The Ultimate Guide to Creating an Online Store for Your Business

Creating an online store for your business is a great idea. Here’s how you can use Commerce Street, WordPress and WooCommerce to create the perfect online store for your business.

an open sign in the window of a small business

Creating an online store for your business is a great idea no matter if your business is established in your community or you’re just starting out with a brand new business.

With online shopping becoming more and more of a thing and an entire world as your potential customer base, it’s a great way to increase sales and grow your business.

Plus, the tools for building your online store continue to get better and easier to use.

That includes the Commerce Street theme from the Crosswinds Framework. The theme is a WordPress block theme, meaning that you’ll be able to build and customize your entire website right in your dashboard — no coding needed!

And Commerce Street comes with built-in support for WooCommerce, the best WordPress plugin for ecommerce. That means you can get started with everything right out of the box so you can get started even quicker.

So let’s walk through how you can create the perfect online store for your business using the Commerce Street theme and WordPress and WooCommerce.

Why You Should Create an Online Store for Your Business

Creating an online store can be beneficial to any small business. More and more people continue to shop online, and your website can reach people across the country or across the world without their need to step into your physical store. What’s not to like about that?

In fact, 56 percent of US consumers prefer to shop online, according to Raydiant.

Also, according to Statista, US retail ecommerce revenue in 2022 totaled $856 billion. And Invoca reported that 81 percent of retail shoppers conduct online research before making a purchase

If you’re looking for a way to grow your business and increase sales, creating an online store is a great strategy.

Why Use WordPress and WooCommerce to Create an Online Store

So why should you use WordPress and WooCommerce to create your online store?

For starters, WordPress is an open source content management system. In short, that means you own your content. You’re not renting on someone else’s proprietary software. Shopify might be a good place to start, but at the end of the day you’re at the mercy of what they decide. And migrating away from them can be a challenge.

With WordPress, once you download the code from, you “own” the code. You can take your website anywhere you want and move from web host to web host if you need to.

And WooCommerce is the best ecommerce plugin in the WordPress landscape for online stores.

WooCommerce makes it easy to add and manage products in your store as well as manage and track orders as they come in. And there are tools that help you integrate your online store with your physical store so that you’re inventory always lines up between your physical and digital stores.

And there are a ton of additional add ons (both free and premium) that you can add to your online store to give you more functionality. Whether it’s generating shipping labels right from the dashboard or tracking conversions or anything else, you’ll be able to do it with an add on.

In the end, using WooCommerce and WordPress to create your online store gives you the perfect amount of flexibility to build the perfect online store for your business.

Why Use the Commerce Street to Create Your Online Store

Now why is the Commerce Street theme the best theme for your online store?

Commerce Street is a block theme which allows you to tap into the new WordPress site editor tools. That means you’ll be able to create and customize your entire website right from the dashboard and not have to worry about pesky CSS, HTML or PHP.

You can change the fonts and colors to match your branding. You can choose a header and footer you want or build your own. And you can create a homepage that is unique and perfect for your business.

And you can do it all through your dashboard.

Plus, Commerce Street comes with over 200 different patterns so you can build your great-looking pages even quicker. Or you can create an entire page.

And the theme comes with support for WooCommerce right out of the box. You won’t have to worry about messing with settings or templates just to get started. Instead, you can start selling products instantly after setting up WooCommerce.

The Commerce Street theme makes it easy to create the online store you want and need for your business.

Create a Plan for Your Website

Before you start to create your online store, you first need to create a plan for the website. After all, if you don’t create a plan, you’re basically planning to fail.

And the good news is that your plan doesn’t have to be formal or complicated. In fact, just writing down some of the most important parts in a Google Doc is completely fine.

Here are some of the most important things that need to be in your plan.

First, you need to make sure you have a process for fulfilling orders and shipping items to your customers. It’s great to make sales through your website, but it’s critical that your customers receive their orders in a timely fashion. So make sure you create the process for fulfilling those orders ahead of time and don’t try to figure things out on the fly with hundreds of orders that need to be shipped.

Second, start to think about the content that you’ll need for the website. You might think more about the design when building the website, but it’s the content that really matters in the end. That’s what’s going to convince someone to buy that product. So take some time to think about the pages you’ll need content for — like the homepage, about page, contact page, team page, etc. — and start working on that content. Also start to work on your product descriptions. You’ll be happy you did this later on.

Also, start thinking about various WooCommerce add ons you might want and need. You’re probably going to want to add the shipping labels add on to make that part of the process quicker. Or maybe you want help with invoicing. Just take some time to peruse the WooCommerce add on directory to see what you need to complete your online store.

Next, start to think about the domain name you’ll want and the web host you want for your online store. We’ll talk more about those here in the next couple of sections, but they both should be a part of your plan.

