We’ve also looked at all the different product types available in WooCommerce, as well as product categories, tags and attributes.
Next I want to talk to you more about how WooCommerce actually works, and I think it’s best to start with pages and permalinks.
In this post I’m going to explain the roles of each of the WooCommerce pages, and show you how you can change the permalink structure for the product page.
The default WooCommerce pages…
In the first post in this WooCommerce series, I briefly mentioned that 4 new pages are added to WordPress when you install WooCommerce…
It is important that you do not delete these pages as they are essential for your shop. If you click on the pages to view their content you will notice that they contain a shortcode (apart from Shop). Do not delete this shortcode either or else the page won’t work!
Each page has a different function within your WooCommerce shop.
The shop page is the main shop page. By default, this will show all of the products you have created in a grid format.
When you click on a product you are taken to the product page where you can see more information about that particular product.
From the shop page, you can add products to your cart/basket.
The cart/basket is where you can view the products before you make your purchase. Within the cart/basket, you can remove products, change the quality of products you have selected and add any coupons that you have.
If your language in WordPress is set to English United States then this page will be called Cart, but if it’s set to English UK then it will be called Basket.
If you are happy with the products in your cart/baskets, you can then proceed to the checkout.
The checkout is where you pay for the products that you are purchasing, and provide details such as your billing address and shipping address (if you are purchasing a physical product).
My account is a section of the shop specifically for returning customers. When customers make a purchase, they can set up an account that they can then log into a later date.
Within My account, customer can see their orders, downloadble products they have purchased, their billing and shipping address, and also change their account password.
What about the Terms and Conditions page?
When you install WooCommerce, a terms and conditions page isn’t created for you, but I recommend you set up one.
If you create and assign a terms and conditions page, a statement will be added to the checkout page. This statement says “I’ve read and accept the terms & conditions” with a link that links out to the terms and conditions page. The customer must tick the tickbox to proceed to payment and purchase the product.
To create a new page, go to Pages then Add New. Name your page something like Terms and Conditions, then Publish it.
The statement and tickbox won’t appear on the checkout page until you will WooCommerce know that this is the terms and conditions page. I’ll show you how to do this later in this post.
What if I do delete the WooCommerce pages?
If you do delete your pages, don’t worry! They can be created again.
To create the default WooCommerce again, hover WooCommerce in the menu, then click Status. Then click on the Tools tab and scroll down until you see the Create default WooCommerce pages option. Click Create pages next to this option.
This will create the four pages required pages again. Pages that you have already set up will not be replaced.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, each page is assigned to have a certain role in WooCommerce. So by default, the page called Shop assigned to be the shop page.
However, if you aren’t happy with the assignment of these pages, and you want to change them for any reason, you can change the role assignement in the WooCommerce settings.
Go to WooCommerce then Settings.
To change the shop page, click on the Products tab.
Here you will see the option where you can choose which page you would like to be your Shop page.
To change the My account page click on the Account tab.
Then select which page you would like to be the My Account page.
Finally, to change the cart/basket page and checkout page, go to the Checkout tab.
Here you will find both the option for changing the cart/basket page and the checkout page.
What about the Terms and Conditions page?
As I previously mentioned, you will need to assign the terms and condition tab before the link at the checkout appears.
To assign the terms and conditions page, go to the Checkout tab. You will find the option to set the terms and conditions page below the option to assign the checkout page.
If you aren’t already familiar with permalinks in WordPress, I highly recommend reading this post before you change any of your permalinks.
To change the permalinks structure, go to Settings and then click on Permalinks.
The first thing you will see is the permalink structure for WordPress. We’re going to ignore this section and move straight on down to the Optional section. Here you will see that there are three new options that allow you to change the permalink structure for product categories, tags and attributes.
For example, if you had a category called Clothes, by default the URL for this category would be http://YOUR-URL.com/product-category/clothes. But you can change product-category to be whatever you like.
By default, the URL for blog post categories is http://YOUR-URL.com/category, so unless you have specified something difference for the category base I don’t recommend using the term “category” for the product category base as it will cause problems.
There’s also a new section on the permalinks page called Product permalinks where you can change the permalinks of your products.
By default, the Custom base option is selected, the the custom base is set to /product/. This is just the same as the Standard option. So, say for example you have a product called Blue Shoes (creative, heh?), the URL would be http://YOUR-URL.com/product/blue-shoes.
Alternatively you can choose to make to use the shop page as the base, or use the shop page and the category name. Or, you can create a custom base.
Remember, if you are changing the permalinks, set up redirects! You can find more information about setting up redirects in this post.
Looking for more helpful advice?
Sign up to receive my free monthly newsletter!
On the last Friday of each month, I send out my monthly newsletter jam-packed with tips, tricks and resources to help you create and maintain the WordPress website of your dreams. And it’s completely free!
Simply enter your name and email below to sign up…
In this next post in this series we will be looking at how you can change the appearance of your WooCommerce shop.