A Tutorial to Installation and Configuration of WooCommerce: A Complete guide

Table of Contents

Introduction to Installation

WooCommerce is one of the most commonly used WordPress plugins available in the market currently. It was launched in 2011 by WooThemes and has gained in popularity ever since. Being a free and open-source plugin, it offers a complete eCommerce solution to online portals.

Minimum Requirements

Prior to installation, you have to ensure that the server requirements for installing WooCommerce plugin on  your system are fulfilled. These include:

  • PHP 5.6 or greater
  • MySQL 5.6 or greater
  • WordPress 4.1+ for WooCommerce version 2.5
  • WordPress 4.4+ for WooCommerce version 2.4
  • WordPress memory limit of 64 MB or more (128 MB or more is preferred)

In this context, it would be better if you understand the system requirements for hosting WordPress as well. They are:

  • PHP version 7 or greater
  • MySQL version 5. 6 or greater OR MariaDB version 10.0 or greater
  • HTTPS support

Optional Items

Besides the above mentioned, there are some optional items that you might require during installation. They are:

  • CURL or fsockopen support for PayPal IPN
  • Some of the WooCommerce extensions require SOAP support
  • An SSL certificate if you wish to install direct payment gateways
  • Multibyte String support if you are running a non-English store

Installing and Uninstalling WooCommerce

You have to keep in mind that before going ahead with setting up your online store powered by WooCommerce, you have to install the WooCommerce plugin on your system. To download the WooCommerce plugin, click on: https://wordpress.org/plugins/woocommerce/

Automatic Installation

Installing WooCommerce is a simple process if you have WordPress hosting. It is recommended that you use the WordPress Admin for installation as it handles file transfer without you having to leave the web browser. The steps to install WooCommerce are given below:

  1. Login to your WordPress Admin panel

WordPress Admin panel Login

2. Go to Plugins > Add New

Adding new plugin

3. Add the WooCommerce plugin

Adding WooCommerce plugin

In the Add Plugins page shown above, you can enter the keyword WooCommerce in the Search box on the right of the screen

4. Install the WooCommerce plugin. Adjacent to the WooCommerce plugin, you can click on Install Now to install it on your system

5. Activate the WooCommerce plugin

Activating WooCommerce plugin

Once you have installed the WooCommerce plugin, you can activate it by clicking on the Activate link. Now it appears in your list of installed plugins, as shown below:

WooCommerce installed in your Plugins list

This completes the installation process for WooCommerce.

Hosting

To operate your eCommerce store, you will have to run WordPress on a self-hosted site. There are many hosting sites which help you to host your website on WordPress. Some of the popular hosting sites for WordPress are:

  • BlueHost
  • HostGator
  • DreamHost
  • InMotion Hosting
  • SiteGround
  • GreenGeeks
  • iPage
  • Pagely
  • Wen Hosting Hub
  • Just Host
  • Media Temple
  • Godaddy
  • WP Engine
  • Site5

WooCommerce has partnered with BlueHost to offer a custom packaged solution. This pre-installs WordPress, WooCommerce, a storefront theme and eCommerce specific features like a dedicated IP and SSL certificate. This enables you ensure the security of your store.

FTP Setup

For certain hosting companies, you will be taken to a page requesting for your FTP details of your web server.  This usually occurs when you have not previously installed  any plugin on the WordPress installation. You can fill in the details to complete the installation process. Those details can be received from your hosting company.

Onboarding Wizard

Once you have successfully installed WooCommerce, you will be taken to the On-boarding Wizard in WooCommerce. Here, you have the option to customize your eCommerce platform according to your requirements. This means that there are many settings that you can tweak as per your shop’s requirement. The wizard takes you through the entire procedure with all the necessary steps to set up your online store and accept payment. You have the option of either opting to set up your store using the wizard or doing it manually.

Manual Shop Setup

Besides automatic setup, you can also setup your online store powered by WooCommerce manually. Given below is a screenshot of the steps involved in manual setup:

Manual Setup Wizard

The steps involved in setting up your online shop manually is given below:

  • Go to: WooCommerce > Help > Setup Wizard
  • WooCommerce > System Status > Tools > Install Pages

Manual Page Install

  • You can then create the pages yourself and then add them in WooCommerce > Settings, for the following pages:
    • Products > Display > Shop Page
    • Checkout > Checkout Options > Cart Page and Checkout Page
    • Accounts > My Account Page

Installation on a Multisite

WooCommerce acts as just another plugin when it is installed on a multisite. In such a case, each site in the network stores its individual information on different tables, although they all share a single database. Hence, each site or store has a separate setup and functions as a different entity. Activation and networking of plugins like WooCommerce and its extensions is possible on a multisite. However, you will not be able to share product databases as well as user/checkout accounts across different sites in the network. Nevertheless, you can still share plugins and themes across different sites on the network.

