Create a Free eCommerce Website In 20 Minutes (Free Shopify Alternative!)

Looking for a free eCommerce website builder? See how to create a free eCommerce website with WordPress in under 20 Minutes. Just follow the steps in this article.

WordPress is the best platform to create a free eCommerce website. In this article, we shall see how to build a free eCommerce website from scratch using WordPress without having to spend any money and without any coding; the quickest and easiest way possible.

Why use WordPress to create a free eCommerce website?

To build a free eCommerce website you need a free eCommerce website builder and with the WordPress platform, you get a free eCommerce website builder called WooCommerce. It is very easy to create an online shopping store on WordPress using WooCommerce.
Before building the website, you need to

  1. Get Domain and Hosting
  2. Install WordPress for your eCommerce website.

We recommend A2Hosting for its speed, performance, security, support and price. We use it for all our websites.

To learn about WordPress e-commerce hosting, you can read our article on Getting Domain, Hosting, and WordPress installation.

Once you have a live website, you can follow the steps in this article to create your eCommerce website.

WordPress eCommerce Themes & Plugins

In the WordPress platform, we mainly use 2 types of software known as Themes and Plugins.

WordPress Theme

It deals with how your web store looks. You can have only one active theme for one web store. There are many free eCommerce themes available so pick a theme you like for your free eCommerce website.

WordPress Plugins

Plugins add functionality or features to your web store. You may need to add some plugins like checkout plugin, Wishlist plugin etc., to add more functionality other than what WooCommerce free eCommerce site builder gives you. But WooCommerce is more than enough for now.

Quick and Easy way to build a free eCommerce Website

The quickest and easiest way to create a free eCommerce website is by using the following WordPress tools – Astra free WordPress theme and plugins such as WooCommerce (free eCommerce website builder), Elementor, and Astra Starter Sites plugins. We shall see how to create a free eCommerce website using these tools.

As I have mentioned already, there are many free themes and plugins in WordPress. But making full use of them takes some time to learn. As a beginner, you don’t need to spend that much time launching your first eCommerce store.

Installing Astra WordPress eCommerce Theme

The first thing you need to do is install your desired theme because it affects the overall appearance of your website. To install the Astra free theme,

  • Go to the dashboard of your WordPress website which is the back-end of your site.
  • On the dashboard, there is an “Appearance” menu, under this menu there is a “Themes” option. Click the “Themes” option.
  • It will open a page with a default theme installed. You have to change it. Click the “Add New” button which is found on top.
  • You will go to a page with some popular themes. Use the search bar on this page and search for the “Astra” theme.
  • You can find the Astra theme by Brainstorm force as shown in the picture.

  • Click the “Install” option on the theme and the theme will be installed on your website.
  • Then click the “Activate,” and Astra theme will become the theme for your eCommerce website.

Installing Astra Starter Site Plugin

Now you have successfully installed a theme for your eCommerce site. It’s time to install the plugins. The most important plugin we need now is Astra Starter Sites Plugin. This plugin gives us a list of free eCommerce website templates that can be readily imported so that we don’t have to create an eCommerce website from scratch. To install this plugin,

  • Go to the “Plugins” menu on the Dashboard of your site.
  • Under the “Plugins” menu you can find the “Add New” option. Click it, and you will go to a page showing all popular free WordPress Plugins
  • Use the search bar on this page to search for “ Astra Starter Sites”. It will look as shown in the picture.

  • Click “Install Now” on this plugin and install this plugin on your website.
  • After installing click “Activate” and activate the plugin on your website.

Importing a Free eCommerce website from the Astra Starter Sites

Now that we have activated the Astra Starter Sites plugin, you can import a website of your choice. To do so,

  • Click the “Astra Sites” option in the “Appearance” menu on the dashboard
  • On the Astra sites page, choose “Elementor” as your favorite page builder
  • You can find many template websites on this page, and you can see some are tagged “Agency” which means they are premium and you have to pay to use them
  • But there are other free website templates, and we can use them

  • On top, near the search bar, you can see some menu options, click the “eCommerce” option, and it will only show eCommerce website templates
  • Choose a site which not tagged as “Agency” and click on it to see “Details and Preview”
  • You can see that it requires plugins such as “Elementor” and “WooCommerce” before you can import the site
  • Click “Install Now” for both the plugins and they will be installed and then activate the plugins
  • After Elementor and WooCommerce are activated, you can find an “Import This Site” button. Click this button, and this site will be imported to your website.

