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How to Set Up an Online Store With WordPress

How to set up an online store with a wordpress website

What do you need to take your business online and create a store with WordPress? You don’t need much, just the following.

  1. Domain & Hosting
  2. WordPress (and theme)
  3. Shopping Cart Plug-in
  4. Payment Gateway & SSL
  5. Bank Account

Let’s go over each of these now.

Domain & Hosting For WordPress Stores

You need a domain so that you can link your store to a web address that customers can easily find by searching or through ads. Your domain should be your business name or the product you sell.

Ex: mensleathershoes.com OR kevinsleathershoes.com

If you don’t currently have a domain, start your search for the lowest priced .ca domains guaranteed. Once you have a domain, you’ll need to have hosting set up so you can actually start building your website and have it hosted online.

Click the following link to find a Canadian web hosting package, starting from $5 CAD per month. With CanSpace it’s super simple to get started and you’re not tied into any contracts.

Setting up Your Store Theme

Once you have your domain and hosting set-up, you’ll need to begin making your website in WordPress.

You should take a look at the following themes for your WordPress store. The WordPress store theme however should be for the specific WordPress store plug-in you pick.

WooCommerce “StoreFront” Theme

This is a clean and versatile theme built for the WordPress plug-in WooCommerce which we will touch on below.

It is built by WooCommerce’s team. Since they have intimate knowledge of the entire system’s functionality, you’ll find it has many smart and easy to use features.

EasyShop Theme

This is a theme built on-top of EasyCart by a 3rd party developer. It is mainly tailored to apparel companies, but can be modified for other purposes.

Let’s look at the actual shopping cart plug-in now.  

WordPress Store Shopping Cart Plug-In

When looking for the plug-in to set up your WordPress store and manage purchases – you’re going to need a few things.

  1. Good inventory management
  2. Easy to use admin interface (for uploading/changing products)
  3. Strong integrations to payment processors (like PayPal)
  4. Good front-end user experience (for those browsing your store)

The two plug-ins that check those boxes are WooCommerce and EasyCart.

WooCommerce

WooCommerce is a free plug-in with an extensive marketplace of free and premium extensions.

Basically any features and functionality you need can be installed into your WordPress store with extensions for reasonable monthly fees. However, for the novice user, WooCommerce should be good enough right out-of-the-box.

EasyCart

EasyCart is a one-time payment plug-in option – that ranges from $50-180 for a lifetime license. This includes all of their extensions. No monthly fees like WooCommerce.

There is a bigger upfront investment, but many people find they end up spending a decent amount of money per month with WooCommerce once they start scaling anyway.

I personally prefer the look and feel of WooCommerce. It is also the more popular choice.

Payment Gateway, SSL & Bank Account

Once you’ve got your website and WordPress store up – you’ll need to link the shopping cart plug-in to your payment gateway.

If you’re not sure which one to pick, I’ve placed the most popular ones below.

  1. Paypal
  2. Stripe
  3. Square

You can also use Payoneer or Payfirma, which are two other options.

Before you do this though, you’ll need to ensure you have an SSL – which stands for Secure Socket Layer. It’s basically the technology that secures your website while processing your customers’ credit cards.

You can get SSL’s from most web hosting providers for under $200. At CanSpace our SSL is $39 per year.

Both WooCommerce and EasyCart have instructions that will tell you how to easily link your payment gateway and begin selling. From there, all you have to do is make sure your bank account is connected so you can take out your earnings!

In Conclusion

Now you’ve seen how simple it is to get your WordPress store up. If you’ve always wanted to sell online but never knew how… now is a perfect time to start.

Remember, you’ll need a domain and web hosting. So start your search for domains and find the perfect web hosting package for your needs today.


Why Should I Use WordPress to Build my Website?

Should you use WordPress to build your website?

Building your website with WordPress is a smart idea. Why?

For anyone who has tried to get into the “website world”, I’m sure you’ve noticed the labyrinth of tools, coding languages, web platforms etc.

It all can get very confusing, quickly.

This is where WordPress shines. It’s simplicity & intuitiveness has made it one of the most popular web platforms (over 30% of sites online run on WordPress).

Ease of Use

WordPress has a great user experience. It takes a little bit to learn the entire system – but to get the basics and manage your website, you won’t find anything easier.

The correct term for WordPress is a CMS; Content Management System.

Basically, it’s built to help you manage all of the content on your website… From your logo, website theme to your blog articles etc. It’s all there in one location, helping even beginners at all things computers/technology run their own site.

There are also “themes” which give you super simple drag-and-drop page builders, so you can build awesome looking webpages without knowing how to code at all.

Flexibility

For most budding website owners – there are usually a list of functionality that you want built into the site.

