Magento is a noticeable eCommerce platform that provides startups and small businesses with the flexibility to manage their stores without much hassle. In the following, we’ll demonstrate how to use Magento to put together a bespoke online store. Note that, the process can be pretty tedious and time-intensive, which requires your continuous passion and patience. Now, let’s go ahead and get stuck into the meat of this guide.
How to Set Up a Fully Functional Store with Magento?
Among numerous online commerce solutions, Magento is a great option for small, medium and large-sized organizations. That means, this open source software is built to scale and expand with the growth of your business. This can be its biggest advantage over other eCommerce applications like PrestaShop.
Pay attention that, the products provided by Magento include the “Community Edition” for tech-savvy developers or merchants, the “Enterprise Edition” for large businesses and the “Magento Go” for the small business market. At this place, we’d like to showcase how to implement an eCommerce solution for your small business or startup using Magento.
Step 1 – Install Your Magento via Softaculous
To be frank, there are two different ways to install your Magento. Perhaps the easiest and fastest way is to use the Softaculous that is an auto-installer within the cPanel interface. In the following screenshot, the “Softaculous Apps Installer” icon is right under the “Software” section.
Just make a click on it and you will be taken to a new page where there is a plethora of selectable options in the left-hand sidebar. All you need to do is to scroll down to the “E-Commerce” category and click on the “Magento” link out there. This will transfer you to a Magento installation page like below.
From here, you will be displayed with more installation information for Magento, including “Overview”, “Features”, “Screenshots”, “Demo”, “Ratings”, “Reviews” and “Import”. To proceed, just move your mouse over the “Install” tab. This will open up a new configuration page for your Magento installation. Now, let’s have quick look at what you should beware in below.
Within this “Software Setup” section, you should firstly select the version of Magento to install. If you already have SSL certificate, you also need to choose the “HTTPS” protocol. In the meantime, make a selection of your preferred domain to install this software from the drop-down list. Pay attention that, Softaculous would install your Magento script in a sub-folder labelled as “magento”. The good news is that you can delete this “magento” string from the “ID Directory” area so that you can enter the website via the previously-selected domain name.
The “Database Name” and “CRON Job” sections can also be configured to your liking. If you are unsure about the options, you’d better leave them intact.
The “Admin Username” is set to “admin” by default, and it is recommendable to re-define it in case that an attacker can guess out your administrative username easily. Try making your “Admin Password” as strong and complicated as possible. Note that, Softaculous also gives an option to generate a random password via this “Key” icon. It is also possible to specify your “Admin Email” that is required when resetting the current password. If needed, you can tell your real name in the “First Name” and “Last Name” sections.
Note for Beginners: The rest “Site Settings” and “Database Settings” allow you to modify the administrative path and table prefix respectively. Make sure that you would view those listed “Advanced Options” before clicking the bottom “Install” button. Pay attention that, it would take 3-4 minutes to complete the installation process, and you will be informed of website and administrative URLs.
Step 2 – Add & Manage Your Magento Products
Assuming that you’ve logged onto the Magento admin panel, we will teach you how to add and manage Magento products to boost online revenue. Honestly speaking, this can be a basic-yet-important part of running your online store, which is sub-divided into four simple steps as below.
Add Your Magento Products
From this admin area, there are a rich set of editing options across the top toolbar, including “Dashboard”, “Sales”, “Catalog”, “Mobile”, “Customers”, “Promotions”, “Newsletter”, “CMS”, “Reports” and “System”. Here, you should jump into “Catalog” > “Manage Products” and click on the upper-right “Add Product” button. Note that, this will prompt you to decide whether or not apply “Default” attribute and “Simple Product” type.
Create the Product Attributes
After that, you will be able to personalize more product options, such as the product “Name”, “Weight”, “SKU(Stock Keeping Unit)”, “Status”, “Visibility” and “Tax Class”, etc. If needed, you can also set the date to display this item as “New”. To add custom attributes, you should press the green button labelled as “Create New Attribute”.
Add the Product Prices
To proceed, just hit the above “Save and Continue Edit” button. From the “Prices” area, you are empowered to add more product price details by editing those text boxes. To name a few, you can implement special prices for certain customer group and further define those special offers’ date. Do remember to click the same “Save and Continue Edit” button to save changes.
