The ultimate and complete WooCommerce guide means, EVERYTHING you need to know about WooCommerce. If you are looking to create an online store on your WordPress website you should look no further than the free WordPress plugin WooCommerce. And you must complete the WooCommerce guide.
Powering more than 37% of all online stores, with more than 4 million active downloads, and a stellar 4.6 star rating, this freemium WordPress
eCommerce powerhouse plugin has everything you need to create, manage, measure, and maintain an online store with ease, especially when used with the right WordPress hosting around, using the WooCommerce platform.
WooCommerce is a full open-source eCommerce platform built to seamlessly integrate with WordPress powered websites. Developed by the great WooThemes team, and offering a stable and secure platform that is fully responsive, WooCommerce makes it easy for you to set up an eCommerce store.
Securely coded using only the best coding practices, and audited by the industry leaders in plugin security, thus assure the security of your store. In addition, WooCommerce is not a third-party plugin that hosting your eCommerce site. This means you remain in total control of everything to your site.
In this woocommerce guide, we will discuss about how to build a WordPress eCommerce site with WooCommerce and Elementor. You will learn about what makes WooCommerce so great, how to install and set up this plugin, create products, build an online shop and other important pages as well as manage your WooCommerce online shop. Let’s start the WooCommerce guide.
WooCommerce Guide: Why WooCommerce for Your WordPress Online Store?
This woocommerce guide will be incomplete, if we do not discuss about the reasons why you should use this eCommerce plugin. So, let’s see:
- Low cost – One of the best reasons to use WooCommerce is that it is completely free. You can build a fully functional online store without paying a dime. For certain functionality, you have to use paid extensions. However, with just only small amount of costs which is around $29-$249, these are peanuts compared to proprietary eCommerce platforms.
- Sell anything – By using WooCommerce you can sell both physical and digital products with ease. Offer product variations, multiple configurations, and even instant downloads to your visitors. You can even take advantage of WooCommerce’s free plugins and premium plugins to add things such as memberships, bookings, and recurring subscriptions to your website.
- Ship anywhere – A global presence is crucial to become a successful online business. WooCommerce opens up the door for you to ship your products anywhere in the world. You can customize your shipping rates such as free shipping, flat rate shipping, or even real-time calculations and limit your shipments to specific countries.
- Accept Payments – WooCommerce makes accepting payments for your products easily. It comes bundled with the ability to accept all major credit cards like PayPal, BACS, and cash on delivery. WooCommerce also includes 140 region–specific payment gateways such as Stripe, Authoriz.Net, and Amazon Payments that can easily integrate into your eCommerce store.
- Customize To Your Liking – With hundreds of plugins available and the ability to scale as your business grows, WooCommerce can be easily designed to encompass your brand’s look and feel with just a few clicks. What’s more, WooCommerce can be used with any of the WooCommerce compatible themes.
WooCommerce Guide – Installation and Activation of WooCommerce
If you are familiar with WordPress, then the installation of WooCommerce is just simple like drinking pure water. You can download and install this like any other plugin.
Just login to your WP Admin > Plugins > Add New. You will get a search button. Type “WooCommerce” in the box and hit Enter button.
After finding WooCommerce as like the above screenshot, click on “Install Now” and then “Activate”.
The very first thing you will see after activation is an installation wizard. Basically, you can skip it and make all the changes manually later. However, it’s helpful to go through the process at the same time in order to configure basic settings and pages.
1. Store Setup
At the beginning, the setup will asks you for the essential data about your store like the following screenshot:
This includes the country where your store based on, its address, the currency you use and the types of products you are planning to sell (physical, digital or both). You can also determine whether you want to allow WooCommerce to improve their product with usage tracking.
Type all the information properly for your business and continue via the Let’s Go button at the bottom.
2. Payment Gateways Setup
After store setup, you have to configure payment options. Decide whether to use Stripe and/or PayPal as well as offline payment options like check, bank transfer or cash on delivery. If this is not what you need, you can add payment gateways via plugin.
3. Shipping Configuration
After the completion of Payment setup, configure the Shipping option.
Since you already have some basic zones set up (that you can enable/disable) and to which you can apply currency rates. You can add some more options via plugin.
