How to Create an Online Store with WordPress

Aug 9, 2016 by Matt Kuritsyn, Ecwid Team
How to Add a Store To Your WordPress Website
Posted Aug 9, 2016 by Matt Kuritsyn, Ecwid Team

If your site is built on WordPress, and you’re looking for a worthwhile E-commerce widget to create a WordPress shopping cart, we can only recommend Ecwid, of course. After all, the name stands for ECommerce WIDget.

The latest WordPress update has been downloaded over 43 million times. It’s no accident that it is the most popular CMS in use online today; it’s powerful, easy to implement, and easy to use — just like Ecwid. With over 1 million sellers in 175 countries, it’s clear that people love Ecwid’s robust features that can be implemented into almost any new or existing website.

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

Getting started

Getting started with Ecwid is a breeze. 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 a store and connecting it to your website

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

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 size screen, regardless of which view you choose.

Ecwid Store Settings

All the necessary settings are right there in your WordPress Control Panel

Setting up your 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, 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 store

Managing your Ecwid store is a breeze. You can specify things pertaining to products, shipping options, payment options and more. To access these choices, go to your Ecwid store on the WordPress backend and click Dashboard. Also here you can fill the inventory, track your store’s statistics and have a look at customers’ profiles.

One of Ecwid’s main goals is ease-of-use for customer and store owner alike. While you can manage your store from your WordPress backend, there are other options as well. You can make operational decisions from your Ecwid account, or even from the free Google Play and iOS apps. You might not always be by your computer, but chances are your phone is not far away, enabling you to make changes while on the go.

Advanced Settings

Now that you’re familiar with the basic settings of Ecwid on WordPress, 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 to your 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: Ecwid is all about convenience. 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. It should be noted that this 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 way of CSS.

Extensions

Adding extensions to your Ecwid storefront helps separate your online shop from the rest, and can even make 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 shop, 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 never fear — Ecwid has got you covered. The ShopApp extension will automatically build you a personalized app that your customers can download, and it will even put your app on Google Play and the iOS App Store for you.

There are even integrations with MailChimp to help with marketing, and Ecwid plugs into the service 71lbs, which helps monitor and 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 how your Ecwid store may look on WordPress Website? Check out Sheakardel storefront. You can find more examples on this page.

Sheakardel storefront

Conclusion

Ecwid is a powerful e-commerce solution that fills the needs of anyone looking to sell items online, whether it’s a major e-commerce operation or small side business. The ease-of-use features mean even the most amateur entrepreneur can build a modern site using a tool like WordPress 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 your own.

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 to 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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