How to Start an Online Store
An online store enlarges your customer outreach enabling you to conduct your business rent free. Although online stores have these advantages you have to put in as much effort into it as an offline business. There are steps to setting up an online store. Lack of technical know-how can deter one from setting up an online store thus a step to step instructional procedure to set up.
There are three things you require to set up an online store, you require internet access.
An idea of a domain name
A domain name is your web site address on the internet. Mostly like your home address, what people write on letters so that it reaches you. In this instance a domain name is what people type on the internet to get your store. For example, writingdoozy.com is a domain name.
Search a domain registration company and type in a domain name that is unique, catchy and easy to remember. If the domain name you have thought of is taken you can put in spelt out numbers instead of letters. Domain registration companies give suggestions close to the name suggested. There are sites like bluehost that register domain names for free.
A web site host (web hosting)
You will require a web hosting sites that allows expansion of your business as web hosting is the backbone of your online store. There are sites that offer free web hosting like Bluehost. Once you open blue host in a new window;
- Click get started
- Set up your plan
- Enter domain name
- Type your account details and some extras you can purchase.
- You will receive email containing instructions on how to login to your web hosting control panel (Cpanel)
- Once in cpanel, a popup notification will appear notifying you that WordPress with woocommerce is pre-installed on your website. This marks the setup of web hosting and domain.
Time to set up
After setting up the domain name and the website, Bluehost will send a welcome message and will guide you through set up. Things like currency, measurement units, and your business location are some of the information you will be required to fill in. An SSL certificate will be required as it adds an extra layer of security to your website’s sensitive information like credit card number.
Setup WordPress site
A welcome message asking you for the kind of website you want to set up will appear, click ‘I don’t need help’ link.
- Go to settings>general at WordPress admin dashboard to set up title and description (tagline)
- Configure SSL certificate from HTTP to HTTPS at WordPress address and sit address
Online store setup
Currency, payment and shipping information are required.
- Click ‘run setup wizard on ‘welcome to woocommerce’ notification on the WordPress page.
- Click ‘let’s go.’
- Click continue to automatically create pages for cart, account, shipping and check out.
- Fill in location, currency, and unit of measurement to use.
- Click continue.
- Shipping information checkboxes are checked if goods are not digital.
- Woocommerce helps calculate and add taxes to your prices, if not sure you can fill in later.
- You require choosing payment method preferably stripe or PayPal standard where you leave PayPal email address details.
- Click continue
Adding New products
- Go to products>add new
- Give a title description of your product
- Give product data
- Provide a short description
- Give image and product gallery
- Click Publish
Themes can either be free or paid. To customize appearance, go to appearance>customize. If you want to apply already available themes go to appearance>themes
Word press plugins apps allow you to add more features to your website.