Just before the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic shut down a lot of international travel, I bought a little flag online. It was a cute little flag branded with my favorite Let’s Play team on YouTube. I received an email about one week later telling me that I might want to consider updating my shipping. This is because the merchant was out of the country, and there was guarantee of when the post office could get it. I decided to wait for things to blow over instead of upgrading my shipping. Now, it is August, and I still do not have my flag. But one thing I want to make clear is that I will absolutely shop with this website again. On top of the fact that this interruption in the mail is not the merchant’s fault, the process of shopping on that site went perfectly smooth. It was easy to find exactly what I wanted, add any customization, place the order, and pay for it. I checked out easily with a Paypal integration. I instantly got an order number and a confirmation email. Then, I could track its progress. I knew the moment that was handed over to their local post. Again, I am still waiting for it, but I see clearly that the merchant has fulfilled their end of the deal.
There are many ways to make a living with a WordPress website. Or at the very least, many people collect a nice wad of spending money from time to time. Of the many different ways to make money with your website, the most direct route is with WordPress eCommerce. To get started, you will need to know how to create eCommerce websites with WordPress. Use the table of contents below to get to the subject you are looking for.
Table of Contents
Building an eCommerce Website with WordPress
Before you can start making money with your website, you have to know how to build a WordPress eCommerce website. There are a few different guides out there to help you get started. But in general, WordPress does a good job at getting you started on the right foot. There are countless tutorials to walk you through the process of building a home page, adding new pages, and building different features into your website. There are endless possibilities on how to build your website, so what is best is to check out some themes, look at what similar sites are doing, find a tutorial or two, and ask questions on the WordPress forum.
After you get down the steps of how to create an eCommerce website with WordPress, it will be time to gather the resources you need.
What Do I Need for my WordPress eCommerce Website?
There are a handful of things that make an eCommerce site stand out from others.
WordPress eCommerce Themes
What sets WordPress eCommerce apart from other sites? Mostly, it is how the website facilitates currency transactions. An eCommerce site needs specific security to protect your buyer’s information. It also needs a plugin that will give your site the functionality to accept payments. And it will also need a theme that presents the shopping and browsing experience in a pleasing way.
Themes are added onto WordPress sites to help give it design and organize the content. They affect menus, how content is displayed, media management, and every other design element of your website. Since WordPress is an opensource CMS, there are tons of options. Which one should you go with? A couple of examples worth considering are Divi and Jevelin. For a great selection of freely available eCommerce themes, you can go straight to WordPress. The official WordPress site offers over 1000 eCommerce themes.
WordPress eCommerce Plugins
A theme does a fantastic job of giving your website the look and feel of an eCommerce marketplace. But to have it perform like one, you will need the right plugin. Since WordPress is opensource, there are many different add-ons (called plugins) that seamlessly integrate with WordPress websites. A handful of these allow your website to participate in eCommerce, allowing you to take payments through your website. A couple of the most used and loved eCommerce plugins are WooCommerce and Shopify. To choose between the two, just take a look at their websites and compare the look, feel, and features of each. Everybody is different, so many people prefer one over the other for many different reasons.
Of course, you will also want to make sure your website will have an SSL certificate. These certificates are what gives your site the authentication it needs to be able to accept payments. Without one, none of your customers would be able to safely make transactions. Luckily, there are a lot of hosts who provide these certificates for free.
For a website to legitimately participate in eCommerce, it needs an SSL certificate. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer. It is a kind of protocol that keeps information transferred online safe and private. It does this by encrypting the information so that if anyone does happen to see the transaction, it will simply be incomprehensible. You can commonly find SSL certificates available online for a little over $100 per year. Since this is required for an eCommerce site, you cannot skip this step. However, there are usually ways you can get your SSL certificate for cheaper or freely bundled with other services. Usually, you will find this offered by good website hosting services.
After having a functional and well designed website, you will need to find a reliable host for eCommerce WordPress sites. At first you might be considering the handful of free options available. It is in your best interest to move past those. For these hosts, you are not their customer, so they will not be serving you like one. Instead, they get their income from putting advertisements on your website and sometimes selling the data you give them. Not only that, but since they are providing this service for free, there is much less at stake if a server fails or if your website drops off the internet for days or even weeks. And on top of all of that, there is no way to guarantee any kind of consistent performance.
The Best Website Hosting for WordPress eCommerce Websites
But all because you should be paying for your website hosting does not mean that you will be breaking the piggy bank. The first thing you should look for is specifically a WordPress host. These hosts save you money and increase efficiency by being focused to work well with WordPress. Plus, they usually have exclusive features, like update and plugin monitoring. Aside from that, you want to go with a host with a reputation for being reliable, fast with no bandwidth cap, easy to manage, and secure. And an added bonus is to find one that provides a free SSL certificate.
When looking for the best host for WordPress eCommerce sites, the right choice is WP Super Host. Our fast and secure web host for WordPress eCommerce has everything you need to keep your site running as smooth as possible. We offer a free SSL certificate for the websites we host so you do not have to worry about acquiring one. We monitor for WordPress updates and plugin compatibility. If it so happens that a specific WordPress update causes a conflict with your eCommerce plugin, our monitoring will catch that and alert you. We also have a simple system for migrating existing sites in case you already have one ready. We have an easy to use dashboard that gives you access to a staging environment. This is great, because you can experiment with different ideas without committing the changes to your live website. Our daily backups, speed reports, and 24/7 uptime monitoring are available to support your website every step of the way. We have thought of everything you need and want when it comes to hosting your eCommerce website. Browse our different packages for website hosting and find the right one for you.
The issues I experienced with my flag purchase help illustrate how important it is that people can rely on their eCommerce sties. However, this is something we might take for granted when things are going well in our online shopping. My experience came after struggling with a different site that did not even have an option to pay on the website. They expected me to call to place the order, pay, and arrange for shipment. In 2020, that is simply not going to work. That other merchant lost my business for the same reason that I’ll buy again from the flag merchant: I want to easily purchase my items online.
Working on and running a WordPress eCommerce site can be exciting. It can also be really intimidating. There is no reason to fly into a panic and trash the whole thing. Take things one step at a time, and your site will be ready to go in no time. Remember the steps. Begin by getting into WordPress and putting in your basic information. Follow this up with a theme and plugins like WooCommerce to get your website eCommerce ready. Populate your site with content. Then, get your site into the hands of a great, professional host.