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Posted By Ecommerce Exchange on 12/12/2018 in Website Design

How to Use WordPress to Build an E-Commerce Website in 2019

How to Use WordPress to Build an E-Commerce Website in 2019

By James Cummings 

If building an e-commerce website or redesigning an existing one is part of your plans for 2019, this article will be of use to you.

Creating a website isn’t something that should be taken lightly; it involves important decisions that can affect the success of your online business.

In this article, we’ll endeavor to make these decisions easy for you by explaining the process involved in making and launching your website. In clear, concise and easy to understand language, we will cover the important things you need to know about choosing the right domain name, creating the right website for your needs and launching your website successfully.

We’ll also provide in-depth information about how to make a website using WordPress, the most popular Content Management System (CMS).

So, let’s get going…

What Type of Website Do You Need?

Your unique requirements will determine the type of website you should create. For instance, if you want a simple website, via which you can share information about your business, as well as host some images and a feedback form, you could get away with creating a static website. However, if your needs require something more elaborate -- such as an online store -- you’ll need a dynamic website.

Let’s us take a brief look at these two types of websites.

Static websites: This type of website is usually written in HTML and doesn’t require any special server features. The HTML code is converted into what visitors actually see on the website. Some HTML websites also contain lines of CSS codes that help define the look and layout. A static website is ideal if you only intend to display information on your website and won’t be receiving user input.

Dynamic websites: These are websites built using a server-side programming language such as PHP, ASP or JAVASCRIPT. A dynamic website has to be connected to a database for it to work. Because of this, a special server configuration is needed. Blogs, e-commerce websites, news portals and booking websites are all examples of dynamic websites.

If you need a website that entails interaction between the user and the site -- such as making payments, uploading materials, signing up, subscriptions etc. -- then you’ll need a dynamic website. Thankfully, creating such a website is no longer as difficult as it used to be. There are dozens of Content Management Systems (CMS) that can be used to create a professional looking, dynamic website in very little time. WordPress is the most popular; you can make just about any website with WordPress, be it a one-page information website, a hobby blog, an online store, or a full-fledged portal system.

Why Use WordPress to Build a Website?

WordPress isn’t the only CMS available, but it does happen to be the most popular. There are currently more than 70 million websites built using WordPress. This figure underscores the popularity of the CMS and how it’s the go-to solution for professional looking websites.

Here are just a few reasons why you should use WordPress for your website in 2019:

  • It’s free: WordPress is what’s known as ‘open-source software’. This means that it’s free for everyone to download, modify and use without any restrictions whatsoever. If you decide to use WordPress to make your website, you’ll not have to buy the software and you can do anything you want with it, without paying anything at all.
  • It requires little or no technical expertise: Another attractive attribute of WordPress is that you don’t need to have any knowledge of coding in order to use it; in fact, it is accompanied by an intuitive interface which makes it easy for novices and experienced users alike to create the website of their dreams. You can be up and running in just a few minutes of downloading and then uploading the script onto your web server.
  • It’s highly customizable: WordPress makes it easy to create any kind of website. This CMS has thousands of customizable themes and plugins that are both free and premium; these can give your site the look, feel and functionality you desire. You can do all of this without knowing a thing about programming or coding.

WordPress allows you to create a professional looking website, without learning to code or spending too much money.

Picking a Domain Name and Web Hosting Provider

If you’ve decided to join the 75 million other people running a WordPress-based website, your next step will be to pick a domain name and web host.

A domain name is what visitors will use to locate your website online. This is usually made up of a series of letters and ends with a domain extension, such as .COM, .ORG or .INFO.

You can decide to use your existing business title or a combination of names when creating a domain name. These tips will also help you create the perfect domain name. For most websites, the goal is to opt for one of the popular, Top Level Domain names (TLDs), such as .COM or .ORG. However, if your website caters to a local audience, you might want to consider what’s known as a Country Code Top Level Domain name (ccTLD). For example, if your website targets users in New Zealand, securing a .CO.NZ domain extension from a NZ-based host could be perfect for your website needs.

After choosing the domain name of your choice, the next step will be to select a reliable web hosting provider, which is important for the success of your website. To a large extent, the performance and functionality of your site will depend on the hosting you use. Aside from choosing the right web hosting provider, it’s also important that you choose the right hosting package.

Every web hosting provider has a series of web hosting packages from which you can choose. These start from options suitable for budget conscious and small websites to resource rich packages for larger websites that attract heavy traffic. The web hosting package you opt for will also affect the functionality and performance of your website.

Some web hosting providers offer incentives such as a free domain name; therefore, if you buy a hosting package from them, you’ll get a domain thrown in for free.

