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      Getting Started with WooCommerce: Build Your Own Store Today

      Whether it’s selling vintage treasures or making millions from digital products, setting up your own online store can be really exciting. What’s more, you don’t need to be a tech expert to get started.

      In fact, all you need is a WordPress site equipped with WooCommerce. This powerful plugin turns your site into an e-commerce store faster than you can say “ka-ching.”

      Of course, there’s still a small learning curve involved. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a complete introductory guide.

      Keep reading to learn why WooCommerce is so easy to use and how to set up your own store, configure products, start taking payments, and customizing your site.

      What Is WooCommerce?

      DreamHost Glossary


      WooCommerce is a WordPress plugin designed for e-commerce needs. This tool can enable website owners to start selling products in a flexible, customizable online store.

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      WooCommerce is a popular, free plugin that allows you to create an online store on your WordPress site.

      First launched in 2011, WooCommerce was later acquired by Automattic in 2015, essentially making it the officially supported WordPress e-commerce plugin. Since then, it has seen pretty rapid growth.

      According to statistics collected by Barn2, WooCommerce powers almost 41% of all e-commerce websites. This makes it the most popular e-commerce solution by far, almost double its closest competitor (Shopify).

      Why WooCommerce Is The Ideal Choice For Your Online Store

      So, what is all the hubbub about? To understand why WooCommerce is so popular, it’s worth taking a closer look at what this plugin offers.

      For a start, WooCommerce is easy to install and configure. Using the basic free plugin on default settings, you can set up a store in less than an hour.

      At the same time, WooCommerce offers loads of control for more experienced sellers. You can play around with product costs, item details, shipping fees, taxes, stock levels, images, and much more.

      You can also tailor the checkout process to suit your needs, thanks to customizable carts, geolocation features, and several different payment gateways.

      WooCommerce is also very scalable. As your site grows over time, the plugin makes it easy to add powerful features and expand your store.

      WooCommerce Vs. Other E-commerce Solutions

      This all looks great on paper, but you might be wondering how WooCommerce stacks up against the competition.

      Based on popularity, the two closest competitors are Shopify (a standalone e-commerce platform) and Magento (a Content Management System or CMS).

      DreamHost Glossary

      Content Management System (CMS)

      A Content Management System (CMS) is a software or application that provides a user-friendly interface for you to design, create, manage, and publish content.

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      Let’s compare WooCommerce to these major players on three key factors:


      WooCommerce is an open-source e-commerce platform that is 100% free. While you can extend the core platform with premium add-ons, the only necessary expense is web hosting, which starts at just $2.95 per month with DreamHost.

      In contrast, Shopify and Magento charge monthly fees plus transaction fees. That adds up over time and can really cut into your profits.

      Ease Of Use

      You only need a basic understanding of WordPress to set up an online store using WooCommerce. The admin area allows drag-and-drop building and editing.

      Shopify also offers an intuitive dashboard, but customization can get complicated. Meanwhile, configuring a Magento store requires more technical knowledge.


      You name it, WooCommerce has it: secure checkout, shipping calculators, product management, coupon codes, customer reviews, robust reporting, and more.

      Shopify and Magento both offer similar functionality, but popular extensions and apps often come at extra cost. Most WooCommerce extensions are free, and even premium extensions tend to be affordable.

      The bottom line: WooCommerce beats its closest competitors on pricing, while matching features. Plus, you get all the benefits of WordPress.

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      How To Set Up A Store With WooCommerce (5-Step Guide)

      If you decide to launch your new venture with WooCommerce, the next step is to set up your store.

      As we mentioned, WooCommerce is pretty easy to install and configure. But if you would feel more confident with a little guidance, here’s a complete step-by-step tutorial:

      Step 1: Install The WooCommerce Plugin

      The first step toward building your online business is to install WooCommerce.

      Start by logging in to your WordPress site and selecting Plugins > Add New Plugin in the left sidebar.

      close up of the wordpress nav menu showing the selection for "add new plugin"

      Use the search bar to find WooCommerce in the official Plugin Directory. The one you want should be the first result.

      Click the Install Now button.

      woocommerce plugin screenshot pointing out the "install now" button in the right-hand corner of the box

      Once the installation process is complete, activate the plugin. You will then see a WooCommerce appear in the left sidebar. This is where you’ll manage all your store settings.

      Step 2: Follow The Setup Wizard

      If you open WooCommerce from the sidebar, the plugin will encourage you to launch the setup wizard.

      screenshot of the "Welcome to Woo!" message with a button to "Set up my store"

      After the welcome screen, the wizard will ask you whether you’re setting up a store for the first time or already selling online. Choose the relevant option.

