How to Start an E-commerce Business with WordPress in 5 Steps

Start an E-commerce Business with WordPress

If you're planning to start a business, one of the most important decisions you should make is what platform to use for your website. The best platform for you will depend on your goals and budget. For those just starting out, a platform like WordPress is going to be your best bet because it's cheap and easy to set up. For those who are a bit more tech-savvy, you can even go with building your own website using a platform like WordPress. In this article, we'll go over how to start an e-commerce business with WordPress in six steps.

1. What is e-commerce?

E-commerce is buying and selling products and services over the internet. E-commerce grew from a $1 billion industry in 1995 to a $4 trillion industry in 2016 and is projected to reach $8 trillion by 2021.

Why exactly is it important to start an e-commerce business?

If you want to buy products online, then people can see exactly what you’re selling, right down to the size and shape of each product. The best part about it is, it can be harder to find products you’re looking for because the online community is so big, but you can make it easier by using social media. Communities websites like Facebook, Etsy, and Upwork allow you to find the people looking for similar products as well as discover new products from people in your niche.

How can you use an e-commerce platform?

If you serve a single person, you can make money selling Amazon gift cards on your website. If you sell a lot of products at once, you can create one big sale with your products all appearing on one page and one payment page. Creating multiple sales at once can take some time but it’s way easier than starting with one big sale. For more ideas, check out 7e-commerce marketing tips.

What does it cost to start selling online?

Selling online doesn’t have to cost a huge amount of money. You can even set up a simple Cpanel and continue making money from your website, all without spending a dime upfront. For a simple e-commerce business, WordPress is a lot cheaper and easier to set up than setting up a website with a CMS like Shopify.

In this article, you’ll learn the following:

If you’re ready, sign up for my free “How To Sell Online for Beginners” course which will guide you through the entire process of starting your own online store.

2. Why choose WordPress?

If you’re looking to start a blog, you’ve likely heard the name WordPress, but you might not know why it’s so popular. Here are a few reasons why WordPress is the go-to blogging platform: 1) It’s easy to use. 2) It’s free. 3) It’s customizable. When selling your products and services, you’ll probably need to use a storefront or website to sell your products and services. Platforms like Squarespace make building websites easier and faster, and you can use it to sell things like apparel, art, beauty products, and more.

Part of the reason blogging platforms are so popular is that you can use them to sell your products and services without spending a dime. Of course, there are ways to make money with your website, but they’re less likely to be successful if you use a WordPress-based platform.

The main advantage to using WordPress as your e-commerce platform is the fact that it’s more affordable. A website with 10 articles on it can easily cost between $20 and $50. WordPress, however, costs just $35 for a basic website and creates an unlimited number of posts and pages as long as there is an internet connection. For the writers and entrepreneurs out there, this is a steal.

With more and more writer’s-platforms popping up and becoming more popular, it’s becoming more and more difficult to decide which one to pick. Platforms like WriterUniverse allow writers to have a space to publish their work and avoid the cost and difficulty of setting up a website. With more and more blog beginners opting for the platform over the website as their main source of income, it’s becoming more and more appealing.

If you’re looking to start an online business, making a decision on which platform is right for you can be incredibly difficult. You have such a wide range of options and determine which is best based on your budget, your goals, and your needs.

3. What do you need to get started on WordPress?

You need a web hosting service and a domain name. There are lots of different places to host your site, and if you’re self-hosting your site, you need to pick a place that can provide a platform for WordPress.All hosting services provide a website and free domains, but only some provide content and products are for your store. If you want a store and content area, you will need a web hosting service.

“WordPress is an e-commerce platform that allows you to sell anything online. Your products or services, whether physical goods or digital files, are all available for sale through WordPress’ many storefronts, or content areas, through which you can display and sell them directly, or sell in bundles that include just those storefronts and areas.” — ThemeForest

Before you can get started building out your eCommerce store, you need to get your website up and running. There are so many tools you can use to plan and build a website, but the two that are free are Wix and Squarespace.

“Since we’re starting from scratch, a brand-new website is pretty straightforward. Wix and Squarespace both have free plans, but you will probably need to pay for a lot more advanced features and customization. If someone were to search for a logo, for example, you would need to provide a large number of high-quality images, columns, animations, and gradients.” — ThemeForest

With the tools you have available today, you don’t need to spend a tremendous amount of time and resources learning how to build a website. All you need to do is focus on getting a professional-looking and performing website that explains what you do and who you are.

While developers can create for a range of platforms by using a CMS, theme, and design system, such as WooCommerce, they are powered by a CMS that isn’t beginner-friendly.

4. How to set up your store on WordPress

When it comes to setting up your site, there are two main things you’ll need to do: 1) Set up your shopping cart. 2) Set up your store. Setting up your store can be a little tricky since there are a few things you’ll need to consider. To start off, you have to make sure your cart is up-to-date with all the latest products. Once you have everything set up, you can add in products.

When it comes to products, one thing to keep in mind is different products have different discounts. So, for example, if you sell candles, a particular sale might be for 10%, while others might only be two%. So, make sure to keep your prices low enough for your customers to buy more than one product. Now that you have everything set up, you can apply for your hosting account.

If you’re using WordPress for the first time or currently looking for a platform to sell your products, you have a few options, depending on what you need. For a simple side hustle, we recommend using the free install. The pre-built WordPress themes won’t take up much space or CPU, so it won’t slow down your website or slow down your website’s performance.

Once you have set everything up, you can add products and set up your cart. Take a look at your cart to make sure you and your customers have everything they need. Verify that your site is responsive and optimized for mobile devices. If you have an email list, make sure you create a landing page for your store with easy-to-read instructions. Finally, make sure you have everything set up for your first order.

Your first order will be an email, and you can use your checkout page to collect the information you need about the order. After placing your order, update your shipping charges, confirm payment, and optimize your shipping options for quicker delivery.

One of the biggest benefits of using WordPress versus setting up your own website is the flexibility it offers.

5. How to make your store look professional

Your store doesn’t have to be expensive or fancy to look professional. You can spend a few hundred dollars on an expert to do a visual merchandising makeover, or you can spend a few hours on your own making the store look like you know what you’re doing. We will not be doing any of that. For just over seven bucks to start a store using WordPress, you can design the look of your store from scratch using a platform called Madefire. This free-to-use tool helps you to create your store design professional-looking, to-the-letter fonts that fit with your brand, and everything in between. It costs no money to have a professionally designed store and it will still take less than a day to put together a good-looking store.

If you still need help deciding what you need before you even start, check out our article on the different types of plugins and themes you can use for your store. To get you started, we are only going to cover what we personally use for making our store look great:

Photos and video are truly what separates the good from the great. So, you need to equip your store with great photos and videos to entice shoppers to come in. If you don’t really have many photos you can still invest in a few premium stock photos. It’s important to try and find the shots that actually look real and aren’t inflated due to brightness. We use Unsplash from a site called Unsplash. They’ve got over 16 million photos available so finding a few will cover all your bases.

For video, you will need both video thumbnails and finished videos of your store. Just because a site has a mobile version doesn’t mean they don’t have normal quality thumbnails and finished videos available. I keep an incredibly simple library on my computer of thumbnails and videos. I grab any that have a short description of what the video is about.


If you're thinking about starting an e-commerce business, then WordPress is a great place to start. It doesn't cost anything upfront or requires lots of technical knowledge and it's easy to do basic SEO for more exposure.



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