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WooCommerce setup tutorial

A Step-by-Step Setup Tutorial for WooCommerce on WordPress

By
Rosie Greaves

You're in the right place if you want a beginner-friendly WooCommerce setup tutorial. 

WooCommerce is a powerful eCommerce platform that runs on WordPress, offering a wide range of features and flexibility for online store management. 

We're not getting too technical and promise to keep it jargon-free as we walk you through everything you need to know to launch your WooCommerce store on WordPress. 

There's lots to show you, so let's dive straight in!

  1. Lay The Foundations for WooCommerce Setup

The first step to any successful WooCommerce store setup is to have all the components you need to install WooCommerce ready to go. 

These include:

  • A domain name
  • Web hosting
  • Downloading WordPress 
  • Installing an SSL certificate

Below, we’ll explore each in turn:

A Domain Name

For the uninitiated, a domain name is a bit like your website's digital internet address. It's the URL visitors search in their internet browser to find your WooCommerce webshop. 

For example, a domain name looks like this:

www.exampledomainname.com

You can purchase a domain name from popular registrars like:

  • NameCheap
  • Domain.com
  • Google Domains
  • Hover
  • GoDaddy
  • Bluehost
  • HostGator
  • Network Solutions
  • BuyDomains

Web Hosting

In addition to a domain name, you'll also need web hosting. 

What’s web hosting?

In short, when you create a website, you need a place to keep all your images, text, and other content. 

Web hosting is where you store all the files you need to build your website, allowing people to access your site on the web. 

That said, you can think of web hosting as a bit like renting space on the internet to store your website files. 

Here are some examples of web hosting services:

  • Hostinger 
  • HostGator 
  • Bluehost 
  • InMotion
  • DreamHost
  • Hostwinds Web Hosting
  • WP Engine Web Hosting
  • Ionos 

Pro Tip: Some web hosts, such as Bluehost, also sell domain names. So, if you prefer to manage your domain name and web hosting using one service, research which services provide both. 

Install WordPress to Your Web Hosting Account

To install WordPress on your web hosting account, you first need to download the latest version of WordPress

Once you’ve done that, you need to unzip the downloaded WordPress file and save it as a folder on your computer. 

Next, you need to upload the file’s contents to your web hosting account. 

Don't worry if you're not sure how to upload the file's contents to your web hosting account. Each web host has its own process, and typically, they'll provide self-help documentation and/or assistance via their customer care team. 

Purchase and Install an SSL Certificate

Lastly, you’ll need to purchase and install an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate, or Secure Sockets Layer certificate authenticates a website's identity and encrypts information sent to the server, ensuring all data remains private. This protects sensitive information like usernames, passwords, and payment information from being intercepted, making your store more secure and trustworthy.

Like installing WordPress, installing your SSL certificate onto your web hosting account will vary depending on your web hosting service, so we advise looking to them for more concrete instructions on how to do this.

You can purchase an SSL certificate from the following places:

  • Let's Encrypt
  • Comodo
  • Cloudflare
  • GoDaddy
  • GeoTrust
  • GoGetSSL
  • Instant SSL
  • Basic SSL
  1. How to Install WooCommerce

With your WordPress website ready, it's time to set up WooCommerce on WordPress.

Follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your WordPress Dashboard.
WP Login Screen
  1. From the left-hand menu, select 'Plugins' and then 'Add New Plugin.'
  2. Using the search bar, search for WooCommerce. 
  3. Select the WooCommerce plugin.
  4. Click 'Install Now'.
WordPress Addons
  1. Click 'Activate’.
Activate Plugin

Autoinstall WordPress

If you don't fancy manually installing WordPress, various web hosts have an auto-installer that allows you to do this with just a click. Bluehost, SiteGround, and Hostinger are all examples of hosts offering this service.

  1. Setting up WooCommerce on WordPress

We've reached the point in this WooCommerce guide where it's time to configure your new WooCommerce store.

Once you’ve installed WooCommerce, it will appear as an option on your left-side menu. From here, click ‘WooCommerce,’ and the WooCommerce setup wizard will appear. This prompts you to customize your store, add products, set up customer payment options, taxes, and much more. 

