How to Create a Print-on-Demand Shop in WordPress

Written by Technology Writer

September 25, 2022
How to Create a Print-on-Demand Shop in WordPress

As the name suggests, print-on-demand (POD) is a printing technique that allows you to print products only when they are ordered. This means that there is no need to keep inventory or worry about overstock, as everything is printed to order.

POD is an ideal solution for anyone selling physical products, such as t-shirts, posters, mugs, and more. In this article, we’ll show you how to create a POD shop in WordPress.

But first, let's discuss some of the benefits of the print-on-demand approach.

Print-On-Demand vs. Traditional Printing

If you’re selling physical products, then you’ll need to find a printer who can produce them for you. With traditional printing, you’ll need to order a minimum quantity of products (usually in the hundreds or thousands), and hope that you can sell them all.

This approach has several disadvantages:

  • You have to pay for the entire print run upfront, which can be expensive.
  • You have to store the inventory somewhere, which can be a hassle (and cost money).
  • You run the risk of overstock, which means wasted money and resources.

With print-on-demand, on the other hand, there is no minimum order quantity. You can print just one product at a time, which means that you only pay for what you need. There is also no risk of overstock, as everything is printed to order.

Another advantage of print-on-demand is that it’s much easier to get started. With traditional printing, you often need expensive equipment and a lot of experience. With POD, all you need is a design and someone to print it for you.

POD is also more flexible than traditional printing.

For example, with traditional printing, if you want to offer a new product or design, you have to print a whole new batch (which can be expensive). With POD, you can simply upload the new design and start selling it right away.

Finally, POD allows you to sell custom products. With traditional printing, you’re usually limited to standard sizes and designs. With POD, you can print anything you want, which means that you can offer a truly unique product.

All of this isn't to say traditional printing doesn't have a clear role in many industries and spaces. For instance, if you want to have custom packaging created, opting for traditional printing is likely going to be more effective and cost-efficient, especially since you're working with large quantities.

But for those selling a small quantity of items -- or a limited run -- POD is the way to go.

Now that we’ve covered some of the advantages of print-on-demand, let’s take a look at a couple of printing types so you can select the appropriate print-on-demand service for your needs.

Different Types of Print-On-Demand

  • Digital printing is the most common type of POD. It’s fast, efficient, and doesn’t require a minimum order quantity. This means that it’s ideal for small businesses and startups.
  • Screen printing is the other type of POD. It’s a bit more expensive than digital printing, but it’s also more durable. This means that it’s a good choice for products that will be used often, such as t-shirts or coffee mugs. Screen printing also has a minimum order quantity, so it’s not ideal for small businesses.
  • Off-set printing is a type of traditional printing that is sometimes used for POD. Off-set printing is more expensive than digital or screen printing, but it’s also more versatile. This means that it can be used for a wider range of products, such as posters, packaging, and more.

Now that you know the difference between digital and screen printing, let’s take a look at some of the best print-on-demand services.

5 Best Print-On-Demand Services

There are a number of great print-on-demand services available, but here are our top five picks:

1. Printful

printful homepage

Printful is one of the most popular POD services. It’s easy to use and offers a wide range of products, including t-shirts, posters, mugs, and more. Printful also has no minimum order quantity, which makes it a great choice for small businesses and startups.

2. TeeSpring

teespring homepage

TeeSpring is another popular POD service. It offers a wide range of products, including t-shirts, hoodies, and stickers. TeeSpring also has no minimum order quantity, which makes it a great choice for small businesses and startups.

3. Zazzle

zazzle website

Zazzle is a bit different from other POD services. Instead of printing products on demand, Zazzle prints products in bulk and then ships them to customers. This means that there is a minimum order quantity of 50 items. However, Zazzle does offer a wide range of custom products, including t-shirts, mugs, and more.

4. Cafepress

cafepress website

CafePress is similar to Zazzle. It prints products in bulk and then ships them to customers. This means that there is a minimum order quantity of 36 items. However, CafePress does offer a wide range of custom products, including t-shirts, mugs, and more.

5. Redbubble

redbubble website

Redbubble is a POD service that offers a wide range of products, including t-shirts, stickers, and phone cases. Redbubble also has no minimum order quantity, which makes it a great choice for small businesses and startups.

