How do you set up an online shop that you control from start to finish? An online shop that you can scale and model according to the changing conditions in which your business operates. Is it a difficult task? Let's find out.
An online shop, is nothing more than a website with functionalities that allow you to sell products or services of different nature - from physical products to virtual or digital products.
The online shop you hope to launch soon could be a site with one product, a few or dozens. Just that much? Don't worry 🙂 If you think that in your case it's not enough, read on, because what I am going to write about will allow you to start a shop offering a range of thousands of products on your own.
Selling online can be a key part of your business strategy or a complement to your existing offering or a way to fund or subsidise your blog and other activities. But you know what's most important about it? The fact that it You decide everything! Provided, of course, that you use the right tools.
Ideas for setting up an online shop, as you've surely guessed, can be numerous. Let's take a look at the most important, practical issues answering the main question of our article: How do I set up an online shop?
How do I set up an online shop? Don't try, just act!
In this text and video you will learn the most important things about this how to set up an online shopBut we will also touch on other extremely important aspects related to its "to be or not to be".
It is worth realising that just setting up a shop, which as you will soon see is very simple in itself, is just the start of the journey.
In order to effectively sell on the Internet, you need to get to know the tools you use. It does not matter whether it is a shop in the SaaS model or based on one or another software. This rule applies everywhere!
If you want to be independent and economical, you absolutely must invest your time in getting to know the system as well as possible. And maybe I'm going to write something I shouldn't, but the truth is that if you don't commit to your idea in 100%, if the software you're working with doesn't become like a good friend you've known for years and can always count on, or worse, if you don't have the perseverance to build that friendship, your project won't survive.
The online shop does not start on a trial basis. Either you go all in on it and operate effectively, or let it go, because you will lose time and money. Competition in the eCommerce industry is so fierce that acting half-heartedly always ends in disappointment and folding your arms.
And don't expect that by setting up a shop, you will start earning a decent income in a month and in six months you will go to a sunny beach. I wish you that with all my heart, but it doesn't work like that!
I was a bit scared. Well. However, I don't want you to say that Krzysiek, like others, promised golden mountains and in reality you can't see them. I want you to realise from the very beginning that your own online shop is a demanding and involved project which needs to be approached consciously and with the right background of knowledge and skills.
However, I will say something else. If you understand what I am writing about, If you take action and put the knowledge gained here into practice, your chances of success will increase significantly. However, before this happens you will face many challenges and quite a few curves to overcome. But here is another good news. I will gladly help you to face them!
🎞️ Video: How to set up shop in minutes 🎞️
Below is a video in which I present a simple way to start a shop very quickly. A shop which you can further model according to your needs in virtually any way you like. What is crucial here. You don't have to be an IT specialist! I invite you to watch, and you can find more information about setting up a shop further down in the article below the video.
To run a cost-effective shop you need
- Server space and domains
- Flexible CMS system
- Knowledge of shop capabilities and tools
How do I set up an online shop and is running an online shop easy?
In fact, setting up a shop or a website is nothing particularly complicated. The subject can be approached in many different ways, and everything depends on what you really expect, what you need, how seriously you treat your idea and the whole undertaking. And finally, what kind of budget you have at your disposal. Everyone will answer these questions differently.
While the start seems to be very simple, later activities related to the management of an online shop, its expansion, modelling a marketing strategy, are greater challenges and are not necessarily simple topics. However, if you do not lack determination you can learn everything.
Own online shop and company registration. Do I need to have a business?
One of the conveniences that came into force in April 2018 as part of the so-called Business Constitution is the possibility to conduct non-recorded / unrecorded sales as long as the income from such sales does not exceed 50% of the national minimum in a month. This is a great opportunity to start adventure with eCommerce and facilitate many novice entrepreneurs. What is important is the fact that if you work somewhere as an employee the salary you receive is not included in this income. So there is no fear that you will exceed the monthly limit because of your workplace earnings.
Although you are exempt from paying social security contributions, this form of business does not exempt you from paying taxes on your income. In this case, you have to settle the tax with the Tax Office annually by entering its value in the "9. non-registered activity" section of your PIT form. The tax on the income will be 17% or 32% depending on your overall income. So it's a good idea to set aside tax every month so that paying it once later doesn't hurt your household budget.
However, there are also some restrictions. You cannot run an unregistered business, in this case your online shop, without registering your business if:
- Within the last 5 years, you have carried on a registered business or been a partner in a civil partnership.
- The planned activity requires licences, concessions or permits
- You want to run your business together with a partner
- And as I have already mentioned during each month of activity your income cannot exceed 50% of the lowest national average. If even in one month you exceed the amount of 1400 PLN gross (year 2021) you will have to register a business.
Purpose first or how to set up an online shop wisely
I will not focus at this point on marketing objectives, although these are inherent in any business venture, including online. I do not mean shops with huge budgets, I mean small projects, where the owner consciously implements certain strategies, which later bring him tangible benefits.
If we assume that the shop will offer literally a few products and we are not aiming at huge sales, i.e. we treat our online shop rather as an additional income channel, then it will be the most reasonable to choose a solution that does not generate large entry costs. After all, as you will see in a moment, even in other cases spending a lot of money is not always justified and necessary.
Of course, if you have a bigger budget, you can always invest a dozen, several dozen or even hundreds of thousands of zlotys in something that will later give you prospects for development, although this prospect is very different and I know of cases in which you put a lot of money into shops that did not survive even one year. It is not true that only big money guarantees success. You can spend millions at the start and close down after a year, you can spend a thousand zlotys at the start and operate for years.
