WooCommerce Tutorial – How to Set It up on Your Website

Updated on October 26, 2017

With over 3+ million active installs, a 4.6 user rating on WordPress.org, and an army of happy, loyal digital store owners to back it, WooCommerce is the most popular free e-commerce solution for WordPress by a mile. According to BuiltWith, as of October 2017, WooCommerce powers over 42% of all online stores! If you’re looking to open up virtual shop on your WP-powered website, going with WooCommerce is one of the best decisions you could make. Here’s an extensive WooCommerce tutorial and how to get it up and running on your website.

WooCommerce Tutorial Index

WooCommerce Installation

Step 1

The first thing you will need to do is to install the WooCommerce plugin. You can download it for free from the WordPress repository or follow the steps below on how to do it from within your dashboard.

woocommerce plugin

WooCommerce WordPress plugin

To install it from your dashboard navigate to WordPress Admin > Plugins > Add New, search for “woocommerce”, and click on “Install Now.” Ensures that the author shows up as WooThemes. 3+ is currently the latest version of WooCommerce.

woocommerce installation

WooCommerce installation

Step 2

woocommerce activation

Activate WooCommerce

Then click on “Activate.”

Step 3

You are then met with a walkthrough to for WooCommerce setup. You can skip this but in our tutorial we will click on “Let’s Go.” (Note: We will go into more detail for each of these options further below in our WooCommerce tutorial)

woocommerce setup

WooCommerce setup

Step 4

On the page setup screen WooCommerce is notifying you that it will create a few pages for you automatically that are needed to complete the setup. This includes a shop , cart, checkout, and my account pages. Click on “Continue” to let it create these for you.

woocommerce page setup

WooCommerce page setup

Step 5

On the store locale setup screen WooCommerce allows you to quickly choose the country and or state you are based out of, the currency, and units for your products. Then click on “Continue.”

woocommerce store locale setup

WooCommerce store locale setup

Step 6

On the shipping & tax setup screen you can choose whether or not you are shipping physical goods to customers. Remember, WooCommerce can also be used to sell digital products and downloads. And then you can enable sales tax if required. Then click on “Continue.”

woocommerce shipping tax setup

WooCommerce shipping and tax setup

Step 7

On the payments screen you can choose which 3rd party payment processor you want to integrate with. We are personally big fans of Stripe. And as of February 2016, the Stripe is free for WooCommerce (you will still pay the transaction fee). Then click on “Continue.”

woocommerce payments

WooCommerce payments

And that’s it! Your WooCommerce store is now ready. You can click on the link at the bottom to return to your WordPress dashboard and start creating your products. Check out the rest of the WooCommerce tutorial below.

woocommerce store ready

WooCommerce store is ready confirmation

Adding & Managing New Products

The first alteration you’ll notice is the addition of two new tabs to your dashboard’s side menu, named WooCommerce (your general settings area) and Products (your products settings area). To get started setting up your e-store, go to WordPress Admin > Products > Add Product to add your first product.

Create a title and short description for the product. Here’s what just a title & description looks like in a live preview.

new woocommerce product

New WooCommerce product

That done, scroll down below the post editor to reveal two new widgets on the post editing screen: product data and product short description.

Product Data

WordPress Admin > Products > Add New

In the product data screen widget, you can select whether or not the product is virtual (the former option removes the Shipping data tab) and if it is downloadable (digital). You can enter in the regular & sale price (sales can be time-sensitive) in the General tab.

woocommerce product data

WooCommerce product data

If you’re selling digital products, then you also have to upload the file to be purchased, customize the download limit (leave it blank to mark it as unlimited), the download expiry (leave it blank to keep it available permanently), and the file type (standard/application/music). The file type you select affects the schema.org markup for the product.

Next, in the Inventory tab, you can customize options to manage your stock by entering in the quantity of the product, stock status (in/out of stock), and if you’d like to allow backorders. Additionally, you can mark the product as individually sold, meaning only one can be bought in a single order. This is also where you enter the SKU (identification number) if you have one.

