How To Build a WordPress E-Commerce Website


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Whether you have a local business that you want to expand to the Internet or are looking to start a new online business, having a good e-commerce site in place is essential. E-commerce sites allow you to sell products online quickly, easily, and most importantly, safely. There are many different ways to create an e-commerce site, including using the popular content management system, WordPress.

If you want to create your e-commerce website using WordPress, you need to understand what type of requirements are in place, and how it should be done. On this page, you’ll get a good overview of this process, including things like:

  • Why WordPress can be a great option for e-commerce sites
  • What is needed to set up an e-commerce site with WordPress
  • Steps to take when creating your WordPress based e-commerce site
  • Answers to common questions

Why Use WordPress for Your E-Commerce Website?

WordPress graphic with a shopping cart and star rating.

WordPress isn’t best known for being an e-commerce platform, but it can be very effective when set up properly. This is because WordPress has so many options built right into it, and its easy plug-in system allows you to make endless customizations without any trouble. No matter what it’s that you want to be selling online, you can take advantage of the fact that WordPress is fast and easy to set up to get your store up and running fast.

Another reason so many people choose WordPress for their e-commerce website is that it’s the ideal choice for publishing blogs and other content. E-commerce sites are only going to be successful if they get plenty of traffic, and that means engaging in SEO. One of the most effective SEO strategies is to publish content on a regular basis, which is easy to do on the WordPress platform.

Of course, just because WordPress is a popular option and has many perks doesn’t mean it’s right in every situation. If you decide that you would rather have a platform that specializes in e-commerce sites, there are plenty of options out there.

What Do You Need to Setup Your E-Commerce Website Using WordPress?

Person working on a laptop.

It doesn’t take much to set up your e-commerce website. You just need a web hosting account with WordPress installed, some type of e-commerce-focused plug-in or other tools, the ability to accept payments ― typically included in the e-commerce plug-in ― and information about what you want to sell. Of course, you also need the time to set everything up and manage your site going forward.

Steps To Set Up Your WordPress E-Commerce Website

Creating any site with WordPress is surprisingly fast and easy. To get your e-commerce site up and running, you need to go through a few basic steps.

Of course, even after your site is technically online and ready to go, you have a lot of work ahead of you. For example, even after your online store is up, you still need to add in all your products, set your prices, and complete other tasks.

Every e-commerce website is unique and, therefore, requires different steps to complete. The following are some of the standard steps you need to take to get everything in place for you to launch your digital marketplace.

Purchase Your Domain Name

WordPress graphic with fake money coming from a monitor screen.
Source: DreamHost

When it comes to e-commerce sites, the domain name can be extremely important. Some people want the domain name to be an exact match of their company name. Others want it to be associated with the type of products that they’re selling. Finding the right domain name for your site can be a challenge, but it’s worth the effort in the long run.

Once you have an idea of what you want your domain name to be, find the best domain registrar and see if it’s available. Remember, you can have your domain in .com, .net, .org, or any number of other things. There are even longer domain names like .store available now, which can be a great option. Select the one you want and make your purchase.

Select the Best WordPress Hosting for E-Commerce Sites

No matter what type of website you’re creating, you need a good web hosting service. This is where the actual files for your site will be housed, and what visitors connect to. There are thousands of different web hosting companies out there, so make sure you choose the right one.

Even though you’re making an e-commerce site, you want to use hosting that’s intended for WordPress sites since that’s the system that you’re using.

Optimized for WordPress message.
Source: GreenGeeks

Useful Plug-ins to Consider

Whenever creating a website with WordPress you’ll almost certainly use some type of plug-in to add in additional functionality. When building an e-commerce site on WordPress, it’s the plug-ins that add in the ability to host your online store.

If you have ever used WordPress before, you know that there are a huge number of plug-ins available from which to choose. This is also true of e-commerce-focused plug-ins. Some great plug-ins to consider include the following:

  • WooCommerce: The WooCommerce plug-in is one of the most popular options for e-commerce sites. It gives you a storefront where you can list all of your items and provide visitors with a lot of information.
  • OptinMonster: If you want to collect emails or other information to generate future leads, this is a great option. It’s easy to use and very effective.
  • Yoast SEO: Yoast SEO is the most popular SEO-focused plug-in for WordPress. It gives you great tips and advice on what you can do to improve the rankings of your site for search engines.
  • WP Super Cache: This is a great plug-in no matter what type of site you’re making. It helps make your site run more smoothly and give visitors a better overall experience, which is essential.

There are many other plug-ins that you can use depending on the specific requirements your site has. One great thing about the WordPress platform is that you can add and remove plug-ins quickly and easily so you can test things out and use what you love.

You should always be looking for the best WordPress plug-ins to see which ones give you the results that you’re looking for.

Text that reads "Power your creativity on the #1 platform for WordPress."
Source: WPEngine

Frequently Asked Questions

People often have questions about building an e-commerce site with WordPress. The following are some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs), and some quick answers to help get you started.

How Long Does It Take To Build a WordPress E-Commerce Website?

If you have everything planned out and ready to go, you could have your e-commerce website up and running in less than an hour. If you’ve never done this type of thing before, it takes a day or so to complete in most cases.

How Much Does It Cost to Build a WordPress E-Commerce Website?

If you’re building the site on your own, you can get it completed for well under $50. You only need to pay for registering your domain name and the first month’s hosting service. WordPress is free to use, and there are some e-commerce plug-ins that are also free. If you want to use premium e-commerce solutions, the cost will be more.

Can You Have a Blog on an E-Commerce Site?

WordPress allows you to have an e-commerce front end and a blog on another section of the site. This is a great strategy for building your site and getting it to rank with the search engines.

How Do You Take Payments on an E-Commerce Site?

There are many options for accepting payments. Most e-commerce plug-ins come with some type of payment processing option that allows you to accept Visa, MasterCard, and other popular options. You can also get a dedicated payment processing solution that allows you to accept credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, cryptocurrencies, and more.

It’s Time To Get Started

It’s easy to overthink the process of creating a website. In the end, it’s often best to just get started and learn as you go. WordPress is extremely easy to use and makes it simple to set up most types of websites, including e-commerce. Taking the first step can be difficult, but in the end, it is well worth the effort.

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