WooCommerce is an open-source, optimized, and flexible solution for your online store with no restrictions. It is the most reliable platform to launch any level of online business through WordPress. WooCommerce is multi-lingual and has a wide range of free, as well as premium extensions and plugins. It is an eCommerce platform that has 5+ million active shops and nearly 26% of global online stores use it.
Ready to launch your WooCommerce website? Every day thousands of websites are launched on the web, make sure to stand unique among them right from the beginning. We assume that you are done with the installation of WooCommerce and everything is ready.
The most important fact is to choose the best suitable WooCommerce hosting for your requirements. Ensure to select the hosting service that meets your expectations by considering speed, CDN availability, bandwidth web server location, and storage limits. In this article, we guide you with a handy checklist of things that should be taken care of before launching a WooCommerce site.
Why is a checklist essential before launching a WooCommerce website?
A handy checklist before the launch of your WooCommerce website will help in avoiding some common mistakes that could occur in your online store. Checklists help to break down bigger tasks into smaller pieces resulting in higher productivity in a more organized way.
The below checklist will be a guideline for your WooCommerce optimization. Take what suits and applies to you and customize your website as required.
- Configure WooCommerce Store Settings and Emails
- Ensure Valid SSL Certification and Fix Mixed Content Error
- SEO Optimized Contents and Pages
- Readable Permalink Settings
- Install Essential WooCommerce Extensions
- Responsive Mobile Optimized Theme
- Secure Your Backend Admin Section
- Analytics and Webmaster Configuration
1.Configure WooCommerce Store Settings and Emails
Configuring your website with a professional at the same time attractive emails will grab customer’s attention easily. A good design always ensures that the content is presented in the best possible way.
Below are some of the basic WooCommerce configuration and email settings that would attract potential customers towards you.
- Showcase your products with high-quality images with an accurate representation of colors and take your customers where you want them to go. Make sure WooCommerce image optimization is done appropriately.
- Use appropriate CTA buttons and popups to make your customers purchase.
- Go through the products at your store to check with their individual inventory level and make sure that they are updated. The inventory details of the products can be edited with the below navigation,
WooCommerce > Settings > Products > Inventory
WooCommerce has various extensions that help in synchronizing your inventory with your store.
- Check your website functionality from the user’s aspect to make sure that everything works smoothly and flawlessly.
- Check whether the upsells and cross-sells are working properly as these are the most effective methods of increasing cart value.
- Are your customers able to reach their target with proper navigation and make sure that the products are categorized properly.
- Check whether your WooCommerce discounts and coupons are working as configured.
- Make sure that the currency conversions work properly for the products and shipping.
- Have a hassle-free checkout process with the help of WooCommerce checkout optimization techniques for better conversions.
- If the cart is abandoned make sure that the abandoned cart recovery emails work automatically as per the configured sequence. This can be easily achieved using the WooCommerce plugin Retainful that helps in recovering the abandoned carts.
- Check with your store’s email notifications. Make sure that you receive the new order notification and the customer receives order confirmation email soon after the purchase is done. You can customize your transactional emails using the best decorator tool WooCommerce Email Customizer Plus.
- Test your login and registration forms. Try logging in with different accounts which would help you in managing the admin area for user accounts.
- Social media plays a very important role in the launch of a website. Make ways to connect with social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, and more. Enable social media monitoring tools on your WooCommerce website to reach globally.
2. Ensure Valid SSL Certification and Fix Mixed Content Error
Ensure Valid SSL Certification:
An SSL Certificate encrypts and secures sensitive information like the user’s credit card details. It is essential and important for your WooCommerce website to have the SSL certificate which makes the customers feel that you are trustworthy.
Without the SSL certificate, it will create a negative perspective on your brand. A website with an SSL certificate is always safe to use as well as ranks higher in search engines. Ensure that your WooCommerce website has a valid SSL certificate using SSL Checker. The SSL Checker helps your web server that the certificate is valid and does not prompt errors to your users.
Fix Mixed Content Error:
When an SSL certificate is added a secured padlock is to be displayed in the URL while visiting your website. There are chances to run into issues like mixed content or insecure content over secured SSL.
The mixed content error means,
- the padlock symbol will not be displayed or will be broken
- the padlock symbol will be displayed but the respective image or content will not be displayed.
You can confirm this error using the Inspect Element Console.
Let’s see how to resolve the error,
- Verify the SSL certificate is valid and also make sure that the confirmation date has not expired.
