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Cyber Weekend 2021 is just a few short weeks away, but if your sites aren’t ready for an influx of customer activity, you might miss out on record-breaking traffic and sales. 
That’s because this year’s holiday sales season, which kicks off Nov. 26, is shaping up to be the biggest eCommerce shopping period ever! Making sure your sites are ready for the expected surge is key to capitalizing on this opportunity. 
So how do you prepare? If you attended our recent Ignite virtual event, you heard about the importance of ensuring your WooCommerce store not only survives but thrives from Cyber Weekend throughout the entire holiday season (and beyond). 
While the session covers specific tactics and solutions you can use, including must-have WooCommerce add-ons and plugins that will take your store to the next level, WP Engine’s eCommerce hosting plans are the best way to access all of these solutions and features in one place, from a single provider. Plans are now available with a 60-day money-back guarantee! 
Find out more about WP Engine’s eCommerce Hosting Plans 

In this article, we’ll show you how new and existing WP Engine customers can start using our eCommerce hosting plans, as well as a step-by-step guide for setting up vital features like Instant Store Search. Here’s what we’ll cover: 

Table of Contents

How to Get Started with WP Engine eCommerce Hosting 
Optimizing your eCommerce store with WP Engine is easy for both new and existing customers. 
If you’re interested in migrating an existing WooCommerce store to our platform from another provider, you can speak to one of our specialists at any time for a walk-through of our free, automated migration plugin and easy store setup. Check out the video below for more!

If your eCommerce store is already hosted on WP Engine’s platform (or you want to build a new eCommerce site using your WP Engine account), upgrading to eCommerce hosting is simply a matter of selecting your new plan and right-sizing your available resources to accommodate expected (and unexpected) fluctuations in traffic.    
This breaks down into two categories. If your business doesn’t experience seasonal traffic spikes (nor do you expect to see higher-than-normal traffic at certain points throughout the year), you might select one of our shared hosting plans at the Startup, Professional, Growth, or Scale levels—which you can do on our eCommerce page or through your User Portal
But if you’re aiming for your best Cyber Weekend yet, and you want to make sure your site is ready for the coming throngs of customers ready to buy your products, get in touch with one of our solution consultants to explore a tailor-made, dedicated hosting solution that will meet your needs.
Finding the Right Resources for Your eCommerce Site 
Making sure you have the right resources in place before Black Friday kicks off is essential to serving all of the traffic that comes to your site with an optimal user experience—before, during, and after the busy sales cycle. 
Startup, Professional, Growth, and Scale plans all provide excellent value for everyday eCommerce traffic with consistent, solid performance and eCommerce-specific features like ElasticPress.
But Cyber Weekend isn’t just another day at the shop, and the eCommerce holiday season traditionally generates an even longer, sustained spike in higher-than-normal customer activity.
During this period, many retailers expect a steady stream of thousands of visitors an hour, over the course of a month or more. For this, we recommend our custom dedicated hosting solutions, which take into account your business objectives and ensure you have the burst capacity needed to capture high volume, high concurrency sales this Cyber Weekend and beyond.
And while performance is critical for eCommerce success, securing your site and the data you collect from customers is equally if not more important. 
WP Engine has you covered here as well, with enterprise-grade eCommerce security for WordPress including platform protections from unauthenticated file system access, managed WAF, DDoS mitigation, encrypted global network routing, and federated identity solutions—all on a platform that has completed a SOC 2 Type II examination for security and availability. 
As you consider your options, make sure you speak with one of our specialists, available 24/7, who can help you evaluate the differences between plans and find the perfect fit for your site’s needs. 
Setting up Instant Store Search, Powered by ElasticPress
Once you’ve set up your eCommerce hosting plan, it’s important to start getting the most out of it right away. 
Setting up Instant Store Search, which is powered by ElasticPress to completely overhaul the search experience on your eCommerce site, is one of the most effective ways you can start seeing eCommerce results. We’ve seen 18% improvements in sales from simply taking this step and improving the search experience for your site visitors.
To get started, you can either add a new eCommerce site or select from an existing one within your User Portal. 
For this example, we’ll start by adding a new eCommerce site (Using the “Add site” option) and selecting “Start with an eCommerce site” in the tile menu at the center of the screen.

Getting started with Instant Store Search

Getting started with Instant Store Search

On the next page, you’ll select your site environment and name it: 

Adding Instant Store Search to your site

Adding Instant Store Search to your site

With that completed, you can log in to the WordPress admin area, where, as a new eCommerce plan user, you’ll see the ElasticPress plugin is already installed and active. 
Clicking into the ElasticPress settings, you can see how the plugin has already been preconfigured for eCommerce.

ElasticPress settings

ElasticPress settings

Specific features geared towards improving the eCommerce experience include: 

  • ​​Improved post search: Power search across all of your WordPress content.
  • Autosuggest: Suggest search queries to your shoppers while they type!
  • Facets: Add filter controls to your store so buyers can filter products. E.g. t-shirts, red, size M, On Sale, etc.
  • Custom Search Results: Manually define search terms you want products or posts to “rank” for.

Check out this post for a closer look at these features, including video examples of Autosuggest and Fuzzy Search in action. For more information about Instant Store Search, including the way it makes your site even faster by offloading ElasticPress server requests, check out the technical documentation here.  
Final Preparations for Cyber Weekend 2021
As you get ready for this year’s eCommerce rush, it’s wise to continue testing your site while looking for additional improvements that can be made across the shopping experience. 
Hosting your WooCommerce store with WP Engine will allow you to go that extra mile, with peace of mind that big-ticket items such as server resources, security, and the ability to scale when needed are already taken care of. 
Once Cyber Weekend rolls around and you’re crushing your eCommerce goals, you’ll also have peace of mind that more of your money is staying in your pocket. Unlike other popular eCommerce solutions like Shopify, WP Engine doesn’t take a percentage of your sales—you pay for your plan and that’s it. 
So, with Cyber Weekend coming up quickly, what are you waiting for? Optimize your WooCommerce store today and buckle in for your best holiday season yet. With a 60-day money-back guarantee, WP Engine’s eCommerce hosting offers you the best way to get ready for a recording-breaking sales cycle!
Find out more about WP Engine’s eCommerce hosting plans here, or speak to a specialist now for more information.