Shipping is one of the most important functions of your website. This tutorial will focus on basic shipping methods and practices. As shipping can be extremely complicated especially when dealing with international customers, we will leave the more complicated explanations for the advanced tutorials that we are developing.

The Shipping Settings is located on the Dashboard using the following. Find the “Woocommerce” tab and select it. Upon selecting the tab you shall be greeted with General, Products, Accounts, Shipping and other options. Please select the Shipping tab. You will now be in the shipping area of the Woocommerce.

The first tab that will show up is “Shipping Zones”. Here you can set different zones. So what is a zone exactly? Well it is a geographical area that a specific set of shipping policies apply to. Let’s use the example of Trinidad & Tobago. T&T can be one zone where you offer a set number of shipping policies (We’ll expand on this shortly). Let’s pretend you offer TTPost Shipping and Standard Shipping where you go to persons in malls to deliver the items- similar to Cash on Delivery. These policies will be unique to the T&T zone.

On our website, for example we offer free shipping to everyone in our Standard Countries Zone. For now, only T&T is in that zone where we offer free shipping. However if we choose to offer free shipping to Barbados and other counries then we can also add them to this zone.

However, if you offer shipping to the United States, it may not be possible for you to offer Cash on Delivery/Free Shipping to the United States for each other. This is where you can create a specific zone for USA shipping. With this, customers within the United States will have their own shipping policies and shipping costs. Let’s assume that you use DHL and FedEx shipping to deliver goods to the US, then they alone will see this once they insert their country and address as the United States. You can create a new Shipping Zone by clicking the “Add Shipping Zone” button that would bring up this interface. Simply insert the name of your zone and select your regions. In this case we are selecting 2 states within the USA.

Next we need to add a “Shipping Method” so simply scroll to the bottom of the page and select “Add Shipping Method”.

After setting up the shipping zone we will now add the shipping methods we would like to offer to the United States by clicking this button.

Several options will show such as “Local Pickup”, “Flat Rate” and “Free Shipping”. In the photo below we selected “Flat Rate Shipping”. Here we can change the name, so if we are using DHL as a courier we can change the name from “Flat Rate” to “DHL Standard” and place the price. We placed the price as 35USD.

The interface when selecting “Flat Rate Shipping”

This means whenever someone places an order from those States in the United States Shipping Zone (in this case Florida & New York), they will be charged $35USD for shipping. We also decided that we would like to offer 2 Day Shipping with DHL. All that is required is for us to add a new Flat Rate Shipping for the cost we like. In this case we will offer shipping in 2 days for $70USD. It may look like the photo below.

This is how ours looked after we inserted the shipping methods. Notice that you can add multiple shipping methods for a shipping zone.

With us so far? We hope! Cause we’re about to add another layer. Let’s say DHL & FedEx shipping cost from Trinidad to states on the East Coast of the United States like Florida, New York- Maine is about $30USD. But, the shipping cost to states like California on the West Coast from Trinidad is about $70USD. This means that the same shipping zone will not be able to work as the Shipping Cost has too large of a difference and you’d be losing money if someone orders from California. So what you do you do? Well you can simply create 2 different zones for the United States. Here you can have a Zone for West Coast States and another for East Coast states. This way different states have different shipping policies and different costs.

In short, Zones refer to a select number of countries of regions that a specific number of shipping policies and shipping costs are valid for. You can set different zones for different countries or within different countries.

In the same interface of “Shipping” you have other options such as “Shipping Options”. This allows you to customize your store the way you like it.

This is the list of options available to you when you select the “Shipping Options” button.

In more advanced tutorials we will covers topics such as shipping by weight, shipping classes and other advanced shipping rules.