SSL security certificate
  4. Payment Gateway

Now, we are going to talk about at a high level how to set up your website or online store after you have a domain and hosting available and set up. I am going to write individual blogs with more details on this so do not panic if you do not understand

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How can you set up an online store using WordPress

Setting up a website involves many things as there can be multiple features that you would like to have. But basically you will need to do below:

1) Install an online store theme of your choice

WordPress Themes is how your site looks. This is your site’s design.

There are some very good free themes that you can set up on your WordPress site to make an online store. You also have an option of buying a Premium theme. We will talk about them in more details in another blog.

2) Install a plug-in to add store functionalities

For a site to behave like an online store, you need to have products, their display, adding to cart function, checkout functionality and so on.

The easiest and most popular way to achieve this is installing and activating woo-commerce plug-in on your site. Once that is done you can set it up to suit your needs.

I will cover setting up woo commerce in WordPress as another blog. Mainly what you need to do is initial set up of woo-commerce, set up your product categories and then adding and maintaining products.

3) Integrate Payment Gateway with your website

The last step is to integrate you store with Payment gateway. Most of the payment gateways have guide to help you through this process.

If you need help with integrating PayuMoney with woo-commerce, feel free to contact me. Also will talk about it in another blog.

The last step is to extend your store with WordPress plugins. This is not necessary for your store to function but its good to have some plugins installed.

If you are not understanding much of what of what I said. Don’t worry, you will get a hang of all this once you get started. So take one step at a time.

 

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You may also want to read What you need to build a website using WordPress – important terms before you start ?

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Mom of an adorable toddler, reader, crafter, blogger, traveler, in IT by profession and now the happy and proud founder of "Sharing Our Experiences". Neha believes that by sharing our learning and experiences we can help, encourage and inspire each other and touch the lives of many others who may be in a similar situation. She shares her experiences on parenting, crafts, using products and blogging via Sharing Our Experiences. Read more in 'About Us' and 'Meet the Founder' sections.

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