7-Critical Factors to Consider While launching a WooCommerce Store

Statista claims, the global e-commerce market revenue is to hit a whopping $2.5 million, approximately, by 2021. With this growth chart, every business owner understands the importance of digitalization. As a freelance WordPress developer in India, launching an e-commerce business is no plain sailing. A lot of critical factors come into play, like, choosing upon the right platform to proceed. There is an impressive list of e-commerce platform options for entrepreneurs to choose from, one being, WooCommerce.

WooCommerce is an open-source WordPress plugin that allows building e-stores. It’s an ideal choice for small business owners as it is free, but you need to invest in a domain and hosting services

In this blog, with my experience as a freelance developer, here are some critical factors to consider while setting up a WooCommerce store.

1. The Hosting Plan:

Wherever you cut down the budget, this is not the one. Much of your store’s performance is the hosting. If you are considerably new to this WordPress society, you might come across several inexpensive hosting plans. However, what you’ll be needing is a good hosting service for good site speed, hassle-free uptime, and authenticity.

The downside of cheap hosting plans is if your site receives surges of traffic, it is likely to crash. And ultimately loss in ROI. Choose a hosting plan befitting the traffic and store size. A dedicated hosting plan is a preferable choice for WooCommerce stores. A quality hosting service means scalability, security, cache bypass, backup and more, which significantly helps in boosting conversion rate.

2. Content Delivery Network (CDN) support:

CDN is a geographically scattered server (called Nodes) that caches the static content of a website. Static content being images, JavaScript, CSS files, etc. When a user requests your website, the nearest node delivers the static content making the experience faster.

The sole reason to use a CDN network is to improve the site speed for a better user experience.   Google too ranks sites higher with better speed. For instance, imagine your site is hosted in America, all your American users will experience super speed. Meanwhile, a European user won’t experience the same considering the distance. When it comes to site optimization, CDNs ensure a speedy site and prevent crashing. Also, it lowers the load on the hosting server.

Critical Fators

3. Domain Renewal:

Suddenly, your website has disappeared. Why? Because you forgot to renew the domain name registration. I know, domain renewal is not a point to worry about when starting a WooCommerce site, it comes much later. But this tendency of forgetting about domain renewal is a prevalent issue.

The renewal process generally comes around after a year or two. Some providers have auto-renewal procedure through your credit card. They notify you every time the process is done. Some providers do not offer this feature and the renewal is done manually.

Make sure you have the following points noted for convenience:

  • Domain registrar and the password.
  • The renewal date.
  • The credit card being chargeable.
  • The procedure of renewal.

4. Site security:

The last thing you want is letting your site fall into the wrong hands. While safety begins with quality hosting service, there are other factors for you to follow through. Let’s talk about the password first.

Your site is as strong as your password is. So, begin with choosing passwords that are secure for all the accounts linked. Also, keep a close eye on who gets access to the site.
When deciding upon a password, keep the following points under consideration:

  • Avoid using a generic password and create a unique one specifically for the administrator account.
  • Keep a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Avoid birthdays, anniversaries, human and pet names, or common dictionary words.
  • Consider a lengthy password. The longer it is, the more complex it becomes and gets harder to crack.

The latest WooCommerce version comes with an in-built password strength indicator. Also, if you have a tendency of forgetting passwords, get accustomed to password management applications.

The next step of security comes to two-factor authentication or abbreviated as 2FA. It safeguards all online accounts connected to the site from intruders. 2FA can be considered as second step security to validate you as the owner of the accounts.

Typically, any individual who can access your email account can retrieve information about your store and other related accounts. With 2FA, they won’t be able to gain access.

Adding two-step security makes the login process lengthy indeed, but it’s worth it when handling sensitive data.

5. WordPress Plugins:

The WordPress plugin repository has over 50,000 plugins. With so many options to choose from, it becomes an overwhelming task.

The plugin must be from a trustworthy source. Popularity is an indication whatsoever, yet another point is how the plugin developer responds to critical issues.

When choosing a WordPress plugin, four factors are to be considered:

  1. Good plugins are updated frequently-WordPress constantly delivers new versions. Outdated plugins face compatibility issues and damage websites. Moreover, WordPress issues warning when outdated plugins are attempted to be downloaded.
  2. The overall impact of the plugin on page speed- Plugins made without the economical bandwidth in mind slows down the site. Get insight through publicly posted reviews or Google search “[Plugin Name] Review”.
  3. Don’t rely on popularity stats alone- Do some self-research. Check the number of downloads and active installations.
  4. Choose a plugin with good backend support-Determine if the support is good enough during critical issues like crashing, cache problems, and payment failure.

6. Outsourcing:

Outsourcing has a lot of perks when it comes to an e-commerce business. You save money, save time, earn more revenue and engage multiple skilled people. However, with the involvement of a third-party company, your business gets vulnerable as well. Privacy becomes a major concern for both businesses and consumers.

When engaging an outside contractor for outsourcing ensure they are reliable, GDPR docile and take security sincerely.

7. Update:

WordPress team delivers security updates for WordPress, themes and plugins as well as to resolve issues. Not applying these updates make your e-commerce store vulnerable to exploitation.

Hackers take advantage of security issues as such to breach in and meddle with your business.

Final Thoughts:

Starting with a WooCommerce store and WordPress development is fun and feature-packed. It is easy to get caught up and forget about the above important factors. With my experience in freelance WordPress development, I recommend you attend to these things while working on your store. Let me know if you have any other issues in mind that I have been missed.

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