As far as ecommerce platforms go, Magento is one of the best. It has been used by anyone from big businesses to small, home-based shops all around the globe. Even big brands such as Nike and Lindt use Magento to power their online stores. You too can benefit from the immense power this ecommerce platform offers its users. In this part, we are going to talk about how you can get a Magento-based online store up and running without a problem. Let’s get into the installation and setting up of Magento ecommerce platform.

Preparing Your Hosting Account

Naturally, you need to have a good web hosting account to get started. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a web hosting service for your Magento online store: – Magento is a PHP-based ecommerce platform, so support for PHP is a must. – Be sure to get at least 1GB of storage space with the account.

Although Magento is relatively small, you will need the extra space for storing product photos and other resources. – MySQL database is also needed, so be sure to get a web hosting account with at least one. Some web hosting services offer one-click Magento install, which makes the process of getting a Magento site up and running that much easier to complete. If your hosting account doesn’t come with a one-click installer, however, simply follow this guide and you will have no trouble at all getting Magento installed.

Getting Magento Installed

To get started, you will need to download the installation package. It is available on Magento’s official website. Then, you need to:
1. Upload the installation package to your hosting account. A good tutorial for this can be found here You can do this via FTP or by using the hosting service’s native file manage via a standard web browser. Upload it to the web directory of your hosting. In most cases, it is the /public_html/ or the /www/ directory.

2. The installation package is a compressed file, so the next step is to extract the file to the root web directly. You can also choose to extract the installation package to any subfolder you want. If you want the online store to be accessible through yourdomain.com/store, for example, you can extract the Magento files to /public_html/store.

3. Go to cPanel > MySQL Databases and create a database for Magento. You also need to assign a user to the database. This involves setting a username and password. Be sure to remember these details since we will need it later. 4. It is now time to go through the Magento installation process. Access your Magento site (by opening yourdomain.com or yourdomain.com/store depending on where you extract the files) and you will see an installation wizard. Tick the “I Agree with the Terms and Conditions” option and click Continue.

5. Next, you can set the locale settings for your online store. Choose a language, a currency and a time zone to continue.

6. It is now time to configure your site. On the upper part of your screen, you can enter your database configuration. Enter localhost for host, and complete the login details and database name for the site. You can leave the other options untouched, but make sure you choose to “Skip Base URL validation before next step” before continuing with the next step.

7. The next window allows you to set up an administrator account for your site. Complete the forms by entering your personal details, a desired username and password for the admin account. Leave the Encryption Key empty and click Continue.

8. You’re all set! You will see an encryption key on your screen. Be sure to write it down or store it somewhere safe. This encryption key is used to encrypt your passwords, credit card details and other sensitive information. Your Magento site is now active and ready for use. You can access the backend to start configuring your site and uploading products. You can also check the frontend to see how the site works and looks.

What next?

Now that you have Magento up and running, you can start uploading products and customizing the site further. I suggest you start by customizing the look of your online store first, since it will prevent you from having to regenerate thumbnails or going through other maintenance steps in the future.

There are a lot of sites that offer free as well as premium Magento themes that you can use, so getting your site customized and making it look more personalized should not be difficult at all.

You can then start uploading products, configure payment options and begin taking orders from customers in no time at all. Yes, Magento is THAT easy to set up; I support it is part of the reasons why this ecommerce platform is very popular among big brands and personal users alike.

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