WooCommerce Tutorial: 14 Step Store Setup Guide

WordPress WooCommerce Tutorial: 14 Step Store Setup Guide

how to setup WooCommerce

WordPress was not designed initially to create eCommerce stores. It was envisioned as a Content Management System for websites.

That’s where WooCommerce comes in, to help you create an eCommerce store in WordPress.

WooCommerce is a plugin that can turn a WordPress website into a professional eCommerce store. It is the most popular eCommerce solution for WordPress and probably the most feature-rich eCommerce plugin available.

In this tutorial, we’re going to learn how to set up a WooCommerce store.

It’s very straightforward, as the plugin walks you through most of the process. Even so, WordPress beginners may need some help dealing with shipping settings, payment processors, and other details.

That’s where this guide comes in.

Properly installing and configuring WooCommerce will save you a lot of troubleshooting in the future. You need to get your store’s settings right first time in order to promote your products and generate income!

Before we get started, we’ll look at what WooCommerce is and the requirements to get it up and running. After that, we’ll walk you through the steps to setup WooCommerce store.

What Is WooCommerce?

WooThemes initially launched WooCommerce in 2011. In 2015 Automattic, the creator of WordPress bought it.

Since then, WooThemes became WooCommerce, more features were added and the plugin became a titan among online stores.

This plugin is very powerful and flexible. You can sell almost anything with it.

WooCommerce boasts over 5 million active installations and a 4.5 user rating on WordPress.org.

WooCommerce is ideal if you want to:

  • Have total control over your online store – With proprietary platforms like Magento, you have limited options for modifying the code. For example, the additional tags on the header. WooCommerce allows you to edit, customize, and manage everything.
  • Have an online store that hosts blog pages – WordPress offers the best blog editor in the world. You can also create other pages alongside your store.
  • Don’t want to pay a monthly subscription or commissions – Store owners have to pay commission in proprietary platforms like Shopify. WooCommerce is free.
  • Start small and build an online store that can scale up in the future – WooCommerce allows you to create both simple and complex stores. You can have payment management tools, such as Amazon Payments, or implement SSL for better performance.
Choosing WooCommerce is one of the best decisions you could make when creating an online store!

Is WooCommerce Free to Use?

WooCommerce is an open-source plugin that converts WordPress websites into online stores. It is free to download and use on any WordPress website. There are premium plugins but they are completely optional.

Running your online store isn’t cost-free. You will need to pay for domain and hosting to run it. You also need to account for branding, marketing and advertising costs.

But, compared to other platforms with WooCommerce, you can create eCommerce website for cheap.

How to Set up WooCommerce

Setting up WooCommerce is simple. The plugin comes with a setup wizard that walks you through the basics to get you started.

Let’s just cover setup anyway, just in case.

Here is an overview of the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Install WooCommerce

If it is your first time setting up an online store, we recommend that you start by installing WordPress with a default theme and no plugins. This will minimize the chances of compatibility issues with WooCommerce in the long run.

The first thing you need to do is to install the WooCommerce plugin. It can be installed for free from the WordPress repository or uploaded directly to your WordPress site.

To download it directly to your site, access your WordPress dashboard, move to the Plugins tab, and select Add New. On the search bar, add the keyword ‘WooCommerce’.

Click on Install Now when the plugin appears. The plugin author should be Automattic, as you can see from the screenshot below:

Install woocommerce on WordPress

When it’s ready, click on the Activate button. Once the process is complete, WooCommerce will launch the configuration wizard.

Step 2: Access the Setup Wizard

The wizard will help you set up your store’s key settings. Let the wizard be your guide.

It is optional, but we recommend going through these initial steps to configure the important setting on your store.

The first page of the setup wizard starts with some basic questions about your store:

WooCommerce Setup Wizard 1

You are required to enter some basic information. This information includes your store’s address, your country, and whether you’re setting up for a client.

You should note that anything you set on the wizard can be changed later on the WooCommerce settings page if necessary.

