Installing WooCommerce is an exciting moment. Suddenly, you’re turning WordPress into a powerful ecommerce store.
Your immediate focus might be on the new Products area of your WordPress dashboard, but the WooCommerce backend includes quite a few elements you need to be aware of.
From better store management to preparing for the worst, take the time to explore your backend settings to ensure your storefront is perfect for your customers at all times.
1. Setting Up Security
When you’re setting up an ecommerce store, security must be a priority. A single security incident could ruin your site’s reputation permanently and risk the personal identities of your customers. WooCommerce is for creating online stores, not securing them. This is why you have to take steps to secure your WooCommerce backend.
WooCommerce has multiple recommendations for securing your store immediately after installing WooCommerce, including:
- Use a secure host
- Use strong passwords
- Enable two-factor authentication
- Use security plugins, such as Jetpack Protect
- Secure FTP directories
- Keep WooCommerce, WooCommerce plugins and WordPress up to date
2. Checking Your Stats
By default, your WooCommerce backend gives you access to numerous reports to see how your store is performing. The Reports section of WooCommerce gives you insight into order histories, order trends, individual product sales, coupon/discount performance, how many guests versus customers and much more.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your store, give the reports a try. They make it much easier to turn your online store into a success.
3. Clearing Your Caches
WooCommerce caches data for multiple parts of your store, such as shipping rate calculations. Over time, this data builds up and slows down your site. While you might have set up a caching solution for WordPress, you might not have done the same for WooCommerce.
Under the System Status section of WooCommerce, use the Tools tab to clear out individual caches. This boosts speed and performance, which makes customers happier.
4. Maintaining Your System
Just like with anything else on your website, you have to do some general maintenance on WooCommerce from time to time. The WooCommerce backend has built-in maintenance and troubleshooting tools. For instance, the cache clearing feature above gives you the tools you need to regularly clean the cache.
The System Status area of WooCommerce is designed to help you quickly uncover issues and see if everything’s performing correctly. Run a system report to check critical details about your site and to help WooCommerce support staff help you fix any problems as quickly as possible.
If the worst happens, there’s also an option to reset everything back to defaults. This is perfect if you made numerous changes and suddenly nothing works right.
5. Customising Backend Features
The Settings area of WooCommerce is one of the areas you’ll want to change as quickly as possible. You might be more interested in the storefront, but the WooCommerce backend is where you customise all the options that ensure purchases calculate correctly, customers are notified of orders and products ship using the chosen method.
While there are numerous options to customise, you usually don’t change them much after the first time. However, it is vital to go through every option to ensure your store runs smoothly. Some of the areas where you might want to make changes include:
- General settings, such as your store’s home location and base currency
- Setting up the option to allow product reviews
- Calculating taxes and shipping
- Customising the checkout process
- Customising the customer account page
- Choosing which emails to send and when
6. Increasing WooCommerce Functionality
Another area you might frequent, especially at first is the Add-Ons area of the WooCommerce backend. This is where you can quickly find and manage extensions for WooCommerce, such as accepting various payment methods or offering shipping through different companies.
7. Clearing Out Excess
While you already know about caching, that’s not the only excess that slows down your WooCommerce store. Having too many extensions can drastically slow down not only WooCommerce, but WordPress in general. Start by checking your WooCommerce Add-Ons area to see if there are any extensions you don’t need. Remove any old ones to help speed up performance.
You should also remove any WordPress plugins and themes that you no longer use. These can negatively affect your entire site, including WooCommerce functionality.
8. Enabling Backups
WooCommerce doesn’t come with a way to back up your site. While this might not seem related to the WooCommerce backend, you should ensure your WordPress backup solution includes all your WooCommerce directories too. Should the worst happen, you’ll be able to restore your store and get back to your customers quickly.
Interested in using WooCommerce to open your own ecommerce store? Contact me today to find out how I can help.