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Tools For Startups

How To Install And Configure A WooCommerce Theme

Setup WooCommerce ThemeOk so now we’re cranking, you should have picked out and bought the wordpress/woocommerce theme from the previous post.   Now that you’ve got it, let’s go ahead and set it up in WordPress and start to configure it.   Luckily setting up the theme is super easy, configuring it on the other hand can get a little bit tricky, especially if you don’t have a strong web design or programming background.   However you’ll definitely be able to set it up, so let’s start with that:

Step 1: First thing you need is the zip file from whichever site you bought your theme from.

Step 2: Login to your WordPress admin account.

Step 3: On the left hand bar go to “Appearance” then “Themes”

Step 4: Click the “Add New” button thats up towards the top of the page.

Step 5: On the next page click “Upload Theme” then select the zip file of the theme that you purchased.

Step 6: Once it’s uploaded you’ll see it on the main themes page with the others.  Simply click the “Activate” button to turn it on.

Now you can go load up your site and see the new theme in action!   Chances are, unless you’re really lucky, that the theme doesn’t look just right.  This is where some tweaking is going to come into play.   From the themes page you’ll see a “Customize” button on your new theme and from there you can go in and edit the basics.

Once you’ve got all the options edited from there and you want to do more, you’ll need to start digging into the site a bit more from the “Appearance” > “Editor” tool.  If you’re not familiar with code and time is of the essence I would highly recommend jumping over to and putting a job post out for a WordPress developer.  Be very detailed in what you need done and make sure you only higher someone who has good past reviews and has worked at least 100 hours.  You should be able to find someone for around $8 an hour who can get you up and running.

Remember don’t do too much with your design at first, just get your logo up in there, tweak colors, and then modify anything else that needs to be changed.   Let’s get to the point of being able to run orders through ASAP, then go back and spend time doing any bells and whistles you have in mind.  If anything try to simplify down your design and site as much as possible.  Everyone suffers from delusions of grandeur when first starting up something, so keep it as simple as possible, you have all the time in the world down the road to add in things like a blog.

I went ahead and picked a simple theme for the item I’ll be selling.  It’s really clean and simple and made sure not to spend any extra time.  Since it’s only 1 product to start I was able to eliminate a ton of stuff from the design and really whittle it down.  I also had to bring on a WordPress guy to make some changes for me, it ended up only being about 2 hours of work at $10 an hour.

Now that we’ve got the site setup, in the next post I’ll move on to adding some products in and playing around with modifying WooCommerce settings.

Online Marketing / Tools For Startups

Top 5 WooCommerce Themes For Selling A Product

Now that we’ve decided on WooCommerce for the site’s shopping cart, now it’s time to grab a theme for it.  Basically a theme is a premade template that will help you speed up your whole design process.  Instead of designing an entire site from scratch you can pick out a theme that you feel meets you needs best and then just tweak it to have your own look and feel.  It’s pretty mind blowing that something that only a few years ago would take thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars to have designed and integrated now only takes around $50 and a few hours of your time to modify it!

Here are the top 5 designs I found for selling a physical product using WooCommerce.   I’m a big fan of keeping things simple and clean and focusing mostly on the product so you’ll see that reflected here.  Remember this should basically be a rough draft for your site, on most of these themes you’re able to change the color schemes and graphics around to really match your new companies brand and personality.   One other thing you should look for is a “responsive” theme, what this means is that the theme will look good in both desktop PCs and mobile devices.  With mobile becoming more and more popular it’s a smart move to start out with a website design that is responsive from the get go.

#1 – MinDig Theme (Click Here To See The MinDig Demo)
I really liked this theme, its super clean and has a good look and feel to it.  It’s responsive and n the demo link above you can see how well it works on different mobile devices.
Mindig Screenshot


#2 – Swagger Theme (Click Here To See The Swagger Demo)

Swagger is another really clean and easy to follow layout.  They have a nice selection of modified versions too so you can pick the one that meets your products needs best.  Swagger WooCommerce Theme


#3 – Maya Shop Theme (Click Here To See The Maya Shop Demo)

This is one of the most popular themes out there for WooCommerce.  Its a couple years old, but it’s a classic with a bunch of solid support since it’s been around so long.  Its really clean and I like how it’s a little bit more texty which helps a bit when it comes to SEO.

