A recent site speed and loading time analysis showed that the visitor statistic plugin I was using was taking up too much time to load, slowing down the site speed significantly, so I decided to look for an alternative.
Most recommended, with the most detailed statistics is the Google Analytics. Together with their Webmaster tools this is the a very powerful information gatherer, which you can use to analyze and modify your titles, descriptions and keywords to optimize your SEO.
What do you need to set up Google Analytics
A google mail account
Access to your files on the webserver OR (for locally installed wordpress)
Admin access to a plugin that can insert the Google Analytics code (I use the header & Footer plugin)
Log in to your dashboard using the URL given with your unique shop name, name & password.
This shows your unique shop name
This is where you can add products & posts, add coupon codes, and load photos to your library
The sidebar gives all options on settings for your site
You can verify the total space for your site, and what % has been used so far
Any new comments waiting for approval are here, you can approve, mark as spam, or delete.
On every page there is Help available, which gives you tips and links to the official WordPress help files.
You can view our video on how to get started on your dashboard, and how to navigate and find things there:
Do mind that you can change the view of your dashboard, this can vary depending on your settings. Also when plugins update you may get a different view, just hit the dashboard menu item again to see the standard view.
Also mind the little arrows next to the titles with which you can open or close the options.
On every page, post and product you’ll find a block for SEO, Search Engine Optimization. This is so you can tell Google what keywords are important, and how to display your title & description in their search results. It is totally optional and up to you whether you fill this in, or just leave it as it is, we do (very strongly) recommend using this though.
You can check the importance of using this SEO plugin on our POST ON SEO HERE , and for more practical examples on how to use these fields and fill in you can see our POST HERE.
If you want to check a visual explanation, please check our video:
Your pages and menu have already been set up for you, including an about you, blog & contact page.
All pages you can change, including the title, the menu will then adapt automatically. Note: Your shop and shop-pages are shop, cart, check-out and my account, and you should not rename these, as then your shop will no longer work!
To see all pages, hover over ‘Pages’ in the left bar, and choose ‘all pages’ or click op ‘Pages’
You can instantly see if anybody left a comment on any page
Hover over the page title to get the option to Edit, Quick Edit, remove or view the page directly
As is mostly the case there is help available from the Help menu in the top right
Note: If you are logged in you will also have an Edit link at the bottom of the page when viewing, or at the black bar on top.
Title: You can change this if you like. The menu will change accordingly.
Use these icons to mark up your text in the body. If you see only a single row use the toggle icon to show all. You can align text, make it bold, a different colour, add links… simply select a bit of text to mark up, and press the related icon to change the appearance.
This is the body of the text. You can add photos, youtube video’s, links… and write about yourself.
To add photos click ‘Add media’ to choose a photo from your library, or to upload a new item.
See also next paragraph about adding media.
Mind that you can change the status of your pages, products and posts. Here is where you can set them to draft, protect them with a password or set them to private. You can also schedule them to be automatically published on a later date or hour. After the first save you also have an option to see earlier versions, and to revert to these if needed.
You can change the view of the page by choosing a different template here. Choices depend on your theme, and mostly will include a full page with no sidebars if you do not want to show these.
When typing WordPress regularly saves automatically, but not the full page. Please do not forget to press the Update button regularly to save the page!
If you do not see the images and text you might be in text-mode. This is where you can enter HTML code, like embed codes for you-tube video’s, or solve some small lay-out problems in case you have some coding knowledge.
You can switch from visual to code view here. Sometimes wordpress switches automatically…
Tip: If you want to change an image in the text, just click on the image, a little bar with alignment options will open, and you can drag the corners to change size, or drag the image to another position.
Note: If you would like to have additional pages you can make these yourself, to add these to your menu please contact us and we’ll do this for you.
Adding images can be done from the library (from Media in the left menu), or when editing a page or a post with the ‘Add Media’ Button at the top.
See the video for a 5-minute overview, or read on below:
There is a tab on top to show all items, or to upload new.
The URL should stay unchanged, this is the link to the item. You can copy and past this link in a post or page though if you want to link again (very useful for documents). Title and such are optional, but can be used for searches later, and google finds you with this, recommended to fill in, and also the Alt Text.
All items can be found here, select an item to show the properties on the right.
Display settings: You can set default alignment (left or right from text, or none, which means text will not be next to file (can also be set different in individual posts).
Link to will make the image a link, so when you click on it it will open just the image (I turned most off, set to none).
Also size can be set. You can still change all options after you inserted an image in a page, just click on the image and a little bar will open above.
Search box to locate images. If you give your images recognizable names you can quickly locate these with this.
