WooCommerce Beginners Guide

First of all I love custom coding very much. And sometimes I’d rather spend my day to create a cool script than use a ready plugin for WordPress.

Of course in real life it is not possible to use only a caching plugin
My perfect plugin build :D

The same situation was with e-commerce. I created custom coded shops with my own code on WordPress. Actually it is not so difficult as it seems:

But one day the two things happened at once that changed my mind – the client came to me with the confidence to use WooCommerce (+Memberships+Subscriptions but it is another story) on his website and the second thing – Matt announced on his blog that WooThemes (WooCommerce ) joined Automattic (WordPress company).

Not sure what it means for you but for me it means that WooCommerce is part of WordPress now. At the moment of writing this post WordPress is perfect for me but WooCommerce is not yet, but I know it is gonna change soon.

Now let’s come back to Earth and try to do something with it.

WooCommerce Installation

First of all let’s begin with installing WooCommerce, you can do it with any way, here I made it with Plugins – Add New, and typed in search “WooCommerce”. After the plugin activation you will see something like this:

After that you can try to add some products and see if the checkout page is working.

If you do not want to spend a lot of time configuring redirects later, permalinks is the first thing you have to customize in your WooCommerce shop. Just after you’ve installed it.

You can configure WooCommerce permalinks in the same place, Settings - Permalinks.

Product category base, product tag base and attributes base are similar to default WordPress Tag Base and Category base. As for Product Permalinks, you have an interesting choice:

If you want a custom shop base with categories, use /your_shop_base/%product_cat%/.

The proper way to change WooCommerce shop base

First of all let’s imagine that we use default shop base in product permalinks https://rudrastyh.com/shop/my-super-plugin and we’ve just installed WooCommerce and haven’t made much changes yes. In that case if you remove product slug from the URL, you will go to the WooCommerce shop page https://rudrastyh.com/shop. It is correct URL structure, isn’t it?

But what is I sell plugins with WooCommerce and I would like the shop base to be “plugins” ?

After you’ve made the above changes, your product URL will look like https://rudrastyh.com/plugins/my-super-plugin and your All Products page URL will https://rudrastyh.com/plugins. Perfect!

P.S. On the screenshots above I show you the long way – I mean you do not have to create a new shop page, you can just change the slug of the already existing shop page.

What ready theme to use for Woo?

I really love free default StoreFront theme. TwentySeventeen etc are also should be good.

Storefront theme for WooCommerce shop
You can add Storefront theme just from your admin Dashboard. Go to Appearance – Themes – Add New and type “Storefront” in the search box.

You can also take a look at StoreFront Child themes.

I do not recommend any themes with Page Builders, because such themes are very heavy and when it comes to 300 daily visitors, your shop could stop working. Remember please, problem is not in a weak server, unless you have 2K+ daily visitors.

Below is the perfect plugin build for me with installed WooCommerce :)

There are no required plugins for Woo
Haha, what’s wrong with me :D

Well, lets be serious. Of course you can run a shop with just WooCommerce and WP Super Cache installed. But sometimes it could be not enough, maybe default PayPal isn’t a payment gateway you want to use and most likely you will need a SEO plugin, like this:

Yoast SEO plugin is great for WooCommerce.

I just think you have to avoid plugins that make tweaks in shop UI or admin dashboard UI. It is always better to make these changes in code.

What payment gateway to use?

Here are so much options, but everything depends on the country where you are located. But if a country doesn’t matter, the best payment gateway I worked with is Stripe. It is really awesome for both shop managers and developers.

Stripe Payment Gateway plugin for WooCommerce

The next payment gateway which is good enough – PayPal. More payment gateways you can find in WooCommerce official plugin repository.

Configure your checkout page

It is number one thing in WooCommerce which clients want to customize. If you work with it, you should know it. You could try a plugin for this purpose of course, for example “Woo Checkout Field Editor Pro” (just type in plugin search in admin Dashboard).

But why using plugin if you can customize it with a couple lines of code in your functions.php? So, my recommendation for you is to look at this tutorial instead.

Misha Rudrastyh

Misha Rudrastyh

Hey guys and welcome to my website. For more than 10 years I've been doing my best to share with you some superb WordPress guides and tips for free.

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