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In the endeavour to create and design a website there are several requirements; but one of these that makes your work interesting and at the same time far easier is the incorporation of software applications. These attributes give shape to your creativity and dreams of making a perfect website equipped with all kinds of features and functions. One such resource that can be of ultimate help and assistance in your field of work is Magento – a web framework specially designed for advanced e-commerce applications. This is an opensource resource that is available for free. It may be noted here that only the community edition is available for free downloads while the other versions available from the company are chargeable. You may select on the basis of their features and functions availability.
This software package is some of the most viable commercial applications and was developed by Varien which is now better known as Magento Inc. it started as a small effort of some of the programmers of the community of open source software developers. At present this is under the ownership of Magento Inc. the official announcement of the company came in the year 2007. In the same year in the month of August there was released the very first beta version of the software. In the year 2010 the company released the Magento Mobile which is used for the development of various apps for mobile phones.
One of the main advantages of Magento and its availability comes for all those websites engaged in the sphere of e-commerce; there is a wide range of features that can be incorporated within such websites besides offering excellent options for customised functions as well. There are promotional tools that companies can put to use when they are embarking on any form of campaigning for their products and services. With this option they can create customer groups and even product groups and their pricing structures. Also available will be the feature where you can provide promotional pricing catalogues. With another feature like the Catalogue Management there are options of creating effective handling of the data within this; arrangement of products and services on the basis of their price and managing the changes that will be incorporated within them on a periodic basis. The catalogue browsing feature enables a proper refined search users can initiate to get to a product of their choice. Additionally there are price listings and price comparisons too available with a list of products which makes it easier for users and buyers to make a decision about the purchase.
One of the most important attributes of an e-commerce website is its system of security available for the buyers and consumers; there are several actions carried out through the sites like payment processing and creation of personal ids that are also activated with passwords; within the user accounts there will be important personal information that is shared by individual customers. Payments are mostly processed with credit cards and debit cards. These entail providing details of highly secure information that has to be maintained with privacy and confidentiality by the website management. Related features also include the availability of different options of payment processing through the Magento software. With this there is another advantage of multiple addresses for shipment and deliveries. Users can choose to provide different addresses for the delivery of their products.
Order management is a feature available from Magento which is extremely useful. There are easy to access options of managing, editing and organizing customers order placements from the admin panel. There are pages available for registered users that they can easily access and control changing and editing of information coupled with checkouts at the time of purchases can be carried out. With site management options website management can use the same admin panel to control the management of multiple websites and online stores. Magento is one such application that has ushered a new phase of online shopping and e-commerce. It is helpful and handy especially with its newer features being enabled even on the latest Smartphones and portable devices for internet access like the iPad. It leads to an instant access to the users and gives them the power of online shopping option even when traveling. With the use of Magento, sellers and online store management can now create attractive offers and saving deals for visitors. It will lead to better sales figures and exceptional client management at the same time.
An objective and a close assessment of Magento and its performance within the community of online business ventures will reflect a new phase of business outlets. The internet has immense capacity for growth especially with the promise of good business generation. There are small scale business ventures along with middle scale to large organizations too which have their simultaneous businesses running online; this helps to reach out to a wider spectrum of consumers. The role that Magento plays in this success story is to help build a website for all statures of companies that helps them to reach out to their clientele easily; and this is done with precision and more focus of their business goals and objectives.
There are two ways of downloading and installing Magento files for your website uses. You can initiate the task manually or through an automated process. There are a few pre-requisite conditions that you shall have to ensure prior to the process of installation. Among these the one of primary importance is the system requirements. The operations of Magento will be on a Unix based web server; this should have PHP 5.2+ along with MySQL 4.1.20+. Additionally there should be web server setup conditions with the LAMP stack that comprises of Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP. A few other conditions need to be present for the support of a server environment. Among this you should have the Linux server operating systems. The web servers should be Apache 1.3.x or Apache 2. PHP compatibility of the server is an important feature with at least 5.2.0 version; the safe mode should also be connected off. The version of the MySQL should be 4.1.20 at the least and above. There is a complete set of guidelines available with your web host service provider company; in case they don’t you can access complete details from the official website as well. With these conditions and additional information of the running and operations of the software you can also initiate a demo for better understanding. Initialize the application locally on your desktop computer with the help of a LAMP stack. Always consult your web host about the details of your localhost prior to any form of operational setups and its running.
