Making and Maintaining your Online Store

by Nov 19, 2019eCommerce, Small Business0 comments

Making and Maintaining your Online Store

by Nov 19, 2019eCommerce, Small Business0 comments

If you haven’t already installed the WooCommerce plugin you need to do that from your Plugins page. The plugin is free. Once you’ve installed and activated the plugin you can follow the set-up Wizard. If a button doesn’t show up on your dashboard for the wizard. You can find a link in the Help tab on the top navigation bar.

The General tab is where you enter your shop location, what countries you would like to sell to, whether to calculate taxes and coupon codes.

If you don’t have a shop page, you should add it now, so you can add that as a page in your dropdown. You can also enable reviews and choose whether you want someone to go directly to check out after a purchase

Inventory is a sub link at the top of the page that will allow you to manage your inventory of products as well as downloadable products options.

On this page you can set how you want to calculate taxes. It is pretty straight forward. If you have a question about a field just hover over the “?” icon.

Shipping Zones: If you click on the title of the shipping zone it will bring you to a separate page with different options you can turn on and off. You can modify the options for using flat rate shipping, USPS, or Local pickup.

Shipping Options: These are usually fine the way they are. Please note that you should not turn on debug mode unless you are having problems with your store.

Shipping Classes: These are used when you have products in your store that you would like to apply different shipping rules for. For example; larger products you may want to charge a handling fee. Once you add a shipping class you have to go back to Shipping Zones and edit the Shipping zone to add the new shipping class amount. When you add a shipping class you should change the standard flat rate to $0.o0 and change the “no shipping rate” cost to the amount you had previously put in the flat rate box.


You have to select the type of payment options by enabling the options you would like to use.

To enable API credentials for PayPal you need to go to Profile >> Profile and Settings >> My Selling Tools on PayPal. Select Update link next to API access on the list. The scroll to the bottom of the page and select NVP/SOAP API integration. Then click on the show link next to each credential and copy and paste these into your dashboard. See this part of the video.

I always select both Account erasure request options.

You will want to make sure you have a Privacy Policy page established that you will select here. If you don’t have a privacy policy page yet, you can ask WordPress to create one for you by going to Settings >> Privacy in your WordPress dashboard.

Update each of the email addresses for the different order status’ listed.

Then, scroll down and update the name of your business, header image, and preview the receipt to see what it might look like.

You can get a nicer looking and more functional receipt using the plugin “Kadence WooCommerce Email Designer

Simple Product

A simple product has one price and one color option.

Add a Title, Long Description, and Short Description.

  • On the General Tab enter the price and whether it is taxable. You can also select whether it is a virtual and/or downloadable product.
  • Inventory allows you to manage inventory. You don’t have to manage inventory (a virtual product for example). You can also can decide to sell a product individually. So, if you are selling a unique product where you don’t want people to select more than one you would check that box.
  • Shipping: If you are using the live rates option for USPS then you need to enter the size and weight of the product.
  • Linked Products: If you want to recommend other products you would enter them here.
  • Advanced: You can enable reviews and add a note to the person who has purchased.

Add a Product Image

Add any alternative product images

Adding Product categories and tags will help the related products module work properly.



Variable Product

Follow the simple product first.

Select Variable Product from the Product data dropdown.

  • Go to Attributes and enter a title for your variable.
  • Enter the variable with a straight bar “|” between each variable. (eg. Small|Medium|Large)
  • Go to Variations tab – Select Add variation button and enter the fields that pertain to your variation.


Virtual / Downloadable

Follow the simple product or variable product instructions first.

  • When you want to offer a downloadable product it is usually also a virtual product. When you click the box it will bring up a box where you can add the file you want to make available to the customer. You can also limit the amount of times someone can download it.


Grouped Products

Follow the simple product instructions and make sure you have some products already built that you would like to group.

  • Select Grouped product from the Product data dropdown box.
  • In the Linked products tab select the products you would like to group and any other products you would like to up-sell.


Affiliate Product

Follow the simple product instructions first. An affiliate product works great if you have an Amazon store.

When you select Affiliate product it will give you a box where you can paste the link for the product on Amazon. I have also used this for a shop that did not want to actually sell products online, but show their inventory. If you do this you just leave the link blank.


Managing orders

When you get an order it will show on the orders tab. If you want to change the status you can do that. You can also refund or resend the order emails. If you are mailing orders I recommend changing the status to complete once you have mailed the product.


Coupons are very easy to set-up. There are many options and they are very flexible.


There are literally thousands of extension options. Many extensions are free on the WordPress repository and some can be purchased from the WooCommerce plugins. As with all plugins make sure they have great reviews and thousands of installs. WooCommerce also has many free plugins to choose from.

This is a great video to walk you through the entire process.


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