Specify the Product Description
Below is the “Meta Information” section where you are able to create both “Description” and “Short Description” for the product. Be sure to keep your product name less than 71 characters and make the product “Description” as long as possible. Note also that, the product “SKU”, “Weight”, “URL key” and “Visibility” can also be re-configured from here. If you want the newly-created product appear on site’s front page, you still need to set it to “In Stock” status. Once done with all settings, just click the mentioned “Save and Continue Edit” button to take effect.
Step 3 – Add Your Images & Tags in Magento
To add an image/picture to your product is quite simple, which requires you to go back to “Catalog” > “Manage Pages” once more. In the next screencast, just search and click the needed product. From the left “Images” section, click on the “Browse Files” button to upload the product image from your local computer. Once uploaded, you can use the right radio button to define the image size, and in the meantime, label it by editing the text box. Finally, click this “Save and Continue Edit” button to save this image.
In most instances, Magento gives customers an option to tag their products, and a tag won’t be displayed on the frontend until it is approved. To add a product tag and exhibit it on the product page, you should go straight into the “Product Tags” tab and type in the “Tag Name” in the blank box. Do not forget to set the “Status” to “Approved” at last.
To view a listing of all tags, be “Pending” or “Approved”, you should go to “Catalog” > “Tags” > “All Tags” like below. From here, you can not only edit the selected product tag, but also see more products tagged by your customers.
Important to Note: To add new product attributes, just press the mentioned “Create New Attribute” button. If done properly, a “New Product Attribute” window will pop up. After the completion of attribute and frontend settings, just press the upper-right “Save Attribute” button to store changes.
Step 4 – Manage & Add Your Magento Pages
To do so, you should revert back to the main interface of your Magento and expand the above-mentioned “CMS” tab. From the pop-up list, simply choose this “Pages” option so that you can start the pages modification.
The next step is to choose one page from this “Manage Pages” column and then adjust the “Page Title”, “URL Key” and “Status” to your preference. It is not impossible to change the product content, design and meta data from the left-hand “Page Information” toolbar.
As you may notice, there are more options under the CMS tab, including:
- Static Blocks – is where to edit footer links, footer links company and cookie restriction notice.
- Widgets – is where to create and edit your website widget ID, instance title and type.
- Polls – is where to add an online survey/poll to your online store.
Step 5 – Adjust Your Payment Methods
There are many different payment methods provided by Magento, such as PayPal and Authorize. Alternatively, you can choose to use regular credit cards, including American Express, Master Card, Discover, JCB, Visa, Switch/Solo and so on. To configure your own payment methods, just go to “System” > “Configuration” > “Sales” > “Payment Methods” as follows.
To enable the credit card payment gateway, you should enter the “Saved CC” section. At this place, you are provided with the ability to enable this payment method, create its title, adjust the order status and specify credit card types. Also, Magento provides the option to enable “Request Card Security Code” and “3D Secure Card Validation”. Do check the “Save Config” button to make it work.
Note: Apart from that, you can also add learn more about PayPal “Payment Gateways”, “Express Checkout” and “All-in-One Solutions”. The “Below Zero Subtotal Checkout” and “Bank Transfer Payment” can also be enabled based on personal indulgences.
Step 6 – Configure Your Magento Shipping Methods
To do so, just enter the above “Shipping Methods” inside the same “Sales” column. Before performing any changes, you’d better edit the “Shipping Settings” in advance. Just fill in the product “Origin” so that your customers would know the warehouse address of the products. In the below “Options”, you can decide whether allow shipping to multiple addresses and specify how many shipping addresses are allowed in Magento.
Since you’re done with the shipping settings, it’s time to modify the “Shipping Methods”. To enable the “UPS” module, you are required to specify the UPS type and title. It is very important to tell the “Gateway URL”. The other options allow you to describe the “Destination Type”, “Weight Unit” and “Pickup Method”. The “Handling Fee” can also be re-configured according to the percent basis.
As different shipping methods need different configurations, we won’t continue to explain each one of them. Just follow the given instructions and you would get work done as expected!