When your search ends here, you must be beginners who are drowning in the ocean knowledge about Magento:
- Online merchants wondering whether to use Magento to build the website
- Freelance developers hunting for new promising jobs involved Magento
- Bloggers wanting to write about Magento – the current trend in eCommerce;
Marketers with customers using Magento, etc.
Congratulation and keep reading as you reach the right place to explore ALL about Magento – Magento tutorial (Magento 2 for dummies) with ease!
With 6-year experience, BSSCommerce best team has carefully researched and gathered the most useful knowledge to include in one article only. Let’s enjoy this Magento for dummies now!
GOOD FOR B2B BUSINESS: all-in-one Magento 2 B2B extension to build a website from A2Z!
I. Magento General Overview
1. What is Magento?
In brief, Magento is an open source using PHP scripting language on Zend Framework. First introduced by Varien in 2007, Magento has continuously developed into various products and versions.
Currently, it becomes one of the leading open-source platforms which offers almost all features and tools to build an ecommerce website.
DISTINGUISH ecommerce platforms now: Magento and other ecommerce platforms
Online merchants have a preference for Magento over WooCommerce, OpenCart, Shopify, 3dcart, etc. because:
- Magento is free and fully extensible
- Sellers have ownership and full access to hosting services.
The features are plentiful and cover almost merchants’ requirements: B2C, B2B, global expansion, omnichannel, or digital transportation
To have an overview of Magento and its development trend now and in the future, mark “What is Magento? – Magento Trend Currently and Beyond” for later reading.
2. What versions have Magento been launching?
Over the past ten years, Magento has issued dozens of versions, which are divided into Magento 1 and Magento 2. Each release product will be frequently updated with several release notes containing new enhancements or bug fixes if any.
Hence, remember to check the release note frequently to get the latest version.
- Magento 1 Release Note: Magento 1.0.x to Magento 1.9.x
- Magento 2 Release Note: Magento 2.0.x to Magento 2.3.4
What’s more, each version often includes two different editions: Community (CE) and Enterprise (EE), so-called Open Source and Commerce. While Magento CE is entirely free to download with all basic features working very well for small business, Magento EE is paid, about $22,000 per year for 2.2.x version.
⇨ Learn the difference between Community and Enterprise in this Magento 2 tutorial article: Magento 2 Community Vs Enterprise – Don’t Use Magento Until You Read This.
However, you should think twice about the value, not just the price. Magento EE goes along with advanced features and 24/7 premium support.
3. Is Magento 1 worth installing anymore?
From our expert view, you should not use Magento 1 unless you have already run your online stores in Magento 1. In other words, if you are about to open an entirely new website, start with Magento 2.
Magento has given it words that “Magento 1 has been and will continue to be supported through June 2020.” However, its features no longer can keep up with the increasingly varied demands of online merchants and customers.
Sooner or later, you have to move from Magento 1 to Magento 2. Such the upgrade will definitely cost money, time, and effort. Thus, Magento 2 is the present and future of the Magento platform in particular, and of eCommerce in general.
*Note: From now on, we will focus on Magento 2 only. Keep scrolling down with us, and you will agree for sure that Magento 2 is your choice.
4. Are the above versions all options for Magento 2?
To many, it is a common mistake that Magento 2 products include Magento 2 CE and Magento 2 EE only. The fact is Magento has developed various products to enhance the functionalities of Magento 2 Commerce, for example, Magento Commerce Cloud, Magento Order Management, Magento Shipping, and Magento Business Intelligence.
Such extended capacities are also one of Magento 2’s predominance over Magento 1.
- Magento Commerce Cloud: The combination of Magento Commerce and Cloud-based infrastructure hosting, to get Magento products to work together and work for your business.
- Magento Order Management (OMS): Bridge the gap between online and in-store with a flexible order fulfillment system and create seamless omnichannel experiences.
- Magento Shipping: Connect your online stores with shipping carriers worldwide to add value to customer service through the shipping & fulfillment process.
- Magento Business Intelligence: Empower your database and organization management with automated data syncs.
5. What are the Magento 2 main features?
Magento 2 surpasses other competitors like Shopify or WooCommerce partly because of its rich features ranging from Marketing, SEO, Site Management, Analysis, etc. which can meet almost all demands of online merchants.
Further, discuss: Do You Know All Wonderful Features in Magento 2?