      Next, add your store details: name, location, industry, and email. Later on, this information will appear on all your invoices, packing slips, and confirmation emails.

      Once your business details are entered, you can choose to install the suggested extensions or wait until later.

      Finally, click Continue to launch your online storefront.

      Step 3: Add Products To Your Store

      We’re ready to sell, right? Well, not quite. Your store needs some products if you’re going to make any money.

      To begin populating your new store, tap Add Products on the start screen.

      screenshot of the status bar showing "Let's get you started" and the step to "add product to sell" by clicking the blue "add products" button

      Select the relevant product type. Choose “Variable product “if your product comes in different variations (e.g., sizes and/or colors).

      Next, fill out the key product details.

      • Title and description: Include keywords that customers might search for.
      • Pricing: Set regular and sale prices.
      • Product images: High-quality photos will help you make sales.
      • Product categories: Decide how products are grouped in site navigation.
      • Inventory: Track your stock and set up alerts.
      • Shipping: Add the product weight and dimensions to calculate shipping rates.

      If you’re setting up a “Variable” product, make sure to add the different product variations under the Attributes tab.

      Finish by publishing your new product. If you want to add more products, you can use your first product as a template. Duplicate the first product listing and edit the content.

      Step 4: Select Your Payment Options

      To make money from your products, you need to provide customers with a way to pay for their purchases. Luckily, WooCommerce makes it pretty easy to handle transactions.

      The most convenient path here is WooCommerce Payments. Powered by Stripe, this system is completely integrated with the WooCommerce system.

      To configure this payment option, navigate to WooCommerce > Home and select Set up payments. Then, click on Get started and follow the setup instructions.

      If you want to provide customers with an alternative, Stripe and PayPal are good options. Both allow you to accept all major credit cards, plus Google Pay and Apple Pay. The latter also allows PayPal users to pay directly from their account, which can increase conversion rates significantly.

      Other online payment options include:

      • AliPay
      • Skrill
      • Braintree
      • Amazon Pay
      • Square

      You can enable several popular payment methods in the Set up payments area. For more granular control, navigate to WooCommerce > Settings and select the Payments tab.

      screenshot of the payment methods setting showing the toggle to enable options for WooPayments, direct bank transfer, check payments, and cash on delivery

      To add a new third-party processor, you will need to install the matching extension and set up a payment account. Be sure to check the fees associated with each gateway, because they vary significantly.

      Step 5: Configure Sales Tax And Shipping Options

      Both tax and shipping can cause headaches for new business owners. Luckily, WooCommerce makes it fairly easy to collect the right amount and send shipments to the right address.

      Once you’ve set up payments, the setup guide will prompt you to “Add tax rates.”

      screenshot of the set up wizard showing "add tax rates" as the number four step

      Start by visiting WooCommerce > Home and find the option to Add tax rates. Here, you have two choices:

      1. Set up WooCommerce Tax, an extension that automates tax calculations.
      2. Set up your tax rates manually (see the small link at the bottom of the page).

      WooCommerce Tax is definitely the easier option here. You can set it up in a couple of minutes by following the on-screen instructions.

      If you prefer to set tax rates yourself, you can head to WooCommerce > Settings and select the Tax tab.

      • While you’re still inside the Tax tab, select Standard Rates from the sub-menu at the top.
      • Add tax rates by country, state, or even zip code. Use the Insert Row button to create a new line and then input your data.
      • Finally, save your changes.

      If you’re only selling digital products or affiliate items, you can skip to the next step. But if your store offers physical items that need to be mailed, you should take a minute to set up your shipping options.

      Head to WooCommerce > Settings and choose the Shipping tab. You’ll see the U.S. already added if the address of your business is in the United States.

      screenshot of the zone name, region, and shipping methods available for each zone with the United States as a default

      But you can add more. At the top of the page, select Shipping zones. Click Add zone.

      Shipping zones are geographical areas that you define as having the same shipping requirements, including carriers and types of shipping.

      To configure your new zone:

      • Add a name for the region. Make it descriptive.
      • In the Zone regions field, choose the locations you want to be included in the zone.
      • Choose which shipping methods should be available in the new zone: free shipping, flat rate, or local pickup.
      • Finally, click on each method to adjust the cost and any specific requirements (e.g. minimum order for free shipping).
      • Don’t leave your zone hanging. Hit that save button.

