Since Magento is a powerful website-building platform, many online merchants are curious about how to build an eCommerce website with Magento. However, it cannot be denied that the Magento eCommerce website building process is quite complicated. You need to have a deep technical understanding and Magento knowledge to build a good website successfully.
Yet, for web development beginners, looking for information on a website building platform sounds challenging and troublesome. With this in mind, we decided to write this article to help you gain a basic understanding of Magento and the website development process.
Starting to be curious now? Let’s dig into this!
An Overview Of Ecommerce Magento Website
Before diving into how to build an eCommerce website with Magento, you must first learn some important information about this web builder.
What is a Magento eCommerce website?
Magento eCommerce websites are eStores made with Magento – one of the largest eCommerce platforms in the world. This platform has been around for almost 15 years, from 2008.
This is an open-source eCommerce platform, which means it is accessible to anyone at no charge. Regarding Magento architecture, developers built Magento using PHP language and frameworks like Zend, Laminas, and Symffony.
Finally, the creators designed this platform, particularly for the eCommerce website building purpose. Therefore, most of its functions are optimized for this goal. As a result, Magento did a great job providing an appealing appearance, various sale-triggering features, and effective performance.
What are Magento’s advantages?
Open-source platform: As we mentioned above, Magento is a completely free website building platform. You can make any changes you want through it since Magento places very few limits on users. Thanks to this advantage, your online store may match your brand personality better.
Professional toolkit: Nowadays, users increasingly demand a good user experience. This is also the reason why developers create new technologies (such as PWA) to optimize eCommerce sites. Magento has been very responsive in supporting this trend. For example, they launched Magento PWA Studio to build the best eCommerce PWA.
Optimized for eCommerce purposes: Magento serves people to build their desired eCommerce websites. Therefore, all of its functions can help your business sell more goods.
Magento eCommerce Website Example
Since Magento is a well-known platform, it is not difficult to find related examples. Below are the two famous brands from different industries to give you the best example.
Sigma Beauty is a famous cosmetic brand for women. However, their online sales channel didn’t seem to meet their customers’ high expectations. Therefore, they decided to rebuild their entire eStore with Magento.
And the result was beyond expectation. Sigma Beauty have successfully speeded up their website. Now it only needs 3s to finish loading a page content. In addition, the visual of their store has also been upgraded. All product images are displayed in a beautiful and shimmering way. This also indirectly increases the conversion rate for Sigma Beauty.
If you’re a fan of trendy jewelry, the big chance is that you’ve heard of Catbird. Owing to a youthful and sophisticated product design style, Catbird quickly became popular among young female customers.
However, their eStore didn’t seem to meet some user minimum requirements (such as speed, UX&UI). This gradually causes the brand’s online customers to switch to competitors’ products.
Realizing the problem, Catbird upgraded their website from Magento 1 to Magento 2. After that, every store’s function worked better, the navigation became more apparent, and the web’s speed was also faster.
Magento eCommerce Web Building Pricing
Magento provides three service plans with different functions and prices. Each package will be suitable for a typical business customer, thus you should carefully consider the one that fits your business model the best:
- Magento Open Source: Free-to-use (without hosting and domain) with essential eCommerce functions. This version will nicely suit small businesses that do not need many web functions and have a small budget.
- Magento Commerce: from $22,000 to about $125,000 yearly. This service package will be suitable for large businesses with high brand awareness and revenue.
- Magento Commerce Cloud: from $40,000 to $190,000 yearly. This is the most expensive plan of Magento. Besides outstanding web features, you will also get great support and cloud storage service.
In short, Magento eCommerce web pricing will depend on the Magento license you buy. If you are a small business owner planning to use Magento Open Source, you should prepare from $5,000 to $27,000. This cost will include design, development, hosting, domain, etc.
The Pros And Cons Of Building An Ecommerce Website With Magento
Knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the platform is very important before learning how to build an ecommerce website using Magento since it will help you optimize your store better.
Magento is commonly known as a rich-feature platform for eCommerce. This is understandable since the developers have designed this platform specifically for online businesses.
Using Magento, you won’t have to worry much about customer acquisition strategies as it will give you a lot of marketing support. For example, Magento is SEO-friendly, search engines love this platform, and you can reach thousands of customers daily with a good SEO plan. Besides, you will also have full access to the Magento Marketplace, which has a lot of great marketing extensions for sale.
Various eCommerce template
Website templates are an excellent solution for businesses that lack the time and money for web development. With Magento, themes will save your budget and deliver quality results. Most Magento themes are highly customizable, so your template can still accurately reflect your brand ethos.
Also, there are currently about 3000+ free and paid custom themes on the Magento Marketplace. Thanks to this vast number, you can find a suitable appearance without fearing overlapping with your competitors.
Magento is one of the leading website building platforms in the world, so it also comes equipped with advanced security features that ensure your transaction privacy.
On the other hand, patches and updates are also released regularly, keeping your store protected against malicious hacking trends.
In particular, since Magento’s vast extensions marketplace, you can access a wide range of security add-ons. They also play a vital role in enhancing your eStore safety.