Small shop small investment
In our example, I will assume that we do not have a particularly large budget. Does this mean we can't launch an online shop? Yes, we can. Can we get traffic to such a shop without investing in advertising? .... Hmmmm, that's a different matter and I certainly won't deny myself the pleasure of discussing it in another article. You will also find this topic more extensively discussed on my courses MeetWPto which you are cordially invited.
Setting up an online shop and start-up costs
You can have an online shop for a few hundred zlotys or for a few hundred thousand... in fact, there is no upper limit. The price range is huge, but the main determinant is your requirements and expectations. As I mentioned, we are not analysing high-budget cases here, but looking for a way to set up a shop with as little financial outlay as possible. However, it is not possible to completely escape from costs, unless you aim at amateurism and are one of those people who, as I mentioned at the beginning, say "I will set up a test shop and see". I assume that this is not the case.
Certainly the necessary minimum investment is:
- server space (hosting),
- the address of the shop, i.e. the domain,
- SSL certificate - increasing security of the shop - on most hosts it is available in free and paid versions
- and the key is the actual webshop application
However, we will treat the last point more as our own investment of time, as we will discuss Open Source solutions where the shop licence is available to everyone free of charge. The first significant saving.
Basic hosting For a shop at the beginning you will have in the range of about 200-300 PLN net per year. If the shop grows it will be necessary to move to something bigger, but at the beginning this minimum should be enough. Unless you are planning dropshipping model shop with thousands of products imported and synchronized with wholesale databases, which has a chance to quickly start generating significant traffic and thus substantial load. In such a situation it is worth to look around for a VPS.
Domain That is, you can have a shop address for a few dozen zlotys per year. So it is not a big expense.
For this you need SSL certificatewhich will secure the data transmission between the Customer's browser and the shop. Unfortunately, the subject of security is still ignored by a considerable number of shop owners, although this phenomenon is gradually decreasing. Do not make this mistake. Personally, I cannot imagine making a purchase in a place which does not provide me as a Customer with proper protection. In my opinion, the lack of a certificate is a symptom of incompetence and ignorance. The lack of it may negatively influence the perception of your business and effectively lower the conversion rate, while it is about something completely different.
If you lose trust on the day, it will be much harder to sell. You can buy an SSL certificate from your hosting provider or elsewhere for around £100 per year, and in the basic version it is increasingly becoming a free addition to your hosting account.
To sum up the minimum variant: server space 200 PLN (the first year may be cheaper), domain registration on average 20 PLN, SSL certificate if you do not have it for free about 80 PLN. Total investment in our example is about 300 zł. If your budget is bigger consider more efficient hosting account.
Online shop software
How do I set up an online shop step by step and what does it involve? First of all, you need the right software.
Above in the videos I've already basically recommended a solution in the form of WordPress and the Woocommerce extension and we could stop there, because it's a perfectly adequate environment to start selling online and doesn't require a lot of money. If you don't know what WordPress is, read the article: What is WordPress. But of course, this is not the only way you can go. You have many other open source solutions at your disposal, such as Prestashop, Magento etc., where you will not pay for the licence as you would for WordPress.
Costs of setting up a shop
Since we decide on an open source solution, there are no costs. However, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that in most cases, this type of solutions require skilful implementation and adjustment of the shop to the specific needs and specificity of a given business. If you cannot cope with this task on your own, you will be forced to find someone who will do it for you and do it well. If it's someone you know, you can probably make a deal, but if you don't have anyone like that, then you need to outsource the task to an agency and pay for the service. This, however, may prove to be an unaffordable expense.
Sensibly designed and implemented shops, including those based on OpenSource software, cost from about PLN 5,000 net upwards. Of course you will find companies and freelancers who will charge 1000 PLN or less for a shop, but believe me, I have seen many such implementations and the truth is that most of them I would throw in the trash right away.
Some implementations allowed me to sincerely doubt whether the contractor actually knows how to set up an online shop that will benefit the investor in the long run. Or else. He knows how to set up a shop, but not much more, and this is a bit too little if he undertakes such services and takes money for them. Therefore, if you do not have at least 5 thousand zlotys to set up an online shop, do not get involved in a thousand-dollar project, because there is little chance that your shop will conquer the Internet and give you freedom of action.
I will even say more. If you have that £5,000 for your shop, and this will come as a surprise, don't spend it on external implementation either! Why not? Launching a shop is one thing, getting traffic and sales is another. If you use your entire budget to pay an agency, you won't have any money for advertising, and that's a straightforward way of putting your project on the back burner.
With a budget of 5,000 PLN, build the shop on your own, minimising costs, and invest everything that remains in campaigns such as Facebook or Google Ads - depending on your preferences and the effectiveness of a given channel. You will definitely have more advantages if you decide to make an online shop yourself.
Do it yourself
Do you think I'm crazy to encourage you to build an online shop by yourself? Many of my clients, students and JZS readers have set up and successfully run an online shop this way, and close to 100% of them have never had any contact with web development before, not even the simplest ones.
You can do it too, if only you are willing to take the time to learn and acquire new skills. Later in this article I will show you step by step how to set up an online shop from the comfort of your own home. You can repeat these steps to become a proud shop owner after a short while.
You can find a lot of educational material on how to set up an online shop on the web. You can use my tips on JZS, my YouTube channel as well as courses on PoznajWP.pl. No matter what source you start from, you will be able to tackle this task in a relatively short time. If you find that this is beyond you or you do not have the time, then seek external support.
