So this post is going to be a bit meta. I built this site using WordPress and I’m going to describe how I use some basic plugins to expand the site to work exactly like an online music store.
Just a few comments on some basic components that make the site ready for commerce.
- Dedicated IP address – this is necessary to get a fully certified SSL certificate.
- SSL Certificate – there are a few options, but paying $15/yr for a cert is good enough.
- Policy and Returns page – in the newer versions of WordPress, you can setup a privacy page and link to it everywhere.
- Plugins – I try to use the least amount possible. They will slow down the site and introduce security threats. The basic plugins are: WooCommerce & WooCommerce Stripe Gateway.
- Additional Plugins – these are recommended but not required. WooCommerce for PayPal, WooCommerce for Amazon Pay, WooCommerce Shipping & Tax, Mailchimp for WooCommerce and Trustpilot-Reviews.
If you need specific info on these plugins, send me a note and I can explain. Once you get all the plugins configured and your financial info hooked up, you can start adding products. In my case, for my music shop I wanted to sell digital downloads and merch. WooCommerce has a digital SKU available out-of-the-box so its really simple to add many digital products – in my case MP3/WAV files.
It’s very important to plan out your store categories before adding a lot of products. In my case, I have music and accessories and a couple others for basic merch. But you can also use your store to sell tickets! So events would be an important category.
If you look at my store, you will see unique images for all the songs and those were created in Canva using Dall-E AI image generator. Your creativity is the limit. Ask Dall-E to create an image in any style and it delivers. Then, take that and edit to add the song name or whatever. Very cool and a gamechanger in my opinion.
Adding products for sale on the site can be a bit cumbersome, but you have a lot of flexibility with the way products are published. This will be useful as you build out the site and add more products of different types.
Finally, the biggest challenge will be to choose a theme that both supports WooCommerce and matches your intended style/brand. I would recommend adding 3-4 themes and trying them out for a while before you officially launch.
Figure about 30-days to get everything ready for launch. Once you get the hang of WordPress and WooCommerce it’s really fun! As a bonus tip, you can add Printful integration for WooCommerce and now the sky is the limit for custom merch! This is a print-on-demand service that is fully integrated so you don’t have to print 1000 hats – just upload a design and publish to WooCommerce. Another gamechanger for the indie artist!
Leave a comment below or email me with any questions!