Finally, the Magento community has 200,000 users divided into lively and active forums, such as Magento Dev Docs, Forums, Magento Stack Exchange, etc.
This community holds a huge part in helping Magento newbies answer questions or solve raised problems. Most of the members’ questions are responded to enthusiastically by Magento expert members.
Even though the Magento Open Source service plan does not provide a customer support feature, you can handle any issues ideally, thanks to this community.
Deep technical understanding needed
Magento is not an easy platform to use. You need to have a good knowledge of web programming to use it optimally.
Besides, its system also has an enormous and complicated structure. So, to build an excellent online store, you will need solid and skilled groups of developers and testers.
However, there is no need to worry because you can use the Magento template or outsourcing to overcome this drawback.
High paid-version cost
If you use the paid version, you will need to prepare at least a budget of about 20000$ for purchasing a Magento license. Especially if you want to use the Magento Commerce Cloud version, prepare at least $40,000.
This is a considerable number for small and medium businesses. These businesses often do not have a stable source of income, so investing a large amount of money will be very risky. Magento Open Source sounds like a better start for the eStore development solution.
How To Build Ecommerce Website Using Magento
#1. Check device compatibility with Magento 2
There are a few Magento 2 device requirements so that it can work well on your computer. We’ll list those below, check to see if your computer is meeting them.
Operating System: Bad news for Apple and Microsoft fans! Your operating system must be Linux distributions such as Linux x86-64. Magento 2 is not available on Microsoft Windows and macOS at present. However, don’t too worry because you can still use Magento 2 on these operating systems with the help of NAMP applications and virtualizations.
Web Server: Currently, the two most popular choices are Apache 2.4 and Nginx 1.x. Things will be a little more complex with Apache, you need to turn on two modules, the mod_version, and Apache mod_rewrite, to use it.
Memory: To install, update or use Magento 2 and its extensions, you must ensure your computer currently has at least 2GB of Random Access Memory (or RAM).
Database: For different Magento versions, you need corresponding database versions. Currently, there are many database management systems, but MySQL is the most popular unit among Magento users:
- MySQL version 5.6 for Magento 2.0 to 2.1.1
- Select MySQL 5.6 and MySQL 5.7 for Magento version 2.1.2 and above
- For on-premise installations, you must choose.
PHP: Magento 2 accepts two versions: PHP 7.2 and PHP 7.3. However, the latest Magento upgrade, Magento 2.4, only supports PHP 7.4.0. In addition, you should also learn more about PHP plugins, PHP settings, or PHP OPcache. Those elements will help you optimize your Magento performance and reduce the risk of common issues.
- A valid Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate for HTTPS construction
- Transport Layer Security (TLS) requirement for repo.magento.com, PayPal integration.
#2. Choose a domain and hosting provider
The domain is what your customers will enter into search engines to look for your eStore in future purchases. You can think of it as your online signage.
Therefore, spending about $10 annually to invest in a proper domain sounds like a good sense of investment since it is the best solution for your brand to appear in the buyer’s mind longer. Try to choose names that are short and similar to your brand name, and shoppers will memorize them more easily.
Besides domain names, you should also choose reputable hosting providers. This can help improve your page load speed. In particular, it also prevents all potentially extended periods of downtime.
Currently, there are two most popular hosting provider options: shared host and dedicated host.
With the first one, you can share hosting with several other people. This helps to ensure significantly reduce the total hosting cost. However, the downside is that hosting performance will also decrease significantly.
For a dedicated one, you will have to bear all the fees alone. On the other hand, your provider will only focus on serving you, and you will get the best result.
Pro tips: Magento 2 system has many unique requirements. You should check them and ensure that your hosting services meet those criteria for good working results.
Besides, many hosts are willing to provide excellent equipment and tools for Magento 2 operation, so it would help if you try to spend as much time as possible looking for the best partner. You may want to take a look at the best ecommerce hosting providers.
#3. Download and install Magento 2
If you choose Magento Open Source, you can immediately install the latest version 2.4.0, from Magento’s official website.
This download process is also quite simple, you just need to head to the product page and click on the “get start” button.
You will then see a comparison page between Magento Open Source and Magento Commerce. Yet, to download, you will need to have a Magento account first. You can choose to register at the download stage or before that.
There are currently two methods for installation: manual installation and one-click installation.
With the first way, your installation process will be more complex and time-consuming, but it can be applied to all hosting providers.
For one-click installation, all you need to do is click on Magento’s icon in the “Autoinstallers” section. However, you can only do it if your hosting providers support this feature.
#4. Complete general configuration
This is the most easy-to-do step in this “how to build eCommerce website using Magento” guide. It will help you complete some basic settings about your website, such as your admin username or password. The job to be done is quite simple. First, you should access the Admin sidebar, then click Stores > Settings > Configuration > General.
Here, besides information about your Magento account, you may want to finish the initial setting about your shop countries, regions, and languages or provide some basic information like store name, address, and the like.
#5. Update your store design
You are now done with setting up most of the elements needed for a robust store. Nevertheless, it has not ready yet. For your eStore to start serving customers, it needs to have an attractive and convenient storefront.