Certain web hosting providers also sell domain names; however, you can decide to buy your domain name and web hosting from separate providers, although you’ll need to update your name servers for both to work simultaneously.

Setting Up Your WordPress Website

As we’ve already established, WordPress is the best software for creating any kind of website -- and more than 70 million users agree with us. Like every other powerful application though, there is a learning curve to using WordPress. However, it is free and easy to understand and use.

You have two choices for building your website with WordPress: one-click installation or manual installation.

One-click installation: One click installation is the easiest way to install WordPress on your website. Almost every web hosting provider has the one-click installation tool on their dashboard. For some, this can be found under the Softaculous Auto Installer icon. The one-click installer will automate the WordPress installation process on your site, so that it can be up and running in no time.

These are the steps you’ll need to follow when using the one-click installation system. This process is similar across many web hosts:

  • Login to your web hosting account or control panel
  • Locate the one-click installation icon or Softaculous Installer
  • Click on the icon to access the list of software that can be installed automatically
  • Look for WordPress in the list and click on ‘Install’
  • Follow the instructions on the screen to install WordPress on your website

The installation process is fairly easy and user friendly, so you won’t need any technical experience or coding knowledge to achieve this.

If you need help using the WordPress one-click installer, this in-depth guide will help.

Manual installation: There are some website designers who would rather get their hands dirty and install the WordPress files manually. Others may need to use the manual installation process, because their web hosting provider doesn’t have one click installation. Whatever your reason for wanting to install WordPress manually, the following steps will help guide you:

For this process, you’ll need an FTP client such as CuteFTP or Filezilla. This is necessary to upload the WordPress files to your web server.

You’ll also need archiving software to extract the contents of the WordPress files.

  • First, you’ll need to download the WordPress core files from the WordPress website and save them on to your computer.
  • Locate WordPress when downloaded to your website and extract it using the archiving software.
  • You’ll then need to locate wp.cofig-sample file, rename it to wp-config.php and modify the contents of the file. These instructions will help you.
  • Once you have modified the contents of the file, save it accordingly.
  • Now, login to your hosting account using your preferred FTP client. The FTP address and login details are usually provided by your hosting provider and can be found in an email sent you when you initially purchased the hosting plan.
  • Upload the contents of your WordPress download into the root of your hosting account or a subdomain (if you plan on using one).
  • Once you’ve completed the above steps, visit yourdomain [dot] com/wp-admin/install.php (where yourdomain [dot] com is the URL of your website).
  • Click on ‘Install’ and follow the steps provided.

If you need more help using the manual installation method, this guide will help.

Customizing Your WordPress Website

The beauty of WordPress is that it allows you to creatively customize your website as much as you want. In fact, there are thousands of themes and plugins you can use to customize and extend the functionality of your website. For example, there are plugins that allow you to convert your WordPress website into a full featured real estate website.

WordPress automatically installs via a default theme called Twenty Fifteen. While this theme is simple and clean enough, it might not serve your purposes exactly as you’d like.

You can find a theme of your choice by visiting the WordPress theme repository. However, there are also dozens of websites where you can get WordPress themes and plugins, both free and premium.

Once you’ve selected the theme of your choice, simply upload and activate it on your WordPress website to achieve the look and layout of your choice. The same process applies to plugins.

Taking Care of Details

After customizing your WordPress website to your satisfaction, the next step will be to make it ready for visitors. This means adding posts, pages, menus and content. It also involves a few other activities that will make your website visible online and subsequently attractive to visitors.

Having awesome content and a well laid out design is essential for the success of your website. As long as you have a good idea of what your website should be about, creating the right look, layout, and populating it with appropriate content should come easily to you. As you go further, you can fine-tune the specifics to get the website of your dreams. Remember that it’s essential to have fresh and engaging content on your website at all times. If your site doesn’t feature the right content, you could find it hard to retain existing visitors and attract new ones.

You’ll also need to implement Search Engine Optimization tools such as Yoast, so that your new website will rank properly on search engines and attract the type of visitors you need to be successful.

Conclusion

Finally, before your website goes live for public consumption, test it properly to ensure everything is working as it should. For example, there are a series of important pre-launch tests you need to carry out before launch. This testing process may seem overwhelming at first, but going through the process will help you avoid any potential errors or conflicts that may occur in the future.

Creating a website can be daunting for anyone who’s never done it before, but we hope this tutorial has given you a better idea of how to go about doing so, without having to learn to code or employing a programmer.

There are many other snippets to learn, so be sure to look around this website for more useful hints.

James Cummings

About the Author
James Cummings is CEO at Daily Posts Copywriting.



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