Notes: I do try to keep the image size low for faster loading. Preferred is 800px wide for most images. SEE HERE on how to compress, resize and watermark images in bulk.
You can link to external photos or documents using their URL.
You can insert video’s too, but this will quickly take up all your space on the site. Preferred is linking to YouTube video’s using the Embed Code, which can be inserted when being in Text mode on a page or post.
To add a photo gallery to your galley page you insert Media as you do in normal posts, but choose Create Gallery(1) from the top left.
Just click and select images you want to add(2), you can drag these around later still.
Click on Create Gallery (3) to add the gallery.
On the next page you’ll see your selected images.
On the top right you can set a few options. The Link to attachment page(1) means they will open in a big slider when clicked, you can set how many colums you want, this is maximum next to each other(2), and if you want them small, large or medium. The type is important here as this will determine the lay-out, you’ll have to view the page to see this working correctly, I recommend the Thumbnail grid.
Under the images you see a field to enter a caption, this will show up as a slider on the bottom of the photo when people hover over it.
You can add more photos with the Add to gallery(3), and don’t forget to save (4).
When done you can still add and edit the gallery. When you view the page in Edit mode and hover over the images a little icon will show up on top, the pencil bring you back to screen 2, the X will remove the gallery.
Check THIS POST for how to add a cool tiled photo gallery
Before you add any items to your shop you’ll need to go through the WooCommerce Settings to set up your country, preferred photo sizes, and payment options.
Below is a video walk-through and explanations of the options and pages you will encounter. Mind that we have separate manuals for setting up your SHIPPING OPTIONS and for DOWNLOADABLE PRODUCTS.
There is screenshots and text explaining the set up under this video in case you need to re-read.
The WooCommerce settings: start with setting up your preferences, tax and such.
Start by hovering over the WooCommerce in the left menu on your dashboard, and choose Settings.
You have different tabs on top, mind to save every page before you go to the next!
Set up your country of residence and countries you like to sell to, default all countries are selected.
Set up your preferred currency, and where you would like the currency symbol to appear, before or after the amount, and with or without a space. Only 1 single currency per shop are supported at the moment.
Set up your 1000 and decimal separator. Some countries write 1.000,00, others 1,000.00. EU mostly uses the 1st.
You can set the amount of numbers after the comma too. Usually this is 2.
Frontend styles is the button colours and text colours on the buttons in your shop, like Basket, Checkout and such.
Click on the colours to get a colour picker if you like to change the colours.
Don’t forget to save before going to the next tab!
WooCommerce Settings: Display of your products
Mind the little link at the top, you also have your inventory (stock) options on a second page!
Your Shop page is set up as Shop, best do not change this..
You can set up your shop with different Categories and Subcategories, or simply show all your products without first displaying the categories.
Categories for the products have already been set up, and are used to search and display all shops and display them on the front page, if you make different categories these will not be included there!
If there is a need for more categories please contact us, and we will review your request.
Your shop will have a drop-down for people to sort according to a few pre-sets, you can change the default here, this sorting is what people will see when they enter your shop.
You can set up different metrics for your products. Only valid if you fill this in in a special box later, which will be displayed in the ‘additional info’ tab with your product. Advised is to mention dimensions in the product description.
You can allow or disallow ratings and reviews on your products.
This one is important to set up right from the start! Your shop has been set up to display photos with a default of 800px wide x 600px high, or any % of this.
You can change this into 900 x 600, or 600 x 600, or really anything that fits your products, but do mind that if you have active products already and want to change the display you will have to reload the photos with the products after you changed here.
If you have set it to 800 x 600, and load a 600 x 800 the photo in the shop will still display as 800 x 600, but on viewing the product the 600 x 800 will show fully.
Always set the amount of pixels lower on this page as the actual photos you upload, as otherwise they will be stretched and look hazy.
Your shop supports downloadable products. Default Method is to ‘Force Download’ meaning people have access to a download link right after paying, without seeing the URL to avoid sharing. The other options are not supported at the moment.
You can force people to logon before buying so you have their identity in case of problems with the download.
When people checkout with paypal the order will be ‘processing’, this sometimes can take a minute or so, but you can already grant access safely in most cases.
Don’t forget to save before going to inventory!
WooCommerce Settings: Stock options
This option is found from the Products tab, with the link on top.
You can enable or disable stock management, so people will not see how many of each you have, but will not be notified when running low or sold out.
When people put things in their basket, but still browse for more you can already set the item to be 1 less. You can set the amount of minutes this will be displayed, default it will keep the item reserved for 1 hour.
If you want to be notified of low stock and sold out items check these boxes.
This is the E-mail addres where you will get your notifications.
