Thanks to WordPress and Woocommerce, creating an e-commerce website is now very easy.
Moreover, there is no better time to start selling online than now when the effect of the COVID-19 has taken its toll on many businesses. The success of e-commerce businesses has been so impacting that even established organisations have started online selling not just as a complementary effort but as their main shop.
And why WordPress?
Because WordPress is a robust tool for managing your website. It is free and easy to use. It powers over 75% of the entire global websites. It is a content management system (CMS). It is much easier to get support online for any issue you may face when developing your website. WordPress also has fantastic themes and plugins to make your job easier, both free and at a fee (premium).
Factors to consider before building your e-commerce shop.
- Web hosting: A good web hosting service provider will make your life easy. Very few web hosting companies are proactive and responsive when it comes to customer support. Before choosing a web host, I will recommend that you do your due diligence. Find out about them online and if you can’t find much reviews about them, send them an email and factor in their response time. Make sure the web hosting company offers quality service and their rates are affordable. For a good local (Nigerian) web host, I will recommend Hostlag.
- Domain Name: A good domain name is better than expensive marketing. Choose a domain name that people can easily relate with, choose a name that when people see it or hear it, they can easily determine your line of business. As an advice, I will suggest that you choose a domain name that is not more than two to three syllables. Also, go for a domain extension that will help your domain name rank faster.
- Themes/Plugins: Choosing the right theme for your e-commerce business will make your job easier. In case you want to engage a developer to help you develop your website, let the developer send you different e-Commerce themes that talk about your niche or line of business. Review the themes and choose the best one you think is good for you. Some themes will even help with your SEO (search engine optimization) because some basic SEO elements come with the theme. Choosing the right theme and plugins is an added advantage for you. We will discuss what SEO is some other time and you can also check our previous blogs for SEO meaning.
- Payment gateway: If you are a Nigerian business, you have a variety of choices to choose from. I will recommend that you choose either Paystack, Flutterwave or Quickteller. Personally, I’ve always worked with the first two.
- SSL Certificate: Security is very important to your online store. Get a Comodo positive SSL or any genuine certificate. Comodo and Sectigo is the same company and I will recommend them any day any time, because they have been tried and tested. However, even if SSL is installed on your domain (website), you must continue to monitor your website to avoid any cyber-attack on your site. Tools like Wordfence and many others can be used for this purpose.
The factors listed above are major for your online experience. There are also options of using site builders like Shopify, Wix, and others for your online shop. But the reason I don’t recommend such is because your online shop will be at the mercy of another company. You can’t make decisions on your own. You must abide by their policies, terms and conditions, and even they can decide to increase the price at any time.
If you decide to build your own e-commerce store, all your need is a good web host and I recommended Hostlag for you if you are in Nigeria. Get your server (hosting) and domain names registration from them and either build your site yourself or engage a developer even though Hostlag is a Nigerian company, they are not limited to only Nigeria, you can also make payment in dollars when you buy your domain names and hosting from them.
Also Woocommerce is not the only e-commerce plugin used in building an online store. There are several of them and you can always find out on your own. What I have done is to recommend what works best for me.