Revert to a previous version of WooCommerce

If you want, you can still revert to a previous version of WooCommerce while using the latest version. To do so, you can follow the procedure given below:

  • Disable the WooCommerce plugin you are currently using
  • Download and unzip the older version of WooCommerce that you want to revert to from the WooCommerce Repository on GitHub
  • Log into your server using FTP
  • Remove the newer version that you are using currently
  • Upload the older plugin directory that you wish to install to wp-content/plugins/
  • Reactivate the older version

This is just in case you want to revert to an older version. However, it is recommended that you use the latest version of WooCommerce as well as other plugins and extensions. This will enable you to take advantage of the latest features and functions available. Besides, it is also recommended for security reasons.

Uninstall WooCommerce

Uninstalling WooCommerce plugin from your system is simple. However, there are two aspects that you need to understand when uninstalling WooCommerce:

  • Deactivating and deleting the WooCommerce plugin from the WordPress Admin would delete the WooCommerce settings and database tables as well. This would delete the pages you created as well when WooCommerce was installed.
  • To remove all WooCommerce data including products added and other settings enabled, you can follow these steps: WooCommerce > System Status > Tools. Then you can Enable the Remove All Data option, and Save Changes. This will delete all WooCommerce data when you deactivate and delete the plugin from the WordPress Admin.

The procedure for this is given below:

Uninstalling WooCommerce

Creating WooCommerce Pages

After you have installed WooCommerce on your system for creating your online store, the next step is to add pages to your store. WooCommerce enables you to create the following pages to your store through the Onboarding Wizard:

  1. Shop – No content is required on this page
  2. Cart – It contains the shortcode [Woocommerce_cart] and shows the contents of the cart
  3. Checkout – It contains the shortcode [Woocommerce_checkout] and shows information regarding the payment and shipping options
  4. My Account – It contains the shortcode [Woocommerce_my_account] and shows individual customer information related to their account, order made etc.

Re-installing Pages

In case you skipped the Onboarding Wizard and want to re-install the WooCommerce pages, then you can follow the procedure given below:

WooCommerce > System Status > Tools > Install Pages

Installing WooCommerce pages

Directing WooCommerce what pages to use

If you have installed pages from the Onboarding Wizard, WooCommerce would already have set them up for you. However, if you have added and setup new pages or want to change the default names setup for pages like Cart and Checkout you need to direct WooCommerce to set those pages up according to your choice.

For instance, if you want to direct WooCommerce regarding what names to use for pages like Cart and Checkout, you can do so after adding the corresponding pages. Then, such pages can be setup by following the procedure given below:

WooCommerce > Settings > Checkout 

                                                           Setting pages as per your requirement                                                                                                            

Similarly, you can set up pages as per your requirement corresponding to Product and My Account pages as well.

Shop Page

The Shop page is different from other WooCommerce pages as it does not require any shortcode and does not have any content either. It is more of an archive of products that you can post to your online store. In that way, it works differently compared to the other pages. There are various settings that you can use to control your Shop page. These include settings specific to custom post type archives in case you have plugins like SEO plugins. Besides, you can even make this page compatible with a custom theme.

Configuring Settings & Options in WooCommerce

Shop Currency Settings

This option will enable you to configure the currency that you wish to set for your online store. Besides, you can also set various features as to how prices are displayed in your WooCommerce online store. To change your currency settings, follow the procedure given below:

WooCommerce > Settings > General > Currency Options

From the given currency options, you can select your desired option from the Currency dropdown

Currency Options

Currency settings

There are five components in the Currency options which are described below:

1. Currency – the currency for your store to be priced

2. Currency Position – to set whether the currency symbol should be placed, to the right or left of the price

3. Thousand Separator – to set the character that will appear as the thousand separator

4. Decimal Separator – to set the character that will appear as the decimal separator

5. Number of Decimals – to set the number of digits that will appear after the decimal separator

Besides these, there are various other customised features that you can set for currency. These include the features given below:

