How to Start an Online Store and Make Money
Do you want to build an online store? Building an online store can be terrifying especially when you are a beginner. We decided to write this comprehensive article on how you can build an online store.
Things You Need to Start an Online Store
Now is the best time to start an online business. A lot of business transactions are taking place online. I know you wouldn’t want to be left behind. Businesses that do not have an online presence in this day and age are losing a huge amount of revenue.
If you have a computer with an internet connection, then you can get started right now regardless of whether you have web development skills or not.
Below are three major things you need to start an online store:
- A domain name
A domain name is the name of your online store. For example, livingmediainternational.com It is very important that you choose a domain name that is short. Choose a domain name that reflects your business name or the nature of your business.
- A web hosting account
A web hosting account is where your website files live on the internet. That are lots of good web hosting service providers you can choose from. If you are not techy, you can go for managed web host account. I host the website of my clients on Google Cloud Platform. It gives me the best hosting results. You can also go for a managed cloud hosting service. It might be very expensive. Just check out SiteGround or HostGator, you might get a good deal on managed cloud hosting.
- Your time.
In the business of web development, time is very important. Whether you are developing a website, a blog, or an online store, you need to dedicate some valuable time to ensure your project is completed in record time.
In this article, I covered:
- Domain name registration
- How to choose the best hosting for WooCommerce
- Steps to get an SSL Certificate. SSL Certificate is required for accepting payments.
- How to install WordPress
- Steps to create a WooCommerce store
- How to add products to your online store
- Steps to select and customize your online store theme
Are you ready? Let’s get started.
Step 1 of How to Start an Online Store and Make Money:
Setting up Your Online Store Platform
One of the biggest mistakes most beginners make is choosing the wrong platform for their online store. We have two popular eCommerce platforms that you can choose from. You can go for Shopify or you can use WordPress and WooCommerce plugin.
Shopify is a fully hosted eCommerce solution. Its pricing starts at $29 / month. This may be expensive for many beginners. Shopify is a hassle-free eCommerce solution. Once you register with Shopify, all you need to do is just log in and start selling your products.
However, one of the downsides of using Shopify is that it is quite expensive. Another drawback of Shopify is that your payment options are limited unless you pay additional fees.
For the reasons above, most people go for WordPress and WooCommerce plugins. The combination of WordPress and WooCommerce offers incredible flexibility. The combination of WordPress and eCommerce requires some setup, it’s worth doing.
For the records, WooCommerce is the world’s largest eCommerce platform
In this article, you will see step-by-step, how to set up an online store in WordPress using WooCommerce.
Just as I pointed out above, to set up your online store, you have to have a domain name, web hosting account, and an SSL certificate.
A domain name is the address of your website on the internet. It is your domain name that users will type in their browsers to load your website. An example of a domain name is google.com or livingmediainternational.com.
Web hosting on the other hand is where your website files live on the internet. In other words, it’s your website’s house on the internet. Every website on the internet has web hosting.
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate adds a special security layer to your website. SSL is the standard technology for keeping an internet connection secure. Your online store will only be allowed to accept sensitive information such as credit card numbers and other personal information when it has the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate issued to it.
The Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate is required for you to accept credit card payments on your online store.
A domain name costs between $10.99 to $20.00 / year.
The price of managed web hosting starts from $3.99 / month. The more you are will pay on web hosting, the better the quality of service and products you will get. The cost of some managed cloud hosting starts from $25.00 per month.
SSL certificate costs around $69.99 / year.
For the sake of this article, all my examples will be done using the Bluehost web hosting provider. You see my choice of the top 4 best web hosting providers this year.
To purchase your domain + hosting + SSL, head over to the website of Bluehost.
Open the website of Bluehost in a new tab using this link and follow the steps below.
First, click on the ‘Get Started Now’ button.
On the page that opens, select the hosting plan that suits your requirement. You can choose either Starter or Plus. They are the most popular hosting plan for beginners.
After choosing your hosting plan, then, enter your choice of a domain name for your online store. If the domain name you just choose is not available, adjust the name a bit or take any of the names suggested by the hosting provider.
Then, add your account information. Ensure that you enter your email address correctly. It is very important.
Towards the footer of this page, you will see optional extras that you can purchase and add to your hosting.
Once you complete all the required fields and make payment, you will receive an email from your web hosting provider. The email comes with details on how you can log in to your web hosting control panel (cPanel). It is at your cPanel that you manage relating to your online store hosting. From your cPanel, you can manage things like support, emails, and other things.
With the login details on your email, log in to your cPanel. Once you are logged in, you will see a popup message informing you that WordPress with WooCommerce is pre-installed on your website.
Then click on the ‘Login to your site’ button. Th