Getting Started on WooCommerce Hosting at Skystra

SkyStra
May 1, 2020

We designed our WooCommerce Hosting to help you effortlessly create and launch your online presence while staying true to three main pillars of quality service:

  • Lightning-fast performance
  • Industry-leading security
  • Easy management

We took the backend from the equation, and all you need to do is focus on building the best store possible for your business. WordPress and WooCommerce are pre-installed automatically, and our platform manages your website speed, updates, scalability, backups, and security!

Sit back and read our step-by-step guide, you’re just a few clicks away from getting your online store up and running!

Why WooCommerce?

WooCommerce powers over 28% of the world’s eCommerce websites and 22% of the top 1 million eCommerce sites use it to sell goods online, from a one-person business to mid and large-sized enterprises. It’s a well-maintained free plugin that allows you to build a full-featured online store without any web development experience!

On top of that, WooCommerce is open-source software, which means that a user can modify anything and adjust it to their needs.

Another advantage is that there are thousands of excellent addon plugins and themes developed for WooCommerce, which you can use to extend the functionality of your store and design the perfect website (and many are available for free).

Main Control Screen

As mentioned earlier, when you sign-up for our WooCommerce service – both WordPress software and WooCommerce plugin are automatically installed, so your journey starts at the WordPress Dashboard. However, let’s check out how easy it is to work with our Managed WordPress platform and what cool features we have first!

On your main client page in NOVA, find your WooCommerce service & domain in the Your Active Services box and click on the WordPress icon on the right hand side:

This will take you directly to your WordPress Manager where you can install and manage your WordPress applications. Click the pencil icon next to your WordPress installation to access the Main Control Screen.

Alright, now you’re on the Main Control Screen! This is where you can manage everything related to your WordPress installation and your store – change settings, access Dashboard, managed backups/themes/plugins, and so on.

It may look a bit complicated, but it’s straight-forward, and you’ll learn everything in just a couple of minutes!

The Management section

This section allows you to see all your installation details and manage backups, themes, plugins, and configuration information.

Let’s find out what each has to offer and how easy it is to use them!

Management – Installation Details shows all the essential information about your website. You should not share this information with anyone except people that you trust. 

Management – Backups is the section where you can create backups of your website. It’s imperative to have backups whenever you want to modify your website. Or you can keep evidence of previous versions of your website by creating backups from time to time (some people make backups every day, while others do this once a week/month, depending on their usage).

To create a backup in Managed WordPress, check out the below steps.

First, click on the Create Backup button:

Then, select the desired options, choosing from one / all of the below:

  • Backup Directory
  • Backup Data Directory
  • Backup Database

We recommend checking all the above and leaving the backup location as Default. But if you want to add a custom location, go ahead and change it into whatever you need! Once you click on the Create Backup button, you will receive a notification that says, The creation of the backup is now in progress. This process can take a few seconds and up to a couple of minutes, depending on how big your website is:

Another cool and essential feature is that you can restore earlier backups by clicking on the Restore button as shown in the screenshot below:

This can save you when something wrong happens with your website. If, for example, you add a new plugin that doesn’t work as expected, and it breaks your website – you can quickly restore to a previous working backup! This is the reason you should remember to create backups of your website periodically.

Management – Themes is where you can manage your themes! This screen offers excellent control over your current installed themes, but also lets you search and install new ones.

Management – Plugins is where you can view your currently installed plugins, manage them, and install/search new ones.

Management – Config is the technical section where you can see the “hardware” part of your website like the database password and name, authentication keys, and a lot of technical stuff. You can also create your own configs by clicking the Create Config button or edit/delete the ones you already have.

The Actions section

This section allows you to perform multiple actions on your WordPress installation, with the click of the button! 

Actions – WP Dashboard, once clicked, will take you to your Website’s WordPress Dashboard.

Actions – Clear Cache allows you to clear the cached data. Cached data is nothing but files, images, scripts, and other media files stored on your devices by the website or an app. This needs to be cleared if you’ve made changes, and you want them to apply/display on your website.

Actions – Clone is a tool that allows you to clone the WordPress installation from one location to any other domain.

Actions – Update, as the name suggests, allows you to update your WordPress version.

Actions – Change Domain is to be used when you want to change the domain of your WordPress installation.

Actions – Manage Auto Upgrades offers you control over your updates. You can choose to have the platform automatically upgrade your WordPress Core, plugins, and themes.

Actions – Staging allows you to create a staging link where you can test specific plugins that you want to install, different themes, or virtually any changes that you are doing.

Actions – SSL allows you to enable or disable your free SSL certificate.

Actions – Delete offers you the option to delete everything. You can choose to remove the directory and/or the database with the user along with the installation.

Creating your online store

Since both WordPress software and WooCommerce plugin are already installed on your hosting service, head to Main Control Screen and click the WP Dashboard option under the Actions section.