The advantage of such a path is that the shop is indeed yoursYou know its every nook and cranny, you know how to redecorate it and adapt it to your own and your clients' needs, which are constantly evolving.
You can plan and implement effective marketing campaigns, purchase funnels and other various strategies, because you have 100% control over your shop and you have the will/eagerness to learn it. The worst thing that can happen to you is to spend several thousand zlotys on a program in which the only thing you will be able to do is add products and process orders. You may say. What do you mean? That's what an online shop is supposed to do. Yes, but today it is definitely not enough to fight against the ever-growing and better-performing competition, it is not enough to fight effectively for the customer's attention and money.
Products in the webshop
You can sell practically anything you want. From physical products to access to content, services, files, etc... different attributes such as size, colour or anything else your products require. With a little perseverance, you can enhance your shop with many add-ons such as product wizards and sell personalised goods, which are becoming increasingly popular. As an example, you can check out t-shirt creatorwhich is based on WordPress and Woocommerce.
You can group products into categories and describe them with tags, which may facilitate their search in the shop. You can organise promotions, generate discount coupons, use upselling, control stock levels and many other aspects connected with sales processes. Basically, you have everything you need to make your shop function as standard.
If you wish integrate your online shop with a wholesaler from which you take goods, so as to automatically update stocks, prices, descriptions or whatever you want, this is also possible. There are extensions that handle this task, such as WP All Imports. But beware here, these types of tools require more powerful hosting accounts.
Shop integration with Allegro? There are paid extensions that will provide such integration. Ceneo? This is also doable.
Do you use an onLine invoicing system, such as wFirma, inFakt or others? You will find extensions that integrate your online shop with these tools, which will automate accounting processes and give you more time for shop development.
Payments in the webshop
In the standard version, you have built-in basic payment methods such as PayPal or bank transfer payments. Theoretically you are able to run your shop using only these methods, however PayPal is not as popular in Poland as it is in the West, so it is worth adding an additional extension integrating your shop with popular in our country payment channels via e-banking such as mBank etc... This can be done for example by such platforms as tPay.com, DotPay.eu, PayU and the like. My recommendation? Check tPay.comand if you join WooCommerce Course Online Shop you will be able to activate tPay with reduced transaction fees.
You can configure virtually any delivery method For example, Post Office, Courier, Personal Collection etc... For each method you can define the rates, differentiating them according to the country the parcel is to be delivered to. There are also extensions that directly integrate your shop with the systems of such operators as DHL, DPD, Inpost including Paczkomaty etc... so you are able to extend your shop with delivery methods that will be the most advantageous for you and your clients.
Some courier companies provide their own solutions for shops that have contracts with them. You need to ask around. Platforms integrating your shop with many carriers, e.g. apaczka.pl, Furgonetka etc., are also popular. The advantage of such solutions is that you have attractive shipping prices right from the start, which may be difficult to negotiate with the carrier if you are just starting out and you do not send much yet.
Invoices in the webshop
I have already mentioned this. By default the system does not offer an invoicing system. So if an order comes in you have to issue an invoice manually in the system you are using, but if you want to automate this process it is possible. For example, integration of the shop with InFakt, iFirma, wFirma or issuing invoices directly in the shop.
How many products can I have in my shop and what does starting a large shop entail?
There are no limits on the number of products, like some of the services available in the SaaS model. There are shops running on WordPress + Woocommerce duo, which handle hundreds of thousands of products and very high traffic. Yes, such large projects already require a server infrastructure that is expensive to maintain, but there are no problems with them.
In fact, the number of products is of secondary importance in terms of technical requirements. You can have a shop with thousands of products, but if it will be visited by 5 customers a day, such a shop will not be expensive to maintain - but it will not earn money either 🙂 Larger needs will arise with the increase in traffic, which will consume more and more server resources. However, high traffic usually goes hand in hand with the popularity of products, as well as with an increase in sales. In such a situation, if you don't make a mistake somewhere along the way, you shouldn't have much trouble maintaining it.
At the beginning you can confidently use shared hosting. In time, which I warmly wish for you, it will probably be necessary to move to a VPS, dedicated server or other infrastructure you find suitable. And constant optimisation, optimisation and more optimisation. We talk a lot about it on PoznajWP.pl courses.
How to set up an online shop step by step
Enough theorising, we move on to practical issues. I will show you a simple way how to set up an online shop based on the aforementioned WordPress + Woocomerce duo, and in the next part we will look at the procedure of setting up a shop on another popular software, Prestashop.
Why WordPress + WooCommerce?
You will find a huge number of products on the market that allow you to start selling online, but only a few offer two extremely important features. This is . ease of use and scalability. WordPress and WooCommerce are second to none in this field! If you look at the hard stats, they only confirm these words.
Look at the data from W3Techs regarding the CMS market, but also see how rapidly WordPress and WooCommerce are growing in market share.
Here are the figures for October 2019:
Below are the same metrics but from December 2020. In 14 months, a jump from just under 35% to nearly 40%
And then there are the figures for June 2021. You can see the continued dynamic growth very clearly and even something else. The fastest growing solutions have also jumped Elementor knocking Shopify off the podium. Elementor is another popular extension for WordPress, meaning that the three fastest growing solutions belong to the WordPress environment!
Compare the data from these periods. You can see that the popularity of WordPress, and by extension the WooCommerce shop, is crushing compared to other solutions.
