Over 74 million sites depend on the WordPress platform to host their blogs, sell their products or just write their daily musings for the world to see. When you get started building your ecommerce website you certainly have lots of choices to make, and WordPress ties into this.
Which of the standout ecommerce platforms will you choose? Are you planning on grabbing a theme to sell your products or is there someone you can pay to build the site from scratch? Heck, what do you even plan on selling through your ecommerce website?
Editor's note: This post was originally published on January 15, 2015 and has completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
There are thousands to millions of WordPress themes to choose from when you look for the frontend and backend structure to start selling online. Almost the same with hosting (but we prefer SiteGround or Bluehost).
The best themes include quick and easy ecommerce management tools so you can upload products and manage things like discounts, rewards, buttons and product pages. Your theme is also the first thing that people will see when they visit your site. It guides them through the process and really carries the difference between someone being satisfied with the experience or not.
In short, WordPress themes are crucial, and the Divi WordPress theme from Elegant Themes is a rather nice-looking option for you to consider. It can be used for a standard business website, but it also includes integrations for ecommerce selling and fast sales processes. Let’s learn how to create an online shop with the Divi WordPress theme.
Get Your Domain and Hosting First
💡The first step in any website creation process is grabbing a hosting account, domain name and installing WordPress on the site. Divi is no different. There are plenty of ways to get hosting and domain names, but I personally think SiteGround is one of the most secure and reliable options. (For more details check out our comprehensive SiteGround review).
What's really cool is that SiteGround offers a specialized managed WooCommerce hosting service package with pretty much everything you need to start selling online. Within the package, you can settle for either the StartUp Plan for beginners, GrowBig Plan for growing businesses, or GoGeek for established WooCommerce stores.
Each of these offers advanced features for optimizing your WooCommerce site at a reasonable price.
That said, another hosting service we’d highly recommend for Divi WooCommerce stores is BlueHost. Although the features here do not match up to SiteGround’s, you still get WooCommerce-focused hosting through its WordPress ecommerce package. The plans can comfortably handle a Divi WooCommerce store, but sadly, you won’t get managed services.
👉 Now, for the sake of clarity, let’s proceed with SiteGround…
How Do You Get Started?
Go to the SiteGround Managed WooCommerce Hosting page, select an ideal plan, and click Get Plan.
In my opinion, the GoGeek Plan seems like the most suitable option since it supports unlimited WooCommerce websites with advanced ecommerce capabilities. Apart from more server power, you get priority support, WordPress staging, on-demand backup, and super chacher resources, as well as free site transfers and Cloudflare CDN, among other solid features.
👉 And as far as resource allowances are concerned, this plan accommodates:
- 6GB mailbox
- 1 GB Database storage
- SSD storage
- Unmetered data transfer
- 30GB storage space
- Up to 100,000 monthly visits
Keep in mind that this service starts at $11.95 per month, and it's very similar to how you would install a regular WordPress site on a BlueHost hosting account.
But remember, that’s a special price for beginners. Expect it to increase to $34.95 in future renewals, which is still a reasonable charge if you consider all the features you get over the long haul.
Now, once you’ve selected your preferred plan, SiteGround will direct you to its domain registration page. If you own a domain already, choose the second option and enter its details. Otherwise, proceed with new domain name registration at $15.95 a year.
Next is the final stage, where you choose your preferred hosting options, as well as enter your payment info and personal details, before creating the account.
Well, of course, these are basic stuff you’ve handled many times before. So, you shouldn’t have any difficulties entering your phone number, country, name, email, account password, etc.
The payment part requires you to enter your credit card details. You can proceed with either Discover, MasterCard or Visa.
However, and rather interestingly, SiteGround doesn’t list PayPal, despite its growing popularity among WooCommerce merchants. But, thankfully, it turns out they can accept PayPal payments, though indirectly.
If this is your preferred mode, therefore, just leave the fields blank and contact SiteGround’s sales agents through the live chat tool. They’ll help you complete the process through PayPal.
The last section contains several options for your hosting service, including your preferred data center location, plus the subscription period.
Now, to minimize the data transfer distance between Siteground’s servers and your WooCommerce site’s visitors, choose the data center location that’s closest to your target market area.
Then choose any extra add-on services you’d like to include in your package, and voila! That’s all it takes to set up a Siteground account.
Once you’re done, log into your account and go straight to your cPanel area. You’ll find a default WordPress auto installer. So, select it, enter your WordPress login details, and hit the install button.
Well, you’ll notice the WordPress installation process takes a few seconds since it’s all automated. And after everything is set up, SiteGround will give you the proper domain name to access if you want to change things on the backend of your site.
Creating Your Online Shop With Divi
What Is Divi?
