Download and install WooCommerce
The first thing you will want to do is head over to the repository and download the free plugin WooCommerce. Simply log into your website and while on the dashboard go to Plugins > Add New and search for “WooCommerce”. Once you install WooCommerce go ahead and activate the plugin and follow the quick set-up guide. If you choose you can go ahead and skip the set-up guide as you can always modify the settings later on your installation.
Using the quick set up
While using the quick setup you will be asked a series of questions about your store to help WooCommerce automatically configure your settings based on your shop. These questions will include where your store base is located (for shipping & tax calculations). It will ask you if you want to go ahead and set up tax rates based on your localities. it will also ask you if you would like to go ahead and set up shipping rates or if you would like to install a shipping plugin skip this.
Setting Up Tax Rates (Manually)
Tax rates are going to depend on where you live. The best place to start would be to go to your favorite search engine and search for your state’s tax rates. Most of the time you’ll find a combined tax rate for city tax and county tax, if you live within the United States. Generally this will be in some sort of table that you can easily copy and paste into a CSV file which can then be imported into WooCommerce. If you have questions about the format of the CSV WooCommerce provides a sample download on the tax section of WooCommerce settings.
Setting Up Shipping Options
In the WooCommerce settings you’ll see a tab for shipping. Within the shipping settings you have various options for how you would like to handle shipping. These would include charging a flat rate within your country, international flat rates, free shipping, delivery options and pick up. Which ones you decide to use will depend on your shop and how you will manage shipping.
Using Shipping Extensions
There are a number of great extensions available on various commercial plugin websites. Some of the most popular services would of course be USPS, UPS, FedEx, and Shipstation just to name a few. When it comes to selecting the extension you will use for your website it’s really going to depend on your preferred shipping method. These extensions generally grab real-time data from the appropriate vendor and generate the cost to the user in real time. The final cost can include some sort of handling fee which you can set in the settings of the plugin once installed and activated.
Tip: Make sure to get organized in the very beginning and verify that your products always have the weight and the dimensions filled out
Choosing your payment gateways
PayPal is one of the most recognized names as far as payment gateways are concerned. PayPal has different levels of options for merchants depending on your needs. The most commonly used option would of course be PayPal Standard. Which by default comes integrated with WooCommerce upon activating the WooCommerce plugin. If you do not have an SSL certificate on your website and you are using PayPal Standard your customers will be redirected to their checkout page once they are ready to check out and then redirected back to your website depending on whether they cancel or complete the checkout process.
Stripe, like WordPress is an open source payment gateway. Which means that it has contributors from around the world who are constantly contributing to its platform to make it better. Stripe offers very competitive fees for you based on its competitors pricing. Stripe is available at the time of writing this in 9 different countries and 100+ different currencies and 9 different card types. In order to use Stripe on your website you will need to create a free account on Stripe and make sure you have an SSL certificate installed. Otherwise, like PayPal your customers will need to enter their credit card information on a third-party page.
Authorize.net is another familiar merchant services brand that your customers may recognize. They charge a $99 setup fee and $25 monthly fee to use their payment gateway. They share a competitive rate of 2.9% of the transaction amount plus a 30 cents transaction fee. Authorize.net has no monthly limits like PayPal Standard and they support both recurring and mobile payments. Authorize.net is available in 5 different countries, supports 6 different currencies and 6 different card types.
First Data in our opinion is more or less a “customized” solution depending on the size of your business. The monthly fees and transaction fees are going to depend on the scale of your business and purchases. First Data is generally used when you want a solution that will partner directly with your bank. The service is supported in 50+ countries, 140 currencies and 5 different card types. If you are interested in the rates First Data can provide to you then contact them from their website. First Data also supports recurring and mobile payments. An SSL will need to be installed in order to take payments directly on your website.
Single Product Page
Simple Products mean there are essentially no variations of this product. For instance, a simple product may be a paperback book, a picture frame, even your digital services or ebooks. You can optionally choose to keep track of inventory for this product if you have the “Manage Stock” option selected in WooCommerce settings. Attributes in this case will create separate tabs on the front end for more information.
Grouped products are a way for you to “group” several products together to be purchased as one product. Think of this as something similar to you have an apparel website and you have create a product for a specific shirt, a specific hat and some shoes. You can create a Grouped Product that will include all three of these items to be purchased for maybe a discounted price.
Affiliate products is pretty self explanatory. Maybe you have an affiliate relationship with Amazon, or you would like to list your ebay items on your website for sale. This product type allows you to plug in a unique URL and button that once the user clicks they will be redirected to so they can complete their purchase.
Variable products are products that may have several variations. An example of a variable product would be a t-shirt. Shirts come in many sizes and colors, so in this case “Sizes” would be an attribute as well as “Colors”. The values would be something similar to Sm, Med, Lg and any color variants for this particular product. You will various options available to you once you create your variable product.
The first thing you will want to do is create the Attributes. You can do this globally by going to Products (on the left admin menu) > Attributes or make it specific to this product. Following our example on shirts. I would first click the Add button next to Custom product attribute. Then for Name I would choose Sizes, for the values I would list each option separated by the pipe sign “|” such as Large | Med | Small. Now you can click the Add button again and do the same thing for colors. Make sure to select both “Visible on Product Page” (customer can see available options in the tabs section of the page) and Used for Variations (these are options the customer can choose from) to make these selectable and click Save Attributes.
The next step would be to click on the Variations tab and generate your variations. From the dropdown menu select “Create variations from all attributes” and click Go. This will create all of the possible combinations based on your attributes. Note: You can only do 50 combinations “per run” meaning if you have more that are not listed, just repeat this process to finish creating all possible variations of your product.