Step 3: Choose the Industry

Here you’ll add the industry your store operates in, and click on continue:

WooCommerce Setup Wizard 2

Step 4: Choose the Product Type

The next step is to set the product type and whether you plan to sell digital or physical products.

Alternatively, you can pay an extra amount if you want to have subscriptions, memberships, bookings, bundles, or customized products. They are premium only:

WooCommerce Setup Wizard 3

Step 5: Business Details

On the next screen, you are required to add some information about your business. Select the number of products you plan to display.

You also need to state if you are selling products on another platform:

WooCommerce Setup Wizard 4

After that, you’ll be presented with a few optional add-ons, as shown above. These tools come in handy, although none of them are required to run your eCommerce store.

Step 6: Choose the Theme

The next step is to choose an eCommerce theme to display your products. There are many themes, both free and paid, that are available for WordPress.

We recommend downloading the Astra theme or purchasing the Astra pro theme then uploading it in this section:

WooCommerce Setup Wizard 5

After uploading it, click on the ‘choose’ button:

WooCommerce Setup Wizard 6

Astra is developed by Brainstorm Force, which has been in operation for more than ten years.

The theme has more than 1 million downloads and a consistent 5-star rating due to excellent customer support. This theme stands out because it integrates with page builders so effectively, fast loading and the number of superb quality templates.

We have launched the Ultimate Add-ons for Beaver Builder and Ultimate Add-ons for Elementor plugin extensions, which are ideal for online stores. It integrates seamlessly with page builders such as Beaver Builder, WPBakery Page Builder, Thrive Architect, Elementor, Divi Builder, Brizy, and Gutenberg.

Step 7: Install the Jetpack Plugin (Optional)

Jetpack is an all in one WordPress plugin that offers a range of features. It includes analytics, security functionality, and a whole lot more.

It is an optional addition, so it’s up to you to decide whether you want to install it.

WooCommerce Setup Wizard 7

You need a WordPress.com account, for Jetpack to work.

After that, you will be redirected to the WooCommerce store’s online HQ:

WooCommerce finish setup

From the screenshot, you can see that the setup is not quite complete. You are now required to add products, set up payments, set up tax, and set up shipping details.

Step 8: Add Products

You can add products manually, import, or migrate:

WooCommerce Add product option

Since you are starting a new store, we recommend adding the products manually. Now you need to configure everything concerning the product.

Add the Title and Description of the Product

Enter the name in the title section. Next, you need to add a long description that explains the features and benefits of the product.

WooCommerce add product

Choose the Product Type

Choosing the product type depends on what you are selling. By default, WooCommerce allows you to choose different product types. It offers you four core product types.

They are:

  1. Simple products
  2. Grouped products
  3. External or affiliate products
  4. Variable products

There are two more options to modify the four core product types:

  1. Virtual – Use this option if you are selling an online digital product that does not require a shipment.
  2. Downloadable – Enable this option if the downloadable file is associated with the product.
WooCommerce product data

After you have selected the product type, fill in the rest of the details in the Product data box. To navigate between different sections, use the tabs on the left when adding the product details depending on your store’s needs.

Step 9: Set up Payments

After you have added all your products, go back to WooCommerce > Home. Click on ‘Set up payments’:

WooCommerce finish setup, set up payments

You are required to select which payment processor you want your store to use.

WooCommerce Payment methods

Alternatively, you can set up your payment options by going to WooCommerce > Settings > Payments:

WooCommerce Payment

WooCommerce supports many payment gateways. Choose the one that suits perfect for you.

Step 10: Set up Shipping

Go back to WooCommerce > Home. Click on ‘Set up shipping‘:

WooCommerce finish setup set up shipping

Add the shipping cost:

WooCommerce shipping setting

The shipping cost depends entirely on the zones you want to cover and the products you’ll sell. If you’re not sure about the shipping costs, we recommend checking your local post office rates. You can also change these numbers later.

