Learn How to Use WooCommerce
When setting up your eCommerce shop, you’ll be faced with many difficult decisions. For example, you’ll need to select which platform to use for selling your products. This choice can make a significant difference in how successful your store becomes.
One platform you might consider is WooCommerce. It has more than four million active installations, which makes it the most popular eCommerce plugin used on WordPress websites. Plus, it’s both easy to use and packed with helpful features.
In this post, we’ll teach you how to use WooCommerce on your WordPress site. This will include a look at how to download and install the plugin, and how to configure its many settings. Let’s get started!
As one of the most comprehensive eCommerce plugins available for WordPress, it’s important to learn how to use WooCommerce properly. This ensures that you’ll get the most from its features.
Fortunately, WooCommerce offers extensive documentation so you can learn how to get started. Plus, while this tool may seem complicated at first, there are specific steps you can follow to make the process much easier.
These steps are:
- Download WooCommerce.
- Install WooCommerce on your WordPress website.
- Add products to your new WooCommerce shop.
- Adjust your WooCommerce settings, including Shipping and Taxes, Payments, and Products.
- Consider installing extensions, such as PayPal Checkout and ShipStation.
In the sections that follow, we’ll provide more detailed instructions on each of these steps. That way, your new store will be ready to launch in no time.
Who Should Use WooCommerce?
WooCommerce is perfect for small, medium, and enterprise-level websites. This is because it offers a wide array of options and extensions, which makes it possible to sell products on both a large and small scale.
In addition, while the plugin is primarily designed for selling physical products, it works just as well for digital items. Therefore, you can use WooCommerce to sell music, software, and other downloads, either alongside or instead of tangible goods. You can even provide services, subscriptions, and just about anything else that can be purchased.
Where to Download WooCommerce
There are two ways to download WooCommerce – either directly from the website, or in the WordPress Plugin Directory.
To download from the WooCommerce website, go to the home page and click on Get Started. Here, you’ll either need to create a WordPress account, or sign in with your existing one. You’ll then do the same for a WooCommerce account:
After that, a simple wizard will take you through the download and installation steps (there are seven in total). You can even request a pre-installation, which requires very little work on your end:
Alternatively, as we mentioned you can get WooCommerce from the WordPress Plugin Directory. You can download it directly to your computer, or through the Plugins dashboard in your WordPress dashboard. Let’s talk a little more about how the latter method works.
How to Install WooCommerce
As you’ve seen, you have a few options for installing WooCommerce on your WordPress website. Perhaps the easiest, however, is to use the WordPress dashboard.
To do that, go to Plugins > Add New and enter ‘WooCommerce’ into the search bar. Select the option that’s authored by Automattic, and click on Install Now:
Select Activate once the installation is complete, and the plugin will be ready to go. You’ll be taken to the WooCommerce Setup Wizard next, where you can configure the plugin’s basic settings.
How to Add Products Using WooCommerce
WooCommerce is a comprehensive eCommerce plugin that enables you to sell products of many types. Let’s take a look at those different product types, and talk about how you can add them to your shop.
How to Add a Simple Product in WooCommerce
A simple product is just what it sounds like – a basic product with no size or color options, such as a book or a toy.
To add a simple product to WooCommerce, go to Products > Add New in your WordPress dashboard. Here, you’ll want to enter the Product Name and Description for your product:
Scrolling down, you’ll find the Product Data section. The default here is set to Simple product, which you’ll want to leave as-is. Then you can add the product’s details to this section, such as its price, shipping information, and upsells:
Don’t forget to save your changes to the product when you’re done, and hit Publish to make it live. Then, you may want to take a look at some of the other product types and options.
How to Add Grouped Products in WooCommerce
Grouped products are linked items that customers may purchase together. To create them, go to Products > Add New, and enter the Product Name and Description for the group as a whole. Then scroll down to Product data, and change the drop-down selection from Simple product to Grouped product:
With the group now created, it’s time to add the products. To do that, go to Product data > Linked Products. Here, you can enter each individual item in the Grouped products section.
You can also add products to a group after it’s been set up, by selecting any item on your All Products page and changing its type to Grouped product.
How to Add Virtual Products in WooCommerce
Virtual products are digital items that your customers receive via email and similar methods. To create them, you’ll need to select the Virtual checkbox in the Product data section:
This will remove unneeded options that are only relevant for physical products, such as the Shipping category. As such, this is the ideal setting for online services and similar ‘products’.
