Magento tutorial for beginners: Overview and installation.

Posted in by Nazrul Islam . Filed in Magento

Welcome to Magento – the most popular eCommerce solution dominating almost 34% of total eCommerce market share during writing this article. Magento is an open source project backed by eBay. Actually it is pointless to tell the complete development history, because there are already enough resource available to tell ‘how Magento grown up’. If you have more interest, check it out on wiki. In this beginners tutorial series we’ll learn Magento installation process and step by step build a eCommerce store.
Magento logo

Magento overview: Megento built with popular PHP ZEND framework, its designed to provide enterprise eCommerce solution. Default installation comes with more over 20000 files and around 300 database tables. Now you might have an idea how big it is. Learning Magento is not piece of cake but not also hard as Rocket science. Unfortunately this huge CMS doesn’t has proper documentation and tutorial resources. Let’s have a look on different Magento Edition.

Along with a free Community Edition (Magento CE) Magento also offers an Enterprise Edition (Magento EE) – provides exclusive customer support and hosting for 15000USD yearly charge. Another cloud base monthly subscription package Magento GO recently slatted for shutting down. Only Magento CE and Magento EE left for consideration at this moment. Except customer support there are no architectural difference between them. In this series we’ll stick only with Magento CE. Create an account on Magentocommerce and download the latest version of Magento CE with demo data.
Magento tutorial for beginners - donloading Magento CESystem requirements: Latest stable release of Magento CE 1.9 compatible with PHP 5.4.x and run in a Apache 1.3+ or Nginx server environment. PHP Memory_limit should be minimum 256 MB, 512MB is recommended. MySQL 4.1.20 or later required to run Magento CE 1.9 but Enterprise edition or later has dependency on MySQL 5.0.2+. While this Magento tutorial is written for beginners, we’ll go forward through a local server environment.

If you don’t have a local fake server yet, setup your own by following this tutorial, but don’t get the latest version of these fake server because most of them integrated with PHP 5.5.x which is not compatible with Magento CE 1.9. So getting the older fake server version with PHP 5.4.x would be an easy solution until next version of Magento get PHP 5.5.x compatibilities.

Preparing Installation: As we are going to install Magento on local server, some default php.ini setting need to be changed according to system requirements. Open php.ini in your editor and search for Memory_limit then set it to 512MB. Change upload_max_filesize to more then 3MB. Curl extension also must be enabled. Turn on PHP error message by setting display_errors = On for development stage, so we can see the messages if any error occurred. Save php.ini and restart fake server.

Open phpMyAdmin and create a database and import demo database into it. Create a new user with all global privileges, alternatively you can use default root user.Magento Databe creatingExtract Magento installer to your document root. Copy Media folder from demo data and paste in document root. Skin folder doesn’t contain the full theme in magento-sample-data- Copy two available image from demo folder>frontend>rwd>default>images>media and paste into your document root>frontend>rwd>default>images>media folder. Now we are going to set necessary file and folder permission. Open terminal and go to your root folder and paste following command.

 Magento Installation:

Start your local server and type localhost in browser, Magento installation welcome screen should appears shown below.Magento tutorial for beginners - welcome screenAccept license agreement and click Continue. Localization page will come next.MECE currency settingSelect Language, Time Zone and Default Currency and click Continue.
Magento Database configurationFill up necessary database information and user credential.  Click Continue.

MECE UserProvide personal information and a user name for administration login. Make password alphanumeric with number and special character, otherwise it won’t accept. If you have an Encryption Key  put in the matching field, if don’t have any, leave the field blank Magento will generate one in next screen. Click Continue again.MECE encription PageInstallation is almost finished. Take a screenshot  of this page or manually save the encryption key to safe place. It will be required in future update. A link to Magento Back end window and another for FrontPage all available at the bottom of this page. Click FrontPage and have a look at Magento Front end.Magento Front endMagento is a demo out of the box. A notice showing in top of the page that its a demo store. We will remove this demo message after a few step. Now go to Back end by localhost/admin provide user name and password. If you have an issue with login you probably using Google Chrome. Chrome has an issue with cookie in local install, use Safari or Firefox alternatively fix the problem following this guide provided by Magento Wiki.  Magento tutorial Back end overviewAfter successful login, some notice appears on back end welcome page. Most of these are outdated like Magento CE 1.8 available! when we already running on 1.9. Go to System>Notification check all message by Select All and set Action to remove. Press submit button and delete all outdated message as like picture shown below.

Magento tutorial Back end overviewWe need to disable Cache go to System>Cache Management. Click Flush Magento Cache and select all cache then set disable on Actions then press Submit. Caching system will be disabled, so we can see immediate effect of any change . Picture shown below. Magento tutorial for beginners- Magento Cache deleteGo to System>Index Management and rebuild the index if necessary. To remove Demo data notification set Display Demo Store Notice to No in System>Configuration>Design>HTML Head as shown below. Demo notice remove

Make sure that search engine optimization in System>Configuration>Web Server Rewrites is turned on. Open .htaccess in editor and search for RewriteEngine and enable it by removing the # tag. If  you installed in direct document root adjust path to RewriteBase  / instead RewriteBase  /magento/.

Magento seo setting

Note: .htaccess is a invisible file in MAC, make this file visible first. That’s all for today, our basic Magento installation is complete. We’ll learn about more configuration setting in future to make a production ready eCommerce store.