  • Adding your Custom Currency if your currency is not listed in the Currency dropdown
  • Displaying different currencies based on the location to which the order is to be shipped without the value of the order changing. This is done using a WooCommerce extension called Currency Converter Widget
  • Another option is to use the MultilingualPress option. This will display the contents, products and prices in your online store in multiple languages and currencies
  • Alternatively, you can use the WooCommerce Multilingual plugin for setting multiple currencies. This plugin also called ‘glue plugin’ runs using WooCommerce and WordPress Multilingual (WPML) plugins
  • Enabling Currency Exchange Rates and Extra Charges using the Currency Converter Widget

WooCommerce Menu Items

There are various Menu items in WooCommerce which you can configure to enhance the functionality of your online store. These menu items are listed below:

Orders Section

The Orders section in WooCommerce is used for viewing and managing orders placed in your online store. You can see the individual orders placed in your store by following the procedure given below:

WooCommerce > Orders

Order settings

Besides, you have the option to add new orders manually as well, as shown below:

Adding orders manually

When you click on the Add Order link, you will be taken to a page where you can manually enter the new order details. This page is shown below:

Add New Order Page

Coupons Section

The Coupons section in WooCommerce allows you to view and add coupons to offer discounts to your customers. You can also keep track of your campaign activities here. Customers can redeem their coupons on the Cart/Checkout pages.

Enabling coupons

To use coupons with WooCommerce, you have to first enable them in WooCommerce. For this, you can follow the procedure given below:

WooCommerce > Settings > Checkout

Enabling coupons 

As you can see from the screenshot above, you can redeem single as well as multiple coupons.

Adding coupons

You can add a coupon in WooCommerce by following the procedure given below:

WooCommerce > Coupons > Add Coupon

Adding coupon

Reports Section

In the Reports section of  WooCommerce, you will be able to view reports based on: Orders, Customers, Stock and Taxes. It enables you to see your store’s performance based on the above mentioned parameters in the form of charts, graphs and statistics. These reports are generated for the following periods: Yearly, Last Month, This Month, Last 7 days. You can also select a Custom date (from and to) and click on Go to generate a report for that particular period.

Generating reports

Settings

WooCommerce settings includes setting up your online store by configuring various settings related to functionality. Settings can be made in the following categories: General, Products, Tax, Shipping, Checkout, Accounts, Emails and API.

To get started with settings, go to WooCommerce > Settings

WooCommerce settings

General Settings

In the General Settings of WooCommerce, you can define/enable the following components:

General Options 

Base location – Here you can define where your online store is based from the dropdown. This includes the country and the state in which the store is based. It is based on this that your default tax rates and customer locations are determined.

Selling Location(s) – Here you can define the locations to which you wish to sell your products from the dropdown

Shipping Location(s) – Here you can define the locations to which you wish to ship your products from the dropdown

Default Customer Location – Here you can select the default method of shipping to the customer’s location from the dropdown

Enable Taxes – Here you can enable or disable taxes and tax calculations for your store

Store Notice – Here you can enable site-wide store notice text for your store. This is a notice for any discounts or offers that you are currently offering or will be offering in future

Store Notice Text –  If you have enabled the Store Notice, then the Store Notice Text box will appear. Here you can mention the offer or discount your are offering your customers

In the General Settings, below the General Options, you will find the Currency Options

Product Settings

In the Product Settings of WooCommerce you can define/enable various settings related to the following categories: General, Display, Inventory and Downloadable Products

General

In this section of the Product settings, you can set Measurements you will define to calculate the weight and dimensions of the products you sell. Besides, you can also enable/disable reviews for product ratings

Product settings – General

Display

In this section, you can configure how your products are displayed in your online store. It has two components namely Shop & Product Pages and Product Images

Shop & Product Pages

Product Display Settings – Shop & Product Pages

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Product Images

Product display settings – Product images

Inventory

This section of the Product settings deals with stock management. It involves managing your product stock based on various parameters. You can define/enable those parameters to manage the stock in your online store effectively.

Product settings – Inventory

Downloadable Products

In this section you can configure your store to provide downloadable files to purchasersProduct settings – Downloadable products

Tax Settings

In  Tax settings of WooCommerce, you can configure the tax features associated with your online store. There are two sections here: Tax Options and Standard Rates. You can also define your own tax rate.

Tax Options

Here you can configure your tax settings based on various parameters as shown below:

Tax settings – Tax Options

Standard Rates

Here you can set a standard tax rate based on the country/state/city/zipcode to which you are shipping your products. You can then give a tax name for that rate, set a priority, choose whether it is a compound rate or not and select whether this rate applies for shipping as well.