      And just like that, you’re ready for lift-off! Your store now has the logic to handle taxes like a seasoned accountant and ship packages as if it’s got its own delivery fleet.

      Remember to test everything once you’re done. Make a mock purchase to see if taxes and shipping costs are added correctly. It’s a good idea to run a system check before the real deal.

      How To Customize Your WooCommerce Store

      We could literally spend a couple of days talking about all the ways you can customize your new WooCommerce store.

      Exploring the built-in options should keep you busy for a while, but when you’re ready to take your store to the next level, there are two types of upgrades to check out: themes and plugins.

      WooCommerce Themes

      WooCommerce works well with just about any WordPress theme. However, there are plenty of themes specifically created for sites that use WooCommerce.

      These themes help you customize your store’s appearance to match the rest of your online presence. Some even add new functionality related to WooCommerce, such as custom post types.

      Most WooCommerce themes are based on the official Storefront theme:

      screenshot of the storefront woocommerce theme

      This theme is developed by the team behind WooCommerce, so you can be sure that it’s secure and that the integration is bullet-proof. Storefront is also free, which is always a plus.

      While this theme works well on its own, it can be further expanded using one of several child themes.

      If you’re not aware, a child theme builds on an existing theme (its “parent”), enabling you to make changes to the parent theme without editing it directly.

      In addition to Storefront and its child themes, you can find a wide range of WooCommerce-ready premium themes. Many of these are specialized for different types of stores.

      For example, Electro is specifically built for creating electronics shops, while the Motor theme is tailored toward car dealerships. Regardless of your business and tastes, you should be able to find a theme that works perfectly for you.

      WooCommerce Extensions

      Once you’ve picked out a theme for your store, it’s time to consider whether you need some additional features. 

      WooCommerce extensions allow you to introduce new functionality to your WordPress store. While they work very much like WordPress plugins, they are specifically created to integrate with WooCommerce.

      Some extensions are free to use, while others require a one-time payment or a regular subscription fee. Either way, you can use them to enhance your store with advanced features.

      There are hundreds of extensions today, from sales analysis tools to security plugins. We’re going to take a look at a few of the best options for first-time WooCommerce users.

      1. WooCommerce Google Analytics

      screenshot of the woocommerce google analytics plugin for WP

      WooCommerce Google Analytics enables you to use Google Analytics to track your store’s performance. This extension can help you understand your customers’ journey, including how they found your site and which products they’re most interested in. You can then use this data to optimize your sales funnel.

      Key Features:

      • Tracks session length, users, and referrers.
      • Highlights which areas of your store perform well and which need improvement.
      • Helps you understand customer behavior and product popularity.

      Pricing: WooCommerce Google Analytics is a free extension, but it does offer a premium version as well, starting at $79 per year for a single site. Both extensions also require a free Google Analytics account.

      2. WooCommerce Subscriptions

      woocommerce subscriptions plugin for wp screenshot

      WooCommerce Subscriptions lets you create products that can be unlocked with recurring payments. The extension works both for physical products, such as a monthly subscription box, and virtual products or services.

      Key Features:

      • Enables you to choose your payment schedule from several options.
      • Offers more than 25 popular payment gateways.
      • Supports automatic subscription renewal emails for both you and your customers.

      Pricing: WooCommerce Subscriptions starts at $239 per year for a single site.

      3. WooCommerce Zapier

      screenshot of the woocommerce for zapier extension

      WooCommerce Zapier is a great solution for integrating your store with third-party services. With this one extension, you can connect WooCommerce with MailChimp, YouTube, Dropbox, Google Drive, and many other platforms.

      Key Features:

      • Integrates with over 1,000 third-party services.
      • Enables you to configure automation to save time.
      • Provides performance reports through the “Digest by Zapier” feature.

      Pricing: WooCommerce Zapier prices start at $79 per year for a single site.

      4. Square For WooCommerce

      screenshot of the square for woocommerce extension

      Square for WooCommerce enhances your store’s payment options, both online and in person. The extension is very easy to install, and you’ll be able to accept payment within minutes. Square is compatible with all credit and debit cards in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

      Key Features:

      • Makes it easier to accept payments from various sources.
      • Deposits your funds quickly, within 1-2 business days.
      • Enables you to quickly sync your Square and WooCommerce accounts.

      Pricing: Square for WooCommerce is a free extension that requires a Square account.

