OK, it’s time to start turning our WordPress installation into an E-Commerce store. In this tutorial we will be installing a theme called ‘Storefront’. This is a simple, minimal theme designed by the makers of WooCommerce, and will allow us to run an effective E-Commerce store through WordPress.So here is where we install the basic Storefront Theme. We will configure the layout and make it work. At this stage we are not concerned with the look and feel of the site, we want to make it work!
Installing a WordPress theme is simple, if you’ve followed our previous tutorial about installing WordPress plugins you’ll recognise the process.
First of all, ensure you’re logged into your website. Then once you’re in the WordPress admin panel go to Appearance > Themes. Click on ‘Add New‘ at the top of the page.
You’ll then be taken to the Add Themes page. You will see a selection of themes available to directly install through the WordPress interface. You can search for a theme direct, or browse for theme by using the ‘Feature Filter‘. There’s hundreds of themes available, designed to help you produce many different types of website, from directory themes, to video sites, to E-Commerce websites.
We’re looking for a particular theme, so in the ‘Search themes…‘ box in the top right hand corner of the screen type ‘Storefront‘. Without even hitting enter you will see that the Storefront theme is automatically chosen as the first option. Hover your mouse over the theme and select ‘Install‘. The theme will then download from the WordPress server and install itself. Now simply hit ‘Activate‘ and you’ll be using the Storefront site on your website.
Some themes from available through WordPress are very intuitive and will guide you through the process of setting up the theme. Storefront is luckly one of these sites! Our next step is to follow the link on the theme window under ‘Design your store‘. This will allow us to set our homepage, and to add example products to give us an idea of how our website is taking shape. Hit ‘Let’s go!‘
We’ve now entered the Customizer. This is a common feature of contemporary WordPress themes and allows you to edit features of your theme and website. The available options are dictated by your chosen theme so will be different depending on your theme.
Before we go any further, hit Publish at the top of the page to publish the homepage as displayed in the Customizer. Your website will now reflect the site as show in the window. You will now have the beginnings of an E-Commerce store, if you navigate around your site you will see that you have demo products added to your site, you will have these items allocated to categories, and you will be able to add these items to a shopping cart, with the ability to begin the checkout process.
We can now begin to make detailed changes to our site. To keep things simple I’m going to create my store around clothing and accessories so I can get up and running as soon as possible. I’m going to be sourcing these products from music and memorabilia distributor, and my store will focus on classic rock, selling items such as Iron Maiden hoodies and David Bowie T-shirts.