Step-by-Step Guide To Creating Your First E-commerce Store

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June 15, 2018
Do you want to make a little extra money on the side with your e-commerce business idea? Or do you want to make it your full-time job? Whatever the reason, Shopify and WooCommerce are the fastest ways to get online and start selling. We created a step-by-step guide that can help you set up your first e-commerce store. And the best thing - it will not take you more than 20 minutes to do so!
Laptop On Table With Pot

Source: @kevnbhagat/Unsplash

Using both Shopify and WooCommerce is easy, both platforms have an intuitive user interface, listing products, checking and fulfilling orders, and more. The biggest difference between the two is in the setup. Shopify is a self-hosted solution, which means that you don’t have to worry about finding a web host and install a separate Content Management System (CMS).

On the other hand, WooCommerce is a plugin for WordPress, which means that you need a WordPress website, you have to install the WooCommerce plugin and then set up the store.

When Should You Choose Shopify?

Shopify is the ideal tool for beginners or for people who don’t have an established website. You won’t have to hire a developer to help you with setting up the store. You would be able to setup everything yourself, including the website design.

When Should You Choose WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is a great solution for those who are interested in the ultimate customization. Since WordPress is open-source, you can add a wide range of plugins and change the code to brand your website however you want. You can use it with a little development knowledge, but it’s worth giving it a try if you want absolute control over the way your e-commerce website looks and runs.

Set Up Shopify Webstore

As mentioned, creating and setting up your first Shopify Store is an easy process, even if you don’t have any development knowledge. Here are the 5 steps of creating a Shopify store, and we promise that it will not take you more than 20 minutes to do so.

Step 1: Sign Up For Shopify

Go to the Shopify website and click on the Get Started button.

Shopify Get Started

Source: Shopify

Fill in your email address, password and store name.

Shopify Email Password Store Input

Source: Shopify

It will then ask you if you are already selling online or in a brick and mortar store and what is your current revenue. When you choose the answers that apply for your case, click Next.

Shopify About Yourself Next

Source: Shopify

The following page will require you to fill in some personal information (your name, address and phone number), which will be used as your default business address.

Shopify Add Business Address

Source: Shopify

Step 2: Add Products To Your Shopify Store

It’s time to add the first products to your Shopify store! To start adding products, click Add Products button.

Shopify Add Products To Store

Source: Shopify

Fill in details such as title, description, price, inventory and images. You don’t have to complete all the fields, but you should complete as much as possible. Make sure to save the product at the end.

Shopify Add Products And Save

Source: Shopify

Step 3: Customize The Look Of Your Website

Once you finish adding all the products, go back to the main dashboard and select the Customize Theme button. You can choose one of three options: choose one of the free Shopify themes, purchase a premium theme or upload your own theme.

Shopify Upload Theme

Source: Shopify

Browse through the hundreds of themes in Shopify and make your site look awesome!

Shopify Browse Through Theme

Source: Shopify

Step 4: Activate Your Domain

After you choose your template and design your website, it’s time to select a domain and make your site live. Click the Add Domain button on the main dashboard, and choose whether you want to connect the existing domain or to register a new one.

Shopify Activate Domain

Source: Shopify

Choose the domain name for your business and walk through the steps to make the purchase.

Step 5: Activate Your Payment Processor

The final step of setting up your e-commerce store is activating a payment processor that will allow you to accept payments and put those payments in an account. Click on the tab on the left called Payments, and select one of the payment processors that suits you best.

Now click the Launch Website button and you’re ready to sell your amazing products online!

Set Up WooCommerce Webstore

If you decided to create your ecommerce store with WooCommerce instead, follow these 3 steps to do so. Go to the WooCommerce website, click the Get Started button and log in with your WordPress account.

Shopify Woocommerce Setup

Source: WooCommerce

Step 1: Choose A Domain And Hosting Account

The first step is choosing a hosting account to host your website files. You have three options to choose from:

  • Bluehost - this is basic e-commerce hosting that includes features such as pre-installed Storefront theme, dedicated IP address, free domain, 100GB storage and unlimited bandwidth;
  • Pressable - this is a fast and secure hosting with features such as pre-installed theme, daily backups and managed updates;
  • VIP - this is one of the leaders in WordPress hosting and each plan is customized for your store’s individual needs.
Shopify Woocommerce Options

Source: WooCommerce

We suggest using the Bluehost, because is secure and reliable, and you can install WooCommerce easily. Go to their website and choose a plan that suits your needs the best.

Shopify Woocommerce Price Plan

Source: WooCommerce

The next page asks you to choose a domain on to create a new one. After you finish this step, you will have to add your personal details and package information.

Shopify Domain Sign Up

Source: WooCommerce

Continue walking through the setup process, and once you get to the Bluehost CPanel, click the WordPress button under the Website Builders header. At the end, it will tell you the domain you can to for logging into your WordPress tool.

Step 2: Purchase And Install The Divi Theme

Go to the Divi Purchase Page and follow the steps to buy this WordPress theme.Purchase and download the Divi theme, upload the file to the backend of your WordPress dashboard and activate it as your primary theme. Do this by going to Appearance > Themes > Add New.

Step 3: Add Products To WooCommerce

Navigate to Products > Add Product. The process is now similar to adding products to a Shopify store. Create a title for your product, add a description, inventory, images, pricing and linked products.

This is enough to start your first e-commerce store with WordPress, but have in mind that the WooCommerce store is completely customizable and that there are many plugins and features that you can install.

Woman Working On Laptop E-Commerce Store

Source: @andrewtneel/Unsplash

Enjoy your e-commerce journey and feel free to share your experience with us!

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