      5 Tips For Growing A Successful WooCommerce Store

      Now your store is complete, you can concentrate on growing your new business. Here are some key tips for attracting customers and making sales:

      1. Use Coupon Codes And Promotions To Boost Sales

      Everyone loves a good deal. As a store owner, you can tap into this universal truth by offering coupon codes and promotions. They’re not just money-savers for your customers — they’re sale-makers for you.

      Create time-sensitive discounts, bundle deals, or loyalty rewards. You can also give away free gift cards with purchases over a certain size. These little incentives can be enough to persuade window shoppers to make a purchase.

      To create promotional coupon codes, select Marketing > Coupons from the left-hand sidebar.

      2. Get More Customers With Search Engine Optimization

      Your store is a needle in the Internet haystack. SEO (search engine optimization) can help you emerge from the pile, so that more customers can find your site.

      DreamHost Glossary


      Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving a site’s ranking in search results. Search results are aggregated based on a number of factors, including a site’s relevance and quality. Optimizing your site for these factors can help boost your rankings.

      Read More

      To reap the benefits here, make sure to do your homework with keyword research. Find out which phrases your customers are searching for, and then weave those magic words into your product descriptions, titles, and metadata. Use a plugin like Yoast SEO to guide you.

      3. Use Analytics To Understand Your Buyers

      You don’t need a crystal ball to figure out which products to stock. Tools like Google Analytics can reveal valuable insights about your buyers.

      Find out where they come from, how long they hang around, and what catches their eye. With this intel, you can better understand who your future customers are likely to be — and tailor your storefront to suit.

      4. Maintain Proper Security

      Your online store is your kingdom, and every castle needs defenses. Way too many small businesses fall victim to cyber attacks, leading to plenty of financial pain.

      To avoid this fate, regularly update your WooCommerce and plugins.

      Nerd Note: WordPress actually offers automatic updates for most plugins via Plugins > Enable auto-updates.

      While you’re at it, enable data backups. This will allow you to restore your site quickly if anyone manages to break in.

      5. Create Custom Solutions With Blocks

      WooCommerce Blocks allows you to create custom-designed pages without needing a PhD in coding.

      Want a checkout that’s smoother than butter? There’s a block for that. Eyeing a product grid that’s cleaner than your Sunday best? Blocks have got you covered. Experiment with them to craft a store that perfectly matches your needs.

      WooCommerce FAQs

      Still have questions? We have answers:

      How much does WooCommerce cost?

      For self-hosted e-commerce sites, the WooCommerce plugin is completely free. As such, you only need to cover your hosting requirements and your domain. You can also extend the core platform by paying for premium plugins and themes.

      Do I need hosting for WooCommerce?

      Yes. Or more accurately, you need a hosted website. Remember that WooCommerce is actually a plugin for WordPress, not a standalone store builder.

      Can you dropship with WooCommerce?

      Although WooCommerce doesn’t natively support dropshipping, you can introduce this feature via the WooCommerce Dropshipping premium plugin.

      Can You Sell On WordPress Without WooCommerce?

      Although WooCommerce is probably the best e-commerce plugin, it isn’t the only option. Search in the official Plugin Directory, and you will find plenty of alternative options.

      Start An Online Store Today

      If you want to use your WordPress site to sell goods and services, WooCommerce is by far your best option.

      It’s the most popular e-commerce plugin for a reason, and it makes it incredibly easy for beginners and experienced users alike to open an online store. The basic WooCommerce plugin lets you build a successful business, and you can improve it even further using themes and extensions.

      But remember, building your e-commerce website is just the first step. You’ll also need to make sure that your store is always accessible and that you provide a great customer experience. That starts with choosing a reliable hosting provider.

      With DreamHost, every plan is backed by a 100% uptime guarantee. And with our dedicated WooCommerce plans, your site runs on optimized servers — meaning lightning-fast loading times.

      Check out our hosting plans today to begin your online retail journey!

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      How to Create a WooCommerce Child Theme

      Let’s say you have a WooCommerce store up and running.

      If you’re using the official Storefront theme, it might even look quite professional. However, you may still want to customize the appearance of your WooCommerce store to match your vision.

      The best solution is often to create a WooCommerce child theme. That’s because a child theme enables you to make changes to your original theme without editing it directly. It simplifies the process of customizing your store’s appearance and eliminates potential risks to your theme and store.

      In this article, we’ll look at how you can style your WooCommerce store using themes. Then, we’ll show you how to create your own child theme in just five steps. Let’s get started!

