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How To Create Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress & Printful

How to Create Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress & Printful

Have you ever thought about opening your own personal clothing brand?

I have. At least several times in my life I thought about creating a store where I can sell the stuff I really want. I often didn’t find what I really wanted in stores in terms of jeans and t-shirts, that’s why I dreamed of creating my own store where I can sell the clothes I wanted.

One day I actually remember sitting down and thinking about all the things I will need to actually create the desired brand: I had to learn how to design clothes; I had to rent a place to keep all the clothes; I probably had to hire someone or convince my mom to go to the post office everytime I had new orders; I had to pre-order a particular amount of t-shirts so I can have enough of every size. But the biggest objective was this: To raise X amount of money in order to start or to take a loan from the bank. Thankfully, I didn’t bury myself into debt.

Thanks to WordPress and a company called Printful, you can now start your own t-shirt store without having to rob the bank or hire a staff of 10 people to help you.

What is Printful

Here is what you will learn in this detailed guide:

  • What is Printful?
  • What do you need to create a t-shirt store with Printful?
  • Getting started with your own clothing brand.
  • Installing WordPress Theme and WooCommerce.
  • Setting up Printful.
  • Connecting your WordPress with Printful.
  • Creating your first designs.
  • Bonus tip.

I’m super excited to walk you through the steps of setting your own t-shirt store today. Ok, let’s go with the first step:

What is Printful?

To answer this question best, I will use the example they are giving on their about us page:

  • Print: Printful is a company that prints designs created by you on clothes and other products.
  • Ful: The “ful” part stands for fulfillment. Once the desired product is successfully produced, the company also takes care of the shipping of the product to your client.

This happens on demand. Once someone on your website purchases a t-shirt, or whatever on your site/store, the order is directed to the Printful database and it’s produced in a couple of hours time. Then, the guys from this printing company send the order to your customer. 

In this whole process, you have 0 involvement. After the initial setup of your store, you don’t have to do anything besides collecting the profit of your t-shirts.

I will also include the video on their website to get even a better idea of how the whole process works:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PkDUFq2cSxI

Ok, I believe you got the idea of how simple the whole process is. It’s like having your own printing agency in your garage but without all the stress and complications.

Amaaazing!

Our part of the whole process is to setup a website and make a connection between our store and Printful.

That’s what I’m going to show you next:

What do you need to create a t-shirt store with Printful?

Obviously, you will need a WordPress site to have a fully operational store. To do so, you need a couple of things:

  • Domain name: Consider the domain name as the brand of your new store. You can get a domain for around $15.
  • Hosting: Hosting is the place where your website will be built. Imagine this like renting a piece of land and building a physical structure. In our case, however, we will rent a virtual space on a machine that’s connected to the internet and we’ll build our store from the ground up. I will personally suggest going with SiteGround for the domain and the hosting.
  • Install WordPress: WordPress is the software we’ll need to set up our store and submit products. It’s a super simple to use this content management system for creating websites. WordPress is powering more than 28% of the websites around the world.
  • WordPress theme: You need a theme to style your store. There are plenty of options and your choice should be influenced by the things you’re selling and also the impression you want your visitors to get. I will personally suggest using Total or Jupiter themes. Also, a great theme that is free is Storefront.
  • WordPress plugins: You can’t go without plugins. Plugins extended the functionality of your WordPress website. You can check some of my plugin recommendations by going to my resource page.
  • Connect to Printful: Once your site is created you need to connect it to Printful. That’s easier than it sounds.

Bonus Tip: You also need traffic otherwise no one will order your products. Read my guides about gaining more organic traffic: SEO for beginners10 Practical SEO Techniques. A bit more about this below.

Getting started with your own clothing brand

If you don’t already have a WordPress website setup, I’m about to show you how to create one from scratch in less than 5 minutes.

I’ll start at the very beginning. We’ll first need a hosting and a domain name:

Getting Hosting and Domain

There are a lot of hosting companies out there but the best in the business are SiteGround. They are hosting more than 1 million websites and have above 99% user satisfaction rate. So, don’t spend time researching, I’ve made the research for you. 

To get hosting and domain, go to their website > Hosting > Choose a plan:

Setting up hosting account SiteGround

I will personally suggest starting with the GrowBig package for an online store. This package comes with the needed resources for a store.

The next step is choose a domain name for your store:

Setting up hosting account SiteGround 1

Finally, you need to add your personal details: name, email, phone, payment details, etc:

Setting up hosting account SiteGround 2

Pay to complete the order.

Install WordPress

Ok, once you have a hosting account, we need to install WordPress.

Thankfully, the folks from SiteGround simplified this process for us. 

Access your account and go to My Accounts > Go to cPanel:

Setting up hosting account SiteGround 3

Once you’re inside, navigate to the Autoinstallers > WordPress:

Setting up hosting account SiteGround 4

This will open a quick installation wizard. Hit install to open the details:

installing WordPress on SiteGround

Choose where to install the WordPress. Leave “In Directory” field empty once you choose  your domain name. Next, add user, pass, and email address:

installing WordPress on SiteGround 1

I will also suggest installing the plugin Limit Login Attempts. This will add an additional layer of security to your website. Hit install once you’re done with the configuration.

The process will take only a couple of minutes and you will see this screen at the end:

installing WordPress on SiteGround 2

From here you can access your admin panel and start making changes.

Installing WordPress Theme

Once we’re ready with the installation of WordPress, we will want a theme that is suitable for an online store. 

