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Dropshipping For Dummies: Starting Your Online Business In 15 Steps

By Denis K.

dropshipping for dummies

Are you tired of working on a full-time job or just want to earn some extra money? Starting your own ecommerce business and selling products online can be the answer for you! With our dropshipping for dummies guide, you will understand why dropshipping is the most affordable and least energy-consuming way to pull it off!

So, you’ve decided to get your own dropshipping store, and even purchased our plugin for this purpose – now what? Let’s explore the step-by-step process of launching your awesome moneymaking business!

Dropshipping for dummies: technical issues


First things first: let’s start our “dropshipping for dummies” guide with the essential basics!

To make the most of AliDropship plugin, you need to install it on the website where your store will be located. Here’s what you need to do if you don’t have the necessary site yet.

1. Buy a domain

When creating a website for the first time in their life, most of the people have no idea what a domain is, and why they need to get it.

To put it simply, a domain name is the address of your website. All domain names are unique and there can’t be 2 identical domain names on the Internet.

For example, the domain name of our website is and it is the only one of its kind.

In order to get a domain name, visit websites such as Namecheap, for example. Type a desired domain name in the search box and click the search button.

If your domain name is already taken, you will get a list of available alternatives. You can choose a domain name from this list or look for another one.

If you want to learn more about how to choose the perfect domain name for your dropshipping store, feel free to read our article. And we’re switching to the next step!

2. Find a hosting provider

Let’s say you have chosen and bought a domain name. Now it’s high time to find a hosting provider and place your website on the Internet.

How and where do you find a hosting provider?

Any information on the Internet is stored on different servers. If you don’t know what a server is, in simple terms, it is a computer that works 24 hours a day and stores a lot of information.  This information can be easily accessed from other devices such as desktop computers, laptops, tablets, mobile phones, etc.

In order to make your dropshipping website accessible to other people on the Internet, you need to buy storage space on a server. This storage space is called hosting. A company that offers you a hosting is a hosting provider.

You can find a hosting provider on the Internet or use our services. AliDropship hosting solution guarantees high technical performance and provides you with excellent customer service and support.

Please note: before buying hosting, make sure it meets the system requirements!

3. Install WordPress

When you have found a hosting provider and got a domain name, it’s time to build your website. For this purpose, you need to install WordPress on your hosting.

WordPress is a content management system that allows you to build and manage your website without any programming knowledge. WordPress is free and can be easily downloaded from the official website (

The question we’d like to highlight in this dropshipping for dummies guide is “Why choose WordPress over other content management systems?” Go here for a detailed answer! In a nutshell, if you want to use the best solution for AliExpress dropshipping, setting up WordPress is a must.

As a rule, there are 2 ways to install WordPress – automatic and manual. And each of them doesn’t pose any serious problems. In our knowledge base, we have a detailed plan on how to install WordPress, so feel free to read it.

If you do everything right, your WordPress admin panel will look something like this.

Dropshipping for dummies: this is how your WordPress admin panel should look like

4. Install AliDropship Plugin

Well, the hardest part is over. It’s high time to install AliDropship Plugin and start making money.

Go to your WP account, choose the Plugins tab, click the “add new” button, upload the plugin from your computer and install it.

Congratulations! Your plugin is installed successfully.

Dropshipping for dummies: here is how you install a plugin on WordPress

5. Activate your AliDropship license key

After installing the plugin, you have to activate it so that it could start working. For that purpose, you need your key license.

You can find the key in two places – on the “Thank You” page that you see right after purchasing AliDropship plugin or in the confirmation email that you can find in your inbox.

Copy the license key, paste it in the plugin settings and click the “Activate” button.

Dropshipping for dummies: how to activate your AliDropship license key

Well done! Your AliDropship Plugin is good to go.

Please note that the key license is unique and valid for one domain name only! So if you want to share it with your friends, it won’t do the trick.

Dropshipping for dummies: the creative part


Hopefully, you have successfully completed all the technical requirements. Now, it’s time to be creative!

Please note, if you still have some difficulties with any technical issues, visit our help center or contact our support team. They are always glad to help you.

