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How to set up an online store on Magento 2?

Any online business requires a web site as a place to present its products and services. A popular software solution for an online store is a platform developed by Adobe. It is called Magento 2, and it provides multiple advantages over its counterparts.

To launch a store on Magento, you first need to deploy it and other components on the server. Therefore, this article focuses on the question of how to set up the Magento 2 Open Source.

Step 1. Understanding of the Magento 2 technology stack

As a platform for the web site development the Magento 2 requires a specific list of hardware and software technologies:

  • Operating system. Magento is designed to run exclusively on Linux x86-64 distributions. This Adobe platform does not support alternative operation systems, namely Apple macOS and Microsoft Windows. For temporary development purposes, it is totally fine to use the latter operation systems by running Magento with virtualizations, or NAMP applications.

  • Web server software. The web server should be launched upon Apache 2.4 or Nginx 1.x. Ensure that the mod_rewrite and mod_version modules are activated when the server runs on the Apache.

  • RAM. Magento 2 requires at least 2 GB of Random Access Memory (RAM) for installation and update processes worked without slowdowns.

  • Database software. Depending on the Magento version that is planned to be used, the version of database software differs. Magento 2.0.x, 2.1.1 requires MySQL 5.6, Magento 2.1.2 works with MySQL 5.6, 5.7. Use MySQL 8.0 for Magento 2.4.

  • PHP version. The recent versions (Magento 2.4.x) support PHP 7.4.0, utilize PHP 7.2 and PHP 7.3 for previous Magento versions. Additionally, check the PHP version that is required by the extensions that are planned to use.

  • Security. Install a valid Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate in order to use the mandatory HTTPS. Check the work of Transport Layer Security (TLS). It is required for connection to external services, namely PayPal and Magento repository.

  • Mail server software. Ensure that Mail Transfer Agent (MTA) and SMTP server software are installed and configured.

Step 2. Buy a server from the hosting provider

Picking a dependable server hosting supplier is one basic step to the stable execution of a web-based business.

Seek hosting providers that provide servers with hardware and software technologies that meet the Magento 2 requirements. Many providers offer servers specifically adapted to Magento. Such a ready solution allows deploying a fully working Magento installation in minutes.

At the stage of choosing the exact server specifications, it is required to estimate the load it will bear when your store will be fully running. The server should have enough productivity to establish a page loading time of 2 seconds or less. The quick reaction time of a server is crucial for business success. Read tips on how to choose a server for your store.

Typically when you order a domain name, an SSL certificate is included as part of the deal. Sometimes a hosting provider may also offer an SSL. This certificate is mandatory to use the HTTPS protocol, which has become a de-facto standard.

Consideration of the hosting price tier must include the current business requirements and estimations on future growth. Select the proposition which offers the maximum ROI in the long run.

In conclusion, there are consistent threats of potential issues that can bring a store down. An accomplished and devoted group of IT experts is required to uphold the store for nonstop operation.

Step 3. Download Magento 2 package and install it

Adobe provides a Magento Open Source edition for download on its official website. It is up to you to choose the version of Magento to install. Officially, the latest version is considered best practice; but once released it may contain new bugs and not be as stable as the previous one.

An Adobe account is required to download a Magento package. This account can be created during the initial downloading phase. Get a Magento package on magento.com.

Select the Magento build version, and archive package format. Additionally, specify if you want sample data to be included. The sample data may be useful during the store development process before it is filled with actual products.

Assuming you are not familiar with Magento, and need specialized information on this platform, you should choose a hosting service provider who offers a simplified installation procedure or recruit a software engineer.

Step 4. Complete Magento configuration

After the Magento files have been deployed, it is time to do an initial configuration of the store.

In the admin panel navigate to Stores > Settings > Configuration > General, and specify such data as countries and regions your business will work, supported languages, the name and address of the store.

The availability of such basic information is crucial since it is used by Magento and its extensions for various tasks, for example, when sending emails to customers.

Step 5. Work on the store design

Nothing can influence the internet shopping positive experience as a wonderful site appearance. It is the most basic determinant for a fruitful internet-based business that leaves shoppers greatly pleased.

Open the admin panel of your store and navigate to Content > Elements. Here you can easily create new pages and fill them with blocks and widgets to make up your store design.

Make new pages to display products and services you sell. Also, use pages to display other information regarding your store. Use blocks to add HTML code on pages wherever you require it. Add widgets to extend core page functionality.

In the admin panel navigate to Content > Design > Configuration. Click the Edit button on the website that is modified.

Consider frontend design

In addition to configuring store functionality, it is a best practice to add a unique frontend design. The appropriate visual look can be achieved by modifying the default Magento Luma theme or installing a new theme.

The visual theme directly influences the shopping experience and is tightly connected to the store's success. With an eye-catching responsive theme, the store has greater potential to attract customers and keep them on the site.

You are free to use the default theme Magento 2 provides. It is readily available after deploying. The Luma theme features all the functionality required for an online store.

The Luma theme can be modified in any way, but you can use third-party premade themes for a quick visual change. Shop for such templates on Magento Marketplace.

Step 6. Product catalog configuration

Fill the product catalog with items you sell. In the admin panel navigate to Catalog > Products > Add Product. Define product type as one of the following: - Simple Product - Configurable Product - Grouped Product - Virtual Product - Bundle Product - Downloadable Product.

On the next step, provide the information on the product. Specify the Product Name and its SKU, set the Price along with other attributes. Place a product description and images in the corresponding fields.

In case you are transferring the product catalog into Magento 2, you have the option to mass import via CSV. Use the import option available in System > Data Transfer > Import.

Organize the products into categories. Easy navigation through the product catalog of the store is one of the major keys to a successful business. Product segregation by categories allows customers to easily find things they need.

Magento 2 has no limits on categories and subcategories numbers in the store. However, do not create too many subcategories. Stick to the rule that customers should make less than 3-4 clicks to get to the product.

Step 7. Payment and shipping methods configuration

Magento supports a wide range of payment and shipping methods to facilitate the shopping process. The selection of these methods has an impact on the cart abandonment rate.

Configure the methods in the admin panel. Navigate to Store > Setting > Configuration > Sales > Delivery Methods. Set up the methods your store supports, add such parameters as multiple shipping addresses support, and define the maximum quantity of shipped products for the multiple shipping addresses.

In the same way, configure payment methods. Magento provides built-in support for PayPal, Braintree, Klarna, and several other methods.

Configure payment gateways and extend the list of available payment methods using API integration.

Step 8. Final check

On the last step, carefully check all configured options to ensure nothing is forgotten.

Summary

Magento 2 is a multifunctional solution for e-commerce of any size. It is adapted for small businesses and allows you to start an online business from scratch in a few hours or days. This guide can help to deploy an online store for anyone new to Magento.

Invest some time and energy to prepare your store with this guide to the initial launch. Get a prospering commercial endeavor with your own Magento 2 store.

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