I suggest you read Beginner’s Guide To Setting Up WooCommerce PART ONE before reading this.
What follows is written as though you are setting up WooCommerce on a self-hosted site. I have never set up WooCommerce on WordPress.com but it is definitely something you can do on one of the paid plans.
You can run Woo on the Business plan with WordPress.com. It costs, currently, £27/month if paying monthly or £20/month if paying annually, but then you get the security benefit of WP.com rather than having to secure your self hosted site. You would still have to pay for any paid WooCommerce extensions just like with a self-hosted site.
When you download the plugin to set up WooCommerce for the first time you are greeted with this welcome page. It picks up your email address from whatever you sign in with as WordPress admin. If you intend to do something serious with the site as opposed to messing about for the fun of it, you may think it better to use the domain email. I don’t because if there is a glitch with the domain then you can lose access to the site. I guess I trust Gmail more.
You will see a ‘Skip setup store details’ at the foot of the page. If you do that and then later on you want to continue, you can always pick it up by going to the dashboard and you will see an invitation to continue with the setup.
And you can see the little ‘i’ in a circle next to ‘Skip setup store details’. If you hit that little ‘I’, it comes up with this message ‘Manual setup is only recommended for experienced WooCommerce users or developers.‘
When you go through the wizard, Woo builds these pages that the site needs.
- Cart – Cart Page
- Checkout – Checkout Page
- My account – My Account Page
- Refund and Returns Policy – Draft
- Shop – Shop Page
You don’t add or edit content directly in the Shop, Cart, or Checkout pages. When you add products, the Shop page fills up with the products.
When you set up your shipping options and costs of delivery, the system populates the information for the Cart page and the Checkout page.
If there is nothing in the cart it will say ‘Your cart is currently empty.’ If you go to the Checkout page when there are no products in the Cart, the system will redirect you to the Cart page and tell you ‘Checkout is not available whilst your cart is empty.’
My Account page
Drilling down, if you are logged in as an admin or a customer, you will see the following within your My Account page
- Account details
Just because there is a heading for downloads doesn’t mean that you as the store owner have any made downloadable products. The section is there ‘in case’ you have any such products.
When a customer buys something, that triggers emails to you as the store owner to tell you someone has bought something, with the customer’s details and what they bought. And the system also triggers an email to the customer to confirm the sale.
If you use the stock keeping system built into Woo (we do) then it also changes the stock levels to take into account the sale.
Under WooCommerce / Accounts and Privacy you (as the store owner) have the option to require customers to create an account or to allow them to check out as a guest.
Irrespective of that, you also have the option to enable them to create an account when they want (on the Accounts page), or to only allow them to create an account during checkout.