WordPress is a well-known CMS which is widely used as a blogging platform. WordPress is well know for its extensibility and this is the reason WordPress is not limited to serve as a blogging platform. Many websites are using WordPress to serve as e-commerce websites.
Many people think that starting an online business can be a very difficult task and it will require heavy investment in order to set up the website and the payment/cart stuff. But this is not true. Though there are many expensive e-commerce tools out there, but if you don’t want to invest much, you can use WordPress and turbo charge it with some plugins to make your own rockstar style e-commerce website.
The best plugin to start your own WordPress powered eCommerce website is WP e-Commerce. It is a very powerful and free WordPress plugin with a supportive community support. Follow this guide and by the end of this article you will be read to start your own WordPress eCommerce site.
Before You Start
Before moving forward you should buy a hosting for your WordPress site and setup a WordPress site. For more help see our WordPress How-To Guide [Link].
Once you have set up a site and fiddled with WordPress features its time to get a little serious. WP e-Commerce plugin treats all your posts as an item page, so before going forward i will suggest you to delete all your trash posts and pages. Also I will suggest you to change the Uncategorized category to something else like “LED TVs or Mobiles”.
Tweaking your WordPress Settings
- Goto Settings > General and tick mark Anyone can register.
- Goto Settings > Permalink and change the permalink structure to Custom and enter the following in the text box /%postname%/.
- Goto Settings > Discussions and uncheck all the boxes
- Save Settings after each step.
- Here are essential first time WordPress setup steps.
WP E-Commerce Plugin Installation and set up
The step will to install the WP e-Commerce plugin. If you don’t know how to install a WordPress plugin, then you can read this first [Link] or you can directly goto Plugins > Add New and search for WP e-commerce and then click install button next to WP e-Commerce plugin.
After installing the plugin you need to activate the plugin.
Once you activate the plugin you will see Product menu in your dashboard and Store option in Settings. The Product menu is used to add new items and Settings > Store contains some settings related to WP e-Commerce plugin.
Goto Settings -> Reading and under Front page displays select A static page and choose the Products Page as your front page. Now when customers visits your site, the products page will be displayed by default. Truly genius. Learn how to use static page as homepage in WordPress.
Custom Settings for WP e-Commerce Plugin
- Select a Base Country/ Region.
- Select the markets you are selling products to.
- Set the amount of time the items in a customer’s cart are kept reserved.
- Select a Currency Type and Currency Sign
- Select Add to Cart as your Button Type. Buy now some restrictions. Alert Notice given on the page.
- You can also enable/disable some options related to presentation. It’s totally your choice.
- Enable Display Per Item Shipping option.
- Under Shopping Cart Settings select Cart Location as Widget. and enable Display “+ Postage & Tax”
- Under Grid view select Display Description, Display “Add to Cart” Button and Display “More Details” Button options.
- You can set the product image thumbnail format from the Thumbnail Settings.
- Under Purchase Log Email and Purchase Receipt – Reply Address: enter your email address (company email address will work).
- Enter your company name against Purchase Receipt – Reply Name:
- If you have any terms and conditions put then in Terms and Conditions.
- You can edit the Purchase Receipt and Admin Report formats under the Custom Messages.
- YOu can define TAX rules here. These rules vary from country to country. So take help from a CA.
- If you are providing shipping, then enable Use Shipping option
- By selecting the Enable Free Shipping Discount, you can provide shipping discounts to customers.
- Here you can define Payment Gateways. I will suggest you to use PayPal Payments Standard 2.0 This will allows users to buy stuff and make payment via paypal.
- These option are mostly useful to popularize your site on social networking sites. Make choices yourself. Its totaaly your choice based.
- Enable Users must register before checking out
- Enable shipping same as Billing Option
- Enable Force users to use SSL
- The Form Fields define the Customer’s checkout form. You can create a new form or use the default one.
Now your site is ready to rock. But before you start uploading product details I will suggest you to get a dashing theme. Now, you are ready to sell your own product using your WordPress powered e-Commerce website. I suggest you to use a beautiful theme, which will make your store look attractive. I have not added pictures of the steps, as all the above steps are easy to follow. If you still have any questions, feel free to ask via comments. If you find this guide useful, do consider sharing it on Facebook and Google plus.