I will go with Storefront in this example.

Access your WordPress admin page by typing yourdomain.com/wp-admin. Of course, change yourdomain.com with your actual domain name.

Once you’re inside, go to Appearance > Themes > Go to add a new theme > Search for Storefront > Click install:

Installing Storefront on WordPress

Once you activate the theme you will see that the theme will prompt you to install WooCommerce:

Installing WooCommerce

As mentioned, the theme Storefront will ask you to install the WooCommerce plugin. 

Simply click install and activate here:

Installing Storefront on WordPress 1

Once the plugin is activated, it will load a new setup wizard that will help you add the initial details for your store:

Configuring WooCommerce

You can choose your country and prefered currency.

Configuring WooCommerce 1

Decide what will be the payment method to receive payments.

Configuring WooCommerce 2

The cost for shipping. You can change that later.

Configuring WooCommerce 3

I will recommend installing the plugins shown above.

One more thing before we continue, you need to enable the Rest API on your WooCommerce. To do so, go to WooCommerce tab > Settings > Advanced > Legacy API > Enable:

enable REST API WooCommerce

Save the changes once you’re done. Printful won’t work properly if the above is not active.

Creating Account with Printful – Setting up Printful

The next thing we need to do is to create an account with Printful.

Go to their website and click on Sign Up:

Creating Account with Printful

Add name, email, pass and agree:

Creating Account with Printful 4

You will receive a confirmation email on the previously added email address. Click confirm:

Creating Account with Printful 5

The last will lead you to this page:

Creating Account with Printful 2

Click the button above to start your store:

Creating Account with Printful 3

Click create a store above and the next is Choose platform:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress

Select this option:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 1

The next step is to make the connection between the two platforms:

Connecting your WordPress with Printful

We need to install one more plugin to make the connection between WordPress and Printful – the Printful plugin. Go to Plugins and find Printful plugin:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 2

Once you  install it you will see this:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 3

Click on connect:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 4

Than click to approve:

Continue with the account we just created. Yes, the process involves a lot of clicking as I mentioned in the beginning 🙂

Creating your first designs

We’re near the finish line.

The next thing we’re going to do is to create our first t-shirt design using Printful setup process.

Click on Design products once you’re inside your Printful account:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 6

You will see your store connected and active and a couple of options. Click Add to create your first product:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 7

The next screen will load a variety of available products to design. I will select men’s clothing:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 8

I will go with t-shirts:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 9

I will select one of the available t-shirt design:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 10

Once you’re inside the t-shirt your selected you will see below the available colors for this particular t-shirt:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 11

On the top there are a couple of options for design: Upload; Add text; Add clipart:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 12

I will upload an image of a text I’ve created using Illustrator by simply uploading:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 13

Find the file from your computer and click the Upload button.

This pop-up will appear. It’s like agreeing to terms and services bit for the image:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 14

Once the pic is uploaded simply select the file:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 15

It will appear directly over your t-shirt:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 16

You can resize and adjust the file:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 17

Keep in mind that you will need a larger file if you’re planning to stretch the image too much.

Once you’re ready with the front of your t-shirt you can also add design on the sleeves and also on the back:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 18

I will add this simple text on the left sleeve.

Click proceed to mockup to continue with the process once you’re ready with the design itself:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 19

The next screen will basically allow you to add cover image to your WooCommerce store. Select which styles of  your t-shirts to appear on your site and proceed.

Next, add a description. As you will see, there is already added sample text, which you can change. Also, decide if you want to add size guide. I will personally recommend adding this to your store.

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 20

Next is pricing.

The page here is separated into 3 sections:

  • Printful price: The price for manufacturing the product.
  • The retail price: The price your visitors will pay.
  • The profit: How much you will earn. 

Once you’re satisfied with the profit of each shirt continue. Check the box “Publish on my site” and also choose category:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 21

Make sure your items are synced. Now, you can preview the t-shirt by clicking on the buttons:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 22

This is your final product on your site 🙂 Amazing, right? In less than 10 minutes you have a product that people can buy.

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 23

If you scroll a bit down you will see that the description and the size guide are also added:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 24

If you add this to your cart your will see that everything is functioning:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 25

There is only one more thing you need to setup before you start taking orders.

You need to set your payment with Printful.

Go to store essentials and click on set up billing methods:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 26

Add your credit card or PayPal account:

Your Own T-shirt Store With WordPress 27

Now, once someone purchases a product and the guys from Printful are ready with the item itself, they will bill this payment method. You don’t have to worry about anything. Just make sure the payment method you’re adding is valid.

Bonus Tip: Traffic

As I mentioned in the beginning of this detailed guide about creating your own t-shirt store with WordPress, you will also need traffic to your site. Otherwise, you only wasted your time.

Promoting your website is something you need to regularly do. The best way to gain more traffic is to write awesome content and find people to link to that content.

Hopefully, there are tons of articles about this. I actually recently published the following two guides that will help you get higher in the search results:

I’m sure you will find them useful.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Nowadays everything is possible.

As you can see from the steps above, you can now create your own personal clothing brand in just a few minutes. Besides t-shirts, you can also design other items to match the style of your store and make even more profit. Printful’s catalog has 5 main categories and 30+ subcategories. Also, they are adding more items to the available products for design regularly.

Have you ever thought about creating your own online store, now you can!

Have you ever used Printful? Share in the comments below if you have any questions in regards the program:

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