MayaShop Screenshot


#4 – Captiva Theme (Click Here To See The Captiva Demo)

Captiva is a really nice full width theme.  They have a great navigation setup on the inside pages which really allows for customers to click around.  Keep in mind though if you don’t have a bunch of products this might not be the best fit for you.
Captiva Screenshot


#5 – Humble Shop Theme (Click Here To See The Humble Shop Demo)

Humble Shop is a great for people who only have a few products or even one product to sell.  It lives up to it’s name as a super minimalistic theme which is good for beginners.  I’d highly recommend this if you have only a few products and then work your way up to something different as you need it.
Humble Shop Screenshot


The biggest tip for picking a WooCommerce theme is not to waste a lot of time doing it.   You should seriously spend no more than about 45 minutes picking one.  Just go with your gut on what you think looks best and has the features you need.  The beauty of using WooCommerce is that you can always switch to a new theme down the road.  So start with something easy just to get the ball rolling and get some sales coming in, then go with something more elaborate in the future.   Time is money and the last thing you want to do is waste your time contemplating tiny differences in theme designs that no one will ever notice.

Tools For Startups

Startup Podcasts Sites:

I think we can all agree that we enjoy hearing about startups, and though we may not necessarily be attempting to start our own, it’s always inspiring to draw on the experience of other entrepreneurs who have also had success.



earwolf  Earwolf: Seth Godin’s Startup School is devoted to showing people how they can go about starting and building up their dream business. Seth Godin is considered quite a leader in the business world, and when you hear him speak he is quite motivational and really knows his stuff. He goes through all the steps in his podcasts, from coming up with the initial idea, to raising funding and getting your idea off the ground.



thisweekinstartups  This Week in Startups has a collection of podcasts from many different influential people. There are a lot of great podcasts by CEOs, owners, and partners in many different startups. You can hear great advice from Mat Ellis of Cloudability, and Aaron Levy of Box for example. They also have podcasts on up and coming technology, new services and trends in the industry.



ecorner  eCorner is brought to you by Stanford University. Their Entrepreneurship corner has over two thousand FREE videos and podcasts which feature entrepreneurship and innovation thought leaders. You can get advice from the pros, and hear experiences from other entrepreneurs and students of Stanford.  It is constantly being updated, and they usually have one or two new items every week.



mixergy Mixergy offers you the opportunity to learn from the best. They have over 932 interviews which consist of proven entrepreneurs. You can hear some great advice and get insight from the founders of Wikipedia, YCombinator, KIVA, and Groupon for example. They also have 117 courses to help budding entrepreneurs get started in bringing their ideas to life.



frankpetersshow Frank Peters Show:  The Frank Peters Show has a lot of interesting podcasts not only on startups, but on different things effecting startups. They have shows on angel investing, public policy updates, and updates on summits and seminars. They release about 3 to 4 new items a week. (sometimes more, sometimes less)



startupsuccesspodcast The Startup Success Podcast actually stopped adding new material back in April 2013, however all their old shows are still available to listen to. They have over 140 interviews with some of the biggest names in startups archived and freely available to those that want to listen.  The reason they closed up shop is one of the partners left Microsoft to start consulting for a non-profit and the other partner went on to develop some web apps.



startupbusinesspodcast Startup Business Podcast:  Startup Business Podcast is another podcast that has closed its doors, however, you can still go and download their past shows until January 4th 2014. If you are interested in grabbing the podcasts and perhaps registering for their last free seminar in Las Vegas, you better do so now, while you still have the chance.



startupsfortherestofus Startups for the rest of us is brought to you by Mike Taber and Rob Walling who provide insight and advice from their perspective. They have successfully developed their companies without any Angel or Venture Capital funding. They currently have 154 episodes and counting.



