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Why should you create a podcast? Well, the answer is simple enough. Podcasting is a way of reaching your online audience using your voice on recorded audio files. It’s similar to having your own radio station or an audio version of a blog. Just think about the traffic and the fellowship it can bring to your content!
The audience for podcasts is recording faster growth than that for blog readership. At least four out of every ten Americans have listened to an online podcast according to recent reports. According to the latest Google trends, online searches for podcasts have surpassed searches for blogs. So, it’s the right time to start one.
Also, advertising revenues for podcasting grew by 80%+ per year according to the Internet advertising bureau. All the largest corporations such as Google or Apple have taken note of this with their release of a dedicated podcast app which makes finding podcasts online easier. It’s easy to see why starting a podcast could be a great idea.
The wide listenership it enjoys makes it an attractive complement to running a blog and could even help you increase your blogging audience. It’s easier for an average person to connect and engage more with a podcast than with a blog as hearing someone speak his/her views is more personal than reading an author’s thoughts. This makes them place more trust in podcasts than in blogs as it is believed they present a more authentic voice.
Right now, podcast content lags demand according to Google trends which makes it a good time for you to start a podcast. So, if you believe you have what to say, a message to deliver, or amazing content to speak about, then you’re more than ready to start your own podcast. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you through the process.
Hot to Pick a Reliable Podcast Hosting
Picking a great podcast hosting provider is a must as you will need this to be able to distribute your show via RSS feeds, online podcast directories, and podcast apps. For a user-friendly experience, we recommend the Podbean podcast publishing platform. It has different categories of podcast webhosting including a free option.
Our most recommended Podcast hosting service is Podbean, which is a full-featured podcast hosting platform with unlimited storage and bandwidth, iTunes and play store support, search engine optimized, your own domain, and branding. The first month is FREE!
Or, if you didn’t like it, we can suggest trying the podcasting host Blubrry, which provides unlimiteddownloads, the possibility to cancel anytime, and optimization for Apple and other podcasting platforms.
A good and reliable microphone suitable for podcasting is essential to ensure your message comes out loud and clear with good sound and isn’t interrupted by technical issues. This should be your first step as the quality of your microphone can make or break your podcast.
If you are looking for a quality podcast microphone that’s not too expensive we recommend the Samson Q2U, Audio-Technica ATR2100, or the Blue Yeti microphone. It’s a USB microphone that you can plug into your laptop, desktop, or tablet and retails for around $100. Those podcast microphones are being used by many podcasters today. You can check it as well as complimentary products like microphone stands, pop filters and more.
For now, as a beginner, there’s no need to get mixers, portable recorders, and headphones. The microphone is the only technical equipment you need for now to start podcasting.
Create Great Content and Podcast Title
have to know what you want to talk about. Make sure you have an in-depth
knowledge of your topic. Conduct research on it so that you come across as
knowledgeable. Then choose a title/name for your podcast. This should reflect
your topic or the host depending on the circumstances.
Make sure you plan your podcasting routine beforehand as it will make your job easier. Decide how often you will be podcasting (Daily, weekly, biweekly, etc.) as well as when you will be podcasting. We recommend that you start with a twice-weekly podcast.
Then get the topics you will be covering as well as when you want to podcast them depending on your prearranged schedule. Make sure you have enough topics to cover a particular time period as that will make your podcasting routine easier. With all your topics researched beforehand, recording your content will be a breeze.
Make sure your topics are scheduled in a logical order. For example, if you’re podcasting about music, make sure you schedule ‘songwriting’ before ‘studio recording’. Some topics can be very broad so we advise that you break them into subtopics that you can cover within a given time frame. With this, you could take a month or a period about a particular theme, for instance, October could be ‘marketing month’.
Get a Well-made Podcast Cover Image
Packaging, they say is everything. Make sure you have a great cover image for your podcast. This will help convey an image to your audience as well as an arsenal in your marketing plan.
Get a professional graphic designer to make your podcast cover image. You can get them at an affordable rate on freelance sites like Fiverr.
Have a good idea of what you want your cover image to look like. Provide a rough sketch of what you want to your designer so he will be on the same page with you. The cover image has to project your personal brand so make sure the designer gets the graphics and style to match it.
Avoid cluttering your art with too many details so that potential listeners will be able to identify it clearly in a small format. It should be readable even at 200px wide.
Ensure your cover image is clear and visible even when small. This is to ensure visibility when it appears as a thumbnail image which is how most podcast streaming services project their content.
Your cover art should be in JPEG or PNG format, should have 1400 x 1400 pixels, and be a maximum size of 500kb. These specifications should help you avoid issues with podcast directories.
This will be used to tell listeners the name of the podcast, who the host is, and what you expect to hear in that particular episode. It’s similar to the theme song and opening credits of a TV program. Having a great intro, outro, and voice-over will help set your content apart from others and draw in more listeners.
To get professionals to help you do a quality job at an affordable price, check out freelance sites like Fiverr where you could get a voice-over artist at $5. For an additional fee, he/she could also add music to the voice-over.
Listeners will be expecting a high level of production on your podcast so you have to ensure your production level stands out. Even if it’s just simple elements like intro music, episode introduction, background music, story introductions, and telling as well as the ending, make sure your production values are top-notch as this is essential element listeners use to judge a podcast.