      A Quick Look at WooCommerce Themes

      With the launch of the WooCommerce plugin in 2011, WordPress became the most popular e-commerce platform. WooCommerce is currently used to power 25% of all online stores, making it 6% more popular than its closest competitor.


      One of the elements that has made WooCommerce so successful is how easy it is to create a unique store with minimal effort. However, this alone doesn’t explain the platform’s popularity.

      Another huge factor in WooCommerce’s success is the nearly infinite customization possibilities it offers. When combined with the right theme, you have access to a lot of design flexibility.

      WooCommerce is compatible with almost all WordPress themes. However, most of them will not be optimized to handle the unique features of the plugin.

      Fortunately, the Storefront theme is an excellent option. This is the official WooCommerce theme, built specifically to integrate with the plugin. It looks compelling right out of the box, with a simple and clean design that puts the focus on your products:

      the WooCommerce Storefront theme

      This bare-bones design also makes Storefront an ideal base for customization. This is where child themes come in handy, which we’ll look at next.

      Why You Might Want to Create a WooCommerce Child Theme

      If you’ve spent much time reading up on WordPress, you’ve probably come across child themes before.

      In short, a child theme starts life as a copy of another theme, which is known as the ‘parent theme’. You can then make changes to the child theme and test them out without editing the parent theme directly. This is important because altering the original theme can result in irreversible errors and even damage to your website.

      You might create a child theme because you want to use another theme as a basis, rather than having to build a new theme entirely from scratch. Alternatively, you may only want to make some minor changes to a theme’s branding or overall aesthetic. The sky really is the limit, depending on how much time you’re willing to devote to the project.

      When it comes to WooCommerce, most child themes are based on Storefront:

      Storefront child theme options in the official WooCommerce store

      You can download several child theme options from the official WooCommerce store or from other sites like ThemeForest. However, it’s possible that none of the existing child themes offered match your needs, or you may simply want to create a unique look. What’s more, you might not want to spend money on a premium theme if you feel you could do better yourself.

      In a post on the official WooCommerce blog, the plugin’s developers discuss the most common motivation behind using a child theme for your online store:

      “The aim with our own Storefront child themes is to deliver a store experience perfect for your own niche. After installing Galleria, and not touching any settings, you instantly have a store fit to sell high-end fashion items. With ProShop, you can rapidly set up a stylish sports store.”

      The actual process of creating a child theme is the same whether you’re making one specifically for WooCommerce or for a more general WordPress site. However, you will need to keep your store’s purpose in mind as you customize your child theme. An e-commerce site requires a different design philosophy than a blog, after all. Let’s see what this process looks like in practice!

      How to Create a WooCommerce Child Theme (In 5 Steps)

      Now, we’re going to walk you through how to create a WooCommerce child theme. In this example, we’ll create a basic theme that uses Storefront as its parent, although you can use any theme as a base.

      We’ll show you how the process works when starting from scratch. However, if you want to skip some of these steps and get straight to customizing your site, you can also download and install a sample Storefront child theme.

      Finally, we highly recommend creating a backup of your site before you proceed any further. This will keep your store safe if something breaks during the development process.

      It’s also smart to use a staging environment for creating and tweaking your child theme. Once you’ve taken these security precautions, you can proceed to the first step!

      Step 1: Make a Folder for Your WooCommerce Child Theme

      The first thing you’ll need to do is to create the folder that will contain your theme. If you’re adding the child theme directly to an existing site, the best way to do this is via SFTP. You can do this using a free application like FileZilla.

      Once you have the program up and running, log in to your site with your hosting credentials. Then, you’ll need to navigate to the wp-content/themes/ folder. This is where your site’s themes are installed.

      All you need to do is create a new folder within this one:

      the WordPress themes folder in FTP client

      When creating a child theme, it’s best to give it a name that reflects the parent. For example, we’re making a child theme for Storefront, so we’ll name our folder “storefront-child.”

      The first thing you’ll need to create and place in this folder is a simple text file called functions.php. This is an important core file that helps to dictate how your site looks and acts. However, most child themes can use the functions contained in the parent theme’s file and don’t need their own.

      For that reason, this file can be left blank for now. Simply create a text file with the name functions.php, and save it in your child theme’s folder:

      WordPress child theme location in FTP client

      Your theme is now almost ready to be activated and used. First, however, it will need a stylesheet.

      Step 2: Create Your Child Theme’s Stylesheet

      The next file you need to create is your theme’s Cascading Style Sheet (CSS). This file defines the styles that will be applied to your site’s pages and content. In other words, it enables you to specify the look of individual elements on your website. When people talk about updating styles, they’re usually referring to updating a site’s CSS file.

