WooCommerce is a popular e-commerce plugin for entrepreneurs running WordPress websites. It’s highly customizable and suits both small and large businesses. WooCommerce is an open-source tool, which means you do not need to pay anything to access it. However, you’ll still incur other costs to set-up your online store.
Hosting and Domain Purchase
The first step in building your online store is always buying a domain name and getting a hosting solution. Hosting providers will often have domain selling services within their platforms to make the setup process seamless for you.
When choosing a hosting provider, there are important things to put into consideration.
- First, the hosting provider should have 24/7 support services via chat or emails. This is important in case you experience hosting-related downtime on your e-commerce store. Downtime can be quite detrimental to your revenue and brand reputation.
- A good hosting plan ought to provide sufficient security features, including backups, spam filters, and malware detection. The provider should have a good history of providing over 99% server uptime for their clients.
- As an entrepreneur, you should consider how easy it is to scale your bandwidth with your hosting provider. As traffic on your store grows, you should be able to increase the allocated storage space to avoid slowing down the website. For instance, Reggio’s WordPress Managed Hosting has a starter package for websites that receive up to 20,000 visits a month. The allocation for such a website is 7GB local storage and 30GB bandwidth. The pro package that’s fit for a website with 200,000 visits comes with 20GB local storage and 200GB bandwidth.
When running an e-commerce store, it’s essential to have an SSL certificate. It encrypts the data that passes between the server and visitors to your website. In other words, it ensures that sensitive client data such as passwords, user IDs, and credit card details are not at risk. An SSL certificate also tells users that you are indeed who you claim to be. SSL Certification partly involves identity confirmation by a third-party certification authority. SEO experts also claim that SSL certification has a positive impact on search engine rankings. An SSL Certificate will cost you around $60 a year.
Theme for Your WooCommerce Store
Buying a theme for your WooCommerce is optional. There are plenty of free WordPress themes developed for WooCommerce specifically. The default WooCommerce layout is rather simple and most new entrepreneurs start off with it. However, there are several reasons you may want to purchase a premium theme.
First, free themes are quite common, so a premium could help your store stand out from the rest. In addition, paid themes have more functionality and are more customizable. With a paid theme, you are more likely to achieve the look and feel you’d like your store visitors to experience. Third, paid themes have regular updates to fix any bugs and to improve user experience. The developers are likely to provide better and faster customer support.
You should expect to pay between $100 to $200 for a premium theme.
WooCommerce provides shipping options through the WooCommerce Shipping extension. It connects your business to the US Postal Service and allows you to print shipping labels on your website’s backend dashboard.
In many cases, you do not need to pay for another shipping service. However, you have the option of adding other shipping extensions such as Distance Rate Shipping, FedEx, UPS, and Shippo. WooCommerce provides a list of all available shipping options.
Your online store needs a payment gateway to safely receive payments from your customer. The most obvious choice is WooCommerce Payments, which allows users to manage payments from their WooCommerce Dashboard. It works smoothly and the charges are straightforward. You’ll pay 2.9% plus an additional $0.30 for transactions done using a U.S credit or debit card. For all other cards, the fee is 3.9% plus $0.30.
When running your WooCommerce store, you will require a tool to aid your email management. Client emails are important because you can use them to reward customers, send offers, notify them of new products, and so on. It’s a great way to keep customers engaged with your brand, even when they are not making a purchase.
Email tools help you craft and customize emails, test different copy, personalize messages, track metrics such as click-through rates and so much more. Popular email solutions for your store include Mailchimp, Drip, and HubSpot Email Marketing.
Search Engine Optimization
If your WooCommerce store relies on traffic from search engines to generate revenue, you will need a search engine optimization strategy. While you may research, create content, and optimize it for the right keywords, you could also hire an expert to do it for you. You could hire people to write the content or to do the technical SEO work. In addition, you’ll need to install SEO plugins for your WordPress website. Tools such as the Yoast SEO plugin are free but there are premium options too that provided added insights into how well optimized your content is.
Adding Other Functionalities
You can power your WooCommerce store further with other plugins to make it more useful and intuitive for visitors to use. For instance, there are plugins that link your social media accounts with your store for better conversion of leads. You can also add plugins to display your products or services better to visitors through slideshows and pop-ups.
If you’re going to purchase a premium theme, we highly recommend purchasing from the official WooCommerce store for reliability and trust.
Hiring a Developer
You always have the choice of hiring a WordPress developer to put your WooCommerce store together. They will take care of everything from selecting the right hosting plan to adding the right plugins to add the needed functionality to your website. It’s best to go for an expert with prior WooCommerce experience because they will work faster and provide you with tips on maintaining the website. Freelance developers will charge you per hour and their rates may range anywhere between $50 and $100 per hour depending on their location and experience.
Pick the Right Hosting Solution
If you are just in the process of building a WooCommerce store, the best place to start is to find the right hosting solution. Reggio Digital’s Managed WordPress Hosting Plans are great for new store owners who need frequent support in setting up their stores. Our Starter Plan is just $25 per month. The plans also include SSL/HTTPS certification as well as security updates. If you have any questions about the plans, please send a message.