Do you want to sell products online and make a good regular income out of it?
Feel free to make use of this wholesome article to learn how to start an online store in just 6 simple steps.
Creating a website to sell products online is no more a complicated task and the whole process takes less than 60 minutes.
We must be thankful to platforms like WordPress and eCommerce plugins like Woocmmerce.
Are you wondering, why?
It’s simple as you can start an eCommerce website seamlessly without any coding knowledge with the help of WordPress and Woocommerce combined.
I know that you are curious to read further on how to build an eCommerce website. Keep the curiosity and be delighted.
I will write down the 6 simple steps without any further delay.
- 6 Simple Steps to Start an Online Store
6 Simple Steps to Start an Online Store
Just follow these 6 simple steps and launch your online shop right away like a pro.
1. Register your Online Store Domain Name
The very first step in the whole process behind online store creation is that you should register a domain name for your online store.
The domain name can be anything of your choice. The domain name you register is what is the brand name of your online store. So, ensure to keep a catchy as well as a short name, so that your audience can remember easily.
Registering a domain name for your online store is not a difficult task as there are some best providers out there to offer domain names at affordable cost.
Out of all, Godaddy and NameCheap are popular domain name providers. If you want me to suggest one best domain name registrar company, I would recommend ‘NameCheap’.
Visit NameCheap and search for the availability of the domain name in your mind for your online store, if available, just register the domain name following the simple checkout process.
Registering a .COM domain name with NameCheap usually costs you around $7 for the first year. Depending on the TLD’s you choose the price may vary.
If you are targeting only specific countries, then register your online store domain name with the country TLD. For instance, if you want to sell only in India, then register for .IN domain.
Irrespective of the countries you target to sell your products, I would recommend you to register your online store domain name in .COM for better reach and easy remembrance.
So, now you are done with the first step. Let’s move ahead to step 2.
2. Buy a Hosting Account
You need a server space to store all your website data.
Buying a hosting account can get you server space and the hosting company can keep your online store website data safe and secured in their server till you are with them.
The most crucial part in the process of creating a website to sell products online is choosing the web hosting company.
There are thousands of companies out there to choose from. But only a very few offer the promising features and services.
Your web hosting account plays a key role in your online store performance in search results. So, you must be very cautious in selecting your web hosting account.
My all time personal recommendation for those who are looking to buy a solid web hosting account is ‘BlueHost’.
BlueHost is feature-rich, most affordable and WordPress’ very own choice to start an online store to sell products.
Head to BlueHost, scroll down to the footer and under the Products, you will find some list of hosting offered by BlueHost, click WooCommerce Hosting, an exclusive hosting solution for those who want to start an eCommerce website with WordPress.
Choose either single store or multiple stores Woocommerce hosting plan according to your requirements, and follow the further checkout procedures to get your hands on a hosting plan from BlueHost.
When you choose BlueHost hosting, you will get a domain name free for one year. So, there is no need to buy a domain name paying extra.
3. Install the WordPress CMS on your Online Store
WordPress is undoubtedly the best-in-class content management system platform to run eCommerce websites.
That’s why I recommend WordPress over other similar platforms. You will have almost all the controls on your online store when you prefer platforms like WordPress.
Most of the hosting accounts offer 1-click WordPress installation solutions to the users including BlueHost.
So, instead of manual installation process, you can prefer installing the platform via your hosting account dashboard. You can get the installation done in less than 5 minutes.
Login to your BlueHost hosting account and head over to cPanel. There you will find a list of CMS options. Click ‘WordPress’.
You have to input your site name, tagline, database name, WordPress username and password while installing WordPress to your online store website straight from the hosting dashboard.
Enter the details and click the ‘Install’ button. The installation process will be done in less than 1 minute and your online store hosted on BlueHost is now ready to proceed further.
4. Installing a Theme to your Brand New WordPress Online Store
The fourth important process is that you have to install a lightweight yet the best theme to your WordPress installed online store.
Same as the hosting plan, the WordPress theme you choose for your online store plays a key role in your store performance.
There are so many free and paid WordPress themes available. Out of all, only very few themes offer you the best experience.
Out of the very few, Astra is one of the best themes to start an eCommerce website with WordPress. Luckily, Astra is available in both free and paid versions.
You will get more features and customizing options in the premium version. If you are just starting out and concerned about budget, Astra free is good enough.
4.1 Installing Astra WordPress Theme in Just 3 Quick Steps
Step 1: Login to your online store either from BlueHost or straight from WordPress login URL.
Step 2: On your left of the WordPress dashboard, you will see ‘Appearance’. Click on it and then ‘Themes’
Step 3: On the top, you will find an option called ‘Add New’. Click on it and search for ‘Astra’.
Step 4: Click Install and the Astra theme will be installed to your WordPress online store.
You can also directly download the Astra theme from the Astra website and you can install it.
After the successful Astra WordPress theme installation process, you can now start customizing your eCommerce store of your own creative choice.
Astra theme gives you more control in the customization and so, you can design your store the way you want.
If you are not the kind of person who loves designing the store yourself, with Astra there are some ready to use web templates exclusively for eCommerce stores. Use the template and launch your store in no time.
After the customization part, create pages such as about us, contact us and install some basic WordPress plugins like contact form, Rank Math SEO etc..
5. Install the Mandatory Ecommerce Plugin
You are almost done. The one last step that you should need to follow is installing the ‘Woocommerce’ plugin, an exclusive plugin available for WordPress sites to transform a normal WordPress site into an online store.
Login to your WP dashboard, you will find the plugin option on your left, click and then ‘Add New’. Search for ‘Woocommerce’. Just Install and Activate the Plugin. It’s totally free.
Upon the successful plugin installation, you will be required to fill your store details like store address, shipping options, payment options and few more from your Woocommerce plugin setting section. Fill up all the details.
With the help of the Woocommerce plugin, you are now able to seamlessly add an unlimited number of products to your newly created online store and sell to your customers to make income from your online store.
6. How to Get First Order from Your Ecommerce Store? (Bonus)
The first order you receive from your store is always special and it does not happen easily. You have to follow some good marketing strategies in order to receive your first order and more.
Here are the few ideas that you can follow to get your first order as soon as your online store is launched.
- Frequently add more products to your online store
- Share the products as much as possible on your social media profiles
- Keep status and stories of products on your Whatsapp, Instagram and FB accounts
- Share the words with your friends about your new store with a link to your store
- Offer some discounts for your audience on their very first order
- Offer free shipping to your customers
Following these ways can help you achieve your first order quickly.
Having an online store is mandatory for any business in 2022 and beyond.
Having said that, the creation process becomes very easier with the help of available handful tools like WordPress and Woocommerce. So, without excuses and delay, just start your process with the help of this guide and launch your online store to make some good sales and earn extra income from your business.