What are some of the things that I will need to think about before I install woocommerce on my WordPress site?

Do I even need WooCommerce?

Before you install WooCommerce you should think about if you even need it.  If all you need to do is add a couple of items to your site,(maybe 3-5) and you’ll be using the standard PayPal payment gateway, WooCommerce may be overkill.  There are multiple plugins that you can install on your site that can be used to make nice PayPal buy now buttons and can be used very effectively on any WP site.

Here is a list of free Paypal Plugins that will allow you to accept payments on your site.

Ok, I’ve decided that I need a full WooCommerce install to create a storefront.

The first thing that you will need right away is an SSL or secure site certificate installed on your website. This certificate ensures that communication between your visitors computer and your WordPress site is encrypted and, therefore, much safer than a standard web connection.  This connection is denoted by an https: at the beginning of your url. this is extremely important in many ways because it adds trust to your particular site and it allows Google to know that your site is secure. This is becoming increasingly important even for non-WordPress e-commerce enabled sites. If you’re going to be collecting payments and selling things over the Internet your site security is a must. In order to get a secure site certificate, you should start by checking with your web host. Many hosts offer low-cost SSL certificates for their customers as an add-on option.
[bctt tweet=” WooCommerce is a powerful tool but many people get in over their heads with a full-blown WooCommerce site”]

Taxes and Shipping

The next thing you’ll need to determine is tax rates and shipping.  You’ll need to decide how and to whom you should charge tax and how to configure it in WooCommerce. WooCommerce shipping options are also some by consideration because you want to know whether or not you’ll be shipping at a flat rate or a variable rate. In the case of virtual products or downloadable products “shipping” is easy.  With physical products, you have to configure WooCommerce to calculate shipping based on which area your customer lives. This can become relatively complex when you tie in different couriers such as UPS, USPS, FedEx, and others.

WooCommerce Payment Gateways

Another consideration with commerce shops is whether or not you’ll be using various payment gateways to accept payments from your customers. Paypal and Stripe seem to be favorites, but if you have a merchant account such as authorize.net or other major payment gateways you’ll need to the factor that into the configuration for you Woo commerce site

Additionally, you may find other instances where your shop will need add-ons in order to make it more user-friendly or streamlined. There are a multitude of plugins that you can use that vary in price range from $30 or $40 all the way up to 200 or more dollars.  These costs need to be factored into your site planning when you’re doing anything more than the most basic of WooCommerce shops.  WooCommerce is a great and powerful tool but many people find themselves in over their heads when they attempt to create a full-blown WooCommerce shop because of the different options and things that need to be configured. However, don’t let that discourage you – just factor in the time and additional cost that are necessary in order to create a great experience and a lucrative business for on your website.


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