Hurrah! You have created a free eCommerce website that is fully functional in a matter of a few minutes! Now you just have to change the settings, and add your products to your website and your online shopping website is ready for business.

Using WooCommerce free eCommerce Website Builder

You can install WooCommerce from your WordPress Dashboard (back-end). Or you can download the file from here.
WooCommerce is an eCommerce plugin that gives the core eCommerce functions for your store. After importing the Starter site, go to the WooCommerce settings and give your personalized settings for your stores like your Email, Payment options, Accounts, Taxes, Shipping, etc.,

You will find a “Product” menu on the dashboard. Here you can Add and Edit your Items, Images, Description, etc.,

It takes some time to learn but once you have learned it, WooCommerce becomes very easy to use, and you can manage thousands of products and millions of customers with WooCommerce.

Using Elementor Plugin

Elementor is the best page builder plugin and along with the WooCommerce plugin, it is most definitely the best eCommerce website builder. Elementor helps you to edit all of the pages of your website including your product pages, all from the Visual editor(WYSIWYG). You can design your pages in any way you want them to look using Elementor. It also has 24 widgets like an Image carousel, Video embedding, Icons, Buttons and so much more which can be used to build an attractive and operational website.

So take time to explore Elementor page builder. The Woo widgets are in Elementor Pro only.

Web Design for your eCommerce store

There is a Myth that making an eCommerce store with elegant design is what drives people to buy from an eCommerce store. It is a busted myth i.e, people don’t buy from a store because it is designed flawlessly.

I did what most people do — I concentrated too much on creating a great-looking store instead of actually trying to make a sale.

Oberlo co-founder Tomas Slimas

You don’t need to spend months designing a perfect website your logo or your colors and fonts. The important thing is to create a store that is operational and put it into the test phase and launch ASAP. Focus on acquiring the customers, and in the meantime, you can experiment with the design.

Do you want more for your eCommerce website?

This article gives you the basics of creating an eCommerce website, Not to mention that all these are free tools. But once you have tested the website you may need more features for your eCommerce store, and you would have to look for other premium options.

You might feel all the progress that you made is a waste. Don’t worry; your work will not go to waste because you can extend the features of your website with some premium options from the same tools. eCommerce website development is now not only for programmers, it’s for anyone really. WordPress eCommerce websites today are created by everyday folk like you and me.

Premium Tools to Continue

You can get Astra Pro which is a plugin add-on for the Astra theme. It has specialized features for an eCommerce store. You can also get the Astra Agency Bundle which gives you more sites(we saw earlier in Astra Starter Sites) to import from. So don’t need to worry about designing from scratch.

You could also get Elementor Pro which add-on for Elementor free plugin. It gives you 30 more widgets in which there are 4 specialized WooCommerce widgets and other  essential widgets such as Price table and Price Listing. There is also an important feature called Custom Breakpoints which helps you to create Mobile and Tablet friendly designs for your site.

Other Important WordPress Plugins for your WooCommerce Store

We have list of best plugins for WooCommerce. You can create any type of eCommerce store with these plugins.

  1. Must have Plugins for Every WooCommerce Store
  2. Best WooCommerce Product Filter plugins
  3. Top WooCommerce Dynamic Pricing plugins
  4. Best WooCommerce Booking and Appointment plugins
  5. Create FAQs for WooCommerce Products
  6. Best WooCommerce Affiliate Plugins


WordPress platform for eCommerce opens you to unlimited possibilities. It takes some time to get used to. Once you start to understand how this platform works, you can make the best use of it. You can create an eCommerce store that gets you the maximum returns for your time and money. So, keep working with WordPress and keep enjoying all the benefits!

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12 thoughts on “Create a Free eCommerce Website In 20 Minutes (Free Shopify Alternative!)”


    Excellent article. Keep posting such kind of
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  2. Nadia C. Dimatteo

    Very useful list! Thank you! And I also want to add one more plugin that I am using, TrackMage Woo Shipment Tracking. I truly recommend it.

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