In the Linked Products tab, you can add upsells, cross-sells, and product grouping. Attributes allows you to enter in specific attributes of the product (e.g. reliable, never breaks down, etc.) that will be displayed under an Additional Information tab in the front end version of the product page. Finally, you can enter custom purchase notes, give the product a menu order, and enable/disable reviews in the Advanced tab.

Product Short Description

WordPress Admin > Products > Add New

With the product short description screen widget, you can create a short tagline for the image that will be displayed under the product title.

woocommerce product short description

WooCommerce product short description

After playing around with all of that, don’t forget to add tags, place it in a category, and include a product image/gallery. Here’s what some sample data looks like in a live preview.

sample product woocommerce

Sample product in WooCommerce

Managing Products

WordPress Admin > Products > [various tabs]

In the other pages under WordPress Admin > Products, you can view your products, categories, tags, shipping classes, attributes, and calendar. Each of these pages look like the standard WordPress Admin > Posts > Categories page, except the product view (displayed below).

view woocommerce products

View WooCommerce products

Managing WooCommerce

In the WooCommerce tab, you can explore various things about your digital store: you can view orders, coupons, and reports. You can also customize settings and add new extensions.

Orders

WP Admin > WooCommerce > Orders

This page displays a list of your current purchases and orders. If you sell digital products, there’s not much to do here other than see who bought what. But if you sell physical goods, here’s where you can organize what products you need to ship and what orders are being processed or put on hold.

woocommerce orders

WooCommerce orders

Coupons

WordPress Admin > WooCommerce > Coupons [> Add New]

WooCommerce has several powerful options for adding new coupons to your e-store. In the coupon editing screen, the coupon data screen widget allows you to customize the coupon discount and restrictions.

woocommerce coupon

WooCommerce coupon

The General tab allows you to edit the basic coupon information: the type of coupon (cart discount, cart percentage discount, product discount, and product percentage discount), its value, free shipping options, coupon taxation, and its expiry date.

In Usage Restrictions you can set a minimum spend the customer has to make to validate the coupon. To restrict the use from use in conjunction with other coupons, check the box for Individual use only. If the coupon shouldn’t apply to items that are on sale, there’s an option for that, too. Here’s also where you select the products and product categories the coupon is applicable to. Lastly, you can even ban certain email addresses from coupon usage.

The final tab, Usage Limits, sets the usage limit per coupon or per customer.

The coupon management screen is below.

woocommerce coupon management

coupon management

Reports

WordPress Admin > WooCommerce > Reports

WooCommerce also offers powerful built-in tracking. You can view charts and graphs of your sales, orders, and shipping costs over five different time periods. Each graph can be limited to the sales of a particular product, product category, or coupon. In the Customers tab, you can view your customer acquisition over the same five time periods. Lastly, you can also view your low in stock, out of stock, and most stocked products in the Stocks tab. All this data can be exported in a CSV sheet.

woocommerce reports

Reporting

Settings

WP Admin > WooCommerce > Settings

Here’s where WooCommerce gets really impressive: in the Settings screen, you can customize pretty much every single aspect of your e-store. Everything from your thousands separator to the check out process to email options can be tailored to your satisfaction.

The General tab takes care of your basic information, including your currency, base & selling locations, and display options.

woocommerce general

WooCommerce general settings

Your product data, including custom sorting, default displays, measuring systems, product thumbnail dimensions, download methods, and even Ajax/non-Ajax add to cart buttons is customized in the Products tab.

settings woocommerce products

WooCommerce product settings

Taxation methods are modeled in the Taxes tab — if you wish, you can even disable taxation in your store.

woocommerce tax settings

WooCommerce tax settings

 

Shipping takes care of your shipping methods and pricing models. You can also enable/disable shipping store-wide, and edit various display options. Restricting your store availability only to specific countries is also possible.

woocommerce shipping

WooCommerce shipping setup

Checkout allows you to customize the checkout process: you can choose from five payment gateways, edit the pages, add a T&C page, and change URL appendages.

woocommerce checkout

WooCommerce checkout configuration

Account edits all front end account display and registration options.

woocommerce accounts

WooCommerce account setup

In the Emails tab, you can customize all things customer support. Specifically, you can tailor all the sender options for WooCommerce-generated email, right down the email background color.

