Wordpress shopping cart
Posted Aug 9, 2016 by Matt Kuritsyn, Ecwid Team

How to Create an Online Store with WordPress

If your site is built on WordPress, and you’re looking for a worthwhile online shopping cart plugin to create a WordPress online store, take a minute to see that Ecwid can do for you. After all, the name stands for ECommerce WIDget.

WordPress is the most popular content management system (CMS) in use online today; it’s powerful, easy to implement, and easy to use — just like Ecwid.

Sharks Palermo's Ecwid store on WordPress

Sharks Palermo’s Ecwid store on WordPress

Ecwid provides secure (PCI-DSS Level 1 validated) and easy-to-use (no coding) e-commerce plugins for both versions WordPress.org and WordPress.com.

If you have a WordPress website and are looking to start selling online, we’ve compiled a guide to get your store up and running smoothly and quickly.

Getting started with Ecwid plugin for WordPress

To get started, simply search for Ecwid in the Plugins section of your WordPress backend.

If your site is self-hosted or uses a different system for installing plugins, you can download the plugin here, then upload it to your site’s FTP server. Once the plugin is uploaded and installed, you have to activate it. You can active it either from the upload page (“Activate this plugin now”) or from the Plugins page.

Creating an online store and connecting it to WordPress

Once your Ecwid plugin is installed, you’ll need to get your Ecwid account in order if you haven’t previously done so. Signing up for Ecwid is free and easy and can be done in a matter of minutes.

If you already have an Ecwid account and store, you can connect them to your WordPress site at this time in a snap. If you have any doubts, simply register through Ecwid.com.

The look of the Ecwid plugin

Setting up your Ecwid store on your WordPress website

Now the fun begins! To start setting up your Ecwid store on your WordPress site, go to your product catalog where you can do the following:

  • Upload your product pictures
  • Add product descriptions
  • Set tax rates and shipping zones
  • Set order email notifications
  • Add 45+ popular payment methods
  • Connect to 50+ helpful apps to manage your store
  • Make your product descriptions SEO-friendly and much more.

Visit the Store settings popup to adjust the “Appearance” tab, which allows you to set up the look and feel of your store. Here you can edit things like the number of products to be displayed per page, or the entire layout of your store. There is also a section to pick what category displays by default.

Try out different options to see what you like the best. Ecwid is 100% responsive, so it will look great on any screen size, regardless of which view you choose.

Ecwid Store Settings

All the necessary settings are right there on your WordPress dashboard

Setting up your e-commerce widgets

Widgets are a staple of WordPress websites, and Ecwid has a number of robust features for sidebar widgets. To access them, simply head to the Widgets section on the backend of your WordPress website.

Widget options include Minicart (lets you place a shopping bag icon on your page), Search, Vertical Categories (allows you to list your store categories for quick access), Recently Viewed Products, Random Product, and numerous other options.

The Recently Viewed Products widget is an extremely helpful option that updates as customers browse through your store’s offerings. Considering that widgets are on most pages of your website, customers will always have an easy, convenient way of accessing items they’ve looked at while on your website.

Managing the online store

You can specify things pertaining to products, shipping options, payment options and more. To access these choices, go  WordPress shopping cart backend and click Dashboard. Also, here you can fill the inventory, track your store’s statistics and access customers’ profiles.

While you can manage your Ecwid store from your WordPress backend, there are other options as well. You can make operational decisions from your Ecwid account, or even from Google Play and iOS apps. You might not always be at your computer, but chances are your phone is not far away, enabling you to make changes on the go.

Advanced Ecwid settings

Now that you’re familiar with the basic settings of a WordPress online shopping cart, let’s delve into some of the more advanced settings you have access to.

  • Chameleon skin: One of the newer features in the Ecwid settings, Chameleon skin is designed to adapt your online store colors to your WordPress website, regardless of the theme you are using on your site. By analyzing the structure and dominant colors of your site, Chameleon skin will help your Ecwid store look like it’s been a part of your website since day one.
  • Single sign-on: Integrating single sign-on means your customers will not have to sign up/login to their account in order to make a purchase through your website. That is only available to paid users.
  • If you want even more control over the look of your store, beyond what Chameleon skin can offer, Ecwid allows for full customization by means of CSS.

Extensions

Adding extensions to your Ecwid storefront even make your life easier when it comes time to market and ship your products out the door. If you’re looking adding more functionality to your WordPress shopping cart, there are extensions like Avalanche and SmartSlider3, which give your products the ability to have multiple pictures that can be easily browsed through by adding sliders on your store page.

Mobile web browsing is a driving force all over the world today. While responsive themes and friendly online stores are a great first step, having an app that lives on your customers’ phones is even better. App development can be expensive, but not for Ecwid merchants.

The ShopApp extension will automatically build you a personalized app that your customers can download and use to order your products from their pockets.

There is also a number of integrations with services like MailChimp (to help you promote your WordPress shopping cart). Ecwid plugs into 71lbs, which helps monitor and guarantee your items get to your customers on time. You can check out the full list of apps and extensions in the Ecwid App Market.

Do you want to see what your WordPress shopping cart can look like? Check out the Sheakardel storefront. You can find more examples on this page.

Sheakardel storefront

Conclusion

Ecwid is a powerful e-commerce solution for WordPress that fills the needs of anyone looking to sell items online, whether it’s a major e-commerce operation or small side business.

Even the most amateur entrepreneur can build a modern e-commerce site using WordPress and Ecwid to get up and running in only a few hours. For those more comfortable with technology, there are many deeper options available through Ecwid to truly make your store the one and only.

The best part? You can plug Ecwid into almost any existing website and try it risk-free, thanks to Ecwid’s unpaid membership option, which lets you sell up to 10 different items at no cost.


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