You could hire someone to edit your audio files. Alternatively, if you want absolute control over how your finished podcast sounds, you could do the editing yourself. There are tutorials all over on how to do this as well as free editing software such as Audacity, one used by a lot of podcasters.
Get Your Podcast on iTunes and Other Platforms
Now that you’ve produced those first podcast episodes, you must get them to where there are a lot of potential listeners and the number one place for this is iTunes.
It hosts the majority of the podcasts out there and is the first place where most people look for podcasts so applying here is a must. iTunes has most of the podcast directory market through Spotify and Google music is growing.
Get Your Listeners to Subscribe and Review Your Content
Podcasts with a lot of positive listener reviews on iTunes appear in the ‘New and Noteworthy‘ section. This helps increase their visibility and even attracts more listeners. You want your podcast here when you get on iTunes so at the end of each episode, tell your listeners to subscribe and leave a review about what they think about the show.
If you have a blog, embed a podcast player on it or include a link to your podcast. Appeal to your blog readers to subscribe to it and leave reviews.
Benefits of Starting a Podcast
Maybe you are still not sure if it’s worth the effort to create a new podcast and start this journey, but, let me assure you that podcasting got many benefits. For example, making a podcast will allow you to create a new relationship with your friends, community, and potential customers if the podcast is commercially oriented.
Also, podcasting will allow you to create a lot of new friendships in the area you will podcast about. It can be for a common hobby, or business benefits in case you looking for those. And most importantly, podcasting will establish you as an expert in the field you started a podcast about. You will become a trusted voice for any related question or opinion which will transform the growth of your personal brand.
Now you’re ready to begin podcasting. At the start of it, when you learn how how to speak to the microphone, you might get a bit too self-conscious and sound robotic. But don’t worry. Just relax and be yourself as you record your show. With practice, you will sound better and each podcast episode production will get easier and smoother.
Remember, people want to connect with the person behind the microphone so feel free. Express your emotions if you can as that’s what makes us human. Forget about hiding your accent if you have one. With time and diligence, you will have listeners begging you for more episodes.
To sum it up, the services and equipment we recommend are:
Podbean – our recommended hosting for podcasts, unlimited andfree for 30 days!
Blubrry – alternative hosting for podcasts, unlimited.
Fiverr – great freelancing site to order your podcast cover and audio effects.
WordPress and it’s WooCommerce online store plugin are two applications that work together to power almost 40% of all e-commerce stores on the planet. This figure sums up to over 1.5 million stores and still counting.
The first thing we need to understand is that the comfort of purchasing items online and advancements in technology that makes online transaction secure has increased the worldwide acceptance of e-commerce so online store creation is the right thing to do in order to promote your online presence, products and values.
That’s the reason why starting an online store remains one of the best ways to make money online. You too can start an e-commerce store even if you have minimal web design experience.
The best part of it is that setting up an online store in WooCommerce is simple with our guide that shows you how to do it.
This guide provides a step-by-step guide on how you can use the power of WordPress and the WooCommerce plugin to build your e-commerce site within an hour! We designed this guide to be newbie-friendly; we will teach you everything you need to create an online store and add your products. Besides the technical aspects, we also provide design tips and strategies to promote your site and make sales.
The first step is to register a web hosting account, follow this link to get excellent e-commerce hosting (WordPress + WooCommerce, and it’s non EIG). Continue reading the next steps to set up your online store.
E-commerce which is the acronym for electronic commerce is a term that describes the procedure of buying and selling goods and services from online platforms. You probably have purchased physical products or services online; that is e-commerce at work.
E-commerce has tremendously developed over the years such that you can purchase virtually anything online. You can find several online stores selling ranging from digital items like eBooks, to cheap things such as pencils, and expensive real estate.
The truth is that whatever the
product you want to sell online, there will be competitors.
But the good news is that the market is quite vast, you can start your online store today and do quite
well. Just follow the guide we provide and put in some hard work. You will give
your online store an edge when you create it with the best tools available in the industry. Don’t be
afraid, these tools are mostly free.
Why WordPress Is the Best Choice for Your Online Store?
Although there are other options for selling your products
online such as using third-party marketplaces like Amazon, most people cut their teeth on e-commerce by starting their own
online store. Since the online store is a type of website, one of the vital
decisions you have to make is the website platform to use.
If you are yet to decide on a platform for your website, we would recommend WordPress. It is a free platform with many excellent features you can use to create any type of site. Besides, it is a user-friendly Content Management System (CMS) that is perfect for beginners and experts alike.
The WordPress platform began
as a blogging application but had seen several advancements over the years that
makes it adaptable for any type of site. WordPress has been used to build news
sites, corporate websites, job sites, and many more. WordPress is the preferred
choice for e-commerce websites for many reasons. Some of these advantages are
The platform has thousands of design themes and plugins that you can use to tweak a site for your preferred visual design and other programming functions. The several add-on tools for e-commerce make it a perfect choice for building online stores.
WordPress has an active community that continuously adds new features through updates and provides timely patches for security threats when they arise. You would likely want to choose a secure platform to build your online store since you will be dealing with sensitive data.
E-commerce can be tricky and you need all the help you can get when you get stuck. With the vast community of WordPress users out there, you can never be short of support when you need a hand. There are a vast amount of resources online, and forums that provide answers to your pressing questions.
