Getting Started

View a list of steps to get you started on freewebstore. Where to start, marketing, adding a domain name and much, much more...

Getting started on a brand new platform can be quite daunting. That's why we have put this list of steps together to get you on your way to Be Your Own Boss!

Step 1: Creating your store

Once you have registered for an account on the freewebstore register page, you will be greeted with an automated chat bot that simply collects some basic information such as:

  • What you would like us to call you

  • Your country of residence

  • Your date of birth. (So we can check you are old enough)

Once you have supplied this information and completed the Welcome Chat, you will then be bounced in to your account. If you haven't already verified your email, there will be a notification at the top of your dashboard prompting you to do so.

Please Note: The following countries are restricted from signing up for our services Azerbaijan Guyana Singapore India Nigeria Bangladesh Qatar Pakistan Afghanistan Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Kenya Jordan Morocco Sri Lanka Zambia United Arab Emirates Bahrain Zaire Zimbabwe Egypt Iraq Iran Syria Uzbekistan Yemen Tajikistan

Step 2: Create your brand

You will notice on your dashboard that you have a panel of steps to complete. The next one to complete would be to head over to the Theme Editor and create your style. But wait! You still need to choose your store theme!

Choosing your Theme

When you create your account, you are given our default theme. To change your theme, head over to the Design > Theme Marketplace section of your control panel to view our themes, and if you want to view all of our themes and their Demo stores, head over to the Design > Theme Marketplace > View All Designs section.

Within these sections you can browse all of our available themes and select one that is suite to your needs.

Creating your Brand

Once you chosen your theme, head over to the Design > Theme Editor section of your control panel. When you first visit this section, you will be prompted to edit certain aspects of your theme straight away, such as:

  • Choosing your Color Palette

  • Choosing the font you want to use throughout your store

  • Editing/Uploading the Logo for your store

  • Editing the slideshow (if applicable)

You will then be shown around the Theme Editor by a wizard. Once the wizard is complete, you are free to edit your store and theme as you wish.

If you need any further help with your Theme Editor, head over to the Theme Editor section of this help site.

Step 3: Adding products

Any online store is pretty useless without any products to sell. So the next step is just that, adding products!

To add products to your store, head over to the Manage > Products > Add a Product section of your control panel. This section will allow you to add products to your store.

Alternatively, if you already have a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file of products you would like to import, you can use the 14-day free trial to upload your CSV via the Manage > Products > Import section.

You can add as many or as few products as you like as freewebstore allows unlimited product uploads across all of our subscription plans.

If you need any further help with adding your products, head over to the Manage > Products section of this site.

Step 4: Tell your story

Next, you will want to edit the content of your store. You can do this by heading over to the Manage > Pages section of your control panel.

Simply click on the page you would like to edit and fill in the text editors as required. Don't forget to save though, you want to keep your work :-).

If you need any further help with editing your pages, head over to the Manage > Pages section of this site.

Step 5: Get Paid

Probably one of the most important steps in setting up an online store, setting up a payment gateway so that your customers can pay for their order.

To set up a payment gateway, head over to the Orders > Payment Gateways section of your control panel to view and setup an available payment gateway. For some gateways, you will need to register for an account with your chosen provider.

For more help setting up a payment gateway, head over to the Orders > Payment gateways section of this site.

Step 6: Where do you ship to?

Another important step of setting up your online store with freewebstore is shipping. You only want the customers to be able to check out if the you can ship to their region. So we can set this up dynamically in the cart pages of your store, you will need to set up some shipping rules.

To set up shipping rules for your store, head over to the Manage > Shipping section of your control panel.

You will need to set up rules for every region you are able to ship to. These rules can be based on costs and regions set up by a courier service of your choice, or you can use the shipping labels feature (if available in your region. US or UK).

If you need any further help with your store, head over to the Manage > Shipping section of this site.

Step 7: Your Domain Name (the home of your store)

The domain name of your store is where your store lives on the internet. Customers will use this name to navigate to your store within their preferred browser. You can simply change your free URL name that we provide you with when you first register, but having a custom domain name on your store is important for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) purposes.

To buy or attach a custom domain to your store head over to the Marketing > Domain Names section of your control panel.

Custom Domain Benefits

  1. Professionalism and Branding: A custom domain lends credibility and professionalism to your business. It creates a memorable and unique brand identity, establishing trust among customers. It's easier for people to remember and associate your store with a custom domain, which can positively impact brand recognition and customer loyalty.

  2. Improved SEO: Search engines tend to favor websites with custom domains over those using free subdomains. A custom domain allows you to use keywords relevant to your business, which can boost your search engine rankings. This can lead to increased visibility and traffic to your online store, potentially resulting in more sales.

  3. Enhanced Trust and Credibility: Customers often perceive businesses with custom domains as more trustworthy compared to those using generic or free domains. A unique domain name demonstrates that you're invested in your brand and serious about your online presence. This can positively influence customer confidence and encourage more sales.

  4. Control and Flexibility: With a custom domain, you have greater control over your website's features, design, and functionality. It allows for flexibility in creating personalized email addresses, which can further strengthen your brand image. Additionally, you have the freedom to switch hosting providers or make backend adjustments without affecting your domain name, ensuring continuity for your customers.