First, you need to decide on your site structure. Go to the Admin sidebar, select Content > Elements > Create new Pages, Blocks, and Widgets. Try to make your site easy to understand and navigate. Customers should not have to click more than three times to access any web page from the homepage. Don’t skip this step, it will also benefit your SEO work results in the future.
To minimize the time and effort required, you can choose to use the available themes. As we have introduced, Magento has many beautiful templates. So why don’t we take advantage of it?
To purchase templates and extensions on Magento Marketplace, you must first retrieve your access key in your user account.
After receiving a new access code, now go to the extension manager. Here Magento will ask you to enter your recently generated key code, enter it to connect the Magento Marketplace with your website management panel. With this, any product you buy from the market will immediately appear in the extension management panel.
It’s time for shopping! Go to the marketplace, search for a free or paid theme you like and purchase it.
To install the theme, go back to your admin panel and choose Settings > Web Setup Wizard > Extension Manager > Review and Install.
Alternatively, if you are tired of searching for templates, you can use a Magento 2 free ready-made theme called LUMA. This is an awesome theme that covers most features you need. However, it can cause duplication as quite a few brands are already using it.
Of course, you can also customize your template with Magento. Go to Content > Configuration and make the possible changes you want.
#6. Configure catalog
Now that you have a store with a good look, the next job to do is to stack the goods on the shelves. This can be a nightmare for brick-and-mortal merchants. However, for online sellers, you only have to enter product information and upload photos to the website.
The job is quite simple, just go to Catalog > Products > Add Product.
Here you need to write a product description and fill in some information, for example, product type, product name, SKU, price, and the like. Then you have to add some photos or videos to your store. Choose the highest quality images to increase the conversion rate.
In addition, currently, Magento has options for the following product types:
- Simple Product
- Configurable Product
- Grouped Product
- Virtual Product
- Bundle Product
- Downloadable Product
Therefore, select the most appropriate option if the product you want to sell doesn’t belong to any of the options.
#7. Set up payment and shipping methods
Congratulations! You are 90% done setting up a fantastic store! Now all you need to do is confirm your payment and shipping methods (if you are selling physical products).
For shipping methods, navigate to Store > Setting > Configuration > Sales > Delivery Methods and select your shipment options here. This Magento feature is quite outstanding as it even allows multiple shipping addresses. With it, you can reduce a considerable amount of shipment time.
Don’t worry if you are a newbie because Magento will guide you thoroughly step-by-step. In addition, if possible, you should add some extensions to help customers track their shipping journey. Such a function will save them the fatigue of waiting.
For payment methods, click on the Payment Methods bar. Magento is one of the platforms that support the most payment methods, such as PayPal, Braintree (recommended), Klarna, Amazon Pay, Check/Money Order, Bank Transfer, Cash On Delivery, etc. Consider choosing reputable ones to gain more trust from your customers.
#8. Preview and go live
This is the easiest step but extremely important. In fact, you don’t have much work in this step, all you need to do is double-check if everything in the preparation is done right. It is never too much to be careful, you don’t want to suddenly have to cooperate with a strange logistics company just because you entered the wrong shipment information.
Also, test the site and check if every element is in the right place. You can do this by staging the environment or developing locally. Remember to put yourself in your customer’s shoes, try the purchase and judge for yourself how their experience will be, then decide what to add or remove. Don’t forget to test all the functionality to check for any errors.
After completing the testing and editing, it’s time for your website to officially go live. Push your eStore’s files to the web server and check it one last time to make sure there are no errors. Finally, your shop is now available on the internet and ready for customers to find, enjoy and purchase.
FAQS How To Build Ecommerce Website Using Magento
1. Can you build a website with Magento?
Yes, you can build a cost-effective eCommerce website with Magento. In fact, Magento is one of the best ecommerce platforms these days.
2. Is Magento good for eCommerce?
It can be asserted that Magento is excellent for eCommerce compared to other platforms. Magento has high security, various functions, a vast theme & extensions marketplace, etc.
3. How much does it cost to create a Magento eCommerce store?
The cost of building a Magento eStore depends on your Magento license. However, usually, you will have to pay between $5,000 and $27,000 for an eCommerce Magento Open Source website. For Magento Commerce License, you will have to pay from $30,000 to $159,000. Finally, with Magento Commerce Cloud, the budget you need to prepare will range from $60,000 to $240,000.
4. Is Magento free for eCommerce?
Magento offers a free service plan, which is Magento Open Source. Although this version’s number of functions will be limited, it is still wholly sufficient to meet the needs of most SME businesses.
Magento is a leading open-source web-building platform that has a large number of users. However, despite being accessible to anyone, Magento is not useable for everyone. You will need a deep knowledge of web development to build a good website. It is undeniably challenging to use.
While the process we’ve outlined above can help you build a Magento eStore reasonably quickly and simply, it’s hard to meet all of your expectations. If you don’t mind investing a small amount of money in owning a cost-effective store, consider hiring a web development agency.
Above is the entire article on how to build an ecommerce website with Magento. We hope it is helpful to you. Thanks for reading!