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magento & ecommerce

The Basics of Magento 2

Magento is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms out there. It is open-source and very versatile. Magento 2 is the next step in the world of eCommerce. It brings new features to the table and boasts a better and more efficient use of resources.

Compared to the original Magento, Magento 2 features increased speed and security, improved scaling potential, and faster and simpler checkout process. Overall, it is a much more advanced platform.

Here are some basics of Magento 2 to get you started.

Installing Magento 2

Magento 2 is installed through the Softaculous auto-installer. It is a feature that’s available inside your cPanel. This installer automates the installation process and squeezes it into a single configuration page. The entire installation takes around 30 seconds.

Log into your cPanel and go to the Software/Services section to access Softaculous. From this page, you should be able to see the Softaculous Apps Installer. Select this icon. Inside the app, search for “Magento” and click the result displayed on the list. That will start the installation preparation.

Towards the top of the page, you’ll see the Install tab. It will take you to the installation configuration page. In the Choose the version you want to install field, type/select “2.0.0.” In the Choose Protocol field, select http:// or https://, depending on whether you have an SSL certificate for the domain in question.

Now, under Choose Domain¸ you should select the domain you want to install Magento 2 on.

Finally, under In Directory, you can select how the store is accessible. In other words, whether it’s going to be accessible directly through the selected domain name or via a subdirectory. If you want the store accessible via the domain name, leave this box empty. If you want it accessible through a subdirectory, input the directory’s name.

To finish installing Magento 2, create the Admin Account. It requires the username, password, your first and last name, and an email that you’ll use as an admin.

There are some optional settings here, as well. Under the Advanced Options expandable menu, you can select the Database Name, the Table Prefix, and Disable Update Notifications. The first and the last feature are fairly self-explanatory here. As for the Table Prefix feature, the prefixes help the user distinguish the app tables within the same database.

Configuring the General Settings

Now that the installation is complete and Magento 2 is ready to work, it’s time to set it up properly. The general settings are where your Magento 2 journey starts. To start configuring the settings, go to the admin dashboard within your Store and go to Stores. From this menu, navigate to Configuration.

In the navigation menu to the left, select the General option. It will give show you a screen that will let you configure Magento 2 settings.

From this screen, you can select a variety of different options such as your timezone, your default language, the preferred weight unit, the calendar, the weekend days, etc. You’ll also get to set the store name, your phone number, working hours, and your location.

These settings are fairly self-explanatory and simple.

In the configuration menu, you also get to set up your webstore’s Contact Us page, enable SEF URLs (SEO), enable SSL, and configure currencies. These settings transcend the basic settings and will require further research on your part.

Products and Categories

Product categories are used on almost all webstores to sort the products better. By sorting the content of your online store, you improve the user experience, which is a huge factor in online retail. Magento 2 comes with a preset root category but, naturally, you can come up with your own and name it whatever you want.

To access the products and categories section, go to the admin dashboard, log in if required, and go to Products. Then, find and select Categories.

Here, you’ll be able to create categories. Each one will require a name first. The Is Active setting allows you to activate or deactivate a category without having to delete it. Under URL Key input the URL that’s leading to this directory. Under Description, add a short description of the category and its contents.

In this menu, you can also choose the image for each category, its page title, the meta keywords used for indexing the category page, the meta description to help with SEO, and include a navigation menu for another root category.

There are various other customization settings here that should help you maximize the user experience aspect of your webstore. These include product attributes, reviews, ratings, etc.

Extensions

One of Magento’s main selling points is its modularity. Unlike many other eCommerce platforms, Magento allows you to change your store’s structure by installing various extensions. Naturally, Magento 2 inherited this from its original version, and it still plays an essential role in its success.

Installing a new extension is fairly simple. Use the admin dashboard and go to System. From here, navigate to Web Setup Wizard and select Component Manager. From this page, you’ll be able to see the installed updates and extensions and get new ones. To install new extensions, click Install under New Purchases.

Here, you’ll see a list of available extensions. Select the ones that you want and install them. You can also use the Readiness Check feature to see if you meet all the prerequisites to install a particular extension.

Disabling extensions will have you taking a different route, however. Go to the Stores tab in your admin dashboard and then select Configuration. Then, select Advanced and select Advanced from the drop-down menu. Under the Disable Modules Output, you’ll see a list of installed extensions. You can enable and disable them here. Select Save Config in the upper-right corner to save the settings.

Magento 2 Basics

These basics only begin to scratch the surface of the Magento 2 configuration. Magento 2 is a complicated beast that does require an expert for a proper setup. To use Magento 2 to its full extent, you need to have a solid understanding of Object-oriented Programming, PHP, Namespaces, MySQL, and Basic bash usage.

You can, of course, learn along the way and set it up without a thorough knowledge of the mentioned subjects, but this will be a bumpy road.

By interactivated • on February 15, 2020

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