We can assure you that WordPress is robust enough to handle the requirements of your online store. However, it is important to note that WordPress CMS does not have e-commerce functions. But you can get your online store up and running when you install the right e-commerce plugin on your WordPress website.
Introducing WooCommerce – eCommerce Solution for WordPress
WooCommerce is the most widely used plugin for adding e-commerce features to WordPress websites. The user-friendly features and many useful functions of the plugin are important reasons why it is preferred to other online shopping plugins in WordPress.
After you have installed and activated the WooCommerce
plugin, it automatically adds several features that allow you to create an online
shop in WordPress. Basically, these features include product listing backend,
online shop frontend, shopping cart, checkout
options, and an online payment system. There are additional useful settings
that allow you to customize your online
shop to achieve your unique objectives.
With WooCommerce, you can sell both physical products and
digital items, it’s your choice. The
platform is robust enough to handle sales of a handful of downloadable items in your online shop and will continue to function well when
you upscale to selling hundreds of products per day.
WooCommerce Primary Features
The main features of the WooCommerce plugin are as follows:
It adds a backend to your website where you can add products to your store and set their respective prices.
It allows the store owner to create dedicated frontend pages for each product or service offered.
Addition of checkout feature to the website such that the user can make payment for items or services they purchase.
Addition of flexible options for payments and shipping of physical goods.
With all the excellent features described above, you must be thinking that the plugin will require a premium subscription to use. Well, the core WooCommerce program is absolutely free.
However, you can add other excellent features to the program by purchasing extensions from the WooCommerce extension store.
First Steps Before Building Your Online Store
Before we take you through the step-by-step procedure for building your online store, you will need to put two things in place. The first is to get a domain name, and the second is to purchase a web hosting plan.
Most of the service providers will help you register your domain name and also provide a hosting plan for you. Bear in mind that you will need to pay for these services upfront and renew them annually. The cost of domain name and hosting are usually affordable.
Just like the name refers, the domain name is simply a name by which your website is known on
the internet. It is more like a business name
that you register in the real world. You should pick a name that is easy to
remember and contains keywords related to your business. You should take the
time to choose a name that you are satisfied with because changing it later can
Your web hosting is more like the offline shop you rent for your business. Only that this time around, it is a digital space and resides on the Internet. This space is where you store your files and design your website. The hosting server makes your online store available to people around the world through the Internet. There are many options for web hosting, but you would like to choose the ones with high performance, fast loading, and a reputation for excellent security features.
Technical support is another feature you want to double-check with your prospective hosting service provider. They must be available to provide support on time when you need it through various media like telephone support, chat, and online ticketing system. You should also look out if the hosting provider has a dedicated WooCommerce hosting plan. Such a plan is optimized for an online store on the WordPress platform. It also contains other useful tools to manage and upscale your store when the needs arise. And of course, they give priority support.
We need to take the time to discuss security before proceeding with this guide. It is essential to keep your online store safe from hackers and infections from malware. You will also be protecting your business because nobody wants to transact in an insecure site. To this end, it is crucial to install a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) on your e-commerce website hosting. SSL is an encryption technology that secures your private data and the financial information of the users of your site. After installing the certificate, your website will use the HTTPS URL prefix to open pages.
You can obtain an SSL certificate from an external source, but your hosting provider can also provide one for you. The WooCommerce hosting plan we use adds a free Let’s Encrypt SSL certificate to the hosting plan to make our site secure right from scratch. SSL is recommended for any site that requires a login, and it is absolutely compulsory for an e-commerce website.
After choosing a domain name and subscribing to a web hosting plan, you can now proceed to the next step of building your online store. Follow the comprehensive guide below to start designing your e-commerce website.
Step 1 – Install WordPress (5 Minutes)
The first step is to install WordPress which is the CMS that will power your website. If you choose the DreamHost WooCommerce plan or the DreamPress plan, you can skip this step because you already have WordPress preinstalled for you. But for a regular hosting plan, you will have to install WordPress on your web hosting server manually.
To install WordPress, you will have to log in to your web hosting server control panel. DreamHost makes the process easy with One-Click Install future. If you are using a DreamHost web hosting plan, you can access the One-Click WordPress install by browsing Goodies > One-Click Install within the hosting control panel.
Click on the WordPress icon on the following page and fill out your domain name in the required field. You can leave the default value in other fields because they contain advanced options that you do not need to tweak anyway. When you check the Install Deluxe options, additional themes and useful plugins will be added to the installation. When you are set, click on the “Install it for me now” tab to start the WordPress installation.
When the installation is complete, the application will send the login details of the WordPress Admin backend to the email you used for your hosting account.
In some rare cases, you will be required to install WordPress manually when the hosting provider does not have automated scripts for a WordPress installation. Going through the manual installation route involves a couple of steps and creating a database. Don’t be scared, it’s not complicated and will take about five minutes to complete.
You may be able to skip this step also if you choose to use
the WooCommerce hosting plan from DreamHost. Because the plan comes with preinstalled and preconfigured
WooCommerce so you can start building your store right away when you log in to
your WordPress Admin area.
However, we shall still go through the procedure of installing the WooCommerce plugin for the benefit of those who use an ordinary hosting plan. Log in to the WordPress Admin area, click on the Plugin section in the admin menu and click on “Add New.” At the top of the page that opens.