6. What are some useful Magento 2 channels for users?
If you enter “What is Magento?” in the search box, there are 59.800.000 results displayed in a quarter of a second. Which one should you read? It is a hard question. Though every shared knowledge is useful, not all of them are detailed or clear enough.
As Magento specialists, we recommend the following channels to get reliable knowledge:
- Magento Website: The official channel of Magento where you could find information about products, solutions, partners, community, resources, and so on.
- Extension Marketplace: The default features of Magento are out-of-the-box and effective. However, you can even enhance their performance and delight customers better with Magento extensions. You can buy high-quality modules on this channel.
- Magento Community: Join here to meet the global community of online merchants, developers, and Magento contributors.
- Magento Forum: If you are a developer who about to start a Magento project or a merchant looking for the best solutions to improve your sites, then you can search or create any topic to discuss here.
These channels are useful but only when you know how to reach your desired information. Just spend one-minute reading “Pro Tips to Make The Most of Useful Magento Channels,” in which we share our practical experience with those channels. Hope it helps!
7. Try a Magento demo
From all the above, you have already had a general view of Magento. Are you ready to get the demo to experience the powerful features of Magento? >>> Get here: Magento Demo
II. Magento 2 for Merchants
According to Magento Image 2015 Event in Las Vegas, Magento announced that approximately 240,000 websites are running a business based on Magento. In 2018, this figure supposedly increased to more than 250,000 websites (the statistic is published on Magento.com), which proves the continuous and powerful growth of one of the three biggest Ecommerce platforms in the world.
1. Why should you choose Magento?
In addition to Magento, you have a lot of other options to select an Ecommerce platform for your business such as Woocommerce, Shopify, OpenCart or PrestaShop, and so on. Hence, it is difficult for you to decide which one should be chosen because each platform contains particular functions.
To assist you in making up your mind, this Magento for dummies article comes up with some reasons why you should choose Magento, based on comparison with other platforms:
- Open source
Magento is an open-source platform with free Community Edition which allows freely customizing or modifying and adding more functions. This feature cannot be included on any other platform.
Magento is more scalable than others, especially Shopify because it supports large-scale stores with a lot of products.
- SEO- friendliness
According to a study to find out which platform has the highest SEO score, Magento covers the first position with a maximum score of 100 compared to others. Shopify and Woocommerce are respectively put in the second and the third positions.
EXPLORE this article for more reasons: 10 Biggest Reasons Why You Choose Magento.
If you are still taking Magento into account, we will continue giving you more detailed comparisons between Magento and other Ecommerce platforms so that you can quickly have your answer.
2. Does Magento 2 Support SEO?
The answer is definitely Yes. Magento 2 not only well supports SEO but also highlights some advanced improvements in comparison with even Magento 1. Furthermore, SEO features in Magento 2 also defeat other platforms when getting higher SEO scores according to a study we mentioned above.
For more information on SEO, you can take a look at this Magento 2 tutorial article we published a few months ago to find out how Magento 2 supports SEO in details: Magento 2 SEO Settings – All Default SEO Features of Magento 2.
Also, we also do research and publish a lot of SEO knowledge, from SEO tips to strategies for business in Magento 2 SEO section, hence, don’t hesitate to explore super-useful Magento 2 tutorial articles from BSS Commerce.
We can recommend some highlighted articles that support your SEO plan:
- 27+ Magento 2 SEO Tips – Search Engine Optimization A To Z Checklist
- 33+ Remarkable Magento 2 SEO Extension To Boost Ranking In 2020
3. Does Magento 2 Support Marketing?
Similar to SEO, Magento 2 does effectively support Marketing with a lot of necessary tools for marketers to complete a successful Marketing campaign. These functions are creating discounts for promotions, sending emails and newsletters, and supporting Marketing tool integration for better analysis and management.
We create a series of Magento 2 tutorial (Magento 2.3 version) and include Marketing features Magento does support. You can take a quick look at this Marketing section and keep updated with us for more series in the near future.
Also, here are 2 very useful blog posts about Marketing in Magento 2 and what features marketers can take advantages to do better and better Marketing activities:
4. How to build a Magento 2 website?
4.1 How much does it cost to build a Magento 2 website?
When it comes to costs to build a Magento website, many merchants often take a list of everything they need to prepare and estimate how much will be spent on these things. With more than 5-year experience in providing end-to-end services to help thousands of customers build Magento websites, we come up with a list of costs for you to think over before making your decision in this Magento for dummies blog post:
- Cost for Magento edition
- Cost for a domain
- Cost for a Magento hosting service
- Cost for web design
- Cost for development
- Cost for Magento extensions
- Cost for more customization
- Cost for maintaining websites
These costs still depend on the level of your website to be built. In case you just want to build a simple website, the cost is much cheaper than a complex one with a lot of functions and customization.
