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A Simple Guide to Setting Up Magento

Magento has a sleek interface and is preloaded with a main website, default store, and store view upon installation to make starting up with Magento even easier. The hierarchy that Magento uses allows you to incorporate as many websites as you want into a single Magento installation. Each website can then be set up with any amount of stores you want all managed under the same admin. Store views are then used to alter the way your store is presented to different users.

To get the most out of Magento it is recommended that you spend some time planning out a hierarchy that will work best for your needs.

Setting Up A Website

Setting up a website can be done in five simple steps:


  1. Navigate to the Admin Menu, then open the System tab and click Manage Stores.
  2. From the Manage Stores page open the Create Website button. This will open up the process to creating a website within Magento.
  3. Once the Create Website form is open the first step is to create the name of the website. This name will only be displayed internally for your organizational purposes. You can simply use the name of the domain, or anything that will help you organize your hierarchy.
  4. Next, input a code that will be used to point the domain on the server. This value must begin with a lowercase letter, but can include lowercase letters, numbers, or the underscore sign.
  5. The sort order number will tell Magento where to place this Website in relation to your other websites to simplify navigations. Once you have inputted this information, simply press the Save Website button and your website will be created.

Setting Up A Store

Setting up a Store is just as easy as setting up a Website:

  1. Navigate to the Manage Stores page like you did for the website.
  2. This time press the Create Store button found on the Manage Stores page, which will open up a form very similar to the Create Website form.
  3. First, use the dropdown menu to set the website this store is associated with.
  4. Next, enter the name of the store for internal organization. This name will only be displayed internally.
  5. Finally, select the root category for this store’s navigation. Then press the Save Store button and your store will be created.

Setting Up A Store View

Setting up a store view has a few more options than a store or website and only takes 7 steps.

  1. Navigate to the Manage Stores window.
  2. Press the Create Store View button. This will open up a form with five fillable fields.
  3. Use the Store dropdown menu to set the store this store view will be associated with.
  4. Input a name for this store view. Since store views are typically used for presenting your store in different languages, the name appears under the language chooser of the header. This does not mean you have to use a language as the name for you store view, it should be based on what is unique about this view.
  5. Input a code. This code must be all lower case letters and is typically the same as the name, without capitalization, of the store view.
  6. Use the dropdown menu to set the status of the store view. You can disable store views for when you do not want them to be displayed yet, but usually this field will always be enabled.
  7. The sort order field is an optional field to help organize your store views. Entering 0 will place this store view at the top of your store view menu. It is recommended that you place your default view as zero so it is always easy to find. Then simply press Save Store View and your store view will be created.

Once you have these set up you may want to play around with the different settings inside each level of the hierarchy to get a better feel for how Magento works. For most people, actively using the software is the quickest way to learn how to use it. If you want to learn more, Magento has an entire series of Getting Started guides that go over all the basics!