How to Start an Online Store

Are you planning to start an online store and have no idea where to start?

Or…

You are worried and think it’s too complicated and will cost lots of money to start a successful online store.

Don’t worry, I can understand building an online store sounds terrifying, especially when you are not tech-savvy.

It’s perfectly fine, you are not alone and trust me, by the end of this guide, your e-commerce website will be up and run. Just follow the guide.

This guide has helped hundreds of visitors to make their e-commerce website from scratch by using Woo-Commerce.

So, don’t worry. You are in the right place. If you need additional help you can directly contact me or leave a comment below.

Table of Contents

What Can You Sell With WordPress And WooCommerce?

  • Digital products (e.g. software, downloads, ebooks)
  • Physical products
  • Services
  • Bookings (e.g. for appointments, or anything else that can be booked)
  • Subscriptions
  • Other people’s products – as an affiliate
  • Customizations (e.g. additional customizations on top of your product listings), and more.

In short, you can sell anything by using WooCommerce and WordPress. But make sure you are not selling any illegal things.

What Do You Need To Start An Online Store?

Only three things will be needed to build an online store.

1) A Domain name – your website address.

2) A web hosting account – a place where your website lives.

3) Your Precious undivided 30 minutes – it’s really important.

Yes, that’s all, we will be needed these three things. And in this comprehensive guide, I will take you through each step.

We will cover:

  • How to register a domain name
  • How to signup for the best WooCommerce hosting company
  • How to get an SSL certificate for free (usually it cost $80/ year)
  • How to install WordPress and set up a WooCommerce store
  • How to add a payment method in an online store
  • How to add products to your online store
  • How to customize the checkout page
  • How to enhance your online store with powerful plugins.

So let’s get started.

Disclaimer: At ElegantEspace.com, I believe in being open and honest. If you sign up through my referral link, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. I only recommend products that provide value to our visitors.

To start an online store you will be needed a domain name, web hosting, and an SSL certificate.

A domain name is the URL one types into a browser’s address bar to visit a particular website (for example www.elegantespace.com).

Web Hosting is a place (server) where all the files and data (the content of your site) of a website is stored.

SSL certificate provides an additional security layer on your website.

And it’s really important to have an SSL certificate on an e-commerce website. So that you can easily accept sensitive information such as credit card details, email addresses or other personal details.

Usually the expense of:

  • A domain name is $14/ year
  • E-commerce web hosting $20/ month (starter pack)
  • SSL certificate $80/year

That means $334 per year.

But not to worry, luckily we have Fastcomet you can start your online business at only $85. It’s a one time offer and I recommend you to go for it.

Why Fastcomet?

1. It provides SSD ( solid-state drives ) Space instead of HDD which is up to 300% faster than traditional HDDs ( Hard Disk Drive ).

2. They provide CDN, daily/weekly backups free of cost.

3. They host websites on 11 different data centre locations:

  • Chicago, US-North
  • Dallas, US Central
  • Newark, NJ-US
  • London, UK Europe
  • Frankfurt, Germany, Europe
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands, Europe
  • Singapore, Asia-Pacific
  • Tokyo, Japan, Asia
  • Toronto, Canada
  • Mumbai, India
  • Sydney, Australia

4. They have a one-click WordPress Installer – perfect for beginners (even for webmasters).

5. SSL certificate included in hosting plan – no need to pay extra money.

6. Superior customer support – 24/7 live chat/ phone support.

7. The best part, you will get a domain name at a minimum rate and a hosting account at only $5.95/ month.

8. 45 days money-back guarantee – no need to worry.

Want proof?

Check their website right now…!!

Even I am hosting all my websites with Fastcomet.

You just have to pay $5.95/month.

Isn’t it a great deal?

So, without further ado, let’s get started…!!

Six Steps To Start An Online Store

Step 1

Get a Web hosting and a Domain Name
Go To Step 1

Step 2

Install WordPress From Cpanel
Go To Step 2

Step 3

Installing Woo-commerce And Customization
Go To Step 3

Step 4

Add First Product To Your Online Store
Go To Step 4

Step 5

Get Best Theme For Your Online Store
Go To Step 5

Step 6

Essential Plugins To Enhance Your E-commerce Store
Go To Step 6

Step 1: Get A Domain And Hosting

Open the Fastcomet website in a new window and follow me.

On the home page, you need to click on the ‘start now’ button.

how to make a website with fastcomet hosting

Upon clicking you will be scrolled to the hosting plan column. There you will get three options:

  • FastCloud 
  • FastCloud Plus 
  • FastCloud extra

I suggest getting started with the ‘FastCloud Plus’ plan.

When you will start getting millions of visitors to your website then switch to the higher plan (You can downgrade or upgrade it anytime).

fastcomet pricing and plan details

Next you have to choose the domain name for your website and proceed.