Locate the search box at the top of the page, type “WooCommerce” and press enter. Locate the WooCommerce plugin in the search results, and click on the “Install” tab beside it. When the install tab changes to “Activate” click on it.
Congratulations, you have just finished installing and activating WooCommerce on your WooCommerce website!
Now that the plugin is installed and activated on your site, you have all the essential pages that your online store needs to operate and sell your stuff. But we still recommend navigating through the WooCommerce setup wizard to fine-tune and configure important settings for your online store.
The Wizard will pop up after activating the plugin. The first phase of the wizard allows you to set vital details about your online store such as the currency and the products you plan to sell.
The next stage walks you through setting up the payment options you want your customers to use. Most shop owners choose a combination of Stripe, PayPal, and offline payment methods.
For some store owners, these options may not be adequate, but there are several other payment integrations available through WooCommerce extensions.
The next stage of the wizard allows you to configure standard shipping rates. The settings will enable you to charge a flat rate or provide free shipping. You can use the extension apps to have more flexible shipping options.
You can configure additional settings in the other two phages of the configuration wizard.
However, you can safely skip these options to the end. You should also bear in
mind that you can modify all the settings applied by the wizard when the need
Once you are finished with the settings, the wizard informs you that you are ready to start selling. It also provides you with some quick links to adding products to your online store.
Before then, it is essential to optimize the WooCommerce store a little further. So, let’s return to the WooCommerce dashboard.
Step 3 – WooCommerce Store Settings Optimization (20 Minutes)
Although the configurations you did with the WooCommerce Wizard can help you get a functional store, there are still many other settings you have to configure. So, we are going to spend some time tweaking the configurations of the store to cater to your unique requirements.
So, navigate to the WooCommerce menu and click on Settings.
There are many configurable options in the WooCommerce
settings, but we will only focus on the
most important ones.
Do you want to ship to all countries? If not, navigate to the “General” tab and choose the countries you are willing to send your products. You can also decide whether to compute taxes on items purchased or not.
It is smart to add taxes to your prices because you may have to pay the sales taxes yourself if your buyers did not pay them while checking out. If you are not conversant with sales taxes, you can take a look at the WooCommerce developer tax guide here.
Next, let’s look at
the “Product” tab. Here you will see some of your input from the configuration wizard. You will also see many additional
options which you can tweak such as reviews.
The review options allow your customers to leave a one to five-star rating on the product they purchase and also write reviews. Positive reviews are great for driving sales so you may wish to enable this option. The additional options here help you manage inventory and customize the way your products are displayed.
From the “Shipping” tab interface, you can add additional shipping zones, and customize the shipping methods and the rates you charge. The Shipping Options submenu also enables you to fine-tune your shipping procedures.
Next is the Checkout tab. From here, you can configure how the check out process will work and decide whether you want to use coupons or not. You can also change the order of the payment options by dragging the options into their right places.
There are other subtabs where you can enable and configure the unique settings for each payment option and also add additional ones as the need arises.
The accounts tab allows you to set the accounts policy for
users who will be buying stuff from your website. Do you want them to register
before they checkout or they can just check out
directly? You can set all the options from here.
The emails settings allow you to customize the types of event notifications that you will receive in your registered store email. You also have the option to personalize the emails that your customers will be receiving from your store.
As for the last tab, the API one, it contains additional technical settings for advanced users to integrate with their custom store applications. You do not need to use this setting at all.
At this stage, you have completed customizing of the WooCommerce settings. You can come to the dashboard at any other time to tweak the store settings when the need arises.
Step 4 – Adding Products to Your Store (45 Minutes)
After you have set up your store the way you want it to
work, the next step is to start adding your products to the store. The process
is easy, just navigate to the “Products”
menu and click on the “Add New” link in the dashboard.
The product page is identical to the typical WordPress post page. It contains the standard editor and other few additional options and user-defined settings.
At the lower part of the page, you will see the “Product Data” section. Here you can set the details of the product such as price and whether it is a physical good or downloadable product.
The Inventory tab allows you to
create a unique identifier for the product called the SKU and other options. At
the shipping section, you can enter the product dimension, weight and choose
the appropriate shipping class where applicable.
The linked product tabs allow
you to upsell other related products to your buyers. It is a smart method to
increase earning per transactions in your
online store. Other options such as Attributes and Advanced are optional, so
you can safely leave them out.
At the bottom of the page is the “Product Short Description”
section where you can add the summary of the product. This is the text that shows up in the product listing page. The content
should be brief and emphasize the selling point of the product such as the
problem its solves and other benefits it provides to the buyer.
You can write the full description of the product when you scroll back up to the main editor. It is essential to highlight the main features and other information that helps the buyer make a decision.
The image of the product is one of the most vital parts of a product listing. Click on the “Add Media” button and upload a clean and clear image of the product.
Usually, it is best to upload several images from several perspectives to allow a 360-degree view of the product. An excellent view of your product imagery is vital to driving sales.
Use the product image section at the right-hand column to enter the main image. Below the section is an option to create a product gallery. The gallery section is excellent for products that have style and color varieties. This is the place where you can also add Categories and Tags to your product.
