If you want to use the website you created to generate income, you need to use an eCommerce platform to help you do so. You need a platform or plugin that enables you to sell but that is also easy to use for both you and your customers. Ideally, you would want one that handles almost every technical aspect of your business. There are many platforms and extensions available, and if you have a WordPress website, WooCommerce is one of the best plugins you can use.
What is an eCommerce platform?
It is a software application that allows businesses to create and manage an online store. With an eCommerce platform, companies can sell products and services to customers over the internet, manage inventory and orders, process payments, and handle shipping and taxes.
What eCommerce platforms are available to make websites?
Apart from WooCommerce, many eCommerce platforms are available, with new ones emerging often. Some popular ones include:
- Shopify (Shopify Plus is good for enterprise businesses)
- Wix eCommerce (best for small businesses and individuals)
- Big Cartel
- Squarespace eCommerce
- Weebly eCommerce
What Is WooCommerce for WordPress?
If you are using WordPress, WooCommerce is the way to go; it is the premier eCommerce plugin for the website. It is a free, open-source extension that allows you to sell products and services on your WordPress website easily.
WordPress is the most popular content management system in the world – it powers over 40% of all websites on the internet. WooCommerce is completely integrated with WordPress. Therefore, by using it, you can take advantage of the powerful and user-friendly features of WordPress while also adding eCommerce functionality to your site.
The benefits of WooCommerce
There are many advantages to using WooCommerce, such as the wide variety of high-quality themes you can use for free. If you want niche themes, it is also a great place to find them, as this is where advanced functionality and niche designs are available for use by business owners.
Additionally, WooCommerce, like WordPress, is affordable because it is free to use. This is fantastic, given how efficient it is to use. Since WooCommerce was created by the company that made WordPress, it is handled by experts on the platform that can help you with any problem.
Another advantage of WooCommerce is its scalability. Whether you are just starting or have a large and growing business, WooCommerce can handle it. It can manage thousands of products and handle high traffic and sales volumes. Because of its wide range of payment gateway integration, it allows you to accept payments from customers all around the world.
Another attractive aspect of this plugin is that it is highly customisable and offers a wide range of features and extensions. Apart from using it to create and manage an online store and sell physical and digital products and services, you can:
- Accept payments through various payment gateways
- Customise store design and layout using templates and themes
- Manage inventory and shipping options
- Create and manage discounts and promotions
- Generate and track sales reports
- Integrate with various shipping and tax calculators
- Allow customers to create an account and track their orders
- Add extensions and plugins to add additional functionality, such as social media integration, email marketing, and more.
How to set up WooCommerce
Creating an eCommerce website with WooCommerce is easy. Once you have a WordPress website set up, you can install the WooCommerce plugin. From here, you can start creating your products, and you can set up your payment and shipping options.
WooCommerce hosting options
To use WordPress and WooCommerce, you will need a hosting plan. A hosting plan stores all of your files and makes them visible to site visitors. You’ll also need a domain name, which is the URL of your site.
Selecting a hosting provider that fits your website’s needs is crucial. With a plethora of options available, it is essential to research providers and their respective features and pricing before making a decision. This will ensure that you choose one that offers the necessary support and fits within your budget.
Some hosting providers offer specialized plans that are optimized for WooCommerce websites, which can include features like automatic updates, backups, and performance enhancements.
Here are some available options:
This is the most affordable option and is precisely what it sounds like: a website is hosted on a server shared with other websites. Apart from being cheap, it is easy to use, and you do not need any prior technical knowledge.
Virtual Private Server (VPS) Hosting
A VPS is a virtualized server that provides more resources and flexibility than shared hosting. It gives you better performance and reliability, more control, and a higher level of security.
A dedicated server is a physical server dedicated to a single website. It is the most expensive option but also the most powerful.
Managed hosting is a type of hosting where the host handles and maintains the server for you. This is a good option for those who want to avoid managing the technical aspects of hosting.
This newer form of hosting allows a website to be hosted on multiple servers in a network, providing more flexibility and scalability.
Given the flexibility, ease of use, and the large community of users and developers who offer support and resources, using WooCommerce for your WordPress website is your best option. Also, since WooCommerce is built on WordPress, it is easy to integrate with other plugins and themes, and it is highly customisable to fit the specific needs of your business.
If you need further help with this topic, you can contact Web Digital. We are a well-established web design agency in Auckland, and we can help you with any website design needs, as well as help you set up an eCommerce website for your business.