6. Choose the theme for your store

A theme determines your website appearance. In other words, when you choose a theme, you choose the design of your website.

We offer you many beautiful themes that have great customization options. All themes are free and you can easily download them from our website.

dropshipping for dummies choosing themes

We have tested all the themes and can safely say that each of them is perfect for customizing a dropshipping store. So choose the one that you like the most and download it.

After that, go to your WordPress panel, find the Appearance button and click Themes. In the opened window, find the Add New button, choose the downloaded theme and install it. Don’t forget to activate the chosen theme!


Let’s say, you’ve installed the Andy Warhol theme. In this case, your store will look something like this.

best WP themes

Now, let’s make your website unique and memorable!

7. Customize your dropshipping website

Before you get started your ecommerce business, you need to create the store design elements such as your own store logo, favicon, main page images and banners. You can do it on your own or with the help of professional designers. Of course, it is not necessary to appeal to the big design studios and pay them a lot of money! You can turn to freelancers to get it, for example.

After getting all the pictures, go to the customization section and change all the things related to your website appearance. Feel free to play around with colors and pictures to achieve the website design you like! But before you make any changes, kindly go to the Themes section of our Knowledge base to see how to customize your specific theme properly.

Also, don’t forget to create product categories and menus. Think of your website structure carefully and evaluate whether it is easy to use or not. If you have some doubts, ask your family and friends to test your website, think over their opinions and make all the necessary changes.

Dropshipping for dummies: the financial side


Your goal to start this business was to create a profitable source of income, right? Let’s figure out how to deal with the money-related issues!

8. Choose the currency

Now, it’s time to start configuring the AliDropship plugin settings. Let’s begin with choosing the currency.

Click the orange button at the top of the menu, select the settings tab and open the general section. Here you can choose your website currency.


The default currency is US dollars, but the plugin supports many other currencies as well. Choose the currency you need and activate it. In case you want to let your customers view your prices in different currencies, don’t forget to select the additional ones.

Dropshipping for dummies: how to modify currency settings

9. Set up your markup formula

The currency is selected, so it’s time to set your prices to make sure you get the best profit margin.

When you import products from AliExpress into your store, they are transferred with their original prices. In order to get profit, you need to determine pricing rules and set margins. The AliDropship plugin has a feature that will help you with this. You can create as many formulas as you need and set any kind of price you like.

However, we highly recommend you to get familiar with our pricing tips and follow them in the early stages of your business development.


Besides that, make a point of activating the rounding option. With this feature, prices like $9.71 and $5.48 will be automatically changed to $10 and $5, respectively. In terms of buyers’ psychology and level of trust, it is a good decision.

10. Set up your payment gateways

After setting up the prices, you need to choose a payment gateway. In simple terms, a payment gateway is an online equivalent of a credit card terminal that one uses when buying goods at a brick and mortar store. AliDropship plugin supports many payment gateways, beginning with such giants as PayPal and ending with not very popular ones. Click the link and choose what you like the most.

Dropshipping for dummies: product pages


We’re getting close to the final! There are only 5 steps left! Let’s go!

11. Import products to your store

Now, when almost everything is ready to start your ecommerce business, you have to fill your online store with goods.

To start importing products from AliExpress, you need to install AliDropship Google Chrome Extension. This tool allows you to import products in bulk, edit product descriptions and manage all the things related to delivery.

Once the extension is installed, click the AliExpress button and choose the Import products tab. Select the Use Direct Import button.


You will be redirected to Enter your search request in the search box and start selecting products with the lowest prices, free shipping option and the highest ratings – you can read more about the hunt for the perfect products here.

dropshipping for dummies niche category

When the items are selected, you have 2 options of products import – single product import and bulk import.

If you need to import only one item, click the orange AliDropship logo near it. If the item is imported successfully, you will see a tick near the logo.


In case you need to import products in bulk, write the keywords in the search bar, select a category and click the import items button on the main panel. All the products will be imported into your Import list.

Dropshipping for dummies product import in bulk

12. Edit your product pages

Every ecommerce entrepreneur understands how important for the product pages to look appealing to the customers.