Categories and Tags
are excellent avenues to get your product organized. It also allows the search
engines bots to discover and classify your product
accordingly. Besides, your customers are also able to find your products
After you have uploaded your products and set all the necessary options, it’s time to go live and make the product available to potential buyers. Click on Publish, and your product will be available to buyers in your store frontend. Repeat this process for all your products to add other items to your online store.
Step 5 – Picking the Right WooCommerce Theme for Your Online Store
Now that you have finished setting
up your store, it is time to start selling your goods. WordPress has a unique
advantage when it comes to creating a unique visual design for your store. You
have access to thousands of WordPress themes which you can use to customize the
appearance of your store.
However, it is important to
use a theme that is designed for WooCommerce. These type of themes have
features that align with the functions of the WooCommerce plugin. They also
offer additional elements that enhance the e-commerce functions of your site.
Most store owners prefer to
use Storefront which is the official theme of WooCommerce. The theme is
designed for WooCommerce, so it integrates with the plugin seamlessly. It also
provides features that allow the store owner to customize the site to align
with their corporate brand. Although Storefront is free, it has premium add-ons
that can provide additional useful enhancements.
The official WooCommerce theme is Storefront, it is an excellent theme that provides all the features that most e-commerce sites need, and it’s preinstalled as a bonus when you sign up for DreamHost’s WooCommerce hosting plan.
There are many other themes that you can use if you do not like the visuals and features of
Storefront. Premium theme vendors such as Themeforest has various themes designed to work with this plugin. It is
essential to take the time to choose a theme that provides the features you need. The
right theme can go a long way in helping
you succeed in your e-commerce venture.
WooCommerce Tips to Boost eCommerce Sales
This guide will not be complete without mentioning the importance of your store design.
When you have the Storefront theme installed on your WooCommerce website, you
get an elegant looking store. However, you should take note of the following
when tweaking the appearance of your site.
Brand your Store.
You should maintain a consistent brand for your store. This should include
consistency in color scheme, logo,
tagline, typography and many more. You can learn more about developing a
brand for your business here.
Focus on easy navigation. You should make it easy for people to find your products through the navigation menu. You can also add a search bar and categories for your products. If your customers can’t find their choice products easily, they will probably leave for another store.
Use Images optimally. Make sure you optimize your images to be of
high quality and also of small size. This will allow you to display quality
pictures across your entire site without slowing down your page load time.
Focus on your store. It is essential not to distract the attention of your website visitor so they can focus on the online store. Avoid cluttering your website with irrelevant information; a minimalistic design is the best approach for an online store.
How to Promote Your WooCommerce Store
A tutorial that teaches e-commerce is not complete without
providing tips on how you can promote your online store. It is naive to think
that buyers will stumble on your site in the search engines. You should put your product or service in front of a buyer
audience through active marketing activities.
Promoting your online store can be complicated; many store owners swear
by various marketing methods as the holy grail of online marketing.
However, you will have to discover what works best for you by trying a
combination of multiple marketing methods. You can use the resources below to
learn more about the various methods.
Pay-Per-Click advertising: This method involves paying a search engine (Google, Bing, etc.) to display your website when a user searches for a keyword related to your product. They can also show your advertising on relevant sites. You can choose to pay when a prospect clicks on your ad (PPC) or pay for every thousand ad impressions (PPM). Learn more about pay per click marketing here.
Email marketing: Another effective method of website promotion is email marketing. In this method, you capture the email address of those interested in your product or services and send them valuable tips and marketing emails. You can build an email list from your website by using a plugin like the Opt-in Monster.
Social media marketing: The huge number of people that login to social media platforms every day makes it a perfect platform to market your product to potential customers. You can follow this guide to choose a social media marketing approach for your store. The most platforms provide information about interests and demographics that allows you to target your audience.
Discounts and promotions: Everybody likes discounts, its no surprise that shops make record sales on Black Fridays. You too can cash in on this buyer psychology by organizing promotions and using coupons to get the word out about your online store. WooCommerce has features to use discount strategies on your website.
Do bear in mind that website promotion places a demand on active and consistent efforts on your part. The baseline is that you get better results when you use multiple marketing methods to bring more people to your online store. You should promote your online store continuously and track your results to see the advertising media that brings you the best ROI.
A Final Word, Build Your Own Online Store!
You can set up an online store within a couple of hours, thanks to the various useful tools in the e-commerce world of today. Since there are many competing stores, you should put in some hard work to make your store stand out from the crowd.
Remember, you should continuously work on your store and tweak it to convert your visitors to buyers. Perfecting your in-store conversion and online promotion techniques are crucial to the success of your e-commerce endeavors and your online presence.
WordPress and WooCommerce provides an excellent way to make
an entry into the profitable world of e-Commerce. Pick a domain name and get a
hosting plan to get started today. Let us know in the comment section if you have questions about creating your
online store using WooCommerce.
Need help in starting your own online shop with Shopify? Here, you will be given everything you need to do that in a simplified manner so your online store can be up and running in a jiffy.
How to Set up Your Online Shop on Shopify
Are you ready to learn how to create your own online store? Maybe you just came up with a wonderful product idea and now you’d like to see if people are willing to buy it. Well, you’re in luck, because you no longer have to be an experienced web developer to build an online shop, and eventually, it can be done pretty easily with Shopify.
