Build a ecommerce website. Best DYI guide in 2024
Build a ecommerce website today- DIY guide.

Setting up a website is a must for any business and if you are selling a product or a service to your customers then it is essential to build a ecommerce website.

A Shopping cart website allows you to sell your products to your customers directly from your website. If you were to get a web designer to set this up for you then the cost can be anywhere upwards of a few thousand dollars.

In this guide, I will walk you through how to set up and Build a ecommerce website for a fraction of that cost.

Website Requirements

To build a ecommerce website you will firstly require a website. There are a number of website platforms available to set up an eCommerce website including Shopify, Wix, Bigcommerce, Magento, Salesforce Demandware or even a custom built online shop. However, I recommend a self managed WordPress website. I use this option for my own website and I design all my clients websites using WordPress. 

To get an idea of how a successful self managed WordPress eCommerce business looks, click on the following businesses that I have designed including Bush Babies Down Under, Naturally Goat, Anthony’s Sauces, Exotic Gemstone Jewellery, Voya Beauty, and Chris Christensen Australia to name a few.

If you do not have a website already set up using self managed WordPress then jump on over and download my free 7 day Website Guide to get started to Build a ecommerce website.

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WooCommerce Plugin

To convert your standard website into an eCommerce Website you will need to install the plugin WooCommerce.

Login to your WordPress dashboard backend,

Click on Plugins > Add New > Search > type Woocommerce > click Install Now and once  installed you will need to click Activate Now. 

woocommerce

Once Woocommerce is activated you will be taken to the setup wizard, which will step you through how to set up WooCommerce.

Store Details

Start by entering your details as shown below. The Continue

woocommerce website

A pop up will appear “Build a better WooCommerce”. 

Feel free to select Yes or No.

build a better woocommerce

Industry

In which Industry does your store operate?

Select the option that applies

Business industry

Product Types

What type of products will be listed?

Select the option that suits. There may be a fee depending on your selection.

Type of website products.

Business Details

Tell us about your business

Select on how many products you plan on selling and whether you will be selling elsewhere.

tell us about your business

Once you have selected about click on the Free features to see what you may wish to include

business details

From here click on the drop down menu and pick the options you wish to continue with. However I have a few recommendations as mentioned below.

Business recommendations

Jetpack is an option for security, you can choose this option however I recommend you use Wordfence instead as outlined in my 7 day website guide. 

Level up your email marketing with MailPoet, which you can choose however I use and recommend Mailierlite

The other options you can choose or leave at this stage depending on your needs.

Click on continue which may take a few minutes to complete.

 

Theme

WooCommerce has its own Theme however you will want to continue with your active theme for your website unless you are planning on redesigning your website at the same time.

woocommerce theme

Let’s Get Started to Build a ecommerce website

Depending on the option you selected in the product type you will have a number of options.

As a quick side note you will now notice there is a new heading on the left hand sidebar of your wordpress dashboard. 

  • Woocommerce
  • Products
  • Payments
  • Analytics
  • Marketing. 

You can get back to these at any time by clicking on WooCommerce then home.

woocommerce website

Add Products to Sell

When adding products to your Ecommerce website you need to include some information about the product, a photo of it, the price, how many of each item you actually have in stock.

Woocommerce will allow you to add drop downs so your customer can pick a certain product colour, size, etc as well. You can import products, template designs, and even migrate from another program so have a look around. 

 

Set up WooCommerce Payments

There are a number of different ways that you can accept payments from customers. From Cash on Delivery, Cheque, Direct Transfer, Credit Card Payments, Stripe, PayPal etc. Depending on your option you may need to speak to your bank for things like a Credit Card machine or how to accept payments.

 

Add tax rate

Within Australia this tax relates to the Goods and service tax. If your gross income is less than $75,000 then it’s optional to register for GST. As a small business owner myself I chose not to register for GST for many years until my income got higher then I registered for GST. I also add GST into my pricing but you can add GST on top of your pricing, it’s completely up to you. 

 

Add shipping costs

If you will be posting your products you will need to work out a cost effective price for both yourself and your customers. You don’t want to charge someone $15 for postage if it only actually costs $8 as this is unfair to have the customer pay $7 for handling. However, only charging $8 to the customer where a parcel might cost you $15 to post is not fair for you as you lose $7 in profits. The best thing to do is actually go down to your local Australia post and talk to one of the staff, if you’re able, take a product or two down with you. They will give you some advice about the best way to send your items. 

If you have standard size items then a pre-paid satchel may be the way to go. 

These are great but for smaller items. However if you have larger or heavier items you will have to go with other options of boxes, larger satchels etc

Depending on where you are located there may also be additional costs if you live in a rural location, and some states such as WA, NT, SA are slightly more expensive in my experience.

It may be an option to see what prices similar businesses to yourself are charging.

 

Get more sales

There are a number of options you can continue with when it comes to marketing your eCommerce website. Options include creating a Google merchant account to share your products to Google searches, integrating your website to your Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Pinterest and other social media accounts and setting up email marketing. By setting all these up you can start selling your products to your target audience.

 

 

Need help to build a ecommerce website?

This guide is a simple step by step guide on how to build a ecommerce website. However there are so many options to get your own up and running. If you need any help on your eCommerce website, I have a number of different packages to suit your needs.

Don’t forget to share this post!

Have a great day

Cheers

Jacinta

About Me

Hi there, I’m Jacinta, Australian web designer, digital marketer, mocha lover, mother, wannabe digital nomad, and an introvert at heart.

We help small & medium-sized business owners like me, in Australia and New Zealand by providing affordable website and digital marketing solutions and help them conquer their website worries and turn them into secure money-generating machines.

We aim to work with our clients in an encouraging and supportive way.

We start by sending you a list of things we need to start your website or by doing an audit on your website and breaking it down into actionable steps to make it secure and start earning you more money than ever before.

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