Finally, really think about the website and what other things you might need, like photos or videos. I promise you that you can’t really overthink things too much here in the planning stage.

Purchase a Domain Name

Now that you’ve created a plan for your website, the next step is purchasing a domain name.

You can take a much deeper dive into the world of domain names and how to pick the perfect one in another blog post, but here’s the short version.

While there are a bunch of top-level domains (i.e. .com, .org., .store., etc.) that you can choose from, it’s generally the best idea to choose a .com domain (it’s also generally the cheapest). That being said, as an online store the .store domain might be a good idea if your original idea is already taken.

Also, you’ll want to come up with a bunch of different domain names in case your first one is already taken. And considering how long the internet has been around, there’s a good chance that several of your ideas have already been taken. It never hurts to have too many domain name options.

Next, make sure that your business name is in the domain name. This will help both customers remember your website and it can help with search engine optimization.

Finally, when you have your list of domain names, you can purchase the domain at, Namecheap and Hover among other domain registrars.

Select a Web Host

Once you’ve got your domain name, it’s time to choose a web host.

This is probably going to be your biggest decision to make with your online store.

If you choose a good web host, you’re going to have a wonderful time with your online store. You won’t have to worry about whether or not your website is up and running. You won’t have to stress if your store suddenly takes off and you start selling a lot of products all at once. And if things do go wrong, you’ll have people dedicated to helping your website get back up and running.

But if you choose a bad web host, you’re going to have a really bad time. Your website will likely go down at all of the wrong times. If you suddenly become a viral hit, your website might not be able to handle that load. And good luck getting quality customer service to get your online store back up and running in a timely fashion.

You can dive deeper into each of your options for web hosts in this blog post.

But for this guide, I highly recommend using WP Engine, Pressable or A2 Hosting to host your website since these hosts are built with ecommerce in mind and have tools to help your online store succeed.

Setting Up Your WordPress Website

Once you’ve purchased the domain name and web hosting, it’s time to get started with setting up the website.

The good news is that any web host that’s worth anything will either set up the website for you when you make your purchase or have a one-click installer for you.

Once the website is set up, let’s dive into the settings.

In the general settings you’ll be able to set your site title and site tagline as well as make sure the administrator email is set to your email. You can also customize the date and time format used throughout the website and the language.

In the reading settings you can choose to set a specific page to be your homepage. We’ll come back to this one when we get around to creating the homepage.

There are also settings for discussions and comments as well as for writing new content. those aren’t super important, but feel free to go through them to see what they do and whether or not you want to change them.

The last group of settings is permalinks, and these are pretty important. They set how the URLs for your post, pages and other content are built. WordPress will not automatically add redirects if you change the permalinks later, so you really need to choose now how your permalinks will look. Personally, I like using the “post name” style of permalinks.

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you delete the “Hello World” blog post since we don’t really want people to see that post.

Adding in the Commerce Street Theme

Now that you’ve got your website all set up, it’s time to start to turn it into your perfect online store. And you’ll start by adding the Commerce Street theme to your website.

To get started, go to “Appearance” in the left-hand menu in the dashboard and then select “Themes”. In the themes screen, hit “Add New Theme” and then hit “Upload Theme”. First, you’re going to need to select the zip file for the Crosswinds Framework as this is the parent theme for Commerce Street.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll need to go back to the “Upload Theme” screen. You’ll then need to select the zip file for Commerce Street that you downloaded after you purchased the theme. If you need to download any of the zip files, you can access it from your account page. Then hit “activate” after it’s been installed on your website.

Now that the theme is installed and activated on your website, it’s time to start customizing the theme to match your branding and what you want for your online store.

To get started, go to “Appearance” and “Editor”. This will open up the site editor for your website. Here you’ll be able to choose a style variation that matches or comes close to what you want, or you can go to “Colors” to change the colors manually to be whatever you want them to be.

You can also change the fonts for your buttons, headings, links and regular text. You’ll also be able to change how various blocks look at a global level.

Finally, you can choose the header and footer you want or you can build and customize your own. And you’ll be able to edit every template, from the default page and post templates to the various WooCommerce templates (once you’ve installed and activated the plugin) without having to deal with PHP or CSS.

To really take a deep dive into just what you can do with the site editor, you can check out the other blog posts I wrote about it or check out the website.

Installing WooCommerce

Now that you’ve got the theme setup and looking the way you want it to look, it’s time to really create your online store by installing and activating WooCommerce.

To get started, go to “Plugins” and “Add New” in the dashboard menu. Next, type in “WooCommerce” in the search bar to search for the plugin. When you find it, hit the “Instal” button and then activate the plugin once it’s installed.