- Secure all URLs and specific URLs.
- Change HTTP to HTTPS on all the assets in the WordPress Admin dashboard.
- Finally, purge the server caches.
3. SEO Optimized Contents and Pages
Search Engine Optimization is something that is utilized to make the visibility of your new site for the search engines right from the beginning. WooCommerce SEO is an ongoing process so, make sure to keep it updated to see steady growth in your search engine traffic.
By simply implementing the below basics of WooCommerce SEO optimization will help you to stand ahead of other eCommerce websites.
- WooCommerce is SEO friendly and you can make use of plugins or extensions like Yoast SEO or All-in-one SEO Pack to further improvise your WooCommerce product SEO.
- The site title and tagline can be set under Settings->General.
- The title of the products should be unique, concise, descriptive, and must contain targeted keywords.
- All the pages and posts of your website should be SEO optimized titles with 70 as the character limit.
- The meta description for your pages and products are the ones that will be visible to the customers while searching in Google. Make sure that they are creative, impressive, unique, contain keywords, and are also less than 156 characters long.
- Make sure that all the image filenames, descriptions, and ALT tags contain targeted keywords in a natural way. Also, check that the images are compressed for WooCommerce optimization speed.
- If you are using an SEO plugin then make sure that all the posts and pages should have focused keywords which would help in further optimization.
- Your URLs should be concise, easily understandable, and must contain the main keyword.
- Make sure your URLs are consistent or redirected in case of any migration.
- A sitemap is essential for Google to understand what exactly happens. The sitemap can be easily configured using Yoast SEO and Google XML Sitemaps.
4. Readable Permalink Settings
Permalink is nothing but a “permanent link”. They are the permanent URL structures that help in organizing the content of your WooCommerce websites such as pages, products, categories, posts, and more. They can be navigated, shared, and referenced efficiently. A well-structured permalink should contain keywords related to the content that helps in categorizing.
To set permalink structure to your linking, Settings-> Permalinks.
There are two types of permalinks which can be set for your website,
- Taxonomy Permalinks
- Product Permalinks
1. Taxonomy Permalinks - these permalinks control the base of your WooCommerce categories, tags, and attributes. To set this, the below navigation is to be followed,
WordPress > Settings > Permalinks > Optional where the below three settings are configured,
Product category base - yourdomain.com/product-category/cateory-name
Product tag base - yourdomain.com/product-tag/tag-name
Product attribute base - yourdomain.com/product-attribute/attribute-name.
2. Product Permalinks - these permalinks are used to set your permalink base for the products. To set this, the below navigation is to be followed,
WordPress > Settings > Permalinks > Product Permalinks where there four settings from which the base for the permalink can be selected,
Default - a default permalink (ID-based URLs)will be used, when a pretty permalink (product base) is not set.
Pretty permalink example: yourdomain.com/product/product-name.
Shop base - the shop base will use the shop name
Shop base category - it will use the shop name and then add the product category name
Custom base - here you can set the custom text before the product name
- Make sure that the Custom base does not conflict with the taxonomy permalink as it should be unique.
- Check that your permalinks are unique, well-structured, and contain keywords.
5. Install Essential WooCommerce Extensions
Plugins are the best and essential part of building a WooCommerce website as they allow you to add features and row your business. There are various WooCommerce free and premium plugins that can help in your development. Some plugins are much essential while launching a WooCommerce website let us have a look into it,
TrustPulse - it is one of the best social proof extensions for your website which gives the nudge to customers in order to complete the purchase.
MonsterInsights - it is the best analytics plugin enhanced with eCommerce tracking and is much required for a WooCommerce store. It helps to track eCommerce data in Google Analytics reports.
Discount Rules for WooCommerce - the plugin helps you to create simple to complex discounts such as percentage discounts, bulk discounts, dynamic pricing, advanced discounts, and discounted coupons in your WooCommerce store.
Constant Contacts - it provides email marketing services for your website. It is very easy to configure to your store and to create your email list. Drip and SendinBlue are the other email marketing services.
Live Chat - it is the live chat support in the market best suitable for the WooCommerce website. This plugin helps in answering user’s queries instantly.
WooCommerce Multilingual - the plugin translates your products and website pages in different languages which helps the customers to browse through your website in their preferred language. It is the compatibility layer with the popular WPML WordPress Multilingual Plugin.
