If you are planning to launch an e-store, choosing the right platform is important. There are hundreds of solutions available that will puzzle and confuse. They offer free shopping cart system and paid e-commerce software that charge for getting and keeping shop online. Some apps offer valuable features for free.
Magento is the best and open source eCommerce solution that is absolutely free. Another great thing is that it’s open source and allows adding your own code to improve it the way you want. It upgrades easily without compromising over your customizations. There are plugins and extensions that enhance Magento installation like WordPress. It has a comprehensive theming system including custom themes for your eCommerce site. Downloadable goodies support is another benefit.
To set it up follow the instructions mentioned below:
The first step is to download Magento from its official website. https://www.magentocommerce.com/download
Two versions are available here. One of them is the online and the other is complete setup. Download the full package to work smoothly even if network signals are weak or absent.
There is another option given on the page which is about downloading sample data. It’s like sample text to fill an e-shop. You are making an original store, so no need to download it.
Once magento is downloaded, it’s time to move on.
Now comes the installation step. The latest stable version supports PHP 5.2 that is installed on most servers. Some web servers have a one-click install option.
For the purpose of learning, install it on localhost with Xampp. Use Xampp 1.7.0 or 1.7.1 for easy Magento installation. If you have a latest Xampp version, you will need to manually install PHP 5.2 to run Magento. It will guide how to install it on Xampp 1.7.0 or 1.7.1. To download older versions of Xampp, go its official source code repository. Download Xampp
After completing the installation, go to Xampp directory which is c:\xampp. The two directories, C:\xampp\php and C:\xampp\apache\bin include php.ini file. It’s the configuration file for PHP language.
Line 582: ;extension=php_curl.dll
Line 622: ;extension=php_mcrypt_filter.dll
Line 624: ;extension=php_mhash.dll
You can uncomment the above code by removing semi-colon, the first character in each code line.
Replace libmysql.dll contained in xampp because it can crash apache server during installation of Magento. Download a better version available online. It is also inside the MySQL server downloads present in mysql.com. After downloading, replace it with existing libmysql.dll in C:\xampp\php and C:\xampp\apache\bin.
The last step is to change some lines of code in Magento files to disable a few checks. It’s compulsory to log in on localhost. Go to Magento folder. Point to line 78. Comment line 81, 82 and 83 to disable cookies. There is a difference between original and edited file.
Magento is ready to run on localhost. It’s time to make MySQL database in phpmyadmin as Magento uses MySQL to store its data.
Run the setup and accept terms and conditions. Click continue tab on all menus as it moves on until it finishes.
Following installation of Magento you need to setup your site which can require a lot of knowledge of the platform and time. Either you can do this yourself or find a Magento agency to make the site for you.