This will log you into your website WordPress Dashboard, and you’re ready to start building your online store. First, let’s adjust the website’s name and tagline by heading to Settings > General:

Next, let’s head back to Dashboard > Home, and click on the Run the Setup Wizard button on the top of the page.

WooCommerce will then launch the Setup Wizard to help you with the initial setup of your eCommerce store. Choose to use the old setup wizard as it’s more straight-forward.

Fill in the store location details, currency, and product type to go to the next step.

The next screen allows you to choose your preferred payment methods. By default, you can choose between Stripe (for credit card processing) and Paypal.

In addition to that, you can also enable offline payment methods such as checks, bank transfers, and cash on delivery.

Next, you can choose your shipping options (free shipping or flat rate for different zones). You can also select different measure units for product weight and dimensions.

The Setup Wizard will then ask you to install recommended features for WooCommerce. For the time being, we will leave these all unchecked as those can be enabled later through the Settings once we need to use them.

The last step is to install JetPack on your website, which we’ll skip (since JetPack is a known resource hog) by clicking on a Skip this step button at the bottom of the page.

And WooCommerce set up is completed! Let’s go back to the WordPress Dashboard to see what we do next.

Now we can start adding our products, the best part of any business!

On the left-hand menu, you’ll see WooCommerce now appear, right underneath click on the Products > Add New option in your WordPress Dashboard to add your first product.

Start by adding a product name and a detailed description.

Next, click the Add new category button under Product categories widget:

Categories help your customers to find products on your website efficiently; you want everything to be nice front and center!

Once that’s completed, scroll down a bit to find the Product data section. This is where you can:

  • Select product type (simple, grouped, external or variable)
  • Make it a virtual or physical product
  • If it’s a virtual product, you can check if it has any downloadable files
  • Set pricing
  • Set SKU (Stock Keeping Unit) and stock options
  • Manage shipping options
  • Set product attributes
  • … and more!

Below the Product data section, you’ll find a Product short description box. A brief description is used on different product pages on your website, so make sure to create a detailed and catchy description to get more clicks.

Now let’s add a product image by clicking the Set product image option under the Product image section.

This is the main product image that will be used on all shop pages in your store.

Below the Product image section, you’ll find the Product gallery option, which allows you to create a product image gallery. Upload multiple images of your item to create a product gallery.

Let’s add some tags to make a product easily searchable across your website. You can do that by inputting a list of tags under the Product tags section and separating them commas.

Once completed, click the Add button to add them.

Make sure to review all the information you’ve added so far, and if everything looks good – you can go ahead and publish your first product. You can do that by clicking the Publish button in the top-right corner of the page:

Here’s how our example product page looks like:

Not bad, isn’t it?

Go ahead and repeat these steps for all the products you need to add to your store.

You can also manage your categories, tags, and attributes anytime via the Products section:

Another vital section to keep in mind while setting up your online store is the WooCommerce section on the left-hand side:

This section allows you to:

  • See and manage your orders
  • Create coupons
  • View reports on your sales
  • Configure your WooCommerce plugin
  • Check the status of the system and WooCommerce variables
  • Browse and purchase WooCommerce extensions

We’ve already done the basic setup of WooCommerce through its Setup Wizard, but we recommend going to the WooCommerce > Settings option and go through each tab to ensure it’s configured as you need it.

There are many more options to check out than what was shown in the setup wizard.

For example, in the Payments tab, you can fine-tune how your Paypal or Stripe integrations work and which payment gateway is used, etc.

Extensions / Add-Ons

To further enhance your online store, there are thousands of free and paid WooCommerce extensions and addons you can use. We covered these in the following article, so please make sure to check it out.

Themes

It’s essential to find a theme that will suit your store best, so we covered some guidelines and best WooCommerce themes in this article. Make sure to check it out!

Additional information

Lastly, we prepared an article on what to do next once your store is up and running, and you can check it out here.

Conclusion

We’ve built our Managed WordPress platform to make your life as easier as it can be and let you create the website that you’ve envisioned for so long! Managing boring stuff or trying to understand how coding works is no longer required now, as everything can be changed with only a few clicks.

We give you a ton of features and sophisticated tools to get you started on your WordPress website, and remember, you can instantly scale; we don’t believe in arbitrary limits.

Here’s what you get on WooCommerce service:

  • Managed WordPress platform
  • Automatic Updates: that are done automatically on our platform
  • Automatic Scaling: our platform is designed to scale with your website needs
  • Skystra Cloud Platform: your entire online presence is hosted on the Skystra Cloud Platform
  • Security: our Proactive Security system that watches over your data, and website, without ever accessing them. It stops hacking attempts, malware installation and other bad things
  • Free website migration: We’ve migrated thousands of WordPress sites. We’ll move your WordPress website for you, within 24 hours of opening your request
  • Expert WordPress Support: 24/7 chat and online request support
  • Backups: of your website (done regularly)
  • Business Class Email