You can set the amount of items when notified here.
If something sells out completely it will automatically disappear from your public shop unless you check this box. The product will still be available for you to edit or change.
You can display how many items you still have of a product, this will ensure people cannot buy more than actually available.
WooCommerce Settings: Tax options.
The first page is to enable the taxes, and how to display, the other links on top will enable you to set the specific rate for your country.
Check this box to enable the calculations.
If you want to set and display the price including tax (compulsory in the EU!) check the top.
Here you can set up tax based on location. Mostly you need to use the ‘Shop base address’, which will be the country you are selling from.
Here you can set the option to show shipping costs to your own country from the start (customer can change this herself when putting items in the basket), or choose no address, meaning no shipping costs will be displayed untill the customer picks her location.
You can choose to display the tax on all products in the basket, or product per product.
The tax will always be rounded up to the decimals set on the first page. Again you can choose to display per line, or on the total.
The additional tax options will be displayed. Zero rate is good for B2B selling, and can be set up when people enter their VAT number. Standard is always active.
You can enter any text after your price to show if price is inclusive or exclusive VAT.
You can hide the Tax until the last moment. This is normal for the US, in the EU usually all tax is included and shown all the way.
On the total invoice you can display tax per item, or the total.
Don’t forget to save, and to visit the links on top to set up your standard rate, and the other rates you wish to use.
WooCommerce Settings: Checkout options
Next tab is for the checkout options. This is where the money goes, please double-check everything!
Again you have the main page to set up the options, and the separate pages to enter your specific payment information, don’t forget to visit these links after setting up this page!
You can allow coupon codes for your shop (more on Coupon codes later)
Enable guest check-out: people can order & pay without having to register for your site
Secure check-out is not supported at the moment, but as soon as they go to PayPal the payment is fully secured by PayPal itself.
Check-out pages: please don’t change these, these are the default pages set up for your shop.
A default terms and agreements page has been set up for you including the EU rules, in which you just have to enter your address for return orders. Obligatory in the EU people have the right to return their product within 14 days from delivery, and you will have to refund them. If you don’t state the correct rules on the Terms and Agreements page this period will be extended to 1 year!
People will be shown a link to your terms & agreements page when checking out, and are required to check a box that they read & accept these before they can check out.
Checkout End points: Please don’t change these either.
Here you can set the default payment method shown, and order the payment methods shown to the customers (just drag to the wished position). If the clock is shown next to the payment method it means this one is enabled.
You can enable and disable the methods by selecting the Settings next to the payments and fill in the particulars, or by following the links to the payment methods at the top. Please save this page first before doing so!
WooCommerce Settings: Shipping Options
And next tab is for the shipping set up. I’ll go over the options here, but will further elaborate in the manual ‘Setting up shipping’ as you best create a few shipping profiles for different sizes/weight, and the explanation is quite long…
There’s different shipping methods already included, which you can enable/disable on the different pages which you can get to using the links on top of the page, or next to the methods listed at the bottom.
You can enable/disable shipping, and choose to display the calculator so customers can select their country and calculate the correct shipping.
You can choose to have them select from a dropdown with shipping methods, or with radio buttons. The method with radio buttons enables the customer to see all available options at first glance.
You can set the destination to either Shipping or Billing address. Shipping address is advised.
You can restrict shipping to a self-made list of countries, or ship everywhere.
You can drag and drop the methods to your liking so customers see your preferred method first.
A clock at the status means this shipping method is enabled, and you can enable/disable the method by selecting the settings, where you also specify the rates.
Only enable methods will display for the customer.
WooCommerce Settings: Accounts
Your account page. Please don’t change!
Account End-Points. Don’t change either, your shop will not function without these!
Logged in customers will get their info automatically, for others you can choose on which pages or stage in their shopping they can register.
Returning customers can be reminded on the checkout page.
When people create an account you can use their email address as unique login (recommended), and you can generate the passwords automatically (will be mailed to e-mail address), or have them choose their own.
WooCommerce Settings: Email options
This tab controls the e-mails being sent out, which are nearly all automatic on ordering. Mind the last 2 links on top, this is where you can manually create an account for a customer in case they have problems registering, and reset their passwords for them.
Fill in your Shop Name here, and the e-mail address you want the customers to see when they receive the mail.
In case you want to personalize your mails you can add a header image to the mail. Please don’t use something very big for this..
Your e-mail will end with this info. text only.
You can change the default colours used in the mail here. Simply click on the blocks to be shown a colour picker.
Posts are the items that end up in your blog, last one on top, and work much the same as pages to edit, with a few added features as categories and tags, with which people (and Google!) can find them.