Globally, more than one in three websites you come across online is WordPressand when it comes to the biggest increases in the use of this system, it also tops the podium here, closely followed by its extension for the WooCommerce online shop.
How to set up an online shop WordPress + Woocommerce
You already know that to start an online shop you need server space, an address (domain) and the software itself. If you do not have server space and a domain, set them up based on the description you find on the "Creating a hosting account" or watch the video I posted at the beginning of this article. For a shop that is by definition more demanding than a simple business card page, I recommend WP Plus or WP Elit package.
WP Plus account
For How to Make a Website readers only!
The first month 10 PLN net!
After setting up your hosting account, log in to the Panel (you should have received the details in the emails after activating the service). In the left main menu, find the WordPress section. This looks like the screenshot below.
Then click on the Install button.
In the next step, fill in the form with basic data needed by the installer. Thus, specify the domain under which the shop is to be installed, select the protocol https:// or with WWW prefix https://www. This is important because then your shop will use SSL certificatewhich I mentioned earlier. In the account you set up above you have an SSL certificate free of charge as standard.
The most important thing at this stage is to choose the right set of plugins and themes, which will automatically create all the necessary mechanisms for an online shop. Just choose E-Commerce pack + Elementor + OceanWP from the list of sets to enjoy a great online shop in a moment.
You can leave the other form fields with their default values.
Finally, click on the installation button and wait a moment until you see the completion message. The installation process also introduces a number of security features to your future shop, which you can easily manage from this panel.
Finally, the system will ask you if you want to install any additional extensions. You can decide.
Important: If you choose to install the full eCommerce suite, after installing WordPress itself, the system will proceed to automatically install further extensions for your shop. You can track the progress in the bottom right corner of your browser window. Wait patiently until this process is complete.
If everything went successfully activate the SSL certificate for your shop. Just go to the Let's Encrypt section and start the automatic certificate installation process.
You can watch the process of installing an SSL certificate for your shop in the video below.
Wordpress is already installed with full web shop functionality. All that remains is to configure it according to your needs. However, before you log in, let's go to the Themes tab and activate the theme that was installed with the selected set. In our example, it is the OceanWP theme.
You can now log in.
We configure Woocommerce
From the main menu on the left, select: Updates -> and then run an update of the translations and other items if available.
After updating the translation packages of each add-on (the process will run automatically). Click on the button to activate the shop configuration wizard. It will look more or less like this:
You will start the basic shop setup process in just a few steps.
You can use it or not. If you omit it, nothing bad will happen. You can fully manage the configuration in the settings section of your shop. I usually skip this process because Woo asks questions here that have little to do with shop configuration, and are primarily for collecting shop data for marketing efforts. But let's take a look at them.
The first step is the address of your shop:
Step number 2 is to indicate the industry in which we operate:
Step number 3, is the type of products you will be selling. Physical products or downloadable products. The other options, as you can see, are incentives for paid manufacturer add-ons. Feel free to tick the first two options and move on.
Step 4, these are further questions of a marketing nature. Asking about the number of products, asking if you already have a shop or are selling on another platform, if you choose YES, you will get a question about the sales generated, etc... In the example below, I answered that I don't have any products yet and I don't sell anything anywhere.
Here you can also activate additional plugins to integrate your shop with Facebook, the MailChimp mailing system and Google Ads. You decide what you want to install.
The last step is the theme. In this case, simply click on the button next to the theme you already have installed.
Earlier versions of WooCommerce allowed in the wizard to activate PayPal payment, configure basic shipping costs and set some other options. Now this is not there, but of course you'll find everything in the settings so rest assured 🙂 .
We still need to select a shop style and import sample data. This will give you an easier overview of how e.g. products function in the shop. Go to Theme Panel > Install Demos.
Then select the Ecommerce category and one of the available styles to import.
Proceed to the next data import step by clicking on the button:
When asked what you want to import, don't change anything. Leave the default import all and finally run the process.
Wait patiently, and when the import is complete run the address of your shop and see how it looks.
Now you have to get to know the environment of your new shop, click here and there, install additional extensions at your own discretion. You decide how your shop will look like and what possibilities it will have. You can choose from a huge number of free extensions and an equally impressive base of commercial plug-ins, some of which are real gems.
Mobile application for the shop
It used to be said that trade was moving from the real to the virtual world. Today, in the era of COVID, this phenomenon has intensified even more, but the truth is that a shop website alone may not be enough, because more and more people buying online use smartphones and shop applications or platforms, which is often much more convenient than buying on a responsive website. For the retailer, on the other hand, there are new opportunities, such as communication via push notifications, which, if skilfully used, can bring a noticeable increase in sales.
Mobile applications for eCommerce projects are expensive, even very expensive. I am not talking about costs of a few thousand PLN, but of tens or even hundreds, or even higher. For people starting their adventure with online sales this is usually an unattainable rarity, but there are wizards that allow you to build a native mobile application without coding, which is a great alternative that the vast majority of shop owners can afford. Such wizards cost between PLN 100-500 per month.
And now the most important! You can use the mobile app builder that will communicate with your WooCommerce shop free of charge in a situation when you own a WordPress Hosting in WP Plus plan or higher. If you purchase hosting with an annual subscription, you will additionally benefit from a thirty-minute individual online consultation, during which you will receive guidance on topics related to shop management, selection of add-ons, theme, or the mobile app creator itself.
Other themes I recommend
OceanWP is a very good theme, but that does not mean it is the only one worth recommending. Among those that offer very good code quality and a high level of flexibility, I can also mention Astra i Kadence i Blocks. You can read a little more about them in the article "Best WordPress Themes“.
