Get Your WordPress Online Store Running in an Afternoon

According to The U.S. Census Bureau, retail eCommerce grew 16.4 percent, while total retail sales only grew 4.5 percent between the first quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of 2018. This means that online stores are more popular than ever.

With a bit of guidance, you can get in on the action and set up your own WordPress online store in one afternoon.

Impossible, right? After all, aren’t online stores supposed to be complicated, requiring plugins, payment systems, and shipping-cost calculators?

Not necessarily — especially when you’re using a platform like WordPress.com, which is designed to make setting up online stores and small business websites as convenient as possible.

Here’s how to get started.

1. Choose your domain and set up your hosting account

First, go to WordPress.com and click on the “Get Started” button.

Sign up for WordPress to launch your online store.

Then, fill out the basic information for your store, making sure to select the “Sell products or collect payments” option.

WordPress online store setup process

Next, pick a store theme to begin with (you can change this at a later time, if desired).

choose a theme for your WordPress online store

Then, type in your domain name. This is what people will type into their address bars when they want to visit your website.

If the name that you want isn’t available, WordPress.com will present you with alternative options to choose from.

Choose the URL of your WordPress online store

After you choose a domain name, WordPress.com will show you a plan that works best for your needs. In this case, we chose to have an online store that will process payments. We also wanted a custom domain name, so the Business plan was the best option for us, as it includes the features we needed. You can compare WordPress.com plan features here.

Now you can start building your website.

WordPress.com plans are designed to be easy, affordable, and to offer everything that you need in one place. For example, if you want to sell products online, you’re required to have an SSL (secure sockets layer) certificate to keep payment information safe. These automatically come bundled with WordPress.com, so you don’t have to worry about obtaining one and setting it up by yourself.

2. Design your website

Now that you’ve got your domain name and host platform set up, it’s time to design your WordPress online store.

If you don’t like the theme that you initially chose during setup, browse the Theme Showcase, where you can search for themes tailored to specific business types and needs.

For basic theme, logo, and tagline design, use the video below as a guide:

3. Add payment buttons

Finally, you’ll need a way to collect online payments if you want to sell anything on your site.

You can do this using a plugin like WooCommerce, or other payment system integrations. To keep things simple, WordPress.com lets you insert a PayPal-connected payment button to collect submitted payments.

Don’t forget to ask for the buyer’s address if you’re using this method to sell physical products that need to be shipped.

Keep it simple and start selling today

Building a website that acts as your online store doesn’t have to be complex — especially with so many WordPress.com themes and plugins that simplify the process for business owners like yourself.

Yes, things can sound complicated. But when you’re just starting out, using these solutions to get your store up and running is the best way to begin selling now, so that you can grow your business later.

Thousands of small businesses and online stores call WordPress.com home.

Whether you’re looking to promote your business or share your story, we have a plan that’s right for you.

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