If you have already purchased a domain name somewhere else and want to switch to Fastcomet, then click on ‘I already have a domain name’.

domain name registration with fastcomet

Lastly, you will have to provide the account information ( to make a hosting account with Fastcomet ).

Fill in all the details, then move to the next section.

account information for fastcomet

In the ‘Product Information’ section choose the hosting plan, data centre near to your location and for how long you want to register your website.

To get the best value, I recommend you go with 12 months.

product information of fastcomet hosting

Uncheck all the add-on options, you really don’t need them.

Scroll down and make the payment.

If you want to pay with Paypal, click on ‘Paypal’ or else pay with ‘Credit Card’.

Once completed, you will receive a confirmation email with login details of the cPanel of your hosting account, a place from where you will manage your account settings and install WordPress.

buying fastcoment hosting

Step 2: Set Up Your Website

Once you purchased your domain and hosting, now it’s time to install WordPress to your domain.

Installing WordPress

As I have mentioned earlier, Fastcomet has a one-click WordPress installation feature.

To do so:

1. Log in to your Fastcomet hosting account.

2. Go to the control panel (cPanel).

3. Look for the Softaculous Apps Installer section and click on the ‘WordPress icon’ followed by the ‘install’ button.

fastcomet wordpress installation

4. Next, you will be asked to choose the domain name under which you would like to have your WordPress installed.

P.S: Be advised that you do not need to create a separate database for your script prior to installing it via Softaculous.

The auto-installer will create a new database and user for you during the setup process.

how to install wordpress in fastcomet web hosting

5. After that enter your website name, site description and create a username & password (these login details will be used while login into your backend of the WP site).

Tick all the checkboxes and hit the ‘install’ button.

WordPress installation will begin, and it will take a couple of minutes.

“P.S: If you find any difficulties, then ask customer support to install WordPress on your behalf. They will happily do it for you.”

No need to do anything here, wait until the installation is finished. Upon completion, you will get a success notification.

Test your website by typing in your domain address

Next, you need to check if everything works. 

The easiest way to do that is to type in your domain name into the web browser.

With WordPress correctly installed, the first thing you’ll see is a very basic website like this.

fresh wordpress install 2020

If this doesn’t look too attractive, don’t worry, you’ll soon learn how to change the design to something more appealing.

Step 3: Install Woo-commerce Plugin To Make It An online Store.

Log in to the back-end of your WordPress to customize your website as per your requirement.

1. To login type https://yoursitename.com/wp-admin ( Replace yoursitename.com with your actual domain name ).

2. Enter your username and password you previously entered while installing the WordPress, then you will be redirected to the WordPress dashboard, which looks like the below screen.

wordpress dashboard panel

The dashboard might confuse you, and you will feel a bit overwhelmed but don’t worry, I have promised to get your online store up and running.

Just follow me.

Firstly we will install the Woocommerce plugin. And to do that:

  • Go to the sidebar of the dashboard
  • Click on ‘Plugins’ followed by ‘Add new’ then enter ‘Woocommerce’
  • Once you find the plugin, click on ‘install’ and ‘activate’ it.
how to install woo commerce in wordpress

When you activate the plugin, you will see a new WooCommerce area on your dashboard.

Now go ahead and click on ‘settings’ followed by ‘general’.

Under the General page, you must submit information about your store’s location and address, as well as the default currency for your online store.

When you are done with the configuration, hit on Save Changes button and move to the next tab.

In the product tab, choose the measurements unit of your product.

  • Weight unit – The unit used for measuring the weight of the product
  • Dimension unit – The unit used for measuring the dimension of the product.

Under the review section, you can select the option as per your wish and save the changes.

In the same ways go to the shipping tab, accounts tab, and email tab to make all the necessary changes and fill in all the required details. Once you are satisfied, save all your changes.

Now the most important thing: Payments

Payment method is one of the most important things you will have to consider while building your online store.

For customer satisfaction and the best user experience, it is always a great idea to provide varieties of payment methods to all your potential customers.

By default, WooCommerce will provide you with four payment gateways. You just have to enable each gateway by providing the necessary details.

Please be careful while entering payment details. Check it thoroughly, and then save your settings.

Congratulations!! You have successfully configured all the settings.

And you are just one step behind adding your first product to your online store.

Step 4: Add The First Product On Your E-commerce Website

So far so good…

Now we will add the first product.

And to make it super easy, I will walk you through step by step (1-8).

First of all, go to your Dashboard click on Product followed by Add new.

how to add products in woocommerce

One edit screen will open, where we have to work.

1. Product name: Enter the name of your product.

2. Write down the complete description of your product. Its specification, quality, the material used, warranty/ guarantee, etc. You can even add a video of that particular product.

3. Product data: In this section, you will be able to configure lots of additional settings for your product. we will go one by one.

