Building A Website: Part 3
Creating The Store
Our store is what will give users the ability to purchase our courses. For our store the only option users will have is to purchase the whole thing. I think the quality of the material is lost if they are sold seperatly and that its value comes from the content as a whole. However, while we are only selling one product now, the same process it taken to sell multiple. Each store you build will be a little different, so it is important to understand how to actually user the tool rather than just follow along for just this particular case. The tool being Woocommerce. As I mentioned though, the process is pretty similar so this use case should give you a good idea how everything works. Let’s get started.
Installing Woocommerce & Setting It Up
The first thing we need to do is install Woocommerce. So go to your plugins section, add new, and search for Woocommerce.
It’s the first one you see. Go ahead and install and activate it. You will then be taken to a page where you will start setting up your store. You can skip this step and come back to it later but I recommend always going through it. If you are at a point where you don’t have the info to complete the setup wizard, then that is a good indication that you aren’t ready to have the store on your site. In this case just deactivate the plugin and come back when you are ready.
Go ahead and fill out the store info. Our store will be based in the United States, our address will be 931 Cornell Ave, the City Will be Webster Groves, the State is Missouri, the zip will be 63119 (feel free to use your own address for this), our currency will be the us dollar, and while we currently only will be selling digital products I may want to sell some shirts or something later on, who knows, so select to sell both physical and digital products. However, we will not be selling products in person, all transactions will take place online.
Take one last look to make sure everything is correct and ‘Let’s go!’. You will be prompted to enable user tracking which you can either accept or not. I personally am going to because Woocommerce is a good plugin and I like to support those who create good content.
Once you move forward you will be taken to a section to select which user payments will be available. You can always change this later on but to start with I am going to just leave it with stripe payments.
I currently don’t have a stripe account so I will let Woocommerce set one up for me with my administrator admin. Let’s go ahead and continue.
We will now be taken to the shipping section.
Let’s leave the boxed checked to print our own shipping labels and then give some fixed rate sipping to our shipping zones.
This will very depending on the client you are building a site for, but woocommerce offers plugins for pretty much any situation. They do cost money so it really depends on how much your customer wants it. Don’t ever be afraid to tell your customers that things have additional costs. They never like to hear that and always want things for free, but it is part of your job to let them know the reality that the people who build these plugins are also in the game of making money so premium features have costs. If you upfront about it you will be much better off than if you elude that the price of things is less than it will actually be.
Anyway, I don’t really plan on selling much merchandise so I am not super worried about this section, so let’s give set the shipping fee inside of the US to $5.oo and outside the US to $20.00. If it’s too much then people can just not buy it. I won’t be selling merchandise to make any money, just more as a novelty down the road. After that let’s set our weight to ounces and our dimensions to inches and continue on which will take us to a recommended section.
The only section we will keep checked here is the WooCommerce Admin plugin. We will want to use Mailchimp, but we will install that and manage it on our own later on. The other two I have no interest in. So leave WooCommerce Admin selected and then continue on, which will take you to the Jetpack section.
You can read more about Jetpack on your own, but we are going to want it on our site so go ahead and continue with Jetpack, which will take you to a screen to set up your Jetpack account.
Go ahead and create your Jetpack account. I recommend setting up a new gmail account for this simply because we are learning here and for you the reader, it is not an actual store. However, I will be using my actual address because for me it is the real deal. So, enter your email and create your account and let’s move forward. This will take us back to our site.
We are almost done. I am going to leave my email address there because I actually want to be updated with new WooCommerce Information. From there Lets Go and create our first product.
Creating Our First Product
To create our first product, click the ‘create a product’ button. This will take you to a page that looks a lot like you are creating a post. That is because in a sense you are. You are creating a custom post of type ‘product’.
For our product, let’s give it a title of ‘MWD Design Academy Lifetime Member’. Below that is where we will add our in depth product description, where we will describe it in detail. So go ahead and copy the text from the product page on the website and paste it in your product description area. After than give it some relevant tags, and a category of ‘Web Design School’.
From there give it a price of $200, make the product image our logo, and copy the short description from the site into the short description area.
Lastly check the box to make it a visual product and then publish the product. Users can now actually purchase the course, and you should notice the cart icon inside the navigation bar if you view the product to see how it looks. However, there is still more to do. We need to set it up so when users purchase the product they get access to the material, which we will cover in the next class ‘setting up our membership’, and after that we will want to change the layout of our product page so it looks nicer as well.
In closing, for our website this will be the only product we create for now. As I mentioned maybe I will eventually sell some merchandise but not currently. If you are designing a store for a client you would repeat this process for each product. Additionally, while since this is our only product we don’t need a product page, but for the sake of teaching we will be creating one in a future course.