      Your parent theme will already contain a stylesheet, but a child theme’s CSS can be used to override those styles. We’ll look at how exactly this works later on.

      For now, you’ll just need to create the CSS file. To do this, once again add a text file to your wp-content/themes/storefront-child folder (or whatever name you used for your own child theme). This one should be called style.css:

      WordPress child theme location in FTP client

      You’ll also need to add some basic information. Copy and paste the following snippet into your new style.css file:

      Theme Name: Storefront Child
      Theme URI:
      Description: My first WooCommerce child theme
      Author: Your Name
      Author URI:
      Version: 1.0.0
      License: GNU General Public License v2 or later
      License URI:

      These are the details about your theme that you’ll see when viewing it in a theme directory or in your WordPress dashboard. Feel free to replace the placeholder data with information more specific to you and your theme.

      Step 3: Configure the Child Theme to Inherit the Parent Theme’s Styles

      As we’ve already mentioned, you’ll want your child theme to use the parent theme’s default styles. However, you’ll also need to override the styles you want to change. This might sound complex — and CSS can indeed get tricky —  but at its core, the child will always use the parent theme’s styles unless it specifically contains a replacement.

      For example, let’s say your parent theme defines the style for h1 header elements as 20px and red. If the child’s style.css file does not contain an entry for H1 headers, then the parent style will be applied to all H1 content. However, if we were to add an H1 style to the child’s stylesheet that defined these headings as 18px and blue, it would override the parent’s directions.

      Adding this functionality to your child theme is actually very simple. All you need to do is to reference your parent theme in your child’s stylesheet.

      Simply add the following snippet after the information you pasted into the style.css file earlier:

      Template: storefront

      This code defines the parent theme and will ensure your child theme uses Storefront’s styles wherever you have not specified a replacement. If you’re creating a child for a different theme, you can simply use its folder’s name instead.

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      Step 4: Activate the Child Theme

      At this point, your child theme is now technically ready. It’s configured to work on your site, so let’s activate it and see how it looks.

      Go to Appearance > Themes in your WordPress dashboard, and you’ll see your child theme already installed:

      activating your WooCommerce child theme in WordPress

      Select Activate to make it your site’s current theme. You can now preview it from the front end:

      editing your WooCommerce child theme

      As you can see, it looks exactly the same as the original theme right now. While the child theme is active, all it’s doing is pulling in the styles from your parent theme. To customize its appearance, you’ll need to get creative with your child theme’s stylesheet.

      Step 5: Add Styles to the Child Theme

      Finally, it’s time to start styling your child theme. Exactly how you do this is up to you, your creativity, and what you want your store to look like. However, let’s walk through an example of what you can do.

      To illustrate how editing your child theme works, we’ll change the look of our store’s buttons. At the moment, they appear gray with black text, but we could update this styling to make them stand out more:

      editing your WooCommerce child theme

      Open your child theme’s style.css file again, and add the following code after the last */ in the file’s header:

      #review_form #submit {
      background: pink;
      color: red;

      If you save your file and view it on the front end now, you’ll see the change in action. The buttons will now be a vibrant pink with red text:

      editing your WooCommerce child theme

      You can also make changes to your theme’s template files. You’ll just need to copy the template file you want to alter, such as header.php, from your parent to your child theme folder.

      However, you’ll also need to make some changes to specify which function WordPress uses to reference the template files. This requires using the get_stylesheet_directory(); function instead of get_template_directory() to reference your templates.

      To learn more about how to do this, you can read about all the templates that WooCommerce uses.

      At this point, you have created a WooCommerce child theme! Of course, there’s plenty more you can do, but you now know how to start tinkering. We recommend you brush up on CSS to get the most out of your styling!

      Create a WooCommerce Child Theme

      WooCommerce makes it easy to create an online store, and you can even change its look using the Storefront theme or one of many custom themes.

      However, you don’t have to rely on the creativity of others. Creating your own WooCommerce child theme is not as difficult as you might think, and it gives you nearly total control over the look and functionality of your store.

      Happy selling!

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      How to Install WooCommerce on Your WordPress Website

      If you’re planning on using WordPress to create an online store, you’ll strongly want to consider installing WooCommerce. This plugin has become the de facto e-commerce solution for WordPress sites, thanks to its flexibility and a wide variety of customization options. However, given its wealth of features, it can be daunting to get started.