  5. Ownership and Portability: Having your own domain means you own the rights to that web address. This ownership provides stability and security for your online business. Moreover, if you decide to change your e-commerce platform or hosting service, you can take your domain with you, maintaining your brand identity and avoiding disruption to your customer base.

These benefits collectively contribute to a stronger online presence, increased credibility, and a more memorable brand, ultimately leading to better opportunities for sales and growth.

Tips to keep in mind when choosing a domain name

  1. Keep it Memorable: Choose a domain name that is easy to remember. It should be catchy, concise, and easy to spell. Avoid complex spellings, hyphens, or numbers that might confuse potential visitors.

  2. Reflect Your Brand: Your domain should align with your brand identity. It could include your brand name or a relevant keyword that represents your products or services. Make it indicative of what your store offers.

  3. Consider Keywords: Incorporate relevant keywords into your domain if possible. This can improve your site's visibility in search engine results, potentially attracting more organic traffic.

  4. Be Unique: Ensure your domain name stands out and isn't easily confused with existing brands or competitors. Check for trademark conflicts to avoid legal issues.

  5. Keep it Simple: A shorter domain name is often more effective. It’s easier to type, remember, and share. Aim for a name that’s concise and straightforward.

  6. Avoid Limiting Names: Consider your future plans. Avoid overly specific names that might limit your business growth or expansion into new product lines or markets.

  7. Check Availability: Use domain name search tools to check for availability. Your desired domain might already be taken, so have a few alternatives in mind.

  8. Choose the Right Extension: The domain extension (.com, .net, .org, etc.) matters. While .com is the most popular and widely recognized, other extensions might suit your business or industry better. Consider country-specific extensions if you primarily serve a specific region.

  9. Think Long-Term: Choose a domain name that you can envision using for the long term. Changing your domain later can be disruptive and might affect your brand recognition and SEO efforts.

  10. Social Media Compatibility: Check if the domain name is available as a username on major social media platforms. Consistency across your website and social media handles can help with brand recognition.

By considering these tips, you can select a domain name that not only represents your brand effectively but also contributes to your online store's success and growth.

If you need any further help with domain names, head over to the Marketing > Domain Names section of this site.

Step 8: Marketing

Now that you have the bare bones of your store, from Branding, products to sell, a solid domain name and content, market, MARKET!

No online store is EVER successful without marketing. It isn't an exact science, but you need to find what works for you.

There are many ways to attack the marketing world:

  1. Optimize for SEO:

    • Conduct keyword research to understand what your audience is searching for.

    • Optimize your product descriptions, titles, and meta tags with relevant keywords.

    • Create valuable, original content like blog posts or guides related to your products/services to drive organic traffic.

  2. Utilize Social Media:

    • Identify the platforms your target audience frequents and establish a presence there.

    • Share engaging content, including product photos, videos, customer testimonials, and behind-the-scenes glimpses.

    • Run targeted ads on social media platforms to reach potential customers based on demographics, interests, and behavior.

  3. Leverage Influencer Marketing:

    • Collaborate with influencers or bloggers in your niche who can promote your products to their audience.

    • Ensure the influencers align with your brand values and have an engaged following that matches your target demographic.

  4. Email Marketing:

    • Build an email list by offering incentives like discounts or exclusive content.

    • Send personalized and targeted emails to your subscribers with product updates, promotions, and valuable content.

    • Implement automated workflows for abandoned cart reminders, welcome sequences, or post-purchase follow-ups to boost conversions.

  5. Offer Exceptional Customer Experience:

    • Provide excellent customer service to build trust and loyalty.

    • Encourage and showcase customer reviews and testimonials to enhance credibility.

    • Implement loyalty programs, referral discounts, or exclusive offers to reward and retain customers.

If you need any further help with marketing within your control panel, you can head over to the Marketing section of this site.

When can I expect to start seeing sales?

The time it takes to start seeing sales on a new online store can vary significantly based on several factors:

  1. Product and Market: If you offer unique products or cater to a niche market with high demand, you might see quicker sales. However, if your market is saturated or your products are similar to many others, it might take longer to stand out.

  2. Marketing Efforts: The effectiveness of your marketing strategies plays a crucial role. If you have a solid marketing plan in place and effectively reach your target audience through various channels, it can expedite sales. Conversely, if your marketing efforts are not reaching the right audience or are less effective, it might take longer to generate sales.

  3. Brand Awareness: Building brand awareness takes time. Initially, it might take longer to gain trust and recognition among potential customers. As your brand becomes more recognizable and trustworthy, sales can increase.

  4. Website Optimization: The user experience, design, and functionality of your website influence sales. A well-designed, easy-to-navigate website with clear product descriptions and a smooth checkout process can encourage sales. If your website needs improvements, it might delay the sales process.

  5. Seasonality and Trends: Certain products sell better during specific seasons or trends. Understanding your product's seasonality or market trends can impact how quickly you see sales.

Generally, it's realistic to expect some initial sales within the first few weeks to a few months after launching your online store. However, significant and consistent sales growth often takes time, typically several months to a year or more, as you refine your marketing strategies, build your customer base, and establish your brand.

Consistent effort, continuous optimization, and adapting to market feedback are essential for growing sales over time. Monitoring analytics, customer feedback, and adjusting your strategies accordingly will help in achieving better results.

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