Starting an online business and not having to leave your bedroom, except maybe to eat pizza, that has to be every geek’s dream?
Well, maybe that’s just my dream – but my dream or not – creating an online store selling your favourite merchandise is relatively easy to do in 2020.
There are several ways to build a store, for example, you can use a platform such as Shopify. In the example below, we have used WordPress and WooCommerce by it should be emphasized that there are lots of different ways to get the job done and get your shop setup.
There are some WordPress plugins that, in the past, have had security issues. At the time of writing, no such risks are known with the plugins mentioned in this website, but you should always check yourself before installing anything on your website.
Start your nerdy t-shirt store online
Get Your WordPress Hosting & Shop Domain Name
Building a website is similar to building a house. Well, sort of. You need your land, you need the actual building and you need a street address. For a website the hosting is the equivalent to the land, the building would be the website and the street address is the equivalent of a web address or a ‘domain name’.
There are lots of different hosting providers available, including TSOHost, HostGator and Bluehost. For this example, we’ve gone with GoDaddy.
Search Google for “GoDaddy WordPress Hosting” and then click “Get Started”
Select plan – For now choose the Basic Plan option
Select term length – Choose the hosting for 12 months option
Leave everything else unchecked and click “Continue”
Next, search for your desired domain name. For example, below I’ve searched for Geekhero.com – unfortunately, that domain name has been taken, so I’ll either have to think of another web address for my shop or choose a different domain extension, for example, geekhero.co.uk.
When you see a domain name that you like and want to use, click the button to the right of the name “Select and Continue”
Now create an account and make a payment (if you are happy with everything so far) – you can use Paypal or credit card.
Enter the payment details and click “Complete Purchase” when you’re happy.
Create Your Shop
Once your payment has been confirmed, you should be redirected to a screen like the one shown below:
- Click the blue “+Add Site” button.
- In the drop-down menu, choose the “build a brand new site” option.
- Leave North America as the data center for now and then choose a username and password.
- Save you login details somewhere, then click the “Add” button
- After clicking the Add button, within a few minutes, it should be confirmed that WordPress has been installed on your hosting.
- Next, click the blue “WP Admin” button
- Click “No Thanks” to the WordPress Wizard
- You should be then taken to the “dashboard area” of your WordPress website.
- Before you do anything else, it’s worth checking your email inbox and verifying it by clicking the link sent by GoDaddy
- Back in the Dashboard (also called the “WP-Admin” area) if you have a message at the top saying that you are using a temporary domain – click the “Change domain” text:
- Click “Add domain” on the right hand side
- Select your domain from the drop down menu and click “Add”
Log in To Your WP-Admin Dashboard
- Go to your website’s address and add /wp-admin at the end
- For example, if my site is nicemma.com – then I’ll type in nicemma.com/wp-admin into my browser
- Put in your account information that you made earlier to login to wp-admin and click “Login”
WooCommerce adds the ecommerce functionality to your website.
- Go to the sidebar menu on the left and find “Plugins”
- Click “plugins” and then “Add New”
- In the search bar near the right hand side, search for “WooCommerce”
- Install and click “Activate”
Populate the Homepage
- In the sidebar menu on the left, go to “Appearance” and “Customize”
- Here you can change your header image, your logo and the overall appearance of the front page
- You can also go back change the theme by clicking “Change” near the top left of the page:
Install Printful’S WooCommerce Plugin
Now your website is all ready to go!
You just need some products to add to your store. Using Printful is a great way to get started and gauge interest in your products before investing in your own printing equipment and/or storage facility.
Printful T-shirts are normally made to order and you won’t have to do anything once the T-shirt is in your shop. They handle all the order for you.
- Go to the Plugin area via the side menu on the left-hand side of the dashboard area
- Click Plugin and then “Add New” and search for “Printful”
- Install and activate the “Printful integration for WooCommerce”
Upload Your Designs to Printful.com
If you have designs in jpeg or png form, you should change these to vector format. Search online for a site that changes jpeg or png to vector and you should find a few options to help you.
- Go to Printful.com and setup your account
- Choose the “drop ship” option when asked what you want to do with Printful
- Verify your email address
- Back in Printful.com click “Store” and click to “choose platform”. Choose “WooCommerce” and click “Connect”
Once you store is connected to your Printful account – you may have to click on “Stores” and then choose the store that you have just created.
Once logged into your specific store, you should be prompted to add a new product:
- Click “Add product” then choose a style of T-shirt that you want to upload your design to
- Once you have chosen a T-shirt, you should be taken to the “Configure Design” page.
- Click the Design tab on the top right and upload your design
Here you can also add text and click above the T-shirts image to navigate and add designs to the back of the T-shirt, sleeves and the labels.
When you are happy with your design, click – “Proceeds to Mockups” button near the bottom of the page.
- Here you can choose which images to use – which models and angles etc – to display the T-shirt on your website
- Click “Proceed to description” to add a description of the product – remember unique copy is better to rank on Google so try and write something other than the standard text that Printful gives you.
- Click “Proceed to pricing”. Here you can decide how much you want to sell your T-shirts for. You will be invited to increase the price by a set amount. Don’t decrease the price, or you’ll end up owing Printful for every order! The price increase represents how much profit you’ll make on each t-shirt sold.
- Then Click “Submit to Store”
And that’s it! You should now have your T-shirt on your very own ecommerce store!
There’s just the small problem of getting people to your website now. For this, you’ll need to research and implement some SEO, PPC and social media marketing knowledge.