Building an Online e-Commerce Store using WordPress

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The internet has grown to the point where it is getting easier and easier to use.  Before content management platforms like WordPress existed, you had to hand code all of your pages using HTML, CSS and whatever scripting language you preferred.   Nowadays, setting up an online store is simple, easy and free (with the exception of the initial investment for your domain name, products, advertising and payment processing service fees).  This makes setting up an online e-commerce business simple and easy!

Wordpress offers a convenient way for e-commerce entrepreneurs to quickly get started with a website that is virtually already built.  The beauty of WordPress means that you do not have to be proficient in HTML coding, CSS or Scripting and it will allow non-developers to quickly get started selling and to focus on developing their store, content and products rather than learning how to code as WordPress offers a variety of custom free templates that you can search for within their admin area.  These templates are easy to modify and allow you to change the color scheme, add pictures, backgrounds, widgets and even custom HTML code and CSS if you know what you’re doing.  Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can still follow this guide and get a better idea of how to get started with your online store.

Installing WordPress

If you are serious about starting an online business you will need to register a domain name and pay the yearly fee.  There is a community version of WordPress that is free, but you may not be able to sell from it.  Therefore you will probably want to purchase a custom domain name and install WordPress onto your root directory.

 

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Customizing your WordPress Site is easy

 

Wordpress allows you to select and customize your theme (this is the general look of your site or the “template”).  The Themes can be accessed by clicking on the Appearance tab.  You can do either a keyword search or filter out the themes by color and style.

 

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Above: WordPress offers a variety of free themes. This is just a small example of what you will find when you do a search.

 

Getting a payment processor integrated on a WordPress site is fairly easy.  Payment processing companies such as Pay Pal or 2Checkout have the ability to generate custom HTML buy buttons which can be easily copied and pasted onto any WordPress page.  The only disadvantage of these HTML snippets is the fact that they are just buttons and do not have the ability to keep track of inventory and the product description needs to be entered on the page before the buy button is implemented.  You can add an HTML buy button to WordPress by clicking on the Text option when you are creating your page or post.

 

Adding Simple Buy Buttons

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The highlighted part in blue is a standard 2Checkout buy button (Pay Pal offers a similar method) to integrate a payment button onto your WordPress site

 

Back to the Visual…

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When you click

 

You May Need a Shopping Cart

The problem with a buy button is the fact that it is very time consuming and you will be doing a lot of “copy paste”, “copy paste” and any updates to the product will have to be done manually.  If you have hundreds of products, then you will need a shopping cart to keep track of your inventory.  If you have more than 10 products, then I would recommend getting a shopping cart.  A free shopping cart is called WP e-Commerce and you can easily download it to your WordPress Site by clicking on the Plugins tab and selecting Add New.

 

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Above: Do a search for “WP e-Commerce” and you will find it. It may be rated only Three Stars (as of October 3, 2013), but I still recommend it because it is a good starter shopping cart (if you want something more advanced you will probably have to pay).

 

WP e-Commerce is a great “starter” shopping cart because it is FREE (we all like free right?) and it integrates automatically with many different payment processors such as Pay Pal, Google Wallet and many others (for other options such as 2Checkout, you will need to either find out if a payment module exists).  If a payment module does not exist, I would recommend contacting a developer to build you one or if you are a developer and the payment processing company is Open Source, you can always build your own.  Don’t count on the payment processor or the cart developer to have one for you by default (please don’t have this expectation, because they won’t).

 

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Above:  Here is an example of what WP e-Commerce’s admin area looks like (this is all accessed by logging into your WordPress account).  As you can see, you get a Stock option, which allows you to keep track of inventory (it will deduct automatically after a purchase is made), the ability to add images and descriptions as well as set up a shipping and billing page.

 

That’s it!  It’s that easy to get started selling online!  Once you follow these simple steps, you will be able to quickly and conveniently set up your e-commerce store and website using WordPress!  Once you have your WordPress theme installed and set up, your graphics placed, product descriptions created, buy buttons or shopping cart set up, all you have to do is focus on your marketing and promotions!  Good luck with your business!

 

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Daclaud Lee has an e-Marketing degree from Franklin University and is an expert in e-commerce.  If you thought this guide was helpful, then I would like to ask you to LIKE my Facebook page (the box on the upper right hand side with all the pictures of people).

 

 

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About Daclaud Lee
Daclaud Lee is a resident of Columbus Ohio.

2 Comments on Building an Online e-Commerce Store using WordPress

  1. I have a wordpress site and I am using 2Checkout as my payment processor. Do you have any tips on getting me started?

    • Yeah, check out my other e-commerce related blogs! To get started with 2Checkout you will need to get approval, that’s all I know. If it doesn’t work out for you, then there’s always stripe, authorize.net and braintree. Good luck with your e-commerce business!

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