Shopify has mainly been known as an “out-of-the-box” ecommerce solution, with a monthly payment plan and beautiful dashboard for managing your products, payments, shipping configurations and more. You've always had the opportunity to signup for the Shopify Lite Plan ($9 per month) in order to embed Shopify Buy buttons on your website. In short, running a Shopify store on WordPress has always been available. However, it's recently gotten easier with the addition of a Shopify WordPress plugin.
Therefore, we wanted to walk through all of the features included with the plugin, along with the steps you need to go through for building a beautiful store on your own.
Keep in mind that the WordPress plugin integrates fine with all themes and frameworks. However, we'll recommend some themes towards the end, since some of them have been designed for use with Shopify, making the interface a little smoother.
What Features Are Included When Installing Shopify on WordPress?
Personally, I wouldn't start selling on WordPress if you are beginning a new store. Why? Because you might as well go directly through the Shopify platform. However, some people are more used to working with WordPress, so it can make sense.
The main reason you'd walk through this tutorial is if you already have a WordPress business website or blog. You've decided to begin selling products on that site, but you're not looking to make a completely separate ecommerce store.
When combining Shopify with WordPress, you'll choose the Lite Plan. This provides access to the Shopify Plugin, along with a wide variety of other features. For example, you receive:
- A module for adding collections and individual products to your pages and posts.
- A direct integration to your existing blog or business website.
- A quick insert button for adding a product to a page (no need for messy coding).
- An unlimited number of products.
- Over 70 payment gateways.
- Order management and shipping settings.
- Reports for tracking sales and growth trends.
- A secure, beautiful and responsive checkout experience.
- Support for global taxes and currencies.
Now that you understand what comes along with the Shopify Lite plan, keep reading to walk through the process of selling with Shopify on WordPress.
Step 1: Sign Up For the Shopify Lite Plan
Navigate to the Shopify WordPress page to view a little more information on what you can expect when putting Shopify on WordPress. The basic idea is that you signup for the Shopify Lite plan, then place the Shopify Buy buttons wherever you want on your site.
On this page, put your cursor in the field to punch in your email address. It will give you a free trial for 14 days, so you don't have to worry about giving your credit card information just yet. Click on the Get Started button.
The next page asks you about yourself. Specify if you're already selling, if you have anything to sell and how much revenue your business makes in a year. Push the Next button when complete.
Fill in all of your personal information such as name, address and phone number. This is required for all ecommerce stores if you want to get paid. Basically, the customers want to know who they are buying from and where you're located.
Once you finish all of that information you can enter your store. This reveals the Shopify dashboard, which you'll be working in for creating products, setting up shipping and more.
Step 2: Install and Activate the Shopify WordPress Plugin
You'll need the Shopify WordPress plugin to link Shopify with your WordPress site. Therefore, open your WordPress dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New.
Search for the “Shopify eCommerce Plugin” and hit Install Now when it shows up. Click on the Activate button when the installation is done.
A Shopify tab now shows up in your WordPress task bar. Click on this to reveal all of the Shopify settings. The first order of business is to fill in the store name you decided on when configuring Shopify. Select the Connect button once you get that in there.
Step 3: Add a Product
Once the Shopify store connects to WordPress, you'll see a list of steps to take in your WordPress dashboard. For example, you can Visit Shopify, Add a Product and Setup Your Shipping.
You can technically make products and adjust settings in both WordPress and Shopify. However, most of these buttons you see in WordPress are actually links to the Shopify dashboard.
Therefore, we need to first add a few products in order to make this whole process work.
Click on the Add A Product button to be redirected to the Product builder in Shopify.
You have the opportunity to make an unlimited number of products, but for the sake of simplicity, I'm only going to configure one product for the tutorial.
Start by filling in the product title. Move onto the description field, talking about everything your customers are going to want to know. Although it's checked off by default, you want to ensure that the Buy Button tab (under Visibility) is marked.
Scroll down to add items like images and pricing. Feel free to include a wide array of photos to improve the chances of people buying. The pricing field also has options for comparing prices and charging taxes for the products.
Some other settings to configure include inventory options (like SKUs, barcodes, inventory policies) and shipping (weight, fulfillment service).
Variants are possible through the Shopify plugin, so you may want to add a few for your products. For example, this recovery foot sleeve comes in medium, large and extra large sizes. You also have the ability to adjust variant pricing.
Click on the Save Product button when you're all done. There's no reason to check the frontend of your site just yet, since you still have to insert your product into the WordPress site.
