WPEngine is a leading web hosting platform based on WordPress that offers managed, secure, and eCommerce hosting. They provide comprehensive solutions powered by CDN caching (content delivery network) and robust servers with data centres located in North America, Europe and Asia.
Customers praise WPEngine for its fast and robust servers, excellent security, and remarkable customer service.
In any purchased hosting plans, you get automatic updates, one-click restore points, automatic caching, best security, staging service for development, and many more.
To build your confidence further, notice that brands like National Geographic, AMD, Dropbox, AFV, Pingdom, Hello Fresh, WPBeginner, Under Armour, HTC use WPEngine with great success.
All accounts now get also free StudioPress access that gives you a vast range of 36+ premium StudioPress themes.
WPEngine eCommerce – new solution
WPEngine is a fast-growing company that constantly work on their product updates.
Recently WPEngine announced a release of a new WordPress eCommerce solution. The new WPEngine eCommerce solution allows customers to create an online store boosted by instant Elasticsearch. The whole process takes only minutes and is fully customisable.
It is vital to notice that with WPEngine based on WordPress, you own your store and data, so you are not locked into any third-party solution.
With a one-click installation package, you get your store ready to go in minutes.
Your WordPress will be updated with:
- Smart Plugin Manager
- eCommerce theme, demo content and Genesis Pro
- WooCommerce plugin and demo products
- Elasticsearch available throughout your pages (available in all custom plans except Startup) enables you to do instant store search
eCommerce ready theme
An excellent online store’s essential feature is its online appeal to customers. It often happens that customers assess the website by looking at its design, colours, and usability.
That is why WPEngine designed eCommerce ready themes with predefined settings and options to make sure you can create a great store that is appealing to customers.
WooCommerce is a well-known, professional, and open-source plugin built on WordPress. As part of the installation, you get sample products to understand how the products are structured within the WooCommerce plugin.
With WooCommerce, you can easily set up your secure payment and configure your shop options.
Allow Customer to search the entire store
Searching the entire store is an important feature that not all platforms support. With Elasticsearch, your customers can search the whole store, and while typing a keyword, they get autosuggestions for the products they may like.
An important thing is that search functionality is redirected to a separate server, so it does not compromise your website performance.
WPEngine features for your eCommerce solution
Advance eCommerce features
- A quick install started pack is provided, and no coding is required
- Your store is powered by Elasticsearch, which means your customers can search the entire store for products and get autosuggestions
- You get access to a WordPress plugin that is easy to install and use
Workflow tools that are straightforward to use
- You can design your store with templates provided
- If you own a store on a different platform, you can automatically move it to WPEngine
- Before you push your changes live, you can test in a staging area
- Backup your store any time automatically on on-demand
Advanced Security toolset
- WordPress and PHP automatic updates
- Free SSL certificate
- Any security threats are detected automatically and block to make sure your store remains secure.
- Activity logs and user permissions
- To double your security, you can enable multi-factor authentication.
VIP Hosting Infrustructure
- Servers infrastructure with data centres located around the world and supported by CDN
- Performance monitoring
- Availability of dedicated servers or server clusters
- Unlimited development sites – it is always good to test your new site before pushing it to production
- An easy way to push your changes from staging area to live environment
- StudioPress themes – a premium package of 30+ StudioPress themes to make your store looking outstanding
- The Genesis Framework – a web toolset to help you build your site whether you are a novice or advanced user
- Ecommerce optimised block building tools
WPEngine eCommerce infographic
How to get your store live
#1 Lunch eCommerce solution quick install package
After installation, you will get a professionally designed starter store with sample pages and demo products.
#2 Update Page Content
As we mentioned already, by default, you get demo pages like Home, About, Shop, etc. The first thing you do is update these pages with relevant content. Make sure you write your description concisely, so it is clear to your customers who you are and what you are selling.
Remember that your pages act as your business card, and making them look professional, appealing, and free of any grammatical errors is a must for you to succeed.
Use Grammarly’s Free Grammar Checker. Correct all grammar errors and check for plagiarism – instant and free (also available as a Chrome extension).
The essential page is Home, where you provide the most important information like what your store offers, new product releases, and any coupons or discount that are presently on offer.
You may also add new pages if you want to provide your customers with additional experience.
A great way to enhance your sales is by adding a Blog page where you can post about your products. Sharing your product’s new releases and posting about customers who successfully used them may increase trust in your website, thus excelling your sales in the future.
Navigate to Pages in your WordPress portal to update the content of your pages.
#3 Update Widgets
Widgets are small blocks of content that appear in different sections on your pages. They usually are located in the footer or sidebar area.
Navigate to Appearance->Customise->Widgets in your WordPress portal to update widgets.
#4 Update Menu
After you created or updated all pages, it is time to update your menu. Your menu must be well visible with an easy-to-read font.
While you can change the names of your pages that appear in your menu, I recommended keeping the menu items exactly like your page names.
Navigate to Appearance->Customise->Menus in your WordPress portal to update the menu.
