Setting Up Smoke Academy

In a different life my husband and I would have opened up a BBQ bistro/shop. I had already ordered the domain name a couple of years ago, and it has been sitting there, waiting for me to do something with it ever since. Time to put it to work!

Smoke Academy will be the name of our imaginary WooCommerce store. It’ll sell both digital and physical products, and maybe we’ll even throw a Sensei course or two into the mix. Here’s an overview of the kind of content I’m thinking of posting on this site:

  • Recipes. If I want to sell my food products, people will want to see how I make (some) of my food.
  • Digital products. Gift cards to be used in our store, for example. Or access to any of my courses.
  • Physical products. T-shirts, BBQ rubs, meat. All very possible with WooCommerce!

I’ll give you a quick run-down of the steps I have taken so far to set up the basics of the site. I will dive into these individual steps more in posts to come.


The first thing I think about when setting up any new website is what hosting I will be using. There are, of course, a large number of hosting companies out there that will be able to offer you what you need. But you need one that will suit your specific needs.

Up until recently – and you are absolutely allowed to make fun of me because of this – I used a discount hoster. Not because I liked it (it was fraught with complications) but because transitioning my sites over to another company was just so much work.

Since starting work with Automattic, I’ve had the chance to play around with Pressable. Holy cow, does that make a difference!

I like that I do not have to think about setting up an SSL certificate – Pressable sets this up for you through Let’s Encrypt. Pressable drives this current site, and will be powering Smoke Academy as well.

Read more about why I chose Pressable.


While I could have built my own theme for this purpose, I think it’s valuable to show you what can be done with a pre-built theme.

I’ve chosen WooCommerce’s Memorable theme because it’s set up to showcase food and food-related content, and is Sensei ready.

It is also not a child theme, which gives me the opportunity to customize through a custom child theme (instead of using extensions that let me add custom code). It is also, obviously, set up for WooCommerce.

I will be adding some custom code to this theme, to extend it’s features.

Social Media

For now, I’m going to stick with Facebook. If you’re interested, I’ll be sharing some actual BBQ tips and tricks there, just to make it a little more authentic.

In time, I might add Pinterest as well – it’s a great platform for potentially a lot of traffic. The only problem I have is that I have little experience in setting it up for a business related account.

If you have any experience in setting this up, please let me know! I’d be happy to collaborate (with appropriate mentioning of your name, of course).

Let Me Know What You Want

Are there any specifics around WooCommerce that you would like to know about? Leave a comment, and I’ll make sure it’s included in this series.

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