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How To Build A Magento Website: Step-by-Step Guide

How To Build A Magento Website: Step-by-Step Guide
Choose Magento
How To Build A Magento Website: Step-by-Step Guide

With more than 4.5 billion people online, the World Wide Web embodies the ideal marketplace for ecommerce businesses. Over the past several years, the online market became crucial to merchants’ business success as more than 60% of global internet users have purchased goods from the ecommerce stores in 2019. 

When is the best time to build your own retail website? Several years ago. The second best time is now! While you’re only thinking about the possibility of setting up a web store, millions of brands are benefiting from these trends today.

And Magento solution is considered by many ecommerce experts and online entrepreneurs as the best option to build your own shopping site. Top brands, including Coca Cola, Bulgari, Canon, Nike, Ford, Land Rover, Nestle, Jaguar, Samsung, Lenovo, Nestle, and more are all using Magento 2 for their ecommerce sites.

Brands using Magento
Brands using Magento. Image credit: Meetanshi

However, building a custom Magento store can be a daunting task and involve many steps that should be performed in sequence. To help you make the whole process smooth and fast, we will mention the essential steps you’ve got to follow to build your ecommerce website on Magento. Let’s begin! 

Understanding Different Magento Editions  

But first, let’s understand the difference between Magento editions.  You can choose between three platform versions: Magento Open Source, Magento Commerce, or Magento Commerce Cloud

Magento Open Source (previously Magento Community) is a free version of the platform, you can download, install, and customize to your business demands.

Magento Commerce Edition (previously Magento Enterprise) is a feature-rich out-of-the-box edition, that is highly scalable, mobile-friendly, has advanced security, and provides technical support to make sure that everything operates without hassle. 

Magento Commerce Cloud (previously Magento Enterprise Cloud) is a cloud-based edition that comes with advanced features and is run on Amazon Web Services (AWS). 

Magento 2 Commerce vs Open Source vs Commerce Cloud read more here:
Choose Magento
Magento 2 Commerce vs Open Source vs Commerce Cloud: Which Edition Suits Your Ecommerce Business?

How to create a store in Magento (step-by-step) 

If you’re new to Magento online store development, creating an online presence with Magento could be a hard call for your ecommerce business. But wait, that’s not the reason to take an easy way out.

Ecommerce platform market share
Ecommerce platform market share. Image credit: Promodo

Magento is the most popular platform on the market and those who choose the difficult path will receive a reward. If you go through the set-up, eventually you’ll get a customizable, SEO-friendly, scalable, multilingual, highly secured store. 

Select a unique domain name

The domain name has a significant impact on your brand awareness, credibility, click-through rate, brand-ability, and ranking on search engines and is one of the crucial steps to create an ecommerce business.

Domain name example
Domain name example. Image credit: Umaradam

Thus, selecting the right domain name should be a thorough process, so consider all of your options before settling on a winner. Preferably, you should have your domain name as your business name, but if it’s not available, pick an URL that communicates your brand values and is:

  • unique and catchy 
  • easy to remember
  • short and simple to type and pronounce
  • includes targeted keywords
  • doesn’t include hyphens and numbers.

Choose a Magento hosting provider

The website’s performance, speed, and security depend on the hosting platform. The Magento database resources are heavy and demand powerful servers. Moreover, if you consider expanding your store in the future, you’ll need more server resources to maintain its smooth operation. 

Thus, carefully study every factor related to the Magento online store development and then make a final decision on which hosting provider can meet your needs better. There are several top hosting providers, such as BlueHost, SiteGround, Hostgator, GoDaddy, InMotion, Nexcess which specialize in hosting stores powered by Magento. 

Nexcess hosting provider
Nexcess hosting provider

We always recommend Nexcess to our clients. Nexcess is a feature-rich web hosting provider with special, highly-optimized environments for Magento hosting.

