In the era of digital opportunities, everyone should consider expanding their business to the online world. Or, maybe you don’t own any business at all, but you want to give it a try, with the minimum investment. There comes Shopify. Its main purpose is to give you a hosted all-in-one solution to start your own online store. It is very easy to setup everything, to install all necessary apps and to connect your products to the store. In this guide, I will explain you step-by-step how to start a Shopify store. Prepare for a bunch of photos because I want this guide to be detailed as much as it can be.
Things you need before we begin:
- Domain name (you can register one at porkbun, they offer a free Domain Privacy and free SSL with any domain purchase)
- Credit or Debit Card (to select a plan and remove password page, you won’t be billed during trial period)
- Chrome browser (for installing Oberlo extension)
- Valid email address
Follow this link, and you will get 14 days free to setup, test and use Shopify (it’s one of my affiliate links, I will get a commission when you buy a plan but it won’t affect you. This is how you can support me if you like my article).
Let’s Start With The ‘How To Start a Shopify Store’ Guide
Setting up the contact information
After you follow the upper link, you will get something like this:
Fill your email address, password and the name of the shop (you won’t be able to change this afterward)
Then, it will ask you to tell something little about yourself. I’ve filled this as I’m the newbie, with no experience in selling at all.
Then, add an address (a valid one), click on ’Enter my store’ and the first step is done.
Now, you are on the Home page, the main page of your Shopify store. From this page, you will navigate to everything else you need to set, add or change.
Setting up a domain name
Now, you can use Shopify without domain name but your address will be something like yourshopname.shopify.com and it doesn’t look so professional.
So, remember I told you at the beginning that you gonna need a domain name for this? Great. Now we will go through the process of connecting your domain name with the Shopify. It’s not that hard.
On the left sidebar, click on the ’Online Store’, and then you will see a ’Domains’ tab (you can also find ’Add domain’ tab on your homepage). Click and it will open to this:
Then click on ’Connect existing domain’
Add your domain, then click ’Verify connection’
You might get an error, just ignore it and remember this information: CNAME and A RECORD.
Next, you need to go to your domain provider (in this example I will use porkbun.com) and change these records. After you log in, there is a configuration icon you need to click and choose DNS Records.
It will open this window and you will fill the information given by Shopify here. Remember, you need to fill just A RECORD and CNAME (both records are under ‘Type’, choose and enter one by one).
After that, you need to wait for a few hours to be able to verify your domain. For me, it was 4 hours of waiting. When it’s done, you choose on Shopify what your primary domain would be. I would always go with www.domainname.com.
And voila! You have your Shopify account set and up, and domain name connected.
Adding a theme
Shopify has a great choice of premium themes and couple of free options. My experience is that simple and minimal theme is always the best choice, but that depends on what kind of store you want.
Also, all previous themes I’ve got for the Shopify were from Envato market. There you can find so many of Premium Shopify themes, for much cheaper price than anywhere else.
If you want to add the theme directly from Shopify, it’s pretty obvious how to do that. You go: explore free themes -> choose the theme -> Add theme. It’s that simple.
But if you’ve followed my advice and you got yourself a theme from Envato Market, then you need to upload it manually. On the left side, you will see the button for that. If you get an error while uploading and installing the theme, it’s not a big deal. You need to manually unpack your theme somewhere on your PC, and also it is very important to unpack liquid folder which is inside the main folder. After that, you just make a new .rar or .zip and add that archive to a Shopify. After everything is done, you can start customizing the theme by clicking ‘Customize‘ button. There are so many different options here (depending on the theme uploaded) so I won’t go into details here.
Ok, so now you’ve just added yourself a theme for your Shopify store.
First SEO Steps And Fine Tuning Of The Store
Now, it’s the time to do some SEO. It’s nothing big, just the basics.
On the left sidebar of your home page, by clicking on ’Online Store’ you will see the ’Preferences’ tab. Following that tab you will come to something like this:
As you can see, that’s the main window to set the title and meta description for your store, and bellow are the fields for setting up the Google Analytics and Facebook Pixel, two of the most important tools for measuring and analyzing the progress of your website, and for much more.
You will need to connect your website to Google Analytics, and after that, you enter the code Google gives you. It’s the same with the Facebook Pixel. You need to open a Facebook Business Account and add a Pixel. Just follow the instructions and you will get everything very easy.
Password page change will be available when you choose a plan you want to use. The best choice for the beginning is a Basic Shopify plan. Once you start earning some money, you can upgrade to one of the bigger plans.
Next, we gonna set some details for the account. If you follow ‘settings‘ button on the lower left side of the homepage, you will come to this:
Here, the most important tabs are ‘Payments‘, ‘Shipping‘ and ‘Taxes‘.
- Payments – you need to set how you want to be paid (usually by PayPal, Stripe or 2Checkout)
- Shipping – set up your shipping policy and shipping options
- Taxes – set tax options (if eligible)
Adding the products
For this part, I’m gonna use the AliExpress website for example. There are few ways of adding the products from AliExpress but there is one which is very easy, simple and fast, so I’m gonna show you that one. It’s the app named Oberlo. You can install this app from the left sidebar tab ‘App’. After you click on it, you will be taken to the store and there you just need to search for it and install. Oberlo already has a lot of products previously imported, so you don’t need to lose time on some occasions. But if you need something specific, then manual upload of the product is the next thing you gonna do.
You need to install Chrome extension for Oberlo. Everything else is automated. You find a product on AliExpress you want to import, and on the right side you will see the blue button. One click on it and it’s added. Afterward, you will set everything directly in Oberlo. Using of unique, self-made or at least a microstock photos instead of ones from the AliExpress is always the best practice.
After adding all of the products, make sure you do SEO for each product page separately. That means you need to write the unique title, meta description, product description, edit URL…etc. for each product. It is time-consuming but it’s worth of each minute spent.
For The End
Starting a Shopify Store has a lot of advantages. You get the analytics, free SSL, very fast and secure hosting, a plenty of apps and plugins to help you grow and maintain your business. Also, their customer support is of great help and available 24/7. The shop itself is mobile optimized and responsive, themes are customizable and you don’t need to be an IT expert to use it or to make some minor changes. SEO tools are already implemented, you just need to follow the rules and edit all the things that need editing. Payments are also perfectly implemented so you don’t need to worry about that neither.
The only ‘disadvantage’ is the price. But consider what you get with each plan, you realize that’s not the issue at all. Your only concern is to find a perfect product that sells and to push your store through marketing campaigns, to drive traffic to the store and to make conversions.
If you have any questions or want to add something you can do it by replying in the comment section below.