#5 Customise branding
After installation, you get a website with a default look. It is essential to update your look and feel, colours, and site identity to match your company branding guidelines.
Navigate to Appearance->Customise in your WordPress portal to update the menu.
#6 Update Store Settings
Updating your store settings is significant, and you have to do it before you can start selling online.
Navigate to WooCommerce->Home in your WordPress portal to update your store settings.
There are four essential sections in the Store Management page you have to populate.
Add all necessary information about your store like address, selling and shipping locations, currency, and other options.
Before enabling taxes in your store, you should consult your tax professional or accountant about what may be your best options.
Remember that different law and tax options may be applicable depending on business type and country location.
To enable tax to navigate to General->General Options and tick the Enable Taxes check box.
After that, you should see a new Tax tab, where you can set your tax options.
The first thing you have to do before going to the Payments tab is to set up your payment gateway. Payment Gateway is an online service to provide and manage a secure way to make payments on your website.
There are various online services to select from, but the fastest and most secure are Paypal, Stripe, or Braintree. By setting up an account with one of these providers, your transactions will be instant and secure.
To update Payments go to the Payments tab on your WooCommerce page.
Finally, you update all your shipping information like shipping destinations, enabling a shipping calculator on the form or hiding shipping costs until an address is entered.
It is also vital to update Shipping Zones which are geographic areas. Different shipping zones may have different shipping methods, like Flat Rate, Free Shipping, or Local Pickup.
To update Shipping go to the Shipping tab on your WooCommerce page.
#7 Add You Products
After initial installation, you were provided with a set of default demo products to get you started. The last part of preparing your store is to add all your products.
To create or update products, navigate the Products tab in your WordPress portal.
Inside you will find some demo products that can be used as a template for your products. If you like the demo product template, the easiest way to add your product is to duplicate a demo product post and update it with your image and text.
If you want to create your own product page design, click on Add New.
After creating your product page design, you can use it as a template for any new product.
#8 Final part – Go Live Checklist
Once everything is set in your WordPress portal, now it is time to do the final checkup before you can go live.
To perform the final check, login into your WPEngine User Portal and click on Go Live Checklist. There, you will find a list of all mandatory and recommended actions you need to complete. It could be linking your domain, configuring DNS, or setting up an SSL certificate.
I particularly like this part as it assures me I have completed everything needed for my store to be production-ready.
What are the best practices for an eCommerce site
Optimising your images is crucial for any WordPress site, regardless if it is a WooCommerce or a blog site. I use many photos in my posts, and if I did not optimise them, the pages would be super slow.
They are straightforward steps you have to do to optimise your images without using any expensive tools:
- Resize your image in paint to the width of your blog post – this should shrink your image size (depending on image quality) to 100 kb – 200 kb. I set the Resize value to a number between 15 and 20.
- Go to Optimizilla (https://imagecompressor.com/ ) and compress the image – this should give you an image with less than 100 kb, but usually less than 70 kb.
- You can also use WordPress plugins to compress it further, like Smush, ShorPixel or EWWW. I don’t find it necessary as my image size is usually fully optimised with the two previous steps.
I recommend using a maximum of 70 kb image size for all your images.
Schedule email campaigns
If you use a WordPress plugin for email campaigns, make sure you schedule it in batches. You don’t want to block your site by sending a massive wave of 10000 emails at once.
Setting an SSL certificate is a must these days. Only secure sites get Google’s trust and generate good traffic.
While all payments are created via secure payment gateways, customers still enter personal information in your WordPress eCommerce site, thus being vulnerable to exposure.
You can prevent customers details from being exposed by installing an SSL certificate on your website.
I set up SSL as the first thing for any of my new WordPress websites.
Caching and optimisation
WordPress is a great tool that offers users the flexibility to create anything they want. One of the crucial factors for your new website or eCommerce store to be recognisable by Google is to make sure all pages are optimised and fast.
By installing optimisation and caching plugins in your WordPress portal, you can optimise and cache your pages, effectively increasing your entire website speed.
A definite leader in page caching and optimisation is the WP Rocket plugin. You can set the options in a few minutes and increase your pages speed.
Utilise WordPress Rest API
The final and often forgotten best practice is using WordPress REST API. REST API is a toolset that gives developers access to all WordPress objects and functions without using the interface.
With the API, you can separate the back end from the front end and allow your apps or services to hook up your store products and features safely. It can also help you keep a single product base across multiple sites.
WPEngine eCommerce solution – who is it for?
WPEngine eCommerce solution is based on WordPress – a big plus already. If you are a WordPress customer, you will find it very easy to use.
The solution is designed to be fully customisable, making the product efficient and robust.
WPEngine has an industry-leading infrastructure optimised for site speed, security, and scalability. In addition, WPEngine eCommerce is not reliant on any third-party software and is fully maintainable within your WordPress platform.
WPEngine eCommerce solution helps small or medium business (SMB) owners lunch a new store quickly and efficiently increase their online sales using WooCommerce mobile-friendly sites.