[2024 Update] Magento 2 Tutorial for Developers & Merchants

by Stephanie Greene

If you are looking for a complete Magento 2 tutorial, then you must be a beginner who is drowning in the ocean of 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.

No matter who you are and what your purpose is, you reach the right place to explore ALL about Magento – Magento 2 tutorial (Magento 2 for dummies) with ease!

Magento is one of the leading eCommerce platforms with over 250 thousand active users. It powers around 12% of all online business stores available today.

Over the years, Magento 2 has shown an impressive advancement in the eCommerce field by bringing some key features for users to optimize their businesses. Therefore, more and more people want to do business on Magento.

But as always, to start doing anything, you need to understand it thoroughly. So before building your store on the Magento platform, you will need an all-in-one Magento tutorial written by Magento experts!

With 10 years of experience, the BSS Commerce team has carefully researched and gathered the most useful knowledge to include in one article only.

Our Magento tutorial for beginners walks you through both backend and frontend development, along with administration guides to help you set up and run a Magento store. 

We guarantee this article is all you need to have a solid understanding of Magento 2.


Let’s enjoy this Magento for dummies now!

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 has become one of the best open-source platforms, which offers almost all the features and tools to build an eCommerce website.  

Online merchants have a preference for Magento over WooCommerce ( Magento vs WooCommerce ), OpenCart, Shopify (Magento vs 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 all merchants’ requirements: B2C, B2B, global expansion, omnichannel, or digital transportation.

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.

Currently, Magento has stop support Magento 1. However, Magento 2 is still frequently updated.

Remember to check the Magento 2 Release Note to be informed about new enhancements or bug fixes in the latest version of Magento.


What’s more, Magento offer 2 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 businesses, Magento EE is paid at the start of $22,000 per year.

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. Migration from Magento 1 to Magento 2 tutorial

As we mentioned above, Magento 1 is now end-of-support.


If you have already built your business on Magento 1, you should consider moving to Magento 2 to take advantage of all the new features.

And luckily, Magento has an official Magento 2 migration document, which covers 4 major aspects: data, themes, extensions and customizations.

Using the Magento 2 Data Migration Tool, you can import and export products, customers and order data, as well as other store configurations from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

Unfortunately, you cannot import extensions or themes from Magento 1 to Magento 2.

However, Magento extension developers have been working on creating new extensions for the second version of the platform. And there are tons of new themes and customizations.

4. All versions of 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.  


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 can 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 is 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 Tutorial 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.

  • Scalability

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.

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 tutorials and include Marketing features Magento does support. 

Also, here are two very useful blog posts about Marketing in Magento 2 and what features marketers can take advantage 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 the 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 10-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.

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 businesses and businesses wanting to build a store from the ground up. Meanwhile, Magento 2 Enterprise Edition is annually charged and is the best fit for medium and large-size businesses 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 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.

Below is an example Magento 2 theme.


You can navigate some well-known websites to purchase Magento themes:

4.4 How to find Magento developers to help build your website?

Seeking 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.

Magento web agencies: There are useful suggestions for you to consider a web design agency to build your website:

  • Are they Magento Solution Partners?
  • Experience and Testimonials
  • Portfolio
  • Pricing
  • Location
  • 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
  • Portfolio
  • Cost per hour
  • Location
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 what 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, forcing customers to wait so long to read content or view 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 advice 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 all Magento websites always ask web agencies for maintaining services because they can audit the whole site 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 updated 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 it to your business. Therefore, we really want to introduce you to some handy and knowledgeable Magento resources which are highly applicable and help you work more directly and flexibly 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..

Moreover, let’s explore Top Magento 2 extensions – both free and paid – to select the best fit for your websites: [Updated 2024] Ultimate List Of 101+ Magento 2 Free Extensions

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 2 also offers complete training courses for every developer to learn Magento.

Besides, we have found a very detailed blog post that 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 projects, 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 use 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
  • JavaScript Developer 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 extension 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.)

CHECK NOW: BSS’s Certificates Showcase – Why We Are Trustworthy Magento Extension Builder?

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 on Marketing for store owners to enjoy and apply to their own stores. 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.

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 (.zip or .tar) is available to download and install by yourself or hire a helping hand from the 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.

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.

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 from 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 migrating 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:


(Source: Magento Devdocs)

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 latter 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 of 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.

Final Thoughts

All you need to know about Magento are available in this Magento tutorial for beginners. 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.

P/S: Don’t hesitate to share if you find this Magento 2 tutorial sharing is useful. Thanks for reading!

BSS Commerce is one of the leading Magento extension providers and web development services in the world. With experienced and certified Magento developers, we commit to bringing high-quality products and services to optimize your business effectively. Furthermore, we offer FREE Installation – FREE 1-year Support and FREE Lifetime Update for every Magento extension.

CONTACT NOW to let us know your problems. We are willing to support you every time.

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