Ok, if you haven’t tried it, I bet you’ve heard about it already. Divi is no ordinary WooCommerce theme. It is, as a matter of fact, one of the most popular WordPress themes on Elegant Themes. And, interestingly, Divi is Elegant Theme’s flagship product.
So, what so special about this theme? And is there anything outstanding about Divi’s WooCommerce?
Well, unlike typical WordPress themes, Divi is more of a comprehensive pack. That means it combines standard theme features with extra functionalities that come in handy for Divi WooCommerce stores.
Don’t get me wrong though. Although Divi’s WooCommerce support is the principal focus here, the theme is capable of much more than that. In essence, Divi can be seamlessly integrated with any type of site, thanks to its wide range of website layouts. Not just ecommerce.
Then to top it off, Divi comes with its own intuitive WordPress page builder plugin. You can use it to freely customize your Divi WooCommerce store without any coding at all.
In fact, Divi was developed for beginners. So, you can expect to find a neat control panel with almost no learning curve. It only takes a matter of minutes to get a hang of the whole Divi ecosystem, set it up, and customize Divi’s WooCommerce layouts.
👉 In the end, therefore, you’ll be able to capitalize on Divi’s:
- Array of customizable layouts for any type of WordPress website, including WooCommerce online stores.
- Easy-to-use Page Builder, which provides a host of website elements and design capabilities.
- Flexible customization process without any form of coding. Even novices can comfortably set up and tweak fully-functional Divi WooCommerce stores.
- Straightforward WordPress integration. Divi is one of the few external WordPress themes that can be installed seamlessly without any complex tweaks.
- Ecommerce-optimized WooCommerce templates.
Divi Drag and Drop Page Builder
Like we’ve said, Divi comes in two varying flavors. When you pay for membership on Elegant Themes, you’ll find the standard Divi Theme on the dashboard, accompanied by the Divi WordPress Page Builder plugin.
But, it’s worth noting that this builder is not exclusively tied to the Divi Theme. It comes as an additional plugin to every single theme acquired from Elegant Themes.
That said, the Divi WordPress Page Builder is a drag-and-drop editor with advanced customization capabilities. It allows you to move and define elements, columns, rows, and modules without any coding experience. In other words, it’s the type of builder a Divi WooCommerce beginner would hope to get.
But, make no mistake. Although the Divi Page Builder targets beginners, it’s an editor that also facilitates experienced developers. They can systematically combine its visual features with CSS controls to push their Divi WooCommerce websites to the next level.
Come to think it, however, you don’t need a developer to design all the elements in your Divi WooCommerce store. You can rely on visual functionalities alone.
And you know what?
Divi even attempts to make the whole process much easier by labeling plus color-coding its layout modules.
And speaking of which, another notable provision here is Divi’s overall simplification of the layout customization process. If you want to introduce a new section, for instance, a single click should do. Then duplicating, removing, and inserting modules for your Divi WooCommerce store will only take you a few button clicks.
Meanwhile, Divi’s editing window will display your site’s layout changes in real-time. You’ll be able to track every single adjustment visually, and see how it affects the overall outlook design of your Divi WooCommerce store.
Predesigned Divi WooCommerce Website Layouts
To save you from the painfully demanding process of creating a website from scratch, the Divi WordPress Theme comes with a host of predesigned site templates. And since you might need different layout options of the same template, Divi offers its website designs as comprehensive packs. Consequently, you get varying template layouts and colors.
Well, to be more precise, Divi provides about 7-8 different pre-designed layouts on every single website pack. Considering each one comes fully built, you can easily adopt the layouts without extensively reworking their underlying structure. You just a couple of tweaks here and there.
Now to find yourself a perfect one for your WooCommerce online store, simply scroll through the various site categories on the Divi Theme. Or alternatively, use keywords to search through all the options at once.
Well, all in all, it doesn’t take long to identify a suitable Divi online store layout. You just need to integrate it with WooCommerce, and you’ll be on your way to setting up an attractive WordPress ecommerce site.
Moving on, one particularly outstanding thing you’ll notice is that Divi doesn’t focus on looks alone. The WooCommerce layouts that come with the Divi Theme have been built with functionality in mind too.
So, in addition to typical store pages like checkout, products, and cart, Divi includes ecommerce modules by default. More specifically, you get sections like featured products, on-sale items, and much more.
Is Divi Suitable For WooCommerce?
All things considered, Divi is increasingly popular because it’s fundamentally an all-in-one WordPress theme solution.
Combined, the Divi Page Builder and Divi Theme offering provide pretty much everything you’d need to set up any type of WordPress site. And that includes a fully-functional WooCommerce store with all the core ecommerce capabilities.
👉 In a nutshell, Divi is an option worth considering for your WooCommerce site because:
- You can customize your WooCommerce website through a drag-and-drop visual editor.
