WooCommerce Tutorial: Everything You Need To Launch A Store

Are you looking to create an eCommerce store with WooCommerce? If so, you’re making a great decision! But you might need help getting started with the nitty-gritty details of actually installing and configuring a working WooCommerce store.

If that sounds like you – then you’re the perfect person to be reading this WooCommerce tutorial.

I’ll cover everything that you need to do to get started with WooCommerce while providing lots of screenshots so that you can easily follow along. There’s a lot to cover so let’s get started!

Why WooCommerce Is The Right Tool To Launch An eCommerce Store on WordPress

According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce is the most popular eCommerce platform among the 10,000 most visited websites in the world at 11% market share. If you expand that search to the entire Internet, that number shoots up to a dominant 42% market share.

Needless to say, there are a lot of WooCommerce stores built on WooCommerce…

So what makes WooCommerce so popular? Here are a few of the main reasons people love WooCommerce:

So if you’re ready to launch an eCommerce store with WooCommerce, let’s finish up the why and start digging into the how to!

What You’ll Learn In This WooCommerce Tutorial

Here’s everything that you’ll learn in this guide:

Basically, if you follow this WooCommerce tutorial you should be able to go from “zero” to “fully functioning WooCommerce store” in no time.

Step 0: Choose Solid WordPress Hosting So Your Store Runs Fast

Hosting is an important consideration for your WooCommerce store for two reasons:

As a result, you should plan to spend a bit more than you would on budget shared hosting. We’ve put together a big list of managed WordPress hosts that should do the trick.

And on a personal note, I’m a big fan of Kinsta because it loads fast and is built to handle WooCommerce.

Once you have a solid foundation to build your WooCommerce store on, you’re ready to move on.

Step 1: Choose A WooCommerce-Compatible WordPress Theme

Before you start installing and configuring WooCommerce, you want to choose a WooCommerce-compatible WordPress theme that will set you up for success.

While most themes nowadays come with WooCommerce support built-in, it’s still not universal. WooCommerce should still run with any WordPress theme – but if your theme doesn’t have built-in compatibility, your store might end up:

That’s the last thing that you want when you’re trying to sell products!

So where can you find themes that work well with WooCommerce?

First off, we put together a big list of responsive WooCommerce themes. But beyond that list, here are some other good places to look:

Once you find a WooCommerce theme that you love (I’ll use the free Storefront theme for my example), you can install and activate it like any other WordPress theme.

Step 2: Install And Configure WooCommerce Basic Settings

After you choose a WooCommerce theme, the next step in your WooCommerce journey is to install the plugin and complete the setup wizard.

While the setup wizard doesn’t configure everything, it helps you quickly configure the basic building block settings of your site. Here’s how to use it…

Step 1: Install And Activate The WooCommerce Plugin

WooCommerce is available at the WordPress.org plugin directory, so you can install it just like you would any other WordPress plugin:

Once you activate the plugin, it should immediately launch you into the setup wizard:

Let’s go through the wizard step by step…

Step 2: Store setup Tab

In the Store setup tab, you need to enter some basic (but very important) information. That information is:

Once you fill in the information, click Let’s go! to continue.

Step 3: Payment Tab

In the Payment tab, you can choose to activate some basic payment gateways:

Honestly – this tab isn’t too important right now because you:

So basically – don’t stress too much right now. If you’re not sure which payment gateway you want to use, leaving it as the default of Stripe is totally fine for now:

When you’re done, click Continue.

Step 4: Shipping Tab

In the Shipping tab, you can set up:

Most of the time, you should leave these as the defaults. But if you don’t want to calculate live shipping rates, you can also choose to use:

Once you make your choice, click Continue.

Step 5: Extras Tab

Taxes can get complicated – so if you don’t want to deal with figuring out how to calculate them by yourself, you can activate Automated Taxes in the Extras tab.

With this, WooCommerce will automatically install the free WooCommerce Services plugin so that it can automatically charge the correct tax rate when a customer checks out.