      Fortunately, WooCommerce is very easy to set up. Any e-commerce newbie can download, install, and configure the plugin to create a functional online store in no time. Even smaller tasks, like managing your products and configuring costs, are easy to handle.

      Getting Started With WooCommerce


      According to BuiltWith, WooCommerce powers 26% of all e-commerce sites. This makes it the most popular e-commerce solution in the world, and it’s not hard to see why. All you need is a WordPress site and the WooCommerce plugin to create a fully-functional, secure, and visually appealing store.

      What’s more, WooCommerce offers a lot of customization opportunities and scalability. The basic, free plugin will be enough for most online stores.

      WooCommerce also provides plenty of options to grow, scale, and expand your business as it becomes more successful. There are WooCommerce extensions, which add new functionality to your store, as well as dedicated themes like Storefront that help you perfect its appearance.


      With all of this in mind, it’s easy to see why you should consider WooCommerce when creating your online store in WordPress. It’s an excellent choice for beginners and experienced professionals alike. Now, let’s take a closer look at how the plugin works in practice.

      How to Install and Set Up WooCommerce (In 5 Steps)

      Creating and configuring your WooCommerce store is a pretty simple process. However, before you get started, it’s important to take a look at the recommended server requirements for WooCommerce:

      If your server does not meet these recommended minimums, your store will struggle, and it might not even work at all. One solution is to take advantage of our WooCommerce hosting plan:

      DreamHost WooCommerce hosting

      This plan comes with WooCommerce pre-installed, as well as several additional plugins and themes to make your store even better. Plus, essential considerations such as security, performance, and updates will be handled for you.

      Once you have your website and hosting plan ready, it’s time to create your WooCommerce store!

      Step 1: Install and Activate the WooCommerce Plugin

      WooCommerce WordPress plugin

      This first step is the most basic one. Simply install and activate WooCommerce just as you would any other plugin. As soon as you activate it, you will be presented with the WooCommerce setup wizard. This will help you configure your store, and we’ll look more closely at it in a moment.

      First, let’s see how activating WooCommerce has affected your site. Once WooCommerce is installed, you’ll find a number of new features, including:

      • Two new user roles: Customer and Shop Manager.
      • Widgets to help you display products in various ways.
      • Custom post types, taxonomies, and menu items.
      • Several shortcodes for inserting content into posts and pages.

      It’s worth noting that WooCommerce works a little differently on a WordPress Multisite install. Each site will share a database but store information in separate data tables. This setup makes each store its own separate entity. You will not be able to share information between the stores, such as user accounts, products, or checkout information. However, you can share extensions and themes across multiple WooCommerce sites.

      If you’re using a single WordPress site, you don’t need to worry about any of that.

      Now, it’s time to start configuring your store using the wizard we mentioned earlier.

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      Step 2: Add Your Store’s Basic Information

      The first thing you’ll see after activating the WooCommerce plugin is the setup wizard. This will help you set up your site in a few simple steps. It’s worth noting that any settings you configure here can easily be changed later.

      The first page of the wizard contains general information about your store. You’ll be required to enter your store’s location, for instance. If your business does not have a physical location but is entirely based online, you will still need to select your country:

      WooCommerce store setup wizard

      You’ll then need to choose the currency you want to use. Your store can only use one currency at a time, but if you want to display prices in various currencies, you can use a plugin like Currency Converter Widget.

      The last option asks what type of products you plan on selling: physical, digital, or both. There are more specific product types (which we’ll look at later), but for now, you can select the option that best suits your needs. The final option is a checkbox that you should only tick if you’re also planning on selling items in person.

      When you’ve entered all the required information, click on Let’s go! to proceed to the next step.

      Step 3: Set Up Your Payment Options

      The next phase of the wizard lets you enter the payment options for your store. Here you can choose which payment methods you want to accept:

      WooCommerce payment configuration options

      The choices you’ll see will differ slightly depending on your specified location and the options you selected on the previous page:

      • PayPal and Stripe are always available.
      • Square is available if you selected the option to sell items in person and if your store is located in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, or Japan.
      • Klarna is also available if your store is in the U.K., Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Germany, or the Netherlands.

      Select the options you want to use, and WooCommerce will install the necessary extensions. You can always remove and add payment methods later.

      The final option in this section asks if you want to accept offline payments. If you select this, a panel will appear with more detailed options, letting you choose all payment types you’re willing to use:

      configuring accepted payment methods in WooCommerce

      When you have picked all the payment options you’ll need, click on Continue to proceed to the next page of the wizard.