Tax settings – Standard rates

 Shipping Settings

Here you can set the shipping parameters for shipping your products based on three parameters: Shipping Zones, Shipping Options and Shipping Classes

Shipping settings

Shipping Zones

Shipping Zones can be configured based on the country/region you are shipping your products where a certain set of shipping methods and rates apply

Shipping Zones

You can click on the link Add Shipping Zone at the bottom right of the screen to add a new shipping zone

Shipping Options

Shipping Options involve setting Shipping Calculations by enabling the shipping calculator on the Cart page. Alternatively, you can configure to hide shipping costs till an address is entered. You can also set the Shipping Destination from one among these three options:

  • Default to customer shipping address
  • Default to customer billing address
  • Force shipping to the customer billing address

Shipping Options

Shipping Classes

You can add Shipping Classes in WooCommerce based on the type of products you are selling in your online store. Shipping classes are used to gr0up products which are similar in nature. Also, shipping methods like Flat Rate Shipping can be used to set different shipping rates for products based on the shipping class they belong.

To add Shipping classes, go to : WooCommerce > Settings > Shipping > Shipping Classes

Adding Shipping Classes

You can add a new Shipping class by clicking on the link Add Shipping Class seen at the bottom right of the screen

Checkout Settings

In the Checkout section of WooCommerce, you can configure the Checkout process of your online store. Setting/enabling checkout options is the first step in this process.

To do this, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Checkout > Checkout Options

There are different components to the Checkout Options: Checkout Process, Checkout Pages, Checkout Endpoints and Payment Gateways

Checkout Process

Checkout Settings – Checkout Process

There are two components in the Checkout Process:

  1. Coupons: To know more about this component, go to the Coupons Section
  2. Checkout Process: By enabling the Guest checkout, you can enable your customers to checkout after placing the order even if they have not registered to your online store.

Checkout Pages

As we have discussed earlier in the Pages section, the Checkout pages need to be configured to let WooCommerce know where customers have to be directed to checkout after selecting the items in their Cart.

Setting Checkout Pages

Here, you will need to set the Cart page, Checkout page and the Terms and Conditions. You can select the relevant option from the dropdown, for the page you have created for Cart and Checkout with shortcodes in the Pages section. Similarly, if needed, you can also create a Terms and Conditions page.

Checkout Endpoints

They are basically appended to page URLs to perform specific functions during the checkout process and should be unique. WooCommerce version 2.1 and above have this feature.

Checkout Endpoints

Payment Gateways

A payment gateway in WooCommerce is basically a WordPress plugin for WooCommerce. It allows your customers to pay for the goods or services that they purchase from your online store using payment services like PayPal. There are numerous payment options for WooCommerce from which you can choose the ones to include in your store.

Payment Gateways

Based on the payment gateways you have set here, you can configure/enable each of those gateways in separate pages.

Payment gateways configuration

Accounts Settings

The Accounts Settings section in WooCommerce enables you to configure individual customer account pages. It directs WooCommerce to send each customer to his account page. This enables customers to access their account related information. It has two components: Account Pages and My Account Endpoints

Account Pages

In the Pages section, you can configure the Account page where individual customers can go to access their account details.

Account pages

My Account Endpoints

Account Endpoints are basically appended to your URLs to perform specific functions on your Accounts page and should be unique.

My Account Endpoints

Email Settings

In this section, you can make settings to customize WooCommerce emails. There are options to edit email settings and templates. There are three components in this section: Email Notifications, Email Sender Options and Email Template

Email Notifications

Here you can configure email addresses to receive various notifications from WooCommerce

Email Notifications

Email Sender Options

Here, you can configure the ‘From’ Name and the ‘From’ email address that will appear in WooCommerce emails

Email Sender Options

Email template

Here you can customize your WooCommerce emails based on various features

Email Template

API Settings

In this section you can choose to enable the REST API. Besides, you can also create Keys and Webhooks for your apps. The REST API is basically for developers to use. Enabling it provides access to store data from outside WordPress.

API Settings

Permalinks

The Permalinks settings for WooCommerce enables you to configure the URL structure of your online store as well as its product pages. To go to Permalinks, you can follow the procedure given below:

WordPress Dashboard > Settings > Permalinks

Permalink Settings

Taxonomy Permalinks

They include the three settings that control the bases of your categories, terms and attributes. These settings are shown in the screenshot below:

Taxonomy Permalinks

As shown here, your default category base is product-category. An example for this would be yourdomain.com/product-category/category-name 

Similarly, the default tag base is product-tag. An example for this would be yourdomain.com/product-tag/tag-name.