To estimate it, you can explore more detailed information on this concern in an article published some time ago: How Much Does It Cost to Build a Magento 2 Website?
4.2 Which Magento edition should you choose: Magento 2 CE or EE?
Magento 2 Community Edition is at no charge at all and is mostly used for small business and business wanting to build a store from the ground up. Meanwhile, Magento 2 Enterprise Edition is annually charged and is the best fit with medium and large size business with more flexibility and exclusive features that are not included in the Community Edition.
To determine which one you had better choose to build your website, you can read the two following Magento 2 tutorial article that compares between CE and EE and also gives you an opinion about the suitable edition for your business: Magento 2 CE vs. Magento EE.
4.3 Magento 2 themes and How to choose the right theme for your website?
As you know, a Magento theme shows the look and style of your website. Depending on what products you sell to customers, you can select a suitable theme expressing your specific characteristics and making an excellent impression on customers.
This is an example Magento 2 theme from BSSCommerce called Thinnk, which can be used for every type of Magento 2 store.
⇨ Explore ways to choose the right Magento 2 themes for your website HERE!
You can navigate some well-known websites to purchase Magento themes:
⇨ Check out “61+ Free & Premium Magento 2 Themes To Kick Off Your Store“ you can find on the market today. Furthermore, if you are running a B2B business, this collection of Magento 2 B2B themes will be a good source for you to select your own one.
4.4 How to find Magento developers to help build your website?
Seeking for developers to code for your website is totally upon your current situation such as cost capability, the complexion level of a website, or the expectation level for the web.
Do not worry, just sit back and enjoy our 4 Pro-tips to Hire The Right Helping Hands to Build Your Magento 2 Stores!
Magento web agencies: There are useful some suggestions for you to consider a web design agency to build your website:
- Are they Magento Solution Partners?
- Experience and Testimonials
- Quality assurance and testing
- Support policy
Freelancer developers: You can search for many developers at www.freelancer.com – the largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace. To select a qualified developer, you need to take careful consideration of these factors:
- Do they have Magento Developer Certificates?
- Experience and customer reviews
- Cost per hour
4.5 What are the Magento 2 website, pre-launch checklists?
After completing a Magento website, it is time for you to check everything before going live. This stage is extremely significant because it decides the success or failure of a business. Therefore, we desire to send you a full checklist of which needs to be guaranteed on the website when you are about to launch it: Prelaunch Checklist.
5. How to optimize Magento 2 website performance?
In general, bad performance often refers to low loading speed, which forces customers to wait so long for reading content or viewing products. This one affects website performance, leading to a terrible shopping experience and customer dissatisfaction.
You should navigate to this blog post to take a closer approach to how to optimize your site performance step-by-step: Magento 2 Performance Optimization.
Moreover, if you desire to find a good service for optimizing Magento site performance, we are here to help you with Magento 2 Speed-Up Consulting Package.
This package contains checking your site speed and giving technical problems as well as detailed advices so that you can optimize your speed.
6. How to maintain Magento 2 website?
Optimizing your Magento 2 website may not be enough for a smooth business because maintenance is a much more difficult and challenging task. As we can observe, almost Magento websites always ask web agencies for maintaining services because they can audit the whole sites and come up with a complete plan to perform.
Here are some of such agencies that you can take into careful consideration for your website:
7. What are reliable sources of information for merchants to learn and keep updating with Magento news?
For merchants, we understand that your demand is constantly searching for as much Magento information and knowledge as possible so that you can apply to your business. Therefore, we really want to introduce you some handy and knowledgeable Magento resources which are highly applicable and help you work more directly and flexible in the operation process:
- Official Magento blogs
- Magento Community/Forum
- Magento Resource Library
- Magento Events
- Magento Official Social Media Networks
III. Magento 2 Extensions
Magento is an open-source platform, which allows free customization like adding more functions to default Magento as a typical case. Thousands of Magento 2 websites are currently being customized based on merchant demands with the purpose of better management, more effective site performance, and higher customer satisfaction.
