Beginners Guide to Magento Ecommerce Platform
Magento is the leading ecommerce platform worldwide. It has over $ 100 billion in Gross Merchandise Value.
Merchants worldwide use the platform to grow their online stores. It offers a flexible shopping cart with a wide range of built-in features.
Magento is a leading provider of digital commerce solutions. It can help you create a seamless shopping experience for users.
If you are starting with Magento, there is a learning curve. It can be hard to understand Magento and get started with the platform quickly.
In this article, we cover the basics of Magento for beginners. It will equip you with the resources & tips to build a successful online store.
Overview of Magento Platform
Magento is an open-source ecommerce platform to run an online store. You get a range of tools to manage & sell products. It is a one-stop solution to all ecommerce store requirements.
Magento was released in 2007 by Varien & quickly grew in popularity.
In 2018, Adobe acquired Magento for $1.68 billion. Now it has integrated the Adobe Experience Cloud.
The platform lets you add tens of thousands of products to the catalog. It lets you scale your online store globally.
From a technical point of view, Magento software is based on the PHP language. It uses frameworks such as Laminas and Symfony.
Magento offers two main editions for merchants:
- Magento Open Source:
Magento Open Source is the free Magento edition used by the majority of sellers. It comes with extensive features & functions.
You can customize your store & add third-party modules. It is suitable for all ecommerce business sizes.
- Adobe Commerce:
Adobe Commerce is the paid Magento edition, mainly focussed on large-scale ecommerce stores. It offers advanced Business Intelligence. The edition starts from 22,000 dollars per year.
The Adobe Commerce Cloud pricing starts at 40,000 dollars per year. You get a cloud-hosted solution with the platform.
Why use Magento?
Magento is excellent software that helps merchants to sell their products online.
It has a flexible model to make store changes. You work on an intuitive interface.
The platform has been around for more than a decade. With the Magento 2 version released in 2015, it has gotten significant upgrades.
The key features of Magento 2 include:
- B2C & B2B Commerce Tools
- Managing content
- Business Intelligence
- Order & Inventory Managing
- Promotions & Coupons
- Responsive Themes
- Global Currencies & tax support
Magento has an extensive list of features that covers everything. You have all the tools natively to sell your products.
Some of the Top Benefits of using Magento are:
|Top Benefits of Magento 2 Ecommerce Platform||Explanation|
|Open-Source||You can modify the source code. Add plugins for more functions.|
|Scale Globally||Scale to new regions & create multiple stores.
Get built-in languages & currencies features.
Global support for payments & shipping.
|User-friendly||Navigate easily for both the website & admin panel.
Admin dashboard gives complete control over the store functions.
|Omnichannel||Extend your store to mobile selling.
Add IoT channels and social media.
|SEO||Advanced SEO features are built-in.|
|Analytics & reporting||Dynamic reports for orders and products.
Get customer data on one platform.
|Third-party extensions||Create a custom store based on customer demands.
Add a range of third-party plugins.
Grow your Magento store with the latest technologies such as:
- Headless Commerce
- PWA Studio
- Mobile Commerce
- B2B Commerce
- ERP Function
- Amazon Sales Channel
Magento lets you build engaging stores that match your customer’s demands. You can make creative stores that bring more conversions.
To launch your Magento store, you will require Magento hosting. You can choose a preferred Magento hosting provider.
The hosting provider leases the server for your store. It lets you store your files & web apps.
It is advised to go for Managed Magento hosting for your store. All the server-side workloads are delegated to the Magento hosting company.
The main tasks of Magento hosting include:
- Server setup
- Managed Magento Migration
- System monitoring
- Server-side updates & patches
- Server security
- Optimizing for uptime & performance
- Scaling the server resources
- Managed Backups
- Using the latest tech stack
- 24/7 technical support
With fully managed Magento hosting, these tasks are moved to your host. It is essential to go for a reliable hosting provider. That way your store has high speed & security.
If there are any issues, you can contact the host to get expert support.
Magento installation will require technical skills. Before you install the software, you have to configure the server. The minimum requirements for installing Magento include:
- Magento 2 System Requirements
- Prerequisites check the PHP version & OS. Along with parts such as MySQL and Apache or NGINX.
- Magento file system. It ensures that the data is secure while you install the software.
You also have to create a database & specify the database host and name along with the database user and password. It includes web configuring & creating an admin account.