woocommerce emails

WooCommerce emails setup

And lastly in the API tab you can enable the REST API, Keys/Apps, and Webhooks.

woocommerce api

Rest API

System Status

WordPress Admin > WooCommerce > System Status

All your back end information — your WooCommerce/PHP/MySQL/etc. version, size limits, logging, and more — is found here. In the Tools tab on the same page , you can clear your website caches for multiple variables, install new options, and reset settings to the default.

woocommerce system status

WooCommerce system status

Add-ons

WordPress Admin > WooCommerce > Add-ons

woocommerce add-ons

WooCommerce add-ons and extensions

One of the attributes that makes WordPress the most popular CMS on the planet is the community behind it. Thousands of themes and tens of thousands of plugins; nearly 100% of them are user-contributed. It’s pretty much the same thing with WooCommerce, although on a smaller scale.

WooCommerce Extensions and Themes

WooCommerce extensions and themes

The plugin developers allow you to purchase native and third-party WooCommerce extensions from their Extensions store. Literally hundreds of various add-ons and WooCommerce-specific themes and styling options are available at the store.

WooCommerce Hosting

When you have an online store time is literally money, and that is why it is important to also have a fast and reliable WordPress host to ensure better uptime, conversions rates, and ROI. WooCommerce is sometimes known for slowing down a WordPress site, especially on large installations. But that is not the case with Kinsta. We provide managed hosting services and highly optimized WooCommerce hosting designed specifically with performance in mind. Thanks to our scalable infrastructure on Google Cloud Platform and the latest technology such as PHP 7, NGINX, MariaDB; we can ensure that a move to Kinsta will help increase your sales!

“The COO contacted me with an actual solution instead of lot of “trust us” fluff I was getting elsewhere. He was honest and straight-forward which was very refreshing. After migration, support was handled by the CEO who made some excellent suggestions and tweaks which dramatically improved performance.”
– Caleb Worm, Swagway.com

Wrapping Up

WooCommerce truly is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the best free e-commerce solution for WordPress. On the outside, the plugin has phenomenal stats, but it’s only when you dig deeper into the WooCommerce options and back end that the pure awesomeness is truly revealed. Anything important that we missed in our WooCommerce tutorial? If so, let us know below!

We Have Something Awesome For You

We have spent months putting this 18 chapter long WooCommerce optimization guide together. With a ton of lessons and free tools on how you can optimize and grow your million dollar company! Just click the image below!

woocommerce guide

 

This article was written by Brian Jackson
Brian focuses on our inbound marketing efforts; everything from developing new online growth strategies, content creation, technical SEO, and outreach within the WordPress community. He has a huge passion for WordPress, has been using it for 8+ years, and even develops a couple premium plugins. Brian enjoys blogging, movies, bike rides, and flipping websites.

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  1. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Chaitanya D. October 19, 2014 at 1:12 am

    Hello John,

    I have created my woo-commerce site with the coupons. As I have added 113 coupons but & there are 10 coupons shows on one page but while clicking on next page it does not show the next 10 coupons. It remains on 1st page. How can I sort out this?

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Jonathan John July 8, 2015 at 12:23 pm

      Hey Chaitanya,

      My apologies for the (very late) response but if you or anyone else who reads this comment is still having this problem shoot me a tweet @JRJohnWrites and I’ll take a look.

      Cheers,
      Jonathan

  2. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Hospity May 29, 2015 at 9:41 am

    Hello John,
    You are Great. This is Very Good Tutorial.. Awesome Thanks for sharing.

  3. Gravatar for this comment's author
    chezabelle August 6, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    Awesome, thank you!! :)

  4. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Mohsin_Alam August 17, 2015 at 9:57 am

    What are the guidelines in case of custom wp theme ?

  5. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Soner Selbaşı October 17, 2015 at 7:10 am

    Hi brother.How can i write another wp page user informations (user name,order date, price bla bla bla.)Can i help me?

  6. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Pawan Goyal October 19, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Hello Jonathan i want to ask u question about wordprees and that is how to export prodcuts from woocommerce using free theme names mystile for future purposes?