Product attribute base slug will optionally use a custom base before/attribute-name/attribute/ Eg. /size/large or color/white

Product Permalinks

The settings in this section control the permalinks for products/services displayed in your online store.

Product Permalinks

In case you are not using pretty permalinks, ‘default’ will be the only option available to you. In that case, ID based URLs will be used. For eg, yourdomain.com/?product=101. On the other hand, if you are using pretty permalinks, the default will be yourdomain.com/product/product-name.

The other options allow you to prepend the product permalinks with a custom option. This could be the shop page name or a custom permalink that you can define.

It should be noted here that the product custom base should not conflict with the taxonomy permalink bases. For eg, if you set the product base to ‘shop’, you should not set the product category base to ‘shop’ as well. This will not create a uniqueness between the product and category. Moreover, there will be a conflict as well between the two.

Roles and Capabilities

Once WooCommerce is activated, it registers two user roles. Moreover, it also grants additional capabilities to the Admin:

  • manage_woocommerce for WooCommerce Settings
  • view_woocommerce_reports

Customer Role

Users who register to the online store’s site via the signup process or while checking out, automatically becomes customers of the store.

Customer Capabilities

  • They have Read access only for most capacities. This is similar to the status that a normal blog subscriber has.
  • They can edit their own account information
  • They can view past/present orders that they have made

Shop Manager’s Role

This is a role that you can give anyone to manage the shop without them being the Admin of that shop. They enjoy all the rights that a customer has, besides some other important capabilities.

  • manage_woocommerce: This gives the shop manager the rights to manage all settings within WooCommerce. Besides, he can also create/edit products
  • view_woocommerce_reports: This gives the shop manager access to all WooCommerce reports
  • They also have the general capabilities of that of a WordPress editor

Tweaking Capabilities

If you wish, you can tweak roles and capabilities enjoyed by individuals in the store. For this, you can use a third-party plugin like Capability Manager or Capability Manager Enhanced.

Setting up Taxes

This is one of the primary tasks that you perform while setting up an online store. It would be helpful if you can consult a tax professional or an accountant before deciding on the taxes. This will give you a clear idea about the tax laws applicable to your state, country or business.

Enabling Taxes

If you want to access the tax settings screen, it has to be enabled first. To enable Tax settings in WooCommerce, follow the procedure given below:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Settings > General
  2. Select the Enable Taxes checkbox
  3. Save changes

Enabling Taxes

Configuring Tax Settings

To configure taxes for your online store, go to WooCommerce > Settings > Tax

The Tax tab will appear only if you have enabled taxes in the General settings

There are various options under the Tax tab. You can choose the options that best suit your store’s requirements. You have to keep in mind that settings need to be chosen based on the tax jurisdiction under which your store is located.

Tax Settings

You can enter the fields given in the screenshot above as per your store’s requirements and the tax regulations prevailing in your store’s location.

Shortcodes in WooCommerce

There are several shortcodes in WooCommerce that can be used to insert content within posts and pages.

Page Shortcodes

  • [Woocommerce_cart] – displays the Cart page
  • [Woocommerce_checkout] – displays the Checkout page
  • [Woocommerce_order_tracking] – displays the Order tracking form
  • [Woocommerce_my_account] – displays the user account page

In most cases, the shortcodes need not be added manually. They will be automatically added to pages via the Onboarding Wizard

Widgets included with WooCommerce

There are several widgets that come along with WooCommerce. They allow you to display products, reviews and the cart in your online store theme’s widget areas. This includes headers, footers, sidebars and the Home page.

Some of the important widgets included in WooCommerce are:

  • WooCommerce Average Rating Filter – It allows the user to refine products based on customer ratings
  • WooCommerce Cart – It displays the shopping cart contents and links it to the Cart/Checkout
  • WooCommerce Layared Nav – It allows the user to refine products based on their attributes
  • WooCommerce Layared Nav Filters – It shows active layared Nav filters so that users can see and deactivate them
  • WooCommerce Price Filter – It allows the user to refine products based on price, on the product category pages
  • WooCommerce Product Categories – It displays a list of product categories
  • WooCommerce Products – It includes views of All products, Featured Products and On-Sale Products
  • WooCommerce Product Search – It searches within products only
  • WooCommerce Product Tags – It displays product tags in tag cloud format
  • WooCommerce Recently Viewed – It displays a list of products that the customer has recently viewed
  • WooCommerce Recent Reviews – It displays a list of recent customer reviewed products with their ratings
  • WooCommerce Top Rated Products – It displays a list of top rated products as rated by the customer

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