Fill in your details in the signup form, then click on the ‘Create your store now’ button.
Select a store name that’s unique and hasn’t been taken. Shopify will highlight names that are already in use and request you choose another if what you have in mind has been taken.
Afterward, you will be taken to another page where you have to provide more details like your name, location, and contact details.
Shopify will want to know what products you want to sell on their site. If you’re just testing out the site, in the ‘Do you have products?’ Dropdown menu, select ‘I’m just playing around’ and in the ‘What will you sell?’ section, answer with ‘I’m not sure’. But if you do have products to sell, then enter their details.
If you have finished filling in the details, click the ‘I’m done’ button.
You will be taken to your store admin page after completing the signing-up process.
This is the stage you start building up your online store, getting your products uploaded, and establishing your payments and shipping processes.
Step 3: Establishing How Your Online Store will Look
You will like your store to stand out from the others and reflect your personality, right? You can do this with themes that will allow you to personalize it the way you want. These themes are available at the official Shopify theme store.
Every theme got a list of modifications that can be applied to it, but, you don’t have to be a tech wiz or coder as the modifications list for the themes is user-friendly and simple to use. More modifications are available with premium themes but your site will still look great with free themes.
And just in case you want to deeply change your online store theme, it’s very simple by using HTML and CSS which gives you a lot of options to work with. As we implied earlier, you don’t have to be a software guru to be able to do this as you can call on a lineup of design agencies also known as ‘Shopify experts’ to personalize your site to your taste.
You could configure your site this way:
Theme – Brooklyn (free theme)
Shipping – Free to all countries
Payments – Shopify payments can be used if you’re in the US, Puerto Rico, Canada, UK, Ireland, or Australia. Use Paypal if you’re outside these countries.
Free shipping page – Used to explain how the shipping is done.
Step 4: Changing Your Shopify Settings
Most of the themes on Shopify will allow you to personalize your site anytime you want by making changes to how it looks, so your store can be unique.
Step 5: Uploading Products onto Your Store
Go to the bar on the left and select ‘Products’. On that page’s top right-hand corner is a blue ‘Add a product’ button. Use that page to provide as many details as possible of your products, most especially those that will aid your SEO campaigns like name, description, and URL. Provide details about the variations of your products in order to better inform your customers.
You will also upload your product pictures on this page. You don’t need to worry about uploading them in a particular order as they can be rearranged easily on the page.
How your products look is an important factor in sales so make sure your images show them in the best possible manner. Use close-up pictures to draw attention to special or unique features. Make sure the images are all of the same dimensions so that your site looks neat. Cluttered and untidy sites could be a turn-off to prospective customers.
Once all your products are uploaded, click on the ‘Save product’ button at the right-hand corners at either the top or bottom of the page
Step 6: Setting up Product Collections on Your Store
refers to a group of products with similar features that customers might want
when they visit your store. For instance, they could be on the lookout for the
Unique men’s, women’s, or children’s clothing.
Certain items such as lamps, cushions, or rugs.
Items that are on special sales.
Products of a particular size or color.
Seasonal products for certain occasions like chocolates for valentine, Christmas decorations, Easter eggs, etc.
Collections can be made of any combination of products. Make sure you display your collections on your home page and the navigation bar. This will make it easier for customers to find what they are looking for and avoid the stress of going through the whole catalog.
There are two options to select when adding products to a new collection in your store. The first option involves listing the products by hand while the second option involves doing it in an automated manner. This is done by establishing a setlist of conditions for products to be listed. Once a product fulfills these conditions, it’s automatically listed in the collection.
Step 7: Collecting Payments
Customers will pay for the products on your site through a payment gateway that will be integrated into your site. Not all payment gateways have the same offerings so you have to scrutinize their features carefully.
Here are the things to check when determining which payment gateway to use for your business.
Payment gateways make their money by collecting a small percentage of the sale you make or a flat fee per transaction. Look at how much you forecast for your sales and decide which of the approaches will be best for your transactions.
Mode of Payment Accepted
You will have to know what cards and payment solutions are accepted by your payment gateway. VISA and Mastercard are accepted by all of them. A majority will take American Express while an increasing number are opening up to online payment solutions like Paypal. Make sure the payment gateway you choose will be able to handle the well-used cards and online payment.
Some payment gateways will process sales transactions on their own servers through a form on their site, implying that the customer has to navigate away from your own site’s checkout. But they are redirected back to your confirmation page after a successful transaction allowing you some control of the checkout process. This allows you to bypass Shopify’s restriction on customizing your checkout with any other tool apart from CSS.
Usually, Shopify adds the transaction fees of the payment gateways to its own handling fees. But right now, stores in the US and UK can use Shopify payments so there should be some reduction in the combined charges to store owners. Having an integrated payment solution will help you to reduce friction in accepting and transferring money, compared to many other eCommerce website builders, so Shopify is the best pick we got.
It’s also possible to make some savings on these costs. That will depend on your Shopify plan. These are the rates you will get according to your plan.
Basic – 2.4% plus 20p
Professional – 2.1% plus 20p
Unlimited – 1.8% plus 20p
It could be worth moving up to a higher plan if your site makes enough transactions to support it so that you could take advantage of the savings.