Now that you know some of the best print-on-demand services, let’s take a look at how to create a POD shop in WordPress.

Creating a POD Shop in WordPress in 4 Steps

Setting up a print-on-demand shop with WordPress is easy with the right tools. In this section, we’ll show you how to do it step-by-step.

But before you do anything, make sure you have a solid web hosting provider in your corner. We offer top-tier WordPress hosting that offers the speed, efficiency, and reliability any online store owner needs for an effective launch.

Step 1: Choose a WordPress eCommerce Plugin

The first thing you need to do is choose a WordPress eCommerce plugin. We recommend using WooCommerce, as it’s the most popular eCommerce solution for WordPress. It’s also free and comes with lots of features and add-ons.

If you haven’t already installed WooCommerce, then you can do so by going to the Plugins page of your WordPress dashboard and clicking on the Add New button.

add woocommerce plugin

On the Add Plugins page, search for “WooCommerce” in the search field and install the first result (by Automattic). Once the plugin is installed and activated, you’ll be redirected to the WooCommerce setup wizard.

Follow the instructions in the setup wizard to complete the installation (and follow our eCommerce website setup guide, too). You’ll need to configure payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe, too. When you’re done, you’ll be taken to the WooCommerce dashboard.

Step 2: Install a Print-On-Demand Extension or Add-On

The next thing you need to do is install a print-on-demand extension or add-on. This will allow you to connect your WooCommerce shop to a POD service, such as Printful, TeeSpring, or Zazzle.

There are many POD extensions and add-ons available for WooCommerce, so we recommend doing a search on the plugin directory to find one that fits your needs.

For this tutorial, we’ll be using the Printful extension. Once you’ve found a POD extension or add-on that you want to use, install and activate it on your WordPress site.

printful addon

Step 3: Configure the Print-On-Demand Extension or Add-On

After installing and activating the extension or add-on, you’ll need to configure it. This usually involves connecting it to your POD service account and setting up the products that you want to sell.

Refer to the documentation of your chosen extension or add-on for instructions on how to do this, as it varies widely from provider to provider.

To connect your WooCommerce store to your Printful account, you need to go to Printful in the left-hand menu in the dashboard and click the blue Connect button. From there, you’ll need to enter your Printful API key. You can find this key in your Printful account under Account > Integrations.

printful setup

Once the extension or add-on is configured, you’re ready to start adding products to your shop.

Step 4: Add Products to Your Shop

The final step is to add products to your WooCommerce shop. To do this, login to the Printful website and create and customize your new product. Here, we’ve created a mug with a simple design on it:

design mug in printful website

Once you’re happy with the design, move on to the mockup stage. Select your mockup preferences. You’ll need to input the details about your product, including a product description, color options, and the product category it’ll be in on your website. And lastly, establish the price settings.

Push setting for products

When you’re done, click Submit to store.

Repeat this for as many times as you’d like to create a whole line of print-on-demand products.

Then you can hop back on over to your WooCommerce store in the WordPress dashboard and take a look at how the products appear on your site. Each product you made should appear underneath the Product Category you selected and are editable and adjustable by going to Products > All Products.

pod product in woocommerce

Launching a POD Shop in WordPress is Easy

And that’s it! You now have a fully functioning print-on-demand shop powered by WooCommerce and WordPress.

If you have any questions about how to set up a print-on-demand shop in WordPress, then let us know in the comments section below. And if you’re in the market for a new hosting provider, we’d be glad to assist you with WooCommerce-specific hosting, cloud hosting, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is WordPress free?

All you need to do to use WordPress is to invest in a web hosting plan since the software itself is free.

How long does It take to set up a WooCommerce store?

You can install WooCommerce to your WordPress site with just one click. Then, you just need to add your products and you’re off. You could be up and running in just a few hours.

How much does WooCommerce hosting cost?

Prices are very reasonable and start from just $3.50 per month at Verpex.

Why choose Verpex for WordPress?

As the leading CMS out there, we’ve made it our mission to offer the most comprehensive and streamlined WordPress solutions on the market. Backed by a responsive customer care team and reliable site enhancement tools, we ensure our users get the full WordPress value and support for a reasonable price.



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