To start an online shop with WordPress and WooCommerce is pretty easy. You can download the open source code from the official repository and you are ready to go. But when it comes to making this store ready for the public, there are more steps to take. You want to build a proper store with great conversion rates to effectively monetize on the great stuff you are producing. For this, you need to download WordPress and WooCommerce plugins, install a theme, and find snippets to create custom behavior.
We all know the hassle to put together all the small pieces until you have a great store. There are so many features that we need to consider: payments, SEO, caching, speed optimization, email marketing, etc.
To make things simpler, we have put together a list of plugins, one theme, and some snippets which we consider as a great store starter set. Just load them, put them together in a store, and you will already have an optimized, well-performing store with extended functionality.
This month, we focused on pulling together a store starter set with a focus on performance and page speed. Page speed is a crucial factor when it comes to conversion rate optimization. With this month’s set, you will build a solid fundament for a well-performing WooCommerce store.
Here is the complete list of our ultimate WooCommerce store starter set 05/2019.
Full List of Downloads
The Ultimate WooCommerce Store Starter Set 05/2019
- a3 Lazy Load
- Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)
- Compress JPEG & PNG Images (TinyPNG)
- Cookie Notice for GDPR
- Fast Velocity Minify (FVM)
- WP Super Cache
- Yoast SEO
The Store Starter Set in Detail
This month, we are recommending the theme OceanWP. It is available for free, offers paid extensions, and is fully compatible with WooCommerce and the page builder Elementor which we also put to this set for this month.
a3 Lazy Load
Lazy loading of images will speed up your store tremendously. a3 Lazy Load implements this technique on your WordPress and WooCommerce website. It is easy to configure, compatible with the most setups, and speeds up your store with ease. Lazy loading will help you to speed up your website by loading images later than the rest of the content. We recommend testing your page speed once with Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool.
Adminimize helps you to keep your WordPress backend clean. You can disable navigation items for certain users. This will allow you to build a store where you can easily collaborate with employees or external team members like virtual assistants. With Adminimize, you get full control over what backend settings they can see and what not.
Advanced Custom Fields (ACF)
Advanced Custom Fields (ACF) is comparable to a Swiss army knife: it is versatile, it will enhance the functionality of your WooCommerce store, and it can be applied in almost every situation. With ACF, you can add new fields to posts, pages, and other post types. It will help you to maintain complex levels of metadata. At the same time, ACF serves to help you structure your content and to keep things in good shape. There is a premium version with transparent lifetime pricing.
Compress JPEG & PNG Images (TinyPNG)
This is the official plugin of TinyPNG. It will automatically compress all images you upload to your WordPress site. Compression means they will be smaller in filesize than before without decreasing in quality significantly. Image compression is one of the low hanging fruits when you want to optimize for page speed. Using this plugin will allow you to simply forget about this topic and to see your store is optimized continuously. You get a free amount of images per month and even if you are above this threshold, pricing is fairly cheap.
Cookie Notice for GDPR
Informing your visitors about cookies is required by various privacy laws across the globe. As we are expecting you will not run your store completely without cookies, this is a simple plugin to get this job done. It is easy to configure, lightweight and provides you with all the settings you need.
With Elementor, you can say goodbye to the times when you had to work a lot on the source code of your child theme. Elementor is a versatile page builder framework which has seen significant growth in the past years. With its vibrant community, it has grown to an often-used brick in many WooCommerce stores. There is a paid pro version which adds even more functionality that enhances your WooCommerce store. Combine this with a compatible theme (like the one we recommended this month), and you have everything in place to easily build out fully functional and versatile stores.
Fast Velocity Minify
Redirection is a free plugin to help you keep track with dead links. As your store grows and you change the content on your website, you will sometimes have URLs which are not available anymore. This may happen if you stop selling a product, if you take down a post on your blog, or if you rename a product. In this case, a 404 page will be shown to users accessing this URL. In the context of SEO, this is not optimal. The plugin Redirection allows you to keep track of dead links and to put redirects on them. With them, you can ensure that users will be redirected to the correct page and do not see the 404 pages.
This may sound basic, but still, you need to download it. The WooCommerce plugin adds all the e-commerce features you need for your WordPress installation.
If you are running an online shop on WooCommerce, you have to think about security as well. Nothing hurts more than seeing your store going down because of a hack. Also, the protection of your customers’ data is essential. In addition to other measures, having a firewall in place helps a lot. Wordfence is the most popular firewall for WordPress. It also adds a security scanner to your installation and seeks for malware in your source code. There is also a paid plan which will strengthen the security of your site even more by providing access to a real-time security network.
Well, nothing works without it, right? 🙂
WP Super Cache
Caching is one of the most effective measures when it comes to increasing the performance of your website. WP Super Cache is one of the most installed caching plugins for WordPress. It is developed by Automattic, the company behind WordPress and WooCommerce. WP Super Cache is easy to configure, compatible with CDNs, and compatible with all other plugins in our store starter set.
Search engine optimization is one of the essential measures to take when building a WooCommerce store. To generate sustainable growth and business success, you will need organic attention of your audience. Nothing helps more than being present in search engines for relevant search terms. Yoast SEO is a well-known plugin to give you simple control over how your WooCommerce website will be visible on search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo, or Bing. There is a paid premium version and even a dedicated paid WooCommerce extension.
Snippet: Add Schema.org Structured Data for WooCommerce
This snippet helps you to provide structured data with your WooCommerce store. Structured data helps you to present the content of your store across search engines. It formats information in a machine-readable format. Google and other search engines use this data to aggregate content.
Before you go…
This is our take on a full WooCommerce store starter set for this month. By installing this set of plugins, you will already have a great fundament to build upon. We have focused on page speed and performance for this month. The plugins we highlighted in our store starter set will help you to increase the speed of your store and therefore to increase the conversion rate. Of course, there is still plenty of work to do before your store can be successful and generate steady revenues.
Are you using this set to kickstart your store? Please let us know if you are experiencing any issues on your way!
We are releasing an updated store starter set every month. Reach out to us if you feel that we should add something to this list!