There are four main types of hosting options: shared, VPS, dedicated, and cloud. Depending on your business goals, the hosting cost starts at $5 and can be more than $1,000 per month. Read more here:
Guides & Advice
Ecommerce Hosting Cost: How Much Does Web Hosting Cost?

All mentioned host providers offer different features, so check their functionality package before finalizing your choice.

Install Magento 

The next step when building an ecommerce website is to perform Magento installation and put Magento files on your server. Visit the Magento website and set up an account. 

Then you need to decide which way you will install Magento. There are two variants: via Composer or via the Web Setup Wizard. Is there any difference? Yes, you need to be aware that if you decide to upgrade to a new version, it will be much easier with Composer. 

Magento Tech Resources
Magento Tech Resources

Go to Resources > Tech-resources > Download. Then, select the version you would like to apply, choose the archive format and click “download”. After the download, the system will get you through the key installation steps, such as:

  • Server Readiness Check
  • Addition of a Database
  • Web Configuration
  • Store Customization
  • Admin Account Creation
  • Installing Magento

Done, now you can set up a template.

Set up a Magento theme and customize your design

Every online store needs an eye-catching, easy to use, mobile-friendly, and attractive theme that will draw customer attention. You can make your ecommerce website visually appealing with a great variety of Magento themes.

The Magento marketplace provides a wide variety of free and paid themes that meet the needs of many ecommerce businesses. All Magento themes offer responsive design, easy installation process, cross-browser compatibility, user-friendly layout, SEO-friendly design, flexible customization, and are supported in different languages. 

Magento Theme Marketplace
Magento Theme Marketplace

You could also purchase a paid theme from different theme providers such as TemplateMonster, and ThemeForest. If the template does not satisfy you design requirements or you would like to change it, you can customize the chosen theme to address deficiencies.

If providing a unique user experience is crucial for your brand, then we recommend creating a custom-made theme from scratch. It’s the only way to create something memorable and unique to your retail business. 

Performing significant adjustments to the theme or development from scratch demands profound knowledge in Javascript programming. Therefore, if you want to create a unique look, it’s better to hire a certified Magento development company.

No matter which option you go for, you will need to use and activate a new theme. To do this, go to the Admin Panel > Content > Configuration > Edit > Select your theme in the drop-down menu > Save. 

Magento Admin Panel
Magento Admin Panel
Need a custom ecommerce website design?

We can create a unique responsive web design for your business.

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Customize the store functionality with Magento extensions

After you’ve got the core functionality implemented on your Magento store, you will need to add extra functions to optimize your customer experience. That’s where Magento extensions come in handy. 

If you want to add payment gateways, manage inventory, process bulk orders, track sales, customize the checkout, or personalize the customer experience, there is always an extension available for your business. 

Magento Extension Marketplace
Magento Extension Marketplace

Magento offers a wide variety of free and paid extensions on their Magento marketplace, so you will need to look for the top Magento extensions available to extend the functionality of your store. If the extensions provided by the marketplace don’t satisfy your ecommerce needs, we recommend you to build a custom module from scratch. 

Need custom functionality for Magento?

We can build a custom module for payment gateways, CRM, and shipping solutions.

Click to learn more:

Add your products 

Adding simple products is very easy with Magento. You just need to follow these steps: 

  • Navigate to Products > Catalog > Add Product.
Magento Admin Panel
  • In the Product Details tab, fill in the most significant product information such as the attribute set, description, type in the SKU, product’s weight, price for the product, tax class, product type and name.
Magento Admin Panel
  • Go to Meta Information to enter a meta title and keywords for the product.
  • Go to Images tab to upload images for your new product.
  • Go to Categories  to check which categories this product relates to.
  • Go to Custom Options to create custom options for your product.
  • Now you are done and ready to stock your store with products.