- Divi allows you to save your tweaks as global elements across all the layouts.
- It comes with over 20 well-designed prebuilt website layouts.
- You can easily export the layouts, and subsequently, leverage them on other websites.
- You can design your WooCommerce store with multiple columns, rows, and content elements.
- All WooCommerce layouts have been optimized for mobile devices.
- Just like MS Word, editing text content is as simple as clicking then typing.
- The entire site customization process is tracked in real-time, consequently providing a live preview of all the design changes.
- WooCommerce layouts come with primary online store pages and modules.
Step 1: Sign-up With Elegant Themes to Get Access to Divi
Start by going to the Elegant Themes product page for the Divi WordPress theme. This page offers the option for a theme demo and a quick download button. Elegant Themes sells its themes using a yearly or one-time payment structure which is nice for developers with multiple client sites or people who run numerous ecommerce websites. You can’t really buy just one theme, but the Personal Plan for $67 per year is similar to what you might pay for a regular theme, and you can stop the yearly payments if you don’t want the support anymore. Feel free to play around with the theme before you commit to the payment.
Step 2: Install Divi on Your WordPress Site
Once you sign up, click the download button for the theme. This puts the theme as a zip file on your computer. Go to the Appearance tab on the backend of your WordPress site, and click on the Themes option.
Step 3: Click on the Add New button
Click on the Upload Theme button. Find and upload the theme zip file. Go through the process to completely activate the theme and then you should be able to see the theme on the frontend of your site.
Step 4: Setup Your WooCommerce Store
If you go to the Divi Theme documentation page you will find just about every tool and feature you can work with on the theme, but we are going to focus primarily on setting up an ecommerce website. The Divi theme is fully compatible with WooCommerce so you can display all your products from that.
What's awesome is that the initial SiteGround signup already installed WooCommerce on your WordPress website, so you don't have to worry about installing or setting it up. It should already be available in your dashboard.
Step 5: Add Your First Products to WooCommerce
You technically already have the ecommerce site all setup, but we want to actually add some products to make it look like an ecommerce site on the frontend. Go to your WordPress dashboard, click on Products tab under WooCommerce and click on the Add Product item.
This brings up a new product page for you to fill out. It looks very similar to any WordPress page editor, except you can add a product name, description and a featured image so people can see what the product looks like on your website.
Step 7: Explore The WooCommerce Features
If you scroll down below the description area you will find every possible WooCommerce feature to play around with. Feel free to modify things like SKU numbers, inventory, pricing, shipping and attributes. The features are far too vast for me to outline them all here, but you can go to the WooCommerce documentation page to understand everything you can set up on your ecommerce site.
Step 8: Create the Homepage
The whole point of this is to create a homepage or regular page that features all of your products when people show up to your site. Therefore, you should go to Pages > Add New on the left hand side of your WordPress dashboard.
Step 9: Add a Title for Your Divi Page
Create a title for your page. Click the Use Page Builder button at the top, and tap on the Insert Modules area to include a full width header. You don’t have to choose a full width header, but we are going to for this tutorial.
Click the Full Width Header button.
Fill in the details for your Site Title, Subheading text and Text Color. You can even change the Admin Label, which is mainly for your own reference. Hit the Save button when complete.
Tap on the three bars to the left of the Full Width header module to change more settings.
Here you can give the header a nice background color and even include a video for your company.
Now that the header is complete we can include the ecommerce module by clicking on the Insert Columns area.
Choose how many columns you want, then click on the Insert Modules option that appears. Select the Shop button near the bottom.
Feel free to modify how you want to display your products. So you might want to show your recent products, along with 12 items on the page, a few columns and how you want them to be ordered. Click the Save button.
Step 17: Preview and Publish
Once this is complete you can hit the Preview or Publish button to view changes on the frontend. As you can see, the products show up nicely, and you can always go back in to change your products or storefront settings on the WordPress backend. Congratulations!
If you have any questions about setting up the Divi WordPress theme, please let us know in the comments section below.
And that’s all it takes to get your Divi WooCommerce online store up and running using a SiteGround hosting account.
Moving forward, you can rest assured that SiteGround will handle all the critical technical stuff like WordPress updates and WooCommerce security. That’s the fundamental difference between managed WooCommerce hosting and regular shared hosting solutions. Hence, it gives you the much-needed time and space to focus on your WooCommerce store management.
And as we’ve seen already, that should be a breeze with the Divi theme. You can always access your Divi WooCommerce layout from your WordPress backend to customize it further. If you wish, you can even change the whole design altogether by shifting to a different layout that can handle a WooCommerce store as well. The choice is yours.
If you have any questions about setting up the Divi WordPress theme, please let us know in the comments section below.