At this point, WooCommerce will walk you through it’s setup wizard, which is pretty easy to follow and a great tool for getting started even quicker. Here you’ll add your business’ address, any sales tax information you have, connect to payment gateways and more. By the time you’re finished, you’ll be all set to start creating the online store.

Once you’ve got it installed, you’ll want to add in any of the extra WooCommerce Add On plugins you want for your website by using the “Plugins” -> “Add New Plugin” -> “Upload Plugin” page for each plugin.

You’ll also want to set up the settings for each add on you add to your website. You’ll want to check out the documentation for each add on to see what you specifically need to do.

After you’ve got those all set up and ready to go, it’s time to start building the online store.

Building the Online Store

Now we’re really ready to get started creating this online store.

The next step is to start adding in your products. To get started, go to “Products” and “Add New” in the dashboard menu. You can add the name of the product and the description just like you would add a new post or page.

Beneath that is where the real power for WooCommerce lies. Here you can set the price for the product, set the inventory and more. If your product has attributes and variations, you’ll be able to set those up here as well and set the price for each variation.

I highly recommend that you check out the WooCommerce documentation for the specifics on how to set up each type of product.

After you’ve added in your products, it’s time to create the store page. And Commerce Street makes this an absolute breeze.

First, go to your list of pages by choosing “Pages” in the dashboard menu. WooCommerce will create a store page when you activate it, so find that “Store” page and open it to edit it.

If there’s content already in the page, remove it. That should trigger a modal to appear with full page patterns you can choose from. Find the two store pages. One should have a horizontal filters section and the other should have a vertical filters section. Pick the one you want for your website.

If you don’t see that modal, you can hit the “plus” icon in the top left part of the page and select “Patterns” and search for “store” to find those patterns.

Once you’ve added the store page pattern, you can customize how the products look in the listing. There are product patterns under the “Ecommerce” patterns category in the patterns selector, or you can customize it manually.

You can also do the same for the cart and checkout pages, with patterns already being built for those pages if you want to use them or you can build your own.

Adding in Other Plugins

Now that you’ve got the store already to go, it’s time to add in other plugins to help your website.

First, you’re going to need to upload the Crosswinds Blocks plugin that you got when you purchased Commerce Street. You can download the zip file from your account page and then upload it by going to “Plugins” -> “Add New Plugin” -> “Upload Plugin”, and then activate the plugin.

Once you’ve done that, there are some other plugins that I would highly recommend you use on your website.

First, I would use the Yoast SEO plugin for your SEO. There’s a free plugin that you can use, but I definitely recommend getting the premium version so that you have access to their WooCommerce SEO add on, which will be a big help for your online store.

Next, I use the Site Kit by Google plugin for analytics. This makes it super easy to connect your online store with Google Analytics, Search Console, Tag Manager and other Google website tools.

Also, I personally recommend using Gravity Forms for forms on your website. It’s a really powerful forms plugin and there are integrations with WooCommerce, so you can create amazing forms if you want.

Another cool plugin is Block Visibility, which allows you to show or hide blocks based on any combination of factors like logged in or logged out, screen size and more.

Finally, I recommend using Wordfence for security on your website. Again, I think it’s worth paying for their premium product since you’re running and online store, and that protection will be more than worth it.

You can also add in plugins for events, social media and almost any other type of functionality you want to add to your site.

Finish Creating Your Online Store

So now that you’ve got your website set up, your products and store in order and those plugins added, it’s time to finish creating the online store.

Don’t worry, you’re almost to the finish line!

Setting Up Your Header

If you haven’t done so already, make sure you take the time now to finish setting up your header through the site editor.

The type of header you choose is completely up to you, but there are a few things you should have.

First, the text needs to be legible. Second, make sure you have a menu that includes your top level pages and makes it really easy to navigate through your online store.

Finally make sure you have a call to action button, like “Shop Now”, in the header as well. If you want, you can also add a button for “My Account” for logged in users using the block visibility plugin if you want.

Also, putting your basic contact information in a top bar variation of the header is not a bad idea either.

If you haven’t set up your footer yet, now is the time to do so as well.

Like the header, the variation of footer that you choose or build is completely up to you. You’ll just want to make sure that it includes some of the following items.

First, make sure you have the copyright date and info in your footer and that it stays updated. The Crosswinds Blocks plugin has a copyright block that does all of that for you.

Next, make sure you have at least one menu in your footer. Really, if you have a large online store, using menus in one of the multi-column footer variations would be a great way to help your customers be able to navigate through the store.

And finally, make sure that you have contact information for your business in the footer, including phone number, email address and physical address. Also, it’s a really good idea to include your hours of operation. And make sure to keep this information updated if it ever changes.

Additionally, you might want to have links to your social media profiles here in the footer as well.


Your homepage is going to be the most important page for your online store. It’s likely going to be the first page that people see when they land on your website.