At the bottom, there is also a promotional offer for ShipStation, which you are free to use (if you use, WooCommerce will install an additional plugin).
By the way, if you don’t know all of this necessary information yet, don’t worry, you can also skip this steps and change it all later.
4. Recommended Features Settings
At this stage, WooCommerce will ask you to install a number of recommended features. This includes the Storefront theme (free and only made for and by WooCommerce), automated taxes powered by WooCommerce Service and Jetpack, MailChimp for email marketing and the social media Facebook for WooCommerce plugin.
Choose the appropriate one. For testing purposes, it makes sense to include the default theme. It is a good starting point for an online store design that makes the beginning a lot easier. Plus, you can always install the rest features later, if needed.
5. Connect with Jetpack
After that, the setup wizard will ask you to connect your store with the aforementioned Jetpack.
It’s a good plugin with all sorts of features that makes sense to have and can also provide automated taxes. You can get it from the WordPress respiratory as well.
6. Finalize the Setup
In the last step, you can sign up for the WooCommerce email newsletter and also find some links for the next steps like creating your first products, Import Products, Visit Dashboard, Review settings, take a guided tour, etc.
Now click on Let’s Go. If you choose to use the Storefront’s homepage template, you will be taken to the Customizer in order to take a tour and publish the changes.
Back on the dashboard, you will also see two new meta boxes.
These will also keep you up to date on sales, orders, recent reviews, and more. Finally, you will get two things to the main menu called WooCommerce and Products. This is where you will take to your next steps.
WooCommerce Guide: Create Products With WooCommerce
The Products menu is where you occupy your shop with things others people can purchase. Here’s how you can do it.
1. Add a Product
As you can expect, you can add products to sell via Products > Add New. Clicking on it takes you like the following screen.
Adding products in WooCommerce basically happens through the classic WordPress editor option plus some additional options.
At the top of the screen, you can give your product a name and give some description. This works the same way as creating a post or page, including that you can use the formatting options and add images and other media files. All of this will appear on the main product page.
There are also a few other options that are very similar to what you find in a posts and pages in WordPress:
- Product categories – Gives you the option to divide your products into different categories and subcategories and help customers to find products what they are looking for.
- Product tags – In addition to categories, you can create tags that customers can use to find products.
- Product image – This works the same as a featured image and will appear both at the top of the product page and in the online store.
- Product gallery – In addition to that, you can also create an image gallery. This will show different product variations, images from other angles and more.
If you have ever worked with WordPress before, all of this should not new to you. However, there are also some additional settings.
2. Configure Product Data
You can find the product data just below the main editor window. Filling up this information is mandatory for your store to work.
The first choice you have to make is for the type of product you are selling:
- Simple product – You can sell physical product like a book.
- Grouped product – A collection of several simple products customers can buy individually or by together, like a number of DVDs that can also be purchased as a set.
- External/Affiliate product – Products that you don’t possess or own but that visitors purchase from someone else where you get a cut of the sale.
- Variable product – A good example of a variable product is t-shirt that comes in several sizes and colors.
This happens via a drop-down menu at the top. Depending on your choice, you will have different configuration options like below.
- Virtual – Check out this box if you are not selling a physical product but some sort of software. Doing so will also remove the shipping options.
- Downloadable – This is the option to add downloadable products. Checking it allows you to upload a file and add a download conditions.
- General – Determine the price and sales price as well as the range of date for any upcoming sales. In general settings, you can also provide product URLs and a button text for affiliate products. Plus, you can set up whether it’s a taxed product as well as its tax class (if properly configured).
- Inventory – Assign a Stock Keeping Unit (SKU) to determine whether the product is in stock and the quantity available. Allow back orders yes or no and whether customers can buy more than one of these products at the same time.
- Shipping – Product weight, dimensions, and different shipping classes.
- Linked Products – Include related products to display as up-sells or cross-sells and create different product groups.
- Attributes – Allows you to define custom product attributes like color, size, brand etc.
- Variations – With existing attributes, here’s where you can create variations of your products.
- Advanced – Add a custom purchase note to send to customers after successful purchase, change the product order inside the menu and determine whether to allow reviews and ratings.
In addition, anything entered under Product short description will show up under the product name.