There are 2 ways to edit product pages – you can do it before importing products or after that. Actually, it doesn’t make much difference.

First, edit your product titles and descriptions and make them more readable and clear. In addition, don’t forget to edit your permalinks and remove everything you do not need!

Secondly, you need to make changes in the pictures of your products. For that purpose, use the built-in Image Editor. Delete all AliExpress logos in the picture, change the size, add your own labels, etc.

Dropshipping for dummies: how to use AliDropship's built-in Image Editor

13. Import reviews to your store

The next step is importing reviews to your store directly from AliExpress.

Feedback is a powerful tool to build trust with your visitors and turn them into loyal customers. Most of the conducted researches point out that feedback is very motivating and helps people make decisions faster. Customers tend to trust each other more than any advertisement.

You have many different options to import reviews from AliExpress, such as – choose the number of reviews per product, add reviews only in your language, import reviews with images only, etc.

Dropshipping for dummies: importing product reviews

14. Set up shipping options

Carefully decide on what shipping methods your store will offer your clients. The plugin has a special section where you can enable or disable different shipping options and select the countries that you want to deliver to.

You can add up to four different shipping options. For example, free shipping, super savings shipping, standard shipping and expedited shipping. However, we highly recommend you to focus on using free shipping options because it encourages customers to buy more. A study found that 62% of all online consumers would not have bought products online if they had not received free shipping.

15. Set up SEO

Your dropshipping store is almost ready. The last point is your website promotion. We recommend you to use SEO tools available with the AliDropship plugin.

SEO is a very important thing for an ecommerce business because it drives more traffic to your website and improves your website performance. We have a great article about how to create a great SEO campaign, so feel free to read it.

Dropshipping for dummies: activating SEO settings

That was the final step in this “dropshipping for dummies” guide to starting your own business. Of course, there is still much work to be done, but now, you know the basics.

As a bonus, we have prepared for you a set of questions from our support team that all beginners usually ask.

Dropshipping for dummies: FAQ


1. Do you ship to…?  How long is the delivery time to…?

AliDropship only develops and sells software for dropshipping and creates ready-to-go dropshipping stores for our clients. Therefore, we do not manufacture, stock, or ship any products ourselves!

If you’re asking about our plugins or add-ons, you will get them immediately after making a purchase.

2. Can you send me a list of the best AliExpress suppliers?

Please, read the tips on choosing the best suppliers here – and see how to pick them from our dedicated database!

3. Which plugin is the best – WooCommerce AliDropship plugin or AliDropship plugin?

Both plugins are perfect for dropshipping. If you already are an experienced entrepreneur willing to run your dropshipping business on the WooCommerce platform, choose WooCommerce Dropshipping plugin. If you’re a newcomer with no tech background, pay attention to AliDropship Plugin. To learn more about the difference between the plugins, feel free to read this article.

4. Can I import products from other websites?

No, you can’t. AliDropship Plugin is developed to dropship products from AliExpress only.

5. What kind of profit can I get with AliDropship?

Your profits depend on your effort. To get a general idea about the possible financial outcome of running dropshipping business with AliDropship, feel free to read real-life success stories of our clients.

Congratulations! You have finished the ‘dropshipping for dummies’ guide. After reading it, you should have an understanding of the basics of the development process. And, hopefully, now you know how to set up your dropshipping store! Although, if you want to save your time and get a ready to go online store made with your preferences, we offer you a unique solution in Custom stores! After receiving your store, you can easily follow our tips to start making really good money! Good luck!

By Denis K.
Denis is a copywriter at AliDropship. Having graduated from the Faculty of International Business as a specialist in advertising, he explores the rapidly changing and evolving digital marketing industry and feels committed to sharing his findings with a wider reader’s audience.
Malik Imran 6 years ago

Nice article but most important step of marketing a store is missing. Without marketing no traffic and no sales.

mobevi 6 years ago

very true

John Buckle 6 years ago

This is really simplified..
Thanks guys

Raymund 5 years ago

it is necessary to have a domain name for alidropship?

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