Bluehost announced a new point and click solution that makes it easy for virtually anyone to create an eCommerce store with WordPress.
This is an opportunity for businesses for whom complexity of technology was a barrier to entry.
It’s also a door opener for agencies who can now more easily serve smaller clients and help them to become bigger and more successful businesses.
Bluehost highlighted the following benefits of their new eCommerce solution:
- Easy – Set up your beautiful online store to fit your needs, even without prior website experience, and with the option to lean on in-house experts to build it for you if needed.
- Customizable – Flexible, powerful, top-performance and beginner-friendly. The new custom-built Wonder Theme, which comes with the product, is highly customizable to your specific look & feel.
- Curated – Bluehost simplifies the WordPress experience. Enjoy the power of WordPress without having to navigate 59,000+ themes and plugins. Handpicked and designed by WordPress experts, Bluehost provides all the plugins you need, not the ones you don’t.
- Powerful – Built in with WooCommerce capabilities and YITH plugins, both brands well-known in the WordPress sphere, it is the only product that provides this combination of capabilities.
Point, Click and Done
For some, 90% of the battle to begin selling online is the technology.
Even though a guiding principle for WordPress is to make the software so easy to use that installing it only takes five minutes, WordPress itself is actually just a core upon which the final website is built upon.
To complete a website the WordPress core needs to be extended with plugins like WooCommerce and connected by an Application Programming Interface (API) to make other functionalities happen.
What Bluehost did was to take all those parts of getting online and turn them into point and click steps.
Getting started begins with an on-boarding process where necessary components like WooCommerce, Yoast and block themes are installed in the background.
The user next clicks through a series of steps like connecting a payment processor to make the website functional.
This is accomplished through a menu system based on tabs.
The tabs correspond to the following steps:
- General Settings
- Add Products
- Customize Your Store
- Advanced Features
- Launch Your Store
Screenshot of General Settings Page
The image below shows the second step for creating a new store, which includes necessary information like the payment processor, setting up shipping labels and eCommerce tax calculations.
All a user needs to do is to click the tabs on the left to progress to the next step in an orderly manner, step 1, step 2, step 3.
There is contextual documentation to help users who might need information, too.
The screenshot below shows the interface for uploading/importing product data, with a link to documentation beneath it.
Creating important pages within the site is accomplished with pre-built block pattern templates.
Blocks is the terminology for WordPress’ non-coding visual design interface.
One just selects which kind of page to design and click the button.
There are also optional advanced features such as customer wishlist functionality, product filters, gift card sales and a customizable customer account page.
Each store begins with a starting point template which can be customized to look exactly as the site owner wishes.
This part is probably where it might be helpful to learn how block themes can be customized for adding background images, changing fonts and colors of the different sections of the webpage.
This part of launching a site may be the part that some users might pause at.
But WordPress blocks are designed with intuitive contextual menus that are clearly labeled.
Below is a screenshot of how an eCommerce site can look once the starter template is customized.
This a screenshot of the block interface for customizing a webpage:
Closeup screenshot of WordPress block interface showing the contextual menu for modifying the block:
Bluehost Ecommerce WordPress Solution
WordPress is a popular way to build an eCommerce site but it is difficult for a site owner to do it by themselves.
That difficulty is a major reason why site builder platforms with proprietary technologies are increasingly popular.
What Bluehost has done is remarkable because they’ve taken a content management system that is widely loved but not point and click simple and made it intuitively easy for almost anyone to build an eCommerce site with advanced capabilities like the ability to sell gift cards.
According to Ed Jay, President of Newfold Digital, the parent company of Bluehost, YITH and Yoast:
“With the launch of Bluehost’s new commerce solutions, our team is addressing the needs of small businesses looking for the flexibility and power of WordPress but want the experience of coming online and selling to be simple.
The curated experience we are providing strikes the perfect balance of security, reliability, and functionality by taking the power of WordPress and putting it into the hands of users in a way that feels intuitive and native for each of our customers seeking to grow their businesses.”
Bluehost has accomplished the goal of making it easy to create advanced eCommerce websites.
This is important not just to business owners but also to web developers and search marketing agencies because it provides an additional way to serve small businesses who might not be ready for a bespoke solution and to help them start their journey to becoming more successful.
Read the Blog Post on Bluehost
Featured image by Shutterstock/Tirachard Kumtanom