I especially want to point out Kadence in the PRO version, where you get access to, among others, extensions enriching the functionality of your WooCommerce shop. Plugin Kadence Woo Extras You can buy it independently and use it also on another theme, but experience shows that it works best with a theme that was created by the same development team. If you like its features you will find:
- product galleries,
- customised messages in the shopping basket, depending on its contents
- visual presentation of product variants (e.g. colours, sizes, etc...)
- a module allowing the creation of size windows, e.g. for clothing
- control of the way prices for products with variants are displayed
- additional descriptions for categories
- manage your own order form fields
- and others...
I recommend you to use Kadence theme and its PRO Woo Extras extension. On the other hand, Astra PRO version has a very rich library of ready-made startup pages/store.
Shop Builder Course - Learn the system you work on
One important factor that has a real impact on whether or not you are successful is excellent knowledge of the tools on which your online shop operates. The process of getting it up and running, as you can see, is trivially simple, but it is just the first step on a much longer road to your goal.
Do everything you can to get to know the possibilities your shop offers you and you may be surprised, but I don't mean that you should learn how to add products. Yes, that too, but what I'm talking about here is mastering the tools so that you are able to plan and implement your own growth strategies.
This means that you should know WordPress very well on many levels: know how to choose extensions, know how to install them, configure them, integrate them and finally learn how to optimise your own online shop for SEO. If you don't learn how to effectively use your shop's capabilities you have little chance of success. Sounds dangerous? Do you know that every day there are dozens of online shops on the Polish Internet? Do you think that the Internet has room for all of them? Only those whose owners make informed decisions and can plan accordingly will survive. So invest your time in learning. Learn about the CMS and at least the basics related to internet marketing.
There are further stages ahead of you. The Internet is a huge knowledge base, so if you wish you can reach a lot of content that will support your education. In the case of WordPress, I invite you to the educational platform PoznajWP.plwhere you will find, among other things Extensive course on WordPress and WooCommerce shop. It will help you understand and exploit the potential of this system, not to mention the huge time savings.
Act out of the box
A basic mistake of people who are making their first steps is the belief that it is enough to set up an online shop, throw as many products as possible from a large warehouse, preferably using automatic import mechanisms, and the world will fall at your feet. Eh, if it were that simple 🙂 .
However, this will not happen. Make sure your shop stands out from the competition, especially if you intend to sell products that are abundant on the "shelves" of other online shops.
Ask yourself why someone should buy from you. If you have the same descriptions as others, if you use the same pictures as others, what is to make a "Kowalski" choose your shop? Price? You want to fight only with the price and reduce your margin to absurd levels? This is a road to nowhere.
Create your own product descriptions and images, at least for the ones you care about most. Show that you are not the same as dozens of other shops, that you are different, better and that you are the one worth trusting.
A shop run this way requires more commitment, but the results are much better. Support your operations with additional tools such as Glorify whether Crello to create great product graphics. And remember, Google doesn't like duplicates! Duplicate content will effectively hinder you from gaining organic traffic from the search engine.
And how is the shop activated on classic hosting?
In the video below you can see the whole procedure. In 2 minutes I install WordPress and set up a basic online shop on Woocommerce. I used the free Storefront shop theme this time, but you can install any other. You can find a visually attractive database of themes for Woocommerce on ThemeForest, among others. Link below the video.
How to set up a Prestashop online shop
Prestashop is one of the most popular open source systems on the market, allowing you to run your own online shop. In this case you also need server space, an address (domain) and software. If you don't have server space and a domain, you can set them up by clicking the button below. For a Prestashop-based shop I recommend the RED plan. You can order an account with discount for JZS 50% readers in the first accounting period (month or year).
Only for JZS readers annual subscription -50% with code JZS
PLN 15.37 incl. VAT
Basic parameters of the RED account
After creating an account, log in to the Panel (you should have received the data in the mail after activation of the service). On the main page find the "Applications" section on the left
On the next page go to All applications > Ecommerce and next to Prestashop click on the install button
In fact, you don't have to do anything else. The system will automatically download the latest version of Prestashop and perform the whole installation process. At the end you will see a summary and a link which will automatically take you to the shop management panel.
Click on the administration link, which will take you to the Presta management panel.
How to change Prestashop language version
In the next step we have to change the default language version from English to Polish, unless there is no need to do so. However, let's assume that we change it. To do this, go to the section International > Localization. Select Polish from the list of languages to import and click the Imports.
Once the language has been imported on the same page below change the settings for the default language:
That's not all. Go to your administrator profile settings and set the Polish language here as well.
After saving the changes, the shop interface will change to the Polish language.
Shop on Prestashop in its basic version is ready to use. Here you can also introduce your own configurations, possibly install additional plugins or a theme. The default theme at the moment of writing this text looks more or less like this:
And so we managed to install two shops running on two different management systems. Personally, I prefer Woocommerce, but I've also run quite a few shops on Presta and it's a worthy solution.
Woocommerce for me is more interesting because there are simply fewer problems with shops running on it and there are many more well working, non-conflicting extensions that enrich the functionality of the shop. You will find many lifetime deals on commercial, often great extensions, which also speak in favour of this solution, because fixed costs can be drastically minimised this way. If you attend my courses on MeetWP Be sure to take a look at our community and the topic with selected LTD offers.
