There is no denying that WordPress is a popular content management system. In fact, it powers around 73 million of the world’s websites! WordPress started off life as a blogging platform, but these days it’s used to build websites.
Of course, the open-source software’s versatility doesn’t stop there. That’s because it’s also used as the basis for many as online store! There are many dedicated e-commerce systems that one can use. But, if you love using WordPress or already use it on your site, why go elsewhere?
It’s simple and straightforward to set up an online store using WordPress and a few plugins. If that’s something you want to do, here are some details on a few options available to you:
It may sound obvious but to run a WordPress-based e-commerce site you need WordPress! The good news is that it’s available as a free download from the wordpress.org website.
Many web hosts offer WordPress hosting and you can install it in just a click.
That means you don’t need to download and upload any files. All you do is answer a few simple setup questions, and the server takes care of everything else!
The one-click installation is fast and simple to do. You can then have your WordPress installation up and running in minutes.
As with all Web-based software, it’s crucial that you keep your WordPress installation up-to-date.
That way, you can enjoy using the most secure and stable version available. Your WordPress installation will alert you when a new version is available to install.
Once you’ve got your WordPress site up and running, you now need to install an e-commerce plugin for it. Without a doubt, one of the best-known plugins is WooCommerce. It’s an open-source (i.e. free) plugin available from WooThemes.
Over a million WordPress sites use WooCommerce for their e-commerce needs. It’s not hard to see why that is the case. First of all, it’s one of the most robust e-commerce platforms you will ever use. But, don’t let that fact scare you into thinking that it’s also complicated to use. Are you familiar with the WordPress way of doing things? If so, you will find WooCommerce simple to use.
It offers full customisation so that you can get your online store to look and feel just the way you want. Its intuitive dashboard makes it easy to keep track of sales and stock. And its reporting features are second to none.
One of its biggest selling points is the plethora of payment options that you can set up for your customers. From BACS to debit and credit cards, you can do it all with WooCommerce. There is also an extra 140 premium payment modules that you can use with WooCommerce. All popular payment gateways can get used with the plugin.
Another advantage of WooCommerce is that you have total control of your online store. The problem with e-commerce stores hosted by third parties is they can shut down at any time. But, with WooCommerce, you don’t have to worry about such issues.
Do you need particular functionality with WooCommerce? You’ll be happy to hear that there is a raft of add-ons available for this plugin. For example, some extensions allow you to generate PDF invoices. And there are even subscription and membership modules available too!
Does your WordPress site offer users the chance to buy digital products? For example, are you selling things like ebooks or downloadable software?
If the answer to either of those questions is yes, you need the Easy Digital Downloads plugin. As the name suggests, it facilitates the task of selling virtual products. It’s a lightweight plugin that offers many of the powerful features offered in WooCommerce.
It’s the perfect solution for those that wish to sell a few digital products on their WordPress site. Easy Digital Downloads provides support for payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe and Amazon.
You can also customise the receipts generated for your customers. The plugin also offers some powerful reporting features. And, you also have access to the complete sales history on your website.
Other features include data export via PDF or CSV and a promotional code system. The latter is useful if you’re running sales promotions and wish to offer discounts.
Do you wish to sell items like stock photography? If so, you may want to add a credit-based system to your site. It’s easy to set something like that up thanks to the WPdeposit plugin.
The way that it works is simple. Your customers can “buy” credits of a particular value, and then use them towards the things they want to get.
It supports various payment gateways such as PayPal, and it offers a variety of features. For example, you can use widgets and shortcodes to display credit balances to customers.
It’s important that you perform some search engine optimisation techniques to your WordPress. By default, the system only has some basic SEO features. But, you will need to ensure your site is visible in search engines.
One of the ways to help you achieve that goal is by using the All In One SEO Pack plugin. It lets you configure a raft of options designed to increase search engine exposure.
For example, the plugin will notify Google, Bing and others each time you add new content to your site. It’s also handy for when you add new products to your chosen e-commerce platform. It’s recommended that you get a free Google and Bing account to link to the plugin.
That way, it makes it easier to notify those search engines of any new content on your site. It’s a free download, and it only takes a few minutes to set up. If you’re unsure about any of the options, there’s a dedicated online community that you can ask. The plugin authors also offer premium support if you’re still stuck.
It’s easy to get started selling online using WordPress thanks to these plugins!