Together, it all ends up looking like the following:
Once you are done and saved, you can find your new product under All Products.
3. Build a Product Page via Elementor
You can also customize the look and feel of your all products with Elementor. Yes, your page builder integrates with WooCommerce.
To create a new product template, just go to Templates > Add New. Then pick Single Product as the type you want to add.
When you do, you can choose from some ready-made blocks to get started more quickly.
It’s possible to customize them in the traditional way or start from scratch.
What you will soon notice is that you will get a variety of widgets for WooCommerce at your disposal.
Selection the appropriate widgets to use depends on what exactly you are selling. For example, if you are selling a simple product, something like the example like the below could be enough.
The above example includes widgets for the product images, product title, short description, content, price, and the Add-to-Cart button.
Don’t forget to use the preview settings to view your changes with the actual product!
4. Configure Add-to-Cart Button
Since the Buy button is one of the most central elements of each online store, it deserves special mention here. Elementor offers two options for Add-to-Cart buttons. They are – regular and custom.
The first is the standard option that comes with built-in WooCommerce. Elementor gives you the custom styling options such as changing the colors, typography, borders, shape, hover effects and much more.
This applies both to the actual button as well as the quantity counter and different variation labels. Overall, it’s a hard option.
However, if you want the full control over the look and feel of your Buy-Now button, you may want to go with the custom Add-to-Cart option.
First of all, you can assign it to any product you want; meaning, it’s also possible to place it outside of the product template and anywhere on your online store.
You can also decide whether or not to show the quantity counter, and how many products to add to the shopping cart by default if it’s not visible. You also have a choice of the type of buy button (Default, Info, Success, Warning, Danger), label, alignment, size, button icon, and its position and spacing. Finally, you are able to assign a button ID for tracking events to your Google Analytics.
The Style and Advanced section contain the traditional options. In short, with the custom Add-to-Cart button, you can take full control of this part of your visitor interface.
5. Finalize the Design
Finally, when you are done and ready to click on the Publish button, remember to set the terms and conditions under which the new design should show up.
This can be set for all types of products, for a certain category and/or child category, a tag, or only for specific products by a certain author. More complex conditions are also possible here.
Configure as required and save.
6. Other Product Settings
There are a few more terms under Products that are very easy to understand.
Categories and tags should be very clear. Please note that in WooCommerce you can add thumbnail images to product categories.
Shipping Classes allows you to create product groups by shipping and can be used for calculating shipping costs by its class.
In Attributes, you can create sizes, colors and other characteristics and apply them to products to create variations.
WooCommerce Guide: Setting Up Some Important WooCommerce Pages
Besides the products and shop, WooCommerce sets up a number of other standard pages required for purchasing that you might want to tinker with.
Checkout and Cart
If you want to make any changes in checkout and cart, everything located around the actual form is customizable. You can drop it into any page template with the help of [woocommerce_checkout] WooCommerce shortcode.
Just create a new page, edit it with Elementor, find the shortcode, place it where you want the form to appear and paste the code to the right position.
After designing the rest of the page as you like (don’t forget to save and publish!), you need to define the new page as your checkout under WooCommerce > Settings > Advanced.
Once done, you will also see the new design in the Customizer.
The design of the shopping cart can be customized in the same way. Only here, you need to include the WooCommerce shortcode [woocommerce_cart] instead.
At the end of the checkout process, customers land on Thank-You page. It offers a lot of potential for further marketing purposes.
Unfortunately, WooCommerce does not natively support a way to customize it. There is a paid plugin for that purpose. However, you can solve this purpose with some free plugins.
WC Custom Thank You can be used. When you install and activate it, you will get a new menu item under WooCommerce > Settings > Advanced.
Here, you are able to choose any page of your store as your Thank-You page and visitors will automatically be redirected.
WooCommerce Guide: WooCommerce Management Options and Settings
The final part of this WooCommerce article, is the Management options and settings available to you. We’ll discuss each and every menu item one by one so that you know exactly what’s going on there.
This menu shows the current status of orders at your online store.
If you only sell only digital products, all you will see here are the number and type of products sold, and to whom.