Instead of much coding interference, Magento extensions are the most time-saving and beneficial ways for store owners who are not Information technology experts to perform on their own.
Here is an article that gives you more understanding about Magento 2 extensions: A Quick Overview of Magento 2 Extensions.
Moreover, let’s explore Top Magento 2 extensions – both free and paid – to select the best fit for your websites:
IV. Magento 2 for Developers
1. What are reliable sources to learn Magento from scratch for developers?
For both new beginner developers and experienced ones, Magento devdocs are considered the best resources to learn everything about Magento. They provide a complete system of technical knowledge to instruct developers steps-by-steps and make them more skilled in their work.
Magento U also offers complete training courses for every developer to learn Magento.
Besides, we have found a very detailed blog post of which lists a large number of books for developers to learn Magento: Top 13 Magento Books for Magento Development.
Furthermore, developers can achieve much useful knowledge and solutions from the following websites:
- Magento Stack Exchange & Stack Overflow: #1 sites for Magento developers. Just ask, and the community will answer.
- Inchoo Blog: Share best practices for Magento dev.
- Github: Home of nearly 30 million developers to review code, discuss project, hos, and build solutions together.
2. What Magento knowledge should a developer learn?
2.1 Backend development knowledge
To become a backend developer, we think that the backend development guide by Magento is a compulsory source everyone has to read and practice. Magento offers PHP developer guide, Magento coding standard, and Magento technical guideline as an all-in-one tutorial for developers to keep the following:
- Magento PHP Developer Guide: contains information for developers who want to know more about developing or modifying Magento components.
- Magento Coding Standard: Magento has coding standards to use when you contribute to Magento’s codebase or create extensions.
- Magento Technical Guideline: lists the fundamental coding and application design principles that guide Magento 2 developer team members.
* Note: These guides are applied for Magento 2.3.
2.2 Frontend development knowledge
Similar to backend development, Magento frontend development also includes specific documents that support learning and using in reality.
- Magento Frontend Developer Guide: brings developers useful information such as instructions for creating and installing custom storefront themes for a Magento application, description of Magento’s content rendering process, explanation of the view layer of the system to the extent required to build a theme efficiently and also frontend developers’ tasks.
- UI Component Guide
- Admin Pattern Library
* Note: These guides are applied for Magento 2.3.
3. How to develop a Magento 2 extension?
After learning the necessary knowledge about Magento, developing an extension is also interesting for every developer to discover a new land for coding and applying available skills. We are really glad to instruct you on a full tutorial of steps to create a Magento 2 extensions and the ways to standardize an extension based on Magento requirements: How To Create Magento 2 Module In 5 Steps.
4. What are Magento Certificates for Developers?
According to Magento, a Magento Certified Developer can skillfully use all business processes in Magento, such as the structure of catalog, indexes, promotions, price generation logic Architecture of checkout, payment/shipment methods, sales/order processing, etc.
A Certified Magento Developer can make design decisions on the code level, including how to parse data files, steps of import, data verification, logging (etc.)
In Magento 2, developers can absolutely validate their real-world skills by earning a Magento Certification in the exam. Here are three certificates for developers to gain:
- Magento 2 Certified Professional Developers
- Magento 2 Certified Associate Developers
- Magento 2 Certified Professional Frontend Developers
Each exam with different certificates will evaluate the specific qualifications and skills of developers in Magento 2. For more details, you can navigate to this page: Magento Certification and see what you need to prepare for the exam or how to take part in with how much. Everything is explained in one place for you!
In case anyone takes interest in achieving Magento 2 Solution Specialist certificate, please read the real experience of our Specialist: How To Pass Magento 2 Certified Solution Specialist Exam?
V. Magento 2 B2B Commerce
If you are running a B2B business, don’t worry! Magento 2 Commerce does support outstanding functions for a B2B/Wholesale business such as company account, quick order, shared catalog, requisition list, quote and pay on account. This definitive user guide of Magento 2 B2B will definitely assist you in configuring the necessary functions to run the business properly.
Also, we take time to do research and launch plenty of B2B business tips, tutorials, and general articles of Marketing for store owners to enjoy and apply to your own store. Discover all of them Here!
We also publish a Magento B2B Start Guide to give you essential knowledge about B2B Ecommerce, Magento B2B Commerce, and also a B2B solution for Open Source. Get this resource for FREE now!