How to set up an online shop in a different way
As I'm sure you've noticed, I mainly recommend the above-described path leading to your own shop with which you can do whatever you want. Especially if you are just starting out. However, if you don't feel like investing your time in knowledge, another way to start your own shop is to buy access to a SaaS platform of your choice.
This model is based on the fact that the shop software provider basically provides everything, i.e. space on the server, address for the shop and the software itself. The disadvantage is that you do not have access to the shop's files, you have no real influence (apart from making suggestions) on the development of the software and generally you are dependent on the provider in every field.
Unfortunately, this limits you very much in the context of implementing your own sales strategies, which is a serious drawback and personally I would not choose such a solution. The advantages are that in the package (monthly fee from several dozen to several hundred PLN) we have basically everything we need to run basic sales.
A very similar model is used for the online shop, which is available through various website builders and which is based on the popular ECWID sales system. However, the service differs slightly from the standard SaaS model. We can launch a website on our own hosting account, where an add-on will be an online shop "injected" into its framework.
We can create an informational website about our business, of which the web shop will be a part, and not the other way round. This is a relatively flexible solution because it is not focused solely on the online shop software itself, but allows you to treat the shop as an addition to your website or blog. However, exactly the same and much more can be done using the duo: WordPress + Woocommerce 🙂 .
The advantage of the ECWID system is that you can implement it on any website, even one written in pure HTML and also on WordPress. You just need to install an appropriate plug-in for integration: ecwid shopping cart.
However, if you would like to run a shop using WordPress, then use Woocommerce and you will have far more control over your shop.
Bigger shop, bigger investment and bigger challenge
What if you want to run a large online shop? Well, you already know that on WordPress and Presta it is possible, you can also use a shop in SaaS model. Moreover, you may want to consider buying commercial software or commissioning the design and implementation of a dedicated ecommerce application created from start to finish for your business model.
However, do not count on the fact that someone will do such work for you for a few hundred or a few thousand PLN. With large and complex ecommerce applications, the cost of their implementation and deployment can reach several hundred thousand PLN. Subsequent costs associated with the operation, development, maintenance of IT infrastructure, server and promotion limits this segment of activities to players with considerable capital.
A big shop also means big requirements concerning the hardware on which it should operate. Forget about standard shared hosting (although at the very beginning it may be enough). Sooner or later, however, you will be limited by the use of resources such as processor, operating memory, database, number of visits, etc... This will require investment in an appropriately powerful dedicated server, scalable Cloud solutions, or at least a powerful VPS. This means further costs not only related to the lease, but also related to the administration of such an environment.
Online shop security
When you decide to operate an online shop, you take responsibility for its condition. It is not the webmaster, but you who should monitor the security level in the first place and thus be the conscious owner of an online shop.
I've been working with websites for a quarter of a century and during that time I've come into contact with many developers and owners who completely disregarded security, even thinking that it's not their job. If they had a traditional shop, would they also not pay attention to its security? Certainly not.
An online shop is your shop and needs to be looked after just like a physical shop. Although the security measures themselves are different, they are by no means difficult or time-consuming. On the contrary. You will be less involved in online shop security than in offline shop security, if only because many processes can be automated.
If you are interested in a related issue, have a look at the article: What to look out for when securing your WooCommerce shop.
Where to look for help?
The decision to create an online shop on your own is an important step. This will give you and your project a chance to be independent and develop in the direction which is best for your business.
However, you must be aware that the know-how itself on how to set up an online shop is not complicated, but adapting it appropriately to your specific needs requires much more commitment. You need a lot of patience and structured knowledge.
Most people set up their online shop only to abandon the project after 2-3 months. They usually say: It does not work. However, the reason for failure in most cases is simply a lack of knowledge and experience. In fact, this applies to everything you do. If you do not master the techniques and methods of working with your shop, if you do not understand its possibilities and do not learn how to use them, your chances of survival in the huge jungle of competition will be close if not zero.
That is why I decided to prepare, apart from short films on the YouTube channel (I invite you to subscribe, by the way), extensive educational materials in the form of videos. I guide you step by step through the secrets of creating and running an online shop, answering not only the question "How to set up an online shop", but also how to run and develop it. Be sure to take a look at the address https://poznajwp.pl to choose the courses that will help you realise your idea.
HelloWP - Enhance your skills
However, onLine courses alone are not enough. Participants of PoznajWP trainings have the opportunity to benefit from additional support from our HelloWP community. It's course extensions, additional articles, videos and discussions so you don't feel left out.
Have a problem with something? You simply ask, and other participants, myself included, try to help you. You probably want your company to have a better chance of breaking through in a crowded market. So give yourself such a chance by joining our community!
To sum up. I hope you have learned quite a bit about this How to set up an online shop and what this entails. As you may have noticed an online shop can be launched in an uncomplicated way by installing the software yourself or by running it in a SaaS model. However, what I have stressed repeatedly throughout this article, I also want to emphasise in conclusion. If you take your time to learn and set up a shop on your own, even if it's a WordPress + Woocommerce duo, you can achieve more than someone who spends a few thousand zlotys on a turnkey shop with which he or she will still not be able to do much - apart from uploading products and changing order statuses.
Creating an online shop is not something you can't handle. You don't need an IT specialist or even a graphic designer to do it. But there are many pitfalls and you will certainly have to pay the price. How big it will be depends entirely on you.
You should carefully analyse your needs and expectations. Then you choose your tools with this in mind and get to work 🙂 .