  7. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Arun March 12, 2016 at 12:17 am

    A comprehensive tutorial. Some payment gateway integration could have been done

  8. Gravatar for this comment's author
    WorldWebTechnology June 21, 2016 at 3:43 am

    That one is really amazing…! I can see your hard work through this post. Really descriptive and informative. I am also one of WooCommerce Developer and I can understand your effort. Really Wonderful Job… Thanks for sharing….

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson November 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks, glad it was helpful.

      1. Gravatar for this comment's author
        WorldWebTechnology December 16, 2016 at 10:47 pm

        Hello Brian,

        I just got inspiration from this post and I also wrote an article about WooCommerce Theme Development and WooCommerce Plugin Development. You can check from here and please let me know your thoughts about it.

        http://www.worldwebtechnology.com/detailed-woocommerce-plugin-development-tutorial/
        http://www.worldwebtechnology.com/detailed-tutorial-woocommerce-theme-development/

        Your post is inspiration of mine. Thanks my friend for your each and every word.

  9. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Yogi July 9, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    It is a good tutorial. Helped me to learn about woocommerce. I went to search more on google about woocommerce and found http://www.yogihosting.com/managing-products-in-woocommerce/ – hope it helps others too.

  10. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Banks Dada August 3, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    thanks for this. awesome

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson November 4, 2016 at 2:57 pm

      Glad it was helpful!

  11. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Teena Biswas September 20, 2016 at 6:02 am

    Best tutorial for Woo commerce and thanks for sharing it you share very informative blog .
    Woo commerce transform your WordPress website into a thoroughbred eCommerce store. Delivering enterprise-level quality and features while backed by a name you can trust. and I am using wocommerce SMS service from MSG91.

  12. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Lodewijk Hof December 2, 2016 at 6:06 am

    It is a interesting and awesome tutorial. Can you (or someone else) tell me which actions I should do to add pre order options?

  13. Gravatar for this comment's author
    slawa100 December 21, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Hello! Who knows woocommerce? I have a problem in the store kladproraba.com is not displayed the unit for external/affiliate products, reviews block works only when the setting indicated that it is the external product and the reviews block no. Third-party plugins did not solve the problem, only plug diskus works, but it’s not what you need. Have experience how to solve the problem? Share with me Your experience, I would be very grateful!

  14. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Никита Никита March 1, 2017 at 6:14 am

    It’s hard to find a theme that doesn’t lag and impossible to scroll through pages on a laptop.
    I recommend using this theme, it’s the only one with fast interface among everything I’ve seen so far. http://argenta.colabr.io/overview/

  15. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Trina G March 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Stupid question: I have everything set up and a couple of test products created, so how do I actually make a PAGE of products? Where is my “shopping page?”

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Rachel Quintero August 8, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      Im asking the same question. I have a horrible headache because ive been looking for it since yesterday ! Im gonna end up taking a different route because im too frustrated

  16. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Rachel Quintero August 8, 2017 at 3:19 pm

    this may sound like the stupdist question ever, but where the hell is my store???? I followed the wizard, set everything up….. how do i see my actual store???????????????????????????? I know it sounds like a dumb question but i cant find the damn thing and im frustrated as hell about it. I have woocommerce on my wordpress dashboard but none of those take me to my actual store either. How am i supposed to see what it looks like for Gods sake !

    1. Gravatar for this comment's author
      Brian Jackson August 8, 2017 at 3:25 pm

      Hey Rachel! By default it creates a “shop” page. If you click into pages in your WordPress site you should see “store.” yourdomain.com/shop Hopefully that helps. I will update the tutorial above with this info. Thanks!

      1. Gravatar for this comment's author
        Rachel Quintero August 8, 2017 at 8:53 pm

        Brian…… I have the shop page but the only options coming from that still do not lead me to my store ! I just don’t get this . Im sorry but ive been struggling for over a month now 10 hours plus per day and im feeling like I should quit.

  17. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Rachel Quintero August 8, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    alot of questions here but i dont see anyone getting any answers !

  18. Gravatar for this comment's author
    Ravita Sharma November 3, 2017 at 6:52 am

    Hi kindly plz let me know how I can add button select sizes option and colour on front page just above the add to cart

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