How to create an ecommerce website with WordPress
Posted Aug 31, 2020 by Matt Kuritsyn, Ecwid Team

How to Create a WordPress E-Commerce Website?

If your site is built on WordPress, and you’re looking for a worthwhile online shopping cart plugin to create a WordPress e-commerce store — take a minute to see what Ecwid can do for you. After all, the name stands for E–Commerce 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. But how can Ecwid help with my WordPress e-commerce site? You’ll be sorry you asked!

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

WordPress E-commerce with Ecwid

Does WordPress Have E-Commerce? And Is Woocommerce Part of WordPress?

These are two questions that are asked quite frequently. And yes, WordPress does have their own e-commerce via plugin, WooCommerce. And is one way you can create a free WordPress e-commerce site.

Now, while the plugin is free to use, unless you are a coding expert or developer, the software can be difficult to use. And in some cases, businesses hire out to help build their store. If you decide to use WooCommerce, here are few of the additional costs you could see:

  • Hiring a web designer
  • Purchase of additional plugins for optimized store functionality
  • Web Hosting
  • Expanded marketing features

WooCommerce might not be the best free online store for first-timers, because it can be costly and beginners may have a difficult time navigating through.

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Is a WordPress Website Good for E-Commerce Beginners?

WooCommerce can be difficult for beginners, and most merchants require a developer to set up, maintain, and update their store, as well as provide extra support. Ecwid is designed to let any merchant easily set up their store — no developer or technical knowledge required. Let’s take a look at a few of the differences.

Checkout The Cookie Dough Cafe using the Ecwid WP plugin!


Checkout The Cookie Dough Cafe using the Ecwid plugin!

Cloud-Based solution

It is difficult for merchants to back up their stores on WooCommerce, often requiring an outside vendor to manage. As a hosted cloud solution, Ecwid backs up all store data so it’s safe if a site goes down — plus, we give merchants a backup storefront so they can keep selling.

Omnichannel selling

WooCommerce requires additional 3rd party plugins (typically at a cost) for many of their features and sales channels. Ecwid has built-in capability to sell on social sites and marketplaces like Facebook, Instagram, and Amazon.

Data security

As mentioned, Ecwid is a PCI DSS Level 1 Certified Service Provider, ensuring all payment and transaction data is secure. WooCommerce stores are not secure by default, making merchants reliant on their host and additional security features.

Site builder compatibility

WooCommerce only works with WordPress, locking merchants into their platform. Ecwid integrates seamlessly with WordPress — but also with any other CMS or site builder. If you decide to move to a new website, or add your products to partners’ sites or blogs, your Ecwid store will travel with your business wherever you need it to.

No worries with updates

Updates serve to improve user experience, but sometimes even a minor theme change can result in something breaking. Ecwid updates don’t require any developer intervention, plus Ecwid shares resources to accompany each update and help understand the changes. And if something needs to be fixed, you’ve got a whole team working for you. With WooCommerce, you’ll have to identify and fix the problem yourself.

Superb support

No matter how easy the solution, little help never hurts. Especially, if you have no experience with websites and online stores. You can get support directly from Ecwid in your dashboard, but in case with WooCommerce, you have to figure out setting up and running an online store on your own.

If you already use WordPress as your sitebuilder, a great and easy solution is using the Ecwid plugin instead to build an e-commerce website. Much easier to install and navigate plus it comes with already built in features that would cost you extra with WooCommerce.

With WordPress, you can use the Ecwid plugin on the Forever Free plan

With WordPress, you can use the Ecwid plugin on the Forever Free plan which gives you up to 10 products — that’s right, FOREVER! Some developers will actually tell you, they like the Ecwid plugin for a number of reasons. Read why this developer actually prefers Ecwid!

A customer review of Ecwid E-commerce Shopping Cart plugin for WordPress


customer review of Ecwid E-commerce Shopping Cart plugin for WordPress

Don’t take our word for it, read more reviews to hear firsthand how merchants prefer Ecwid for WordPress e-commerce!

By the way, if you already have a store on WooCommerce, you can easily migrate it to Ecwid E-commerce. You can quickly bulk export your products and categories from WooCommerce to Ecwid with the help of our migration tool. Read how to do that in our Help Center.

How Do I Create an E-Commerce Website With WordPress and Ecwid?

If you have a WordPress website and are looking to start selling online, we’ve compiled a quick guide to get your store up and running smoothly and quickly. And by the end you’ll know how to create an online store with WordPress and Ecwid.

Getting Started With Ecwid Plugin for WordPress

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

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 activate 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.

connect your store to your WordPress site at this time in a snap

Setting up Your Ecwid Store on Your WordPress Website

Now the fun begins! Let’s walk through how to build an ecommerce website step by step.
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.

Try out different options to see what you like the best

Adding E-commerce Blocks to Your Pages

If you have no coding skills, you can use WordPress’ code-free page editor and publishing tool (known as the Gutenberg editor). It allows you to add anything to any webpage just by arranging a content block.

After you install the Ecwid E-commerce plugin for WordPress, you get ten e-commerce blocks right in the block editor. That enables you to add online store functionalities to any site page in minutes.

After you install the Ecwid E-commerce plugin for WordPress, you get ten e-commerce blocks right in the block editor.

You can add a whole store homepage, categories menu, product cards, “Buy” buttons, the search and filters page, and other e-commerce blocks. Ecwid integrates directly into the editor, so you can have a consistent, code-free experience.

Read more about each of ten Ecwid’s e-commerce blocks for the Gutenberg editor.

Managing the Online Store

You can specify things pertaining to products, shipping options, payment options and more. To access these choices, go to the 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.

  • Adaptable design: Ecwid adapts your online store colors to any theme you use for your WordPress site. Thanks to that, your Ecwid store looks 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, Ecwid allows for full customization by means of CSS.
  • Extensions

    Adding extensions to your Ecwid storefront makes your life easier when it comes time to market and ship your products out the door. If you’re looking to add more functionality to your WordPress shopping cart, there are extensions like Zotabox which gives you a package of 20+ promotional sales tools for your website.

    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 are 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 e-commerce site could look like? Find more examples on this page.

    Sharks Palermo’s Ecwid store on WordPress


    Sharks Palermo’s Ecwid store on WordPress

    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 Free Forever plan, which lets you sell up to 10 different items at no cost.

    Get the Ecwid Plugin

About the author
Matt is a product manager at Ecwid. He works with the Ecwid dev team and helps them shipping the right features for Ecwid merchants. Outside of work, Matt likes travelling and climbing the mountains.
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