If you are all set to undertake the process of downloading Magento onto your system then there are a few steps that you have to follow. The first of course is the task of downloading Magento and ensuring its FTP with the server. With the assistance of a browser there is an entire set of archive files that you will have to download from the official website of the company. Refer to http://www.magentocommerce.com/download From the set of archive files you have to extract the files for Magento; these will be names as Magento and will contain all relevant files and folders within. Take this file to your server repository which is the root of the web server. You can do this by using public_html.
Here is another means of downloading the Magento files onto your system; using the SSH access you can do this directly to your server. With the help of SSH access to your server you can download the files quickly and easily; for this you need to use wget. Log on to the server and reach the web root directory. For this you can use public_html. Here you will find a command option that says wget; use this to access the complete archive of the Magento files. From the archive now you can access your Magento files. It will be available within a folder of the same name. There are several commands that may vary with the version of the software. For this you can consult your web host service provider or even the official website of the company.
In the following step you have to configure permissions for setting up of the wizard. There are directories that the setup for Wizard will need on the web server. You have to create these and also ensure that they are writeable from the web server. Among the files that are included in this category there are file:magento/var/.htaccess; the next one is called directory:magento/app/etc; this is followed by the directory:magento/var; all of these three files will be under the folder of magento/media. In case FTP is used you can configure to 777 for permissions. Otherwise you may also check on the features such as read or write or executable files in case of the owner or the user and a group. In the same way if you are using SSH then there is a specific command that will have to be used; it is chmod o+w var var/ .htaccess app/etc chmod – R o+w media. It is advisable that in all of these steps you also consult or work in the supervision of your web host service provider company.
The database is one of the most important parts of the website and the applications that are run on it. This is where all the data is stored. In the same way you have to create a database in your next step. There are a few steps that you have to follow to create an empty MySQL that will work as your store of data. Though there are standardized steps which are followed the same will between web host service providing companies; thus consulting your service provider will be an important step. The system administrator will need to be referred to in this case as well for a detailed look at the process of documentation and instructions laid down in them. The usual tools that are used in this is PHPmyAdmin or the MySQL that prove to be effective in the creation of a MySQL database and even managing it thereafter. When you create the database user ensure that there are complete access and privileges provided to the database. Always make a confidential note of the user id and password of the database user; also important will be to note the database name. The Wizard is not yet set so this is also a time when you may ideally upload any sample data if you want.
Now is the time for installing the web-based Setup Wizard. You can run the Wizard Setup with your web browser. Access your website through the domain or IP address and this will be automated instantly. The domain or IP address will be either http://www.yourDomain.com/magento Or http://yourIP.0.0.1/magento. in the next step that follows you have to complete the configuration settings of the Magento installation process within the Setup Wizard. Firstly read and understand the License agreement; then you have to accept the terms and conditions. After this there is localization in which the settings can also be modified later through the Admin Panel of your system. The default country and the language will have to be set after this along with the default currency settings. The default time zone will also be important and will have to be set as well. After this you will have to undertake various configurations of the different aspects of the installation setup. Firstly comes the database configuration. The most commonly used host is the localhost that is used for basic installations of Magento. Then comes the database name; this is the location of the system where from you have created the same. The name of the dbuser and the password which you have gathered when you created the database. There are a few options for web access that will already be pre-filled. However you can always access this later through Admin Panel and change settings in case of need. The base URL link for your default installation within a Magento directory will be http://www.yourDomain.com/magento; or else it can be http://www.yourIP.com/magento. in case the installation process is carried out locally on your desktop computer it may be noted that you will not be able to put ‘’localhost’’ here. You may be able to do so only if you have made prior settings within your localhost files. The Admin path which is there by default settings will be attached to your base URL link. With this you can access the Admin Panel. You can choose either file system or the database for your session storage options. Generally installations make use of the file system because it is faster. However for websites that are operational on multiple servers it would be necessary to opt for database. With this your data for each session will be available no matter the server through which it has been initiated.
Now let us understand the Admin account. For this you need the name and contact details of the first user who will access it. This also includes login information like the user id and the password. This is followed by the creation of the database encryption key. You can provide one or else wait for Magento to generate one through an automated system. The same will be shown on the screen and even saved in the following file location – app/local.xml file. The data of the entire Magento setup will be located within the app/etc/local.xml and this is useful if you wish to reload the entire process of installation again. For that the Setup Wizard will not be required for further downloads. Once the local files on your system is deleted the system will be ready for a reloading of the setup. You can log into http://www.yourDomain.com/magento and thereafter the Setup Wizard will be set in operation through an automated process.
Following the Setup Wizard your system is now ready for operations. You can go back to the Magento store that you have for your business and access the Admin Panel here. This will be necessary in the process of adding various categories and customized products to the site.
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