Getting Started With Your E-commerce Website
From startups and small businesses to huge brands, every business can benefit from an e-commerce website, where they can sell their products or services. In today’s competitive and convenience-focused society, consumers no longer want to buy items in the store. Instead, consumers want to shop from the comfort of their homes, making e-commerce a perfect solution for businesses and buyers.
But while setting up an online store might seem complicated and time-consuming, it’s not too difficult.
With Website Express, you can create a website and online store powered by WordPress and WooCommerce. To make the transition to e-commerce seamless, we have a visual builder in every Website Express account. It allows you to design and create beautiful websites without writing a single line of code.
What you’ll need to get started:
- A Website Express account
- Products or services to sell
- 30-60 minutes to set up and add products to your online store
Before you begin
Before you jump into Website Express and start building your store, consider the following:
- Understand your inventory situation. What kinds of products do you sell? How are they typically sold?
- How do you want to sell? Local delivery? Pick-up only? While shipping is possible using Website Express, it will cost money. Initially, it may be best to start with local delivery and pick-up.
- Set aside some inventory for online-only selling. Managing inventory with multiple selling platforms can be tricky at first, so it’s best to make it as simple as possible and develop a personalized system as you go along.
It may be best to start with about five products or services. Putting your entire inventory into your e-commerce store at once could be overwhelming, and managing the listings, sales, and fulfillment can also feel like a lot for an online newbie.
Once you’ve chosen the products or services you want to focus on, find or generate pictures, pricing, and a description. Note any essential attributes or variations in your products (e.g., dimensions, various sizes, colors).
Let’s start building your e-commerce website!
Setting up your website
Enter the Website Express product by clicking on the ‘Website’ tab in the left navigation menu.
WordPress will direct you to confirm your site name and tagline and set your subdomain. It is the URL that users will type in to find your site.
- Now it’s time to choose your template. The three at the top are the Dark, Light, and Blank options. These templates DO NOT have an easy commerce solution and may require more advanced coding. Select one of the options [Vertical] – With Divi and WooCommerce to ensure your site has the proper functionality.
- Preview and compare several different templates. Once you have chosen a template, you cannot change it.
- Once you select a template, sit back and relax while your new website spins up. This process may take 3 to 5 minutes to load.
- You will arrive at your website’s dashboard. Your stats will be at zero at the moment. It is the place you can return to in the future to see how well your website is performing.
- On the left-hand side, there will be a button, “Edit My Site.” Click it to start editing the front end or content of your website.
Editing text/images on your website
- It’s time to customize your site! Let’s start with text elements. Click on the text box you’d like to edit and make changes.
- Alternatively, a small dark toolbar will appear when you hover over an element. Click on the gear icon to pull up a window that provides more options for editing and customization. Click on the window’s green checkmark to save changes.
- This same process also works with any buttons on the page. However, as buttons have more options, you’ll need to pull up the editing modal to customize it further. You can double-click the button or pull it up through the tab bar as you did with the text boxes.
- Now it’s time for images! Many templates will have a large picture set as the background or banner across the top. To change the image, simply hover over it (while not interfering with text or other elements) and double-click. An editing modal should pop up. Click on the “Background” headline. Your current background image should be showing. Click the garbage can icon to delete the placeholder image, and then click on the “Add image” icon that appears. You can either drag the image from a file on your computer or click to browse your files for the image you prefer.
- Double-click to edit other site images and replace them with your own.
Adding and removing elements on your website
- If there are any elements (text blocks, images, etc.) that you don’t want on your website, simply hover over the component and select the trash can icon.
- If you want to add elements to your page, either:
- Hover over the area you’d like to add a part and click the grey “+,”
- Hover over the element above the spot you’d like to place your new feature, and look for a green “+.” You may have to click on the part above for it to appear
- This action will bring up an “add row” selector with different options for the number of columns in your new element. Perhaps you would like three blocks of text side-by-side? Choose the row with three columns. Maybe a wide picture on the right and a narrow text box on the left? Choose the row that shows the corresponding spacing. Just want something to go straight across your entire page? Simply choose the first option available, the one with a single column.
- Another window should pop up now with several different element options. Search for the Image option to add a picture, the Text option for adding text, or browse to see what other options are available.
Saving your work and moving on to edit another page
- Once you’re happy with how your website looks, or every so often along the way, you’ll want to save your progress. Look for the purple icon with three dots at the bottom of your page and click it. The icon should multiply, and you’ll now have several purple icons. You’ll also have a green “Save” button in the bottom right corner. Click it to save your changes.
- To move to another page to edit, click “Exit Visual Builder” at the top of your page. Once you’ve done so, you’ll see your page exactly as your customers see it. To edit another page, navigate to that page and re-enable the visual builder using the button at the top of the screen.
Changing the logo and contact information on your website
- To change the logo and contact information on the website, you must navigate to the WordPress dashboard. To do this, click the name of your business in the top left corner of the screen. Once in your WordPress dashboard, click the Divi tab in the left navigation bar.
- You are now on the general settings tab. The top row is where you change the logo. Click the “Upload” button.
- Once you’ve uploaded your logo, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the green “Save changes” button.
- Next, we’ll plug in your business’ contact information in the left navigation. You may notice that the extended Divi Builder tab includes several sub-headings. Click on “Theme Customizer.”
- That should bring up a new page with different left-hand navigation. Click on “Header and Navigation” and then “Header Elements.” The navigation bar should contain two text bars to plug in your business’s information.
- Click the blue “Publish” button at the top of the page to save your changes to your webpage.
Setting up your online store
- To begin building your store, you’ll need to navigate your WordPress dashboard. Once on the WordPress dashboard, hover over the WooCommerce tab in the left navigation and click Settings.
- Once on this page, look to the top right corner. You should see a tab with the heading “Help” and a downward arrow. Click on it.
- An entirely new menu should pop down. Looking at the top left side, you should see four tabs. Click on the Setup Wizard tab, then the blue Setup Wizard button. Follow the steps and fill in all forms.
Adding products to your online store
- Now it’s time to add products to your online store! Back on the left side navigation bar of your WordPress Dashboard, you should see the tab, “Products.” Click it.
- You will see a couple of placeholder products already in your store. You may edit one of these or start from scratch to add your products to the store by clicking the “Add New” button at the top of the page.
- To use the template, double-click the product name and replace the existing text with your own. When you scroll down, you will see spaces for the product price, inventory quantity, and attributes.
- You can also replace the image by clicking the “Product Image” on the lower right side. Click on the image to replace it with your own. If you’d like to add additional photos, look underneath the “Product Gallery” and click on “Add product gallery images.”
Setting up payments for your online store
- To set up the ability to take payments, hover over the WooCommerce tab in the left navigation and click “Settings.”
- Click the “Payments” tab.
- There will be several options available to you. Turn them on by clicking on the toggle. It should turn purple once activated. Next, click the “Setup” button to the right of the option you just chose, and it will take you to a page of information to fill out to fully set up the process.
- If you would like to use a different payment processor (ex., Stripe), WooCommerce has a variety of additional plugins for this. To add it, hover over the Plugin tab on the left navigation bar, then click “Add New.” Once on that page, look for the “Search Plugins” text box and search for “WooCommerce Stripe.” Once it appears, simply click “Add” and “Enable.” Then return to the payments tab from the previous to set it up.
Congratulations, you now have the knowledge to set up your online store. Happy selling!
WooCommerce and Divi Builder have extensive documentation and tutorials on setting up, editing, managing, and operating your store.