Building a Magento e-commerce website is not an easy task, but it can be done with the help of some essential tools, techniques and a detailed step by step guide.
With the current increase in smartphone penetration, your store should be mobile friendly and optimized to fit all the screen sizes.
You can take the help of certified Magento ecommerce agencies to professionally design a secured and user-friendly Magento store.
Here is a guide that will take you through the process of building a Magento store in the simplest way possible. Have a look.
1- Start by designing a prototype
Start by designing templates for the kind of website you want. You can use any template or create one from scratch using Photoshop or other design software. The essential thing here is to get the right balance between functionality and aesthetics. Make sure that the site looks good on desktop and mobile devices.
2- Choose a domain name and host
Once you have designed the prototype, you need to register a domain name for your new website. It could cost you above $8 depending upon how long you plan to keep the domain name, its type availability and so on. Once you have registered the domain, you need to choose a hosting provider. There are many options available out there, so make sure that you pick one which has the following Magento server requirements:
- Its operating system should be Linux x84-64 or RedHat Ubuntu. You could also use Nginx or Apache. However, the two are not the best choices.
- The server memory must be above 2GB. If your store has a lot of items and visitors, make sure the RAM is above 4GB.
- For the Database, we recommend MySQL 5.6 and above.
- The PHP version should be above 7.3.
- We also recommend getting an SSL for secure data transfers between your website and payment systems such as PayPal and so forth.
3- Download and install Magento
Magento is an open-source platform used to develop online stores. It is free to download and use. If your host has Softaculous, use it to install Magento with a few clicks. Otherwise, download the latest stable release from the official website.
Once downloaded, upload it to your hosting account via your file manager application. Now navigate to the root directory where you uploaded the files and transfer them to your public_html folder. Go to your website’s address and follow the instructions given by Magento to complete the installation. You will be prompted to set up a username and password, URL path to your admin page, and so forth.
4- Install a theme
Now that you have installed Magento, you need to select a theme. A theme is like a skin for your website. Select one that will fit your prototype design. If you can’t find any, we recommend a minimalist design since it is not filled with stuff you won’t need for your store.
5- Install extensions
Magento extensions are modules that add additional features to your Magento store. For example, if you sell products, you may require an extension to manage inventory. Some extensions are free, while others are paid. We suggest installing only those that you need. Also, don’t forget to install a page builder that will help customize your site.
We recommend having the following types of extensions:
- Security such as reCAPTCHA to deal with bots
- Marketing plugins to help you with sales
- Analytics trackers for monitoring customer behaviour
- Payment gateways for receiving payments. Popular gateways include PayPal and Stripe.
- Caching extensions to ensure your website loads fast]
- CDN for fast content delivery to your visitors
6- Customize your theme
Use your page builder to implement the prototype you designed in step one. Also, customize your theme by changing fonts, colours, layout, etc., to fit your needs. Don’t forget to edit your widgets from the “Elements Menu.”
If you have frontend development knowledge, do not use page builders. These extensions add unwanted codes to your pages, slowing them down. If you have excellent coding skills, you could build a theme for yourself for a fast-loading website.
7- Create categories and products
Categories are groups of similar products. Products are individual items sold in your store. Attributes are settings that define what happens when certain events occur. In this case, we’re talking about adding products to categories.
Click Add New Category. Give your category a title and description. Next, add your offerings. Go to “Catalog” then to “Products.” Fill out the fields provided, add prices and specify the type of product you are adding. Next, choose an image or video, then post it. Repeat these steps until all the products you want are listed. Make sure you add each product to its respective category.
8- Add a payment gateway
Magento doesn’t come with built-in payment gateways. So, you have to opt for third party solutions. Many options are available, such as Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.Net, Braintree, and more. The best way to decide which option is right for you is to try them out and see how they work.
Voila! You have successfully created your first Magento store. It’s time to start selling. But before you do so, make sure you’ve done everything correctly to avoid downtimes that could lead to losses.