In this post I am going to take you through the basic steps of starting an online store with ShopWired. From signing up to your free trial to making your store go live and all the good stuff in between! If you haven't checked it out already then take a look at our Full ShopWired Review.
If you want to know how to start an online shop in the right way, then check out my How to Start an Online Shop - The Ultimate Beginner's Guide post.
Now before I get into the post, I want to let you know that this post does contain affiliate links which means that if you click one of the links and purchase their service then I receive a referral commission.
Sign Up for your Free ShopWired Trial
Signing up with ShopWired is super easily, simply fill out the form with your email address, name, business name, create a password, check the ReCaptcha box and finally click the start your free trial button. It really is as simple as that!
You will then receive some emails from ShopWired confirming your trial has started and also providing you will a link to log into the admin area of your website.
Set Up Tutorial
When you first log into your admin area you will be greeted by an extremely helpful Setup Tutorial to take you through all the steps needed to get your store ready to go live!
Step 1: Your Business Information
The first part of the setup tutorial is to enter all of your businesses information. This is a really important step as it is a legal requirement for all UK businesses to display their business info on the website.
Now the business information you need to list is all the basic requirements such as your business name, address, contact number and email address. On this page you can also uploaded your company logo and favicon to start branding your site for your business.
Once you have entered your business info, click the green button at the bottom to return to the tutorial. On the business info section of the tutorial, you can also configure your VAT settings if your business is VAT registered.
Step 2: Create A Category
The next step is to start working towards populating your new store with products but before you add your first product you want to start building your sites navigation in the form of product categories.
Creating a category is a simple process as all you need to input is the category title, add a description and an image for the category. Further down the page you have the options to add an alt title to the image, make this category a featured category or make it sub category. At the very bottom of the page are your SEO features where you can add a meta title, description and keywords, you can also alter the URL.
Step 3: Create a Product
You can now start adding products your website and can organise them using the categories you created above.
The first part of the add product page looks exactly the same as the create category with the product name and description at the top of the page. The difference comes when you move further down the page as you have far more options and I have shown a couple of these in the image above but the full list consists of:
- Choose a Product Category
- Add Price, the more pricing option allows you to add a sale price and a compare price
- Stock Management which includes adding a SKU code, available quantity, HS Tariff Code (for international sellers), weight and a specific delivery price
- Product Variations
- Related Products
- Additional Info such as MPN number
At the very bottom you have the option to customise all your SEO meta information to help get your products ranking well in search engines.
Step 4: Setup Your Checkout
The next step in the setup tutorial is to configure your checkout so that you can get paid when you sell an item.
The first part of setting up your checkout is to configure your payment gateway. Once you click through to this page, you will be presented with a list of payment gateways to choose from. Simply select the gateway you want and follow the steps to get it configured properly.
The next part of configuring your checkout is to set up your delivery rates. With ShopWired you can setup delivery rates for separate countries around the world which is great if you sell internationally. You can then set multiple rates with your selected country (referred to as zones).
As you can see, there are already a couple of default methods setup for the UK. You can either edit these by clicking on them or you can add your own delivery rate by clicking the Add A New Delivery Rate option. At the bottom of the page you can select your default delivery country.
Step 5: Choose a Theme
The next step in the tutorial is to start making your online store look good and that comes in choosing a theme for your storefront. ShopWired have a stunning selection of 19 free and 5 paid themes and there is enough choice to choose one that fits your business.
If you want a custom theme then you can contact the guys at ShopWired and they can create you a custom theme for £1795 + vat.
Customising Your Theme
While the themes are great out of the box, you still want to customise them so that they fit your business and brand.
With ShopWired, you do all of the customising in the back end of the site and they give you three main options:
- Style Editor - the main area for making changes. You can customise the colours used on your site and also change the default text that is placed in certain areas.
- Theme Settings - Gives you control over some image settings and locations of link lists around your site.
- Page Editor - As stated, this is for advanced users only who have a good knowledge of HTML and CSS as you altering the code of the theme directly.
You also have a theme notes section, which gives you all the information relating to that theme, including image sizes.
Step 6: Going Live
Finally we get to the final step which is making your website live! I must stress that before you can make your website live, you do need to be on a paid plan as the free trial is just for checking out the platform. Once you are on a paid plan you can then put your ShopWired store on your domain name.
To do this it is best to follow the ShopWired documentation as they go through every step to make the process as easy as possible.
In this page you can also control whether search engines can index your site and you can also set any 301 redirects you need to do within your ShopWired store. Once you have made your website live and it is running on your own domain, it is always worth running a few test transactions through your site to make sure everything is working properly.
Bonus Step - Website Pages
Before you get your website up and running there are a few of your websites information pages that you want to get sorted out first. You can find your web pages by going to the website section on the admin area sidebar. If you go to view pages, you will see the default pages that ShopWired have kindly added for you that cover all the things that should be on a good ecommerce website.
If you want to add your own pages then just click the Create New Page link. To make any new pages visible on the site, you need to add them to a link list, to manage these they are just below the pages in the website area.
Bonus Step - Apps and Extensions
While ShopWired is ready to go out of the bag, they do offer a range of apps and extensions to add more functionality to their platform.
Apps are installed or uninstalled with a single click which makes them really easy to use. The majority of the ShopWired apps are free to use and the most expensive paid ones are only £5 a month on top of your package (you do get these included with the more expensive packages).
As you can see there is a variety of different apps and they range from adding functionality to your site such as gift cards or digital downloads to integrating with third party resources such as Ebay, Google, Facebook and accounting software. It is worth having a look through the apps to see if you can use any of them for your online store.
Extensions differ from apps as they need to be coded into your website, rather than just being installed with a single click. Now for those with knowledge of HTML and CSS, this is great a pretty easy to do as you have access to the source code in the themes area.
BUT if you don't know how to do coding then you will need to pay ShopWired to do it for you and prices vary per extension, with the most expensive being £125 + vat but all these are one off payments.
Fortunately, none of these extensions are what you would call must haves for your website, so it is up to you if you want to add these to your online store.
So there it is, a guide to getting your online store up and running with ShopWired. Obviously there is much more to the platform than I have covered in this post but I just wanted to give you a step by step guide on how to get started with the ShopWired platform.