How to Create an Artists Shop in WordPress: Research & Initial Set up
Today I’m setting up an online shop through my WordPress site. If you’re an Artist or Blogger, why not come along for the ride as I learn? My next task is to get more of my Abstract Art creations out into the world. The obvious E-commerce platform to choose would be Etsy. But between you and me, I faff so much already, that the thought of faffing with something else, well erg. NO DICE.
I also love the idea of having complete ownership of the process. There is no better way to do this than to sell products directly from my WordPress blog. This is all completely new to me, but heck, I’m excited. I thought it might help my fellow Bloggers and Artists to see the initial research and set up process. In any case, it will be interesting to document the journey of creating an online Artists shop.
If you follow me on Social Media you will know that last week I sold my first set of Fine Art Prints. I’ve been wanting sell my artwork in this format for quite some time. But my dream ended up on the back burner, as I prioritized building up my RedBubble Shop and poured my heart and soul into the Blog you see before you!
No regrets though because I love everything I do. But I’m a one man band and work more or less full time on top of my side gigs and projects. Sometimes progress is a lot slower than I’d like due to time constraints. The struggle is in fact REAL.
How to Create an Artists Shop in WordPress: Research & Initial Set up
What am I even selling? I mentioned briefly in the introduction that I’m selling Fine Art Prints. Each piece is created by me during my down time. My creative process is a little strange, but it suits me just fine, because I’m a little strange too!
Each artistic effort starts out as a either a canvas or a canvas board. The original pieces take on a new lease of life as they are transformed into something new. I take different aspects of each abstract painting and rejig them digitally. The designs are then printed on either A3 or A4 300GSM card stock. But the process doesn’t end there.
I work back into them to bring out some of the colours, especially the metallic aspects of each print. The final products occupy a strange place between original pieces and Fine Art prints? I’m still kind of figuring that aspect out.
As for my canvases, well they are extremely precious to me. There is no amount of money that could persuade me to sell my current body of originals. However, I do provide original commissions if requested. The final piece would be truly unique to the patron. This excites me more than creating an original, taking Fine Art Prints from it and then selling it. Time is so valuable, aim to spend it creating more of what you love.
Why not Etsy?
Every piece I create, is priceless because it represents a piece of me and my energy. Not in some creepy Horcrux way! No bad Voldemort vibes here. But this is what puts me off Etsy. It seems so, clinical? There are more reasons than the aforementioned. For instance it seems a total FAFF to upload an item to sell, they take a fee per sale AND they get ALL the views. Obviously I appreciate the upsides, like a world wide audience of people looking to purchase art. But, I’m just not that desperate to sell.
If I was selling printables it would totally make sense to use Etsy! But I’m not selling printables, I’m selling physical artwork full of joy and embedded with fragments of my consciousness. Please don’t take this as me smack talking printables! Plus I already have the clinical gig going on with RedBubble. But I chose them because they have a MASSIVE range of products and handle everything other than the design. For the most part, I’m super stoked with that set up.
I’m quite happy to keep my audience tight knit. I’m content with a cosy crowd that know who I am, and why I create and appreciate the love I put into my work. As I mentioned earlier, even my prints get additional TLC and hours put into them after printing.
How to Create an Artists Shop in WordPress
Anyway on with the show … I’ve conducted some research and I’m going to go with WooCommerce. There are a few reasons. But the biggest factor is that I can do it all directly through my own site. PLUS you can sell physical and digital products, which is epic! There is also a WordPress plugin which always makes everything a million times easier and the option to add a product cart widget to your side bar. At this stage, I’m still filtering through all the options and making final decisions about how I want the precioussssss (my Artists shop) to be displayed.
I will most likely have the shop as a stand alone page, in one of the feature boxes on my site and a sneaky preview in my side bar. But once again, without physically exploring all the options, I can’t finalize anything. For now I’ve downloaded the WooCommerce plugin and I’ll go through a brief set up tutorial below. But I won’t go much further than that today. Simply because I don’t want to rush through the process of adding a product to my shop and do a shoddy job! Don’t worry though, I will be taking screens of the whole process to provide an a full tutorial later down the line.
How to add WooCommerce to your WordPress Site
Full disclosure, I got kind of carried away and downloaded the plugin and did the whole set up before taking any screens. 🤦♀️ BUT, never fear i’ve managed to go back and delete then re activate the plugin. It doesn’t do the exact same as the first time set up but I can still talk you through it.
To access the WooCommerce plugin, go to your dashboard, and select:
- Add New
- Type WooCommerce into search bar
- Install Now
The first time around I was prompted to finish activating my WooCommerce account in an external window. Trust me you can’t miss it, still wish I had a screen for you guys though. 😰
You will get a few options of suggested plugins to download along side WooCommerce such as MailChimp and Stripe. I already have the MailChimp plugin for my mailing list (which you can join here) so I didn’t add that one initially. But this is actually a separate plugin specifically for WooCommerce. It’s easy to go back and add though, I did this through my existing MailChimp account. I chose PayPal as my payment option so I’m not fussed with adding Stripe at present.
Here are a few screens of the type of information they request when you set up your WooCommerce account.
You will also be asked to set up:
- A suggested payment method
- An accepted currency
- A set postage amount
I’ve investigated further and you can go back and change all aspects of this via the WooCommerce plugin located in the admin area of your WordPress site! PHEW!
This is how WooCommerce will appear in your WordPress admin area. If you go to settings you can change any details you inputted in the initial set up. Which is extremely fortunate!
You will also now see a ‘Products’ tab with the option to add a new product! Adding a new product to your WordPress appears to be just like adding a new post. No doubt there will be differences that I will document as I add my first product. But for now I find this more reassuring than the multiple times I’ve gone to upload a product to Etsy and not been able to bring myself to do it!
That’s all folks!
This is as far as I will go today. My brain is fried and wired simultaneously. As always I hope this post is useful to my Artist and Blogger compadres. I’m not the first person in history to set up an E-Commerce gig through WordPress, but sometimes it can be valuable to watch people make decisions as they go, rather than just seeing the polished final product. Hopefully I have inspired you to start thinking about what you could sell and how you could sell it!
As for me I’m going to take a nap (maybe for about TEN YEARS) and then tackle adding my first online product and documenting the process ready for next week’s post.
I really hope to see you then!
P.s. If you find my content useful and enjoy what I share, why not buy me a coffee?
P.p.s. If you’re going to start monetizing your Blog you will need to get your tax affairs in order. Check out my previous post on the subject by clicking the image below