Just follow the on-screen instructions to hit the ground running.

WordPress Addons

Select and Customize Your WooCommerce Theme

Let’s take a closer look at the first step listed on the WooCommerce setup wizard: Customize your store. Click this. This automatically redirects you to a page where you can start designing your WooCommerce website from scratch or choose from a selection of templates (some are free, and others have a price tag).

Customise WooCommerce theme

For the sake of this WordPress WooCommerce tutorial, I selected and downloaded the Twenty Twenty-Four theme. 

Twenty Twenty Four Theme
  1. How to Setup WooCommerce Extensions

Lastly, suppose you wish to extend the functionality of your WooCommerce website. In that case, you can add WordPress/WooCommerce plugins to do all manner of things, for example:

  • Provide live chat support
  • Integrate email marketing software
  • Add dropshipping products to your store
  • Add tools to help you optimize your store for SEO

...and so much more. 

To add WooCommerce extensions:

  • Log in to the WordPress Dashboard.
  • Click on Plugins and choose Add New Plugin.
  • Click ‘Woo’ on the top menu.
WooCommerce Plugin
  • Now, you can choose from 100 free and paid WooCommerce extensions to add to your store. 
WordPress Addons

Are You Ready to Launch Your WordPress WooCommerce Store?

We hope this WooCommerce plugin tutorial provides a clearer idea of how to launch your WordPress WooCommerce store. 

We've covered all of the basics, from acquiring a domain name and web hosting to installing WooCommerce and picking a theme. 

To recap, WooCommerce installation requires a WordPress website to be up and running first. Then, you can install WooCommerce by searching for it in the WordPress plugin directory, installing and activating the plugin, and following the on-screen instructions to configure your online store. 

Simple, right?

That’s all from us. Will you be using WooCommerce to fuel your eCommerce store? Please tell us your thoughts in the comments box below!

Frequently Asked Questions about WooCommerce Setup

We hope this WordPress WooCommerce tutorial has shed some light on how to set up WooCommerce. However, before wrapping up this blog post, let's answer some of the most frequently asked questions on the subject:  

Is Woocommerce Easy to Setup?

Yes, setting up WooCommerce on WordPress is easy—especially if you're familiar with WordPress. In this case, installing and configuring WooCommerce should be relatively straightforward for you. 

Is WooCommerce 100% Free?

WooCommerce doesn't charge setup or monthly fees. However, you'll have to budget for your web hosting, domain name, SSL security certificate, and any premium themes and extensions you wish to use. 

How Long Does It Take To Set up a Woocommerce Website?

Suppose you already have a WordPress site up and running. In that case, experts estimate that it takes between 10 and 35 minutes to set up a WooCommerce store (this includes installation and configuration).

What Is Cheaper, Shopify, or Woocommerce?

This is a tricky one to answer. At first glance, as WooCommerce is free to install and use, it appears cheaper than Shopify. However, as previously mentioned, you're responsible for purchasing a web domain name, hosting, and an SSL certificate. The prices for all of these vary. In contrast, Shopify is a self-hosted eCommerce platform with many in-built sales tools. Its monthly subscription starts at $39.

What Are the Cons of Woocommerce for WordPress?

Although there are tons of benefits to using WooCommerce, there are a few drawbacks:

  • Compared to self-hosted eCommerce platforms, WooCommerce has a slightly larger learning curve.
  • You're responsible for maintaining your own website; this can be time-consuming. 
  • You often have to pay to access in-person support. 

Does WooCommerce Have Good SEO?

Yes. WooCommerce inherits many of WordPress's SEO-friendly features, including:

  • You can easily create and optimize product pages, blog posts, and other content types for search engines.
  • SEO plugins are available 
  • You can customize web page URLs to include relevant keywords
  • WooCommerce themes are typically responsive. 

...and more. 

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Rosie Greaves

Rosie Greaves is a professional content strategist specializing in all things digital marketing, B2B, and lifestyle. In addition to Spocket, you can find her published on Reader's Digest, E-commerce Platforms, and Judicious Inc.

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