Starting an online store can feel overwhelming, especially when it comes to figuring out the costs. But here’s the good news – with WooCommerce, you’re in control of your budget!
WooCommerce is a free, open-source WordPress plugin that lets you build a customized ecommerce site. Since you aren’t locked into preset costs like on other platforms, you get to decide what to spend money on.
This flexibility is part of why WooCommerce is so popular. You can launch a basic store for less than $150 per year, or deck yours out with all the bells and whistles for over $1,000. The choice is yours!
In this article, we’ll break down the expenses involved in running a WooCommerce store so you can plan your budget.
Hosting And Domain – The Essentials
First things first, you’ll need hosting and a domain name for your WooCommerce site.
Hosting is basically renting space on a server to store your site’s files. Expect to spend around $10 – $30 per month. Look for a host that specializes in WordPress and WooCommerce like SiteGround or Pressable. This ensures your store runs as smoothly as possible.
Next up is registering a domain aka your website address. Godaddy and Namecheap are popular registrars where you can purchase a .com domain for about $15 per year.
Once you’ve got hosting and a domain, you’re ready to install the free WooCommerce plugin and start building.
Setting the Stage with Themes
Now it’s time to pick a design theme. This controls what your online store looks like.
WooCommerce’s free Storefront theme is a great starting point. It looks professional and plays nicely with all of WooCommerce’s ecommerce features.
If you want more customization options, premium WooCommerce themes start at around $59. Themes from top developers like Elementor and Astra come packed with layout options so you can easily give your store a unique vibe.
Some things to look for in a premium theme:
Once you settle on a theme, you can pepper in your brand’s colors, fonts, and images to bring your online store to life!
Operational Costs: Shipping, Payments, and More
With the bones of your store assembled, it’s time to look at operational expenses. This includes shipping, accepting payments, and any service add-ons.
WooCommerce connects to all the major shipping carriers like USPS, FedEx, and UPS. Most carriers offer discount rates through WooCommerce Shipping extensions. You can also set up free local pickup for online orders.
When it comes to getting paid, WooCommerce integrates with 100+ payment gateways and merchant providers. Options include:
WooCommerce Payments allows you to accept credit cards directly on your site with competitive transaction fees starting at 2.9% + $0.30.
If you need help managing inventory, shipping, bookkeeping, or marketing, WooCommerce offers hundreds of extensions. Prices vary by tool. For example:
Start with the basics, and only add the tools you really need. Extensions quickly add up!
Running an online business comes with some basic security responsibilities. Here are two must-haves:
SSL Certificate: Encrypts sensitive customer data as it travels to your site. Usually free or up to $65/yr from your web host.
Site Security: Services like Sucuri Firewall (starts at $16/mo) protect against malware, hacks, and other threats.
Investing in Customer Experience
Once your WooCommerce store is up and running, you can focus on customer experience. This ultimately drives sales growth.
Some popular ways to enhance your store:
WooCommerce has extensions available for all of the above either for free or starting around $49 per year.
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Hiring a WooCommerce Pro
If any part of setting up your store feels overwhelming, WooCommerce experts can help. Their fees range wildly based on experience level and services provided.
Some examples of WooCommerce pro services:
Hiring a pro can save you time, money, and frustration in the long run. Just be sure to clearly define your goals and ideal budget before starting any paid projects.
Starting a WooCommerce store can cost less than $100 per year or well over $10,000. It all depends on your business model, goals, and budget.
Focus first on the essentials like hosting, payments, and security. From there, you can slowly add capabilities tailored to your store’s needs.
The great thing about WooCommerce is that you’re in control. Pay only for the features that will grow your business, and you’ll be off to a smart start in ecommerce.