  • General
    • Regular price: The regular price of the product.
    • Sale price: When you put the product on sale then marked the price here.
  • Inventory
    • SKU: A unique code for each product for the tracking purpose.
    • Manage stock: To manage the stock of your product.
    • Stock Status: To choose if the product is in stock or not.
    • Sold individually: To restrict your user to buy only one product at a time.
  • Shipping: Provide shipping details of the product.
  • Linked products: It’s like adding a similar item. Who knows customers might buy this item also.
  • Attributes: If you have different colours or variants of the same product you can add them here (for example t-shirts).
  • Advanced: Additional setting, you can leave it.

4. Short description: Write a short and best description of your product. This text will display on the product page under the name.

5. Product categories: Categorized your products for optimal results. Like, make a category of t-shirts and add all the variants of t-shirts under this category. And so on…

6. Product tag: An additional way to help you to organize your website.

7. Product image: The main image of your product.

8. Product gallery: Additional images of your product (like side view, back view, etc).

Once you are satisfied, click on the publish button to make it live on your website.

And to add more products, repeat the process.

After adding a handful of goods to your database, the products section in the dashboard will look something like this:

product database of woocommerce

Step 5: Choose A Theme For Your Online Store

So by now, you have added all the products with the help of the WooCommerce plugin. Now to display those products on your website, you will have to install a theme.

The theme controls the overall look of a WordPress website and is responsible for how your product will display on your site.

By default, WooCommerce works with almost every theme but picking the best one should be your aim.

The most popular and reliable theme for a WooCommerce website is Storefront (because it’s free). However, you can go with other premium themes like Astra it’s totally up to you.

To install a theme, go to the dashboard’s sidebar, hover your mouse over ‘Appearance,’ and from the drop-down menu, select ‘Themes,’ then ‘Add new.’

You will get access to over 2000 free themes. Browse it to find your desired one. Use filters or search with specific keywords to find the theme that suits your website.

how to choose best theme

Keep a few things in mind while designing an online store

1. Keep your website neat and clean. Don’t make it complicated. If visitors get confused, they will end up leaving your website without buying any product.

2. Don’t hide any additional information from your visitors like shipping charges.

3. Focus on a good navigational structure.

4. Make your website responsive. It also plays a crucial role in ranking your website in search results.

5. Don’t provoke your visitors for anything. It may irritate them. Not good for online business.

Keeping the above rules in mind select the theme and design your site.

A typical WooCommerce website (with Storefront Theme) looks like the below screenshot.

woocommerce website example

Individual Product Page

You can preview your individual product page and in order to see it, click on any item on your website.

Here is the sample example created with the Storefront theme without additional customization.

woocommerce individual product page

Shopping Cart

Another crucial page on an e-commerce website.

The one thing we would recommend is to go for the full-width layout. Apart from proceeding to checkout and applying coupons, don’t give the buyers too many options on this page.

shopping cart of woocommerce

Checkout

Checkout is yet another most important page of all of them. It’s where your buyers get to finalize their orders and make the payments.

The Checkout page needs to be full-width. The only acceptable way out of the page for the buyer should be to finalize their order, and not get distracted by the things available in the sidebar.

woocommerce checkout page

See how neat and clean this website is. That is why I had mentioned going with a sophisticated theme.

You know what?

You have successfully created your online store!!

Congratulations!!

Pat on your back.

There are a few other things that you should consider to improve your website performance that we will discuss in the next step.

Step 6: Essential plugins that enhance your e-commerce store

Yoast SEO It will help in improving the overall SEO of your website.

Elementor Page Builder The best page builder in the market. It can help you in making the most beautiful website for your business.

Wp Super Cache Speed up your website by catching.

Social Share Button Let your visitors share your website products with their family and friends

Contact Form It allows your visitors to contact you.

UpdraftPlus Backup your entire site just in case.

Limit Login Attempt Save your site from unauthorized login attempt.

That’s all.

One Small Request

If you found this article helpful, then please let me know by commenting below and support me by sharing this article. If you have any suggestion, feel free to share with me.

Frequently asked questions about starting an online store

It is difficult to start a business with no money. To start an online store you have to invest few dollars.

You can sell anything from handmade products, courses, graphic design services, custom printed t-shirts and other apparel, home-baked items and more.

Yes, it is profitable to be an online seller today. More than 50% of consumers today choose to purchase their day-to-day necessities online.

5 thoughts on “How to start an Online store”

  1. It’s truly a nice and helpful piece of information. I am satisfied that you just shared this helpful info
    with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thank
    you for sharing.

  2. This is a wonderful and informative writing, you have a great writer personality. I wish I could hire you to work with me on all my projects. Thank you

  3. It’s a long process to start an e-commerce website. I guess to understanding the whole idea behind the online store will take time. Anyways thanks for the detailed process of starting an online store.

  4. Thank you for the detailed article. But I have a doubt. Can I use free themes to start my online store?

Comments are closed.

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