To add or edit a post either hover over the ‘Post’ in the left bar to see all posts, or if you want to write a new post you can use the top +New as well. When you located the post to Edit (hover over the titles in the ‘All Posts’ window) you get screen on the left.
This is your post title. It will display prominently bold.
This are the icons to edit and mark up your text in the main body. These work just as any icons in a word document, just select the text you want to mark up, and hit the icon to make it bold, colour it, turn it into a header, or add or remove a hyperlink.
You can add as many photos as you like, see previous paragraph on adding Media to posts.
This is the text body and actual content. Add photos, drag them around for best placement, and write ahead!
In case you see only text and funny characters make sure you are in Visual mode, and not Text mode, which can be used in case you have HTML knowledge, or would like to embed a youtube video code.
This is different from pages: you can add posts to categories , even several different categories, a good way to sort them, and a handy way to have people look for categories they are interested in, these will show up in your sidebar, and when visitors select them they will only see posts in this category.
Tag your posts here. Also very handy for visitors (And Google!) to find your content easily. Separate tags with a comma. You’ll see that it will suggest earlier used tags to you, and you can keep track on used tags and categories from the ‘Post’ item in the left menu on your dashboard.
Don’t forget the Featured image! Easy to miss, being hid at the bottom right.. This is the image that will be displayed next to your post in the shortened version on you sidebar (when set), or on your blog page itself. The featured image can be totally different than any photo added in the body.
Mind that you can change the status of your pages, products and posts. Here is where you can set them to draft, protect them with a password or set them to private. You can also schedule them to be automatically published on a later date or hour. After the first save you also have an option to see earlier versions, and to revert to these if needed, an excellent life saver sometimes!
When typing WordPress regularly saves automatically, but not the full page. Please do not forget to press the Update button regularly to save the page!
On most pages you have help available on the top right, which will give you more links to relevant documentation on making and publishing posts.
Shipping classes can be used to group products of similar type. These groups can then be used by certain shipping methods to provide different rates to different products. You cannot add shipping to products without setting up the methods first.
You can watch the video, or view the text below:
First step: Adding shipping classes
To add or edit a shipping class hover or select ‘Products’ from the left sidebar on your dashboard, and select ‘Shipping Classes’.
Give your class a friendly name, e.g. Small items, Medium items or so.
Slug will be generated automatically, no need to enter anything here. Description is optional, with some templates this will be visible to the customers.
In case you need help please do check the WooCommerce official documentation, it is quite good, and available from nearly every help button within your Wocommerce screens.
Don’t forget to save. The class will be visible immediately on the list on the right, and can now be used in your shipping methods.
Next step: go to Woocommerce-Settings, and go to the Shipping Tab to set up your shipping rates.
Flat fee. I’ve selected and enabled the Flat Fee shipping method, by far the most elaborate to use, and preferred to set up as close to the actual costs as possible to your most served countries.
Mind that you need to check the ‘enable this method’ in order to use it!
Method title is what the customer sees, and you may adapt this if you like.
You can specify the countries this method is valid for, I used this for Europe, as that list is still managable. Shipping to my own country I specified in Local Shipping, and rest of world in International.
You can specify if the shipping is tax included, and specify additional costs per order. This will be added to the total shipping costs once.
You can fine-tune the shipping with mathematical rules per item or order, based on percentages.
You can charge for the entire order as 1 whole, the highest shipping rate for a product in the basket will be applied.
You can also charge the shipping costs for each item individually, and add these all up, or charge per shipping class, e.g. if you have 5 small items and 1 big item in the basket the total shipping will be 1 time the cost for 1 small item PLUS 1 time the cost for a big item.
Finally here you can apply the costs. Check the Shipping class, and click on the ‘add cost’ button below to add the shipping classes and specify the amount of shipping and eventual handling costs.
You can specify a minimum for shipping, fees below this amount will be increased to this amount. Leave blanc to disable. Don’t forget to save
Free shipping: (next link on top) You can enable/disable free shipping, and specify either a minimum amount for the order to activate, or specify a coupon code, or even both.
International Delivery: Here you can specify your international rates, these are based on the Flat Fee shipping set up.
Here you can include or exclude specific countries, if you do not specify anything here, and already have Europe and Local delivery set up this will be valid for the rest of the world automatically.
Local Delivery: A very simple form, in which you can set one rate by amount or percentage of order total, and where you can set a specific country or countries. If all your items are approximately the same weight this is a very simple and effective way to have a single shipping rate to specific countries.
Local pick up: If you have local customers who order items you can have prepare these for them to pick up. Handy if you have a physical shop, or for custom orders to be picked up by your customer later.
