Are you ready to learn how to build an online shop?
Maybe you just came up with a wonderful product idea and now you'd like to see if people are willing to buy it.
Well, you're in luck, because you no longer have to be an experience web developer to build an online shop in less than 15 minutes.
Although plenty of other solutions exist, we would like to focus on two of the more effective methods for setting up an online shop within 15 minutes.
The first method entails signing up for the Shopify ecommerce service, while the other is by using WordPress and installing the WooCommerce plugin to start selling online.
What are the Differences Between Shopify and WooCommerce?
Shopify is an all-in-one commercial system, where you pay a monthly fee to use the compay's web design, ecommerce and product management tools. It's all packaged into one product, so you can simply choose a template, upload your products and start selling online.
WooCommerce works differently in that it's a plugin that must be installed on a WordPress website. It's a wonderful plugin with product and inventory management tools, but it requires additional technical knowledge to install WordPress on a hosting account, choose a WooCommerce compatible theme and upload the WooCommerce plugin.
When Would You Want to Use Shopify?
Shopify is a solid tool for beginners and people who don't want to spend too much time with development. It's also nice for straying away from hiring a developer. You can sell however many products you want, and most companies don't have any problems scaling up.
When Would You Want to Use WooCommerce?
WooCommerce works wonders for those interested in the ultimate customization. Since WordPress is opensource you can implement a wide range of plugins and code enhancements to brand your site however you want. It's also viable for those with a little extra development knowledge. If you like more of a challenge and want absolute control over the way your site looks and runs, WooCommerce is worth looking into.
How to Create a Shopify Store in 15 minutes
It is no secret that we think Shopify is a great ecommerce platform, there is a reason why it tops our list. It used to be that setting up an ecommerce store took a lot of hours as well as a lot of know-how. Today, however, that has changed and setting up an online store only takes a few minutes. With a few mouse clicks and a little typing, you can set up your own store on the web. There's a reason why Shopify is such a popular platform. Perhaps the biggest reason lies in the fact that creating your first store has never been easier. In the video below, we show you how you can set up your own Shopify store in less than 15 minutes. If you want to learn more about Shopify, then you can either sign up for their 14 day free trial, or you can read the full Shopify review here.
If you're more into reading, here's a detailed tutorial for you to walk through:
Step 1: Sign Up for Shopify
Navigate to the Shopify website, and click on the Get Started button. Fill in your desired email address, password and store name.
It will then ask you if you'd like to make a brick and mortar store or an online shop. For this tutorial we're only going to make an online shop, so select that option and click Next.
The following page asks you to fill in personal information such as your name, address and phone number, all of which is used to configure currencies and tax rates.
After you click Next, tell Shopify about yourself by specifying how much you plan to sell and if you're already selling. Click on the Enter My Store button when complete.
Step 2: Add a Product to Your Shopify Store
When going to your Shopify backend it outlines a nice step-by-step process on how to completely setup your shop. The first button asks you to add a product, so you should click on that first.
The Add product page is similar to something you would see on WordPress. You can fill in details like a title, description, price and vendor. Feel free to complete however much of the product page you'd like. Just make sure you save the product at the end.
Step 3: Customize the Look of Your Site
Go back to the main dashboard, and select the Customize the Look of Your Site button. This area asks you to customize anything from logos to colors. This takes a bit of tinkering, but the main part you want to focus on is the link that asks you to Visit the Theme store.
Here you can browse through the hundreds of themes in Shopify to make your site look awesome.
Step 4: Setup Your Domain
After you choose your template and design your website to your liking, it's time to select a domain to make your site official and make it live.
Go back to the dashboard and click on the spot that asks to Add a Domain. This asks you whether you want to transfer a domain or register a new one. Choose the domain you like and walk through the steps to make the purchase. You'll also need to specify which Shopify payment play you'd like to go with.
Upon activation you can then go to that particular domain and see your website.
Step 5: Activate Your Payment Processor
Click on the tab to the left of the dashboard called Payments. This area allows you to select from dozens of payment processors such as Stripe and Authorize.net. Shopify also has it's own payment processor which is super easy to implement. Simply walk through the steps to activate your payment processor. This allows you to accept payments and put those payments in an account.
After all is said and done you can click on the Launch Website button to make the store live. Congratulations! You now have a fully functional Shopify store.
How to Create a WooCommerce Store in 15 Minutes
Step 1: Choose a Domain and Hosting Account
The first step with implementing a WooCommerce shop is to choose a hosting account to host all your website files. We recommend Bluehost, since it's a reliable, secure and easy to use platform, and they offer a one-click WordPress install button.
Not to mention, the Bluehost company provides a great monthly service that integrates WordPress with WooCommerce, so you don't have to do a thing.
Go to the Bluehost page that explains the entire integration. Click on the Get Started Now button to proceed. With the WooCommerce package you receive hosting, positive SSL ecommerce security, at least 100GB of website space and much more. But most importantly, WooCommerce is already installed and optimized.
Choose a plan, then move onward.
The next page asks you to choose a domain or transfer one over. After you punch in a domain it will tell you if it's available. The next page then requests your personal and package information. I would recommend simply choosing your desired plan and skipping over the extras.
Continue walking through the setup process where it asks to make your own Bluehost login credentials. Once it brings you to the Bluehost CPanel you can locate the WordPress button under the Website Builders header. This allows you to walk through just a few steps to complete the entire WordPress installation.
At the very end it will tell you the domain you can go to for logging into your WordPress backend.
Step 2: Purchase the Divi Theme
This part is simple. Go to the Divi purchase page and go through the steps to buy this WordPress theme.
Step 3: Install the Divi Theme
If you opted for the WooCommerce/Bluehost service, you already have WooCommerce installed on your website. If not, download WooCommerce and install it on your website.
Now it's time to install a theme that's optimized for WooCommerce. Plenty of options exhist, but we recommend the Divi theme since it's extremely easy to brand and design for your own purposes.
Purchase and download the Divi theme. Upload the file to the backend of your WordPress dashboard and activate it as your primary theme. This can be done by going to Appearance > Themes > Add New.
Step 4: Add a Product to WooCommerce
Navigate to Products > Add Product.
This brings up a new page similar to a blog post you would generally create on a WordPress site. Create a title for your product, along with a description. If you scroll down a bit you'll notice plenty of other details to fill in, such as inventory, shipping, pricing and linked products.
Keep in mind that there is plenty more to do with your WooCommerce website, but you can find most of the technical details in the WooCommerce documentation. For now, this should be enough to have your site ready to go!
Regardless of whether you choose Shopify or WooCommerce, we wish you luck on your ecommerce journey! Feel free to drop any questions you may have in the comments section below.