How to Start an Online Store in 9 Steps with Shopify (2021 Updated)

How to Start an Online Store in 9 Steps with Shopify (2021 Updated)

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.

So, first of all, you need to sign up for an account. Signing up with Shopify and starting your one store couldn’t be any easier and they even offer a 14 day free trial to get you going.

Step 1: Getting Started with Shopify Online Stores Service

Getting an online store with Shopify is simple and user-friendly. They will even offer you a 14-day trial so that you can test things out.

  1. First, you have to open a Shopify account if you haven’t done it already.
  2. Fill in your details in the signup form, then click on the ‘Create your store now’ button.
  3. 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.
  4. Afterward, you will be taken to another page where you have to provide more details like your name, location and contact details.
  5. 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 in their details.
  6. If you have finished filling in the details, click the ‘I’m done’ button.

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Step 2: Building Your Online Store

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.

Creation online shop with online eCommerce platform from Shopify service
Shopify online shop dashboard view

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 are 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. Like 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.
  • Pages – This should contain your contact details, refund policy, privacy policy, and service terms.
  • 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 on how it looks, so your store can be unique.

Theme possibilities in Shopify online store
Theme possibilities in Shopify online store

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.

Listing your products and adding new ones on Shopify isn’t complicated
Listing your products and adding new ones on Shopify isn’t complicated

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

Collection 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 following collections:

  • 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. 

Creating a collection page on online store based on Shopify
Creating a collection page on online store based on Shopify

Step 7: Collecting Payments

Customers will pay for the products on your site through a payment gateway which 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.

Get the best payment gateway that suites your online store
Get the best payment gateway that suites your online store

Transaction Fees

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.

Checkout

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.

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 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.

General

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.

General details about your online store
Here, you provide details about your store

Tax Settings

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 business and consumers in different EU countries, don’t forget to configure the tax rates and set it 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.
Shopify store tax configuration settings
Make sure you structure the taxes for your business

Shipping

Ensure you have the right rates as failure to do this could harm the sales of your store and eventually will hurt your earning 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.
Online store shipping settings
Online store shipping settings

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.

Conclusion

And that’s pretty much all you need to know, in order to start up.

You sign up to Shopify, setting up a theme, adding products, setting 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.

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How to Create a WordPress Website With Elementor Plugin (2021 Updated)

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 an easy drag-and-drop site making.

Let’s start.

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 a WordPress hosting easily by using the DreamHost WordPress hosting package. Click on the “Get Started” link on the 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.

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Getting started with WordPress Hosting

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.

One-click and you have WordPress!

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DreamHost one click WordPress install

Add Elementor to the New WordPress Site

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.

New WordPress site installing Elementor

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!

Install Elementor plugin on WordPress site

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 “Add New” link.

Add new page to WordPress site

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.

Create new Elementor page on WordPress platform

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 at the right part on the screen to open the Elementor Template Library.

Add template in Elementor site builder

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.

Edit content on Elementor page

Change the Background Images

One of the core elements of a webpage in 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.

Elementor change backgound click on style

All you need to do is to delete the current background image and choose another one to replace it.

Now, your newly create WordPress site has a new image, all thanks to the power of the Elementor site builder.

Elementor change backgound update the image

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 in 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.

Elementor change color and fonts click on style

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 visitor 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.

Elementor save button

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 menu 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.

WordPress setting reading configuration

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.

Setting static homepage on WordPress

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 your website.

WordPress static page save changes

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,” and click on “Add New,” then follow the steps outlined previously to create the new pages.

Other aspects of designing your WordPress website involves 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.

So, start with reliable hosting, install WordPress on it and use Elementor for easy drag-and-drop site building experience.

Do it. And for any questions during the process, don’t hesitate to leave us your comments. We will help you with creating your WordPress site with a breeze.

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