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How to Create an eCommerce Website with WordPress

WordPress is a popular blogging software, which is also fast becoming the platform of choice for many serious website designers. The reason for this is the ease of setting up a website using the WordPress software, as well as the user-friendly and intuitive way of customizing the website once it is up and running. Those just starting out in the sphere of online business are encouraged to build their websites with WordPress, since the software itself is free, and the installation and maintenance very simple. Many of those starting their home business online are often looking to sell something through the Internet, and here, too, using the WordPress platform is very easy and highly recommended.

The first step, of course, is to purchase a domain name and acquire hosting for it, while the next step is to install WordPress. Many hosting companies offer a one-click solution to doing so right from their website, which is the best and least time consuming method for most new web entrepreneurs. WordPress.org offers excellent instructions on how to install this blogging software, and it literally takes no more than five minutes. Once you have the blog installed all that remains is to turn it into an ecommerce website.

First you will want to choose a theme for your web store. A WordPress theme is like the overall design of your website, and while there are many premium ones you can purchase, there are also thousands of free ones available from the ‘Themes’ section of your WordPress admin panel, which is where you will be doing all of your WordPress customizations from. Once you have chosen, installed and activated your theme, it is time to begin building your ecommerce website with WordPress.

The first step is to download a plugin called the WordPress e-Commerce plugin form the plugins section of your user interface. Once you have searched and found this plugin you simply click on ‘Install’ and it will automatically be added to your site. All that is remains is to activate it, which you can do by navigating to the plugins section, checking the installed tab and activating the plugin you just installed. This will add a new element on the sidebar of your admin panel called ‘Products,’ while in the sidebar of your actual website there will be links to your product and checkout pages.

The next step is to set up the ecommerce plugin, by providing such preferences as the currency you want to be paid in and, of course, the products that you are selling. To do this you need to navigate back to the admin panel of your blog and clicking on ‘Settings’ where you should see a link, which will allow you to customize the ecommerce plugin. Here you should set your country, markets that you are targeting, the language of your website, and the currency you will be accepting your payments in. Once those options are set, you must set up your Payment Options by clicking the link on top of your screen, where you will set your preferred method of receiving payments. The final step in customizing the ecommerce plugin is choosing which products to display on your website and you do this from the General tab in the plugin’s Settings panel. The best setting for now is ‘Show all products,’ but you can change any one of these once you get more familiar with WordPress and the use of the plugin.

The last step in setting up an ecommerce site with WordPress is adding some products. You can do this easily by using the ecommerce plugin through which you can input the main elements of describing the products you offer, such as the name, description and price. Once this is done, you assign it to a category of products on offer and add the picture of your product to go along the description. Once you hit ‘Add’ and reload the page, this product will become visible on the left hand side of the ‘Display Products’ interface. Form here you can change anything to do with it by simply clicking on the ‘Edit’ tab below the product name.

And that is all that there is to creating an ecommerce website using the WordPress platform. As you get more used to working with WordPress you can add many more customizations to your online store, but following the above steps will get your store up and running, and your products out to the public in the shortest amount of time.

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