Loyalty Points and Rewards for WooCommerce - Create loyalty programs and rewards to increase customer engagement and sales. The points and rewards are offered to your customers by considering all the actions that they perform at your store. The WooCommerce Loyalty Points and Rewards Plugin guides you to nurture your existing customers by making every interaction into the count and offering reward points.
Email Customizer for WooCommerce - Create and customize your store’s order notification emails in a better and professional way using the plugin Email customizer for WooCommerce. The plugin has the most specialized feature the drag and drop editor which helps you in customizing your transactional emails with its exclusive in-built tools.
Gift Press- WooCommerce Gift Cards - The plugin GiftPress allows you to sell gift cards and vouchers at your WooCommerce store. Through this plugin, your customers can purchase gift certificates for their friends and dear ones. You can easily create, sell, and manage gift certificates or vouchers using the WooCommerce gift card plugin.
Retainful - the plugin helps in recovering the abandoned carts by sending reminder emails in perfect sequence. Make sure that the recovery emails are attractive and not crappy. You can create and customize the recovery emails using the WooCommerce email customizer plugin.
WooCommerce Product Slider - the plugin allows you to create and add sliders to your products anywhere at your WooCommerce store.
WP Mail SMTP by WPForms - the plugin helps in email deliverability by configuring WordPress to a proper SMTP provider for sending and receiving emails.
6. Responsive Mobile Optimized Theme
The usage of smartphones increases every day which expands the growth of the online business. It is very important for an online business website to be mobile responsive. Make sure to develop your website with WooCommerce mobile optimization. Building a mobile-friendly WooCommerce website is mandatory as most of the people use mobile to purchase on the go. It must also be ensured that the website is responsive on all devices like PC, tablets, and phones.
When your website is mobile-friendly it makes people think that you are modern, updated, relevant, and trustworthy. If you are launching your new WooCommerce website it is essential to check with its responsiveness along with other features. Check out some of the WooCommerce responsive themes before you launch your website.
7. Secure Your Backend Admin Section
Before you showcase your website to the world of the internet, make sure it is safe and secure. Always have a backup of your site as it helps to retrieve whenever needed. Below are some of the crucial things to be taken care of before launching your WooCommerce website,
- Use a Website Application Firewall to protect your website from receiving suspicious requests. There are both paid firewall options like Sucuri as well as free firewall plugins like Wordfence or WP All in One Security.
- Make sure that password protection is configured to your WooCommerce admin directory which will give an extra layer of security to your website.
- Use strong passwords with the combination of letters, numbers, and special characters as hackers would find it difficult to crack it.
- Create a two-step verification at your login screen as it another layer of security for your WooCommerce website.
- Limit the login attempts, hide password hints, limit the access to IP address using plugins like Login Lockdown.
- Request users to create strong passwords and reset passwords for all users.
- Install any anti-spam solution in order to avoid spam to your website during traffic.
- Setting up a backup solution is essential before you launch your website. Make it mandatory for both data and database so that you can retrieve it when required. The best hosting provider will handle backups for you.
- Once your first backup is created verify that it has been saved successfully at the remote location.
8. Analytics and Webmaster Configuration
Analytics Configuration :
It is important to configure analytics to the WooCommerce website before its launch. It helps you keep track of your growth right from the launched day. The analysis actually helps you to improve by knowing what is happening and how users interact with your website.
Google Analytics is the best way to track your performance.
It provides user’s interaction with your website, where they are from when they leave, what they see, and how much your WooCommerce site grown since launch. It also maintains a record of all the action and keeps historical data of the website launch and its progress.
It is essential to check whether your website pages loads with WooCommerce optimization speed. If a 404 Error prompts then it creates a bad user experience. The WooCommerce page speed optimization is necessary for a website to work smoothly and also make sure that there are no broken or missing links. If your website is added to Google Webmaster tools then you can find pages with 404 Errors in your reports.
If you haven’t added your new website to any Webmaster tool or Google Search Console then you have to check the working of every page in your site manually. You can configure email alert setups for 404 errors which help in monitoring and fixing the error.
Launching a WooCommerce website is quite complex and overwhelming when many components are to be considered all together. Making a checklist will help your productivity and clarity in achieving your targets.
The checklist helps you to build your business by analyzing and implementing the WooCommerce performance optimization techniques to get better results. It also develops a better framework for your website before its launch.
This is just an idea, create your own checklist and keep it updated for a smoother launch every time.
Wishing you Good Luck.