VI. Magento 2 Installation
After exploring all the features, you decide that Magento 2 is the right choice to build your online stores. So, it’s time to get started with the installation.
1. What Magento 2 system requirements to install Magento 2?
System requirements are varied among different Magento 2 versions. Usually, technology stack (operating system, memory requirement, composers, web servers, database, PHP, SSL, mail servers, etc.), supported web browsers, and recent security requirements (TLS – Transport Layer Security) are required.
For more detail, please visit “System Requirements for Magento 2.”
2. How to download Magento 2?
Magento provides three options to get Magento 2 software, which can be chosen based on your purposes and your background in technical.
- Easy Installation: Simplest level for online merchants. A compressed Magento software archive (
.tar) is available to download and install by yourself or hire a helping hand from Magento team or professional installation service. You can choose either Magento 2 Open Source or Magento 2 Commerce.
+ Magento 2 Open Source: Download tools, releases, and patches. Also, remember to check system requirements, user guide, reference developer documents, designers’ guides, and test automation frameworks included.
+ Magento 2 Commerce: Contact sales to purchase Magento 2 Commerce version.
- Integrator Installation: For technical users familiar with Composer. Integrator installation reduces extension conflicts and compatibility issues.
- Contributor Installation: For developers having a good command of Composer and Github to customize or contribute to the Open Source codebase.
Bonus for later read: Magento 2 Download: All in One Place
3. How to install Magento 2?
Please follow the roadmap below:
Part 1 – Set up your server environment: Make sure that the system requirements mentioned above are met.
Part 2 – Get the Magento software: You can select among three options to install Magento 2 as above.
Part 3 – Use Web Setup Wizard or Command line to install:
- Web Setup Wizard: Install Magento software on the web-based wizard interface.
- Command Line: Use the command-line interface to perform both installation and configuration tasks.
Part 4 – Check post-installation:
- Verify the installation: Check the display in the storefront with and without sample data, as well as Magento Admin.
- Configure Magento application: Set up cron, make security settings, enable apache server rewrites, and more.
⇨ For the full tutorial to install Magento 2, you can look at this article that our customers have been following and installed successfully: Magento 101: Getting Started With How To Install Magento 2.
VII. Magento 2 Migration
Now that Magento has focused on Magento 2 development and enhancement, many online merchants ask themselves whether to migrate their current websites to Magento 2. If you have a similar concern, keep reading to figure out the answer.
1. How to migrate from Magento 1 to Magento 2?
Firstly, you should consider the following advice of Magento experts gathered by Mageworx Interview in January 2018.
- Gabriel Guarino – Senior Magento Specialist at Simplific: “It is important to migrate to have the latest features and technologies included in Magento. However, Magento … will give time to Magento 1 merchants to prepare for the investment related to the migration.”
- Alex Shymanets – CEO and Founder of SavvyCube: “I’m sure many will be moving to Magento 2, and I’m also confident that we won’t see a full switch in 2018 since migrating a Magento 1 business is quite an enterprise.”
- Viktor Khliupko – CEO at Firebear Studio: “Be it for the reason of migration complexity, stability or build costs – lots of merchants will stay on Magento 1 and agencies will continue to build Magento 1 stores during 2018.”
The migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 is indispensable. The challenges to migrate to Magento 2 from Magento 1 will depend upon how your sites have been built and which level of customization. Thus, you should be ready soon. Here is the workflow:
The required tasks are such a workload, aren’t they? Don’t worry as we recommend a brief and easy-to-understand Magento 2 tutorial article to guide you step by step. Check now!
2. How to migrate from other Platforms to Magento 2?
Despite being the later in the eCommerce world, Magento 2 is taking customers from other eCommerce platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce. Want to know why? Read our comparison between Magento and other platforms. You will impress with the outstanding benefits from Magento 2:
- Be fully extensible and customizable
- Provide easy-to-use features
- Support stores at all scales
- Improve design for UI/UX
- Be more secure with 24/7 support
When it comes to Magento 2 migration from another platform, there are several ways: manually importing/exporting data, hiring Magento migration services, or using migration extensions.
All you need to know about Magento are available in this Magento tutorial. We will continuously update more and more interesting knowledge for you to digest. Hence, you should bookmark the post or subscribe above to stay informed with the latest Magento features, tips, and trends.
If you want to discuss more Magento for dummies topics under this article or you want us to include more topics, feel free to contact us.
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