A managed hosting provider will install Magento onto the new server. It is helpful to have Magento experts to get your store up & running.
Basic Configuration Setting
Once you have Magento installed, you can configure the store via the admin panel. Some of the basic configuration settings include:
The Store Admin is where you can set up products & manage orders.
The Admin dashboard lets you perform store operations.
It has 2FA & CAPTCHA features for extra security. You can add more accounts to manage your store. You can assign levels of access & user roles.
It lets you add general info about your store. You can configure:
Store Name & address
Contact numbers & emails
Invoices & tax rates
Store languages, currencies
Configure the store branding by adding your store logo & a favicon. Favicon is the small logo you see on the tab of each browser page.
You can add welcome messages & also copyright notices on the page. Click on the add a demo notice at the top of the default Magento page. It is useful when your website is live but still not open for business.
Websites, Stores & Views
The Magento platform has the hierarchy of Websites > Stores > Store views.
You can start with the Main Website and then set up many sites with a single installation. A single website can have multiple stores. Each store is presented to customers with a specific store view.
Set Up Your Database
Once you add the basic settings, you can start with the database. The database will include:
- Product types & product categories
- Content & product images
- Shipping methods
- Pricing & Payment methods
- Email address for notifications
The Magento developers may also help you set up sample data. You can see how the products will appear before going live.
Add Store Functionalities Using Extensions
Magento extensions are external plugins that are installed on your store. It helps to enhance store functions for a better user experience.
Magento has thousands of free & premium extensions. Its global community of developers creates the plugins. You have to opt for a suitable development agency to add the extensions.
You can get the extensions at the Magento Marketplace or providers such as Amasty. Some of the top Magento 2 extensions help with:
- Payments & security
- Shipping & fulfillment
- Site optimizing
- Customer support
Magento offers various features to handle content pages & blocks. Using page building, you can build custom layouts. It lets you add media, banners, Google maps, and so on.
Some of the content managing features include:
- Page Builder (drag and drop page design)
- Media storage
- Design & themes
- Content staging
- Create widgets
You can also configure search options like Elasticsearch on your pages. It helps customers navigate products quickly.
Content managing also involves adding checkout & shipping pages. The content helps reflect your online store branding. Magento offers lots of flexibility to create personalized content pages.
Magento has built-in Search Engine Optimization tools. It helps drive traffic & improve store visibility. It lets you create SEO-friendly CMS pages to build your brand.
Some of the Magento SEO features include:
- Site maps
- URL rewrites
- Google Analytics
- Google Adwords
You can also add SEO extensions to enhance store rankings. Learn more about the best Magento 2 SEO extensions here.
Optimize Site Speed
Magento can become resource heavy with too many functions. It could lead to a slow page loading time. You must optimize the Magento site speed to ensure that users get fast speed.
Some of the ways to optimize Magento speed include:
- Varnish & Redis Cache
- Using lightweight tech stack
- Optimize images, CSS/JS
- Set up a global CDN
- Latest server hardware & software tech
Ask the Magento host about site speed and see if they offer optimizing services.
Magento Security & Compliance
When starting the Magento store, you must know how to secure the ecommerce platform.
Magento offers many built-in security features such as security patches. You have to update the store with patches as soon as they’re released.
Use the free Magento Security Scan tool to check your system. You also get best security practices from Magento’s docs. The Magento Commerce edition has PCI Level 1 Compliance.
To keep your store secure, ensure that you use the latest Magento version. Opt for strong passwords & change them regularly.
Use 2FA or Magento reCAPTCHA for secure logins. Go for a unique URL for the admin dashboard. You should backup your site constantly for data protection.
Along with these, you can maintain Magento security with:
- Web Application Firewall
- DDoS protection
- SSL Encryption
- SSL certificate
- PCI certified
- Hourly backups
Hundreds of thousands of online retailers use Magento. It lets you create unique experiences for the customer’s journey.
However, Magento is complex for beginners. That is why it is advised to opt for Magento level expert support.
Make sure you choose the best Magento hosting provider. Go for a good Magento agency to build your store. They should help bring your brand vision into reality.
This article covered the basics of Magento. So you have a good idea of the platform’s top features & installation requirements.
Magento's official docs page offers more info, e-books & videos on using the platform.
To learn more about Magento, check out the MGT Commerce blog.