Creating an extension of your business online is something every brand should seriously consider.
With a focus on design, security and functionality, creating a fully professional modern e-commerce website, comes with a lot of boxes to check.
With tools like Joomla templates you can accomplish your goal of an amazing ecommerce Joomla website without having to break the bank.
Joomla’s open-source Content Management System, ease of use and extensibility are some of its unique features that make it an irrefutable choice in website development.
With that in mind, we developed a step by step guide on how to set up a Joomla ecommerce website from start to finish.
1. GET A DOMAIN NAME
Find a suitable domain name that easily defines your brand online and also describes what industry your business is associated with.
If you sell foodstuff online, something like www.marketwoman.com should work.
If done properly, this should help your SEO rankings in the long run. Use GoDaddy.com or a similar paid service to buy a domain.
2. GET A HOSTING PACKAGE
After sorting out an apt domain name,getting a hosting package is next. Hosting is like a home for your website where all data files and databases are stored.
Purchasing a domain name and hosting one are two mutually exclusive events and should be treated as such.
Avoid purchasing a hosting plan that promises an all inclusive offer at an incredible rate. They usually are not true.
After purchasing your hosting, head back to GoDaddy domain management tool or whichever domain service you used and change the name servers on the domain.
It needs to point to your new hosting company now.
The hosting package is usually sent through a welcome email by the hosting company.
NOTE: The name servers sent usually take some time before they propagate. So prepare for a waiting period, sometimes up to 48 hours.
3. GET THE JOOMLA TOOL
Download Joomla 3.3, which right now is the latest version available in the market.
Make sure it’s from a trusted source like joomla.org. Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, your download process will kickstart when you click on the Zip file indicated.
4. UPLOAD TO THE HOSTING ACCOUNT
With Joomla downloaded, the next step is to upload it to the hosting account you just acquired.
There are other ways but we recommend doing it from the cPanel on the hosting account. Go to File Manager, upload the Joomla zip file and then have it extracted under the public_html directory.
5. SET UP THE DATABASE
After successfully uploading Joomla to the server, we need to create the database where all the website data will be stored. This can be done from the cPanel on your hosting account.
Search for the MySQL Database Wizard under the Databases tag. Click on the same and follow the instructions to install it.
The important stored database should include password, username and database name. You will need to locate them sometime later hence therin safekeeping.
6. CONFIGURE YOUR JOOMLA SOFTWARE
Now you need to point the browser to your relevant website URL, configuring Joomla as per your hosting service.
If GoDaddy isnt your hosting provider, leave the tab under host name set to local host.
If you did that successfully then your website is up.
7. CREATE THE BASIC WEB PAGES
Next step is to design the website home page, about us page and contact us page before you fill in all other relevant content. This should be a relatively straightforward process.
8. DOWNLOAD & INSTALL A STORE EXTENSION FOR JOOMLA
Even with an operational website, we need a store to kickstart trading.
You can get one by downloading and installing an ecommerce solution like VirtueMart, a Joomla software extension.
Download it for free at http://virtuemart.net/downloads. At the time of this article, the latest stable version available is VirtueMart 2.6.8 which is compatible with all of the latest Joomla development versions.
To install the downloaded store, go to the Extensions Manager tab. Locate the site where you have downloaded the VirtueMart file and upload the downloaded file to the host service website.
Once this is done, VirtueMart will install automatically.
10. CONFIGURE YOUR WEBSITE STORE
Now that you have a store, you need to configure it following the next few steps:
Follow the Components -> VirtueMart route in the Joomla control panel and set up your eCommerce store.
Create the main setting for your store. including the payment and customer options like PayPal accounts, shipping options and customer notifications,
Create categories for your store.
For instance, in the market woman website example, there may be a category for perishable goods and livestock.
Add your products. Start by adding a name, description, image, and price for each of the products that you list on the site.
11. CREATE A LINK TO YOUR STORE
Create a menu item that will serve as a link to your online store by following: Control panel, follow the Menus -> Main Menu path.
Click on the New tab on the top right hand corner if you wish to add a new menu item.
Then click Menu Item Type and finally choose VirtueMart.
Your store link is ready!
If this all seem a little over the top, you can employ the services of a website professional to help you with it creating an ecommerce website with Joomla.
But be sure that they know as much as you now do.
For more awesome tips and tricks to help grow your brand online, follow us on our social media platforms and subscribe to our newsletter and you will be well on your way to becoming amazing!