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How to set up Magento

If you are serious about running an eCommerce business, then Magento is a great choice.

Magneto is a very popular platform for online stores. The system is feature-rich, and there is a huge support community available. Magento feels initially intimidating due to its sheer volume of features, but it is actually quite easy to use once you get the hang of it.

Magento is beautifully scaleable, and just as suited to small eCommerce businesses as it is to large retailers.

There is a wide range of extensions and plugins available to extend the core capabilities of Magento. This makes is easy to integrate a wide range of payment processing and shipping service options.

In this tutorial, we are going to take you through the basic steps of installing Magento on a shared hosting account.

What You Need

You will need your own domain and Web hosting account upon which to install Magento. If you don’t have your domain yet, check out our step by step tutorial on obtaining domain and hosting services from HostGator here. The link will open in a new tab so that you can come back to this guide easily later.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we are working on the assumption that you are using HostGator for hosting services. If you are not, don’t worry. HostGator uses cPanel, which is the most popular Web hosting control panel in the world. Many other Web hosting services use it too, so there is every chance that you’ll still be able to follow this guide.

1. Go to your cPanel login link and enter your username and password. This information is provided to you by your hosting service provider in an email when you first sign up.

Main panel

Even though the wealth of cPanel options can seem initially daunting to novices, it is actually very easy to use. Stay tuned on Make a Website for a comprehensive tutorial on cPanel that will follow soon.

2. Locate the “Software/Services” group of icons on the right. You will have to scroll down a fair way to find it.

3. Look for QuickInstall and Fantastico De Luxe, both of which are excellent automated installers for Web applications. The only trouble is that some applications available on QuickInstall aren’t available via Fantastico De Luxe, and vice versa.

At HostGator, the most modern applications seem to all be available via the QuickInstall option – and that is where you will find Magento.


3. Click into the QuickInstall option, then choose Magento. You will find it under the “eCommerce Software” section on the left. You will see a brief information to Magento. Click Continue.

QuickInstall - Magento

4. If you have setup your domain properly, you will see it in the drop down list. The blank field afterwards lets you specify a subdirectory in which to install Magento (i.e. www.yourdomain.com/magento-here).

We will assume for the purposes of this guide that you want to place your Magento-powered store in the root directory so it appears as soon as people visit your Web address, and therefore leave this field blank.

QuickInstall - Magento Install

You will notice a couple of other options:

Enable Auto Upgrades: Keep this checked.

Use mod_rewrite: Check this field if you want your store URLs to be search engine friendly (and there’s little reason why you wouldn’t!)

5. Now, fill out the rest of the fields. Make sure you have provided the correct email address. Finally, click “Install Now”.

5. QuickInstall will now perform the installation. Upon conclusion, you will be given a URL to access your Magento-powered site and its administration panel, along with your admin username and password. All this information will also be emailed to you.

QuickInstall - Magento Finished

If you’ve installed Magento very shortly after arranging your registration and hosting, and receive a “page not found” error when you try to access the site, don’t be alarmed. Your domain registration needs time to propagate across all the global DNS servers. The process can take anything from a few hours to 48 hours. If you want to learn more about this, click on this link.

6. Once you have access to your site, entering your Magento admin username and password will take you straight to the Administration Dashboard.

Magento Admin

Congratulations – your basic Magento install is complete. Setting up a Magento store is beyond the scope of this article. However, stay tuned, as we will soon be providing a detailed tutorial on setting up a basic Magento eCommerce Store.

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Author Picture Written by Pete Zaborszky
Pete runs Make a website and wants to get detailed information to the readers. He is dedicated to being the best and providing the highest quality at anything he does. You can also find him on Twitter or Google+