After working in this industry for so long, I felt the urge to write an ecommerce book for newbies. I’ve met many people who wanted to start their online store but didn’t know how or where to start. True enough, there are plenty of solutions if you ask around but there is always the fear of the unknown and hidden costs involved. For an ecommerce newbie, googling around for solutions can be even more confusing with many ecommerce providers promising themselves to be the best. With my strong technical background and communication skills, I feel that I can share my knowledge with the world.
If you don’t want to be bored with the introduction, feel free to jump to the next chapter: start up strategy for an online store
Why not DIY? Running an online shop is easy only if you get the right and honest person to explain to you… not someone who wants to rip you off. In this book, I will try my best to provide simple step by step guide on how to build and manage an online shop. I know it feels good to be able to build and manage your own online store. Not only do you save tonnes of money but you also have full control of your store.
If you feel that you have benefited from this site, feel free to donate via paypal or signup by clicking on the links I provided in this book (I get a commision as an affiliate). As much as I love sharing, the monetary gains can keep me motivated to write more.
Who am I targeting?
I am targeting at people who has little or no programming skills. For people who are new to woocommerce, you might want to start with chapter 1. For people who have programming skills, feel free to jump to any chapters that you like. I will cover more technical stuff towards the end of the chapters.
If you are already a wordpress or woocommerce hacker, you might find this book boring but please refrain from posting hash and negative comments. Remember this book is intended for newbies to intermediate programmers. We were once newbies before, so do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Why is this book different
The aim is not to just sell a book but to ultimately create an online community of like minded ecommerce enthusiasts. I’ll be throwing in all my IT knowledge and project management skils in this project, giving people honest information and minimising their startup cost. I do hope that we can keep this project going even after this book is completed.
Why WordPress and WooCommerce
Anyone who blogs is most likely using wordpress. WordPress is also a strong candidate for CMS – you can see some stats from smashingmag. It is also fast becoming a popular platform for anything that you can think of. The main reason for that is its extensible code structure. It is very easy for anyone with little or no programming skills to learn and create plugins. This can be both good or bad; Good because you get tonnes of plugins and support, bad because a lot of plugins are badly written. Some plugins are also responsible for making websites slow or making them fall apart, giving wordpress a bad reputation.
At the time of writing, magento is the most popular ecommerce software. I’ve worked with magento and was pretty happy with it. However, the step learning curve and dodgy marketplace made it hard for newbies to jump onboard. So it seems only the rich and famous could afford to get things customised the way they want it. If you have the money and are looking for something as complex as ebay, I encourage you to consider magento as an option. For most people, they don’t need a complex beast like magento to run an online shop.
I’ve also tried other software such as spree (rails) and other hosted solutions. Most of them were either too unstable or over priced. Having said that, a good ecommerce hosted solution such as shoplify can be an easy option for people to build an online store quickly because it takes off a lot of hassle in setting up the store for you. I did a detail analysis in the next chapter.
Woocommerce (based on jigoshop) is a matured WordPress plugin that is capable of running a fairly complex online shop.WP e-commerce is another popular free wordpress ecommerce plugin. Personally, I wasn’t impress with WP e-commerce support and their marketing strategies. So woocommerce became my preferred option.
As I mentioned earlier, if you already know woocommerce or is technical enough, feel free to jump around the chapters.
If you are a newbie, start from chapter 1: Ecommerce Start Up Strategy
I’m still working on this ebook. Please come back often to check for updates.