A Guide to WooCommerce

Our website designers and developers here at Dentons Digital rate WooCommerce – the WordPress plugin that turns your website into an online store – very highly, and so do many of our e-commerce clients.

An Overview of WooCommerce

Our website designers and developers here at Dentons Digital rate WooCommerce – the WordPress plugin that turns your website into an online store – very highly, and so do many of our e-commerce clients.

WooCommerce is extremely customisable and easy to use – flexible enough to be developed to sell just about anything, from physical products to digital services, or to function as a payment portal for ticketed events. It can also be adapted to reserve online appointments, take deposits, manage subscriptions and so much more.

Why Choose WooCommerce?

WooCommerce has a lot to offer if you’re looking to set up an online shop:

  • If you have an existing WordPress site, WooCommerce will integrate with it smoothly with compatible themes.
  • WooCommerce is a WordPress plug-in, which in turn itself has a multitude of plug-ins available. There’s a ready-made plug-in for nearly everything you need, and if there isn’t one to suit your needs, our web-developers can build one!
  • Plug-ins and extensions cater for everything from secure payment options and shipping to email marketing.
  • WooCommerce is a super-SEO friendly platform, which means your site will get noticed in the search engine results.
  • WooCommerce sites have built in analytics which help you obtain useful data about your e-store to help your marketing efforts.
  • WooCommerce shopping sites are mobile responsive – important with increasing numbers of online shoppers using mobile devices.
  • A fully fledged simple Content Management System means that once your site is built you can update and edit content yourself.

Can I Build My Own WooCommerce site?

If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur or small business owner looking to save costs you can certainly have a go at setting up, configuring and running your own WooCommerce website. There are hundreds of tutorials, advice and helpful user guides available online.

To get the most out of WooCommerce though it certainly helps if you have a reasonable level of understanding and competence in web development, especially if you want a large site with various categories and full-blown optimisation.

It may be difficult for the lay person to set up, but WooCommerce is the darling of professional developers, with in-depth knowledge of the hundreds of plug-ins and extensions available, who can exploit and optimise it to best advantage to turn it into an extremely powerful ecommerce solution tailor-made for your business.

Once professional designers and developers have the site up and running, its easy for you to maintain and update your WooCommerce site yourself using a simple built-in CMS (Content Management System).

What is Involved in Building a WooCommerce Website?

Key to setting up a successful WooCommerce store is to follow a tried and tested process, working through each stage, checking and reviewing everything until it is perfect.

There is no end point, however – upscaling and improving your store is ongoing, and the great thing about WooCommerce is that it will guide you in how to keep your store user-friendly and optimised going forward.

Here’s a quick synopsis of the WooCommerce site creation process, as well as growing and maintaining your online store:

Getting Started:
Installing and activating WooCommerce. Configuring basic settings.

Adding Products:
Creating product categories and tags. Adding simple and variable products. Managing inventory and product attributes.

Designing Your Store:
Choosing a WooCommerce-compatible theme. Customising the appearance with the WordPress Customiser. Implementing a mobile-responsive design.

Payment Gateways:
Setting up payment gateways (e.g., PayPal, Stripe). Configuring shipping options and rates.

Managing Orders:
Handling customer orders and order status. Generating packing slips and invoices.

Extensions and Plugins:
Enhancing functionality with WooCommerce extensions. Installing and configuring popular plugins.

Optimising for SEO:
Implementing on-page SEO best practices. Utilising WooCommerce SEO plugins.

Security Measures:
Securing your WooCommerce store. Regularly updating plugins and themes.

Marketing Your Store:
Utilising social media integration. Implementing email marketing strategies. Running promotions and discounts.

Analytics and Reporting:
Integrating Google Analytics with WooCommerce. Monitoring sales, customer behaviour, and product performance.

Troubleshooting Issues:
Identifying and resolving common WooCommerce problems. Utilising support forums and documentation.

Scaling Your Store:
Develop strategies for handling increased traffic. Adding additional features and functionalities as your business grows.

Legal and Compliance:
Complying with online selling regulations. Setting up terms and conditions, privacy policy, and refund policies.

Continuous Improvement:
Collecting customer feedback. Iteratively improving your store based on analytics and user insights.

Is a WooCommerce Website Cost Effective?

WooCommerce is less expensive than some of the alternatives, like Shopify for instance, but setting a price on what a WooCommerce store is likely to cost you is virtually impossible.

WooCommerce itself is a free plugin for WordPress websites (and WordPress is free open source software too). That doesn’t mean it won’t cost you anything to set up and use, because there are various essentials you have to pay for, like hosting, a domain, an SSL security certificate, themes, extensions, payment gateway fees and so on.

Then, of course, you’ll need to pay for the expertise of a professional website developer if you want a brilliant bespoke shopping site, and its not worth stinting on that front.

The best way to quantify what a WooCommerce site is going to cost is to hire a digital agency to take care of the whole project. That way you can be given a firm quotation for the site build which includes all the bells and whistles you want added, and be advised as to what ongoing costs there will be. This will allow you to estimate how cost-effective a WooCommerce site will be for your business.

Here at Dentons Digital we’ve been developing WooCommerce websites since the platform first made its appearance on the ecommerce scene. We are experts in configuring and customising bespoke, scalable WooCommerce websites for all sorts of online retailers and organisations to an agreed budget.

Want to grow your business online?

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If you would rather, you can ring up for a chat, or drop in for a coffee. We can help and advise you on how to improve your digital presence. There are no catches.

About The Author

Lucille Parker

Lucille Parker

Lucille is Dentons Digital content writer, crafting SEO friendly content for clients’ websites and blogging for the company. She’s been writing for the web for more than 20 years after switching to digital from a career in print journalism.

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