The number of eCommerce sales has increased globally since the beginning of the pandemic. Online shopping habit changes are also projected to last even after it ends. 

Hence, opening an online store can be a promising business opportunity. It costs less than opening a physical store, too. If you already have an offline store, taking it online is also a great way to expand your business. 

If you’re thinking of creating an online store site and still don’t know where to start, you came to the right place. 

This article contains a complete guide on building an eCommerce website using WordPress, the most popular content management system (CMS). 

Why Use WordPress

WordPress is a highly customizable open-source CMS. Its dashboard is user-friendly and easy to use. 

WordPress also functions as a blogging platform that you can leverage to market your products. It’s a convenient all-in-one package for your eCommerce site. 

If you’re a beginner, using WordPress may take some time to learn. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available online. You can also hire a professional to help if you feel that it’s necessary.  

Despite a steep learning curve, WordPress has the flexibility and resources that eCommerce website builders can’t provide. If you want to make adjustments or migrate your website to another platform in the future, WordPress can accommodate it as well. 

How to Create an Online Store Site with WordPress

The following are the steps to build an online store on WordPress.

1. Decide Your Niche and Target Market

First and foremost, choose your niche by analyzing the SWOT (strength, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). After you come up with an idea, the next step is to identify your target market. 

These two elements are the most important when creating a business. They will relate to the core idea of your online store and directly affect your online business’s branding. Being specific with your niche and target market can help you set measurable goals and strategies for the growth of your business.

For example, if you want to create a marketing campaign, you will know which audience to target instead of targeting everyone. That way, you can set a better marketing strategy, and it will be easier to evaluate its results.

Create a business plan and a buyer persona to have a written blueprint for your business. Ensure that you build a strong foundation of your online store before creating concepts on how your online store will look in the market. 

2. Choose and Set Up Your Domain

A domain name functions as an address to locate your online store on the internet. It consists of your website’s name and a domain extension

It’s essential to choose an appealing domain name that represents your niche. When selecting the name for your online store, check its availability

Once you know it’s available, purchase it from a domain registrar to secure your domain name. If your domain registrar doubles as your hosting provider, its customer support will help you with errors like dns_probe_finished_nxdomain

Purchasing a domain name from a hosting provider will help with fixing other errors and migrating your resources. Many hosting providers also offer free domain names for a year with their plans. 

3. Choose A Hosting Provider

When building an online store using WordPress, you’ll need to self-host your eCommerce site to make it available online. 

You can go for a regular website hosting plan or a managed WordPress hosting plan. 

When you choose a regular hosting plan, you will have to take care of your WordPress site’s security and maintenance, including backups and updates. 

Alternatively, if you go for managed WordPress hosting, you won’t have to take care of technical matters as the hosting company will do that. Tailored WordPress hosting might also provide you with features like optimized WordPress plugins or templates.

Whichever type of hosting you choose, take some time to figure out which hosting company will help you reach your goals. Don’t settle for the cheapest hosting plan a company offers. Instead, consider factors like the loading speeds, security measures, and back-up policy. 

4. Install WordPress and WooCommerce

After choosing your preferred hosting provider, install WordPress and WooCommerce on your site. WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that is tailored for online stores. 

26% of all online stores use WooCommerce. It powers many types of businesses, from small retailers selling digital products to large-scale businesses offering physical merchandise.

WooCommerce features a wide variety of available payment gateways, shipping integration, stock management functionality, email newsletter subscription, and the ability to include tax in the product price.. 

WooCommerce will adapt to your needs as your online store grows. As it is open-source, there are many third-party extensions available. 

The WooCommerce Documentation will help you set up and configure your online store.

5. Customize the WordPress Site

Use a free WordPress theme the first time you build your online store. Customize it to match your business identity and set a color palette for it. Once your business has grown, you can invest in a premium theme with additional features. 

It’s essential to choose a responsive WordPress theme to make your online store accessible on all types of devices. 

Focus on giving the best user experience to your customers. Build a clear and simple website interface so your potential customers can easily navigate it. 

Take a look at Adidas’s website. It helps visitors find their desired products easily. The design is simple, using only black and white in their color palette. 

6. Add Products

After settling on an online store concept, start adding your products to the site. With WooCommerce, you can easily manage product specifications in detail. 

Make sure you feature high-quality product images. Consider using high-resolution cameras, photo props, and photo editing software to produce them. You don’t need to overdo it when starting out, but avoid featuring low-resolution product images. 

Poor images may bring down your business’s credibility and affect customers’ purchasing decisions

When it comes to writing copy and coming up with product names, try to use language that will grab customers’ attention. 

Graze’s way of showing their food products can be a good example. They use simple props, but their images match their store’s concept and branding. 

7. Choose a Payment Gateway

A survey shows that 18% of US online shoppers abandoned their orders because of a complicated checkout process. At the same time, 7% of them answered that there weren’t enough payment methods. 

Therefore, design seamless checkout steps for your customers. Install multiple payment gateways to provide diverse payment channels. This way, you’ll let the customers choose the most convenient payment option to complete the transaction.

WooCommerce has multiple payment gateway extensions you can choose. Along with the default WooCommerce Payments option, the platform features other well-known payment gateways like Paypal and Amazon Pay. 

What’s more, check the fees that will be charged on every transaction made on your online store. Choose payment gateway providers that have the PCI DSS license and advanced security systems. 

Lastly, make sure that your WordPress site has an SSL certificate. Otherwise, you won’t be able to offer a number of payment methods on your online store. The certificate usually comes with your hosting plan. If not, you can purchase it separately. 

8. Install Essential Plugins

Besides WooCommerce, there are other WordPress plugins to expand your online store. There are plugins to enhance your site’s visibility on search engines, keep your site secure, back it up, and many more. 

Keep in mind that WordPress can be vulnerable to cyber attacks. You need to be careful when downloading plugins. Make sure to download them from credible sources only. 

Lastly, don’t install too many plugins. Doing so will slow down your online store’s performance. Regularly check for plugin updates that patch any security vulnerabilities.

9. Optimize the Website

Optimizing your website will help your online store site rank higher on search engines. There are several types of search engine optimization (SEO): 

    • On-page SEO – refers to the optimization of individual pages on your website. To maximize this type of SEO, install an SEO plugin on your WordPress website.
    • Off-page SEO – refers to the efforts you put into promoting and generating organic traffic to your online store site. Off-page SEO practices include social media marketing, writing guest posts, and answering questions related to your business on communities like Quora or Reddit.
  • Local SEO – this refers to increasing your business’s visibility in local search results. If your online store sells shoes and has good local SEO, it will be featured on the first page when people in your area search for “shoe stores near me.” 


Creating an online store using WordPress has a steep learning curve, but is well worth it in the long run. The CMS is very customizable so you can customize and modify your online store in any way you see fit. 

Setting up an eCommerce store on WordPress won’t take a lot of time if you already have a concept for it in mind. That said, maintaining and optimizing the site will take hard work and dedication. 

We hope the nine steps mentioned above have helped you create an online store on WordPress. Good luck!

Also Read: Fik Stores – Create an Online Store With WordPress