Physical products, on the other hand, can have many different statuses like pending payment, on hold, refunded, failed, canceled, etc. After knowing the situation of each at a glance, you can click on each order to modify billing or shipping addresses, add notes, refund order, change the contents of the order, and more.
This is the most familiar concept. Here, you can create and manage discount codes.
Determine the type and calculate the amount of the discount including free shipping, its expiration date and usage restrictions like minimum or maximum expenditure, usage with other coupons, applicability to sales items, products, product categories. You can also set the limits on how many coupons are available to be used overall or per customer.
WooCommerce has a built-in report section where you can find detailed summaries of every aspect of your store.
This includes the gross and net sales of the last seven days, months, year or custom time frame. You can also see the orders placed, items purchased, refunds issued, shipping costs collected and coupons used. Furthermore, you can view sales by product, categories, coupons used or customer downloads and also get detailed information on customers, taxes, and stock.
In addition, everything available here can be exported and imported in CSV form.
In this section you can control everything in your online store. It has loads of configuration options, which we will mention briefly so that you’ll get an idea of what is available.
- Store address – Where your online store is located.
- General options – Choose the countries you want to sell and ship to, the default customer geo-location and whether to use taxes and coupons or not.
- Currency Options – Set the currency you want to receive and its display.
- Shop pages – Determine the shop page, nature of Add-to-Cart action and placeholder image for products without their own.
- Measurements – Settings for weight and dimension units of products.
- Reviews – Control the product reviews, ratings and who can leave them.
- Inventory – Enable or disable the stock management, how long to hold unpaid orders, notifications on low-running stock and their recipients, as well as stock thresholds and the inventory displayed on a shop page.
- Downloadable Products – Contains the file download with delivery method and access restriction for downloadable.
- Tax Options – Determine whether to use net or gross prices, configure how to calculate product and shipping taxes, set up the rounding method, add tax classes, configure the price display in the store and how to show tax totals.
- Standard Rates – Set up different tax rates to use in your store.
- Reduced Rates – Same for reduced rate products.
- Zero Rate Rates – Same for tax-free products.
- Shipping Zones – Define different shipping zones and assign individual shipping methods to them.
- Shipping options – Show shipping costs in the cart, set a default shipping destination and enable debug mode for troubleshooting.
- Shipping classes – Create shipping classes to assign to the products.
- Payment methods – Enable, disable and configure a wide range of different payment gateway options.
- Account options – Determine whether visitors can buy products as guests and log in during checkout, when they can create an account, and how they can remove it, as well as their personal information.
- Personal data retention – How long customer data will be retained until it is deleted.
- Notifications – The content and recipient of different email notifications about what happens on the store and information for visitors.
- Sender options – From which name and email address customers will receive the messages.
- Template – Customize the templates of emails sent by WooCommerce.
- Page setup – This is where you can set up important pages like cart, checkout, account, terms and conditions etc.
- Checkout endpoints – This is the unique strings added to the URL during the checkout process.
- Account endpoints – Same for account pages.
- REST API – Enable/disable the WooCommerce REST API, set up endpoints and permissions for external applications to access your store data.
- Webhooks – The ability to set up event notifications to your store for external services.
- Legacy API – Enable/Disable the legacy REST API of WooCommerce.
- WooCommerce.com – Enable/disable tracking as well as marketplace suggestions from WooCommerce.
This menu gives you an general overview of the health and performance of your online store. You can also download a system report in pdf in case you need to get in touch with the WooCommerce support.
Apart from that, you will get a number of tools for debugging and resetting cached data and the possibility to see data logs for your store and scheduled actions.
WooCommerce Guide: Final Thoughts
Setting up an eCommerce store using the popular WooCommerce plugin is relatively easy to do even for new shop owners. This WooCommerce guide will help you to do so. As this is the best free WordPress eCommerce solutions out there, WooCommerce truly delivers. This plugin is packed with full features needed to get an online shop up and running, as well as being user-friendly on both ends, WooCommerce makes for the perfect eCommerce platform. In addition, WooCommerce provides enough functionality to get most e-store launched quickly, all for free!
If you are looking for an eCommerce platform that is trusted by millions, has extensions for every type of store, and is simple and easy to use, try WooCommerce to use. By following the above steps and WooCommerce guide for configuring the plugin, you can sell products in no time.
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