ShopMaster Blogs

How to start your dropshipping store on WordPress in 2020: a 7-step practical guide

By Natalya Diatko

How to start your dropshipping store on WordPress in 2020: a 7-step practical guide
Commerce – for a good reason. Even beginner entrepreneurs with no technical skills can start a dropshipping store. To minimize your starting costs, you should do it on WordPress with WooCommerce – and in this guide, I'll explain how to do it.
 

Why start a dropshipping business on WordPress?

Starting an online store from scratch can cost you upwards of $50k for coding and design alone. This is far too much for most beginner dropshippers. After all, margins aren't high in this extremely competitive business. 

Here's where WordPress comes in. 

It's the ultimate solution for low-cost dropshipping sites – for 3 reasons:

1) It's cheap. WordPress itself is free. So is WooCommerce, the plugin that drives over 3 million stores around the world. You'll have to pay for your domain, hosting and some premium features. But at $300, you can have a fully functional store.

2) It's easy. WordPress doesn't require any coding. You'll need to read and watch some tutorials, but any person with average computer skills can design a store on WordPress. 

3) It's flexible. With thousands of themes and free plugins, you can design a beautiful, professional-looking store in a matter of hours. Plus, it will be fully responsive.

A simple store built with WooCommerce. Credit: ecokitty.co.uk
How to start your dropshipping store on WordPress in 2020: a 7-step practical guide - ShopMaster free dropshipping solution
                       (A simple store built with WooCommerce. Credit: ecokitty.co.uk)

I hope I've convinced you that WordPress + WooCommerce is the way to go. 

Now let's get down to the practical steps!
 

Step 1. Name your store


Don't forget: you'll be competing with many other dropshipping stores selling the same thing for almost the same price. So good naming is essential. 

Next, choose a name for your store and check that it's available as a domain name. It should be catchy and memorable. Instead of the expensive .com or boring .org, you can use special extensions for e-commerce: .store, .shop, .gifts, etc. 

Now it's time to purchase the domain name. You can use any popular domain registrar, such as GoDaddy, Domain.com, or Namecheap. The average annual price for a domain name is between $10 and $20.

How to start your dropshipping store on WordPress in 2020: a 7-step practical guide - ShopMaster free dropshipping solution
                                              (Sample domain prices. Credit: namecheap.com)
 

Step 2. Buy web hosting


Hosting providers differ in three different ways: cost, uptime, and response time. You want your store to be up at least 99.5% of the time, better even 99.9%. After all, every minute of downtime can cost you sales. 

You also want your pages to load fast because customers won't linger on a slow e-commerce site. The response time to aim for is 800 milliseconds or less. 

Expect to pay $10 a month for hosting. Note that providers that offer the lowest price aren't always reliable in terms of speed and uptime. And that super-low promo price is probably only valid for the first year, anyway. So don't make any rash decisions and invest some time in research. See this in-depth guide for details on hosting reliability.

By the way, many web hosting providers throw in a free domain name for the first year. Double-check the domain renewal price, though. It can turn out to be more expensive than if you get it directly from a registrar.
 

Step 3. Get an SSL certificate


SLL protection is absolutely necessary for any e-commerce store. It encrypts all the data you exchange with your customers, including payment details. You can see that a site has an SSL certificate when its URL begins with an 'https://' instead of 'http://'.

SSL prevents hackers from stealing credit card data, for example. Shoppers know this and prefer to buy from SSL-enabled stores. So having this certificate isn't just about security – it's about competitive advantage, too.

 You can buy SSL protection for about $5 a year. But you can also get it for free from many hosting companies, including BlueHost, SiteGround and FatCow. There are also some free providers, such as SSL For Free and Let’s Encrypt.

 

Step 4. Install WordPress and WooCommerce


It takes about 5 minutes. 

See this guide for details on how to do it with different providers. 

Nex, you’ll be able to access your WordPress admin dashboard and install your most important plugin – WooCommerce. Simply click on Plugins in the left menu bar, choose Add New and search for WooCommerce. 

Once it's installed, don't forget to hit Activate.
How to start your dropshipping store on WordPress in 2020: a 7-step practical guide - ShopMaster free dropshipping solution
 

Step 5. Pick a theme and design your store


WordPress features thousands of free and premium themes. But some of them are better suited for dropshipping stores than others. Some of the more popular ones are OceanWP, Hestia, Shopper, and eStore. 

If you think that a free theme is a bit limiting, don't worry. With some additional free plugins, you can make your store look exactly like you want it to. You'll also learn some WP design skills along the way! Watch this video tutorial to learn how it's done. 
 

Step 6. Add items to your dropshipping store


Now it's time to connect to suppliers and import items to your new store. The most popular is AliExpress, which offers over 20 million products that you can dropship. It's followed by some cheaper suppliers, such as Banggood, Chinabrands, and CJ Dropshipping. All these supply goods from China, though some have warehouses in the US and EU. This allows for faster shipping.

Adding each item manually to your store would take you ages. Nobody does that. All dropshippers use specialized plugins and extensions that let you import items automatically. Some, like ShopMaster, work for several suppliers. Others are mostly only for AliExpress. In most cases, there is a free plan to get you started. 

For instance, ShopMaster's Starter plan lets you import and manage 800 listings.

How to start your dropshipping store on WordPress in 2020: a 7-step practical guide - ShopMaster free dropshipping solution
                                                                (ShopMaster pricing plans)

 

Step 7. It's marketing time!


Finally, you have a site packed with trending items. It's time to promote your store!

Start by writing more attractive, SEO-friendly descriptions for each item. Original AliExpress descriptions are often clumsy. 


            
Next, create some useful content – like reviews and product tests. This will help you rank better on Google. 

You should also dedicate time to Instagram marketing, Facebook ad campaigns, and influencer marketing

Creating a quality dropshipping site on WordPress does take time – but at least it's cheap. You'll need a good theme, a fast web host, a catchy name, and a reliable plugin to fill your store with goods. Once you've done that, the foundation of your success is ready. From now on, you can focus on what you always wanted to do – promotion, sales, and making money.