Step 4: Place the Product on Your WordPress Site
Although it would be nice if Shopify automatically inserted products into your site, the system doesn't know exactly where you want them. Therefore, they have a quick tool for manually adding products throughout your site.
Open either a Page or Post (it doesn't matter if it's a new or existing one). Right above the editor you'll find an Add Product button with the Shopify logo right next to it. Put your cursor where you'd like the product to go, then click on the button.
For this you have a few options. Chances are you'll see numerous products, so it gives you a search bar for filtering through all that. You can also choose to feature individual products or collections. For example, you might want to have a collection of ten featured products on the homepage. Inserting a collection removes the need for you to do any formatting on your end.
For now, we're going to select the one product in my store. Check off the box and hit the Select Product button.
Two more options show up. You can either place a Buy Now button in the page or a full product image, with pricing and a button. Some folks might already have custom descriptions and images, so sometimes the Buy Now button is all they need.
I want all of the details and images, so I chose that and clicked OK.
Although it looks basic on my own site, I can now go to the frontend to see that product listing. It even shows the variants right on the thumbnail, letting people select the type they want and click through to make the purchase.
Step 5: Configure Payments
Now the frontend of your website reveals product imagery, details, pricing and Buy buttons. However, if you click through one of those Buy buttons, an error will show up. That's because we need to configure two items:
- Your payment plan (An error shows up if you're still on your free Shopify trial)
- Your payment gateways
Navigate to the Shopify Settings on your WordPress dashboard again. Click on the button that reads Setup Payments.
As we talked about before, Shopify supports over 70 payment gateways. Some people might want to use PayPal, while others are more fond of Authorize.net. Shopify also has its own gateway called Shopify Payment (which is powered by Stripe).
I can't tell you much more about setting up your payment system, since all of the details are up to you. Make sure you do your research to understand which option has the best rates for you. After that, type in all of your account details to make your site fully functional.
Step 6: Setup Your Shipping
Once again, navigate back to the Shopify Settings page in the WordPress dashboard. Click on the Setup Shipping button.
Quite a few options are available for shipping. For example, you'll need to edit variant weights, shipping origin, carriers and more.
The zones and rates are all on the same page, along with settings for printing your shipping labels.
Finally, the page has options for specifying which packaging you would like to use, along with on-demand deliveries and dropshipping/fulfillment.
Step 7: Consider Finding a Better Theme
Shopify has made sure that its plugin can work with just about any theme out there. However, problems do occur, and most of the time it has to do with the coding in your theme, or because of other plugins on your theme.
If you're making a new site, consider going with one of the themes below. If the store already has a theme, test to see if that works, then make the move if it doesn't.
Shopify has partnered with Themezilla, Themify, and Ultralinx to build themes that work wonderfully with Shopify.
You'll notice that the checkouts are much nicer with these themes, especially since you can add products to the shopping cart for continued shopping later. Not all regular themes will give you this functionality, so it can serve you well if you consider a theme that's actually built for Shopify. Oh yeah, and the support teams from these theme companies will be able to help you more.
Bonus: Sell Your Products on Facebook
Although we're not going to walk you through the entire process, the Shopify WordPress plugin still allows for you to sell through a Facebook page. It adds a full shop page to your Facebook business site, and you don't have to do much in terms of editing the products.
In order to get started with this, go to the Shopify Settings page on your WordPress dashboard. Scroll down a bit to reveal the Sell Your Products on Facebook section. Click on the Learn More button.
You can utilize various sales channels besides Facebook, so I recommend scrolling through your options. This time, however, all you need to do is click on the Add Sales Channel button.
This brings up all sorts of solutions, one of which is Facebook. Select he Facebook item to Learn More, and walk through the process of connecting it with your Facebook page. It asks for your Facebook ID, along with some other details for making it look nice on Facebook.
Finishing Things Up
Lastly, I'd like to remind all of you exactly who might be interested in selling on WordPress with Shopify. I recommend it for those who want some of the more advanced shopping cart and online store features for their current WordPress sites.
For example, a technology blogger might start realizing that some readers would be willing to buy eBooks and other merchandise like shirts. Therefore, she adds the Shopify plugin, signs up for the Lite plan and quickly adds a page for selling items and processing orders.
Those are the people who should consider selling on WordPress. The only other reason might be because you feel WordPress is a more scaleable platform (or you're used to developing sites on it).
Regardless, the Shopify Ecommerce plugin does a wonderful job of connecting WordPress and the Shopify online store.
If you have any questions about this tutorial, or if you'd like to add any other remarks or suggestions, let us know in the comments section below.