Your store will make use of Shopify payments by default if you’re in the US or UK. If you prefer this option, click on the ‘Complete Shopify payments account setup’ button under the settings on the payments page. If you, however, prefer a third-party payment gateway, navigate to the ‘Enable payment gateway’ link on the same page.
Step 8: Going Live with Your Online Store
Now it’s time for your store to go live right? Not quite yet! There are still some more details to be sorted out like adding some more information about your company, how you intend to deliver customers’ purchases, and your tax payment structure.
All information about your business goes on the page highlighted below marked as ‘General’. Ensure you make use of the Google Analytics feature on this page. It will help you track store visitors which will empower you to make modifications to your business model if necessary.
Now let’s configure the taxes in your newly created Shopify store. It’s important to mention that based on if your business is VAT registered or not, it will determine the need to charge VAT.
In case you are VAT registered and you will sell products to both businesses and consumers in different EU countries, don’t forget to configure the tax rates and set them accordingly. Setting your taxes properly, it’s an important part of making money on Shopify.
Go to the products section of your admin page.
Click the name of any of your products.
Go to the section called ‘inventory & variants’.
Open a dialog window by clicking on the edit link next to your product variant.
Check the boxes next to ‘Charge taxes’ and ‘Requires shipping’ if these are required for that product.
Some products like digital goods will not require the charging of taxes or shipping costs due to their nature. Physical products, on the other hand, have to bill for both.
If a product requires shipping, enter the product’s weight in the field designated for it.
Ensure you have the right rates as failure to do this could harm the sales of your store and eventually will hurt your earnings because you will have to cover the price of the shipping from your own pocket. Do the following to make sure of this:
Go to the shipping page from your admin page and click on settings.
Under ‘Shipping rates’, set a weight-based shipping rate for your product according to its weight.
Step 9: Ensuring Your Order System Works
You will need to test and ensure that your site order system works. This can be done by using Shopify’s Testing Gateway.
From your store admin page, click on settings, then navigate to payments settings.
You will have to deactivate your credit card gateway if it’s on. To do this click ‘Edit’, then click on ‘Deactivate’. Confirm your deactivation afterward.
Go to the ‘Accept credit cards’ section. Click on ‘Select a credit card gateway’. A dropdown menu will open.
Go down to ‘Other’, and then click ‘Testing Gateway’.
Under ‘ Testing Gateway’, click ‘Activate’.
Place an order on your online store as if you’re a customer.
You can also test the workings of a payment gateway with a real transaction. Ensure the gateway you’re testing has already been set up in your store.
Buy a product from your own store like a customer and use your own credit card details to complete the transaction.
Then, cancel the order at that moment so that you don’t pay any transaction fees and get your money back.
Check your payment gateway to see if your money went through the checkout.
You got it!
Of course, it’s a completely free flow, just be sure to cancel that order as mentioned. If the credit card has been billed after you’ve placed the order but before you canceled it, the transaction will appear on your bill.
There’s still the opportunity to cancel after paying Shopify but your refund will be in the form of a transaction credit on your account which could be useful for paying future transaction fees.
And that’s pretty much all you need to know, in order to start up.
You sign up to Shopify, set up a theme, add products, set up your collection, tax, and shipping policies, some payment getaways, and vualá, you got an online store.
After those 8 steps, you will have a great-looking, unique, and fully-functioning store in less than half an hour without having to be a web expert. This way you can spend most of your time marketing and concentrate on your business instead of taking care of the technical side of things. Shopify is amazing!
If something is still not clear, feel free to contact me in the comments or write to us in our Facebook group.
The procedure of customizing websites requires an understanding of different technical topics such as HTML, PHP, and CSS. Unfortunately, most people do not have these technical skills, and thank goodness, there are other simpler ways of creating and customizing websites that do not require programming. You can create and customize sites with relative ease using content management systems such as WordPress and the Elementor plugin.
WordPress is a flexible content management system that powers about one-third of websites on the internet. Elementor is a page builder that provides an intuitive interface to create content within a WordPress site with an easy drag-and-drop interface. The combination of these two programs can help you create stunning websites in a jiffy.
This tutorial provides a step-by-step guide on how to create websites with WordPress and Elementor on a WordPress hosting like DreamHost. Get ready to design your dream website today using these leading-edge technologies without any need to code, just easy drag-and-drop site making.
Get a Hosting Account and Install WordPress
First things first, you need a domain name and a web hosting account to create your website. Your domain name is like a real-world business name in which you register with a government agency. The web hosting account is comparable to renting an office from where you can do business. While the website design aspect is like putting all the furnishing in place to make your office look professional.
You can register your domain name and get WordPress hosting easily by using the DreamHost WordPress hosting package. Click on the “Get Started” link on and follow the instructions to create your account. Dreamhost gives you an option to register a new domain name or transfer an existing one to build your website.
Now you can log in to access your hosting dashboard after creating your DreamHost account. The hosting dashboard contains a variety of tools that you can use to manage your hosting account.
We recommend using the tool called One-Click WordPress Installer to do the initial WordPress installation. You can find this program in the lower part of the dashboard when you scroll down. Open the One-Click Installer menu, click on WordPress, select your domain name and install WordPress on your domain.
By this time, you must have completed the WordPress installation and also have your password to the Admin section. Log in to your WordPress Admin backend and let’s install Elementor – hover your mouse on the Plugin section within the menu by the left and click on “Add New” within the flyout menu.