How to Add Downloadable Products in WooCommerce
Similar to virtual products, downloadable products are not shipped to the customer. Instead, customers can download the product to their computer or other device after purchasing it.
To add downloadable products in WooCommerce, go to Product Data and check the Downloadable box:
You’ll notice a few new General options, including Download limit and Download expiry. These can be left black (in which case no limits will be applied), or you can customize the settings. In addition, you’ll be able to upload one or more files that customers can then download.
How to Add External Products in WooCommerce
If you’re an affiliate or you work with a partner website, not all the products you ‘sell’ will be your own. This is where an external products option comes in handy.
To add this type of item, choose External/Affiliate product from the Product data section:
Here, you can enter the Product URL (the location where customers can actually purchase the product), as well as the desired button text and price.
The major difference between external products and on-site products are that external items will not be added to your customers’ shopping carts. Instead, customers will be redirected to the URLs you specify.
How to Add Variable Products in WooCommerce
If an item comes in multiple options, such as colors or sizes, it’s a variable product. In WooCommerce, you can even offer those different choices at customized prices.
As with the other product types, scroll down to the Product data section to get started. There, you’ll want to select Variable product:
You can now add Attributes and Variations, both of which will make this item’s options and characteristics clear to your customers.
How to Add Subscriptions in WooCommerce
If your store offers products or services that are sent out automatically at regular intervals, such as a digital magazine, you’ll want to add subscription products to your WooCommerce shop. Doing this requires the use of the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension:
The extension starts at $199 for a single website. Once it’s installed on your site, you can use it to add and customize as many subscriptions as you’d like.
How to Add Bookings in WooCommerce
Similar to subscriptions, bookings can be added to your shop using a special extension – WooCommerce Bookings:
This extension will cost you $249 to use on your website. It’s a flexible tool with a lot of features, so you’ll want to check out its dedicated documentation for more information.
How to Add Product Images Using WooCommerce
Once your store’s products are set up, you’ll want to think about how to encourage potential customers to buy them. One of the best ways to show off your items is with compelling images.
To add an image to any type of WooCommerce product, select the item in question from Products > All Products. Find the Product image section in the right-hand sidebar, and click on Set product image:
This should be your item’s main image, which you can upload directly to your WordPress website. You can also create an image gallery – made up of multiple photos that customers can scroll through – by clicking on Add product gallery images.
How to Add Product Details Using WooCommerce
In addition to images, you’ll want to give some thought to how your items are described. Product details can provide customers with the information they need to make a purchase.
To add details beyond the basic item description, you can use the Attributes tab in the Product data section:
Here, you can enter descriptors for your product. This can include sizes, colors, and materials, as well as key search terms that will help your customers find what they need.
How to Edit Shipping Options Using WooCommerce
If all goes well, you’ll soon be selling lots of products. Unless your items are entirely virtual, this means you’ll need to ship them out to your customers.
WooCommerce offers various shipping options. To customize them, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping to set up shipping zones. These are the geographical areas that you are willing to ship your products to. Plus, these custom zones are used by WooCommerce to calculate shipping prices.
To set up your shipping areas, click on the Add shipping zone button:
You can then enter a Zone name (be as descriptive as possible), and select the regions that it will include. These can be as broad as continents, or as specific as states or even postal codes. Next, you can select shipping methods (it’s best to offer multiple methods for each region), and save your changes
If you want, you can even add product-specific shipping settings. Go to the item of your choice (in Products > All Products) and scroll down to Product data. There, select the Shipping tab:
Here, you can add the item’s Weight (in ounces or kilograms), its Dimensions (in inches or centimeters), and its Shipping class.
How to Add Tax Using WooCommerce
Finally, the last aspect you’ll want to consider when setting up your store is taxes. While you can manage taxes manually, it’s easier to have WooCommerce automatically calculate and collect them for you.
To enable taxes, just go to WooCommerce > Settings > General, and select Enable tax rates and calculations:
To further configure your tax options, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Tax. Here you can choose how taxes are calculated, whether rounding is possible, and even when taxes should be displayed to the customer:
Once all of your selections have been made, click on Save Changes, and you’re all set! Your WooCommerce store is now set up and ready to go.
Get Support for More Common WordPress Questions from WP Engine
Running a successful eCommerce store can be daunting, but plugins such as WooCommerce make your job easier. What’s more, WP Engine can also help you out. Along with reliable service and stellar customer support, we can assist you with any questions you might have as you set up and run your WooCommerce shop.
To learn more, check out the WP Engine Resource Center for answers to many of your questions!