      Step 4: Configure Your Shipping Settings

      It’s now time to configure your shipping settings. As with the last step, the options here will differ depending on your location. Stores in the U.S. and Canada will see settings relating to USPS and Canada Post, respectively:

      WooCommerce shipping settings

      If you want to use these services, we recommend taking a look at their specific settings to help you settle on appropriate rates.

      Stores located elsewhere will instead only see the options for specifying the weight and dimension units you want to use in your store. Simply choose the correct units, then select Continue to progress.

      Step 5: Complete the Installation Process

      The final steps of the wizard offer some additional options to help you get your store off the ground. The Extras section contains two choices:

      WooCommerce extras settings screen

      The first one asks if you want to install the Storefront theme. This is the official WooCommerce theme, which is highly recommended, as it’s built specifically to support sites powered by WooCommerce.

      You can also choose if you want WooCommerce to calculate tax rates for you automatically. This may be a better option than manually entering tax rates, depending on your location and business. We suggest that you consult with a professional about how your business should handle taxes.

      When you select Continue, you’ll come to the final step. Here you can connect your store to Jetpack, a useful plugin that will activate several additional services (such as live rates and automatic taxes):

      connect WooCommerce to Jetpack

      Click on Connect with Jetpack or Skip this step to complete your installation. Your store is now ready to go! If you want to configure it even further, we recommend checking out the official documentation to see all the available options.

      Adding Your First Product in WooCommerce

      With your store up and running, it’s time to create something to sell. There are plenty of product types you can use, but for this example, we’ll create a “simple” product. This is the most basic and common product type, meant to be used for physical products that will be shipped and require no additional options.

      To create a product, go to WooCommerce > Products > Add New. This opens the Add new product interface, which should look familiar if you’re used to creating blog posts in WordPress:

      adding a new product in WooCommerce

      Start by giving your product a title and description. You can also assign it to one or more product categories to keep everything organized.

      To configure your product’s settings, you can use the Product Data meta box. You’ll spend most of your time here when managing products, as it covers the most essential information:

      WooCommerce product data

      The first option is the product type, so leave this as Simple product. Then, state whether the product is Virtual or Downloadable. The rest of this section consists of several panels with additional options:

      • General is where you can set the product’s Stock Keep Unit (SKU) and price.
      • Inventory can be used to manage the product’s stock levels.
      • Shipping lets you specify the product’s weight and dimensions.
      • Linked Products can be used to cross-promote similar products or to create product groups.
      • Attributes let you assign attributes to the product, which is a way to connect items with similar characteristics.
      • Advanced contains advanced options, such as the ability to set up orders for the product and create a purchase note.

      These are the basics for creating a product, but there’s plenty more you can do. For instance, you can add product images, create variable products, and learn more about the different product types.

      Feel free to experiment with the editor, and refer to the official documentation whenever you need help. It won’t be long until your online store is off the ground and your wallet is feeling the benefits of your hard work!

      Uninstalling WooCommerce or Reverting to an Earlier Version

      If you want to shut down your store for any reason, you can’t just deactivate and uninstall WooCommerce. This is because the actual store data, such as your settings, orders, customer details, and products, will still be saved in your database.

      To delete all WooCommerce data, you will need to make an edit to your site’s wp-config.php file. This is the file that controls your site’s databases. All you need to do is add a single function to it.

      Copy and paste the following code into your wp-config.php file:

      define( 'WC_REMOVE_ALL_DATA', true);

      Make sure to place this snippet on its own line, right above the final comment in the file. This will clear all WooCommerce data from your database.

      Finally, you should always use the most up-to-date version of your plugins. However, if you do need to install an earlier version of WooCommerce, perhaps for testing purposes, you can do so from the Advanced options on the plugin’s directory page.

      First, you will need to restore a previous backup of your store’s database and uninstall the plugin. You can then use the Previous Versions section on the plugin page to select the one you want:

      When you’ve selected the preferred version, click on Download to get a .zip file of the plugin. You can now upload and install the plugin as usual.

      Create Your Online Store With WooCommerce

      WooCommerce is a terrific option for WordPress users who want to create an online store. Its user-friendly design makes it possible for beginners and experienced users alike to turn their WordPress websites into e-commerce businesses.

      To get started, simply install and activate the plugin on your WordPress site and enter some details about your store and products. Then, you can start adding items to your shop.

      Are you looking to build a fast and secure WooCommerce store? Our WooCommerce hosting solutions can help you speed up your site and grow your online business!

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