As the most popular open source e-commerce plugin for WordPress, WooCommerce is mainly selected by people who want to start building an online store or marketplace, especially those who come from WordPress community.
If you are interested to use this plugin for your online store as well, pay attention to the following guide to install WooCommerce. The guide is divided into three parts: Preparation, Installation, and Extension Guide.
To avoid any technical issue or serious problem in the installation process, a number of important things need to be ready in advance before you install WooCommerce. The following is the list of requirements that you need to prepare.
- Before installing WordPress and WooCommerce plugin, make sure that your hosting environment meets the system requirements that include:
- HTTPS support
- PHP version 7 or higher
- WordPress memory limit of 128 MB or bigger.
- MySQL version 5.6 or higher. As an alternative, you can also use MariaDB version 10.0 or higher.
- Besides primary requirements that have been mentioned earlier, there are some other optional, yet supporting requirements to prepare, including:
- Multibyte String support for non-English stores.
- CURL of fsockopen support for several WooCommerce integrations, such as PayPal IPN.
- SOAP support that is needed as the requirement for some WooCommerce extensions.
Decide whether you want to build a marketplace for single sites, multiple, or enterprise sites. Then, choose the right hosting provider that is suitable for the purpose of your marketplace.
- There are some recommended WooCommerce hosting providers for different types of sites that can be taken into your consideration. For single sites, you can use either SiteGround or Bluehost. Pressable is considered the best hosting provider for multiple sites. Meanwhile, for a larger company at the enterprise level, WordPress.com VIP is available to use.
- Choose a safe and secure theme that is compatible with your hosting choice. The theme you choose should also provide various features that can improve the quality of your business site, blog, or portfolio.
After you have checked off all of the requirements listed above, it’s time to proceed to the next stage: Installation Guide. You can install WooCommerce with three different ways. You are free to choose which installation method is preferable for you or which one of them is the easiest way to install this plugin.
- Install WooCommerce by creating a free account on WooCommerce.com
- Create a free account by signing up on WordPress.com and WooCommerce.com
- Select your installation preference. You can rely on trusted hosting provider to use pre-installed solution, choose auto-installing WooCommerce if you already have a WordPress site, or install WooCommerce manually by downloading the Zip file provided on WooCommerce.com
- Install WooCommerce by downloading the WooCommerce plugin.
- The first thing to do if you choose this installation method is downloading the WooCommerce plugin.
- After the download process is completed, get access to your website.
- Click Dashboard and continue the process to Plugins, Add New, and Upload.
- Select the plugin that you have downloaded.
- Install the uploaded plugin.
- Install WooCommerce by searching the WooCommerce plugin from your WordPress site.
- Go to your WordPress site.
- Click Dashboard, then click Plugins, Add New, and choose Search Plugins option.
- Type “WooCommerce” in the searching box.
- Install the plugin after you have found it.
When the installation process has been completed, you will be immediately transferred to WooCommerce Setup Wizard to configure the setting of your plugin, including setting up your currency and products, payment, shipping, and extras. You can use the wizard right away or skip it to set the plugin manually. Once the plugin is activated, you are ready to get busy building your marketplace.
Sure, the plugin has been installed and activated, but it doesn’t necessarily boost your marketplace’s performance. After you install WooCommerce, you still need to extend the website by installing additional features, services, and extensions that are specifically designed for WooCommerce online store. The ultimate purpose of WooCommerce extensions is to optimize your marketplace.
Here are three essential extensions that will support the functionality of your WooCommerce marketplace.
Instead of selling one single product, subscription extensions allow you to introduce a subscription package consisting of several products or services bundles for your customers. The subscription package can be launched weekly, monthly, or yearly. One of the most popular subscription extensions is WooSubscriptions.
You need booking extensions to offer appointments for services or provide date-based product bookings to the customers. This extension is useful when your customers wait in anticipation for a new or a pre-released product. The WooCommerce extension that handles this service is WooCommerce Bookings.
When the customers join the membership, they will get access to the special features on your website. The customers will be happy because of services, and you will be happy because of increased revenue. Some membership extensions that you can choose are WooCommerce Membership and WooMembers Bundle.