Step 11: Set up Tax

Go back to WooCommerce > Home. Click on ‘Set up tax‘:

WooCommerce set up tax

Click on ‘Configure‘:

WooCommerce tax setup

Insert a new row and add the relevant tax details. Remember to click on ‘Save changes‘ when you are done:

WooCommerce tax settings

Step 12: Check That WooCommerce Is Configured Correctly

At this point, you’ve configured everything needed to start a WooCommerce store. Before you proceed to customize your store, check that everything is working correctly.

By default, WooCommerce automatically generates several pages required by your store. They include Shop, Shopping Cart, and Checkout pages:

WooCommerce store test

You should note that this is a barebones WooCommerce installation. There’s still a lot of work needed before you can start selling your products.

To make further changes to your WooCommerce settings, go to the WooCommerce > Settings screen. You’ll find options to change your tax, shipping, payment, and email settings.

You can also extend the functionality of WooCommerce using plugins.

Step 13: Extend Functionality Using Plugins

To further customize WooCommerce, you can use WordPress plugins. Plugins are applications that allow you to add new or extra features to your online store.

There are many free and paid plugins available that you can use.

Since you are starting an online shop, you need to optimize your store for more sales and revenue. We recommend the CartFlows plugin.

Cartflow WordPress plugin

CartFlows allows you to build a complete sales funnel. A sales funnel is the journey your leads take to get from awareness of your brand (the widest part of the funnel) to conversion and beyond (the narrow end).

This plugin integrates seamlessly with WooCommerce and lets you use a collection of pre-built pages you can import with a single click.

Here is a summary of what the plugin has to offer:

  • Pre-built sales funnel pages for your online shop
  • It has funnel optimization for both the pre and post-sales stages
  • It integrates with WooCommerce and all its official extensions
  • It offers full customization options for each step of your sales funnels
  • It has a ‘frictionless checkout’ to minimize distractions
  • It allows you to target cart abandonment to regain lost leads
  • It enables you to upsell and offer discounts incorporated into the checkout process

The license for the premium version starts at $199 per year.

Step 14: Customize Your WooCommerce Store

With WooCommerce, you can easily set up a shop and start selling products. But, to make your store looks inviting and to maximize sales, you need to customize it using a powerful WooCommerce theme like Astra.

Astra is a fast WooCommerce theme you can use with any WordPress page builder. It’s fully compatible with all major WooCommerce plugins and extensions

Plus, it offers features like:

  • Mega menus
  • Dedicated Starter Templates for stores
  • Variety of header options
  • And lots and lots of customization options

These features can help you design a completely personalized and unique website.

Here are 3 simple steps to customize your online store effortlessly:

Step 1: Install Astra or Astra Pro 

Install Astra

If you’ve purchased Astra Pro, you can activate it in your store. We’ll be customizing our store using Astra Pro here.

Once activated, Astra suggests we install the Starter Templates plugin. This plugin will make it super-easy to get a beautiful store up and running within minutes. 

So activate the plugin and we’ll jump right to the next step.

Step 2: Import one of the stunning store templates

Install Starter Templates plugin

After the Starter Templates plugin has been installed and activated, go to Appearance > Starter Templates.

Go to starter templates

You’ll see a whole host of templates that are ready to be imported. You can choose the page builder to use from the top right of this page. Once switched, all the templates displayed on the page will be compatible with that page builder. In the below screenshot, I’ve selected Elementor.

Choose a page builder and browse through the templates

Take your time to browse through these templates and find the one that’s closest to your brand style. 

Once you’ve found the perfect template, click the template thumbnail and follow the import wizard. This wizard walks you through the theme setup but you can change all settings later if you prefer.

Organic store template
Choose if you want to import content, widgets, and other elements

At the final step, you can choose to install the widgets, site content, images, and plugins. You can keep all those checked to ensure the base template is perfectly functional right away.

 install the widgets, site content, images, and plugins

Allow the importer to complete and by the end, you’ll have a completely new website, ready to be customized and edited!