How to set up an online shop - short video transcript
Welcome to you. Today I would like to show you how to set up an online shop based on WordPress and WooComerce duo. You might say: OK, but why should I make another video? There is already one on your channel. Yes, it is, except that there we use a slightly different set of tools. It is as up-to-date as possible, I am sending you the link, you can click and watch it.
Today we will try to launch a shop using one of my favourite themes, namely using Astra. How to start a shop if we don't have anything and don't have a clue about it yet. Here we go.
Before we move on to discussing step by step how to set up an online shop, let us consider what we actually need in order to make a shop appear on the web. In fact, three things are needed. The first is the address or domain. It is like in the real world, if you know the address of the shop you want to go to, you will find it and you will probably buy something, but if you do not know the address, you start to wander around and eventually end up at the competition of the shop you were originally looking for. There must be a specific address that your customers will also know later. This address will also function in search engines.
The second extremely important element is server space, i.e. hosting. This is where the files of your system will lie and where they will work. This is also an extremely important element.
And the third is the software for your online shop, with which you will be able to freely and conveniently manage your products, orders, functionality and design.
When it comes to hosting, I would like to point out something that is very often ignored, look for good hosting. A good one, not the cheapest! If you plan to launch your online shop based on WordPress and WooComerce, turn your gaze towards services dedicated to this very solution.
What I suggest to you - take a look at how -to- make-a-page.co.uk. Here you will find two series of hosting services. The standard one, which is basically what you can find at many other companies, and the hosting that is exclusively for WordPress and its environment.
And this is the hosting I recommend If we look at the packages, I suggest WP Plus plan for 95 PLN per month. Of course if you want you can take a lower one for 45 PLN.
What is the procedure for starting this service. We proceed by clicking the order button and in the first step we will choose the address of our Internet shop. We enter e.g. sklepxyz.pl and we will see if such address is free. We click on the button Check . The system analyses and we will get the feedback immediately. Congratulations! sklepxyz.pl is an available domain. If it is occupied we will also have this message. Then you have to look further. We combine with the names of addresses to finally find one that will suit us best and of course will be available for registration.
We have summary information. WP Plus account and details about it and the billing period. We can settle monthly or we can pay for a year straight away and then two months are free.
Additionally, at the time of recording this video, there is an offer available in which if you decide to buy a hosting account and pay for the whole year at once, you will receive a WordPress course and a WooCommerce course worth almost PLN 400 for free. It's a tasty morsel, but I don't know when you'll be watching this one and whether this offer will still be available then. You'll have to check back.
A mega injection of knowledge and automatically your shop will have a much better chance of actually getting off the ground.
In our example, we will choose a monthly subscription. Next, we have information on whether we want our subscriber data to be published in the Whois database. This is a register of domain subscribers. We go further. We have a summary of the order.
Go on, fill in the form with the details of the service owner, define a password for the customer panel and select a payment method.
The subject is settled. And what will happen now? To our e-mail, which we provide just in this form, will come information confirming the order, as well as an important e-mail under the title hosting account data.
I ask you to read this e-mail carefully because it contains important information. Information about your hosting account on which you will soon set up your online shop. How to log in, as well as a link to the videos which will allow you to take your first steps. You can also find these videos on this page. "First steps with WordPress hosting" so you can watch them even earlier.
On the other hand, if they weren't there because you know the site is alive, there's sure to be a link in the email. Click and watch.
We proceed to the installation of our online shop. We are already in hosting account panel. Here we have Twojafirma.pl domain. We have registered it.
We look for a place where we can run the installer. And click on the Install button! Alternatively, on the left hand side we select the WordPress tab and here we will also have access to the installation.
So we install. The installation process shall start. A window will appear where we can choose a domain, i.e. the address of our online shop, under which it will function.
Set of plug-ins - we'll get to that shortly. Language. Choose "Polish". If English appears by default, just expand the list, find Polish and select it.
Version: we don't touch this either. Here will always be the latest version of WordPress. Moving on, we have the user details: username its password and email. We can modify this, but. This will be the data with which we log into WordPress.
We go on - 'Databases'. If you wish, you can of course modify this data, but if not, we may not even develop it.
Automatic update settings.
I also suggest to leave it as it is, i.e. WordPress will update its main core when there are some smaller updates, smaller fixes. On the other hand, all major updates: themes, plugins will be updated on our own. Why? Because if there is a big jump between versions of a theme or a plugin or WordPress itself, it may turn out that something is not right, e.g. there will be a conflict between a plugin and WordPress, plugin X and plugin Y, plugin and theme, etc. In such a situation, if we had the update process 100% automated, it could turn out that we live in ignorance when something bad happened on our site. That is why I suggest to leave it as it is. We do not move it.
We're back to the "Set of plugins and themes" option. And this is important, because it makes life incredibly easy. If we left these settings exactly the way we have them at the moment, then WordPress would be virgin after installation. We would have to install plugins: one, two, three. Install a theme. We'd have to do all this independently, and we won't always know what plugins to install and what theme to choose? We'd be wasting a ton of time on this.
However, if we choose a ready-made set. This time will be very shortened. We have several of them here. As far as the Internet shop is concerned, there are two e-commerce packages. The first one we used in the previous film. Today we will choose e-commerce pack with Elementor and Astra theme.
Select the set and click on the "install" button. This is basically it. Downloading, unpacking. In a moment we will be creating the base, configuring the installation, securing the website. Well, securing a website is also very important. This hosting account automatically introduces a number of security features which a standard hosting would not! The account does a lot of things for you 🙂 .
