Manual: Install WooCommerce German Market – Protect your online shop from legal problems

wp-eshop-safety

We’ve discussed the installation of WooCommerce in the first part of our series about “Web shop with WordPress”. But how can a shop owner comply with legal regulations in Germany and Austria?

Mandatory info texts and pages for e-shops, correct prices, shipping costs and shipping times, maybe the integration of the German small business law according to § 19 UStG: The list of laws and regulations to consider is a long one. We want to help online shop owners with this not-so-easy task – with our WooCommerce German Market plugin. As an addition to WooCommerce, it helps you protect your online shop from cease-and-desist letters and warning letters with costs.

How do I install WooCommerce German Market? And how do I set it up? This manual shows you how.
 
Note: Our plugin can only help to create the technical precautions for a legally safe shop. We can’t guarantee total protection from legal problems. Among other things, your correct shop information and content is essential for the legal security of your shop.

Installing WooCommerce German Market

Before doing that, you should have already set up WooCommerce. The Installation of WooCommerce German Market is very easy after that. Just follow these steps:

  1. Purchase a license on the WooCommerce German Market page
  2. Then, download and unpack the woocommerce-german-market.zip file on your computer
  3. Log in to WordPress
  4. Open the Plugins area in the left navigation bar
  5. Click the Add New button on the upper left side (next to Plugins)
  6. There, open the Upload area. After clicking the Choose File button, you navigate to the local folder containing the .zip file:
  7. Install WooCommerce German Market .zip-file
    Install WooCommerce German Market .zip-file
  8. Double click to open the woocommerce-german-market.zip file, then start the actual installation by clicking the Install Now button (to the right of the Choose File button you just used).
  9. Wait for the successful installation process on the next page until you see the message “Plugin installed successfully”. Complete the installation now by clicking Activate Plugin:
  10. Activate WooCommerce German Market
    Activate WooCommerce German Market

    Note: In some cases, installation over WordPress backend won’t work, e.g. in case of a lack of server authorization. In those cases the woocommerce-german-market.zip file has to be unpacked on your own computer.

    The created plugin folder “/woocommerce-german-market/woocommerce-german-market” (navigate one level into the unpacked archive) is uploaded with FTP including all of its sub-folders and files into the server directory “/wp-content/plugins/”. Now, the plugin can be activated in the WordPress “Plugins” area.
     
    Now the installation is automatically completed. You just have to make some settings.
     
    Note: To get and stay informed about new updates for WooCommerce German Market, you should open the plugins area in the left navigation bar in WordPress. Here, you enter the license key you got when buying the plugin, below “WooCommerce German Market”. Confirm with “Activate”.

    Setting up WooCommerce German Market

    Immediately after activating the plugin, this page is automatically opened:

    Possible settings when installing the plug-in (excerpt from screenshot)
    Possible settings when installing the plug-in (excerpt from screenshot)

    You have the following options:
     

    Automatically set shop to German standard settings (“Shop automatisch auf deutsche Standardwerte eingestellen”)

    This option sets WooCommerce and your online shop to typical values of the German-speaking area. Like these:

    • Euro as standard currency
    • VAT settings
    • Units and measures like kilograms, liters or Meters and their sub-units

    We recommend to adopt the automatic settings since this makes initial online shop administration much easier. If you want to change certain values for reasons specific to your shop, you can do this anytime in the WooCommerce and WooCommerce German Market settings.
     

    Create Additional pages for company info, shipping costs, withdrawal,… (“Zusätzliche Seiten … anlegen”)

    Some specific pages and content are required to make a web shop comply with German and Austrian law. WooCommerce German Market automatically creates these pages in the blog or shop, if the option discussed here is activated. We recommend this, so no important and legally required part of the ship is forgotten (like the notice of withdrawal or information about shipping costs).

    After completing the installation, your personal information has to be added to the sample texts on the following, automatically created pages:

    • Terms and Conditions (AGB/Allgemeine Geschäftsbedingungen)
    • Ordering (Bestellvorgang)
    • Data Protection (Datenschutz)
    • Company Information / Imprint (Impressum)
    • Shipping Costs (Versandkosten)
    • Withdrawal (Widerruf)
    • Payment Methods (Zahlungsarten)

    You can access and edit them in the left navigation bar of WordPress under Pages.
     
    Note: If you want to be on the safe side, you should still have your completed online shop checked by a lawyer, since some products like drugs or children’s toys are subject to specific legal regulations.

    Important: The automatically created pages are not updated by future updates of WooCommerce German Market. The requirements for single shops are too individual. Regular evaluation of company information, terms and conditions etc. by a lawyer is therefore recommended.

    You can see how the individual pages and their content could look in our demo shop, e.g. in the upper right navigation under “Legal notices”. Please note that these texts are only samples and we take no responsibility for their correctness and completeness.
     

    Overwriting Existing Pages (“Existierende Seiten überschreiben”)

    If the online shop already includes pages like company information (“Impressum”), data protection (“Datenschutz”) etc, you can overwrite them by checking this option. Caution: All existing content on these pages will be lost. When initially setting up a shop, this option can usually be disabled, unless the shop theme already has comparable pages that should be overwritten.
     
    In most cases, the three options mentioned can be adopted without changes. For this, all you have to do is confirm the Installiere WooCommerce German Market button at the end:

    Start the final Installation of WooCommerce German Market
    Start the final Installation of WooCommerce German Market

    Now, you should get a confirmation that the plugin has been installed:

    The installation is now completed
    The installation is now completed

    With this message, the option area of WooCommerce is opened (accessible anytime over the left navigation bar of WordPress under WooCommerce -> Settings). This is also where you can make settings for WooCommerce German Market, using the newly added Einstellungen (“Settings”) DE tab:

    The settings area for WooCommerce German Market, integrated in the WooCommerce options
    The settings area for WooCommerce German Market, integrated in the WooCommerce options

    Note: Our plug-in does not have its own area for the administration of its features, it is integrated in the WooCommerce options to allow the complete administration of the shop in one central place.
     
    In many cases, no further settings have to be made for WooCommerce German Market after the initial installation described here to start your own online shop. Which options are available anyway and what you can do with them will be explained in a following entry.

    You have questions about our WooCommerce German Market plug-in or the installation (for customer support questions, please use the associated forum)? You can ask them in the following comments to this entry.

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Editor at MarketPress. Passionate blogger, corporate blog expert and book author (e.g. "Blog Boosting"). Co-organizer of WP Camp Berlin.

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