WooCommerce – Getting Started

So you’ve just accepted your shiny new eCommerce Web Site from Mayner Digital and now need to get started selling your products online.

Given that we specialise in site development in WordPress, you are most likely to be using WooCommerce as your eCommerce platform. WooCommerce is one of the most feature rich and powerful platforms available. It can be a little daunting to get your head around in the first – especially if you’re making the switch from alternatives like Wix or SquareSpace, but keep in mind that those platforms can be quite limited and restrictive in the longer term as your business grows, so your time invested in learning your new WooCommerce store now is well invested.

As much as we would love to be able to do every task for you, unless you’ve commissioned our team to operate as a webmaster, there is now a level of administration that is over to you as the store owner, manager and/or operator. Never fear though, you’re not all on your own and this article and subsequent partner articles are written to give you the guidance and references you need.

Logging in

Your first step is to login to the WordPress Dashboard for your site. In your browser, go to “www.yourdomain.com/wp-admin” where you will be greeted with a screen like so:

Enter your own store manager username and password, then click login. The next screen you will see is the WordPress dashboard:

The WordPress Dashboard

Here, the left hand pane is where you will find the various areas you will need to work within.

PLEASE NOTE: It is advisable that you not play in the pages or tools unless you know what you are doing, otherwise you may make unintended changes to your overall site. Just stick with the WooCommerce areas for now.

For the purposes of this blog, there are two areas of key interest to you:

  • WooCommerce; and
  • Products.

When you click on each of these, the menu will expand:

Initial Setup

If you had your site built with us and our partners, we will most likely have made best efforts to get your initial setup underway, but it is ultimately YOUR store, so we highly recommend that you go through the store settings and confirm that they are all as you require and desire for your business.

Click on WooCommerce > Settings and you will see the following page:

It always pays to be methodical in your approach, so starting at the top, work your way to the bottom of the page. Here it’s all pretty self explanatory. This is where you set up your physical address, general basic shipping rules and currency. Be sure to click “Save Changes” before going to the next tab at the top:

As you can see, there are “Products”, “Shipping”, “Checkout”, “Accounts”, “Emails” and “API” options here. Furthermore, there are additional pages for each tab. In the above example, the “Products” tab is selected, and just below it, you can see the additional pages: “General”, “Inventory” and “Downloadable Products”.

For your basic setup, you really only need worry about the “Shipping” and “Checkout” (and your Emails should already be setup, but are also worth checking up on).

NOTE: When you create a product (described in the next article), you are able to add different shipping rules as per product or just use the global defaults.

Shipping Rules

This is a pretty important one, and also one that is up to you as the store owner to determine. We’ll give you an example of a National Free Shipping rule here, and you can modify as required for your purposes.

Go ahead and select the “Shipping” tab:

And now click “Add shipping zone”:

For “Zone Name”, this is entirely up to you, but it makes sense to use an easily recognisable name for the rule. In this case, we’re calling it what it is: “Australia Wide Free Shipping”. Next to “Zone Regions”, you can start writing the name of the country or region and a list of predefined places will drop down in a list. Here we have selected Australia. We could also go state by state or even select a number of different countries. We’ll just stick with Australia for now though.

Now we can add a shipping method:

Click on “Add shipping method” and select an option from the drop down menu:

In our case, we have selected “Free shipping” and then clicked “Add shipping method” and what we see is this:

And that’s that. Our first shipping zone setup and ready to use with our products later. Next up, let’s have a look at the checkout options.

Checkout

This is where we setup how we get paid, so it’s definitely worth getting right.

Most of these settings will be fine – it’s namely the payment gateways that we need to configure. The fact is that PayPal will suit the needs of most people. If you’re looking for full merchant facilities, STRIPE is a very good competitive option. There are a great many reasons to use a third party to perform your payment processing, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

NOTE: If you have requested additional merchant facilities and we have pointed you towards Stripe, you will need to REGISTER with them and get in touch with us if you need further assistance in linking your account to your store. Check the documentation on this method here: https://woocommerce.com/products/stripe/ 

For now, let’s have a look at the section “Gateway Display Order”. As the name indicates, this is where you can set the order of your payment gateways. You can also click on each one for more options. Let’s click on the PayPal option here:

There are a whole load of advanced settings, but if you don’t understand them, you probably don’t need them. All you need to do is enter your PayPal email address and check the “Enable PayPal Standard” checkbox. That’s literally it!

Finishing Up

That’s it. You are ready to start to add products to your store inventory and assign them the new shipping rule(s) that you have created here and begin accepting payments via PayPal. As you’ve seen, there are a bucket load of additional options and features available, but as the old saying goes “Keep It Simple Stupid” or KISS. Less is more, so don’t over complicate anything you don’t need to.

For full documentation on WooCommerce, you can see the video tutorials here (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED):

WooCommerce Guided Tour Videos

And the written documentation here:

https://docs.woocommerce.com/documentation/plugins/woocommerce/

If you need further assistance or are looking for a web/store master service, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 

 

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