startupdaddy Startup Daddy:  Startup Daddy is run by a down to earth family man who has been involved in various startups and his own small business.  He not only has podcasts, but also many informative articles and videos as well. The site seems to have slowed down a bit, with the last podcast being in May 2013.



itunesgeneric  Founderware is a series of Podcasts put out by They feature interviews with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and anyone else that has an interest in technology and life in general. They welcome suggestions for shows, and quite frequently feature listener submissions into their podcasts.



toiletpaperentrepeneur Toiletpaperentrepeneur: Don’t be fooled by the name, Toilet Paper Entrepreneur is some serious business! When you hear the name you might think of it as a joke site, but they have lots of useful videos and articles on startups, and advice on how to run them. While they don’t have any podcasts, this site deserves an honorable mention, not just for the unique name, but for the information it contains as well.



helpmybusinesssucks Help My Business Sucks! This website takes a more toned down view, and injects humor into its videos and podcasts to help see the lighter side of entrepreneurship and to help you keep your business from “sucking”. They have information on advertising, marketing strategies, and how to implement plans. They only come out with an episode per month on average. (sometimes they skip a month).



iinovate iinnovate  – Iinnovate is a podcast by Stanford University’s Business and Design Schools. It looks as if this was taken over by eCorner, but the old podcasts are still available to download and listen to, and still have some really good information. This podcast was last updated in June of 2009.



advancedsellingpodcast Advanced Selling Podcast:  The advanced selling podcast is a good mix of startup information, which covers a wide variety of topics. Not only does it cover important things in terms of your startup, but it also covers things like advice on how to end a long term relationship amicably if it takes a turn for the worse.  They have podcasts about once to twice a week.



venturevoice VentureVoice Podcast:  VentureVoice is a podcast not only about startups, but also about how people who are involved in startups live their lives. It has a lot of great information on how to balance your working on the startup and also your personal life, as sometimes it is difficult to keep a balance. Some really good information, though sometimes they take a while to come out with something new.



ITConversations ITConversations: (Innovators) –  Jon Udell works with Microsoft and also an author, information architect software developer, and a new media innovator. His main focus in terms of startups is the interaction of technology on society, and he has a lot of very interesting things to say. You can also browse other similar people there as well.



web20show Web 2.0 Show:   The Web 2.0 show currently has 73 episodes, chock full of information, ideas, and advice when it comes to startups and the different methods of tackling them. They have some pretty big names for their podcasts such as Neil Patel, who has also given advice to large companies such as AOL, General Motors and Hewlett Packard. It is definitely worth a listen.



37signals 37 Signals Show:  The 37 Signals Show doesn’t just focus on startups, but they also focus on technology in the new era, applying for jobs, hiring, and even new software development and how it pertains to startups. They have some really good advice on working in the digital age, and of course, some interesting insights when it comes to startups.  While it hasn’t been updated in quite a while,  May 2011, the information is still quite good.



pipeline The Pipeline:  The Pipeline is a podcast hosted by Dan Benjamin. It consists of interviews which feature in-depth conversations with innovators, designers, geeks, newsmakers, entrepreneurs, and with people who create amazing things. The last time is was updated was September 2011, but that doesn’t make the interviews any less relevant to today’s world.



founderstalk Founders Talk:  Founders Talk is a podcast which is really similar to The Pipeline in terms of interviews with innovative people, and talking about the issues which arise with startups and how to face them. They have a podcast every Wednesday at 5PM CST, or you can select one of their previous shows to listen to. Founders Talk is hosted by Adam Stacoviak.



tractionbook Traction: (honorable mention) While traction is not necessarily focused on startups per se, it drawn on interviews with 30 different successful entrepreneurs who have had great success with their startups. Some of the experience thrown into the book comes from David Hauser (Founder of Grasshopper), Chris McMann (Founder of StartupDigest), and Alex Pachikov (Co Founder of Evernote) for example.