You don’t have to use this, but I think it’s helpful so I’ll enable it:

Click Continue when you make your choice.

Step 6: Activate Tab

Assuming you chose to:

Then you’ll need to connect your website to the Jetpack plugin to continue. Jetpack is built by Automattic, the same company behind WooCommerce, so this is totally safe to do.

Just click Connect with Jetpack and follow the prompts:

Once you finish – that’s it! You should see a screen telling you that You’re ready to start selling!

Next up – it’s time to start creating some products!

Step 3: Create Your First WooCommerce Product

While you’ll still need to complete a few more configuration steps before you’re ready to start selling, at this point you have a mostly functional eCommerce store that you can start adding products to.

To create a new WooCommerce product:

You should see something that looks a lot like the regular WordPress editor:

In the regular WordPress Editor boxes, you can enter the product’s:

If you scroll down the page, you’ll get to the meat of the WooCommerce Product data.

First, choose the type of product, as well as whether or not the product is virtual and/or downloadable. This support article as a full explanation of the different product types, but most of the time you can choose the Simple product option:

Then, you can use the sidebar tabs to configure all the nitty gritty details about your product.

You’ll have different tabs depending on the type of product that you choose, but here’s how it looks for the most common Simple product:

Below that, you can set the Product short description.

And in the sidebar, you can:

Once you fill out all of the information, you’re ready to Publish your product.

Put it all together, and you should get something like this on the front-end:

Notice the difference between the long and short description?

At this point – you’re ready to rinse and repeat the process for additional products.

Step 4: Set Up WooCommerce Payment Gateways

Ok, at this point your store is 99% functioning. You have products and people will be able to add those products to their cart and start the checkout process, but they won’t be able to check out because you haven’t configured your payment gateway(s) yet.

To do that, go to your WordPress dashboard and:

I’ll cover Stripe – but you can also choose one of the other payment options. And you can also find more payment gateways here.

To configure Stripe for WooCommerce, you’ll need to:

Make sure to click Save Changes at the bottom and your payment gateway should be live!

Step 5: Configure The Rest Of Your WooCommerce Store Settings

At this point, your store should be fully working. But you’ll still probably want to dig into the WooCommerce settings area to configure some of the more nitty-gritty details like:

I encourage you to explore the entire Settings area so that you have a thorough understanding of all the little options that are available to you:

How To Manage WooCommerce Orders

Once your store starts getting orders, you can manage them at a high level by going to WooCommerce → Orders:

You can also use the Actions column to quickly:

How To Create WooCommerce Coupons

Assuming you have coupons enabled (that’s the default setting), you can create new coupons by going to WooCommerce → Coupons → Add coupon:

On the next page, you’re able to:

How To View WooCommerce Reports

WooCommerce reports help you understand how your store is doing. They tell you things like:

You can access your reports by going to WooCommerce → Reports and using the:

Honestly, WooCommerce’s built-in reports aren’t that good. You can find third-party tools that offer much more detail. Speaking of…

Some Helpful WooCommerce Extension Plugins For More Functionality

As I mentioned in the introduction, one of the reasons WooCommerce is so popular is because it’s so easy to extend and customize with plugins.

There are thousands of WooCommerce plugins, so I certainly won’t be able to discuss all of your options.

But what I can do is:

To get started, here are some good general places to look for WooCommerce extensions:

As for individual plugins, we’ve actually already written two posts about some helpful WooCommerce extensions:

And here are some of my personal favorites:

Get Out There And Start Selling Stuff!

And that wraps up our big WooCommerce tutorial! While I tried to simplify the process as much as possible – there’s only so much simplification that you can apply to setting up an eCommerce store!

If you read this guide and still aren’t sure if WooCommerce is for you, you might want to check out some of our comparison posts where we compare WooCommerce vs Shopify and WooCommerce vs iThemes Exchange.

And if you did decide to use WooCommerce, you might be interested in more advanced topics like how to set up Google Analytics goals for PayPal/WooCommerce.

As always, if you have any questions or thoughts, we’d love if you left a comment!