As most web designers and developers know, eCommerce websites are a different animal. If you’re new to building eCommerce sites for clients, you’re probably beginning to realize just how many options there are for selling online. Gareth Allison and Jonathan Wold from WooCommerce partnered with us on a GoDaddy Pro webinar to share some best practices and introduce the powerful combination of WooCommerce and WordPress.

If you missed it, or you would like to watch it again, you can find the recording here:

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3 Principles of a successful eCommerce site

“ … you have just a few seconds to establish context, to help folks know that they’re in the right place.”

In Jonathan’s years as a freelancer and working in the agency space with hundreds of clients, he identified 3 basic principles that make a website successful. While they can be applied to anything on the web, he explained them in the context of eCommerce.

  1. Context: Make it clear what type of business it is and what they’re about, so visitors know they’re in the right place.
  2. Credibility: Establish trust, make visitors want to stay. Load speed, design, photos & video, clearly written copy, reviews, accessibility, and security (SSL) are key.
  3. Call to Action: Make it clear what you want visitors to do. Be intentional about the next steps.

Freedom and flexibility of WordPress and WooCommerce

“ If you open 3 browser tabs, 1 of 3 of those sites will be built using WordPress.”

Gareth introduced WordPress and WooCommerce and explained what it means to be “open source.”

What is WordPress?

  • Started as a blogging platform, but it’s a powerful CMS.
  • Over 35% of all websites are built with WordPress.
  • Open source: General public can use it, modify it, and redistribute it for free.
  • It has a supportive community.

What is WooCommerce?

  • Combine commerce with content.
  • It has a lot of free features, customizations, and premium extensions.
  • Open source like WordPress.
  • There’s a passionate global community.
  • Mission to “democratize” commerce & empower non-developers.

How to choose the right platform

“ You, as a builder … have a varying degree of influence on the platform that gets chosen.”

Before getting into platform criteria, Jonathan identified two types of positioning for web designers and developers when building sites for clients:

  • Trusted advisor: Guide clients toward good solutions for their business.
  • Implementer: Get the work done after decisions have already been made.

Tip

Make a conscious decision about your positioning, and lean toward the trusted advisor role.

5 Things to consider when choosing an eCommerce platform

  1. Problem: What is the problem your client is trying to solve or value they want to provide?
  2. Complexity: How complex is their service? What functionality do they need?
  3. Experience: Is the client familiar with a specific platform like WordPress or WooCommerce?
  4. Control: How important is autonomy? Consider the convenience of renting vs flexibility of ownership.
  5. Cost: What is your client’s budget?

4 Factors for a successful WooCommerce site

Gareth shared some tips for creating a successful website with WooCommerce.

“ The traffic that your store can handle is largely dependent on your hosting environment.”

  1. Reliable hosting: eCommerce is resource intensive. Look for a host that provides value, like GoDaddy’s WordPress Ecommerce hosting.
  2. Good theme: Allows you to switch later and has full support for core WordPress features. Recommendations: our Go theme, WooCommerce’s Storefront theme, and WP Astra.
  3. Quality extensions: There are hundreds of extensions; get them from reputable sources. WooCommerce adds more extensions all the time.
  4. Support: Know your support options to fix issues quickly. WooCommerce has support with subscription. WooCommerce and GoDaddy both have supportive communities.

Challenges and opportunities of building with WooCommerce

Building with WooCommerce may present some challenges to new users. The amount of choices can be overwhelming, the level of customization can involve a learning curve, and you may encounter occasional theme and plugin conflicts. However, these challenges present opportunities for builders. If you familiarize yourself with the platform and become part of the community, you can overcome challenges and become a trusted advisor. The benefits outweigh the risks.

If you’re thinking about using WooCommerce on your next WordPress project, check out the next webinar in this series: Getting Started with WooCommerce. Jonathan and Gareth are back to show you how to get set up to start selling online.

Editor’s note: Are you building websites for clients? Join GoDaddy Pro to manage all your clients, their websites and GoDaddy products from a central dashboard.

The post Webinar: WooCommerce 101 appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Source: Go Daddy Garage

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