Today, there are more than one million active users on Shopify. Its popularity is easy to explain - this Canada-based company makes it very easy to build an online shop even for a beginner.
And if you wish to join this club of million users, you need to know how to create a Shopify store.
Right here, I’ve created this step-by-step guide on how to build an eCommerce website from scratch. In it, I’ll tell you all the steps from how to sign up with Shopify to how to personalize your shop.
Here are the steps on how to create a Shopify store:
- Sign up to Shopify
- Learn the basic functions and features
- Choose a new theme for your shop
- Customize your theme
- Get a domain name
- Add pages to your website
- Create blog posts
1. Sign Up to Shopify
To build an eCommerce website from scratch, you first need to sign up for an account. To do this, make your way to Shopify's main page. The platform comes with a 14-day free trial so once you land on the homepage, you’ll see two buttons that say “Start free trial”. Click on one of these to get started.
From there, you’ll be asked for your email address, a password of your choice, and the name you’d like to assign to your store. When you’ve filled in this information, click on “Create store”. You’ll then be redirected to a page called “Tell us a little about yourself”.
Answer the questions on this page and tell the platform whether you’re creating the site for yourself or a client. Depending on your answer, new questions may appear so answer them as accurately as possible - your responses will help the platform to customize the building experience.
Once you've done this, click “Next”. You can also skip this stage if you'd prefer to fill in the details later.
After this questionnaire, Shopify will ask you for your personal details. This includes your name, address, phone number, and your business or personal website. Once you’ve filled in this section, click on “Enter my store”.
2. Learn the basic functions and features
Setting up a Shopify store isn’t complex but, it’s important you familiarize yourself with your dashboard. This is where you’ll be able to personalize your store, add products, and choose a domain name. You’ll also be able to create marketing campaigns and, depending on the type of store you’re setting up, you can also add plugins to improve functionality.
From this dashboard, you can also take a sneak peek at your store. This will give you an idea of what it looks like from your customers’ point-of-view. Not only this, you’ll be able to see the different elements so that you can make changes where necessary.
3. Choose a New Theme for Your Shop
To customize your shop, you should pick a new theme. You can do this by clicking on both “Customize” buttons on your main dashboard. There, you’ll see that you’ve been assigned the standard Shopify theme 'Debut'. If you like this theme, you can simply click on “Customize” to make it more relevant to your specific shop.
Alternatively, you can upload your own theme, choose a free one, or visit the theme store. If you’d like to start with a free theme, click on “Explore free themes”. Then, choose the theme that you feel would best suit your store. Once, you’ve selected the theme, click on “Add [theme name]”.
4. Customize Your Theme
When the installation is complete, you’ll be redirected to the Themes section of your dashboard. There, you’ll see your chosen theme and next to it, you’ll find the option to customize it. Click on this option to explore the editor.
The theme editor contains all the elements you need to fully personalize your Shopify store. From it, you can navigate between pages, choose specific sections to edit, and alter your theme settings.
You can also view your website as it would be seen on mobiles, tablets, and computers. When you're happy with the alterations you've made, make sure to click on "Save" or "Publish" before leaving the page.
5. Get a Domain Name
Now that your online shop looks exactly the way you want it to, you must give it a memorable domain name so that customers can find you. I recommend you use .com domain, if possible (for example, yourbrand.com).
If this isn’t available, you could also use another popular domain like .org, or even pick one of the rarer ones (hey, the .review one is nice as well!). Luckily, Shopify gives you a list of alternative options to choose from.
To assign a domain name to your online store, you have three options. To see these, click on “Domains” underneath “Online Store” in your dashboard. On this page, you’ll see “Buy new domain”, “Connect existing domain”, and “Transfer domain”.
As the name suggests, the “ Buy new domain” option gives you the chance to purchase your preferred name directly from Shopify. If your favorite choice isn’t available, you’ll be able to choose from some of the alternatives the platform offers. Available domain names say “Buy” next to them while those that aren’t are marked with “Unavailable”.
“Connect existing domain” and “Transfer domain” are great options if you already own a relevant domain for your store. The “Transfer domain” option allows you to transfer your domain from another website. On the other hand, the “Connect existing domain” option allows you to transfer a domain you bought from another platform.
6. Add Pages to Your Website
Once you’ve bought or transferred your domain to your Shopify store, start creating pages. These make it easier for customers to navigate your site. They’re also a great way to make specific pages about the things you're selling and boosting your SEO in order to attract more customers.
To create a new page, click on “Pages” under “Online Store” in your dashboard. Then, click on one of the “Add page” options. Next, you’ll be redirected to a text editor where you can add a title to your page as well as any content you feel is relevant. Just make sure that the content you add aligns with your branding and offers value to the reader.
Furthermore, every new page you create allows you to edit website's SEO. To do this, simply click on “Edit website SEO”. This will give you the choice to change the title, meta description, and the URL for the page.
7. Create Blog Posts
A blog is a great way to tell current and potential customers about your business as well as any promotions you are offering. You can also share information about your products and tell visitors about some of your unique selling points. Moreover, it allows you to further boost your site’s rankings on Google's search.
The process for creating a blog is more or less the same as when creating pages. Start by clicking on “Blog posts” under “Online store” on your dashboard. Then, click on “Create blog post”.
The editor for your blog posts is also very similar to the one for pages. However, you can also add an excerpt that will give visitors a summary of the content on your home page or blog.
Additional Step: Adding a Menu
By following all the steps outlined above your website will be ready to go, take orders and get paid. However, the key to a user-friendly website is to make it easy for potential customers to navigate it. To do this, you can add a menu. Here’s how:
- Click on “Navigation” under “Online store” in your dashboard
- Click on “Add menu” at the top right-hand side of your page
- Give your menu a name in the “Title” section
- Click on “Add menu item”
- Name the item and add the URL to the page you’d like the menu item to redirect to
- Click “Add” followed by “Save” on the “Navigate” page
Learning How to Create a Shopify Store - an Easy Process
When learning how to use Shopify always keep the visitor in mind. You should make your website visually appealing as well as engaging from both a design and a content point-of-view. Also, make sure it’s easy to use.
Luckily, Shopify makes it very simple. You can have a beautiful and functional website in no time. And we hope that this tutorial helped you reach just that. So good luck!
And if you have any other tips on how to create a Shopify store - I’d love to read them in the comments below.