Do you want to have something to pop-up and get the information of people on your articles, get them to share or put your YouTube video on the site?

Any “features” you could ever want are available in the WordPress MarketplaceAll you have to do is download a “plug-in” that automatically sets your website up with new features.

You can get free plug-ins for almost everything but there are also great paid solutions.

Support

Since there is such a huge community of people using WordPress, finding help online is usually one click away.

Of course, if you were hosting your site with CanSpace you would have our team of 24/7 customer support representatives (click here to find a hosting package).

If you’re not though… There are tons of resources for WordPress users out there. Including forums and groups dedicated to building and managing your website.

You can use these places to support you… Especially when you’re brand new to websites.


Improving WordPress Website Speed

How to improve your wordpress website speed

If you are the proud owner of a website running on WordPress, you may be asking yourself how to improve your website speed. The answer starts with: content.

Basically, the amount of data stored on your website affects the time it takes to load. This data can be in the form of images, PDF’s, plug-ins etc. Also important are the systems used to load that information. Aka hosting. Let’s talk about the actual content first.

1) Minimizing Your Plug-ins

WordPress plug-ins are awesome for setting websites up with cool and valuable functionality like social sharing and email list building.

The only problem? There is a ton of data chugging along to keep those plug-ins running. So while useful, the data for the plug-ins and the strain it puts on your server while “executing” plug-ins can get out of hand fast.

You will likely be able to immediately improve your WordPress website speed by cutting out some plug-ins.

2) Optimizing Images & PDF’s

Large files have the biggest drain on your hosting and is the fastest way to not improve WordPress website speed. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to fix. The first step for pictures is to make sure their dimensions aren’t too big.

In most cases, you’ll never need a picture bigger than 850 pixels wide.

A lot of people upload images without ever realizing their dimensions are 2000, 4000+ pixels which can triple file size or more! So get that taken care of first.

3) Reducing Image/PDF File Size

Instead of “saving for web” in photoshop I recommend using “lossless/lossy compression” software which basically means it removes unnecessary data from your content without reducing quality.

Try the following places:

Tiny JPG/PNG also have a plug-in you can download right onto your WordPress site to automatically optimize images when they’re uploaded.

4) Analyze Your Website

Tools like GTMetrix will analyze your website and give real-time advice for areas of improvement. Sometimes you’ll be able to implement these changes yourself (even beginners).

Outside of the easy fixes, you may need to hire an expert to come in and fix your code. At any rate, this a great avenue to see where you can immediately improve your WordPress website speed.

5) Choose a Good Hosting Provider

Even the most optimized website will run slow if the servers keeping it live are slow themselves.

You’d be surprised. The difference between good hosting providers and bad ones can mean a 50% +/- difference in speed. So make sure to inquire about this when choosing a company.

At CanSpace, we’re always working on new ways to improve server speed.

In Conclusion

As you can see, optimizing your website comes down to five major areas. As long as you focus on what we covered in the article, you should have no problem speeding up your website or creating a fast one from scratch.

If you’re interested in getting a website live or want a new host to improve your WordPress website speed, click here to see our web hosting plans.

We’d love to help you get online!


Which Hosting Provider is Best For WordPress?

What is the best hosting provider for WordPress websites

Planning to build a WordPress website and not sure how to pick a hosting provider?

That’s ok. There are tons of things to think about if it’s your first website. We understand how things can get confusing or overwhelming very quickly.

So what should you be looking for from your hosting? The very first thing is: make sure you’re protected.

The Hosting Best For WordPress is Secure

Unfortunately, there are scammers and hackers online trying to steal sensitive information and simply destroy websites… It’s important to have the proper security measures so hackers can’t take advantage of you.

Good WordPress hosting providers will make sure you have strong firewalls in place protecting your information.

Hackers won’t be able to access your website and make attacks. For example – DDOS attacks are a popular method for taking down websites, which would be a red flag for your firewalls.

With the right host, you won’t have to worry (nearly as much) about falling prey to this kind of thing.

Speed

The speed of your website is very important for a number of reasons. It plays a big factor in how well you “rank” on Google results. Meaning, when you make a specific search… Where will your article show up on the results?

On the first page? What spot?

In addition, speed is very important for user experience. If your website is really slow, no one will stick around long enough to read about who you are – and the blog articles you write.

So make sure your site is fast.

Get the Best Hosting for Your WordPress Website

Remember to take a look at our web hosting packages if you’re looking to get your WordPress site up. CanSpace is the leading domain registrar and hosting provider, working with some of Canada’s largest corporations.

If you have any other questions about hosting your WordPress website, just contact our team and we’ll help you figure it out!