Other configuration

At this stage, there are few more store configurations to take care of, before you perform testing and can go live. Make sure you:

  • Configure shipping and payment methods
  • Set up prices and tax rules
  • Add images and SEO keywords
  • Manage orders and inventory
  • Set up analytics to measure your success
  • Secure your website with SSL certification
  • Integrate possibility to sell on social media
Magento Configuration Paymenet
Magento Configuration Paymenet

Perform Website Testing

When you’re done with the design and features customization, we recommend you to test your project locally before releasing it online. Perform website testing to make sure everything is ready to run the project. 

Test your website for page load time, cross-browser compatibility, weaknesses in code, performance, security, scalability, speed both on desktop and mobile, integration, and database. Fix all the issues that could be the obstacles from the smooth in-store operation. 

Launch your Magento store

Now that you’ve done with all the steps and everything is in its place, it’s time to go live!

Depending on the size of the project, Magento store deployment could take up to several days. The implementation also requires technical expertise, thus for store owners without profound technical knowledge this phase might be quite difficult. 

In order to make your deployment process smooth and hassle-free, task this to professional Magento developers. 

Cost to build a Magento store

There are a number of various aspects that have an impact on the ecommerce website quote. In terms of the Magento store development, each budget is unique and has its own requirements. It’s important to gather all the requirements during the discovery phase and outline the business objectives of your ecommerce project. 

The most common things that constitute the website development cost are: 

  • size of the project
  • design
  • setup
  • hosting
  • developer rates
  • integrations
  • functionality
  • support and maintenance

Magento Open Source (Community) Edition is free of charge. The license cost for Magento Commerce Edition (Enterprise) and Magento Commerce Cloud Edition starts from $22,000. The pricing model is based on the GMV (gross merchandise value) and is negotiable.

  • The estimated development cost for a Magento store with basic features: $3,000 to $30,000.
  • The estimated development cost for a Magento store with advanced features: $30,000 to $60,000.
  • The estimated development cost for an enterprise-level ecommerce store: $60,000 and can reach millions of dollars.
Ecommerce website development cost breakdown. Click to explore:
Guides & Advice
Ecommerce Development Cost: Set the Right Budget for Your Project

Magento store development: In-house vs Agency

The last thing you should consider is whether to hire an in-house team or outsource to an agency.

With an in-house team, you can gather reliable people who share your outlook and understand your company’s philosophy and business goals. By being a part of the daily working process, you can easily analyze your team strengths and assign the tasks accordingly. 

When your in-house development team is in the same office as you, it makes communication much more effective, as you can ask for modifications face to face and easily manage priorities and deadlines. You have full control over the quality of the performed tasks. 

Having an in-house team can be beneficial as a long-term strategy if you are sure that your main projects will continue in the future and there will be activities your team can perform on a daily basis. 

However, having an in-house team is much more expensive. Whether your team is working on a large project or making small alterations to optimize the website performance, you have to pay them the same salary. Don’t forget about vacation days, sick pay, health insurance, and equipment costs. Moreover, with your in-house team you miss the opportunity to get expert opinion and apply the latest technologies available on the market.

Outsourcing your project to the development agency dedicated to building ecommerce websites gets you all areas of expertise. People working in a development agency would definitely have a lot more experience than your in-house team. 

Having worked on multiple projects for a number of years in different spheres means they’ve already learned a lot of technologies. Thus, they can use that knowledge and experience to provide fresh ideas for websites and make your project more efficient and cost-effective.

Hiring a Magento web agency gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of work, money, and time. If you doubt the amount of work you will need to start selling online, you can use the agency services for initial work and then continue the cooperation when you require the agency’s services.

Ready to start your own Magento store?

Creating an ecommerce website is like climbing the mountains. However, once you ascend to the mountain top, the view from the top is striking. We have tried to make the journey less complicated for you by mentioning the bottom line that goes behind each step.

However, setting up a web store is a little more complicated job, when you are working with technology like Magento. To make life easier our Magento 2 certified developers can help you to build the top-notch Magento store. If you want to start your own Magento store, send us a message through our contact form. We’d love to help you to outgrow and outperform your competitors.

Want to build your ecommerce store with Magento?

We implement different types of stores for B2C and B2B businesses.

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