Step 3: Customize your pages with your selected page builder

Our starter template is now imported! You can visit the homepage to see your new website and have a good look around. 

But wait, the content is not ready yet. 

The importer loaded default content to show you what’s possible. You now have to customize the content to make it yours.

Customize your pages with your selected page builder

Go to your dashboard Pages > All Pages. Here, you can edit individual pages with your preferred page builder. Alternatively, visit the pages directly while you’re logged in and click Edit Page on the top bar.

 edit individual pages

You can now begin editing individual elements on your pages. You can edit all the images, text, and even reposition the sections as you need.

edit individual elements on your pages

Do the same for the rest of your pages and you’ll have a beautiful, ready to go store that not just looks good but is also designed to convert!

WooCommerce Setup FAQs

How hard is it to set up WooCommerce?

WooCommerce is relatively easy to set up. You can do it in just a few minutes with this tutorial. All you need to do is to download WooCommerce and add required information related to your store, your products, shipping details, payments, and you’re good to go. 

Where is the WooCommerce setup wizard?

The WooCommerce setup wizard opens as soon as you complete installation. You can also go to any of the WooCommerce pages in WordPress Admin, select “Help” at top right corner, and choose the “Setup Wizard” tab. 

Do you need WordPress for WooCommerce?

Yes, you do need WordPress for WooCommerce. It’s a plugin that requires the framework provided by WordPress to work.

What are WooCommerce alternatives?

There are many WooCommerce alternatives available. These typically come with everything you need to build an online store. You can try SureCart because it’s easy to learn and maintain, customize, and scale your eCommerce store without having to know code.

Is Shopify better than WooCommerce?

No, Shopify is not better than WooCommerce. In fact, both Shopify and WooCommerce are leading eCommerce platforms, each with its pros and cons. If you’re considering making a switch, you can migrate from Shopify to WooCommerce with a service like LitExtension. It offers a reliable and efficient solution to smoothly transfer store data.

Is WooCommerce difficult?

WooCommerce is not difficult to use, though you’ll need to customize and configure WooCommerce to use. You can also use SureCart because it simplifies WooCommerce setup and helps power your online store. 

How many products can WooCommerce handle?

WooCommerce can handle unlimited products. You can add an infinite number of products without compromising your store’s performance. 

Wrapping Up

From this tutorial, you can see that setting up WooCommerce isn’t too difficult. WooCommerce allows you to build your store with complete control over how it looks and feels.

It is packed with many options to build your store, sell products, take payments, and manage deliveries. It provides everything to have a successful online store.

You can easily design all these pages with the page builder like Elementor. For that, make sure to choose WooCommerce Elementor compatible theme.

You can also extend the functionality using other plugins like CartFlows. CartFlows allows you to build a complete sales funnel.

Your determination and creativity will help you to land sales. It’s only when you dig deeper into the plugin’s many options that its true power is revealed.

Is there any important point we’ve missed? If so, please feel free to let us know in the comments section below!

Disclosure: This blog may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through one of these links, we may receive a small commission. Read disclosure. Rest assured that we only recommend products that we have personally used and believe will add value to our readers. Thanks for your support!

About The Author


  1. Lloyd Duncan Profile Pic

    This is exactly what I was looking for. WooCommerce is easy to set up, but it can be confusing without a proper understanding of each function.
    Very well explained.

  2. Toby Hart Profile Pic

    Between Woo-commerce and Easy Digital Downloads, which is most easy to use and fast?
    I can manage with some fewer features; I just want to keep my website fast.

  3. Santiago Profile Pic

    This was so helpful; although I have a problem with the payment gateway, I think this is related to my payment gateway.

  4. paul kamau Profile Pic

    Hi. I have one quick question. I have a WP site which am currently building. Am using the Astra theme and the Elementor page builder. The site is almost ready to launch but I decided to include a WooCommerce store. Now the question is, does it mean if I install the WooCommerce plugin into my site it will delete my content and reconfigure the site to default settings? Am concerned because I have done a ton of work already.

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