On the new page that opens, type “Elementor” in the text box and press the enter key to search for the plugin. The result will show “Elementor Page Builder” among other results.
Ignore all the other result entries and click on the install tab beside the “Elementor Page Builder.” After installation is complete, the tab menu changes to activate, click on it to activate the plugin.
Now you have Elementor installed!
Use Elementor to Create your First Page
Once the Elementor Page Builder has been activated, it is time to create your first web page. Navigate to the Pages section on the admin menu and click on the “Add New” link.
The first page you shall create will serve as the Home Page. Type “Home” in the Title section and click on the “Save Draft” button to save your work.
It is a good habit to save the incremental changes you made on your site. It helps you retain the changes you made if the browser crashes, or the system malfunctions when you are working.
Now, you have your new page created. Locate the “Edit with Elementor” button just below the Title bar to launch the Elementor Page Builder plugin.
How to use the Elementor Templates to Create Your Homepage in WordPress
One of the easiest ways to get up and running with Elementor site builder is to use templates. It gives you access to many functions of the program rather than trying to figure them out on your own.
Click on the “Add Template” button which is on the right part of the screen to open the Elementor Template Library.
The template library gives you access to numerous
templates. Many of the templates are free
while others are only available when you
purchase the premium version of the Elementor Plugin. Browse for the layout of
your choice and click on the “Insert” button.
How to Change Your Elementor Template to Full-Width
Hover your mouse on the template and locate the sky-blue control panel above the template. You will notice some icons within the panel, these icons allow you to customize the template. When you click on the first icon, it changes the left panel view to enable you to customize the template.
The first option on the left panel is for toggling the
width of the template layout between
boxed design and full-width. Simply click
on the switch button to toggle between
the two options.
How to Change the Text on the Home Page and Any Other Page
Now that you have set the width style of your home page, you can proceed to customize the content of the home page. Elementor gives you access to user-friendly tools to edit the content of the template.
To edit any element on the page, click on it and the left panel will present you with various options to customize the content.
You will be able to change the font type, size, color,
and the way the heading elements appear on the page.
Change the Background Images
One of the core elements of a webpage is the background. Elementor allows you to change the background images to another one that aligns with the theme of your website. To change the background, navigate back to the template edit section and click on the “Style” tab.
All you need to do is to delete the current background image and choose another one to replace it.
Now, you’re newly created WordPress site has a new image, all thanks to the power of the Elementor site builder.
Elementor provides you with many options for changing the
background of the web page. You can use images, gradients, and videos from
YouTube as your website background.
How to change colors and fonts on the Elementor site
The font and color elements allow you to align your web page with your brand features. You can customize these features by clicking on the element you want to change and selecting the “Style” tab from the left panel.
You can make changes by choosing another font type from the wide array of fonts in Elementor. You can either use the color picker to make the adjustment to the font color or specify the color code if you know it.
An excellent design style is to maintain a consistent font appearance and color on your web page. Multiple color palettes can be distracting and serve as an annoying factor that can make your website visitors leave almost immediately. Choose the site’s color wisely.
Click on the “Save” button to apply the changes to your site when you have finished.
Click on the hamburger menu icon at the top left after Elementor has saved the changes you made.
After that, click on “Page Settings” from the list of menus that appears.
In the menu that will open, in the “Status” section, click on the select options and choose “Published.” This option will make the web page available for other people to see on your website.
After that, click on the “X” icon at the bottom left of the page to close the options. You are now ready to view your first web page.
Make the Page You Just Created the Home Page of Your Website
The home page of your website is the page that opens up when someone types your website address. We shall now set the page you just created as the home page for your website.
Navigate to the WordPress Admin menu, hover your mouse on “Settings,” and click on “Reading” from the flyout menu.
Scroll to the “Front page display” option and check the
radio button beside the “A static page” option. This setting tells WordPress to display a specific page on the website
rather than the latest blog posts.
After the last step, a drop-down
select menu with a list of pages appears just below the option. You can now
select the “Home” page you just created.
The next step is to scroll down to the bottom of the
settings page and click on the “Save Changes” button to apply the settings to
After you have saved the settings, your website home page
will change to the page you just created with Elementor.
Let’s Keep Creating the Rest of the Website
Of course, you would like to have other pages on your website besides the homepage. Some regular pages on most websites are the “About us” that tells the user what your site is all about, and the “Contact” page as well.
Hover the mouse on “Pages,” click on “Add New,” then follow the steps outlined previously to create the new pages.
Other aspects of designing your WordPress website involve working with widgets. The Widgets settings are accessible from the Appearance > Widget menu option. The interface is intuitive; simply drag your preferred widgets to the appropriate positions and adjust the settings.
Most WordPress themes also come with “Theme Options” which you can fine-tune to align with your website needs. However, it is important to ensure that your choice of colors in the theme options aligns with the one you choose in Elementor. This will help create a visual balance for your website.
Start Creating Websites Without Coding with Elementor
You can start creating a website without writing a single code by combining the power of WordPress with the Elementor Page Builder plugin.
The program gives you a visual interface to bring your imagination to life and writes the codes for you behind the scene. These two powerful tools can help you create stunning websites and high-converting landing pages without learning HTML, PHP, or CSS.