Weight rate: This is the method to use if you have different products, bigger and smaller, and want to set up different rates to different countries. You can set up as many shipping areas as you want by creating Additional configurations, set a basic rate per kilo, a minimum and maximum rate, and the shipping will increase with the total weight of the order.
See our TEST SHOP using different weight and shipping areas, and shared the set up of these ON THE BLOG POST HERE so you have a working example to start with.
Any shop has different shipping needs, and my methods are specific to my shop.
I’d advice to set up your shipping, and try adding a few items to your basket, and try the Shipping calculator for yourself to see if everything is as wished for.
Finally, you got this far, now the fun part can commence. Adding a product is much like adding a post, but with some added features.
Check our video for a walk-through, or see below for the written manual
A big time saver is the Copy function, if you already have a listing set up with similar shipping profiles, categories, tags etcetera you can copy this to a new one, and just edit the few things that are different.
You’ll find the Cope to new draft on top of the right on any live product in edit mode.
To list a product from scratch:
To start adding a product go to +New-Product, or hover over the Products in the left bar. Mind that you can also duplicate an existing product, just click on Products then to see and select an appropritae product.
Product title. Recommended is to keep this simple and recognizable, without too many words, as the full title will be displayed under the product photos in the shop.
As with the pages and posts there is the text mark-up buttons available for you to highlight text or add links. Adding photos is also possible with the Media button, but the product photos and thumbnails are set below right, at 100 & 11.
Mind that you have the visual view and text view, if you see funny code it means you are in text mode most likely (or your cat walked over the keyboard again..)
As with posts and pages you can set the visibility of the product, save as draft, or schedule to publish automatically on a later date.
Do not forget to publish your post once done with all settings…
Select the categories your product belongs to. Categories have been pre-set, and you can select multiple categories, e.g. in case of a wedding ring Select the main category Jewellery, Then ring under that, and under presents you can select Wedding.
You CAN add new categories yourself, but we are using the existing categories for all shops, and to search, display and promote the products on our main Handmade In Europe platform and social platforms, so in case you make your own category this will NOT be used.You can ask us to add the Category for all shops, just contact us in case you think a category is missing very badly, and would like to add one, and we’ll consider your request.
Product data fields. Note the different tabs on the left. Price, inventory and shipping are the important parts.
You can also set attributes (like different colour options) here.
These options are explained further below this paragraph.
Tag your products. Very good for the search and Google. Separate tags with commas.
Product gallery images are used as thumbnails next to the main product. Recommended is to not add more than 3 for the best display.
Featured image will be used if people see your full shop, and will be the main photo for your product.
Note that there are 2 blocks for the descriptions of the product.
The main one above is meant for the full description, and in most cases will be displayed below the product photos.
The one here is meant for a short description, and is ended by the ‘Add to basket’ button. Recommended is to keep this short, just a few lines to capture people’s attention.
Setting product data:
Product data is the specific info like price, shipping, inventory andsoforth.
You can go from tab to tab and fill in the data without having to save the full product.
If it is a simple product, i.e. unique, or all the same leave this on default. If a downloadable or virtual product check respective boxes. If you offer different sizes or colours or such you can select Variable product to get more options, which are explained below this paragraph.
SKU is your unique identifier if you use these.
Your product price.
Sales price (optional). If you set this a little Sale icon will appear over the main product photo. You have to set a regular price for this feature to work, which will then appear with a strike-through.
You can schedule sales, if you click on the schedule link you can pick a start date and end date. End date is optional, if not set it will stay on sale indefinitely.
Please do check tab by tab for other data options:
Inventory: Here you can manage your stock for this item. You have to specifically enable this to see all options.
You can set the amount of items you have in stock, which will display with your product, or set the product to be out of stock, but still allow backorders in case you can make more.
Shipping: Here you attach your shipping class for this product. You can also specify dimensions and weight, this info is displayed in the ‘additional info’ tab with your product
There are shipping classes which work with weight and dimension properties to calculate shipping, but these are (not yet) supported.
Linked products: Here you can set and recommend products which you’d like to point out specifically to the customer.
By default customers see additional items from your shop when viewing a product, based on tags and text, but these might not always be very logical choices for you.
There is 3 options to set up items to be linked, either they show on the same place as the product (cross sells), or at the check-out (up sells), or as a group (groupes items) where every item will be available separately, but you can buy all at the same time too.
I have set up examples on our, and explain these on the BLOG.
Attributes: If you offer different sizes or colours or such you can add these options here, please see explained below this paragraph.
Advanced: You can add a specific note here instead the default when customers buy this product, and enable or disable reviews on this product.