The message WordPress has been installed appears and the question is do we install additional plugins or not? We're not installing because we've already selected a package, so the whole plugin installation process continues in the background. Take note, the suite is being installed. So let's keep it working, and in the meantime, two three sentences about the interface.
What do we have here? Preview on the left. This is what our online shop looks like at the moment. This is the default WordPress skin, right after installing it. Nothing interesting, but we will change it.
Is there an SSL certificate installed and activated? It is. OK. Security status. If we go to its view, we will be able to check what security measures have already been introduced during the installation, and which can be additionally introduced manually. To do this, just select the desired options and secure.
Update, this is the third item in this section of the panel. Everything is updated because we have a fresh installation so we don't need to do anything. But if we would look in this place in a week, in a fortnight, it will certainly appear information that there are components to update. When we then go to the view, we can instantly check from this level what is to be updated. Click once and everything updates automatically.
OK. We have the set installed. On the right side we see general information about the installation and additional tools such as a file manager, the ability to synchronize or copy data.
What is the purpose of this? You have an online shop that is already up and running. Customers visit it and make purchases. There comes a moment when you want to make some bigger changes, e.g. you want to install a more powerful plugin or you need to make an update and there is a big jump between one version of WordPress and another. You don't know if our online shop won't fall apart when we do it on the production version. There is traffic there all the time!
We therefore use cloning for this purpose. Our website will be cloned 1:1 and run as an independently functioning copy. On the clone we can experiment without stress. We can make changes, install a plugin, change the theme, whatever we want. Everything works? OK. Only then do we implement the modifications on the production version.
Below are additional settings. I suggest, especially when the shop is newly installed, to deselect the option" indexing by search engines". Our online shop is not ready yet, so if search engine bots come across it, they will start to index it and place information about it in their databases (read search results).
Plugins section. We can see what we already have in our shop. A set that was automatically installed: apache, Elementor - a very cool tool with which you will be able to conveniently manage the visual side of your shop. Next, we have another plug-in concerning shipping, which is required when it comes to apaczka.
We also have InPost in our package. So if you wanted, if you wanted to use just InPost as part of your online shop you have it on board .
SEO optimisation is a very important thing! If it is about this plug-in you will find a course on working with this extension on PoznajWP.
Moving on. Tpay payment gateway. All major Polish electronic payment channels in one bag.
Another Stripe payment plugin. Very interesting. It allows to implement card payments on our website. And you may think that in Poland people are afraid to pay by cards, but I will tell you that they are not afraid at all. I myself was surprised when I implemented this mechanism on PoznajWP. It turned out that about 75% of people used this payment gateway in the first three weeks. It is worth having a look at it.
You can deactivate each plugin here or uninstall it if you no longer need it. We also have an extension regarding RODO.
This is the kit that we have installed on the day, without any further intervention on our part.
Now if we go to themes we see Astra, which is also already installed but not active. We have the default WordPress theme active. With one click we will switch to Astra.
So much for the basic information about this interface, but the possibilities are much greater in practice.
We move on to the shop. That is, to the management panel and we log into our WordPress cockpit.
We've got an update on the day: Run the WooCommerce shop installation wizard. Here we change the address of our shop. We choose the currency and select the option on what products we plan to sell. Physical and virtual products.
Moving on. Payments: PayPal active. If you want to, you'll want to use it.
Shipping configuration. Flat rate of 15 PLN. Other zones will be set at 50 PLN. I am not going to explain it now, because the lesson would be very complex. If you are interested in details on how to configure yourself, have a look at PoznajWP.
We configure the shipping details and associated costs. Going forward. Automatic tax rates, MailChimp if we use that service. It's a mailing list management system. Do we want to integrate with Facebook? You can also tick this of course if you are active in social media and of course Facebook.
The basic configuration has been implemented. We could now create a product or import products from a CSV file if we have one, and go to the cockpit of our newly created shop.
Has anything changed on our website? Not much visually, right? We have a basket, we have a subpage My Account, we have a shop tab, we have an order tab, but it still doesn't look like a shop.
We need to take one more step. We have installed Astra. We need to install an importer that will import the finished look of the shop with sample products, which may make it easier for us later on to work and understand certain mechanisms of the shop.
We have templates for blog, for company website, WooCommerce, free and commercial. We choose WooCommerce of course because after all, we are setting up an online shop. We narrow down the list of templates to shops. Pay attention to one thing. By some of them there is a mark "Agency". What does it mean? It means that these skins are available only for import for people who have commercial version of Astra theme. We do not have it. I rely on the free version, so I will install something that does not have this mark.
The import is complete so we can see if our site has changed. Attention: the moment of truth. It has changed! This is our new shop. This is how it looks. If we went back to our hosting account and refreshed our data, it will update here too.
What I suggest, if you care about spending as little time and making as few mistakes as possible, invest your time in learning as much as possible about the capabilities of this environment. Learn WordPress learn WooCommerce. If you know this environment, you will know what it can do for you and your business.
You have to spend a lot of time on this, but if you learn how to work with these tools, you will also save a lot of time. That is why I warmly invite you to visit PoznajWP, where you will find appropriate courses on this subject.
You can actually do a lot, a lot, without having to involve IT people. You are able to do it yourself, but you have to learn how to work with these tools.
Thank you very much for your attention. As you can see, setting up an online shop is easy, right? It doesn't require much commitment. If I talked less, I think we could get this web shop up and running in 10 minutes.
I wish you all the best. See you on the next films. Regards.
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