So it needs to be perfect.

The good news is that Commerce Street comes with several different homepage patterns you can use for your homepage. All you need to do is choose one of them from the modal that appears when you add a new page or through the “Homepage” patterns category in the patterns selector. Then you’ll need to add in your text and images.

Or you can use a combination of hero section patterns, services section patterns, production section patterns and other patterns to create your perfect homepage.

Either way, your homepage should include images of your physical store and/or products, a selection of featured products, a brief bio of your store with a link to your about page, your latest products and a link to your store, a hero section with a large image, enticing text and a call to action button and whatever else you think you need for your website.

When you’ve created your homepage, you will need to go back to the Reading settings page and select this page as the static homepage for your website.

About Page

Your about page is a chance for you to tell the story of how your business came to be, why it exists and how you help people find what they need.

So use this as an opportunity to really talk about yourself.

The good and bad news is that there’s no one real right way to create an about page. It’s all up to you.

Here are some things to keep in mind when creating your about page.

First, make sure that your spelling and grammar are correct. Really this applies to your entire website, obviously, but definitely make sure everything is right on the about page. Nothing ruins the mood more than bad spelling and grammar.

Next, be sure to add in images and even a video if you have one. A wall of text can be a challenge to read. So break it up with images that help tell your story.

On a similar note, make sure that you don’t have paragraphs that are massive walls of text. Break them up into smaller chunks that are easier to read. And contrary to what you might have learned in school, one sentence paragraphs are perfect fine.

Finally, it’s a good idea to include a call to action at the end of your about page. Take the reader to a page you want them to see, like your store page. Don’t just leave them on the about page. Otherwise they might just leave your website.

Team Page

If you’ve got a team of people working at your business, you’ll probably want to show them on a team page.

The good news is that Commerce Street makes it easy for you to quickly create a team page. It’s one of the patterns that appears in the modal when you create a new page or your can find them under the “Team Members” patterns category.

You can add a photo of the employee, their name and title, a bio and even contact information if you want.

Contact Page

Finally we have the contact page, and it’s one of the most important pages on your website. If someone has a question about your online store, they are going to need to use this page to ask you that question.

Your contact page will need to have your phone number, email address, physical address, links to social media profiles and maybe a contact form (especially if you don’t want to post your email address). You could also use the Google Maps block from the Crosswinds Blocks to show where your business is located and to help customers get directions to your location.

Commerce Street includes several contact page patterns you can use. You can find them in the modal that appears when you create a new page or under the “Contact Us” patterns category.

Taking the Website Live

Now that you’ve created your online store and everything looks perfect and ready to go, it’s time to take your website live!

How you take your website live will depend on your web host. In some cases all you need to do is just let people know that your online store is live. In other cases, especially with WP Engine, you need to change the domain for your website. Be sure to check with your web host ahead of time and reach out to them if you have any questions.

But once your website is launched with your domain, it’s time to let people know about it. 

Be sure to post about it on your social media channels. Put up signs in your store letting your customers know that you have a website. Add it your signature in all of your emails. Basically, tell anyone that will listen that you have a website.

Also, make sure you add your sitemap to Google Search Console. If you’ve set up the Site Kit by Google plugin, you should now have a Search Console account. So go in there and add in the sitemap for your website so that Google will index it and it will start to appear in search results.

But congratulations! You’ve finished creating your online store!

What to do After You Launch the Website

So now that you’ve created your online store, you’re completely done with your website, right?


The thing about websites and online stores is that you need to be active in managing them.

Since you’re using WordPress, you’ll need to make sure you’re updating WordPress core, plugins and themes on a regular basis so that you keep them secure (and get the latest and greatest features).

You’ll also need to be updating your information, especially if you change addresses, contact information or hours of operation. Otherwise you risk showing potential customers the wrong information.

Another thing you’ll need to do is work on your SEO so that more and more people find your store from search results. That might include writing more blog posts, improving your linking strategy and other things. If you have Yoast SEO Premium, you should have access to their courses which can help guide your strategy.

What you specifically have to do after you launch your website will depend on your business and online store. But just know ahead of time that your website will not be complete with the launch. You will still have to manage it for as long as it’s on the internet.

Start Building Your Amazing Online Store Today with Commerce Street

So, are you ready to get started creating your online store with Commerce Street? Awesome!

You can click the button below to purchase Commerce Street and take the first step to building your online store. In addition to the theme, you’ll also get the free Crosswinds Blocks plugin, which will add even more functionality to your website with over 20 new blocks.

And you won’t be alone while you build the website. You’ll get an onboarding sequence to help you learn how to use the theme and show you what you can do with it. Plus, there are guides and tutorials that can help you if you ever get stuck.

So take the first step towards building an amazing online store by purchasing Commerce Street today!