Creating an online store can be simple or complex, but I’m going to take you through the general process of the average WooCommerce custom website with full eCommerce.

Custom design & development of the home page and theme elements.

The homepage of your website should be custom designed so that it does not look exactly like one of your competitors.  This usually requires a few design ideas going back and forth over a few days.  However, sometimes with a client that is more particular, this process can go on for a week or more until a design is created that fits the vision of your client, while still looking professional and easy to navigate, allowing it to convert better.

The time range is between 12-36 hours to fine-tune the design perfectly.  This includes the most important elements of your website, such as the header, home page, and footer.  The header and footer will go through most of your website.  Any custom development such as scripts, slide shows, galleries can increase the time greatly.

Adding Internal Content Pages

A content page usually contains around 1500-2000 words provided by the client and a few images.  These pages are custom designed to match the overall look of your home page and theme.  Each page usually takes around 4 hours to complete, which includes adding content, images, SEO tags, links, graphics and getting feedback from the client as well as any edits required.  As the average small eCommerce website has at least 5 web pages, this adds about 20 hours to the project.

Creating Categories

Categories are like pages, which contain the products within them.  Each category page usually has content and 1 image which relates to the products within it.  The categories also have SEO tags such as a title, h1 tag, and possibly links to other categories, pages and or products.

The typical small online store would have around 4 categories, each takes about 30 minutes to create, which adds 2 hours to our total.

Adding Products

Each product on your website is like a landing page on the Internet.  There are many ways a product details page can be set up, but the average setup contains the following items.

  • Product images, usually around 3-5 images.  These images will need to be correctly sized both dimensionally and in actual file size.  This normally requires some time in PhotoShop to correctly size each image so they are matched visually and then optimized so they load quickly online and take up less server space.  They will also require the correct names, and tags called “Alt Tags’ which will help search engines know what the image represents.  These images are then added to the product they belong to via the administration area.
  • Product titles, descriptions, tags, UPC codes, prices, sale prices, colors, sizes, shipping rates, stock levels, and possibly other features.
  • SEO tags for the product SEO title, description 
  • Internal links when possible
  • Stock Level if required
  • Upselling and cross-selling products
  • Weights, product dimensions
  • Shipping Zones

Normally this can take between 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on how many features, images, and so on are required for each product.  So if your store has 20 products then it would take between 10 hours – 40 hours.

Basic USPS Shipping Setup National Only

Shipping can require many hours depending on the client’s requirements.  For the estimate, we are sticking to the basics, which would be USPS basic setup.  This requires us to configure the USPS plugin to accurately calculate your shipping based on the weight of your products.  However, as mentioned above, there are many ways to set up your shipping and some take much longer.  This method usually only takes about 2 hours to set up and test.

Sales Tax Setup

Again, there are many different requirements for sales tax based on the client’s needs.  This outline is only for the basic, one nexus sales tax setup.  A nexus is the region/s you sell in and have a nexus in.  Normally we have to import around 1000 or so zip codes with their corresponding sales tax rates, into WooCommerce. And configure the site to use them.  This normally takes around 2 hours to set up and test.

Set Up Yoast SEO Plugin and Optimize The Website.

This is one very important step that many web designers either forget to neglect.  However, it needs to be completed to ensure your web pages are indexed correctly in Google and other search engines.  For an eCommerce website, we recommend installing Yoast for WooCommerce.  We do not include this as it’s a paid service, but we do install it as part of the SEO setup. Around 3 hours.

Configuration & Setup of Website & Plugins

Every website will require some plugins, such as speed optimization plugins, spam blocking plugins, security plugins, shipping plugins, and others.  Normally an eCommerce website requires at least 5 plugins, which is estimated to take around 4 hours to install and configure.

Website Training

A normal website is quite overwhelming at first and an eCommerce website is even more so.  However, once you get the hang of a few tasks, such as processing orders, adding, updating, and deleting products and pages, then you will have a much easier time learning the rest.  We usually spend about 2 hours training a client how to use their website.  This is normally broken up into 1 hour on the phone and 1 hour creating a short video tutorial to show them around their new website.  Adding 2 hours to the project.

Website Hosting & Email Setup

After the website has been accepted and tested we then move the site onto the server where it will go live.  Normally this requires between 4 – 8 hours, depending on the complexity, the host it’s going on and the ability to communicate with all parties involved efficiently. 

Domain Name Setup

If the domain name is not currently pointed at the server, we will set it up so that it loads the new website.  This normally takes about 1 hour.  However, it can take up to 48 hours of non-work hours waiting for the domain to connect completely.  This time is not charged for, but should be noted.

Adding your website to Google Analytics

If you want to know if your website is receiving traffic and from where then one of the best and free options is to use Google Analytics. This usually takes around 30 minutes to set up.

The above is only the basic setup of an online store.  But it’s enough to get you started and in business.

Total Hours

  • Custom design & development of the home page and theme elements. 12-36 hours
  • Adding Internal Content Pages 20 hours
  • Creating Categories 2 hours
  • Adding 20 between 10 hours – 40 hours.
  • Basic USPS Shipping Setup National Only: 2 hours
  • Sales Tax Setup: 2 hours
  • Set Up Yoast SEO Plugin and Optimize The Website. 3 hours
  • Configuration & Setup of Website & Plugins: 4 hours
  • Website Training 2hrs
  • Website Hosting & Email Setup 4-8 hours
  • Domain Name Setup 1 hour
  • Adding your website to Google Analytics ½ hour

Total Estimated Range: 62.5 to 120.5 hours.

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